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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Belle Plaine Iowa
    Posts
    270

    Default Entry level plasma cutter

    My wife is asking me to do some yard art. Since I just recently bought a Bobcat 250 Im a bit short in the funding department. What kind of non blue machine could I get for cheap to use until I can lay hands on a bigger stack of change? Used is fine but I dont want to gamble on crap quality and disposable equipment.
    Who do you call when the lawmakers ignore the law?

    Miller AC/DC Thunderbolt 225
    Miller 180 w/Autoset
    Old cutting torch on LPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Flin Flon & Creighton area
    Posts
    233

    Default Look at Thermal Dynamics

    Thermal Dynamics make very good plasmas, I have a cutmaster 51 and it has served very well for many years. I also used to teach at a vocational school and we had the same machine, it worked very well and stood up to pretty heavy usage day in , day out. The newer ones are sweet too. I am not sure if they rebranded them to victor or not. The nice thing is that the consumables for their torches are the same throughout the product range, and you can have common stuff if you upgrade or select one for your needs. Depending on what range of material thickness you are wanting to cut , i think you would be hard pressed to find a better unit. I have used the miller machines, but i found that the torches were less than desirable. one boss of mine had a large miller unit with a thermal dynamics SL series torch and it was a very skookum unit.
    I have a welding addiction

    ...the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    402

    Default

    It looks like Victor has rolled all their plasma cutting into one brand. I see the Thermal Arc web site doesn't seem to list plasma cutting equipment either so I am guessing that brand has been rolled as well. All part of the continuing consolidation of the market place. ---Meltedmetal

    From Victor Technologies Web site:
    We recently announced realignment in the Victor® brand
    portfolio, with all cutting processes unified under one brand.
    Going forward, our plasma cutting products will be branded
    Victor Thermal Dynamics and over the next several months
    you will notice a transition in our Thermal Dynamics trade
    dress and packaging presentation. It is important to note
    that these product changes are cosmetic only – new colors
    and brand marks, and will have no effect on the machine
    features, functions, design or performance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    513

    Default

    I have a thermal dynamics 42 plasma. It is a great entry level machine. In order to keep any kind of cut quality you will need to have nice, dry air. I have cut plenty of 1/2" steel and it cuts it okay. It rips through everything else and it very durable. I did have a torch go bad and TD replaced it no questions asked within the first year. If you don't use it often it comes with a big plastic box, similar in style to a pelican box to keep it in good condition.

    I am looking forward to upgrading my plasma in the near future to a hypertherm unit but in the mean time I really like this machine. Simple and reliable. And I bought it brand new, shipped to my door for $950. Hard to beat that in the 40amp plasma world.
    MillerMatic 251
    Maxstar 150 STH
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    587

    Default

    Hey Elvis, I have a 42 as well. I too had a torch go bad, but thermal replaced it. My lws said there was a change in their design so it shouldn't be an issue anymore. I have been really pleased with it. Very handy being dual voltage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,909

    Default

    It's grouped into Tweco now. t-dyne 52 is a good alround plasma. I've been using a Cutmaster 35 for about 10 years with zero problems.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    513

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cgotto6:314557
    Hey Elvis, I have a 42 as well. I too had a torch go bad, but thermal replaced it. My lws said there was a change in their design so it shouldn't be an issue anymore. I have been really pleased with it. Very handy being dual voltage.
    The weird thing is that the torch tested perfect when j went through it with the tech. Got a new sl40 and all was well. I have never used t in 120vac. How does it work? I have toyed around with just getting a 52 and being able to Pierce thicker stuff. I have to drill small holes in .325 and thicker because it just won't pierce that thick.
    MillerMatic 251
    Maxstar 150 STH
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    587

    Default

    I had my entire unit swapped out. The lead for the torch had a faulty design for a retaining clip that holds the lead into the quick connect. My unit was leaking air right at the quick connect. Made the machine throw a code.

    I have been very surprised with its cutting ability in 120v. It will do 1/4" if you have access to 20amp service. I wouldn't mind picking up a 52 to have in addition to my 42. More amps but no dual voltage, which I end up using more than I thought I would.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    328

    Default rebadged

    At my welding store the TD52 is now green and labeled victor, not thermal dyne or thermal arc. Obviously same machine, just different colored plastic.

  10. #10

    Default

    get a hypertherm.

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