When we looked at the best plasma cutters of 2021 we were surprised by the amount of choice on the market today. Below we will review the 10 we felt were best in a variety of different categories. The price range for plasma cutters is quite wide, so we have tried to include a cross-section at different levels, so that there’s something here to suit every need and every budget. Read on for the reviews.
Here are the best plasma cutters 2021:
- Lincoln Electric Tomahawk 1000
- Everlast PowerPro 205S
- Lotos LT3500
- Forney Easy Weld 20 P
- Everlast SuperUltra 205
- Lotos LT5000D
- Amico Power APC-40
- Lincoln Electric 20
- Lotos LTP7000
- Everlast PowerPlasma 62i
1. Lincoln Electric Tomahawk 1000
The best plasma cutter to buy in 2021
It wasn’t a difficult choice deciding on the best plasma cutter on the market in 2021. Lincoln Electric’s Tomahawk 1000 is a beast that gets the job done. This model is a bit pricey at well over $3000, but it has all of the features you’re looking for in a quality plasma cutter. Drawing on 230 volts it can easily achieve high temperatures for all of your precision cuts. It’s also portable, so you can take it with you wherever you need it.
What first caught our attention was the range of metals you can work on with this machine. It works well when you’re working with mild steel, brass, stainless steel, copper or aluminum. The Tomahawk 1000 includes PowerConnect Technology that allows you to sense and adjust to the input power available. You also have the option of turning on Continuous Output Control, so that you can focus the arc depending on the ARC’s thickness. Combine all this with front panel purge control for consistent airflow, a rugged design and a new electrode and nozzle design and you have a powerful and reliable cutter.
There isn’t a lot we didn’t like about this machine, but we were a little disappointed with the warranty. 3 years is decent, but for a plasma cutter with such a hefty price tag, we would have expected something in the 5-year range. The only other complaint we had with this machine is that it does feel a little bulky. While it may technically be portable, we recommend finding a good spot to secure it before starting to use it.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Tomahawk 1000:
- Works with a variety of different metals.
- PowerConnect Technology.
- Adjustable input power.
- Continuous Output Control.
- Only comes with a 3-year warranty.
- A bit on the bulky side.
The Tomahawk 1000 from Lincoln Electric easily earns its title as the best overall plasma cutter in 2021. It’s a powerful machine with all of the features you need to weld a variety of metals. We liked the adjustable input power and the Continuous Output Control. It is a bit bulky and expensive, but overall it rises above most of its competitors.
2. Everlast PowerPro 205S
The best value plasma cutter for the money
To make our top ten plasma cutters list a machine had to be at the top of the list in at least one category that we were able to identify as important to consumers that buy this type of product. The Everlast PowerPro 205S made our top ten list as the best value on the market today. At well over $1500 it isn’t a budget model, but with its all-in-one capabilities, it’s a versatile machine that can be used for many different welding types.
This model is a TIG welder, stick welder and plasma cutter all rolled into one. It can operate at 200 amps as a TIG welder, 160 amps as a stick welder and at 50 amps as a plasma cutter. It has stable ARC performance that makes it ideal for hobbyists, but also a great tool for professionals as well. The PowerPro 205S also has pulse capability and in TIG mode it can operate on AC or DC frequencies.
This isn’t a perfect machine – we did find a couple of issues that we didn’t like. If you’re a little rusty on your welding terminology you may find this machine hard to operate. Its control panel wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial passenger jet – it’s busy. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is a bit of a noisy machine as well. Not that any welding machine is quiet, it’s just that this one seems to push out a few more decibels.
What we like (and don’t like) about the PowerPro 205S:
- Can be used as a TIG welder, Stick welder or plasma cutter.
- Stable ARC performance.
- Pulse capabilities.
- In TIG mode it can operate at AC or DC frequencies.
- The control panel is busy.
- This is a noisy machine.
- Retails for more than $1500.
The PowerPro 205S from Everlast is a great choice if you’re looking for the best possible value without breaking the bank. We liked its versatility and 3-in-1 capabilities. It also has stable ARC performance that makes it a reliable tool to have in your workshop. The control panel is a little busy, but that’s to be expected with all of the great features it comes with. We can also live with a little extra noise.
