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plasma cutters

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kustomfordman, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. kustomfordman
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 440


    I am thinking about getting myself a plasma cutter. What are some opinions about the cheeper 110 models with internal air supply. Hobart welding offers one for under $1000 and state that it will cut up to 1/4". I don't plan on doing many projects that thick, but there will be some.

  2. Crusty Nut
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,834

    Crusty Nut

    If you are buying a plasma cutter you probably already have an air compressor, so why buy another small air compressor? I forget the model, but I have a Miller. Rated at 3/8th, sever cut up to 1/2". I love it. I cost about $1100. I don't work with 3/8th inch very often, but it is a good idea to buy a machine one step above what you use alot of. That way the machine isn't always maxed out. I use alot of 1/4 and 1/8th.
  3. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    ive got an esab.get the biggest machine you can afford.also check out the prices on consumables ie tips and electrodes,some brands are a lot more then others.
  4. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    sounds like i have the same one as Crusty nut with, a flick of a switch you can hook it up 220 or 110. i did just what he said, i bought the next size up to be safe and im really gad i did that. its a spectrum 375 and i love it. i think i paid 1200 for it.

  5. I got one of Egay for $550. Waited a month for it but was bribed off with a dozen more tips. Works pretty decent for a home shop. Oops edit, mine is a 220volt.
  6. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,449


    We have a 110 at my shop at work (Miller) and it sucks. Maybe good for sheetmetal and that is it. I would definatley go bigger if I was you. I will by a 220 when I get the money
  7. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,030


    My Hobart 110v is ok for small stuff but 1/4" and larger I just get out the old oxy-acet. "flame wrench". Go bigger if you can, I wish I had.
  8. MIKE-3137
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 1,578


    Ditto there, I had a miller 110 spectrum thunder, anything over sheetmetal in thickness and you could forget it, would barely cut 1/8th". I hardly ever used it and was glad the hurricane got it, because insurance paid me full retail value and I was able to buy a real plasma cutter. I replaced it with the Thermal dynamics cutmaster 51, and man, it is worth every penny, very clean precise cuts, and I just cut out a globby weld that was about 3/4 thick with ease. I think it was around 1300 or so.
  9. lolife
    Joined: May 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,120


    Where the Hobart built-in compressor works well, is at the junk yard. One less thing to load into the truck. That little sucker works well on 2x4 frame rails.

    Here's a pic of a friends Trash-T Project

    You can see where he cut out a wedge from the 2x4 and then welded it back together.
  10. rustymetal
    Joined: Feb 18, 2003
    Posts: 538


    hi what ever kind you buy you want to make sure you got good dry air or it will cost you a lot for tips.
  11. axeman39
    Joined: Jan 15, 2006
    Posts: 423

    from Saco Maine

    I bought mine off the snap on truck it cost too much but it works awesome and can be wired 110 or 220.
  12. Flathead Youngin'
    Joined: Jan 10, 2005
    Posts: 3,662

    Flathead Youngin'

    cutting a wedge out of box tubing is exactly the picture I get in my head of using a plasma and the rationale I use to own one some day.....that's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of plasma...

  13. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,146

    Johnny Sparkle

    I have a 110V Hypertherm unit, and I can cut 3/8" plate without a problem.
  14. T2B
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 17

    from san diego

    I own Blue Point 110v plasma. I do not reccomend this machine to anyone, I use it because I own it. Given the chance a 220v will replace it. It is the rebadged MAC, Cerbo, Daytona unit. It just is a pain to work with. I much prefer the Hypertherm 600 at work.
  15. Crosley
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,044

    from Aridzona

    if you buy a 110 volt unit........ you need a 20 amp circuit to cut any length of time.
  16. I've been thinking about getting one... not sure though. I don't know how much I'd use it. Can ya get em to cut nice and smooth? They look like they cut only a hair cleaner than a torch and that's not all that smooth. What about all the slag? That ever cause problems?

    I'd prolly get one without a compressor and just plumb it into the shop's compressor.
  17. I dont have one, but have borrowed them and everyone I talk to says Thermal Dynamics are the best.......not the cheapest. I still mostly use cut off wheels.
  18. Yeah same here, I use the shit out of my cut-off tool. Nice thin clean cuts. Just takes fuckin forever.
  19. Crusty Nut
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,834

    Crusty Nut

    If you have a steady hand or use a fence guide the cut quality is very good. It leaves a small amout of slag on the back side but it falls off with the tap of a hammer. If you are in the "meat" of the rated cut range for your machine, the cut quality is night and day compared to a torch. The closer you get to maxing out on metal thickness the more it looks like it was cut with a torch.

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