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Thread: Plasma cutter decision

  1. #1
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    Plasma cutter decision

    I am looking to get a small 240V plasma cutter for sporadic home hobby use (I'd like to get away from using cut off wheels on the angle grinder).

    On the one hand is a cheap piece of Chinese junk on Amazon, to which I would add a four year third-party warranty that would give me my money back if it craps out; if it doesn't crap out it would be sufficient for my needs, and if it does, I get my money back and start over again. On the other hand is a 10 year old pre-Victor TD Cutmaster 52 a few hours drive away.

    The Cutmaster appears to be in good shape from the images, and is obviously going to be a much better built machine than the other unit, but it comes with no warranty, and other than consumables I don't know if internals are even available let alone reasonably priced. I wouldn't be averse to recapping it myself if it eventually needs something like that.

    Assuming I am able to test the Cutmaster before purchase, what kind of reliability should I expect from a 10 year old machine? Are there any internal parts that typically so south on these units?

    Thanks for any perspective you can give me on this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a 10 year old plasma cutter. Parts may not be available & technology has improved quite a lot in 10 years. I also wouldn't buy a cheap Chinese plasma cutter because I did that. It let the smoke out after about 20 minutes of use. I returned it & Longevity sent a new one about 1 month later. Sold it the next day.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by robert-r View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't buy a 10 year old plasma cutter. Parts may not be available & technology has improved quite a lot in 10 years.
    I have done so aware of the consequences but took a chance and lucked out. Not a scenario I would recommend.

    The above is good advice


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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    There are now cheaper ones that guys have lot of experience with. I was a little worried about my 2050 the other day and finally calm down and fix it but I think this is a great idea to get a modest unit to get away from all those wheels, I use a wheel on occasion as a problem solver instead of standard method. I also use a common chop saw,,,,, locked square at 90 and if I absolutely have to cut an angle chop square even and snip.
    The cutter will pay for itself in salvaged materials. So much of the worlds steel anymore is sheet, light materials. Not the job shop built days of old where so much was structural shapes,,, as Dave says went from that to press bent.
    Last edited by Sberry; 08-13-2022 at 01:36 PM.

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    My 17 year old cutmaster 151 gets used every day real hard.. I sold it to my friend that uses it very hard in his Marine repair business. He has a Hypertherm 85 at his shop, but stays mostly on his cnc table now. I also ended up with a Pakmaster 50 for zero money, and it works like new..(newer torch) Used hard, and about 23 years old.. I have a 3 phase cutmaster 60i, and had all the cutmaster machines Bunch of Esab machines, and Hypertherm 65,and 45 XP..

    That said ,I have zero issues with some of the low rent Plasma Cutters on Amazon. Marketplace, and Ebay you can find the little Ironton 30 from Northern tool, new in box sometimes. They are pretty nice lower cost machines, that work really well..
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  6. #6
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    I've been having great luck with Everlast. I have the 62i. It'll clean cut 1" and sever 1 1//4". I put a 25 foot torch on it. Usually for 1" to 4" I'll use the torch.

    https://www.everlastgenerators.com/c...-plasma-cutter

    PS: I cut way more AR400 and Hadox than mild steel and the Plasma does great.
    Last edited by Freebirdwelds; 08-13-2022 at 09:57 PM. Reason: PS.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Just my 2 cents... I have an Amico CUT-50HF. Probably shoulda gone for the 60 amp, since sometimes I cut thicker material than the 50A is happy with (it still DOES cut it, just slower than I'd like), I like it. It's dual voltage and goes from 10 to 50 amps. Has a built in filter-regulator with a front panel adjustment and a drain out of the back. Nice access panel to the F/R on the side. 12 foot torch lead and a surprisingly nice work/ground lead. 10 feet of nice feeling 4 gauge cable and a clamp with brass jaws and a copper braid connecting them.

    I haven't had it but maybe a year, though. MAYBE something will go wrong? I've been impressed by it, so far. Everything FEELS nice.

  9. #8
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    The only "inexpensive" plasma cutter I would consider at this point is Primeweld. Nothing but good reviews, easy to get in touch with a person here in the U.S. if you have a question or problem and good specs.