The best budget plasma cutter under $300
If you’re on a limited budget you can still find yourself a quality plasma cutter. The Lotos LT3500 35-amp compact inverter plasma cutter is a great little machine that retails for under $250. This is the ideal machine for small light-duty projects. It operates at 110 volts and its equipped with automatic dual-frequency.
This is a highly portable machine at just 17.6 lbs, but it still has plenty of cutting power. It’s capable of cutting 2/5-inch metal with clean lines and little cleanup. The LT3500 comes with a preinstalled air filter and air gauge for easy connection to a compressor. This machine works well with stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper and aluminum. Perhaps the best feature of this model is its simplicity. It doesn’t have a complicated operating panel and it can be fully set up in a minute or two.
Some issues remind you of the budget nature of this welding machine. For one, it does take a little longer to cut into metal with this machine that some of its more expensive competitors. It also tends to overheat with excessive use.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Lotos LT3500:
- Priced under $250.
- Portable and weighs just 17.6 lbs.
- Preinstalled air filter and air gauge.
- Simple to use.
- Takes a long time to cut.
- Will overheat with excessive use.
The Lotos LT3500 is a capable machine for a plasma cutter under $250. It can be used with a variety of metals and it’s easy to use right out of the box. It does take a little longer to make a cut than its competitors, so if that’s important to you you may want to take a pass on this model. Also, it will overheat with excessive use – that’s why we’d recommend this cutter more for hobbyists than for professional use.
For more budget options, check out our pick of the best budget plasma cutters on the market.
4. Forney Easy Weld 20 P
The best plasma cutter under $500
The Forney Easy Weld 20 P plasma cutter is a great choice if you want something a little better than your base budget model. This is a plasma cutter with a lot to offer both the hobbyist and the professional working on a tight budget. It retails for well under $500 and for the price, it’s packed full of some great features. It can draw on up to 120 volts of power which may not be overwhelming, but it’s enough for many daily cutting tasks.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option for cutting sheet metal this Forney cutter is ideal – that’s what it was designed for. This is a no-nonsense machine without the extra frills. There’s one main knob that controls the intensity of your cut and that’s it. You’ll have this cutter up and running two minutes after you take it out of the box. The Easy Weld 20 P comes with a 13-inch cutting torch, 8-inch ground clamp and a 20 A – 15 A adapter.
We were disappointed with this cutter’s 1-year warranty – in our experience it’s not uncommon for things to start going wrong after the first year of use for a plasma cutter. The cut this machine produces is not as clean as we would have liked either. We also found the cutter didn’t always maintain a stable ARC.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Easy Weld 20 P:
- Priced under $500.
- Easy use controls.
- 13-inch cutting torch and 8-inch ground clamp.
- Great for sheet metal.
- Only a 1-year warranty.
- The cut isn’t clean.
- ARC isn’t stable.
The Forney Easy Weld 20 P isn’t a perfect machine, but it’s a great value for a plasma cutter under $500. It has simple controls and it comes with everything you’ll need to get started right out of the box. We would have like to see it with a better warranty, but overall we were impressed with this machine in comparison to other plasma cutters under $500.
5. Everlast SuperUltra 205
The best plasma cutter under $1000
If you’ve settled on a budget of $1000 or less we recommend the Everlast SuperUltra 205. This is another entry in the all-in-one category and they do a better job than most of their competitors. It can be used for TIG welding, stick welding or plasma welding. Having the ability to save money and use one machine for several different tasks is a great option and that’s why it’s easily one of the top-rated plasma cutters of 2021.
If you have steel or stainless steel repair jobs to handle the built-in 50-amp plasma cutter will easily cut through the area in question in record time. It isn’t meant for use on thick metal pieces, but for the majority of quick repair jobs around the home or shop, you’ll find this machine holds its own just fine. The SuperUltra 205 can also be used in DC mode when using the TIG welding function for use on stainless steel, chrome and steel.
If you regularly work on metal pieces thicker than 1/4-inch this isn’t the welding machine for you. It also doesn’t produce the cleanest cuts we’ve seen, so we don’ recommend it for precision work.
