By Jayden Mark
Plasma cutters use an electric arc to cut metal. This advantage makes them the best way to cut any type of metal. It’s easy to cut curves and sharp corners, and you don’t have a rough edge to grind. A plasma cutter leaves a perfectly smooth finish, without any effort. In a home, or garage shop, combo plasma cutters and welders are an ideal solution. Two machines in one takes up less space and it is cheaper than buying both a plasma cutter and welder separately.
Admittedly, some plasma cutter and welder combos can have their restrictions. You may not always have the best welder when it also serves as a plasma cutter. This review should help in this regard. If your needs are not too demanding, a cheaper plasma cutter welder combo may suffice. It would be a matter of considering your budget vs welding performance.
I know that professional metalworkers usually prefer to have a stand-alone plasma cutter and welder setup. Two machines mean that both cutting and welding can be performed simultaneously. We all have different needs. We’ve considered this when embarking on our review of the best plasma cutters and welder combos. So, we’ll be reviewing the best plasma cutters and the best plasma cutter welding combos. Offering the best options, the combo machines are three in one, multifunction, plasma cutter, TIG and stick welder combos. This versatility is fantastic for a shop with limited space and contractors who rate portability highly.
This review includes top rated brands, which are obviously more expensive, but are amongst the very best for a hardworking professional. Knowing that this is not for everyone, we also have an extensive lineup of cheaper plasma cutters and three in one plasma welder combination machines.
We have quite a list of plasma cutters that I’ll be reviewing. These will range from really cheap, light-duty machines costing under $300, right up to some of the very best, with brands like Miller and Hobart included in the mix. High-end plasma cutters can cost north of $2,000. With the such a huge price variation, you will need to consider how often you’re going to use the plasma cutter, and what type of metal thickness you intend working with. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for.
1. Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
This is a nicely positioned cross-over plasma cutter. By this, I mean that the Lotos LTP5000D plasma cutter has the goods for medium-duty professional shops. At the same time, priced under $500, this is the ideal cutting torch for a DIY metalworker who’s looking for more than simple bargain-basement entry-level machines. Bottom line, you’re getting a really great 50A plasma cutter, at a very reasonable price.
The Lotos LTP5000D is wonderfully easy to setup. A quick coupler at the back of the machine, allows the user to hook it up to your air compressor in a matter of seconds. You’ll need an air supply of about 3.6 CFM at a pressure of 60 -70 Psi, so you don’t need a particularly powerful air compressor. The air hose that supplies the compressed air from the compressor to the plasma cutter is not supplied with the machine, but this is to be expected. It uses a standard NTP ¼” fitting, so you shouldn’t have any problem connecting it your existing compressor setup.
Plug the Lotos into a 240V or 120V outlet, and it will automatically detect the input voltage, matching the output accordingly. Using a 240V power source, provides 10 – 50A DC output current. This power should easily give you a clean cut up to about ½”. The maximum rated severance capacity (240V – 50A) is ¾”. Though this is pushing the machine to its limits and your cut won’t be as smooth, or as easy. Using 120V is great for when you don’t have a high-voltage power supply, but this obviously reduces the output current to a maximum of 35A, limiting you to ²/₅” maximum severance. For a perfect cut, you shouldn’t exceed ⅓” when using the Lotos at 120V.
An uncluttered, logical user interface keeps things simple. There’s an on/off switch at the back, and the front panel has an LED display directly above the power dial, for easy settings. It also has an analog air pressure gauge. Your connections for the cutting torch, ground clamp, and air supply, are neatly organized at the front. A pilot arc allows you to cut easily, without having to touch the tip with the metal surface. A trigger switch is fitted to the cutting torch, which has a quality feel to it.
The forced ventilation (PAPST) cooling system works like a charm, giving you a very respectable 60% duty cycle at the maximum 50A output. Portability is also great. The Lotos LTP5000D weighs 23.9 LBS and has a solid carrying handle. The torch cable and air hose are a very convenient 13-feet long and the ground clamp has a 6-foot cable, which is certainly long enough.
The combination of an advanced IGBT inverter and proven MOSFET transistors, along with very capable capacitors, provides a clean Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) current, in a very rugged design.
I like the level of quality that you’re getting for the money that you’re paying. Not only is this a very capable 50A plasma cutter, but I think it should hold up to some pretty tough work and remain reliable for years.
2. PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
The Primeweld 50A plasma cutter can be rated alongside its Sungoldpower counterpart as being one of the best light, to medium duty 50A plasma cutter for around $300. For a machine in this price category, it is as rugged as they come. Though, like the other cheap plasma cutters in this review, I wouldn’t think that the cutting torch or ground clamp would stand up well to hardcore daily use. This is an excellent value plasma cutter for home, DIY metalworking projects.
Placing the Primeweld Premium alongside the Sungoldpower 50A plasma cutter, the only noticeable difference is that the Primeweld model has an air pressure gauge at the front, on the user panel, instead one fitted to the air compressor hose at the back. In all other regards, I rate these two machines as being complete equals. This too, is a sophisticated inverter MOSFET plasma cutter, that is both rugged and offers a stable current with electronic protection and safety features.
You have the same setup for an air compressor, with a hose and air filter that all needs to be assembled using the provided clamps and fittings before you start using the machine. Once all this is done, you can plug it into either a 240V or 120V power supply and set to work. Output is adjusted with a simple dial, with a digital output display.
The Primeweld 50A plasma cutter is as capable as any of the best in this class. A maximum 50A arc, at 240V input current, provides a 60% duty cycle. This gives it the same cutting abilities (½” ideal cut and ¾” maximum severance at 240V/50A). It is also as portable as one could want. No weight spec is provided, but I assume this machine weighs between 20 and 25-pounds, much like any other 50A inverter plasma cutter. It has a carrying handle which is also pretty much the same as any of the others.
Having a built-in air pressure gauge on the front panel may make the Primeweld Premium plasma cutter a little more convenient than its Sungoldpower competitor. But this has no affect on how one uses the machine. Perhaps the 3-year warranty might be a persuading factor for some, it does give you a good deal of confidence when buying the Primeweld model.
3. SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter
Although the Sungoldpower 50A plasma cutter is one of the cheapest in this review, I see it as being a cut above your standard entry level machine. It has the power, and duty cycle, to compete with the best 50A plasma cutters on the market. With this said, it is a fairly cheap plasma cutter, and this is evident when looking at the ground clamp and cutting torch, which are not designed for heavy-duty applications.
If you don’t intend using your plasma cutter on a daily basis, but still want the performance of a high-end machine, this little gem should win you over. The Sungoldpower 50A plasma cutter can be used with either 240V, or 120V input current. Receptacle adapters for standard US power outlets are provided with the machine.
Full power, at 240V, provides 50A arc cutting, with a 60% duty cycle. This ranks the Sungoldpower amongst the best in its class, giving you an ideal cutting capacity of ½”, maximum severance of up to ¾”. Performance at 120V, should be around 60 – 70% of these specs.
There is no internal air compressor, but a full kit is provided for connecting to an external compressor. This comprises a hose, air filter, and an inline air pressure gauge, with all the clamps and connectors. It’s not an easy setup with a single quick connector, you’ll have to fit all these components when unboxing. But this is still simple enough and won’t take too much time to do.
The front panel has a power control knob, calibrated from 10 – 50A and a digital output display. There’s obviously no built-in air pressure gauge, as this is fitted to the inlet hose, which isn’t a big deal. The inclusion of an IGBT inverter ensures easy arc starting, with an incredibly smooth and stable cut. This also means you have the benefit of electronic management to prevent over-voltage and overheating.
As far as portability is concerned, the Sungoldpower is on a par with the best modern inverter plasma cutters, weighing in at a very manageable 23.9 LBS, and it has a good carrying handle. The gas pipe, cutting torch remote trigger, and ground clamp connections are easily accessible at the front of the machine.
Apart from the slightly under par cutting torch and ground clamp, this is a wonderfully durable machine. For under $300, it would be quite a challenge to beat this plasma cutter in terms outstanding value for money. With a pretty impressive 4.3 stars on Amazon, customer reviews mostly agree that the Sungoldpower 50A plasma cutter offers outstanding value for money.
4. SUNCOO Cut 50 Plasma Cutter
In keeping with good quality plasma cutters around $300, the Suncoo 50 is in pretty much the same league as the previous two models in this review. It is a competent 50A plasma cutter for the home shop or light to medium duty professional applications. It is, therefore, another great value cheaper plasma cutter.
