Lotos plasma cutter
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  1. #1

    Lotos plasma cutter

    I bought one of these on eBAY and am almost ready to try it out. I believe the model I have can cut to 3/4" which is more then I need. Anyone have any experience with a Lotos plasma cuter?

  2. #2
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    It has been posted previously, but check this seller auction out...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Lotos-3-in-1-pla...item3cb3cd6563

  3. #3
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Hi donald73d one of the quickest ways to locate any posted material here at Welding Web would be to use the SEACH FORUM function in the upper right corner of the Welding Web site. Type in your keyword Lotos or Lotos Plasma Cutter. You'll find eleven (11) threads under the keyword Lotos Plasma Cutter. Hope that help you.
    Co-Own CNC shop:Miller :1251 plasma cutter, MaxStar 700 TIG/Stick, & XMT 456 Multiprocess Welder.& 2 Hypertherm HPR260's Plasma Cutter

    Sorry I had a bad stroke but now I am back.

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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Roy,

    Great link. Couldn't of said it any better myself.

    Donald,

    You may want to consider placing the unit in the middle of your driveway. Clear the area of bystanders. Run an extension cord to it. And turn it on with the circuit breaker in the box.

    That way, at least if it "lets the blue smoke out", you have less chance of burning down your house/shop.

    Takes a "brave man" to stand there and flip the switch on some of this chinese junk. As Clint Eastwood would say, "Have I used five rounds, or was it six?".
    Syncro 250 DX
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  5. #5
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Ah Yes this time of the year it reminds me of a Christmas song Mosfets Roasting Over an Open Fire (from an experience of mine a couple of years ago with similiar Chinese products) [Pretty bad when you have to turn on a unit using rubber gloves and holding a fire extinguisher]
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Co-Own CNC shop:Miller :1251 plasma cutter, MaxStar 700 TIG/Stick, & XMT 456 Multiprocess Welder.& 2 Hypertherm HPR260's Plasma Cutter

    Sorry I had a bad stroke but now I am back.

  6. #6
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    I have had the same bad experience with Chinese crap plasma cutter. I now own a Hypertherm with no problems at all!!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    i would advise if ya haven't used it send it back or resell it and save toward another unit you might be able to find a reconditioned unit from a better maker or look into maybe getting a better unit from sears on layaway or another service like Elayaway they do stuff from northern tool
    350P 30A spool gun cut master 51 syncro 250 other stuff
    " take a dog off the street and make him prosper and he will not bite you sad the same cannot be said for man" i didnt use punctuation just to piss you off

  8. #8
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Specter:

    Did you replace the MOSFET in question? Did the unit work after that?

    I had most of the caps on my desktop PCs motherboard crap out on me last fall and I order the parts and fixed them myself. For what I needed it for, the fix worked fine. I think the parts were about $4 shipped.

  9. #9
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by umahunter View Post
    ...you might be able to find a reconditioned unit from a better maker....
    Reconditioned unit from a better maker? Does this mean even the better maker brands have failures...or would the adament supporters of 'better brands' here like others to believe reconditioned units are only so due to minor cosmetic imperfections?

  10. #10
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    no machine is perfect but alot of reconditioned unit may have been rentals that were reconditioned or from some places a machine someone bought used for there project then returned so it has to be sold as used or reconditioned if you wanna buy a chi unit go right ahead im just giving the guy some options after all its only highly concentrated electricity nothing major
    Last edited by umahunter; 01-04-2011 at 04:58 PM.
    350P 30A spool gun cut master 51 syncro 250 other stuff
    " take a dog off the street and make him prosper and he will not bite you sad the same cannot be said for man" i didnt use punctuation just to piss you off

  11. #11
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Bzzt. Bzzt. Poof.
    Never used one. Plugged one in once. Wanted to try it. Smoked a lot.
    Never did get to use it though..
    Buy American, or don't whine when you end up on the bread line.

  12. #12
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    its a gamble.... just hope the seller backs his product..

    the cost of the name brand units almost forces a hobbyist to try the chinese stuff.. i have been watching plasma cutters on ebay and craigslist for about a month now, usually the older units are in the $800-$1000 range and thats an even bigger gamble especially with the cost of replacement torches and parts if its out of warranty. i think replacment torches are in the $400-$500 range.. i would definitely have to try one before i bought it, especially with all the flooding and hurricanes in the recent past..

    my friend has had a chinese import plasma for 3 yrs (colossal tech).. i used it last week and it worked fine.. the guy who owns it doesnt baby it either.. he leaves it sitting outside for days at a time... guess thats a good point about one, wouldnt hurt the value if you dented and scratched it up, and a torch is pretty cheap for them..

