Plasma Cutters Review: Hobart Airforce 40i Vs Miller Spectrum 375

plasma cutters review

Is metalwork your hobby? Have you ever wondered what restoring or building your own car would be like? Maybe you are in the construction business where you must cut through massive metal sheets. Then this plasma cutters review might be the thing for you.

Plasma cutters were expensive, and only a few people could afford them. With the development of technology, such instruments have become cost-effective and affordable for hobbyists who need to use such devices at home.

Hopefully, through this review, you will find out the device that best suits your needs.

Quick Comparison Table


Product Name



1. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

  • Pilot arc startup feature; auto-refire system
  • New XT40R torch
  • Inverter technology
  • Thermal overload protection
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2. Miller Electric 907529 Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter

  • Input Voltage: 120/240 V
  • Amp Output: 14-30 A
  • Duty Cycle: 60% – 40%
  • Weight: 19 lb
buy from amazon

3. Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter

  • Non-touch pilot arc technology
  • 50A digital inverter air system
  • Suitable for aluminum, steel, copper
buy from amazon

4. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter

  • Input voltage: 120 V
  • Duty Cycle: 35% at 20 A (120 V)
  • Max Cutting Thickness: 1/4“
  • Weight: 21 lb
  • Warranty: 1 year
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5. Primeweld 50A CUT50DP Plasma Cutter

  • Input voltage: 120/240 V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% 
  • Max Cutting Thickness: 1/2“
  • Weight: 22 lb
  • Warranty: 3 years
buy from amazon

What is a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutter is an instrument used to cut materials that conduct electricity, like metals such as steel, copper, brass, and more.

How Does It Work?

These materials are tough to cut using standard instruments. A plasma cutter achieves this by employing ionized gas known as plasma. A gas jet is heated to temperatures above 20,000 degrees Celsius to convert it into an ionized form that can cut electrically conductive items.

When the ionized gas hits the cutting surface, it recombines and gets back to its original state, releasing intense heat. The heat melts the metal, making the cut effective.

What is It Used for?

A plasma cutter is often used in construction activities, repairs of automotive vehicles, scrapping industry, and metalwork artists and plumbers.

The cutters often use a nozzle that allows the cutter to concentrate the plasma wave at a particular area of the metal being cut or reshaped.

Plasma is useful because it makes clean cuts with little debris, unlike traditional tools.


It is advisable to use proper protective gear with the plasma cutter to avoid injuries. The manufacturers recommend the use of appropriate eye protection and facial masks along with leather gloves, boots, apron, and a jacket.

Plasma Cutters Review and Buying Guide

Industrialists and big companies might have a dedicated department to buy such instruments. Instead, for professionals and normal hobbyists, this article could improve the knowledge of the different types of plasma cutters available on the market.

Below is a review of devices that may best suit your needs.

1. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

Hobart Airforce 40i is the most powerful in the line of plasma cutters by the Hobart Company. It is a pioneer in the plasma cutting range of equipment with its 50-ampere power making it a powerful instrument. A gold standard warranty and the other specifications mean that the owner has nothing to worry about!


It is lightweight, easy to use, and designed for industrial and home purposes, making it versatile. This inverter-type plasma cutter is a 31 lb tool with a power requirement of 240 volts.

Cutting Capacity

This machine is made for cutting: 52 IPM (on 1/4 “steel) maximum cutting speed allows you to perform jobs quickly and effortlessly.

More generally, the Airforce 40i is suitable for cutting 5/8″ thick steel and severance of 7/8″.

Ergonomic XT40R Torch

The Airforce 40i uses an XT40R torch to get clean and precise cuts. In addition, even after a long work, it is reduced fatigue thanks to its ergonomic design.

Fan-On-Demand Technology

The fan-on-demand system only works when needed. In this way, energy consumption is reduced, and dust entering the unit is also limited.

Wind Tunnel Technology

The wind tunnel technology protects the PC board and other internal components from dust and debris that still manage to enter the unit.

Thermal Overload Protection

Thanks to this system, the operator can certainly work with them that the machine will not suffer damage due to overheating, even in intense work conditions.

The cutting thickness is the maximum nominal thickness that a plasma cutter can cut, making a clean, precise cut along the entire length of the material.