What we like (and don’t like) about the SuperUltra 205:
- Priced under $1000.
- All-in-one machine.
- Comes with DC TIG mode.
- 3-year warranty.
- Maximum 1/4-inch cutting capability.
- Not recommended for precision work.
One of the best things we like about the Everlast SuperUltra 205 is its versatility. If you’re on a limited budget and you still need the ability to switch from TIG to stick to plasma welding this machine will serve you well. It isn’t meant for use on thick pieces of metal and it doesn’t produce the cleanest cast of any machine on the market, but overall it’s a nice compromise between functionality and capability.
6. Lotos LT5000D
The best dual voltage plasma cutter for home hobbyists
If you consider yourself more of a hobbyist when it comes to the welding field, you’re probably not in the market for an expensive machine with all of the bells and whistles. The Lotos LT5000D 50-amp compact inverter plasma cutter is the ideal compromise. It can be used for cutting most common types of metal including aluminum and its compact/lightweight design make it easy to move it around as needed.
This cutter comes equipped with dual voltage capabilities, so you can plug it in wherever you need to. It will also cut through most metals up to 1/2-inch thick. The controls are well laid out and easily understandable, so there isn’t much of a learning curve when you’re first getting started with this plasma cutter. It comes with everything you’ll need including the cutting torch and power supply. The only thing you need to purchase separately is an air compressor.
It’s important to stick with the manufacturer recommendations when using this plasma cutter. If you do try to cut pieces thicker than the recommended 1/2-inch you will run into problems and the machine is likely to overheat. It can also be difficult to hook up to an air compressor and may have compatibility issues with some models.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Lotos LT5000D:
- Cuts most common types of metal.
- Dual voltage capability.
- Controls are well laid out and easily understandable.
- Overheats if you try to cut any metal more than 1/2 an inch thick.
- Difficult to connect with air compressor.
The LT5000D 50-amp plasma cutter from Lotos Technology is a great option for hobbyists. It works well with most metals and it can cut metal up to a 1/2-inch thick. As long as you remember that the 1/2-inch barrier is pretty firm you’ll enjoy having this machine in your garage for all of your home projects.
7. Amico Power APC-40
The best 115-volt plasma cutter
Sometimes you can find great deals for a fraction of the price you expected to pay. That’s certainly the case for the Amico Power APC-40 plasma cutter. This welding machine retails for less than $300, but it’s still a very reliable model for hobbyists and business use for small infrequent welding projects. It’s also a dual voltage machine, with the ability to operate at both 115 volts and 230 volts and it adjusts to either one automatically.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is not a heavy-duty cutter. It’s meant for use on relatively thin pieces of metal – no more than 1/2 an inch. What we like though is that it comes with everything you need to get started on your next welding project. It comes with 13-foot plasma torch gun, 10-foot clamp and cable, a power adapter, air filter and pressure gage. This cutter is also heat and impact resistant, so that you can remain comfortable while you work. Perhaps the best feature of this machine is that it runs cleanly without unwanted gases to cause breathing problems while you work.
We’ve already mentioned that this machine shouldn’t be used on any metals more than 1/2 an inch thick and that’s critical. If you try to cut thicker pieces with this welder it will probably overheat and you’re likely to void your warranty as well. When you consider that it only comes with a 1-year warranty to begin with, you’re already facing a tight time frame.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Amico Power APC-40:
- Retails for under $300.
- Dual voltage capability – 115/230.
- Heat and impact resistant.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty cutting more than 1/2 an inch.
- Limited 1-year warranty.
If you’re purchasing the Amico Power APC-40 strictly for hobby use of small professional jobs you’ll be happy with your choice. This is a capable cutter that works well as long as you don’t try to use it on thicker pieces. The 1-year warranty is a bit of a concern, but probably not a deal-breaker at a price under $300.
8. Lincoln Electric 20
The best 120-volt plasma cutter
If you can stretch your budget a little over the $1000 mark we think the Lincoln Electric 20 (K2820-1 model) is a plasma cutter that deserves strong consideration. This is a professional-grade cutter that’s still portable and lightweight at just 21 lbs. If you’re a professional HVAC installer this is a perfect option to have with you in the van.
