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Need advice on a plasma cutter

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by convict, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. convict
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from laredo,tx

    Need help determining on which is a good reliable plasma cutter for our hot rod hobby??? Any suggestions
  2. You can never ever go wrong with the Power of Blue- MILLER!!!
  3. supervert
    Joined: Mar 8, 2009
    Posts: 433


    i have had a miller 375 for about 7-8 years and use the shit out of it, only complaint i have is that i should of bought a bigger one. now im setting up a torchmate and for that im running a powermax 65, so only time will tell if it will be big enough.

    buy the biggest one that you can afford, because you will soon wish that you had gotten the bigger one. its easier to add a few hundred $ now than to sell it for half the cost and then upgrade.

    also watch some board for some used ones, i see some go for super low prices sometimes.

    this isnt bad, i paid that much for my 375 and mine cuts 1/2 as thick
  4. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    I bought an Eastwood Versa Cut and it's been great so far. It is dual voltage ane will cut up to 1/4.

  5. convict
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from laredo,tx

    Does anyone have a thermal dynamic 42 cutter?
  6. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    Plasma Cutter for enthusiast? here is a thread with some info. Do a search here and you will find another 100 threads with plasma in the title.
  7. flyboys101
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 71

    from nj

    Bought the Eastwood version and am on the third one. First two crapped out after about two cuts. They said they were having problems with shipping.
    So far the third one is working nicely. Customer service didn't even blink to return the first two. Great customer service. Take your chances on some of their tools. Price is right though.
  8. convict
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from laredo,tx

    Lookin for something under1000...
  9. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,315


    I've got the Miller 625. I love it. Cuts 5/8 steel and 1/2 stainless. Depends what you need it for. I do scrapping on the side so i like the 625 over the 375. Brought it at a car show years ago off of a miller dealer vendor. Big discount, Got it for what they wanted for the 375 at the store.
  10. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,315


    Under a thousand, That will leave the miller out then unless you can get by with the 125 model and find it on sale, they are around $1200.00 new otherwise. This is if you are looking at new units.

    If you buy a decent one and take care of it, they can increase in value. the off brand ones, i don't think can do that.
  11. kevin47
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 43


    Why...? Can you get that Thermal Dynamic 42 , used...? They're great, but to replace a damaged torch will set you back...
  12. HOBART AIR FORCE 250 in the 1K price range, quite certain you can find them for around $900, leaves a few bucks for consumables, I personally would never own anything except Miller or Hobart, that's just me, TR
  13. jmpowie
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 202


    I have a Eastwood plasma cutter. I have used it a few time. I still do 90% of my cutting with a dewalt 4.5 grinder with cut off wheel. I could have saved some money and skipped the plasma cutter.
  14. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,053

    from Quincy, IL

    On the recomendation of my long time local welding equipment supplier, I have bought Thermal Dynamics plasma cutters. They also sell Lincoln and Miller equipment. The first, bought about ten years ago, was an XL375. It performed well up to it's limitations, which was about 1/4" with ease and more patience for larger sections.

    Rcently I had a need to cut some heavier material, 8" structural I beam material, and knew the XL375 was inadequate. I went to my supplier and after some discussion, decided on a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52. It zipped through the I beams like ahot knife through butter. Of course it can be dialed down for sheet metal, so it's is very versatile.

    I briefly considered the Cutmaster 82, but after asking how many of each they had sold in the past 12, months, the score was 10 units of 52 and 2 units of 82.

    The 42 is probably ok for hobbyist/lighter duty applications, but like a prior poster said, a few hundred more upfront and you're good for a looooooong time.

    I am going to sell my XL375 as it is a low use unit in excellent condition, so that will offset some of the new unit's bite.

  15. T Achilli
    Joined: Aug 25, 2009
    Posts: 239

    T Achilli
    from walworth

    Save a little more and get 375 miller, great machine works on 110 and 220 does every thing I've needed it to. It took some time bu I cut a 12" i beam with it
  16. convict
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from laredo,tx

    The thermal dynamic is around 1k that's why I was considering it..
  17. The HOBART AIR FORCE is on sale now at Northern Tool for $759!!!!!
  18. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,408

    from Spring tx

    Got the hobart and has been a great piece was about 800 bucks but cuts anything I want it to... Used on 1/4" and 5/16 quite a bit around here the Hobart Ice 25 torch is great that it comes with.... 4 years and still works flawlessly....
  19. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,449

    rd martin
    from indiana

    i bought a new miller 375 extreme, cuts quarter inch with ease. the home user will probably never cut more than that working on cars.
  20. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    from Nashua, NH

    anything hypertherm is the best. Thats all they focus on...they know it the best. They aren't a welding company trying to make Plasma cutters. I've had a lincoln tomahawk that was absolute garbage... I would overwork its duty cycle without trying. I have a hypertherm 65 on the CNC and 380 for my hand cutter, and they are troopers.
  21. cody1958
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 831

    from wichita ks

    i got a thermadyne i think it's called it's awesome. Little plug in the 110 outlet works great on frame thicknesses. Also has adapter to got to 220 . paid 1100 for it.
  22. I'll tell you my experience and I will tell you that your milage will vary.

    Against popular opinion and my better judgement I picked up a HF unit. It was too cheap and temped me into it being on sale and a coupon. It was around 1/2 of your budget. I also got the extended warranty with it. Couldn't pass it up and I had a lot of steel to cut, A LOT !!!
    Enough that if the machine lasted the duration it payed for itself. I'm not sure I would have bought it without that big project.

    So the first unit I took home cut great for for the first 2 days then stopped. I returned it and got another. The second one worked for about 2 hrs then shit the bed. I returned that one. The third unit I took home cut flawlessly for weeks straight to finish that job and the past 4 years. It uses Trafimet consumables that my supply house carries.

    To give you an idea, the consumables aren't very expensive, and last quite a while (longer if you don't pierce holes). They last about 60 mins actual flame on cut time.To date I've spent more on consumables than I have on the machine. I've cut sooo much steel with that cheap ass POS throw away machine its kind of funny now. Every time I turn it on I wonder when it will quit working but it has never let me down.
  23. R35J1S
    Joined: Jul 20, 2012
    Posts: 141

    from Missouri

    i bought thethermal dynamics cutmaster 42 about 2 months ago for $895 shipped. look online and you can find it for that price still. i love it and it is way under rated
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 846

    from Holly

    I also have a cheapy from the company that makes Eastwood machines..

    It is more than five years old and gets worked every day during the warm weather. A lot of the time by kids and ineperienced operators. Had to replace the regulator and the off/on switch, in the last couple of years. The thing is amazing, cuts up to 5/8". Much better machine than the "name brand" machine I had been using since the eighties. Consumables are common items. But, I order them in quantity from the manufacturer, cheap and arrive in less than a week.

    My biggest bitch is the users/parts manual SUCKS! and nobody locally knows anything about them. But, I would buy another one.
  25. flatout65
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 98

    from mid tenn

    i have a eastwood versa cut, third one.
    1st one worked great for a day or so and then something in it popped, was pretty damn loud. 2nd one i never turned on, i unpacked it and something was rattling around inside of it. 3rd one has been fine over these last couple months.
    little disappointed with the issues but i will say they've been more than helpful and ive had no issue sending them back (no cost to me) or getting my replacement.
  26. X2 on the hypertherm...they cut it like butta,over and over,no problems here,and I got a good deal at a car show.I have had it for 6 years.

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