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What PLASMA CUTTER to buy?

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  • MAC702
    replied
    I had a Spectrum 375 Cutmate, before the Extreme fad. It was a very serviceable machine and served all my needs. It's still the only plasma I've owned so can't give any comparison experience. It worked fine for several years before I sold it to an AC contractor. It worked adequately well within its rated thicknesses.

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  • ryanjones2150
    replied
    you'll almost certainly be happy with that miller extreme, but the hypertherm is the Cadillac of plasma cutters. Its the TNT to explosives. Its what all others are compared to, at least I say so. I can't speak for the 115v hypertherms, but I have not been pleased any time I've used a 115v plasma cutter. I'm sure they're fine for cutting 20ga sheet metal, but not anything more skookum than that. I was using helping a buddy with a job a couple of years ago, we were using 10 ga stainless. He had a lincoln 115v plasma cutter, don't remember the model, it was junk for that job, horrible. Ended up just using a cutoff wheel. Took forever. Later on I was cutting some of the same stuff with a 240v plasma cutter, not the same lincoln but an HTP, blew through it like it wasn't even there.

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  • dondlhmn
    replied
    I have run onto a new Miller 375 Extreme that was in a storage unit bought by a "speculator: like new for a VERY good price and it sounds like I may go for it after looking at it and checkin gout the serial number to be sure there is no "funny stuff" associated with it. I see that you guys like the Hypertherm a lot, but am thinking that, what with Millers excellent reputation (for welders especially)and what my (somewhat minimal) needs are, I may go for the Miller even though the Hypertherm is most likely a better machine. If the Miller turns out to be all legit, i don't see how I could lose money/go wrong buying it. Any comments or suggestions?

    Thanks for all the help guys!!

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  • OscarJr
    replied
    Hypertherm is without a doubt awesome, but I do get by doing home hobby stuff using a home hobby plasma cutter. Do I like it? Not anymore, since I got to use a Powermax 30XP at work. It's hard to describe---it just cuts "more effortlessly" even though it is rated 10A less than my Eastwood. Does the Eastwood get me by? Yeah, it can cut 1/2", slowly. Do I wish I had a Hypertherm? Abso-freakin-lutely.

    I'm contemplating getting a 625 Xtreme plasma cutter because it is dual-voltage and is rated up to 5/8".
    Last edited by OscarJr; 12-10-2016, 12:03 PM.

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  • H80N
    replied
    Originally posted by griff01 View Post

    Ditto on what Aeronca41 said. I have had a Hypertherm 1250 for several years and bought a PowerMax30Air earlier this year for mobile work.
    Both are wonderful!
    HTH
    Griff
    +1 on what both have said..................

    My welders are Miller..... My plasma is Hypertherm PM-1000....
    Last edited by H80N; 12-10-2016, 10:09 AM.

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  • griff01
    replied
    Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
    I know plasma cutters aren't exactly WELDING...but they are part of the tools/equipment you need and, yeah...this MAY have been covered here somewhere before, but things DO change...So, here's the question: For use around the HOME SHOP for general cutting duties (NOT PRODUCTION or full time use), but for single phase 110/230 and able to cut decently up to about 3/8" hot roll and NOT break the bank account, yet not be junk that's gonna quit on me at any moment, what would be a good plasma cutter to buy? I never really needed one before and did all my cutting with an A/O setup, but I am about to build a front and a rear bumper for my truck, which will require some nice, NEAT and ACCURATE cuts of extended lengths and figure I might as well get off of a few bucks and buy a plasma cutter----always wanted one, anyway and now is the time. SO---any suggestions? Why and why not to buy what? I'd like to hear reasons and experiences...!

    A QUICK EDIT/ADDITION: I currently have both RED (TIG) and BLUE (MIG) in my shop, so I am NOT stuck on either...would be open to any brand that is reasonably reliable/tough, yet isn't really horribly expensive....I have a big air compressor already, so I don't really need one that has an onboard compressor, BUT I hear that Plasma cutters are pretty sensitive to wet/dry compressed air. What are your experiences with that?
    Ditto on what Aeronca41 said. I have had a Hypertherm 1250 for several years and bought a PowerMax30Air earlier this year for mobile work.
    Both are wonderful!
    HTH
    Griff

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  • Auto_Tech
    replied
    I agree with Aeronca41's recommendation on the Hypertherm. I own an older ESAB plasma and it's served me well, but Hypertherm is pretty much best in class.

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  • Aeronca41
    replied
    I looked at plasma cutters for years, with a very intense period of investigation for about 4 months just before buying. In my opinion, One word: Hypertherm. Yes, they cost a bit more, but the company, their methods of doing business, support, Jim Colt's presence on the web to help out (or you can just give him a call), quality, and impressive reliability all mean a lot. And all made in USA. While there are no doubt many who might disagree with me, buy quality once and never, ever regret it. My PowerMax 45 is one of the most amazing, mind-blowing tools I've ever seen or used. I never use it without just standing back in amazement for a few seconds, after using OA for 50 years. The PowerMax 30xp will more than meet your needs and runs on 120 volts. Just add a compressor and good air drier, (plasma cutters HATE wet air) or buy the 30xp air with the built in compressor. I tend to like a separate compressor-less to go wrong with the machine.

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  • dondlhmn
    started a topic What PLASMA CUTTER to buy?

    What PLASMA CUTTER to buy?

    I know plasma cutters aren't exactly WELDING...but they are part of the tools/equipment you need and, yeah...this MAY have been covered here somewhere before, but things DO change...So, here's the question: For use around the HOME SHOP for general cutting duties (NOT PRODUCTION or full time use), but for single phase 110/230 and able to cut decently up to about 3/8" hot roll and NOT break the bank account, yet not be junk that's gonna quit on me at any moment, what would be a good plasma cutter to buy? I never really needed one before and did all my cutting with an O/A setup, but I am about to build a front and a rear bumper for my truck, which will require some nice, NEAT and ACCURATE cuts of extended lengths and figure I might as well get off of a few bucks and buy a plasma cutter----always wanted one, anyway and now is the time. SO---any suggestions? Why and why not to buy what? I'd like to hear reasons and experiences...!

    A QUICK EDIT/ADDITION: I currently have both RED (TIG) and BLUE (MIG) in my shop, so I am NOT stuck on either...would be open to any brand that is reasonably reliable/tough, yet isn't really horribly expensive....I have a big air compressor already, so I don't really need one that has an onboard compressor, BUT I hear that Plasma cutters are pretty sensitive to wet/dry compressed air. What are your experiences with that?
    Last edited by dondlhmn; 12-10-2016, 09:17 AM.
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