The Suncoo 50 Plasma Cutter accepts either 120V or 240V input current with automatic voltage detection. This gives it the same performance specs as most of the plasma cutters reviewed this far. When set to maximum output at 240V, you’ll achieve the same 50A DC arc, with a 60% duty cycle. It goes without saying, then, that your cutting capacity will be the same - ½” ideal cutting capacity and ¾” maximum severance at 240V.
The air compressor supply is, like the previous two machines, connected using a plastic hose with clamp fittings. The air pressure gauge is fitted to the air filter and is, therefore, at the back of the machine. All your control functions are almost the same as the other 50A plasma cutters that we’ve looked at. The power control knob is calibrated from 20 – 50A, placing the minimum amp setting 10A above the others, though a I can’t see this being an issue. It also has a digital output display. The Suncoo has an additional function to control the delay before shutting off the air supply to the torch (2.5 or 5-seconds).
An inverter, with a great management system, offers all the same advantages. This plasma cutter has all the safety features that we’ve come to depend on, and is pleasantly lightweight, under 25-pounds. Instead of a carrying handle, it has a shoulder strap. For some this an advantage, you have your hands free when carrying the machine. Others may prefer a handle. It really is a matter of personal preference. The torch connections are a very convenient 13-feet in length.
Like any plasma cutter this cheap, not all the fittings and fixtures are of the best quality standard. They are, however, perfectly suitable for home users and less demanding professional metal shops. Deciding which of the cheap plasma cutters is going to be your best option, will probably come down to the minor details, as all these machines offer a good level of quality and cutting performance.
5. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter
The Forney 251 is limited to a maximum 20A output, giving a maximum cutting capacity of ¼”. For the ranch and on a construction site, not to mention most automotive and home repairs, this should be sufficient. I can’t find duty cycle specs, but Forney welding and cutting equipment usually ranks amongst the best – I’d expect this to be at least 65%, but I can’t say for sure.
This plasma cutter is designed for portability and convenience. The air filter / dryer and pressure regulator are built in, so all you need do is hook it up directly to an air compressor with at leas 1.5 CFM. A small portable air compressor will do the trick. Because this is a low amp plasma cutter, you only need a 120V power supply. It has an adapter for 15A and 20A outlets.
Control functions are basic and easy to use. The front panel has a power control knob and three LED diagnostic and warning lamps. It’s quick and easy to see any of the built-in safety and warning systems provided by the sophisticated computer management system. Naturally, it uses a good inverter that is generator friendly, the maximum continuous load requirement is 4,500W.
It is clear that the Forney 20A plasma cutter is built for tough working conditions where a portable machine might be bashed about a little. It has rubberized impact protection on all the corners of the tough metal casing. The 13’ cutting torch connector and 8’ (200A) ground clamp are a step up from the cheap machines, obviously intended for harder working conditions.
At 21.5-pounds the Forney is a breeze to transport. An additional bonus to its portability is the wonderfully designed handle which gives a comfortable grip and allows one to wrap the cords and pipes neatly for transportation.
The Forney Easy Weld 251 20P is a great machine for those looking for a high level of build quality at a perfectly reasonable price. Although not the cheapest 20A plasma cutter, the Forney still costs less than 500 bucks. For a machine that’s obviously built to more industrial specifications, it is a very affordable option in this category.
6. Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme Plasma Cutter
Whenever the name Miller is mentioned, we expect great things. If you’re paying over $2,000 for a 40A plasma cutter, it is understandable that you’re going to expect great things from the Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme. One thing you can always bet on, Miller technology is amongst the best and build quality meets demanding industrial requirements. You’re also assured of one of the best warranty agreements and outstanding customer care.
Is this worth the high price tag? That’s for you to decide. There must be a good reason why top-rated professionals rate the Miller brand as being about the best there is and are prepared to pay top dollar for their welding and cutting equipment.
It’s clear that the guys at Miller have thought about contractors who want a reliable site plasma cutter that is both generator-friendly and as tough as nails. I don’t know of many hobbyists who are prepared this kind of money for a plasma cutter, but you certainly won’t be disappointed if you do.
I can go on for hours about the best the quality and heavy-duty construction, but I don’t see any need to, the Miller name speaks for itself. So, you can be sure that is one of the very best inverter plasma cutters on the market. It has auto current detection for 120V or 240V input and has the appropriate MVP adapters. In keeping with their understanding of the contractor’s needs, there is also an optional NEMA 14-50P adapter, compatible with most big-name plant machinery, like Bobcat.
