Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter Review
Lotos is considered a budget brand plasma cutter but that isn’t neccesarily a bad thing.
The Lotos LTP5000D performs admirably and will cleanly cut through 1/2-inch steel with ease, while being able to sever up to 3/4-inch thick material.
It comes with everything you need to get started cutting immediately. Just connect it to your air compressor and you’ll be cutting up metal in no time.
There’s a good reason why the Lotos LTP5000D is the most popular plasma cutter around. It’s powerful, affordable and just plain works.
- Non-touch Pilot arc
- Inverter based using MOSFET
- Lightweight and portable
- Dual voltage – 110/220
- Easy controls
- PAPST Cooling System
- Short ground cable
- Wide kerf
- Low quality air hose
- No 110 V adapter
Inverter based using MOSFET
Ever wonder how they can get all that power into such a tiny box?
In the early days of plasma cutters they used a transformer based design which added a lot of weight to the unit, making it essentially a fixed machine. Unmovable.
Using an inverter based design, LOTOS is able to cram 50 amps of power into a box that weighs around 20 lbs making it ideal if you’re short on space.
When it comes to inverters, there are two mains types: MOSFET and IGBT. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both (essentially) do the same thing. So which one is right for you?
- High-frequency applications
- Wide line or load variations
- Long duty cycle
- Low-voltage applications
- Low output power
- Low frequency applications
- Narrow line or load variations
- Short duty cycle
- High-voltage applications
- High temperature allowed
- High output power
Non-touch Pilot arc
One of the most sought after features when it comes to plasma cutters is the touchless pilot arc technology.
Thankfully, even a budget plasma cutter like the LOTOS LTP5000D has this technology. So, what is it?
Pilot arc technology allows you to start the cut without having to touch the tip of the torch to the metal. This allows you to easily cut through all types of metal including rough, dirty or rusted surfaces up to 3/4″ thick. In addition, by not having to constantly touch tip to metal, it increases the life of your consumables saving you time and money.
1/2″ Clean cut
Outputting 50 amps of raw power the LOTOS LTP5000D cuts through metal like a hot knife through butter.
With a 1/2-inch maximum rated clean cut and a 3/4-inch maximum severance cut, this rig is the best bang for your buck in terms of cost to power ratio.
With a bit of practice you’ll be cutting through stainless steel, copper, aluminum and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Lightweight and portable
Thanks to its inverter based design the LOTOS LTP5000D is one of the lightest and most portable plasma cutters on the market today.
It weighs just 23 lbs and is no bigger than a medium sized pizza box (15″ x 6″ x 12″). You can even throw it around when you get frustrated enough.
Tip: Don’t do that.
This plasma cutter also includes a convenient industrial strength handle for easy transport.
Dual voltage – 110/220
Because of its immense power the LTP5000D has dual voltage capabilities for when you really need to crank up the amperage.
The standard household voltage is around 110 so it’s ideal for tinkering around the house but when you need to make some serious cuts it’s nice to have the 220 V option.
The unit automatically switches depending on which outlet you plug it into so you never have to worry about changing the setting and blowing out your machine.
The only negative is that you need to buy the 110 V adapter separately.
One of the main reasons to go off brand is the difference in price. And it’s never been so obvious as it is with plasma cutters.
Let’s take a look:
The Hypertherm Powermax 45 is widely considered the best in the industry (for its class) and is priced at just under $2000.
The LOTOS LTP5000D, which is lighter, smaller and has more power, is priced well under $400.
Sure you’re going to take a hit in quality but if you only use your plasma cutter a few times a month is it worth the extra $1500+?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.
The LTP5000D’s controls couldn’t be easier to master. You have two things to worry about:
ON/OFF switch – Can you take a guess what this does?
Amperage control – This one controls the amount of power you’re putting out.
With such simple controls, all you have to do is cut.
Short ground cable
Measuring only 6-feet long the short ground clamp really bothered me.
If they’re going to make a 13-foot torch cable why wouldn’t they make the ground clamp the same length?
This is just stupidity on their part.
The LOTOS is meant for wide, rough cuts and has a wide kerf to match.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s something to keep in mind if you plan on doing some precision cuts.
Low quality air hose
I had no issues with the air hose during the time that I used the LOTOS LTP5000D but it’s obvious that its not quality part.
Many people online claim the hose came with leaks or broke after a short period of time.
No adapter for 110 V
Another dumb move by LOTOS. They boast about how they have a dual voltage plasma cutter and then make you buy the adapter if you want to use it at home.
Power. Portability. Price.
It’s rare that a plasma cutter covers all three factors so perfectly but the LOTOS LTP5000D manages to do exactly that.
With 50 amps of pure cutting power it can cut through 1/2″ steel like ripping a Kleenex apart and can manage a 3/4″ severance cut.
It produces all that power through a tiny package (23 lbs) that you could easily shot-put across the shop.
And the best part? You’ll get the complete package for less than half of a name brand plasma cutter.
While the LOTOS LTP5000D does have some quality issues, and they tend to cheap out when it comes to accessories, if you need a powerful, highly portable rig without having to sell your first born child, then it may be an attractive option.
Specs and Features
Weight: 22.5 lbs
Size: L15″ x W6″ x H12″
Power Input: 110/220 V
Power Output: 50 A
Duty Cycle: 60% @ 50 A
Severance Thickness: 3/4″
Warranty: 1 year