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  • Help: Decisions...

    I am absolutely torn between deciding which plasma cutter to buy, I am deciding between The hypertherm 380/miller Spectrum 375 and the Hypertherm 600/Spectrum 625. I am probably leaning towards the hypertherm, so it is between the 380 and the 600. The 380 weighs more than the 600 (inverter design) and I prefer a more portable machine. My main concern is cutting capacity though. I want something can can cut thin sheetmetal CLEANLY and 1/4" fairly easily. I have been led to believe not to oversize a plasma cutter due to dross, poor cutting and other clean up mess involved. I will probably never use this to cut 1/2" So I really need nothing more than 3/8 capacity at this time as a maximum. Will the 380 produce a *significantly* cleaner cut on thin material than a 600 will?? How nicely can a 380 cut 1/4". Money probably isn't the deciding factor here, I don't have a problem spending for the 600, I really want the best machine to fill my needs.
    Thanks
    Brian

  • #2
    One thing you need to also think about is if you are going to be cutting at 45 degrees or at other angles great than 45. The rating you mentioned are for perpendicular cuts. If you have 1/4 inch thick material that you need to cut at 45 you wont reach through the other side.

    I picked up a Hypertherm Max 20 used because I knew for sure my cutting depth and angles would be small. OK fine I just wanted one to make my life easier on my projects.

    If you search the board for Plasma cutters you will find many threads that might help you decide. Had I not already purchased the MM210 and had the money I would have purchased a new 375.
    MM210 w/3035
    Next up - Sync 200

    Comment


    • #3
      illuzion,

      I believe you should oversize your plasma. If properly adjusted you will not inherit cutting and clean up problems. I am speaking from experience. The Hypertherm Powermax 600 is a good machine. I know this may sound a little far fetched, but the Miller 625 I tested literally kicked the little HT 600 in the rear. I currently own a Miller 2050 and regularly cut mild steel sheet as thin as 20 gauge nice and clean without clean up. This machine is sized at 1" and will do every bit of that. Do a search for plasma cutters. I posted a while back. The point here is I was afforded the opportunity to test a dozen different plasma cutters in several brands. I tested these machines on clean single and /or 3 phase power as well as 1 phase revolving field (generator) power. Miller currently uses torches manufactured by HT. However, the parts are intentionally not interchangeable. By the way I believe in using the machine that does the best job regardless of brand name. Until a few years ago I used a Thermal Dynamics Pak Master 100. I have been using the 2050 for several months now and my buddy has had his 625 for a year. Both seem like solid machines and perform extremely well. Happy decision making.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replys, now my decision has gotten harder, now I am stuck between the Miller 625 and the HT600. I read your previous review and you seemed very biased toward the 625 (not a bad thing), just what made it so much better than the "overrated" ht600 (other than the color of the case)???? I was originally leaning toward hypertherm because I was fairly throughly convinced that they were always a step ahead on the plasma cutter market, the machine is 10lbs lighter, consumables are very readily available, and they now have the 'finecut' series of consumables making a larger plasma cutter cut thinner stock nicer at the cost of consumable life. Generator power is really not a concern for me, airflow is though. How thin of a material can the 625 cut without cleanup? I basically need a machine that can handle sheetmetal hvac ductwork on up to 1/4" mild on a daily basis, with a very occasional need to cut 3/8, almost never anything heavier. Also is the arc starting better on one unit than the other?
        Thanks
        Brian

        Comment


        • #5
          illuzion,

          They both seem to start an arc equally well. The Miller 625 seemed to cut smoother and cleaner than the HT Powermax 600. The HT lost its arc several times on 3/8 aluminum and the 625 never did. Either machine will cut 20 gauge sheet metal easily with a good clean cut. Try this. I too thought I wanted the HT 600. I went to my dealer and they called the HT rep and he sent me a brand new unit to demo. I tried it and my friends's 625 side by side. I sent the HT home with no hard feelings. Maybe your dealer can get you a demo for the Hypertherm 600. It is a lighter more compact machine for sure. It's a lot of money to spend. Please be sure and confident of what you want. Am I biased towards Miller? No! Do I try to buy the best I can afford? Yes! Do I own equipment other than Miller? Yes. Please test these machines for yourself.

          Comment


          • #6
            One of the reasons I ask questions on this board is I *highly* value your opinion and your experience. I have had trouble finding a dealer locally with one of either units to play with. I have heard plenty of good things about the hypertherm, and I haven't really heard anything (good or bad) about the miller. My local dealer has plenty of engine drives, and XMT 304's to play with as well as some bigger plasma cutters, esab stuff but doesn't really have anything small on demo except for lots of red stuff. I purchased the dynasty 200dx sight unseen, I played with a maxstar and loved it, and originally planned on buying one of those, but the opinions of people that use these everyday led me toward the dynasty, and I am very glad they did, I could not be happer with this unit. I am really not brand loyal, except to buy from a company that will be around tomorrrow to support the unit. I am looking for the best unit for the money that will do what I want, whatever brand it may be.
            Thanks
            Brian

            Comment


            • #7
              Brian,

              There are some ties between Miller and Hypertherm on the plamsa cutter manufacturering. They are both good machines. To the best of my knowledge and experience I have to give the Miller 625 a thumbs up and a notch above between these two units. I think you will find it to be like the Dynasty in the fact that you will not be disappointed. Yes, it is a little heavier and slightly larger than the Powermax 600. It uses good long life consumables, cuts clean even at max output on the thin stuff, is very durable, and carries the Miller 3 year warranty. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Hypertherm warranty is 2 years?
              http://millerwelds.com/pdf/warranty_8_03.pdf

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok hawk, you talked me into it . I just ordered the miller 625 today, hopefully it will arrive next week.
                illuzion

                Comment


                • #9
                  the warranty for the hypertherm powermax 600 is 2 years. i have one and wish i would have known about this site before i bought it. i've had no trouble with the unit since i bought it. but from what i read the spectrum 625 is a little better. my dealer is a big on selling miller products, but told me that hypertherm only makes plasma cutters so he thought that would be a better choice. i should have done more research on both. but like i said its still been trouble free since i've had it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    illuzion,

                    You won't be sorry. I have spent time with both machines and would never speak anything but the truth when it comes to advice or experience regarding welding processes, equipment, the trade in general and this forum. I know many of my posts seem biased towards Miller Equipment. The fact is for the most part they make the best welding and cutting equipment on the market today and I feel sure tomorrow.

                    You will be well pleased with the new Spectrum 625. It will truly compliment the Dynasty! Send us a picture of them side by side. If you have any problems or questions concerning your machines, please ask and we will do our best to help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shane7207
                      the warranty for the hypertherm powermax 600 is 2 years. i have one and wish i would have known about this site before i bought it. i've had no trouble with the unit since i bought it. but from what i read the spectrum 625 is a little better. my dealer is a big on selling miller products, but told me that hypertherm only makes plasma cutters so he thought that would be a better choice. i should have done more research on both. but like i said its still been trouble free since i've had it.
                      shane7207,

                      I like the Powermax600. It is a nice compact unit and your dealer is right. That is all they do: plasma cutting. Both are good units. Experience with both has shown me the Miller 625 has the edge. I know it uses a HT torch and there is collaboration between the two companies. I recently had the opportunity to use the new HT G3 series Powermax 1000 hooked to a CNC. It's a killer machine and will pierce 1.250 stainless. It's a stretch under ideal conditions, but I saw it do it! Hypertherm does make good stuff.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hypotherm now caries 3 year warranty FYI...

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