The severance cut thickness refers to the maximum thickness cut that a plasma cutter can perform on a material, but slower and rougher, especially on the back of the cut.


  • Easy set up: just adjust the amperage using the single knob
  • Pilot arc startup feature and auto-refire system
  • New XT40R torch with ergonomic handle makes clean and
  • tight cuts and is easy to clean after each use
  • The inverter technology contributes to the low weight of
  • this unit
  • Thermal overload protection (Fan on demand)


  • Model: Hobart Airforce 40i
  • Number: 500566
  • Input voltage: 240 V
  • Rated output: 20-40 A
  • Duty cycle: 50% (40 A)
  • Operating Temperature: 5° to 104° F (−15° to 40° C)
  • Dimensions: (L x H x W): 17 x 18.2 x 11.6 inches
  • Weight: 31 lb
  • Warranty: 5/3/1


  • Easy to use, even for those who have never used a plasma cutter
  • Can be hooked up to an air compressor
  • Fast and clean cutting
  • Easily transportable
  • Onboard diagnostic system
  • Cheaper than other machines with the same functionality
  • Great warranty


  • Build quality is slightly lower than other brands
  • Challenging to use over a larger area due to cord issues
  • Weak ground clamp
  • 240V only

2. Miller Electric 907529 Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter

Miller electric 907529 is an advanced plasma cutter with various features, making it usable for both home users and professionals.

The dual voltage feature, unlike other devices, allows you to easily switch between 120V and 240V.

Voltage Fluctuations

Another reason to consider this plasma cutter is the function that allows input voltage fluctuations +/- 10% without affecting the machine’s performance.

Cutting Capacity

Its cutting capacity is 3/8″ at 18 IPM, and its rated output is 30A. It is equipped with an XT30 torch and a durable work clamp and shoulder straps.

Includes XT30 Torch

The torch is an essential component. The XT30C torch has been designed to improve cutting and reduce fatigue while working.

Auto-Refire Technology

The Auto-Refire function automatically controls the pilot arc while moving on the material’s surface to be cut, making the cutting operation more convenient and faster.


The airflow generated by the Fan-On-Demand system cools the internal components preventing overheating, and at the same time, removing dust and debris, avoiding accumulation inside the machine.


The unit is easily transportable inside a rigid plastic case, with the space needed to carry other essential accessories such as protective glasses, gloves, etc.

Length of the Power Cord

The Miller Spectrum 375 comes with a 12-foot cable length that will give you a lot of mobility in your workspace.


This unit weighs only 30 lb, and its size is very compact. Moving the machine from one point to another is very easy, thanks to the handle.


  • Model: Miller Electric Spectrum 375 X-TREME
  • Number: 907529
  • Input Voltage: 120/240 V
  • Rated Output: 14-30 A
  • Duty Cycle: 60% at 20 A (120 V); 40% at 30 A (240 V)
  • Operating Temperature: 5° to 104° F (−15° to 40° C)
  • Cutting Thickness and Speed: Mild Steel 3/8” (15 IPM) –
  • Stainless Steel 3/8” (15 IPM) – Aluminum 1/4” (15 IPM)
  • Dimensions: (L x H x W): 13.2 x 9 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 19 lb
  • Warranty: contact the seller


  • Power imput 120V/240V
  • The advanced system keeps its internal components clean
  • Very precise and clean cutting lines
  • Auto-Refire technology automatically changes the output power
  • Very easy to carry
  • It comes with a very good case for carrying the unit, along with other tools such as the torch, goggles, or gloves.
  • Easy to find consumables


  • Not easy to set up for less experienced operators
  • Despite having excellent performance, it is not suitable for heavy-duty work

3. Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter

Lotos LTP5000D 50 Amp plasma cutter is designed for small repairs in the workshop and do-it-yourself enthusiasts who deal with cutting metals as part of their hobby.

Cutting Capabilities

This unit has a maximum clean cut thickness of ½ inch and severance thickness of ¾ inch.

The non-touch pilot arc torch easily cuts through rough, rusty surfaces without producing too much slag. The tip does not need to touch the workpiece, extending its life.

