Dead Space Wiki

"This compact cutter fires bolts of ionized plasma that cut easily through most surfaces, making it a cheap but versatile mining tool. It can be readily modified, though some upgrades may cause the plasma to become unstable and ignite surfaces on contact."
—Tool description.[1]

Plasma Cutters, also known as Cutters, are a family of similar tools that have commonly been used as improvised weapons by survivors during Necromorph outbreaks.


Three different types of Plasma Cutters have been shown in the series:

The first, and most common, is the 211-V Plasma Cutter. Designed and manufactured by Schofield Tools, the 211-V is a tool designed to be used in mining operations. It uses two alignment blades on the side, and three lights on the front, to help the user accurately cut through softer minerals. It uses an internal power source, is compact/light enough to be easily portable, and can be even used one handed (due to its light weight). Isaac found his 211-V on a bloody workbench on the USG Ishimura.

The second version shown in the series is a Makeshift Plasma Cutter. Built by Isaac Clarke during an outbreak on The Sprawl, it was originally a medical device that was used in surgeries. Isaac used a flashlight he had acquired earlier as a power source for the cutter, quickly attaching the two to fight off an attacking Slasher. This model is smaller than the 211-V. Its emitter has covers that retract over its front, presumably to prevent accidental discharge while not in use. These covers open when the weapon is activated. Isaac continued to use this weapon throughout his escape from the station. It is unknown what happened to it afterwards, but it can be assumed that Isaac most likely discarded it in a favor of a "real" Plasma Cutter.

The third version shown is an unknown model. It appears to be somewhere between the 211-V and Isaac's Makeshift Cutter in size and aesthetics. Its front has alignment blades similar to the 211-V, but they retract over the emitter similar to Isaac's Makeshift Cutter; its back end is more similar to that of Isaac's Makeshift Cutter. This model, like the other weapons in Dead Space 3, can be disassembled for parts to upgrade and/or modify other weapons. These upgrades includes adding a plasma cutter on as a secondary weapon, or adding a secondary weapon onto a plasma cutter. Isaac first makes use of this model while escaping from militant Unitologists on the New Horizon's Lunar Colony.

DLC variants of plasma cutters within their respective games are usually available from the first in game store discovered.

T UI Tutorial Wpn PlasmaCutter

Plasma Cutter design drawings.

Design Details[]

The Plasma Cutter delivers a cohesive pulse-stream, or "bolt", of ionized plasma when fired. It is capable of firing bolts vertically (primary firing mode) and horizontally (secondary firing mode). The Plasma Cutter is very accurate, utilizing three blue laser pointers to indicate the desired cutting plane.

On impact with the target, bolt cohesion fails frontward first, penetrating the target with a focused jet of superheated matter. This causes intense localized shear effects as well as a tunneling thermal expansion. When used upon brittle, frozen rocks riddled with faults, it can split them open in one or two shots in skilled hands. Against pliable targets, however, impact will cause minimal damage and thermal expansion will not so much cut as stress the area around the impact site, sometimes requiring several consecutive hits with the non-upgraded tool. Still, when presented with a less than effective alternative against dense organic matter, the 211-V Plasma Cutter retains its utility.


Main article: Plasma Energy

The Plasma Cutter utilizes variable-capacity cartridges called Plasma Energy as its ammunition which is capable of cutting down hard, mineral laden rocks in mining operations. Though seeming to only contain stored energy in them, plasma is in fact highly ionized matter, so either the cartridge is a combination battery/plasma medium, or the Cutter itself contains a reservoir of usable material to carry the ion charge.

Plasma Energy for the Plasma Cutter can be purchased in the Store for 1,200 Credits for six rounds.



Dead Space (2008)[]

  • Astronaut Plasma Cutter
  • Elite Plasma Cutter
  • Heavy Damage Plasma Cutter (Increased Damage)
  • Military Plasma Cutter
  • Obsidian Plasma Cutter
  • Pedestrian Plasma Cutter
  • Scorpion Plasma Cutter
  • Speed Kills Plasma Cutter (Increased Speed)

Dead Space 2[]

  • Agility Plasma Cutter (-5% reload speed, firing speed +5%)
  • Forged Plasma Cutter (+10% damage bonus, reload speed -5%)
  • Refurbished Plasma Cutter

Dead Space 3[]

  • Plasma Disperser (Wider Plasma Bolt)
  • Mk-II Overclocked Plasma Disperser (+SPD)
  • Mk-V Supercharged Plasma Disperser (++SPD)
  • Plasma Repeater (Full auto fire)
  • Mk-II Overclocked Plasma Repeater (+SPD)
  • Mk-V Supercharged Plasma Repeater (++SPD)
  • Planet Cracker Plasma Cutter (-RLD, +SPD)
  • Tundra Recon Plasma Cutter (-RLD, +SPD)