This Lincoln Electric 20 is designed to operate at 120 volts and it cuts up to 3/8-inch steel. You’ll also be able to use this welder on stainless steel and aluminum. Speed won’t be an issue when using this cutter either – it’s designed to cut through the equivalent of 15 inches of steel per minute. It also comes with a standard 3-year warranty.
One of our biggest complaints with this machine is that it is only equipped with 8-foot chords on both the torch and the grounding cable. You should also be aware that this welder does not come with built-in air compressor capabilities – you will have to purchase one separately.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Lincoln Electric 20:
- Professional grade, portable and lightweight.
- Cuts up to 3/8-inch steel and up to 15 inches of steel in minute.
- 3-year warranty.
- Torch and ground chord are only 8 feet long.
- No built-in air compressor.
While the Lincoln Electric 20 is a little pricey, it does give you a professional-level cutter in a portable package. We were impressed with the 15-inches of steel you can cut in a minute with this machine and the 3-year warranty provides you with the protection you need. This is a high-end machine if portability is something you’re looking for.
9. Lotos LTP7000
The best 220-volt plasma cutter
If you’re looking for a plasma cutter that operates at 220 volts, our choice is the Lotos LTP7000. This machine retails for under $1000 and the manufacturer bills it as “one of the most powerful inverter plasma cutters on the market” and we don’t disagree with them. The Lotos LTP7000 is not slowed down by rough or dirty surfaces – it just keeps on going through it all.
This model has a 70-amp pilot arc plasma cutter and it can be used on most common metals such as stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, brass, copper and aluminum. It also has automatic dual-frequency and high frequency start. This cutter also ships with everything you need including a torch, ground cable, air hose and air filter.
There are a couple of reasons we don’t give this plasma cutter fill grades. For one, the warranty is less than generous – it only covers you for 1 year. This is also quite a heavy machine compared to other handheld plasma cutters at 43 lbs.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Lotos LTP7000:
- Operates at 220 volts.
- 70-amp pilot arc plasma cutter.
- Dual-frequency and high-frequency start.
- Warranty is only 1-year.
- Heavy at 43 lbs.
There’s a lot to like about the Lotos LTP7000. This is a powerful little machine that works many different conditions and it’s also capable of cutting through a variety of different metals. If it wasn’t for the weight and the short warranty we would have considered this one for best overall value.
10. Everlast PowerPlasma 62i
The best 240-volt plasma cutter
There aren’t many plasma cutters in the 240-volt category, but the Everlast 60-amp model easily takes the title as the top-rated plasma cutter in this category. This model retails for just over $1000 and it comes with an array of different features making this great for use in any professional shop.
This machine can cut through an impressive 1.25-inch piece of metal, which most of its competitors can’t come close to matching. It doesn’t sacrifice quality either – the cuts made by this cutter are precise and clean. The control panel is well organized with easily readable LED displays. It also comes with easy start with blowback pilot arc for use on dirty surfaces, works with just about any metal, and a 3-second pilot arc tip saver to shut down the pilot arc after 3 seconds if it isn’t cutting to extend its life.
We don’t have many complaints with this machine other than it is a little on the pricey side. It’s also a little heavier than some of its competitors, but that has a lot to do with the number of features they’ve included in the package.
What we like (and don’t like) about the PowerPlasma 62i:
- Operates at 240 volts.
- Capable of cutting through 1.25-inch steel.
- 3-second pilot arc tip saver.
- Retails for over $1000.
- Heavier than its competitors.
The Everlast PowerPlasma 62i was a strong contender for our best overall plasma cutter this year. This is a great machine packed full of features that allow it to cut through most common metals with ease. With the capability to cut through up to 1.25-inch steel it is easily one of the best plasma cutters on the market in 2021.
If you’re searching for the ideal plasma cutter for your needs the reviews above are a great place to start. We‘ve included both high-end and budget options, so you should find something that fits your needs whether you’re a professional welder or just a hobbyist. Lincoln Electric’s Tomahawk 1000 was our choice as the best on the market in 2021, but several models were close behind. One clear thing is that if you’re in the market for a plasma cutter you’ve never had a greater range of choice than you do in 2021.