The Best Plasma Cutters Under 500 (Reviews & Guide)

Years ago, I was convinced that only expensive plasma cutters could guarantee efficient cutting. I have, however, changed my perception due to some excellent machines been launched by some brands in recent years. Those looking for the best plasma cutters under 500, can find products from pilot arcs to multi-purpose models in the tiniest of budgets. But, it’s not that easy!

You have to decide your purpose with this machine with a set of functionalities you want.

FACT: Low-budget machines are usually limited in terms of features and functionality since you can’t expect $2000 features from a $500 machine. However, my recommendations below have some serious relevance to fulfill your requirements.

Best Plasma Cutters Under 500

As a result of my experience with the following 5 plasma cutters, I can simplify your search for the best one under your budget.

  1. PrimeWeld Pilot Arc 50A (Best Multi-purpose)
  2. Amico CUT-60HF Non-touch Pilot Arc (Great Value)
  3. Amico CUT-50HF Non-touch Pilot Arc (Best for Money)
  4. Lotos LT5000D (Best Beginners-level Plasma Cutter)
  5. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp (Best Multi-function)

Plasma Cutters Under $500 Reviews

I have summarized all the important details about the product that I have enjoyed using in recent times.

1

PrimeWeld Pilot Arc 50A (Best Multi-purpose)

the best plasma cutter under 500

The Primeweld Pilotarc 50A is one of the best plasma cutters with non-touch pilot arc functionality. It is a versatile and multipurpose machine with three functions in one (200A TIG welder, 200A stick welder, and 50A plasma cutter). In my opinion, it is the ideal choice for home or job site use, and other fun ways to perfect skills on a budget.

  • Item Model Number: PrimeWeld 50 A
  • Material: Steel
  • Item Weight: 32 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 18x14x11 inches
  • Amperage Capacity: 50 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 60%
  • Output Voltage: 20 to 50A
  • Input Voltage: 110/220 V

With the 50A plasma cutting ability, this multi-purpose machine can cut all types of metals up to 1.2” feet thick. Using it for the last year, I have witnessed 110/ 220 VAC which enables me to easily achieve 1.2” clean-cut, 1.4” TIG cut with 50Hz/ 60Hz frequency.

The pilot arc has a touchless start as simple as pulling the trigger.

For all functions, it operates at a 60% duty cycle. Additionally, IGBT inverter technology makes transformers lighter and smaller.

Alternatively, this pilot arc welder gets down to 10 amps on all three processes, allowing it to handle sheet metal up to 24 gauge. It’s an excellent machine for auto bodywork, capable of cutting out damage, preparing new panels, tacking them into place, and then welding the seams to a perfect finish. This model utilizes DC inverter technology for converting DC to AC.

Other Users Feedback: The only concern is the 60% duty cycle. Every 10 minutes, a cooldown of 4 minutes is required. (A total of 6 minutes for each process). Plasma cutting takes 2 minutes, stick welding takes 2 minutes, and TIG welding takes 2 minutes. This is equivalent to six minutes. Additionally, I have to switch between each process. As a result, there is downtime between processes.

In my opinion, under 500 you have to compromise on that.🥴

PROS:

  • The best 3-in-1 function machine under $500.
  • Safety feature prevents fires when used.
  • Cleans and maintains easily.
  • Easily portable.

CONS:

  • Duty cycle cooldown.

Designed For: Ideal for home or job site use and other fun for perfecting skills.

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2

Amico CUT-60HF Non-touch Pilot Arc (Great Value)

top plasma cutter under $500

Amico Cut-60HF is the best plasma cutter under a $500 budget. Its highly user-friendly design & interface, hardware components, and cutting power features the most advanced inverter technology to cut rusted and painted metals with phenomenal accuracy (which most high-budget plasma cutters fail to offer).

  • Material: Metal
  • Item Weight: 25 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 19×7.6×12.9 inches
  • Power Source: AC 100-250V/ 50-60 Hz
  • Amperage Capacity: 60 Amps
  • Performance: 60% duty cycle at 60 Amp
  • Output Voltage: 104 V
  • Trigger-Lock: 2T & 4T
  • Torch: AG-60

Amico CUT-60HF incorporating the latest IGBT inverter technology and non-touch pilot arc cutting processes ensuring excellent arc stability. No matter how rough, rusty, greasy, dirty, or spray-painted the material is, the cutting effect is very ideal and can complete the work effortlessly and quickly. The lightweight design makes the machine easy to transport anywhere.

