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  • plasma machine

    I've been thinking about a plasma cutter for a little while but have put it off for one reason or another. Then the thread with the prison break was posted and there was mention of an all in one unit from Hypertherm and now I can't get that unit out of my head and have decided that I must finally get one.
    The Powermax30 Air is really nice in that it can use both 110&220V and the really cool thing is the on board compressor. I had spoke with Airgas and his recommendation was the other 30 not the Air version because it will cut thicker and cleaner and faster. I'm new to plasma cutters so I need help with making a good choice.
    I do autobody for a living but do build stuff (at my home shop). I also repair things at home as I'm sure we all do. I usually have 3/8 angle and square tube as the thickest metal and 10ga sheet as the thickest I normally work with. Cutting with cut-off wheels and A/O gets to be a PITA.
    I have read that the PM45 is a killer unit. Now I'm looking and concidering that one. The only draw back I see is the 220v only not to mention no air compressor.
    Do you feel that is a draw back in any way? I have both in my shop that is not a problem for me at all but having the ability to take it somewhere when needed that might not have those items could be, or am I thinking too much into it.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • #2
    Originally posted by DATEC View Post
    I've been thinking about a plasma cutter for a little while but have put it off for one reason or another. Then the thread with the prison break was posted and there was mention of an all in one unit from Hypertherm and now I can't get that unit out of my head and have decided that I must finally get one.
    The Powermax30 Air is really nice in that it can use both 110&220V and the really cool thing is the on board compressor. I had spoke with Airgas and his recommendation was the other 30 not the Air version because it will cut thicker and cleaner and faster. I'm new to plasma cutters so I need help with making a good choice.
    I do autobody for a living but do build stuff (at my home shop). I also repair things at home as I'm sure we all do. I usually have 3/8 angle and square tube as the thickest metal and 10ga sheet as the thickest I normally work with. Cutting with cut-off wheels and A/O gets to be a PITA.
    I have read that the PM45 is a killer unit. Now I'm looking and concidering that one. The only draw back I see is the 220v only not to mention no air compressor.
    Do you feel that is a draw back in any way? I have both in my shop that is not a problem for me at all but having the ability to take it somewhere when needed that might not have those items could be, or am I thinking too much into it.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    the differences in cutting ability between both PM30 units looks to be negligable... Both are capable of 5/8 Sever

    the lack of compressor is huge...

    compare for yourself

    http://www.hypertherm.com/en-us/Prod...comparison.jsp

    if I buy another plasma.. choosing between the two...my next one would be the PM30-Air..

    am keeping my faithful PM1000 in the shop of course.. but the portability and freedom from being compressor dependent sure make the self contained PM30-Air look mighty attractive to take with...

    A thought on cut quality... clean dry air and consumable condition.. have a HUGE influence on cuts..
    Last edited by H80N; 06-17-2015, 07:33 PM.
    .

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    • #3
      Problem is that there is a lot more wiring guts with the puny internal air compressor. From a repair tech point of view, really NOT worth it. The internal air compressor is the first thing to fail.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cruizer View Post
        Problem is that there is a lot more wiring guts with the puny internal air compressor. From a repair tech point of view, really NOT worth it. The internal air compressor is the first thing to fail.
        I was kinda thinking that also about the compressor. It does make it real handy but could bite ya if it crapped out. Have there been any issues with them that you know of. Comparing the 30 & 45 would the 45 cut any better/cleaner because of the extra power and air volume?

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        • #5
          Lots of problems with the built in, units are generally trash when the compressed crashes.

          rare to see a hypertherm 45 in a repair shop.....

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          • #6
            I waffled for weeks between PM 30 & 45. The 30 air did not exist yet. From lessons learned working in my dad's welding business in the '50s and '60s, as well as much of the content of this forum, if you buy too small you will always wish you had spent a few more bucks. But, the 115 v ability of the 30 was a big draw to me--portability is really nice. Ultimately, I decided for the probably <1% of the time I would use the 115 v capability ( do most stuff in the shop or where there is 230 v available ) it would be a bad trade -can always take the old torch anywhere in a pinch. If I were in business, I'd have to process it all a bit differently, as H80N noted. Anyway, I settled on the 45 and haven't looked back. I have not used a PM30, but I believe Hypertherm's specs are conservative-the 45 clearly performs to spec or beyond. If the 30 meets all your foreseeable needs, go for it. Other than $ (there's always that!) the 45 can do everything the 30 can do, and more. No issue turning down the current and getting beautiful clean cuts in 22-24 ga aluminum.

            As to the 30Air--when it came out I had a brief bout of buyer's remorse-that is a nice package-but then some of my (very long ago) past life as a reliability engineer came flooding back, and I went down the same thought process as Cruizer--and determined that I would probably not have bought it. However, depending on circumstances, it might be a good path for someone.

            good luck with your decision process!

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            • #7
              The 30AIR unit seems to be great as a "back up" plasma cutter. Surely the 30/45 can sustain more constant shop use. But for an "emergency" when you have to cut something not in your shop, the portability comes in handy IF you're into that line of work.
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              • #8
                Well in reading your posts I don't see me going for the Air unit. I'm not in that business and only really need it for my home shop and I have clean air and 220v at my disposal. That and the fact that I would have more "friends" climb out of the wood work saying "hey BUDDY nice little unit, can I barrow that?..."
                So i will have to look into either the 30 or 45. The 30 builder comes with some nice extras like a case. I am liking the ability of more power of the 45 because you never know when you might need it and since it is built for more power and if I hardly ever reach max power it should last longer, I would think anyway, before I would have to change/repair something.
                I will have to get to the Airgas store and see what they have.

                Thanks for the reply guys it helped alot,
                Dave

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DATEC View Post
                  Well in reading your posts I don't see me going for the Air unit. I'm not in that business and only really need it for my home shop and I have clean air and 220v at my disposal. That and the fact that I would have more "friends" climb out of the wood work saying "hey BUDDY nice little unit, can I barrow that?..."
                  So i will have to look into either the 30 or 45. The 30 builder comes with some nice extras like a case. I am liking the ability of more power of the 45 because you never know when you might need it and since it is built for more power and if I hardly ever reach max power it should last longer, I would think anyway, before I would have to change/repair something.
                  I will have to get to the Airgas store and see what they have.

                  Thanks for the reply guys it helped alot,
                  Dave
                  I purchased a pm45 about 2 years ago. I have a decent shop compressor to run with. I have yet to be disappointed with it. After using a chop saw and A/O before purchasing- it is amazing. I have not reached limits with it. One of the best purchases I've made- other than my miller 251 mig.
                  Last edited by kize; 06-19-2015, 01:02 AM.

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