  13. #13
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by WyoRoy View Post
    It has been posted previously, but check this seller auction out...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Lotos-3-in-1-pla...item3cb3cd6563
    I looked at the auction and read the description . . . couldn't understand why he had a bidder at $410.00 (the original purchase price) but sent him a congratulatory note. Smart guy. Here's his response . . .

    Yes, he's a vendor of Chinese machines. My listing is affecting their
    sales and they want it gone so they're buying it. Probably to fix and
    list as new to some unsuspecting buyer...
    Dynasty 300DX
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  14. #14
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    That link is just too funny....True, but funny all the same. Save yer cash and get a real plasma that will survive actual use in a daily basis, They are junk, keep away unless you have unlimited cash and if that be the case PM me and I will send you my bank info and still send you a good plasma cutter in return.
    Bob

    (sorry, I couldnt help myself and had to reply to at least one import thread)
    I'm spending my Kids inheritance, I dont like him that much anyway!!!!!!
    Enuff tools to do the job, enough sense to use em.
    Anybody got a spare set of kidneys? Trade?

  15. #15
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    I just saw a Hypertherm Powermax30 on Ebay yesterday for $500.....looked to have very light use. A used high quality plasma will draw the same price as a new low cost (politically correct term) import, but will be supported better, and longer by the factory that built it, not by an importer operating out of a warehouse.

    Jim

  16. #16
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    I have a powermax 30.
    Great little machine, I do all of my flatwork with it. Hypertherm makes really good stuff.
    Buy American, or don't whine when you end up on the bread line.

  17. #17
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by donald73d View Post
    . . . I believe the model I have can cut to 3/4" which is more then I need. . . .
    Ummm, sure, it will probably be good if that's all you need it for, but you know that measurement is for length, not thickness, right?

    Seriously, not to sound mean, but the price you pay for getting an inexpensive Chinese machine is lack of reliability and support. Hopefully it works well for you, and you enjoy it.
    Inverter technology as a whole is pretty solid and carries a lot of advantages, but especially when it comes to Asian imports, things can break, and you can be left with a paperweight.

    My last two plasma cutters have been older transformer style for this reason (and the price I got for them as used machines), but Jim's advice is very sound. You are usually better off spending a little more on a lesser rated name brand machine from the used market.
    Last edited by rlitman; 01-05-2011 at 11:40 AM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    .................
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    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  19. #19
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by brucer View Post
    its a gamble.... just hope the seller backs his product..

    the cost of the name brand units almost forces a hobbyist to try the chinese stuff.. i have been watching plasma cutters on ebay and craigslist for about a month now, usually the older units are in the $800-$1000 range and thats an even bigger gamble especially with the cost of replacement torches and parts if its out of warranty. i think replacment torches are in the $400-$500 range.. i would definitely have to try one before i bought it, especially with all the flooding and hurricanes in the recent past..

    my friend has had a chinese import plasma for 3 yrs (colossal tech).. i used it last week and it worked fine.. the guy who owns it doesnt baby it either.. he leaves it sitting outside for days at a time... guess thats a good point about one, wouldnt hurt the value if you dented and scratched it up, and a torch is pretty cheap for them
    ..


    As a 25 year shade tree and having bought both Chinese and American, I have learned that there are significant differences between the two. Cheap labor certainly brings the price down for the imports but the accessories are usually poor quality as well. If you buy Asian, expect to spend money for better consumables and things like clamps and regulators to make the unit usable. Also, expect the possibility of DOAs and additional shipping charges.

    I worked as a reliability engineer and learned that electronics have something called an "infant mortality". In other words the highest probability of failure for electronic items is right after they are put into service. Good parts are thoroughly tested before being soldered in, the bad partsd weeded out, and the circuit boards are likewise tested. It seems that the Chinese stuff really doesn't get much of a test before it is shipped given the DOAs I read about. The manufacturer essentially lets the end user do the testing and the seller has you pay part of the cost of the failure for a DOA and even more so for warranty work - neither the seller nor the manufacturer doesn't have complete faith in the product and passes his risk again on to the end user. Pretty much the same thing that went on in the IBM PC vs the "clones" in the nineties. The technology matured and now the clones have pretty well pushed IBM out of the clone business. Oh yeah, most of the clones came from China, too.

    The 3 in 1 welder I have cost me an additional $140 in shipping charges for 2 DOAs plus another $100 for a working regulator, ground clamp, gas hoses and connectors, and consumables. After all that, I am not sure I totally trust it though it has been very good since I tweaked the second replacement I received.

