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Budget plasma cutter--

Discussion in 'Tools' started by Atgiro01, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Atgiro01

    Atgiro01 OPE Member

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    Hi,
    I've gotten great advice in this article regarding plasma cutter.
    I'm looking to buy a plasma cutter to use on an occasional basis on my farm. I think it will be very useful for my farm use.
    I already have a good DEWALT DCCS620P1-- so I just need the plasma cutter.
    Anyways, any and all advice much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  2. JB-PlantHeirloom

    JB-PlantHeirloom Well-Known OPE Member

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    I plan on buying one next week, a 240v 60 amp one for $300 from Home Depot. Cut 1/2" and sever 3/4". The Northern Tools one looks nice $750ish since it can cut chain link and such which is good for expanded metal, but, I am buying mine for brackets and to make a firewood processor, so, cheaper is better.

    I will post how it goes.
     
  3. Larry B

    Larry B Pinnacle OPE Member

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    I have one of the chicom specials called a CUT50. It works OK and was cheap. I run a mower shop and use it occasionally. Consumables are cheap. If you get one be sure it has pilot arc. Looking at evilbay there are a bunch called "CUT50" now. The one i bought cost me about $300.
     
  4. angelo c

    angelo c Coal Member

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    guys help me out...im a rookie with "plasma"...i hear mention of "how thick" this plasma or that unit can cut. I was always under the impression if you wanted "Depth" to use a Oxy/O2 set up. and if you wanted "thin gauge" and stainless then use plasma ? Have I got this wrong ?

    best of luck with your purchases either way. buddy has a Hypertherm and im trying to learn my O/A set
     
  5. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Hypertherm is the one all others want to be. O/A is a bit more versatile in it's range of thickness capability. The demise of consumables with plasma is usually caused by moisture/oil in the air. For your O/A setup I have never run more than 5psi on my acetylene and adjust the o2 to the thickness of what I am cutting. You can cut 3" with 5psi. The other thing that I hear is that plasma is "cleaner" than the gas axe, but I can't see the difference (look up Cal Lane on YouTube) . You are correct on the stainless part.
     
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  6. Redfin

    Redfin Meh...

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    This ^ regardless of what machine you use. I use a nitrogen bottle with my plasma.
     
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  7. Larry B

    Larry B Pinnacle OPE Member

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    If i want to cut anything heavier than 3/8" i will use gas but 3/8" or thinner it takes me about a minute to connect an air line to the plasma cutter and i am ready to cut. My cheap 50 amp units cuts 3/8 easily.
     
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  8. Absolution

    Absolution Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    I have a primeweld 50 amp unit. It cuts pretty well and I did have one issue with it where it would just not run for what ever one day. Called the guy who is state side and he sent me a new unit overnight. I still have the old one in my shop for spare parts. Haven't had a single issue out of new unit.

    Also have primeweld Tig225x.
    Peddle spazzed out same deal. The guy sent me a newer model peddle which has been running without a hiccup.

    The plasma cutter I can push to 1/2' thick with mild steel. But if I get into something with changing geometry or a long run I end up using oxy/ace. But the fact It's so easy to set up/clean up I wish I had bought one earlier.
     
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  9. drf256

    drf256 Dr. Richard Cranium (“RC” to Muh pals) GoldMember

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    I’m gonna be that “buy once buy right” guy.

    Just spring for a Hypertherm and be done. My PM45 is over 10 years old and hasn’t missed a beat. I “hear” they provide great service, I just never needed it. Also, the consumables and accessories are readily available. The gouging function is also excellent, I’ve used it more than I ever thought I would.

    I needed 1” plate to put under my drywall covers in my parking lot when it was redone. My buddy allowed me to have the plate delivered to his shop for cutting up. He has a big 80 amp Miller plasma that couldn’t do the job and surprisingly no torch. The guys laughed when I went home and brought back my little PM45 and cut right through the 1”. Was slow, but did the job.

    As for versatility, a torch is what you need. Unless you need it for welding, oxypropane is the way to go. It’s a lot cheaper than acetylene, safer and readily available. If you run out of gas, you can get a tank at home depot. It does use a bit more O2 though.
     
  10. ddiesel2006

    ddiesel2006 Active OPE Member

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    The CUT50 chinese specials are a decent value, unless you're using it to make a living. Fine for hobby work though.
     
  11. JB-PlantHeirloom

    JB-PlantHeirloom Well-Known OPE Member

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    I ended up buying a CUT50 from Home Depot, it looks like the best one, that everyone else copies.

    I did buy a HF filter and dryer for it, even though it comes with it's own filter I would like it to last at least six months while building my wood processor. I can't wait to plug it in. I am glad to see it plugs directly into my 50 amp plug.

    One thing I noted, it's ground clamp is WAY superior to the one that came with my NT 220 amp ARC welder, I ended up replacing that ground clamp. I can see these plasma cutters being used by criminals for property thief crimes so I am locking mine up after use.
     
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  12. angelo c

    angelo c Coal Member

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    Processor pics please...
     
  13. Automender

    Automender OPE Member

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    Pick up this up on Amazon Prime Days for $350. Consumables are cheap and has good customer service. I like the dual voltage feature because it makes very portable. Seems to be good on all material but one thing about the cutter heads is that they are larger than a OA torch and make it more difficult to cut smaller shapes. Great for cutting straight stock.
    Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V
     
  14. drf256

    drf256 Dr. Richard Cranium (“RC” to Muh pals) GoldMember

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    Wish you the best of luck with it. I don’t believe their service is actually good, nor is their product. That’s why a similar sized Hypertherm is 6X the price and people still buy them. At least you bought on Amazon and will be able to return if it gives up the ghost. I’d personally run it ASAP and as much as possible when you receive it. Infantile failures are pretty common, so you’d be able to get a refund if it fails.
     
  15. Automender

    Automender OPE Member

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    At least initial the service is fantastic. The sent me a new unit because the amp display was always reading on the 220 volt scale even when it was plugged into 110 volts. Inside the unit the quality of the build looks good. A neighbor has had the machine for a couple of years and no issues. I have cut a couple of hours with it and it is working good. They also sent me a couple of videos for me to watch on setting up the machine. Also sent me a lot of extra consumables because the problem I had with the amp display. It came down to the justification of spending 5 to 6 times more for a cutter for hobby use. When it comes down to it, if either machine has issues it is likely a throwaway because parts for the Hypertherm will be more than half the machine cost and shipping it back is cost prohibitive.
     
  16. Sagebrush33

    Sagebrush33 Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    Hypertherm, hands down.
     
  17. Automender

    Automender OPE Member

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    Have to agree with you if it was used frequently but a few times a year it is hard to justify. Time will tell.
     
  18. drf256

    drf256 Dr. Richard Cranium (“RC” to Muh pals) GoldMember

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    Wish you luck. You are correct, the machine will be a throw away if something goes wrong.

    You already had an issue with the amp meter I guess. It sounds like they tried to do the right thing for you. I know tools are hard to justify sometimes. IIRC, I paid around $1300 for my PM45 13 years ago. I never had a single problem with it. I am a hobbiest as well and only use it a few times a year.
     
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