    I was going to go with an Everlast, but I'm one of countless who have had a nightmare warranty issue with them. Short version, within two weeks of purchasing one of their welders it developed issued. It took 50+ e-mails (I have them saved) and about a dozen phone calls to get a resolution...heck, they sent me the wrong parts twice and the correct parts didn't fix it. I will never recommend anybody go that route simply because they are almost impossible to deal with.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Normally I'd be a name brand only sort of guy, but I must say my Cut50 cheap Chinese crap off Amazon has been here for over a year and I'm still happy with it. I've been using it for light farm repairs and quick jobs in the shop and it's performed as well as could be expected. Since Linde took over PraxAir up here, my O/A contract for 2 bottles has gone over $300/yr, so even if I were to replace the $240 plasma once a year, it's cheaper than O/A consumables before I even start buying gas. For home/hobby use it's not a bad choice, just book in some beer stops on a long cut so you don't push the duty cycle. I've seen Youtubes where guys have put heavier cords on them, and I considered that as well, but I have yet to heat up the plugin on a 230v 50 amp service. I decided to leave the light cord alone as an early warning system if it got warm.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    My cheap $92.00 Herocut 35i resides at my friends house.. It's been plugging along well. The reliability has been great even pushing it...It's a simple design, runs cool, and one heck of a deal over the earlier Mosfet units..Jim on here has one too.. He has my old Esab 650,Cutmaster 60i ,but is also impressed with the 120 volt Herocut.. . I only come from actually owning the machines, and not what I think is the machine to buy.
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  15. #11
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Thanks everyone for the perspectives on this, they are all greatly appreciated! Looks like I have some more things to consider before I make my decision.

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    https://www.georgesplasmacuttershop....t-new-and-used <-- has a Harbor Fright 62204 for $500 + shipping... bet it works good if he is selling it... I think he only has two. I have one and it's GREAT. 1/2" steel no problem but I use it for aluminum boat stuff. No issues for 3 years. Uses IPT-60 or PT-40 type consumables which are cheap enough. Cheers!
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Sport View Post
    https://www.georgesplasmacuttershop....t-new-and-used <-- has a Harbor Fright 62204 for $500 + shipping... bet it works good if he is selling it... I think he only has two. I have one and it's GREAT. 1/2" steel no problem but I use it for aluminum boat stuff. No issues for 3 years. Uses IPT-60 or PT-40 type consumables which are cheap enough. Cheers!
    https://www.amazon.com/CUT-50HF-Non-...A15GYJHEJMBKKZ

    That's what I have.

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    This is similar to what I'm using... have enough consumables kicking around that I'd probably get another if it loses it's magic smoke... https://www.amazon.com/Voltage-Cutti..._t3_B08XJJ1HJC
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  21. #15
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    I found a plasma cutter on Amazon for $110.00 looks good.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    This is similar to what I'm using... have enough consumables kicking around that I'd probably get another if it loses it's magic smoke... https://www.amazon.com/Voltage-Cutti..._t3_B08XJJ1HJC

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    been using this plasma cutter for several years... multipurpose, main reason, looked at the
    torch ... its beefy

    my 2cents


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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    I really like my Primeweld Cut 60. I did a lot of research before getting it right after last Christmas, and it is user friendly, Primeweld is very responsive, consumables are readily available, and it is suitable for a CNC setup. Great value for a quality machine.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by RCWelds View Post
    I really like my Primeweld Cut 60. I did a lot of research before getting it right after last Christmas, and it is user friendly, Primeweld is very responsive, consumables are readily available, and it is suitable for a CNC setup. Great value for a quality machine.
    This thread has helped to steer me away from an old unknown unit and towards a new machine, with the big part of it for me being getting a warranty. Primeweld seems to have the fewest "DOA" reviews, likely because they know they'll have to cover fixing it with their three year warranty. You do pay more for it than the random off brands but it still seems fair.

    The Cut60 looks like a decent machine, but at $300 over the Cut50DP, what made it worth that extra chunk of change for you? In the other thread the CNC function was mentioned, and I see it also has a 2T/4T selector which would be handy.

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnycat View Post
    This thread has helped to steer me away from an old unknown unit and towards a new machine, with the big part of it for me being getting a warranty. Primeweld seems to have the fewest "DOA" reviews, likely because they know they'll have to cover fixing it with their three year warranty. You do pay more for it than the random off brands but it still seems fair.

