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Plasma cutter help please.

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  • Plasma cutter help please.

    Hello all,
    I have been reading your posts and comments for a year now. From comments made by members I purchased a Dynasty 200DX my first welder. Having great fun but regarding the cutting side of life, I am rather fed up with the hand grinder and hack saw methods. So my very first request is advice on the purchase of a plasma cutter. Of these three what would you suggest.................

    Spectrum 375 or the X-TREME or Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 39

    There seems no advantage other than weight between the two Miller units am I right or wrong. The third choice is not BLUE I know but there seem to be a lot of them about out there, indicating that they can not be all that bad.
    The prices are close together, they all use dual voltage and cut about the same. If you would suggest I look at another model please do so.
    Thank you for help and also thank you for teaching me during my reading of letters posted over the past year.
    One extra comment and one that I hope is not held against me, is that I am British and have been living here since 1990.

  • #2
    Plasma Cutters

    James, I answered your post on the other board.



    • #3
      Thermal Dynamics. I had 2 and didn't have a problem. I sold the cutmaster 51 for the Pac Master 100 xl. Maybe look into ThermaDyne, I hear they are even better. I was told not to get the miller at the time of purchase by the LWS that sold me all my Miller stuff.

      Maybe he's looking for more opinions.


      • #4
        Hi all,
        Iím obviously biased here but, I would say there isnít much out there that can compete with the 375 X-Treme in the weight vs. power category, other than the new 625 X-Treme that is:. I would also add that from most of the techs Iíve talked to they tell me their salesmen get spifís for selling T-Dyne (thatís money in their pocket) So I would not go as far as to think that their opinion is not biased as well. Just my 2 cents take it or leave it.


        • #5

          Well here is something interesting, I just got back from the local Airgas the chap there was pushing the Hypetherm Powermax 30, he said he had never had one back for repair ever. He said he had only one Cutmaster back and that was because the guy had used a power cable as long as a street and that was the reason for it's problem. He was pushing me away from Miller because of repair returns ie the higher quantity compared with the others.
          Hypotherm just makes plasma cutters, nothing else, owned by themselves, that makes me lean towards them a little bit, what do you chap's think about the Hypertherm boys.
          On a smaller note, when things get smaller I worry that the product will not stand up to the test of time. I tend to like things with meat in them, giving a feel of build quality. I have German and Swedish cameras, never had a single problem but the smaller Nikon cameras that I have two of have both packed in on me. This is the reason for the Miller Spectrum 375 thought, 55lbs of meat as against the 20Lb ers.
          Cheers again.


          • #6

            I have been welding with Miller equipment for years. Most (I do have a little HH187 mig) of my welders are Miller. Miller service and customer support are second to none in the welder area.

            With that said, I have two Hypertherm's in the shop (PM 600 & PM 1250). Both plasma cutters have given excellent service. Never had a problem with either. Consumables are easy to find and last a long time. Hypertherm also has a great customer service department. Both the Miller and Hypertherm units are made here in the old USA.

            If you don't go with the Miller, I would strongly recommend Hypertherm over other brands available.


            • #7
              Doesn't Hypertherm make the cutters for Miller?


              • #8
                Thank you Sundown.

                Thank you for you tip's regarding the Hypotherm system.
                This welding thing is rather magical and has taken hold of my attention. It started with having to make some metal covers that were going to cost me about $200 short of me buying a Victor gas set and doing them myself, so I read a book about gas welding and brazing, bought the torch and cylinders, taught myself and made the covers. I was hooked and soon wanted a Tig, knowing it was the hardest method. My only complaint about Tig welding is that there is not a single book out there that explains the system and covers the inverter type. But I am learning and having fun at the same time. Watching that molten puddle, moving it up and sown a slice of metal, joining two lumps together, no sparks, no smoke just a bright light, fascinating stuff and all when I am fifty two years old.
                Thank you once again for your advice.


                • #9

                  Miller produces one of the better Tig Welding Books available. I highly recommend it.

                  The best deal going is their "Student Pack" which includes the Tig (GTAW) reference, GMAW Reference (Excellent), and the slide calculators. If you go to the Resources tab at the top of the page you can order the materials. The student pack is (I think) $25 which includes shipping. Best $25 you'll ever spend.

                  If more posters would read those two references, 90% of the newbe questions wouldn't have to be asked.


                  • #10
                    We have sold powermax 30's & 375 Extreme. Highly recommend either one for up to 3/8" material.


                    • #11
                      Forgot to add that hypertherm includes a circle cutter which you will find very handy.


                      • #12
                        call me old fassioned but, unless you are cutting thin guage or stainless, use a torch. really, what's the big hurry?


                        • #13

                          There's a difference between being old fashioned and obsolete.

                          I've been torch cutting for 50+ years. With that said, I have two plasma cutters in the shop and wouldn't want to part with either of them.

                          When was the last time you cut 1/2" SS with your torch?

                          When was the last time you cut 1/4" aluminum with your torch?

                          When was the last time you cut a gasket out of 24ga copper with your torch?

                          When was the last time you cut out a body panel with your torch?

                          Granted, a torch is a valuable tool in skilled hands, but there are many things which a plasma cutter can do that can't be equaled with a torch. Both are valuable tools that should be in any "well equipped" shop.


                          • #14
                            "First, Came the Rock"

                            In my vast collection of tools, I have a rock hammer, held onto a stick handle with leather lace. Primitive, but it works.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MNT View Post
                              Doesn't Hypertherm make the cutters for Miller?
                              Just to clarify Hypertherm does not make any cutters for Miller. It is actually the other way around. We make the Powermax 190 for them and used to make the Powermax 380.


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