Affordable Plasma Cutters For DIY Enthusiasts
Not everyone needs a heavy-duty high-end plasma cutter. If you’re a DIY enthusiast and will only use it occasionally, a cheap plasma cutter unit will work perfectly.
There are plenty of cost effective options that will do the job, for example the Lotos Plasma Cutter range we reviewed is more than satisfactory for any home DIY enthusiast.
Many manufacturers have introduced a number of great quality, reliable and affordable cheap plasma cutters to the market in recent years.
To make it easier, we've shortlisted them for you - here are our recommended best plasma cutters under $500.
Best Cheap Plasma Cutter Comparisons 
Ideal Cutting Thickness
15 x 6
15 x 6
ZENY Plasma Cutter
1/2"(approx.) 12.7 mm
18.5 x 13.5 x 11
Sungold power 50Amp
19.3 x 10.2 x 15.8
Best Plasma Cutters Under $500
Based on our reviews, we've compiled a list of the best inexpensive plasma cutters, taking into consideration their functionality, performance, sustainability, and maintenance.
1. Lotos LTP5000D
The Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter blasts its way onto our list with ample cutting performance in a compact package. The pilot arc feature is really handy for cutting on rough surfaces or dirty metal.
The pilot arc will also help extend the life of your consumables and makes cutting more enjoyable.
At under $500 this unit offers the best bang for your buck.
Q. Do I need an air compressor with this unit?
Yes, you will need an air compressor and 220v 30A outlet. You DO NOT need any bottled gas.
Q. Does this plasma cutter come with a warranty?
Yes, a 1 year manufacturers warranty is provided. You will need to submit a product registration via the lotos website.
2. Zeny Cut 50 DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
The Zeny plasma cutter is a great option if you’re a DIY hobbyist and on a budget. If your task requires cutting different sized metal sheets, you’ll find it quite reliable. It cuts well, it's easy to use, well made and overall good value for money.
In addition, the machine is fairly easy to set up, so even a new user can get started quickly.
It's hard to find another product that works as well in this price range.
Some of the parts are cheaply made. This is most obvious in the ground clamp, torch and torch lead. There is a clear difference if you compare it with the more expensive American brands.
The quality can be excused for the price you are paying for this system. It's not designed for industrial use and so you won't be paying for the extra bells and whistles. What you get is a cutting system that simply does the job.
Q. What battery wire is used on the earth clamp and how long is it?
A. You’ll need a 2 gauge wire. The battery cable is about 8 feet long.
Q. What does 2.5s and 5s on the front switch mean?
A. 2.5s and 5s setting on the switch is the post flow setting. It indicates how long air flows after you release the button.
Zeny Cut 50 Plasma Cutter
3. SUNGOLDPOWER 50Amp Air Plasma Cutter
SUNGOLDPOWER 50A is a little machine with high performance. Integrated with IGBT inverter soft switch technology, this unit is stable and superior to many of its rivals. It's fast and works well when used to cut metals such as copper, stainless steel, aluminum, iron etc. up to 15mm thickness. The duty cycle is more than enough for most projects.
Its multi-plug voltage allows the user the ability to select from 1100v or 220v power. It's easy to setup, just plug it in and go. In our experience, this is one of the best plasma cutters in its price range.
Q. Does the SUNGOLDPOWER Plasma Cutter come with its own air compressor?
A. No. The unit doesn’t come with an air compressor. You’ll have to buy it yourself.
Q. Do I need to buy consumables?
A. Yes. As the unit doesn’t come with consumables, you’ll have to purchase them.
SungoldPower Plasma Cutter
4. PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 A
The PrimeWeld Ct520D has all the basic features needed for a hobbyist.
It's a 3-in-1 plasma cutter, Stick and TIG welder. The plasma cutter delivers 50 amps current which is ideal to cut up to ½” thickness.
On the other hand, the Stick/ TIG welder can deliver 200amp welding current. The CT520D is an efficient tool to cut and weld a wide range of things.
This combo unit weighs only 32 pounds which makes it easy to carry on any worksite.In summary, this is a perfect tool for the majority of your cutting and welding tasks.
Q. Do I need to buy a separate air compressor?
A. Yes. As the PrimeWeld Ct520d doesn’t come with an air compressor, you'll have to buy it separately.
Q. Can I use a foot pedal with the CT520D?
A. Yes. You can use a foot pedal with this unit
5. Goplus CUT 50 Plasma Cutter
The Goplus CUT-50 is a perfect unit for professionals who want all the basic features at an affordable price. This electric digital plasma cutter is great for cutting stainless steel, alloy steel, copper and other metals.
This unit has advanced inverter technology, making its performance reliable and stable. The 50 amp plasma cutter delivers a high cutting speed and at the same time doesn't use much energy.
The Goplus plasma cutter can be used outside in temperatures of between 14 degrees and +104 degrees, with a maximum humidity of 80%. Overall, it's a fantastic tool that gets the job done.
The system can cut up to 1/2 inch metal well. You will just need to drag the torch slowly.
You can't beat the price on this cutting system for the casual user.
Q. Does the unit feature a pilot arc?
A. No. It features a HF (High frequency) starter. This allows the user to strike an arc to ignite the torch head.
Q. Does the unit come with 220 power plug/ cord?
A. It comes with a cord, but you have to purchase the plug.
Goplus Cut 50 Plasma Cutter
Why Should You Buy An Inexpensive Plasma Cutter?
The type of plasma cutter you need will depend on what you will be using it for. We find the more expensive plasma cutters have premium features which are more tailored to commercial use. If you don't require cutting at a large scale commercial level, a less expensive model without all the additional premium features is more than sufficient for home use, occasional use or for small business use. Furthermore, these are great choices if you are a beginner or don't have much experience with plasma cutters as we've chosen ones which are easy to use.
If you’re a hobbyist or need to do minor repairs around your house, an inexpensive plasma cutter would most likely work very well for your needs.
Our reviews have found the following are the best low cost plasma cutters that do the job for casual users and hobbyists: Lotos LTP5000D, Lotos LT5000D, Zeny Cut50, SUNGOLDPOWER 50A, PrimeWeld CT520D, or Goplus CUT-50.
How Reliable Are Cheap Plasma Cutters?
If you don't require the additional fancy features of the more expensive models, cheap plasma cutters get the job done and are perfectly reliable for your needs. Many people keep low cost plasma cutters for years and they continue to perform with no issues.
A word of caution
Don't expect to cut the maximum thickness advertised. If you need to cut at the plasma cutter's stated maximum thickness, it's recommended you select a model which can easily do the job.
It is always advised that once you purchase a unit, you use it a few times to make sure there are no faults whilst it is still under warranty. If your machine doesn't fail within the initial 15-20 times of use, the chances are that it shouldn’t have problems in the near future. If it does have problems you can have it replaced under warranty.
If you are after a reliable unit with great features at a reasonable price, the units mentioned above are the ones we recommend and are our preferred top five cheap plasma cutters.
Cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality.
Admittedly, you won’t get a lot of advanced features from these inexpensive units. But for home DIY jobs and light duty small business projects, these less expensive plasma cutters will work well and won't break the budget.