Cheap plasma cutter any good?

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  1. Garethw

    Garethw Mopar. Because rocket science is too easy.

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  2. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I don't see how. I have a Thermo-Dynamics "Cutmaster 51" and it was a fair amount of money used. I bought it used for around 500 and it is barely adequate. It gets "iffy" on 1/2" material, does not always make "plumb" cuts through thick metal.

    It was rated for 1/2 "genuine cut", 5/8 "maximum cut" and 3/4 "severance cut". I'll bet that last is rather ugly. It is rated up to 40A but it ran circles around the Horrid Freight one I had
     
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    • moparmat2000

      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      For thin gage sheet metal steel its probably ok.
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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      Buy it and find out.
       
    • toolmanmike

      toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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      Cheap is not good and good is not cheap.
       
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      • 1963dartgt

        1963dartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Maybe if you're making aluminum can art.
         
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        • Tooljunkie

          Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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          I doubt you will be happy. I have a Longevity 50 amp and im really disappointed with the performance after using the hypertherm 40 amp. Night and day.

          i set my longevity up to do some long straight cuts,made a 10 foot track that ran with my cordless drill. That was the only time i was satisfied with its operation.
          I dont thing you can drag it on the work. The gun will stick.
           
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          • Dartsun

            Dartsun Member

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            It would prob work to cut floor boards and such with.
             
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            • Tooljunkie

              Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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              So does a jigsaw,a cutoff wheel and reciprocating saw. Air hammer with a pigtail cutter is pretty fast too. Used to be my go to,last thing i would use is my plasma. Nothing like shooting uncontrollable molten balls of steel all over the shop.
               
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              • j par

                j par Well-hung Member

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                :rolleyes:.. good example of what I was just talking about 318's lifter thread...:D...
                 
              • moparmat2000

                moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Plus if not careful, you can cut through the wrong pieces your trying to save. Using a plasma cutter vs a thin cut off wheel on a 90° angle air grinder, is like comparing a steak knife to a scalpel. Plasma cutter being more like the steak knife.
                 
              • Garethw

                Garethw Mopar. Because rocket science is too easy.

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                I was thinking of it for cutting out sheet metal and some steel plate, never more than around 3/16. Probably wouldn’t use it to cut sections of a car.
                 
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                • kursplat

                  kursplat FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  :lol: i had myself talked into getting one a few months ago, but looking at all the stuff i already have, cutoff wheels, shears, chop saw, eastwood mini saw (freakin' awesome) and nibbler, i just don't need it, plus i have no room for it :(
                   
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                  • dodgedifferent2

                    dodgedifferent2 Well-Known Member

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                    I use a Cut60 plasma cutter from amazon or ebay. Dont recall.
                    Rated for 220/110

                    I hooked it up for 220v

                    I have cut alot of stuff with it.
                    I built a 1932 ford frame from 1/8 sheet metal. Has cut alot of scrap metal (washer dryers etc)
                    Also processed aluminum subframes to take the steel out.

                    I mainly bought it for auto body metal to build the model A.

                    I did not buy it for heavy metal work (anything over 1/4 inch). That's where the propane torch shines.

                    The only issue I had was the first gun shorted out. I bought a new gun with a longer lead. Tips are the next issue. I bought 1000 tips and cones and I am almost out. Just debating on whether to buy more tips or move on to a hypertherm. I do seem to blow thru alot of tips but I will likely buy more tips from ebay and keep going as I really do not have any more complaints.

                    For the price I think the cut 60 has outperformed my expectations.

                    I do drag the tip on the steel.
                     
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                    • pishta

                      pishta I know I'm right....

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                      My Marquette oldie (in an OLD post) 15/30 worked fine with new consumables but really woke up after I bought the standoff loop that keeps the tip ~3mm from the piece. It takes time to make good cuts as its all in the 'speed of the feed' and angle of attack. Too fast and it doesnt clear the work, too slow and you get gouges in the walls with thicker stuff. Would work great on sheet metal that you need to grind the edges for final fitment anyway. I think $200 is about right for what your going to get cut wise, the new smaller inverter powered stuff blows away the old transformer stuff in portability and power per lb. but falls on reliability with fragile MOSFETs that can blow. There is nothing thicker than 1/4 in our cars that youll encounter 'cept maybe motor mount brackets and leaf springs... What are you gonna cut with it? I found its really a niche piece of gear in a home garage after I got mine working. I used it to cut some intake manifold flanges out of 3/8 and it was crude but worked. Spent alot of time shaping the cuts after words but my band saw was much more efficient at cutting long straight cuts. Plasma shined on the ports. Remember you'll need an air compressor for it and if you can use 220, wire it up for that.
                       
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                      • Garethw

                        Garethw Mopar. Because rocket science is too easy.

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                        I’ve already got 220v in the garage for my Miller welder. I’ve also got a pretty good compressor with airlines run in the garage too. We’ll see if I pull the trigger when I have another large cutting job to do. Cutting this stuff with a wheel and grinding curves smooth took me a while. My custom trans mount for my 65. About 3/4 done in this picture. Cut out of 3/16 plate.

                        4D2F430A-356C-4DEC-934D-A07167D41C93.jpeg
                         
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                        • gzig5

                          gzig5 Well-Known Member

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                          I've got the LOTOS LTP5000D, which is a bit more expensive and capable than the one in the first post. I've been very pleased with it. First job was a 3' cut through 1/2 plate and after a little tweaking of settings it worked great. Thinner sheet metal is a breeze. I forget all the details but mine has features where it will start and continue the arc through paint/dirt and jump gaps or cut expanded metal without turning off.
                           
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                          • Garethw

                            Garethw Mopar. Because rocket science is too easy.

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                          • 67Dart273

                            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            I had a HF whatever their "heavy" one is for a short time before I bought the one I noted above. There is no doubt the tips on the HF one are way WAY thinner
                             
                          • gzig5

                            gzig5 Well-Known Member

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                            Yup. 220 V. It won't do 1/2" on the lower voltage input. I've had no issues to date but it doesn't get constant use either. It will see some more work in the coming months. Clean dry air is very important for these machines.
                             
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                            • CudaChick1968

                              CudaChick1968 The Mistress of Metal FABO Gold Member FABO Vendor

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                              Picked up a new Simadre plasma cutter a couple years ago for around $300. It's pretty impressive for a cheapie, but its consumables come from another place (Amazon?) whose price and quality outmatched theirs.
                               
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                              • barbee6043

                                barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                                If you are in the sticks your high school shop teacher probably has the equipment to cut anything and with a laser. They love for someone to bring them in some projects. They are cheap .
                                 
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                                • chryslerfat

                                  chryslerfat Well-Known Member

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                                  And per your recommendation I got the same one. I am very happy with mine. I have had mine about 2 years now and she has cut alot.
                                   
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