    Also be aware that at least some of the sellers are able to tweak their Ebay ratings. I have watched the company I bought mine from and have seen their rating vary between 96% and 100%. Get a bad unit and put in a bad rating and they ask you to cancel the original sale and possible bad rating before they ship you another unit. That takes the sale out of the Ebay rating system so their rating stays high - to me a deceitful practice. At least from a private seller, you can pretty much assume their rating is honest.

    The higher price for American products is like buying an insurance policy against failure. In addition you pay a premium price for the his support system, i.e., tech support and readily available parts.

    My point is just be aware there are lots of hidden costs when you gamble on an import which can make a used unit a little more attractive, assuming you don't buy someone else's problem.

    Steve in Central TX

  20. #20
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    As a hobbiest whom uses a plasma cutter on average less than one hour a month. Back in 2006 when the decision to purchase was made, there was no way in my mind to justify spending twice as much for a domestic name brand as I did to buy a cheap Chineeze Mitec Cut 40. Interestingly a brother across the country purchased another cheap import (Parker Cut 60) during that same period. Both machine are still meeting their owners expectations to this day. That is not to say I believe everyone should purchase a less expensive import to fill their needs. There are probably better built machines to suit users with more rigerous demands, at least that's what I read here. Here are photos of an imported Dayton Cut 40, Riland Cut 60, and Mitec Cut 40 ; criticise what you consider to be shoddy construction. Then when you're through, in all fairness post internal photos of those name brands to allow others to point out their shortcomings.


    Inferior consummables? Come on; there is the reversable copper tip, swirl ring and ceramic cone. My Cut 40 uses generic components as do some of the name brands. Frankly I'd rather have a need to replace a common item than one that is proprietary.



    Dayton Cut 40


    Riland Cut 60


    Mitec Cut 40

  21. #21
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    As was said before, you cannot just spot a counterfeit IGBT, MOSFET, or capacitor.
    These can fool even the experts. Someone was recently arrested for selling counterfeit parts to the military. These are issues that will not show up in a photo.
    If one happens to let the smoke out, you can be down a rabbit hole of expenses trying to repair your paperweight, that is worse than owning a boat (or if you already sank your spending cash into your boat, you may be left with a nifty anchor).
    Most of these components were made with the best of intentions (getting rich), and their cheapness comes from the fact that they were copied from parts that cost millions in R&D to create, with little expense on the forger's part, but those copies are often flawed. The problems caused by a stolen formulation for electrolytic capacitors in the mid '90's are legendary. That fiasco left American capacitor manufacturers in ruins (because of the global plummet in prices), and millions of failed devices in its wake (which took several years to fail, leaving consumers with no recourse).

    And it's not always component failure that is to blame. Often times it is poor manufacturing technique. Control boards are now always built with SMT components. Components that were always designed to be soldered using automated processes, but which are now ever more so sensitive to soldering problems, due to ROHS. Here, SMT components are handled in controlled environments, with tightly controlled soldering setups (chips are often even placed robotically, for tighter tolerances than the hand can control). In Asia, workers are bent over their benches, hand soldering SMC parts looking through magnifying lamps. No matter how consistent and good they get at it, the exposure to humid air allows the embedded flux to uptake moisture which causes inclusions that lead to solder joint failures after heat cycling. I recall at my previous company having to deal with an ISO procedure for baking parts to a satisfactory level of dryness in an inert gas purged oven, followed by vacuum sealing. The strength and ductility of lead-free solder joints (because of ROHS), is nothing like what it was in the days that we soldered with lead, AND the lead would keep tin corrosion in check. Without lead, corrosion often causes mechanical separation of joints, which can be prevented by specially developed soldering methods, alloys, and treatments (both in the flux involved, as well as in coatings). Virtually none of this technology has made it to Asian shops.

    Real brands have quality control departments, technical support and engineers that speak English (and answer the phones). Anyone who isn't a hobbyist wouldn't even consider an Asian import, because the possibility of shop downtime outweighs almost any expense.
    As a hobbyist, you take a roll of the dice with your money buying these machines.
    I wish you the best of luck (and you may even have it), but I for one don't have the money to blow on a doorstop (and if I did, I wouldn't have any left to spend on a replacement).

    BTW, on another note, while I'm all for buying American, that wasn't in my budget either.
    For full disclosure, my current and previous plasma cutters were Italian made (Century/Clore/Solar, etc). They use VERY standard consumables that I can replace for almost pennies. Still, I consider my plasma cutter a luxury, unlike my TIG machine. For that, I saved my pennies, and went with a Miller Dynasty. No regrets.

