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Thread: Cheap plasma cutter

  1. #1
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    Cheap plasma cutter

    No doubt many of you have seen the cheap HEROCUT 30 amp plasma cutter sold by Amazon reviewed on YouTube. As an occasional hobby welder (I have a cheap AC stick welder and a cheap TIG welder) this piqued my interest. Nowhere in the description did it say how much air it needed and when I asked the vendor I was told 45 liters/minute, which works out to about 12 CFM. Searching the web for plasma cutter air requirements I see "Smaller units (3/8″ steel cutting) commonly have air requirements at about 4-5 SCFM at 90-120 PSI." This 30 amp unit falls into that range, so nowhere near 12 CFM, which would be a big shop compressor. My compressor is 4.3 SCFM @ 40 PSI, 3.3 SCFM @ 90 PSI, so would it be adequate for, say, cutting 1/8" steel. Could it work?

    Yes, I know most of you are pros with multi thousand dollar equipment but humor me anyway.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    You've probably already searched this, but one guy says it works fine with his 4.1 cfm.... lots of conflicting advice though... https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions...k_ql_ql_al_hza
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    You've probably already searched this, but one guy says it works fine with his 4.1 cfm.... lots of conflicting advice though... https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions...k_ql_ql_al_hza
    Thanks for the link. I suspected it would just work for me, at least for shorter cuts. I never searched that Amazon.com link because it's "Currently unavailable" but it just appeared on Amazon.ca for $200CAD (I'm in Canada) and there were no reviews or answers. It's interesting the the Amazon.ca seller tells me "45L/min" and the Amazon.com seller says "5L/min", which is 1.3 CFM. Now to decide if I really need this.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    It's going to depend on air tank size and the cutting duty cycle, If you're making long cuts you could run out of pressure before you finish the cut with a small tank. I used a small Makita pancake (3HP?) with my Miller 375 extreme and had no problem doing 12-16" cuts with some setup time between cuts that allowed the pressure to build back up.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    I was thinking adding an auxiliary tank might help if he was running short. Now you've got me looking at the 50 amp version. I've never bought the one I want because it was over $3k... this one would come in handy for the light stuff. https://vevor.ca/products/50amp-air-...SABEgJMiPD_BwE
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Well, I bit the bullet and ordered the CUT350 30Amp from Amazon, $199CAD total. Just need it where my chop saw or angle grinder is not practical. I'll report my findings.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Unless the main orifice on the cutting tip + the auxiliary orifices (if there are any) are huge (>1.6mm for the main cutting tip, and >1mm for the auxiliary orifices) it won't need anywhere near 12 CFM.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
    Well, I bit the bullet and ordered the CUT350 30Amp from Amazon, $199CAD total. Just need it where my chop saw or angle grinder is not practical. I'll report my findings.

    Just make sure you have a 30A breaker and 10 gauge wire. You will need it for full power operation. Otherwise say hello to constantly tripped breakers.
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Just bought a lotos lt 5000 and I've got a 20 gal air compressor from lowes works beautifully https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-20-G...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Sent from my cp3705AS using Tapatalk

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    I see that one delivers 6.1 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 PSI. Mine is a little less and just 5 gallons. But if it runs out of air too quickly, I can always hook up a 5 gallon portable tank I have in tandem.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
    I see that one delivers 6.1 CFM at 40 PSI and 4 CFM at 90 PSI. Mine is a little less and just 5 gallons. But if it runs out of air too quickly, I can always hook up a 5 gallon portable tank I have in tandem.
    I ran a plasma on a kind of production basis,, the compressor was too small.
    I added a 30 gallon tank, also, the extra tank was 100 feet from the compressor.

    The 100 feet of hose, then the 30 gallon extra tank did two things,
    1) I had plenty of air, the compressor could "catch up" between cuts,
    2) The 100 foot hose, and 30 gallon tank insured that moisture NEVER got to the torch, the air was always cooled to room temperature.

    My tip life was amazing,, like I could get 16 to 25 hours of torch-on time out of a set of consumables.
    When cutting 3/16 inch or less, literally the consumables lasted forever.

    Add a tank, just to cool the air, even if you have plenty of compressor.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Brand x has done lots of testing with this unit with amazing results even on thick material's, bet he could shed some light ,,,i also have one been great on what i use it for 1/8 and thinner
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    MEASURE TWICE IS FOR MORONS

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
    Well, I bit the bullet and ordered the CUT350 30Amp from Amazon, $199CAD total. Just need it where my chop saw or angle grinder is not practical. I'll report my findings.
    You twisted my arm... ordered the 50 amp for $230.... we'll see who takes the worst flogging on the Chinese junk. Still haven't taken my son's Acklands antique into the shop for repairs... I'm betting his repair bill will be higher than my purchase price.
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Still haven't taken my son's Acklands antique into the shop for repairs... .
    I had to Google what an Acklands was,, A welder!!

    The main machine that pops up is the orange Acklands version of my Miller Thunderbolt,,
    The main power switch went WAY too prematurely in my welder, but, it was a cheap fix,,

  19. #14
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
    No doubt many of you have seen the cheap HEROCUT 30 amp plasma cutter sold by Amazon reviewed on YouTube. As an occasional hobby welder (I have a cheap AC stick welder and a cheap TIG welder) this piqued my interest.

