LOTOS LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Review: Too good to be true?

The new LOTOS LTP5000D is crowned our number one choice for the best cheap plasma cutter.
  • Lowest Price

  • Rated to cut 1/2 inch steel.

  • Many positive reviews despite lower build quality.

  • Not as rugged as Hypertherm or Miller machines.

  • LOTOS is a rather small company. Parts availability could disappear rather quickly.

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Welcome to our review of the LOTOS LTP5000D. This machine has become very popular in the plasma cutting world because of its cutting ability and its incredibly low price. Over the last three years we have seen this machine grow and it continues to increase its market share in light use professionals and at home weekend warriors. The LTP5000D’s success is due to the fact that there is no other machine on the market that runs at 50 amps, has pilot-arc and is under $500. The amount of value here is unparalleled and it continues to be one of the best sellers on Amazon.com.

Today we are going to break down this machine for what is and give you an unbiased opinion on what you’re getting for your money. This machine is great for the price (arguably the best machine under $1000), but there are a few things to be aware of before you purchase.

Why This Machine Is Appealing

First off, this machine costs 1/3 the price of a brand name plasma cutter. This makes it very desirable to anyone with a small budget looking for a machine that doesn’t want to sacrifice performance. This plasma cutter operates up to 50 amps and is rated for 1/2″ steel. We find that these number are slightly over inflated, but the performance is not far off. You will be presently surprised at how powerful this machine is out of the box.

This machine is also dual voltage meaning it can operate on 110V or 220V using a pigtail adapter (Amazon.com) sold separately. This is great as it’s adapter to a variety of work environments.

What Are The Drawbacks?

With all the hype aside, there are some things to keep in mind before you purchase this machine. With low price comes cheaper components that are noticeably less durable. Components like the torch cord, work clamp (ground clamp), adjustment knobs, consumables and air lines are all made of cheaper materials. This means that they more prone to break and will likely not hold up in a demanding professional environment. If you’re a weekend warrior or light use professional you will should not have a problem.

In terms of performance, the cheaper consumables tend to give a slightly rougher cuts than say a Hypertherm Powermax 30XP. Even on a 1/4″ piece of mild steel you will notice that the LTP5000D produces a slightly rougher and a ever so slightly wider cut. This is not a huge deal for the average person as 30 seconds at a bench grinder can make it look perfect.

Another issue to keep in mind is quality control and units that show up not working out of the box. This issue is not specific to the LTP5000D, but instead is common among all Chinese plasma cutters. Sometimes they simply do not function correctly from the factory and need to be replaced. The chances of this happening are still rare, but it worth noting that it is a possibility. We always recommend users purchase the LTP5000D from Amazon.com and if there are any issues whatsoever they will immediately ship you out a new one and give you time to send the old one back.

Do We Recommend This Machine?

All in all, the LTP5000D is a good buy (arguably the best under $1000) if you are a weekend warrior looking for a powerful machine with a low price tag. No other machine under $1000 has the power and functionality that this machine has. The fact that it has pilot-arc and inexpensive consumables makes it that much better.

If you’re a professional, we recommend spending more money and getting a Hypertherm Powermax30 (Amazon.com link) or Hypertherm Powermax 45 (Amazon.com link). Theses machines will be a lot more durable and provide better and tighter performance. Yes, the high price tag can sting, but it’s worth it if this machine is helping you make a living.

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