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Thread: Plasma Cutter?

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    Plasma Cutter?

    This has likely been asked many times but what plasma cutter is the best for a hobbyist? I want quality equipment that I can depend on and will last me as long as I need to cut metal. I’d also like your opinion on a Quincy air compressor, specifically the 2 hp, 24 gallon model, either vertical or horizontal tank.

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    there's a thread running currently ...

    Plasma cutter decision
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
    :

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quincy seems to make good compressors. That one seems to put a good airflow for the size of motor/pump it uses. Given that a typical 40A plasma cutter uses 50-70psi, that compressor should be able to provide the airflow not problem. The main enemy of plasma consumables is moisture that typical water-separators are not able to take out when a small compressor is running continuously feeding a plasma cutter on long cuts. The warm air never has a chance to cool down when a compressor is continuously running, to allow typical water separators to remove the water because it stays suspended within the air as vapor. Good air filters that remove dust, solids, oil, and use a desiccant based moisture removal will really extend the life of the consumables.
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Specifically, the Hypertherm plasma cutter that I’m thinking about is the 30 XP. Even though I’m a hobbyist, would I be better served with a 45 XP?

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    I have a Hypertherm Powermax 30 Air at work...it's okay, but no way I'd buy that for home use. I've decided to buy a Primeweld CUT60 which is way more capable and half the cost of the Powermax 30XP.

    Quincy air compressors are decent, but they've gone down in quality the last 10-15 years. The QT series used to be pretty good, but now I would pass on them. The QR series are still very nice, but they aren't easy to find. I had a QR 5hp 80 gallon model that was really nice, but it was horizontal and took up a lot of space. I replaced it with a Saylor-Beall 5hp 80 gallon vertical unit that had their performance pack...aftercooler, automatic tank drain, etc, etc...it's incredibly nice. I actually had two prior Saylor-Beall compressors that I sold as I upgraded and I was able to call S-B and get a person on the phone in no time at all. They e-mailed me schematics, parts diagrams, etc....it was impressive. If you want a compressor that will last a lifetime, get an S-B and be done with it.
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    That comp is pitifully small though. If you ever want to sand or grind its not going far.

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    If you are going to go big with one or the other, I'd have to agree with Sberry... spend the extra dollars on the compressor and skimp on the plasma. You'll use the compressor a lot, and if you're a hobbyist, I doubt the plasma is getting used every day you're in the shop...
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    That comp is pitifully small though. If you ever want to sand or grind its not going far.
    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    If you are going to go big with one or the other, I'd have to agree with Sberry... spend the extra dollars on the compressor and skimp on the plasma. You'll use the compressor a lot, and if you're a hobbyist, I doubt the plasma is getting used every day you're in the shop...


    It would depend on the individual. Both you two guys do more automotive work (sand/paint) than me or the “average” hobbyist but I would have to agree.

    Way easier to upgrade your plasma cutter later than the compressor.
    :

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Hypertherm is the end all for plasma cutters. I’m sure someone will debate it, but the fact is they’re simply dominating the market. However you will pay a premium price especially now with their new sync system which I believe starts at a 65 amp unit so it won’t effect you.

    I have a 45xp, i would recommend not going smaller than that. I use my machine for both hand and cnc cutting. The 45xp will cut 3/4” clean if it’s by CNC.

    Hand cutting is easier, the more amps you have especially when inexperienced as you aren’t good at controlling travel speed. When you have more amps, travel speed is more forgiving as moving too fast won’t be as likely to leave you with partially cut spots.
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    But would you run that with a 2 HP compressor? It would be marginal at best, and going back to Oscar's comments, the harder you run them, the worse the moisture issues will be. No doubt the Hypertherm will outlast and out-perform my bargain basement plasma, but what's the budget? If he can get a name brand plasma and a 60 gallon 2 stage compressor (and has the power source for both) I"m all for spending someone else's money. If funds are limited I still say upgrade to a decent compressor first.
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    But would you run that with a 2 HP compressor? It would be marginal at best, and going back to Oscar's comments, the harder you run them, the worse the moisture issues will be. No doubt the Hypertherm will outlast and out-perform my bargain basement plasma, but what's the budget? If he can get a name brand plasma and a 60 gallon 2 stage compressor (and has the power source for both) I"m all for spending someone else's money. If funds are limited I still say upgrade to a decent compressor first.
    For hand cutting you really don’t need mcuh.

    I used to run my 45xp with CNC on a 2hp 29gallon 120v harbor freight unit. It was annoying to listen to it run constantly but
    It worked.

    For hand cutting you wouldn’t be using Anywhere near as much air.

    If you’re looking at Quincy compressors though you’re already spending some money.

    The harbor freight units have a built in water separator but you’d still want to at least run a particulate filter/motor guard in line. Personally I have an air dryer for the compressor and then before my plasma a 5 stage desiccant unit.
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    The cost is getting lower and cheaper than a torch.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Q37C2D1...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    Dave

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwaynejk View Post
    Agreed, Hypertherm is the ultimate when it comes to plasma cutting - even for the hobbyist. Yes, they're more on the high end in terms of pricing but the long-term benefits outweigh the cost. Something like the new Powermax 65 SYNC is a good starting point.
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?
    I didn’t click on it. Prob spam


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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    I do agree if you have a extra $4,000 and the wife ok spending $4,000 for a plasma cutter.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I do agree if you have a extra $4,000 and the wife ok spending $4,000 for a plasma cutter.

    Dave
    Sounds good
    :

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    I going try wife after my next pet scan on $110.00 plasma cutter and see where it flies.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Ok my wife is getting me a new Dewalt Sawzall. My old one broke using it 😪 only 20 years and Ryobi .

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    I've decided to buy a Primeweld CUT60 which is way more capable and half the cost of the Powermax 30XP.
    The CUT60 is $300 more than the CUT50DP from them, what sold you on the 60A version?

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?
    Came up as $6k Cdn..... looks like the suggestions have ranged from less than $100 to $6k.... should have the market covered...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    I didn’t click on it. Prob spam


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    yea... admins removed it...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    yea... admins removed it...
    The give away is….

    1 a first time poster

    2 either poorly worded with totally irrelevant info

    OR

    3 in the occasional case.. extremely WELL worded by an Intelligent individual familiar with the specific topic.
    Last edited by Lis2323; 08-17-2022 at 10:38 AM.
    :

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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnycat View Post
    The CUT60 is $300 more than the CUT50DP from them, what sold you on the 60A version?
    A couple of things really. For starters it seems like no matter what I buy I wind up pushing the limits and I figured the additional amperage and duty cycle would be useful. Second, the CUT60 is CNC compatible and I think I'd like to go that route before long. I haven't bought the CUT60 yet, but that's what I'm planning to buy...it's within budget and should be more than what I can see needing any time soon.
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  33. #24
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    Cost is all relative…

    Better tools are typically more productive and eat their own cost when used properly.

    Some hobbyists have plenty more money than the professionals do. Off road and hot Rod enthusiasts are wild.
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    Re: Plasma Cutter?

    The Dewalt Sawzall came in today.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Seriously? A hobbyist should start out with a $4K plasma cutter?

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