Combat tips[]

  • The Plasma Cutter is the player's initial weapon throughout the early parts of the games, and should be considered as a trusty backup slicer. A good strategy is to keep at least 1-2 inventory slots filled with Plasma Energy (one slot can hold 25 rounds) for situations where the player may run out of ammo for their other weapons. Keep the Plasma Cutter fully-loaded and ready at all times.
  • Using Stasis on Necromorphs makes it easier to quickly sever their limbs with the Plasma Cutter. Once slowed to a crawl, dismember their arms to save ammo.
  • Fired Plasma Energy travels almost instantly towards its target, making the Plasma Cutter useful for engaging far-off/fast-moving enemies such as Slashers, Exploders, and Twitchers. However, the cutter's ammo delivers virtually no splash damage, making it ineffective against a payload of Swarmers.
  • Being one of the most precise weapons in the series, the Plasma Cutter requires the handler to be steady and in control when aiming it. Remain calm and line up your shots.
  • It's very useful against a Drag Tentacle. Should one get grabbed, change to this quickly.
  • In Dead Space (mobile) it only requires 14 Power Nodes to fully upgrade, leaving a few of the blank spots open, making it one of the best weapons in the game. Its two firing modes, high capacity, quick firing speed, and quick reloading speed make it a great weapon (whether used with or without Stasis) to dismember almost any Necromorph.
  • In Dead Space 3, a Plasma Disperser can dismember both a Slasher's legs in one shot if it's standing or walking, due to them keeping their legs close together. In earlier games, this was not possible because enemies kept their legs apart. Because of this, it's possible to kill a Slasher in one shot with a Plasma Cutter with max Damage investment if the player aims at their thighs, saving precious ammo.
    • In Dead Space 3, the Plasma Cutter's difficulty with smaller/faster enemies can be overcome by replacing a Plasma Cutter's (or Plasma Disperser's) Rotary Cuff with a Plasma Repeater. While losing the ability of vertically lined shots, you gain the advantages of a wide plasma cutter shot, and a rapid fire option.


In Dead Space (2023), the Plasma Cutter has three Upgrade Parts that can enhance its utility and effectiveness when installed.

  • The Heat Accumulator allows the Plasma Cutter's shots to set enemies on fire, dealing additional damage over time. This upgrade can be purchased from any Store for 11,000 Credits after activating the Engineering control console in Chapter 3.
  • The Cartridge Rack increases the weapon's max ammo capacity by 5 points. This part can be picked up at the Ishimura Clinic in the Medical Deck: upon entering the Clinic's lounge from the Security Station, look left to see a wall with "It's Time" written on it, the part will be on a bench below it. Unlike Capacity upgrades, installing the Cartridge Rack will not completely refill the magazine.
  • The Weighted Blades upgrade massively increases the weapon's physical force in melee combat, completely knocking down most enemies on their backs with one or two swings. This upgrade can be found on the Bridge, in a room labelled "Maintenance Locker Room" en route to Comms Maintenance: after riding the gondola, enter the door past the Save Point, and the Maintenance Locker Room will be directly ahead.



  • Finishing the first Dead Space and using only the Plasma Cutter will earn the "One Gun" Trophy/Achievement. Those attempting to earn the achievement should use Stasis extensively in crowded situations as the Plasma Cutter is not a suitable weapon for crowd control, even when fully upgraded. The same achievement can also be attained by using only the Plasma Cutter (in addition to the Plasma Saw) in Dead Space (mobile).
  • Aside from the Ripper, the Plasma Cutter is the only Dead Space 2 weapon to not have a unique damage boost conferred by any suit, barring the Elite Advanced Suit which provides a 10% DMG bonus to ALL weapons. So far, like the Ripper, there has been no suit which offers damage bonus to the Plasma Cutter alone.
  • In Dead Space (2008), the Plasma Cutter would always revert to vertical mode during its reload animation, then rotates back to the currently set position once the animation is finished. The Cutter in later games does not do this.
  • In Dead Space 2, it gains the ability to light enemies on fire once the "Special" upgrade slot has been filled. This effect seems to be far less noticeable when dismembering compared to shots to torsos/body.
  • The Forged Plasma Cutter from the Dead Space 2 DLC is extremely useful on higher difficulty settings, as it's 10% higher damage (which comes out to 19.8 damage/shot on a fully upgraded model) allows Isaac to more easily dismember Necromorphs while using less ammo.
  • In the PC and PS3 versions of Dead Space 2, the Plasma Cutter always resets to vertical mode when you die and go back to your checkpoint.
  • The Plasma Cutter is one of the five secondary weapons in Dead Space 2's multiplayer. It serves as the default weapon.
  • In Dead Space 3, the Plasma Cutter can be recreated using any Compact Frame, a Plasma Core upper tool and a Rotator Cuff module. Adding a Flame Glaze attachment will recreate the special effect seen on a fully-upgraded Cutter in the second game.
    • The Tundra Recon and Planet Cracker Class Plasma Cutters, in Dead Space 3, cannot be equipped with Rotary Cuff modules. Although the Planet Cracker Class Plasma Cutter comes with one attached, allowing the player to create a blueprint of it for safekeeping, if the weapon is disassembled then it cannot be reattached manually.
  • In Dead Space (2008) and Dead Space (2023), design drawings and extra information on the Plasma Cutter can be seen where the tool is first obtained, along with the message "Cut off their limbs" written in blood over them.