The Torch

With a small and handy torch, this machine is designed to easily cut small pieces of metal.

Metal Construction

Made of resistant metal material, the LTP5000D guarantees the long life of the device, even if it is used in severe or dusty environments.

Easy Set-Up

The LTP5000D plasma cutter is easy to use, even for novice users. You have to ground the machine following the instructions and connect the power plug, and you are ready to start cutting.


The inverter technology makes this Lotos plasma cutter one of the lightest and most comfortable transport, thanks to its weight of only 26 lb.


The most interesting aspect of this Lotos plasma cutter is that you will get all these features at a much lower cost than other devices.


  • Non-touch pilot arc technology
  • 50 A digital inverter air system
  • Automatic dual input voltage
  • Papst advanced cooling system
  • Suitable for aluminum, stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper


  • Model: Lotos LTP5000D
  • Number: F6-LLBG-D35Z
  • Input Voltage: 120/240 V
  • Rated Output: 10-50 A
  • Duty Cycle: 60% at 50 A (120 V); 60% at 50 A (240 V)
  • Operating Temperature: 5° to 104° F (−15° to 40° C)
  • Max. Cutting Thickness: ½” (Severance ¾”)
  • Dimensions: (L x H x W): 15 x 12 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 26 lb
  • Warranty: contact the seller


  • Convenient digital display
  • Much less expensive than other unitsDual power supply
  • Easy installationIt can make precise cuts even on the thinnest materials
  • Very portable and compact Cheap consumables


  • Severance capacity is low
  • Short power cable
  • The ground clamp is also a little short

4. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter

Like the previous Lotos, this quality plasma cutting machine costs less than $500.

Easy Weld 251 20 P is designed for metals up to 1/4″ and can effortlessly perform a cut with a clean, smooth finish.

The IPT 20C torch is suitable for the type of work that most users generally need.

Compared to the Lotos LTP5000D, it has similar dimensions and weight. The main difference is the 120 V power supply with a maximum output current of 20 A. This is also why it will hardly cut metals with a thickness greater than 1/4 inch.

The lower performance of this device makes it very suitable to be transported; its weight is only 21 lb.


  • Model: Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P
  • Number: 251
  • Input voltage: 120 V
  • Rated output: 20 A
  • Duty Cycle: 35% at 20 A (120 V)
  • Operating Temperature: 5° to 104° F (−15° to 40° C)
  • Max Cutting Thickness: 1/4 “
  • Dimensions: (L x H x W): 15 x 8 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 21 lb
  • Warranty: 1 year


The plasma cutter is very lightweight and portable
The Forney Easy Weld 251 is low price, making it affordable for everyday users
Drag torch technology
25’ torch cord extension available


  • 120V only
  • Has a meager output power of only 20 Amperes
  • The maximum cutting and separation capacity is small and may not be appreciated by professional users.

5. Primeweld 50A CUT50DP Plasma Cutter

The Cut50 from PrimeWeld is one of the best plasma cutters for the money available on the market.

PrimeWeld uses the same inverter technology as other major brands and provides excellent performance, cutting thick and thin metals.

The adjustments and controls are simple and intuitive. As with all plasma cutters, you need a good air compressor to function properly.

Dual power supply

This plasma cutter allows the use of 110/220 V power sources.

Cutting Capacity

Primeweld comes with a pilot arc function that makes it easier to make clean cuts. It performs a severance thickness of ¾ inch and a cutting thickness of ½ inch.


  • Model: Primeweld 50A CUT50DP
  • Number: CUT50DP
  • Input voltage: 120/240 V
  • Rated output: 10-50 A
  • Duty Cycle: 60% at 50 A (240 V)
  • Max Cutting Thickness: 1/2“ (3/4” Severance Cut)
  • Dimensions: (L x H x W): 12 x 15 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 22 lb
  • Warranty: 3 years


  • The plasma cutter is portable, which makes it easy to carry and use
  • Pilot arc cutting technology helps in precise cuts
  • Although it is a low-cost product, it is suitable for cutting several metals
  • Suitable for cutting both thick and thin materials


  • Despite having good performance, it cannot compete with higher-end models such as the Hobart Airforce 40i.