It also comes with a tough carrying case (Miller X-case). This keeps the plasma cutter and all your accessories, safe and neatly organized, for easy transportation. It has a built-in air filter and pressure regulator, so it’s compressor ready straight out the box.
Designed for the professional, the Miller 625 optimizes working efficiency. Cutting ⁵⁄₈” mild steel; ½” stainless steel or ³⁄₈” aluminum is breeze at a cutting speed of 15 Inches per Minute (IPM). So, you should consider this when looking at the seemingly unimpressive duty cycle. Using a 240V input, you have a maximum output of 40A (140 VDC), with a duty cycle of 50%. Using a 120V 15A input, gives you a rated duty cycle for 20A output (88VDC) of 35%. You can still achieve a lot with these lower duty cycles, given the fast continuous, almost faultless arc.
Not everyone goes out and buys a Miller machine, simply because they are so expensive. Though, industry professionals have seen the value in these plasma cutters. The reasons are obvious, superior cuts at great speed improves productivity and the quality of the cut. Legendary durability, attested to by the fantastic 3-year “True Blue” Miller warranty, is another.
7. ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter 50AMP
This about as cheap as it gets when looking for a 50A plasma cutter that’s going to get the job done and not quit on you. At a snippet over $200, I’m quite amazed at how little this machine costs. Sure, the cutting torch and ground clamp, along with their cords and air hose, aren’t top-grade quality. None of the cheap plasma cutters use heavy-duty components. With that said, the inverter and overall performance is tops. Amongst the cheapest plasma cutters, the Zeny 50A model is likely to be the best bang for your buck.
This plasma cutter looks and performs much like any in the 200 – 300-dollar price range. It has a great inverter, with an efficiency rating of 85% and has the goods to cut through metal up to ¾”, with an ideal cutting capacity of ½” – duty cycle is 65% @ 50A, using a 240V power supply. No big surprises there.
Automatic power detection for 120V or 240V is also standard, and the required adapters are supplied. An air compressor pipe kit is also supplied, which includes the air filter and inline air pressure gauge which fits directly onto the filter. The pipe connectors are basic brass fittings, held by hose clamps. This is pretty much the norm for cheap plasma cutters.
The control panel has all the functions, in an easy to use format. A dial is used to set the output amperage, which is displayed on an LED numeric screen. It has a delay switch to shut off the compressed air supply to the torch after 2.5 or 5-seconds.
For standard hobby and DIY plasma cutting, why pay too much for a machine that will never work all that hard? This would be the logic behind buying the Zeny 50A plasma cutter. It is going to do the same job as any other 50A plasma cutter, though I doubt it will fare to well doing heavy-duty work on a regular basis. That’s to be expected from a cheap plasma cutter and this machine sure is cheap. Though, it has a surprisingly good level of quality for something that costs so little.
8. Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System
Costing almost as much as the highly acclaimed Miller Spectrum 625, the Hypertherm Powermax45 is up there with the top-rated industrial grade plasma cutters. If top performance and immaculately clean cuts are what you’re after, I think this 45A plasma cutter may well be the best that you can find. There are a number of high-quality Duramax cutting torches available for different cutting angles. These torches are some of the best I’ve seen. One would hope so, at that price.
It is also CNC ready. The inverter is of the highest standard, with an astounding 88% efficiency rating. This provides an almost perfect current for the fastest cuts and the best precision. The recommended ideal cutting capacity is ⁵⁄₈”, giving you astonishingly fast cut rate of 20 IPM. You can, however, push this machine much further than this, cutting ⅞” metal thickness can still be done at a rate of 10 IPM. Maximum severance is way higher than any of the plasma cutters in this review - 1⅛”. I can’t think of another portable plasma cutter than compete with these specs.
Duty cycles may not seem that great. Though, this is because the 45A inverter is pushing out an immensely powerful, faultless arc. Your working efficiency will beat that of the Miller machine that we reviewed higher up the page. Yet this plasma cutter costs less – wow! At the maximum output of 45A, a 50% duty cycle is achieved, reaching a 100% duty cycle @ 32A.
It has a wonderfully neat and logical display panel with an infinite amperage control dial and a digital output display. There’s no need to adjust the air pressure as the internal air pressure regulator does this automatically. Plug and play, whilst always achieving maximum productivity. I really love this machine.
