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plasma cutter recommendations

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by retiredblue, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. retiredblue
    Joined: Mar 1, 2010
    Posts: 272

    from california

    I am looking to buy a plasma cutter the max cutting thickness would be 1/4" steel I am tired of having cutting wheels run out just at the moment of finishing after the last one has petered out. I do mostly light stuff, brackets and fabbing up things- also I am limited to 110/120v- any ideas? I am in So Cal if that helps- thanks
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,119


    Miller Spectrum 375.
  3. Hypertherm PowerMax 30. Good little machine. 120/240V Capable. Claims to cut 3/8" but I've cut 1/2" with mine.
  4. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,611


    Make sure you can get replacement parts for it wherever you buy yours. I would not buy from a discount house, stay with brand name like's been recommended in other posts. I bought a Hobart from MSC and love it. It cuts 1/4 perfectly and will do OK with 3/8.

  5. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937


    me too, bought mine about 6 months ago size of a toaster works great
  6. go bigger if you can.i started small and had to move to a bigger machine which works better on the small stuff than the small machine.
  7. Streetwerkz
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 718


    My Hypertherm has not let me down for the past 8 years
  8. MedicCustoms
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,094


    ESAB for me works grate, theres a guy on ebay that sells a plasma/tig/stick welder. I bought one I have not got to use it as of yet but 650.00 I bought it for the tig. The guy is real nice that runs the company he even sent me a auto darking helment with it.
  9. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    as already said STAY WITH BRAND NAMES. wife bought me a chicago electric for xmas a few years ago.used it maybe 5, 6 times in the fist year. then one fine day it right after warranty run out the power board burnt out.called them told them this thing looks brand new only used a few times and he said so sorry better luck with your next one.i wouldnt have bought this brand for myself but momma bought it so i gave her a big kiss, said thanks and crossed my fingers. lasted 6 months longer than i thought it would( should have, i didnt ever use it )going with a hobart this go around.if it goes down aleast i can get parts for it and dont have to wait for the slow boat from china to bring me parts.
  10. Thermal Dynamics
  11. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    Yep Thermal Dynamics for me without any doubt and every time this subject comes up (the 'search' function is your friend) this seems to be the plasma cutter of choice - bought mine with 4 hours use off of CL for under half new cost.
  12. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S

    Thermal Dynamics for me also, but one word of advice get a machine that can cut at least twice the thickness of what you plan on cutting, if you buy a 1/4" machine you have to max it out to cut 1/4", but if get one that will cut 1/2" you won't have to set the machine to maximum setting.
  13. Just got a Hypertherm Powermax 350 (older model of the 30) I have cut 3/8" with it no problem. The thing is like brand new and best part is I got it for $100.
  14. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    I've had a few other brands also, but like the esabs best
    check your local suppler for the price of consumables.
  15. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307


    thats my brand!!! works great and you can get parts for it...consumable parts MUST be available!!!!!
  16. alex211
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 39

    from NW PA

    I love my Hypertherm Powermax 45, I have cut 3/4 without and issue. It will fly through 1/4 plate it you crank it up.

    Here it is sitting above the welder, you can see how small the unit actually is.

  17. I've got an older Hypertherm and it works well. But I was at SEMA this week and saw the Miller Xtreme 375..............about the size of a lunch box but powerful, works on either 110 and 220. That's what the latest technology can do for you. Here's an article reviewing it, note the relative size in the pictures. It comes with a blow mold carry case that houses the unit and it's cables, making for a neat storage profile and ease of transport. (but then your buddies may think that's better for them to borrow it.......beware :D )
  18. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    I bought a Hobart ... used.
    Great little plasma cutter and the consumables are Miller.
    ( Miller makes the Hobart cutters )

    Consumables are cheap and easy to find. Lots of Miller dealers.


    Runs on 110V and has it's own air supply .. so all you do is plug in in and go to cutting. :D
  19. retiredblue
    Joined: Mar 1, 2010
    Posts: 272

    from california

    now I heard that plasma dont like to cut through rusty metal?
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,119


    Not true at all, in my experience.
  21. putz
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 556

    from wisc.

    I have a hypertherm 350 , i have used for close to 12 years , excellent quality , hour use has to be 400 plus ......
  22. 39pontiaccoupe
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 68


    I have a Snap-On unit and it works great now. Bought it from a guy on ebay. It was shipped in a cardboard box with peanut packing. Of course it arrived by UPS damaged and I had to pay to have it fixed.(long story). Anyway,they're made in West Chester,Pa.(near me) and they took care of it. The only prob. I had cutting rusty metal was that it would cut erraticly trying to drag the tip on a rough rusty surface while trying to keep the pressure on it.

    What's an FNG? F---ing No Good????
  23. I agree with the Hypertherm Powermax 30. Cord switchable between 120/240 VAC only 1 style of comsumables to stock. It cuts 1/4 like butter. I severed 5/8 stock when I tested this unit before I bought it. A great little compact unit with plenty of power for a small shop.

    Attached Files:

  24. gassa-garage
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 739


    I bought a Hypertherm in 1988 and have used the shit out of it and nothing ever went wrong with it .

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