  22. #22
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Funny how some will defend stupidity, ignorance and religion but not their neighbor or country.

    Good luck

  23. #23
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    As I have said many times on many forums (and I work for Hypertherm) there certainly is a place for the low cost import plasma systems. If you need or have use fpor a plasma cutter, and the low cost import fits your needs (cuts metal), and that is all you can budget for, then by all means it may be the right product! My company is not interested in taking any steps backwads in tems of reliability or performance....so we'll leave that market to others.

    I keep reading in posts about consumables, and that universal consumables and "cheap" consumables are the way to go. Well,there is a heck of a lot more to the technology than all the arguments about Mosfet and IGBT power supplies....true, Hypertherm was the leader with Inverter plasma technology....we had the first ones, and we now have the most reliable.....but more than 50% of the cutting performance from a plasma cutter comes from the torch. Technology has expanded in the physics that control the high energy density plasma arc...more so in the last 10 years than in the 60 year history of plasma cutting. In order to get the most out of a plasma torch you need to develop high energy density in the arc, and you need to do this while making the consumables last as long as possible. How do we squeeze a 50,000 degree Farehheit plasma arc through a tiny orifice in a copper nozzle without melting the nozzle? Ask me and I'll explain, but be prepared to listen for a while because it is not simple. The consumables in a Hypertherm torch cost more to buy than some plasma consumables, but I guarantee they are the lowest cost per foot of cut by the time they are spent. Cheap to buy is one thing, cheap to use is another!

    Most of the low cost import plasma systems use either a 30 year old knock off of an early Esab plasma torch design, some of them use a 20 year old blowback design by Trafimet. The Hypertherm torches are redesigned every time a new system hits the market...because as the engineers develop a way to make the torches work better (longer life, better cut quality, better cut speed, thicker cuts at lower power, etc) the changes get implemented. We do patent what technology is patentable.....as that keeps the competitors from copying the inventions that we have invested in (just ask American Torch Tip about patents!).

    So, if your budget only allows low cost units, there is nothing wrong with that. Just don't think that a 40 amp import will cut as fast, as good, as thick or as cheap (per foot) as a 40 Amp Hypertherm or other major brand. Go to the local welding supply store and try them out...you will see the difference!

    Jim
    Last edited by jimcolt; 01-05-2011 at 09:25 PM.

  24. #24
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Perhaps the most recent models of imported plasma cutters do contain Surface Mounted Technology (SMT) boards. The machines I have had the opportunity to peer inside of did not; for which I am thankful. By bringing the SMT topic into the discussion, are you suggesting it as applied to this technology is an advancement in design to be sought by the consumer?

    The origins of this thread led me to believe a novice much like myself had a new purchase of which they were pleased to acquire and eager to use. The tone of discussion appeared to rapidly advance as happens here in a direction of criticism and certain doom for not buying a better known brand loved and supported by many. I am well aware not all products are created equal. My hope is someone reading this thread in the future for reference in making a decision will be better informed in knowing not all cheap plasma cutters are destined to self destruct upon use and in spite of some claims; if one does ample research, it ain't a crap shoot.
    Last edited by Clunker; 01-06-2011 at 03:44 PM.

  25. #25
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    Re: Lotos plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Clunker View Post
    Perhaps the most recent models of imported plasma cutters do contain Surface Mounted Technology (SMT) boards. The machines I have had the opportunity to peer inside of did not; for which I am thankful. By bringing the SMT topic into the discussion, are you suggesting it as applied to this technology is an advancement in design to be sought by the consumer?

    The origins of this thread led me to believe a novice much like myself had a new purchase of which they were pleased to acquire and eager to use. The tone of discussion appeared to rapidly advance as happens here in a direction of criticism and certain doom for not buying a better known brand loved and supported by many. I am well aware not all products are created equal. My hope is someone reading this thread in the future for reference in making a decision will be better informed in knowing not all cheap plasma cutters are destined to self destruct upon use and in spite of some claims; if one does ample research, it ain't a crap shoot.

    Well the return rate (or rate of dysfunction) of Chi-Com imports is much higher than the well established companies.

    By much higher I think it is higher than 20%. With Miller or Thermal Arc at 2%

    So you have a 20% chance of loosing most or all of your purchase value.

    I have yet to see it posted that "certain doom" as being the outcome in dealing with the Chi-Com resellers.
    But no were else in your life do you accept a risk that high.
    You would not deposit into a bank that had a 20% chance of loosing your money.

    You would not accept a dentist that had a 20% mortality rate.

    But hay its your money and your country you decide.

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