Picking a plasma cutter.

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  #1  
Old 05-24-05, 01:47 PM
mordak
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Picking a plasma cutter.

I've been doing research for a couple of months on what plasma cutter to buy. I have a few needs that I'd like to meet if possible. I want to be able to sever up to 1/2 mild steel, and I'd like to have a unit with the compressor on board if that's possible mainly so it's more portable. I've looked at HTP, Thermal Dynamics, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart and ESAB and honestly I'm partial to Miller's products. I have a Miller DVI and I love it. The more I look at plasma cutters, the more I think that the entry level units are the only ones that come with an on board compressor like the Miller Spectrum 125C. Also, does anyone know the sever capabilities of the Spectrum 125C? The website lists only the "Rated" and "Quality" thicknesses at 1/8" and 3/16" respectively nothing about how much it will "Sever". I'm beginning to think I should just Buy the Miller Spectrum 375 and use my air compressor to supply air and quite looking around. What do you all think? Any help that anyone can offer is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Mordak
 
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Old 05-24-05, 02:40 PM
D
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Half inch goes beyond the built in compressor models, which are really designed for hobbyists and light sheetmetal fabrication. The thickness you want to cut is probably beyond what 110v can provide.

"Quality" at 3/16 is probably a new term for "sever".

The big question is how often you really need that capacity because it probably isn't cheap.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 03:16 PM
mordak
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Originally Posted by danski0224
Half inch goes beyond the built in compressor models, which are really designed for hobbyists and light sheetmetal fabrication. The thickness you want to cut is probably beyond what 110v can provide.

"Quality" at 3/16 is probably a new term for "sever".

The big question is how often you really need that capacity because it probably isn't cheap.
Good point on how often I'll need it. Maybe 3/8" is a more realistic number. I don't mind a 230v unit because that's how I use my DVI most all of the time. I'd like to keep the price around $1000.00. My local shop offers much better prices than retail which I'm sure most shops do.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 09:24 PM
h nu
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I too am looking into a plasma cutter.

I really like Hypertherm and have only heard great things about consumable life from hypertherm.

There is a 380 model, which is a dual voltage, 110v or 200*v. about $1000:
1/4" (6 mm) Recommended Capacity
3/8" (10 mm) Maximum Capacity
1/2" (12 mm) Severance Capacity


Or the 600 model, which is only 200-240v at about $1600. it does a litte more though...
1/2" (12 mm) Recommended Capacity
5/8" (16 mm) Maximum Capacity
7/8" (22 mm) Severance Capacity

Up to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick at 100% duty cycle.
Up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) at 50% duty cycle.

The power of the 600 is impressive, but the portability of the 380 is tempting since I could put it on cart and wheel it anywhere in a building that has a 110 outlet. (or take it to friends houses and not worry if they have a 220v outlet.

Oh yea... I also have OxyAcet.
I will probably only ever cut up to 1/2 inch steel. anything greater can easily be cut with oxy/fuel. The trouble is, I also need it for copper, bronze, aluminum (and various aluminum alloys including Duralumin) and for obvious reasons oxyfuel wont cut copper or aluminum. but plasma will... and if the max on the 600 is 5/8 steel it would probably cut 3/8 aluminum/copper (thats a guess)
 

Last edited by h nu; 05-24-05 at 09:35 PM.
  #5  
Old 05-25-05, 03:12 PM
J
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Were I work we have went through a few plasma cutters. The first one was a Miller, did not work very well. It was one of their first model maybe, it got scraped. The next one we got was a hypertherm. The manufacture said it would cut 3/8 mild steel. Cutting 3/16 was a chore for it. And it went through consumables like they were candy. The Hypertherm ran on 440 three phase. We also had a 110-volt thermal Dynamics. The 110-volt thermal Dynamics would out cut the 440-volt Hypertherm without any problem. Our new plasma cutter is the Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 75. That is supposed to cut 3/4 inch steel, and it does. The consumables last longer than the Hypertherm. The Hypertherm got scrapped also. These are the only plasma cutters that I have used. I personably would recommend a Thermal Dynamics. Try them out don't take a salesman's word for how good one machine is over another. I do not pay for these machines so cost is not a factor, the cutmaster 75 I think cost around 22 hundred or so. That is out of my personal range.
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:10 PM
mordak
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Originally Posted by Jerome
...the cutmaster 75 I think cost around 22 hundred or so. That is out of my personal range.
Maybe so but the TD Cutmaster 38 is more reasonable and will sever 5/8" mild steel according to their specs.
 
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Old 05-26-05, 10:12 PM
h nu
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I ended up buying a Hypertherm PowerMax1000 G3. I need to figure out how I am going to supply a steady flow of 75 psi to it though.
 
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Old 05-27-05, 11:51 AM
J
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Originally Posted by mordak
Maybe so but the TD Cutmaster 38 is more reasonable and will sever 5/8" mild steel according to their specs.
The cutmaster 38 sounds like it will cut 3/8 steel. I am not an expert on every model on the market. I have had experience on a few models and I expressed that. If you want to buy a cutmaster 38 that will cut 5/8 steel I would try it out first. And I am sure the sales man will make sure it has all new consumables in it so it will cut at its best. I would not take a manufactures word for what it will cut, try it out. We bought a Miller wire machine that had dual wire feeders on it so we could weld stainless or mild steel without changing spools of wire. The machine also had a pulse arc on it. We could not get the pulse to work so we called the company that sold us the machine to show us how to work the pulse. They tried and failed, they sent their finest and best trouble shooting techs and still the pulse will not work. The pulse arc was a selling point in us buying this machine, the manufacture said it would work and it doesn't. This machine was a 5,000 dollar machine when we bought it. And no one can get the pulse arc to work. Lesson learned, before you buy something try it out, or else get a money back guarantee and put it through its paces before your return date is over.
 
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