Now for a few specs that some may find to be less than desirable. The Powermax45 can only be used with 240V (single phase), or 400V (3-phase) input power supply. It’s not designed for standard US domestic 120V AC power. It is also a little heavier than most inverter plasma cutters of this size. Personally, I don’t mind the weight tag of 33 LBS. This machine is still portable with a great handle and an incredibly robust design.
The Hypertherm Powermax45 is my absolute favorite portable plasma cutter amongst those under review here. It costs a little over $2,000, so it won’t appeal to guys looking for a cheap, light-duty machine. Amongst the heavy-duty industrial-grade plasma cutters, this one is actually one of the cheaper options. Despite this, it outperforms just about any other and is amazingly tough. The 3-year warranty on the plasma cutter is great. One should take note though, that the cutting torch is not included in this warranty, limited to 1-year. That’s pretty normal though.
9. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter 240V
Of the top three plasma cutters in this review, the Hobart 40i is by far the cheapest, making it one of the most affordable 40A heavy-duty plasma cutters for sale today. Compared to the super impressive Miller 625 X-Treme and Hypertherm Powermax45, this Hobart model is little basic and perhaps slightly less durable. This should not detract from the fact that it is a tough machine and wonderfully easy to use. The fact that it costs about 500 bucks less than its closest competitors, should bring joy to many.
As this is a Hobart product, it goes without saying that quality build and superb performance are a given. The XT40R torch that is supplied with this unit displays true Hobart quality, as does the heavy-duty ground clamp. Both the ground cable and torch lead are 12-feet long and look to be incredibly durable.
The air filter and pressure regulator are built into the machine, so it’s really easy to set up the Hobart 40i plasma cutter. It also regulates the air pressure automatically, hassle-free and easy to use. You’ll need to hook this machine up to a compressor supplying around 4.8 CFM, with pressure of 90 – 120 Psi.
With most of the controls being automated, there’s not much that you have to do. This means there’s no need for a complicated user panel with a bunch of switches, gauges, and dials. There’s a 20 – 40A power setting dial and an on/off switch, that’s all you need. An array of warning LEDs alert you to any of the built-in safety features, controlled by the onboard computer.
A state-of-the-art inverter and pilot arc make this plasma cutter both easy to use and performs precise, clean cuts at a good rate. Input current is automatically detected, allowing for 120V or 240V. Maximum output at 240V is 40A (140VDC), with a 50% duty cycle. Like most heavy-duty plasma cutters, the duty cycle is not all that high. But you are able to cut much faster and the cleaner cut means there’s seldom any need to grind or sand the cut afterward. This results better productivity, despite the longer downtime from a shorter duty cycle. Even when using only 120V input, you can achieve astonishing cutting speeds. Set it at 20A output, and you’ll be able to cut mild steel ¼” plate at a rate of 16 IPM.
The Hobart Airforce 40i is designed as an easy to use, portable plasma cutter for light construction applications, body shops, and more demanding home shops. To this end, they have certainly achieved their objective. It weighs 30.6 pounds, has a good handle, and is as solid as they come.
Whilst not exactly cheap, the Hobart 40i is really inexpensive for this caliber of machine. Easy to use functions, make this plasma cutter a pleasure for both DIY and professional metalworkers. Hobart quality and customer care are rated amongst the best and their 5/3/1 warranty is truly magnificent: 5-years on the inverter, 3-years on the electronics, and one year on the cutting torch.
10. Hyperikon Plasma Cutter Pilot Arc 10-45 Amp
The Hyperikon 45A Plasma cutter is the ideal common sense buy. Costing a little more than the really cheap options, yet a far cry from high-priced industrial grade machines, this is a plasma cutter with a great level of quality vs price. Few plasma cutters, in this price range, offer a full unlimited 3-year warranty. This is an obvious sign that the Hyperikon plasma cutter is in a class of its own.
On the face of things, this looks pretty much like any other inexpensive portable plasma cutter. But I feel that the general quality is of a higher standard. While the cutting torch, ground clamp, and cables cannot compare to the expensive brands, like Hobart and Miller, they are a step up from the average home-user, cheap, plasma cutters.
It has a solid feel and the inverter can be rated amongst the best. This is a 120V/240V, plasma cutter with a rated output of 10 – 45A. It can, however, hold up to any of the best 50A plasma cutter in terms of cutting capacity and duty cycle. You will achieve a ⁵⁄₈” clean cut, with a 60% duty cycle at maximum output current.