Like CUT-50HF it also features 2T & 4T trigger locks along with all other design & interface specifications. It will not be wrong to describe this unit as a whole lot of bang for your buck. 💯

Can cut up to 1.0 in. This machine can handle stainless steel, alloy steel, low-carbon steel, copper, iron, pig iron, cast iron, aluminum alloy, aluminum, and other conductive metals in minutes.

With the automatic selection feature, the machine can automatically detect and adjust the voltage input, so that it can easily operate between 90V and 300V with no adjustment required.

Using the Amico cut-60HF, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, mild steel, alloy steel, and many other metals can be cut effortlessly. The severance cut of up to 1.2 inches is less than Amico 50-HF but still justifies its cutting feature.

In addition to a high-frequency start, the plasma cutter also has a 50 amp inverter. It isn’t necessary to place the tip of the torch onto the metal to cut it. The Amico 60-HF features gauges that enable you to read and control the temperature more effectively.

Other Users Feedback: 4.5 out of 32 is the average product rating (as of an update). In addition to the stats, the customer reviews for this plasma cutter are exemplary as everyone has rated it 5-stars. However, those who gave the bad rating had no real reason to do so.

PROS:

  • The gauge allows to read and control the temperature.
  • Dual voltage 90V to 300V.
  • Automatic voltage adjustment.
  • Multiple safety features.
  • Intelligent power supply system.
  • Suitable for difficult operations in construction sites, and relatively remote areas.
  • Excellent Customer Support.

CONS:

  • Its manual may be difficult to understand.

Designed For: Featuring the best heat-resistant and impact-resistant handgrips, this machine is designed under the budget for demanding construction and industrial projects; however, the DIY tasks are also complemented.

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3

Amico CUT-50HF Non-touch Pilot Arc (Best for Money)

good plasma cutter under five hundred

Amico CUT-50 HF is another top-rated plasma cutter. The only thing that makes it to the #3 spot is only the lesser HF (i.e. 50).

  • Item Model Number: Amico-cut 50 HF
  • Material: Metal
  • Item Weight: 25 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15.72×8.52×12.85 inches
  • Power Source: AC 95-260V/ 50-60 Hz
  • Amperage Capacity: 50 Amps
  • Performance Description: 60% duty cycle at 50 Amp
  • Trigger-Lock: 2T & 4T
  • Torch: AG-60

In terms of design & interface, it has quite astonishing features; it offers 13 feet of torch cable and 10 feet of ground cable, which are very convenient to work with. One of the best things about this product is the placement of the air filters inside its body (I really dislike the air controllers outside).

Most importantly, it has 2T & 4T trigger locks that are normally found in plasma cutters costing $1000 or more. Last but not least, this product has everything one could wish for in terms of functionality and design, as well as ultimate high-quality cutting.

You can cut up to 4.5” in. This device is easier to use with an air pressure regular on the machine. This tool controls an air filter automatically using a solenoid valve, which can greatly improve productivity when the metal is rough, rusty, greasy, dirty, sprays paint, etc.

In addition to its automatic voltage compensation system, Amico Cut-50HF features over current protection, overheating protection, overload protection, and plasma torch safety. The fan controls the temperature automatically, so it runs very quietly.

Its manual and the warning card on the air regulator both say that it works only when the GREEN indicator is on, which is 60 to 125 pounds, but the manual says you should use pressure based on the material you are cutting from 40 to 75 PSI, so there is a discrepancy. 😜

Other Users Feedback: Customers love this so far! This product is having a 4.9 score out of 9 ratings with no complaints from the users whatsoever.

PROS

  • Automatic voltage with compensating system.
  • Automatic voltage adjustment.
  • Multiple safety features.
  • Intelligent power supply system.

CONS

  • Lesser “High Frequency” power.
  • Be aware of variations in torches.

Designed For: Apart from its ability to achieve perfect cutting, the Cut-50HF is the best plasma cutter under 500 for professionals as well as DIY enthusiasts.

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4

Lotos LT5000D (Best Beginners-level Plasma Cutter)

best plasma cutters under 500

Lotos LT5000D is another one of the best plasma cutters under 500 bucks that features enough high-speed and technology for the price.

