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Which plasma cutter to buy?

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  • Which plasma cutter to buy?

    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a plasma cutter to buy? At out shop we would use it mostly to burn holes in 3/8 tubular steel pipe. Doesn't have to be top of the line, but I still want something quality. thanks

  • #2
    I would problly get the miller sperturm 625,my cuz has one it cuts good , I don`t know if it is rated 3/8 though let me check

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    • #3
      ok I checked and the 625 is rated to cut up to 5/8 serve

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      • #4
        Which Plasma?

        What's your budget? How often will it get used?
        I'm thinking about the Spectrum 625 in the near future for my shop, sounds like it would do what you need it to do also. Dave

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        • #5
          opps forgot to ask a bout the budget

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          • #6
            Is 3/8" the thickest steel you will be cutting? Are you going to want to cut aluminum? Stainless Steel? If so what thickness'? Also how often are you going to be doing that maximum thickness?

            The way plasma systems are rated today can cause some confusion. In example lets take the Hypertherm Power Max 600. This machine has an adjustable output of 20-40 amps. It has the following capacities: Recommended Capacaity: 1/2" mild steel, Maximum Capacity: 5/8" mild steel, Severence Capacity: 7/8" mild steel (deduct aprox 10% for non-ferous metals). What I tell customers is if you are planning on cutting the maximum capacity 35% of the time or more you should go up one size unit. The real advantage's of plasma are quality and speed of cut (when talking about mild steel). The other obvious advantage is being able to cut non-ferous metals. Plasma units can be expensive to feed. While most manufacturers have done a real good job on making tips and electrodes last, they can be expensive to buy.

            So whether you buy a Miller, Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics or what ever pay attention to how they rate their machines on thickness and cutting speeds at those thickness'. One other bit of advice if I could. Do yourself a favor and get a good inline air filter for you plasma system, they like clean dry air.

            One last word of advice...and this is just MY HUMBLE OPPINION....stay away from Esab plasma

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            • #7
              At work we have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 81 and at home, in my shop I have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 51. Never had an issue with either. The 51 is about $1400 from Cyberweld. Cuts 1/2" Does 3/8" easy. Tried to buy from LWS but price was to big a difference. Like about $300.00.

              Good luck

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HMW View Post
                At work we have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 81 and at home, in my shop I have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 51. Never had an issue with either. The 51 is about $1400 from Cyberweld. Cuts 1/2" Does 3/8" easy. Tried to buy from LWS but price was to big a difference. Like about $300.00.

                Good luck
                Those are great units HMW. I really like Thermals 1Torch. I like the consumable life and the fact that you can add extension cables to it if need be. The CM81 is a cutting mohambie. $1400 is a smoking good price for the CM51. Good purchase.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HMW View Post
                  At work we have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 81 and at home, in my shop I have a Thermal dynamics cutmaster 51. Never had an issue with either. The 51 is about $1400 from Cyberweld. Cuts 1/2" Does 3/8" easy. Tried to buy from LWS but price was to big a difference. Like about $300.00.

                  Good luck
                  I got the TD 38 and it cuts slower than I thought it would. I'd probably go with the 51 if I had to do it over again.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah its a good price. I hate to not buy local but sometimes its big dollars difference. I buy all I can from LWS. Sorta like the Wal-mart thing I guess. Cyber weld probably buys thousands of plasma cutters. Funny though my LWS was real close on MIGs so we bought them from them.

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                    • #11
                      I'm glad to see that when it's close you give the order to your LWS. I don't blame ya one bit for wanting to save $300. I wish everyone would remember that when the chips are down and your machine breaks down it's gonna be your LWS that gets you back up and running not the internet or the big box stores. We will offer the customer's that buy the equipment from us free use of a machine for the duration of the repair if it's under warranty. Out of warranty we charge 1 days rental for the duration of the repair. Once you inform a customer of that we generally get the order unles we are way out of line.

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                      • #12
                        Darn jwsrep! I wish our customer service was as good as yours!!!!!

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                        • #13
                          Oh sorry....I have a Hypertherm G31000. Us it to cut mostly (1/4 - 1/2" for practice so far) but had to cut up a bunch of 1 1/4" thick I-beam. Worked wonderfully thank G*d, as it was VERY thick with rust! Gonna use it a lot for 1/4" aluminum, used it once for that = butter

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                          • #14
                            Thats a good deal on the warranty thing you have. its the same with everything, I try to buy local when I can. hey, we all feed each other

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                            • #15
                              I think we are gonna go with the Spectrum 375 X-treme. Not too expensive but seems to have enough power for what we need. And it's so tiny that our guys will have no problem taking it out on the hill if they need to. thanks for the suggestions.

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