    The Cut60 looks like a decent machine, but at $300 over the Cut50DP, what made it worth that extra chunk of change for you? In the other thread the CNC function was mentioned, and I see it also has a 2T/4T selector which would be handy.
    . It had the most power for a reasonable cost [in my price range] and after watching a number of videos from owners, and reading the reviews, and seeing the superb customer support from Primeweld, and knowing it would indeed cut thru 1” thick material when set up properly with the right amount of air pressure, and the fact it came with the CNC electrical hookup, that can be soldered to the control unit, it was a no brainer for me. I don’t have a CNC table at present, but if I decide to get the Longimuir system, I already have a unit that will work with it.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by RCWelds View Post
    . It had the most power for a reasonable cost [in my price range] and after watching a number of videos from owners, and reading the reviews, and seeing the superb customer support from Primeweld, and knowing it would indeed cut thru 1” thick material when set up properly with the right amount of air pressure, and the fact it came with the CNC electrical hookup, that can be soldered to the control unit, it was a no brainer for me. I don’t have a CNC table at present, but if I decide to get the Longimuir system, I already have a unit that will work with it.
    Not at all disputing you but “cut 1” thick material when set up properly” ? Just seems a bit far fetched to me. Not a whole lot to set up properly compared to a Mig or Tig welder.

    Check pressure setting and turn amps knob to the max, right?

    Have you tried it yet? Please let us know what you think of it.
    :

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Not at all disputing you but “cut 1” thick material when set up properly” ? Just seems a bit far fetched to me. Not a whole lot to set up properly compared to a Mig or Tig welder.

    Check pressure setting and turn amps knob to the max, right?

    Have you tried it yet? Please let us know what you think of it.
    Officially, PrimeWeld says 7/8” clean cut. I have seen two videos where guys cut 1” with it. One was doing 1/4” plate stacked on top of each other, and it left some slag on the bottom, but easily cleaned up. The other guy cut some 1” solid plate, and it cut pretty clean, though the cut speed was important to get right.
    Last edited by RCWelds; 08-20-2022 at 06:47 PM.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by RCWelds View Post
    Officially, PrimeWeld says 7/8” clean cut. I have seen two videos where guys cut 1” with it. One was doing 1/4” plate stacked on top of each other, and it left some slag on the bottom, but easily cleaned up. The other guy cut some 1” solid plate, and it cut pretty clean, though the cut speed was important to get right.
    impressive. thanks
    :

  31. #23
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by RCWelds View Post
    . It had the most power for a reasonable cost [in my price range] and after watching a number of videos from owners, and reading the reviews, and seeing the superb customer support from Primeweld, and knowing it would indeed cut thru 1” thick material when set up properly with the right amount of air pressure, and the fact it came with the CNC electrical hookup, that can be soldered to the control unit, it was a no brainer for me. I don’t have a CNC table at present, but if I decide to get the Longimuir system, I already have a unit that will work with it.
    I started with the langmuir original 2x2 table. As one of the first buyers.

    Be weary that while it is a good machine to get your foot in the door, you will quickly come to realize that a plasma table without torch height control is comparatively complete garbage. They did not sell the THC at the time and it is offered now, but if I recall the price of it is stupid. Personally I don't have the space for a 4x4 table but if you do, your best bet is to find something used for sale. With the economy and price of steel, many people are getting out of the game and you can probably find a total steal.

    That said, my langmuir did pay for itself and funding of my semi-homebrew 2x4 table. So I can't really complain as I would never have gotten into CNC without it.

    Its also worth noting if you want to make any real money in the CNC game, you need to get into the CAD game. I design many of my products as tab and slot assemblies that can be plasma cut for prototyping and eventually outsourced by laser.

    Fusion 360 is mostly free and you can start learning now, before you get a table.

    Once you get good at it you can start making folded assemblies too which really opens up a world of possibilities. (also its cheaper and faster in general to press the delete key on parts than to spend hours making something by hand only to see it won't work and toss it in the garbage)

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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    No issues with this one I got off Amazon, running off a 240 1PH 30A circuit. $220US. Plenty of common consumables available.

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    1/4" to 5/16" cuts are clean (except for user error). 1/2" is too much though.
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    Re: Plasma cutter decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post

    1/4" to 5/16" cuts are clean (except for user error). 1/2" is too much though.
    pretty darn good for $220usd

    my miller spectrum i bought new back around 1998 would struggle with 5/16" at well over $1000usd

    what an overrated pos
    :

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