Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

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Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Puff » October 4th, 2013, 7:44 pm

I am really enjoying working with metal and while I am not planning any major activities, I have found that I can really weld stuff that makes a few other things around the barn and garage better to use and to store or to just improve the piece of junk that it is.

My old Miller thunderbolt 225 AC/DC is no MIG. It works and by using it as much as I have the last 4 weeks has improved my welding quite a bit. Cutting the steel is my next goal. My rotary cutter or 4.5" grinder just frustrates the project and delays all progress. I am really thinking I need to get a plasma cutter but can't justify the expense if I only plan on using it occasionally. I see several out there for about $600.00 for 60 amp. Are these units any good for intermittent use ? Is is a waste to go this route or does a plasma cutter need to be high end equipment?

Can anyone recommend a brand of cutter or something besides craigslist where the prices around here are the same new or used...I think sellers believe they should get all of their money back on used stuff and some of it really looks like it was not maintained.


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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by El Gato » October 4th, 2013, 10:09 pm

i also have been trying to research this also,

I have been lookin into eastwood plasma cutters



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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Puff » October 4th, 2013, 11:04 pm

Well that's the one I have looked at with the most bang for the buck, so to speak. Their warranty and guarantee of customer satisfaction seems decent. The deal on their mig in combination is also pretty good.

I have , in other areas, leaked away money trying to save some money but in the longer run, turned out to be a waste. I really don't want to do that any more. In a video demo I'd seen, they cut a 1/4" plate about 18" long in about 10-12 seconds....with my rotary cutoff it would take be a good half hour.

Have you considered any others.?

My daughter was married last month in wine country California at a rather exclusive setting. May son was married last year and his 1st anniversary was two days before his sisters wedding. The expenses involved could have put an addition on my house and a 30x60 pole barn in the back ,concrete floor and all. So $ $ $ is a factor it must watch and consider for a really good value


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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by El Gato » October 18th, 2013, 5:00 pm

so what did you get after all??



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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Puff » October 18th, 2013, 8:58 pm

There is a guy in Delaware, George's Plasma Cutting Shop. He does repairs on all kinds of units and told me that even the Harbor Freight ones can be made to be good cutters with reliability. He also builds and has used ones and used rebuilds at his shop. I am heading to my sister in Maryland so I am stopping by to see what he can offer. Based on the discussion it may prove interesting. If not...I'm going with the Eastwood.

I am working on building a trailer for this currently so cutting plate is on the wait list. I have it here in the yard but I can't even move the freakin' pieces...I have 2 4x4x1/4" they weigh 168lbs each...That is the plan


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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Sr guy » February 26th, 2016, 10:16 pm

New to the sight. I have a hypertherm and a thermal dynamics. Go with a good brand because consumables are key. Hypertherm wins first and thermal dynamics is second. Check out cyberweld for thermal and Harris welding supplies for hypertherm. Hope this helps some.



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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Stewart » February 26th, 2016, 11:30 pm

Hypertherm all the way i love my cutter.



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Re: Experienced builders...recommend a plasma cutter?

Post by Dirtytires » February 29th, 2016, 6:49 pm

I have a Lincoln pro cut 25 and have been happy with it. No problems in the last 8 years and still works great.

It uses a lot of air....I have a 60 gal compressor that kicks on every 3-4 min on big cuts ....but will cut up to 3/8.

Probably a bit over your 'budget' but I understand they were just discontinued by Lincoln and I have seen some pretty good blow out sales on them recently.

Best part is you can drag the tip on the material so no need for a drag cup or standoff.



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