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There are a number of important factors and parameters when considering a plasma cutter.
I have a thermal Dynamics.. Other name brands are Miller and Hobart.
You must seriously consider your availability of disposables or consumables!
An off brand or a cheap brand may not offer parts after 3-5 years!
You will need cups and tips over time! That's a good reason for a well established name brand.
If you do go with an "off brand" I strongly suggest you stock up on the consumables
at the time you purchase the unit!
Power is another factor..240vac VS 120vac..This will dictate the thickness of material you
may cut. I have a 120vac model at 20 amps and I max out at around 3/16" thick steel.
If I'm very slow and careful I may be able to cut 1/4" steel but it may stress the unit's
120vac VS 240vac also plays a role in portability/weight
Air compressor and CFM availability also dictates how well the plasma cutter will work.
Some units have on board air compressors but that and add needlessly to cost and weight.
A small nailer type air compressor will not keep up with the plasma cutter's demand for compressed air.
So verify your plasma cutter air requirement and ensure you can provide it before purchasing it
Be sure to install an in line air/moisture filter when using an existing air compressor especially if you
have an inline oilier system.Plasma cutters require clean dry air. PSI and CFM will vary from
model to model and the material you're cutting. Often the plasma cutter manual will suggest a
specific inline filter product.
You may also want to compare handle angle and cable lengths...they will vary from model to model.
I went with a 120vac unit as I planned on a portable set up. If I were to buy a new on today I'd seriously
look at the 240vac higher amperage units...I did the same thing with my welder. I have a Hobart 120
or a 120vac MIG welder. Again I'm limited to a maximum of 3/16" steel.
As a weekend warrior I have found the 120vac welder and plasma cutter have almost met all of my
metal working needs. I go from arts and crafts metal work to mower deck welding to building a small
trailer, and large barbeque grill to mention a few projects. Typically I use 1/8" steel, 16-20 gauge steel tubing,
and the typical expanded metal thinner than 1/8". Thus I'm well within my equipment specifications.
Be sure to learn the plasma cutter and be safe..sparks will fly!
Last edited by cactusman; 09-29-2013, 07:49 PM.
Reason: spelling errors
powermax is number one in plasma cutters. i ran across one at a estate sale, hadnt ever heard of them so i asked the seller what he wanted, he said it should be worth $100.00, i quickly looked in my wallet and only had $73.00 on me, offered and he accepted. it is like new. got home and starting checking into them and found out there number one and every one loves them.
powermax is number one in plasma cutters. i ran across one at a estate sale, hadnt ever heard of them so i asked the seller what he wanted, he said it should be worth $100.00, i quickly looked in my wallet and only had $73.00 on me, offered and he accepted. it is like new. got home and starting checking into them and found out there number one and every one loves them.[ATTACH=CONFIG]18625[/ATTACH]
What a steal !! I have an older Power max 600 and love it. Have fun . Don't forget a water filter ,or dryer !
I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .