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sub $1500 plasma cutters?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jjlaughner, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]
    Hobart Plasma Cutter, AirForce™ 250A with Built-In Compressor $999

    [​IMG]
    Lincoln Electric Plasma Cutter, Pro-Cut 25 $1299

    [​IMG]
    Hobart Plasma Cutter, AirForce™ 400 (115v 20amp) $1499

    any others?
    link a pic and name then I'll do poll next week
    Would like to stay around $1000-1200, can be 110v-220v (stuff you can have at home)
    has to cut 1/8-1/4" severs 3/8", larger is ok
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Go for one of the hobarts. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. clarkjw24

    clarkjw24 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I've got a ESAB 550 Handy Plasma. I like it.
     
  4. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I've got a ESAB 550 Handy Plasma. I like it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [​IMG]
    ESAB 550 Plasmarc Plasma Cutter manually cuts 1/2 inch and severs 5/8 inch - powerful cutting performance.
    Output 35 amps @ 40% duty cycle, Input 208/230 vac 1ph. 50/60 Hz, 29/27 amps, external air needed - $1500
     
  5. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]
    Handy Plasmarc 125 Cutting Package has a built-in air supply
    115v, cuts 1/8" /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif -$730
     
  6. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]

    Miller Plasma Cutters
    Spectrum Thunder 115 V, 60Hz

    Spectrum® Thunder boasts a built-in piston-driven air compressor giving it an "out of the box, ready to cut" attitude. This economical unit is capable of a maximum cut up to 1/4 in steel. -$990
     
  7. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]

    Miller Plasma Cutters
    Spectrum 375 Cutmate

    Solid state design and Miller's reliable technology pack a ton of performance into the portable, 49 pound Spectrum 375 CutMate. This versatile power source adapts to the shop or work site by operating on either 115 or 230 volt AC power. This machine can cut 1/2 inch mild steel with a stand off, and can drag cut 3/8 inch mild steel
    -$1300

    ****dual power rating
    Sever: 5/8 in (16mm)….. Sever: 1/2 in (13mm)
    Quality: 1/2 in (13mm) ….. Quality: 3/8 in (10mm)
    Rated: 3/8 in (10mm)….. Rated: 5/16 in (8mm)
    1/16 in Stand off Cutting….. Drag Cutting
     
  8. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    bump /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  9. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [​IMG]

    Miller Plasma Cutters
    Spectrum 375 Cutmate

    Solid state design and Miller's reliable technology pack a ton of performance into the portable, 49 pound Spectrum 375 CutMate. This versatile power source adapts to the shop or work site by operating on either 115 or 230 volt AC power. This machine can cut 1/2 inch mild steel with a stand off, and can drag cut 3/8 inch mild steel
    -$1300

    ****dual power rating
    Sever: 5/8 in (16mm)….. Sever: 1/2 in (13mm)
    Quality: 1/2 in (13mm) ….. Quality: 3/8 in (10mm)
    Rated: 3/8 in (10mm)….. Rated: 5/16 in (8mm)
    1/16 in Stand off Cutting….. Drag Cutting

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's my machine right there!
     
  10. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    I would get the one that can cut the thickest that you can afford, you will be happy you did if you ever have to cut something really fine that is thick.
    My .02 /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    -Chris
     
  11. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    really now! why dont you send it my way for a couple weeks and let me try it out! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  12. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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  13. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    how thick do you think you'll need to cut? Don't buy something that will cut 1" mild steel if you will never need to. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  14. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    When I did the research before buying mine, the HT380 (Hypertherm) was the best bang for the buck in my target requirements. Easy to find reasonable cost consumables and a great rep too. It can easily be had for under $1000, and I paid around $900 new (shipped) IIRC.

    As for built in air, I would advise to stay away from that, it compromises the machine quite a bit and the cost is ridiculous for "built in air". Those things are only good if you MUST go into the field with it frequently where compressed air is not available. If you use it in the shop, like most of us do, the built in air is wasted completely. And even when you DO use the built in air, it compromises the cut quality and size capabilities due to marginal pressure/flow. Most of this is hear-say repeated along with published specs, but given the amount of air mine likes to consume when cutting, I gotta think that this is true. In any case, even if it was 1:1, why pay that much for dedicated air on the cutter when you can use your shop air and be more certain to get the rated capacity? Something else to think of; if the dedicated compressor ever has troubles, you can bet it's more expensive to repair and you loose the use of the cutter while the compressor is down.
     
  15. big pappa b

    big pappa b 3/4 ton status

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    Agree with you Dog - word /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    haven't bought one yet either but I was leaning towards the same Hypotherm model /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  16. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I think every guy's dream is to have a plasma cutter.

    Having a welder and nothing but a grinder and sawzall to cut steel with sucks. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  17. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Having a welder and nothing but a grinder and sawzall to cut steel with sucks. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless your a guy without a welder.... then it would be cool

    I use to think, man I'll use a torch for everything!
    Now I hate to lug the thing outside and use tanks of gas to cut things. Takes forever to warm up, then the cuts aren't always the greatest, then you have the *POP* when you get to close or have clogged up nozzles! /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    I definalty want a built in air setup just the for the simple fact i dont want to have to wheel my air compressor over to the wall to plug it in or route the thick cable across the garage to run the air compressor at the same time I'm trying to use the plasma cutter. We have older wiring in the garage and using both at the same time would be harsh.
    Thats why I'm leaning toward the Miller right now, the one that has dual power setups for 110v for my current garage and 220v for the future shop!
     
  18. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    how thick do you think you'll need to cut? Don't buy something that will cut 1" mild steel if you will never need to. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    1/8" all the time, 3/16" tube alot and probley 1/4" and 3/8" on occation, anything more than that and severing would be fine.
     
  19. sponsoredbydad

    sponsoredbydad Dune Slaying Sand Junkie Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    thanks for all the research I agree about the torch thing but that is all I got right now this info will help me in to the wonderful world of clean and fast cutting /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grind.gif my 69
     
  20. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I definalty want a built in air setup just the for the simple fact i dont want to have to wheel my air compressor over to the wall to plug it in or route the thick cable across the garage to run the air compressor at the same time I'm trying to use the plasma cutter. We have older wiring in the garage and using both at the same time would be harsh.
    Thats why I'm leaning toward the Miller right now, the one that has dual power setups for 110v for my current garage and 220v for the future shop!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Don't forget, the compressor is still drawing extra juice. Just because it's inside the same box is not going to cut the amount of power required to run the plaz and move a certain amount of air. But it is going to guarantee that you have to pull ALL that power across a single circuit. At least a real compressor has some capacity so it doesn't run ALL the time (just most of the time) and it can run on a different circuit to reduce the load on any single circuit.

    Not sure what all your particulars that go into this decision might be, but I urge you to look into this carefully. I was unable to find any truly good feedback on the self contained units except for hauling them into "the field" like at a junk yard, mobile welding/repair, that type of stuff. Good luck in your decision and look at the trade-offs carefully...
     

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