Who Should Buy a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma cutters can be used by professionals and DIYers. Plasma cutters are best when it comes to cutting metals. In addition to professional welding workshops, plasma cutters are useful for:

  • Metalwork artists who need to cut metals to create complex shapes
  • Construction workers
  • Plumbers, for cutting pipes
  • Car and motorcycle repairers
  • Operators in the scrap metal or recycling industry
  • Farmers who need to repair fences, water tanks, and other tools

Things to Consider When Buying a Plasma Cutter

The best plasma cutter will depend on the intended purpose. The buyer must be clear on this point before deciding on which model to buy. Ideally, the answers to the following questions must be determined:

  1. How thick is the surface that is going to be cut?
  2. Does the plasma cutter need to be portable?
  3. Frequency of usage will also determine what plasma cutter to buy.

The following factors will determine the selection of a plasma cutter once answers to the above questions are known:

Output Power

The output power of a plasma cutter will go a long way in determining the thickness of the metal it can cut. A low-power plasma cutter might be able to cut only up to ¼ inch, while a high power can give cutting capacity up to 7/8 inch. A buyer must know the metal needed to be cut and how thick the cut needs to be able to select a plasma cutter with optimal output power.

Cutting Speed

Cutting speed, often mentioned in inches per minute (IPM), will vary according to your needs. One must determine the ideal cutting speed that one requires for their purpose. Cutting speed will also vary based on the quality of the cut.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is the total duration of time for which a cutter can run before requiring a cooling off. The nature of the metal, the length, or the thickness will determine whether a shorter or longer duty cycle cutter is required. Using a plasma cutter longer than the work cycle will activate the overheating protection system.

Operating Cost

Needless to say, operating cost is a primary factor in determining which type of plasma cutter should be selected. Expenses go above and beyond the initial costs needed to buy the machinery and include servicing, electricity, and maintenance costs.

Often buyers can meet the high initial price of the purchase, but the maintenance cost is a deal-breaker. It should be studied carefully before making a purchase.

The purchase of an expensive plasma cutter is justified only if the tool is used regularly.

Other Features

Many plasma cutters do not come equipped with all the necessary accessories, and those need to be bought separately. The cost of the accessories must also be considered before making a final decision.

Here is a list of the most essential accessories to keep in mind:

  1. Pilot arc. The presence of this feature will provide a longer consumable life, but the costs will be higher.
  2. Voltage. Dual voltage plasma cutters are the most versatile.
  3. Cut quality. The best plasma cutters produce clean and sharp cuts that need minimal cleaning.
  4. Cutting torch. The length will depend upon the end-use.


Plasma cutting fumes are dangerous to health?

Yes, the plasma cutting processes used to cut metals generate fumes and fine dust, which can be harmful to the lungs, especially if we are cutting aluminum. Always use a suitable respirator.

Can the plasma cutter weld?

No. Plasma cutters and welders are two different tools. Plasma cutters cut metal at high temperatures, while welders melt two metals together.

Is it possible to cut copper with a plasma cutter?

Of course, yes, copper is an excellent conductor.

Can a plasma cutter cut wood?

No. wood, like plastic or glass, is not a current conductor and cannot be plasma cut.

How thin can a plasma cutter cut?

A standard plasma cutter can cut about 1.5″ thin materials.

Review Summary

Among those on this page, the Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i is the one that best suits professionals or occasional users based on cost and features.

In its previous iteration, the Hobart plasma cutter had only one count of not having a display panel. The deficiency has been corrected in the 40i plasma cutter.

Best Offer

The Hobart Airforce 40i has an advanced diagnostic function, particularly useful for troubleshooting. With great power and cutting capacity, the Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i is the best recommended one on this page.

Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

The Alternative

As a second option, the Miller Electric 907529 is a device to consider because it is equipped with advanced features.

The output current (30 A), the dual power supply (120V/240V), and the cutting capacity of 3/8″ at 18 IPM also make this instrument suitable for both beginners and more demanding users.

Miller Electric 907529 Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter

It features an XT30 torch, long-lasting work forceps, a durable X-CASE, and a shoulder strap for easy portability. Extra supplies are also available. The Miller Cutter electric plasma also allows you to use other compressors for different needs, making it a pleasure for users.

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