By using the non-hazardous compressed air, you can cut stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, aluminum, copper, and other metal materials quickly and efficiently.

  • Item Model Number: Lotos LT500D
  • Material: Metal
  • Item Weight: 22.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15x6x12 inches
  • Input Power Cable Length: 6 inches
  • Amperage Capacity: 50 Amps
  • Performance Description: 60% duty cycle at 50 amp
  • Voltage: 110V/220V
  • Ideal Cut: 1/2”
  • Max Severence Cut: 3/4”

Talking about the design, it has a handle for portability, pre-installed NPT 1/4” industry type D plug, and air filter regulator with MOSFET transistors making it quite easy for assembly, usage, and portability.

Inverter technology in the LT5000D enables it to provide continuous, efficient, and fast cutting. As a result of this built-in feature, the user can use the device if there is no power outlet nearby.

The inverter utilizes pulse-width modulation technology to produce DC power that modulates rapidly. It ensures consistency in cutting featuring inverters with PWM technology that achieve a 30% efficiency increase.

The compressed air technology makes the LT5000D extremely safe to operate and fire-safe.

As with Oxy-hydrogen cutting, there is no possibility of sparkling that reduces the risk of fire burst. That ensures the cutting area is not dangerous for the users and nearby people.

👉 NOTE: “LCS22” or “LCS33” are the compatible consumables set. However, it’s not compatible with Lotos LCOn20, LCON40, LCON90, or any other third-party set.

This plasma cutting unit comes with all the necessary accessories to make usage easy and long-lasting. To increase the useability of this unit, the user needs to extend the gas pipe as it will make it comfortable to carry the base station around with you wherever you work.

Customer Reviews: This product appears to be one of the best-sellers plasma cutters under 500 on Amazon with a 75% 5-star rating. Around 6% of users have complained about the air pressure and early blow-up. But on the other hand, around 75% of users endorse the best-precise cutter they have ever used under this price.

PROS:

  • Accurate cutting with symmetrical flames.
  • Cuts faster than necessary.
  • Continual duty cycle and frequency.
  • Best Beginners-level plasma cutter.

CONS:

  • The cable length is too short.
  • Consumables are hard to find and wear out quickly No 2T and 4T triggers.

Designed For: For me, it is an excellent choice for home DIY jobs and light-duty small business projects.

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5

SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp (Best Multi-function)

best plasma machine under $500

The 110V/ 220V Dual Voltage DC IGBT Inverter welder, MIG/MAG/ARC/MMA powered SunGoldPower 200AMP comes with multifunction welding capabilities. The brand manufactures a wide range of industrial tools including welding machines, milling machines, cigarette lighter adapters, and other appliances.

  • Item Model Number: Sungold Power
  • Material: Iron
  • Size: MIG200
  • Item Weight: 33 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6×9.4×14.9 inches
  • Amperage Capacity: 50 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 60%
  • Input Voltage: 110/220 V

Its minor splashes, great penetration, and ease of operation make it the perfect welding machine. 

It can be converted to a 220AMP to get a hotter weld. That makes it useful for household repairs, a small side hustle, and other small-to-medium welding tasks. It will work well in almost any small or medium job, even if your materials aren’t fully prepared.

This machine is capable of welding MIG and flux-cored wires as large as 10 mm in diameter and solid-core wires. The product is ideal for DC TIG and MMA welding at high frequencies. SUNGOLDPOWER does not produce any annoying noises during operation that makes it a versatile machine.

I’m using Hobart .035 wire with flux core. The kit comes with .04 wire, but no .04 tips. If you plan to use the wire that comes with it, make sure you ground the flux core positively, not negatively. LOL, It changes so much.

As for the power, I’m using 110 volts on a 20 amp breaker and I can turn the welder all the way up without blowing the breaker so long as nothing else is running at the same time. Considering that it was shipped for less than $250, I’m impressed. Does a good job of repairing things around the shop.

Other Customer Reviews: It’s a great bang for the bucks! The only complaint by a customer is about the outer jacket on the gun/ whip is a bit thin and does not tolerate heat at all.

PROS:

  • Dual voltage with low price
  • Lightweight and portable welder facilities
  • A good welder for larger projects

CONS:

  • Low-quality ground clamp
  • Stars are not very fast on this unit.

