The LTP5000D Air Inverter plasma cutter from Lotos is one of the most surprising units we’ve tested to date.
Given it’s diminutive size it actually has an impressive amount of power. And when you consider it is also one of the cheapest models on the market, you’ve got quite a combination.
We briefly touched on this unit in our cheap plasma cutter buyer's guide, but wanted to take a closer look at it.
While it didn't place in the top three of our best plasma cutting tool competition, this is still a remarkably capable tool under the right circumstances.
It's build quality and consumable use aren't up to par with the top competitors in this market, but it's budget price tag makes it a very attractive choice for those that don't need a production level tool.
Let's take a look at some of it's performances specifications to see how it stacks up.
The pilot-arc functionality of this unit allows you to easily work with perforated, rusted, or painted materials.
The efficient inverter power source technology allows for maximum power output with minimal weight. The LTP5000D tips the scales at just 22lbs.
We were a little underwhelmed by both the ground clamp and the air hose that comes with the unit. Neither seem designed for heavy usage, but both can be easily and inexpensively replaced.
The unit can be setup for both 110V and 220V. If you're looking to make cuts of 1/4" or more you should definitely plan on setting it up for 220V to get the maximum amperage.
As with any plasma cutter airflow is crucial. Lotos recommends at least 65psi of clean dry air to keep the nozzle clean during operation. This can have a big impact on consumable life so don't skimp on airflow.
First and foremost the size of this unit is nice and compact. Weighing in at just 22.5 pounds it is comparable to the Miller in terms of portability. This is a huge plus for this type of tool. It also has a convenient handle on top for lugging it around.
Complementing the size of the unit itself, the torch size is also quite small. This allows you to work in some pretty tight spaces. And it comes with a 10 foot torch cable so there are no issues with moving around a good bit while you’re working.
The LTP5000D is rated to sever up to 3/4″ material. In our testing it cut well through mild steel up to 5/8″ but it was definitely slower when moving on to harder materials like aluminum.
220V or 110V – The unit ships with a power cord, but with no end fitted. This is on purpose so that you can attach either 110 or 220 plug. For lighter use 110 is fine, but you’ll be popping circuits if you try to cut thicker materials. If that’s the case, just replace the plug with a 220V and you’ll be off to the races.
There were only two things that stuck out to us as cons with this unit.
One was that the ground cable is a bit on the short side. Not a deal breaker by any means, but some of the other units we’ve tested gave you a bit more length.
The other is issue was with the torch itself. The trigger is a little on the flimsy side and doesn’t have a guard. This makes it pretty easy to hit it inadvertently.
Note: as with many plasma cutters this one does require a decent air compressor. If you’ve got a shop model great, but smaller models will be kicking on constantly to try to keep up with this guy.
High rate of consumable use. More below…
One of our biggest complaints with the Lotos LTP5000D is it’s aggressive use of consumables. Ensuring that you have lots of airflow can help with this, but you should still plan on buying extras when you purchase the cutter itself.
This issue is not unique to the Lotos a most of the cheaper plasma cutters on the market tend to chew through consumables pretty quickly. If you’re not running it all the time you can still save a good bit by going with this unit vs a Miller or Hypertherm.
Dimensions:17 x 8 x 11 inches
Max Air Pressure:
Hose Length: 10ft
Duty Cycle: 60% @ 50A
Max Cut Thickness: 1/2″
Compressor: external air compressor required
Warranty: 1 Year Parts and Labor
Current Pricing on Amazon.com
Overall the LTP5000D is a solid unit. It offers great power and functionality in a lightweight, budget-priced package. If you're looking for a tool to build a business around you'll probably want to go with a more robust unit, but for smaller jobs it is quite capable. Consumable use and accessory quality were our biggest complaints.
Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.