    Nowhere in the description did it say how much air it needed and when I asked the vendor I was told 45 liters/minute, which works out to about 12 CFM.

    Searching the web for plasma cutter air requirements I see "Smaller units (3/8″ steel cutting) commonly have air requirements at about 4-5 SCFM at 90-120 PSI." This 30 amp unit falls into that range, so nowhere near 12 CFM, which would be a big shop compressor. My compressor is 4.3 SCFM @ 40 PSI, 3.3 SCFM @ 90 PSI, so would it be adequate for, say, cutting 1/8" steel. Could it work?

    Yes, I know most of you are pros with multi thousand dollar equipment but humour me anyway.
    When I google the conversion


    45 litres = 1.58916 cubic feet.

    You converted litres to gallons, not cubic feet.


    1 Cubic Feet Per Minute to = 28.3168 Liters Per Minute
    Last edited by 12345678910; 03-22-2021 at 06:12 AM.

  20. #15
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Just remember most compressor CFM ratings are fairly over inflated. Someone once shared a simple way to check it though by timing how long it takes to fill the tank from flat empty. I forget the exact formula but its here somewhere in an old post.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I had to Google what an Acklands was,, A welder!!

    The main machine that pops up is the orange Acklands version of my Miller Thunderbolt,,
    The main power switch went WAY too prematurely in my welder, but, it was a cheap fix,,
    Yea... it was rebranded Miller equipment.... his is an old plasma cutter.
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
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    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    When I google the conversion


    45 litres = 1.58916 cubic feet.

    You converted litres to gallons, not cubic feet.


    1 Cubic Feet Per Minute to = 28.3168 Liters Per Minute

    DUH! Of course I converted to gallons, not cubic feet.

    1.6 cfm is easily doable with my compressor, even taking into account a good safety margin and exaggerated published performance. Now that makes the Amazon.com seller's claim of "5L/min", which is 0.176 CFM, ridiculous, unless he really means 50 L/min.

  23. #18
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Haven't read the thread so somebody's probably already said this, but sometimes the "cheapest" tool is the one you only have to buy once, rather than replace when it breaks, or replace when it disappoints you, etc. I've done it many times myself (I'm a sucker for "bargains" and as often as not get stung), so DAMHIKT...

    Hypertherm is the way to go IMHO...the Powermax 45 is a very nice unit.

  24. #19
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Point taken. But for me this will be a toy, not something I'd need to use every day. I can afford a $200 toy but can't justify a $2000 one that may get use a couple of times a year.

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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Haven't read the thread so somebody's probably already said this, but sometimes the "cheapest" tool is the one you only have to buy once, rather than replace when it breaks, or replace when it disappoints you, etc. I've done it many times myself (I'm a sucker for "bargains" and as often as not get stung), so DAMHIKT...

    Hypertherm is the way to go IMHO...the Powermax 45 is a very nice unit.
    Yep... I just told someone else to stick to name brand because I've been burned with cheap crap before, but here I go again. With the inconsistency of the Chinese junk, it really is a crap shoot. One guy will have an item that lasts and works great, the next guy will get something that doesn't even work out of the box. We'll see how this goes...
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Cheap plasma cutter

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Yea... it was rebranded Miller equipment.... his is an old plasma cutter.
    Around here I've seen all kinds of "Orange" Miller's from 330A/BP's to Synchros to engine drives.

    Personally I've owned an XR push -pull feed box and an AEAD200LE




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    Last edited by Lis2323; 03-22-2021 at 10:29 PM.
    :

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  28. #22
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    The Hypertherm is a real nice machine,, I sold my 45 XP to a member here. He is thrilled to have it..Same with my older 65 Hypertherm.. I had so many Thermal Dynamics machines,and many Esab models too..The little arc sonic (lotos too) work well for the price I paid ($92) for my machine, and I am just as happy as the Hypertherm owner..It does not take too much time to get a good return on your investment. Love the 8 lbs carry wait, and cutting usefull thickness on a good 20 amp/ 120 volt line..(correct nozzles, and swirl rings

    If you have the right nozzles, and swirl ring a 4.2 CFM @ 100 psi emgl compressor keeps up will. The 3.5 cfm @ 100 Senco will fall behind on longer cuts. Still works but you have to watch it a bit..
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  30. #23
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Well, the HEROCUT CUT35i arrived yesterday. I assembled it, all the supplied fittings worked, and I had no air leaks. Today I tried it out on some thin galvanized steel I would normally cut with tin snips and it worked just fine, but obviously not as clean. Next I tried some 1/8" steel and blew the breaker after just cutting one inch. Tried again with lower current, same thing. So here's the problem. The unit has a standard 110V plug, but the specs call for an input current of 25-35 amps at 110 volts. Where do you find a 110 volt outlet greater than 15 amps? The power cord has a standard 110V 15A plug but receptacles for 110V 30A are totally different. What was the manufacturer thinking?

  31. #24
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    I've seen 20 amp outlets but that's it

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  32. #25
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    Re: Cheap plasma cutter

    Change the plug and wire an outlet with the appropriate wire gauge and use one of these or whatever other ones there are.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...-S10/302480849
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Legrand-...CCV3/100178966
    ---Meltedmetal

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