This easy-to-setup unit is compatible with various metals, including steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, brass, and bronze. With its small size, lightweight, and energy-saving profile, this is one of the power units for this price of $500. 

Designed For: For me, SUNGOLDPOWER 200AMP is ideal for outdoor repairs, rusty metal, farm & road equipment, and maintenance & repair. 

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How to Select the Best Plasma Cutter Under 500?

Plasma cutters can beat each other in terms of design, specifications, and functionalities, as previously stated. In addition, the quality and features of a particular product may be limited by your budget and usage. While you won’t get a machine with high-class features, there are still some outstanding ones that can help you when your exposure isn’t too large.

So, here is a list of realistic factors and rules that you should be considering when choosing the best plasma cutter under 500.

#1: Define your Purpose

Before you choose a product, it is important to specify the kind of use you envision. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Do you need it for industrial or domestic use?
  • Is it a small welding shop?
  • Use on a job site?
  • Or just as someone who enjoys DIY?

To be really honest you should not expect any trustworthy plasma cutter under $500 for heavy industrial application. But, there are a lot of good options available for intermediate usage which give enough performance.

#2: Required Voltage Level

Once you have identified your usage level, the next thing to consider is the amount of voltage power you need to accomplish your tasks. It usually depends on the material thickness.

Some plasma cutters operate at 120 or 240 volts, while others are dual voltage.

To cut thick metal like that with plasma you will need 240-volt power for heavy-duty projects like trailer hitches and cutting thick-walled pipes.

For example, you don’t need to buy a 50 amp plasma cutter to cut 1.4-inch thick metal. With that said, a 120-volt machine would be enough.

You should keep both options open by selecting the dual-voltage plasma cutter like Amico CUT-50 HF.

#3: Multipurpose

Yes! there are still some machines you can get with multipurpose functionality. For example, Primeweld Pilotarc CT520DP is the best option which has 3-in-one functions i.e. TIG welder, stick welder, and plasma cutter with dual voltage support.

So, what else do you want for $500? Look for the best options available but keep your purpose factor on top.

#4: Duty Cycle

Plasma cutters can work uninterrupted for ten minutes, during which they do not need to take a break. According to a machine’s duty cycle, for example, if it runs for four minutes, it cools down for six minutes.

👉 Under 500, you can expect a 60% duty cycle in most plasma cutters.

You will need a machine with a high duty cycle if you’re going to perform deep and long cuts. Your most important consideration is to purchase a plasma cutter with a duty cycle that meets your expectations.

#5: Maximum Cutting Ability

Under the $500 budget, you can easily get a 50 amp plasma cutter to cut 1.2 inches thicker metal. However, if your cutting requirements are heavy-duty then you definitely have to look for a more powerful one.

#6: Pilot Arc & Consumables

When buying a plasma cutter under $500, it is also important to think about the consumables because you might be replacing them pretty quickly. You should be not selecting a plasma cutter like Lotos LT5000D with poor consumable performance, costly to replace, and hard to find nearby.

For a longer consumables lifespan, you should look for a pilot arc start that doesn’t require touching the tip of the metal for start.


FAQ’s

Can I buy a CNC plasma cutter under 500?

No, CNC plasma cutters start from $$$$ and so on. So, you can’t get a CNC plasma cutter for 500 dollars.

What are 2T and 4T Triggers on a plasma cutter?

2T Mode is used to press the torch or gun trigger to weld and release to stop. The 4T Mode is used to start the gun/torch by pressing and releasing the trigger, to weld without holding the trigger on, and to stop by pressing and releasing the trigger again.

How Amico CUT-60HF and Amico CUT-50HF are different?

Both products differ just in terms of HF power. Amico CUT-60HF has an upper hand due to higher power.


Wrapping it Up

In this guide, my winner is Primeweld Pilot Arc 50A which is a 3-in-1 package with pilot arc functionality. Equally ideal for home, job site, and DIY tasks.

Last but not least, if you don’t have multipurpose requirements I would straightaway recommend you Amico CUT-60HF which is a pure gift under 500 bucks.

Happy Buying!

Damaso has been an enthusiast of automotive and plasma cutting since the age of 14 when his father bought him a Commodore computer. Years later, his passion in both fields motivated him to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Since then, Damaso is doing what he loves the most: writing engaging content about the convergence between plasma cutters, cars, and other automotive topics.

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