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Plasma cutter - best option

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  • Plasma cutter - best option

    I'm considering buying a plasma cutter. I want to be able to cut 1/2". I'm not in a production environment, in fact the usage will be occasional, but when I do use the equipment, I want to be able to get a quality cut up to a 1/2".

    Here are the three top contenders
    1) Miller Spectrum 625
    2) HYPERTHERM POWERMAX 600
    3) THERMAL DYNAMICS CUTMASTER 51

    I know these are all good choices but which is the best, in terms of:
    1) Overall quality and durability
    2) Cost of consumables
    3) Warranty support
    4) and to some degree, weight

    Most likely I'll be running the plasma cutter off of the generator power of my 23hp bobcat 250. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Sam

  • #2
    Don't forget your air supply.....

    One if the things I have learned here on this board is the importance of the air supply when plasma cutting. If you are going to run your plasma off a Bobcat, be sure it has enough available amperage to run your compressor, too. The Bobcat 250 is rated at 9500 watts. At 230V this is roughly 41 amps. The 625 draws 30 amps. If your compressor pulls more than 11 amps @ 230 volts, your Bobcat will be hard pressed to keep up. I looked on the DeWalt site and the 230V compressors within that amperage range will barely supply the required CFM to run the 625. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Hi : After researching the same 2 machines recently I will pass on what I found. I am normally 100 % a miller man but inthis case have to give the edge to the Hypertherm 600. Although above what it was rated for we actually made cuts through 3/4" material with acceptble results.As you probably know Hyper makes Mileers torch so is well done. Both share 3 year warranty. Fully agree with other post of quality air through proper filter unit.

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      • #4
        I bought the TA Cutmaster 51. I can't comment on cutting comparisons between the three you listed, never tried the other two, the big selling point for me was the easily detachable gun cable. Being portable, this is important because it's too easy to damage the gun and cable if it has to stay hooked up in the back of the truck. I remove the gun, coil it, and store it separately in a box.

        Picking up on Triggerman's post, I would hope you are not running a compressor off the Bobcat at the same time, either it's gas-driven or running off another power source. The starting amperage for an electric air compressor can be three times the running amperage, remember if it's cycling it is starting under a load. This was a very expensive lesson for me about 20 years ago . . .

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        • #5
          I am a miller man when it comes to welders but I have done allot of research on plasma cutters and will only buy a hypotherm or thermodynamics. I have used the Hypotherm and thermodynamics plasma cutters and found both to be great machines. I purchased the thermodynamics plasma cutter for two main reasons. First the thermo had a little high cutting capacity in the same compareable units. Second, consumables are half the price over the hypo. I am looking at the cutmaster 101 now and tried the hypo equilent and the thermo is the one I am getting.

          Remember to check the piercing capibility when dealing with what size cutter you want as it is a major factor.

          Dry clean air is alos a major factor. I have has great success with consumables as my supply air a dry and clean. If you are using the cutter outside with varying ambient temperatures, make sure to use good seperators and filters and keep the torch hose of any cool surfaces.

          Hope this helps and lets us know what you get and how you like it.

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