The pilot arc makes this an easy plasma cutter to use on virtually any type of metal. User functions are as one would expect for a modern inverter plasma cutter. A power dial, calibrated for both 120V and 240V input power, is logical and simple to understand. There’s no digital display, only an overcurrent warning light.
An air hose is supplied to connect the Hyperikon to an air compressor. Though, there is no air filter or pressure gauge. I like the big variety of quality cutting tips that are supplied, and you get a few hose clamps for the air hose. This offers you all the basics to get started.
A carrying bag is supplied for the plasma cutter and all accessories. Along with a good weight of only 22-pounds, portability is tops.
For around a hundred bucks more than you’d pay for the cheapest plasma cutters, the Hyperikon offers a better level of durability. Not much extra to pay for a harder working machine with a fantastic 3-year unlimited warranty.
Plasma Cutter Welder Combos
The Plasma cutter welder combos that we’ve selected are all 3-in-1 machines, offering the ability to perform plasma cutting tasks, as well as both TIG and stick (MMA) welding. They all have similar input and output ratings: 50A plasma cutting and 200A TIG or stick welder.
Three of the selected plasma cutter welder combos are quite cheap, roughly around $400. These are ideal machines for the home shop, being both inexpensive and compact. For a more advanced plasma cutter welding combo, with the goods to serve you well on a construction site, we’ve also included the Everlast Powerultra. It costs about twice as much as the other three; but is better suited for a demanding working environment.
1. PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 Amps Plasma Cutter, 200 Amps TIG Welder 3 in 1
For a fully inclusive beginner kit, the Primeweld Ct520d has just about everything you need to get started. In this price category, the Primeweld plasma cutter welder combo is of a high quality standard. Though, I would consider this a machine for weekend projects and occasional repairs, not a plasma cutter welder for everyday commercial use. I like that everything is included with your purchase. You can set to work cutting and welding straight out the box, without having to buy anything extra.
A TIG welding foot pedal is the only thing that is not included. But it has the facility for a pedal, you’ll just need to buy this separately. Everything else is in the box: cutting torch, TIG gun, and stick electrode holder, along with gas / air hose, filter, and all the fittings and tips. These are all light-duty accessories, inline with the very reasonable price.
A basic, easy to follow control panel has a selector switch for plasma cutting, TIG, or MMA stick welding. Two control knobs allow you to set the output amps and gas flow. It also has a toggle switch for machine or pedal TIG operation. Information on your settings is displayed on an LED screen and it has an analog pressure gauge on the front display. All your connection points for the welding gun, electrode holder, ground clamp, gas and air outlet, as well as remote control (3-pin) connector are neatly positioned at the front.
The power is provided by a really good inverter with an 85% power efficiency rating. You can plug the Primeweld combo unit into either a 120V, or 240V power supply. This provides maximum output specs of 200A for both TIG and stick welding, and 50A plasma cutting. At the maximum output, it has a 60% duty cycle for all functions. Not at all bad for an inexpensive plasma cutter welder combo.
The real charm of buying a combo unit is in having a portable machine that performs all the functions that you need. In this sense, the Primeweld plasma cutter welder combo is ideal. It weighs only 35.7 LBS, with a top-mounted single carrying handle. The all-metal housing is tough enough, and the control panel is slightly recessed, providing a measure of protection from bumps and knocks when transporting.
Looking at price vs quality, the Primeweld Ct520d is most certainly good value for money. The attachments are obviously made for lighter-duty occasional use, but that is to be expected. You’re paying little more than you would for an entry level plasma cutter or welder, for a machine that does all this in one unit. A bargain, by anyone’s standards. You’re also getting a warranty that beats the standard 1-year for most cheap products. The 3-year Primeweld warranty, does offer some peace of mind.
2. Lotos CT520D Air Plasma Cutter/TIG/Stick Welder
The Lotos CT520D plasma cutter welder combo has a surprisingly high-quality feel to it, considering that it is relatively cheap. I’d still qualify this as a DIY, light to medium duty machine, but of a slightly higher standard than most of the cheap plasma cutter welder combos that you’ll find. Easy setup is a big advantage. The unit is fitted with a ¼” NEMA quick coupler for the air and gas hose. It has a good quality regulator, filter and pressure gauge all in one unit for easier installation.