In Other Media[]

  • The Collector's Edition of Dead Space 2 comes with a comically small version of the Plasma Cutter with three LED lights to represent its trademark crosshair.
  • In the show The Big Bang Theory, a model Plasma cutter can be seen on a shelf in Howard's room in his mother's house.
  • In Episode 17 of the anime Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond, one of the supporting characters, Gilbert F. Altstein, sports a heaviy armed car called the Visceral Heavy Industries, and one of its primary weapons are two large Plasma Cutters that closely resemble the ones used in Dead Space 2.


  • Isaac is shown wielding the Plasma Cutter in most of the promotional material for Dead Space, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space 3.
  • With the damage upgrades maxed, the Plasma Cutter becomes a legitimate arc welder, although not for traditional electricity, but plasma instead. If one looks to the left or right immediately after shooting they can see the trail from the gun all the way to the intended target is an arc of ionized energy. This is opposed to the Plasma Cutters default damage output, which is simply a bolt.
  • Similar to the Ripper, the size of the Plasma Cutter shrinks in each subsequent game entry. It is visually large in the original Dead Space, then it gets somewhat smaller in Dead Space 2, having its bulky spacers (mostly) removed. By the time of Dead Space 3 the Cutter is only about as big as a small handgun, the spacers have been re-added but their overall size have been toned down significantly.
  • The "blades" on the Plasma Cutter possibly function like spacers for the tools intended purpose, cutting minerals. This implies that the Plasma Cutter is probably used/handled like a nail gun, as in the cutter is intended to be placed/aimed directly on the material to be cut, and firing one plasma bolt into said surface. The cutters vertical and horizontal modes would allow the user to cut minerals without having to turn the entire tool 90 degrees.
  • The Plasma Cutter acquired by the player in Dead Space 2 is not an official tool, but a jury-rigged model created by Isaac Clarke. It was made by combining a stationary medical "tissue laser" plasma emitter with his previously acquired flashlight.
  • The reloading animation for this version of the Plasma Cutter is strange, Isaac simply ejects the empty battery and a new battery comes up from the base of the gun.
  • This custom-built Plasma Cutter shares the same upgrade path as the "Refurbished Plasma Cutter"; upgrading one of the Plasma Cutter will affect the other. When fully upgraded, it is capable of setting enemies on fire.
  • The Plasma Cutter model that is manufactured by Schofield Tools (the model from the original Dead Space) makes a return in Dead Space 2 going by the name of the "Refurbished Plasma Cutter" with the cost of 0 credits if Dead Space has been installed on the PC, or a Dead Space Save file exists in the PS3 or Xbox 360 hard drive. You can acquire it from the first Store you pass in game. Ellie Langford also wields an officially produced Plasma Cutter.
  • The Refurbished Cutter is also the default secondary weapon in Dead Space 2's multiplayer mode.
  • The Plasma cutter has received a slight visual redesign in Dead Space 3, appearing similar in design to Isaac's makeshift Plasma Cutter in Dead Space 2. The frame is noticeably smaller, and the bottom stabilizer has been removed, being replaced by the tool's Rotator Cuff. It's color scheme has also been flipped, with orange parts now gray and vice-versa. Its default mode has also been changed from vertical to horizontal, and is permanently fixed into the latter mode if a Rotator Cuff has not been built into the tool. The firing sound has also been changed, sounding much weaker than its previous model. It is unknown if this is a newer model Plasma Cutter produced by Schofield Tools, a model produced by a competing manufacturer, or just an artistic redesign for the game.
  • The Plasma Cutter can be recreated by putting a Plasma Core with any tip as an Upper Tool on a Compact Frame, with a Rotator Cuff Module as the Lower Tool, and adding a Flame Glaze attachment. Notably, the module looks different on this weapon in comparison to the other tools that it can attach to.
  • Unlike in the original 2008 game, the Plasma Cutter is now referred to as the 211-V Plasma Cutter in the remake.


Concept Art and Posters[]