The control panel is just easy and user-friendly. A single control knob allows you to set your output current, which is displayed on a digital screen. The other functions, which includes an air delay function for 2.5 or 6 seconds, are set using an electronic touch pad. A pressure gauge is mounted to the front panel.
The cutting torch, welding electrodes, and ground clamp are of a reasonable quality standard for this class of plasma cutter welder combo. A foot pedal is not included; but can be purchased as an optional extra.
The inverter functions well, using either 120V or 240V power supply. This provides a 200A DC stick or TIG welding capacity with an easy start arc and a remarkably stable current for clean welds. The plasma cutter is rated up to 50A. Like most similar plasma cutter welder combos, the duty cycle is 60% at maximum output for both welding and cutting.
As a multi-function, dual voltage plasma cutter welder, this is one of the most user-friendly machines. Quick and easy setup, along with intuitive controls and a very stable arc, make this a wonderful 3-in-1 combo for less experienced metal workers. One of the best plasma cutter welder combos for the home shop.
3. VIVOHOME 3 In 1 Multi-functional Plasma Cutter Cutting TIG STICK/MMA Welding Machine
As the name suggests, this is most certainly a plasma cutter welder combo designed for the home shop. Priced accordingly, affordability is tops. A full kit is provided to get you started and this is a simple, yet basic, machine to use. You’re getting a full function, dual voltage, plasma cutter welder combo for an unbeatable price. This makes the VIVOHOME the perfect 3-in-1 combo for the beginner and weekend warrior.
The kit includes a TIG gun, stick electrode holder, and plasma cutting torch, which are all of a reasonable standard for home use. It also includes all the pipes and fittings, a good quality regulator filter assembly (with pressure gauge), and a nice array of tips and consumables. You’re getting basically everything except a TIG foot pedal, which can be purchased separately.
This machine may be exceptionally cheap; but is not lacking when it comes to welding and cutting performance. Like all the others, the VIVOHOME combo unit has dual voltage input, with a maximum output current of 200A TIG or stick welder, and a 50A plasma cutter. Duty cycle is also up there with the more expensive options: 60% at maximum output for all cutting and welding functions.
In keeping with the home user’s needs, there’s nothing complicated about using this machine. A control knob allows you to set your output amperage, with a digital output display. Welding and cutting modes, machine/pedal, and post weld delay (2.5 or 5S), are all selected using basic toggle switches. You won’t be spending hours reading a complicated manual to get started.
The real attraction to the VIVOHOME plasma cutter welder combo has to be its price. This is one of the most affordable machines in its class and is as robust as any of the home / DIY plasma cutter welders that you can buy. Affordable and easy to use is a winning combination for a 3-in-1 combo for the home shop.
4. Everlast PowerUltra 206Pi 200a Multi Process Welder TIG Stick Pulse 50a Plasma Cutter
The Everlast PowerUltra 206Pi is the only plasma cutter welder combo in this review that I feel can hold up to more demanding work. It should be great for contractors who rate portability highly and should do just as well in an auto body shop. If you want a heavier duty machine for a home shop, this unit should be great. While being more expensive than any other in this review, the Everlast is priced around $1,000. This places it in a good price range for this class of machine.
The Everlast PowerUltra has the same basic specifications as the other plasma cutter welder combos in this review. This is a dual voltage machine with 200A output for both TIG and stick welders and a 50A plasma cutter. Where this machine displays its superiority is in the fittings which, whilst not exactly heavy-duty, are more durable than most home kits. It also includes a foot pedal for TIG welding.
Perhaps more important are the additional TIG welding control functions. The Everlast PowerUltra has control knobs for down slope and post flow, seldom found on domestic combo machines. It also has a pulse setting for the TIG welder. A third knob controls the output amps. A four-digit LED display screen provides you with an accurate readout of the system information. All the other functions are digitally controlled with soft touch buttons. A fully array of LED indicator lights allow you quickly check up on warnings and settings at a glance. An analog air pressure gauge is easily within view at the front of the machine.
Designed and built for more than simple TIG welding tasks, the Everlast PowerUltra is a pretty advanced plasma cutter welder combo. The extra cash that you’re parting with does give you more professional TIG welding options and a good level of quality. The 5-year warranty certainly gives an indication that these guys are pretty confident about overall quality.