Plasma Cutters push me over the edge
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    MDrew's Avatar
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    Plasma Cutters push me over the edge

    I'm thinking of buying a plasma cutter. I'm a little torn between which to buy. I'm down to the Miller and the Hypertherm.
    Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Plasma Cutter or the Miller SPECTRUM 375 X-TREME

    Anyone have any experience with either? They both meet what I'm looking for. We already have a Miller 252 mig that we all love.
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    I have a discontinued Hypertherm Powermax 600, which I believe is rated somewhere between the Powermax 30 and Powermax 45.

    It has been a solid machine, though its hours are minimal compared to a lot of others that are still in service. It's 240V (the 30 is 120V or 240V) and has the older style hand torch. The newer Hypertherms have a better torch and the consumables supposedly last quite a bit longer, but I have only had to replace one set of "short-lived" consumables since the machine was new. It has held its value very well and they are going used for about $300 less than I paid 13 years ago, which seems a testament to their durability.

    I can't speak for the Miller, but I can say that I have no regrets with the Hypertherm.
    Last edited by OxPath; 09-23-2017 at 11:10 PM. Reason: corrected voltages
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    I bought a used Hypotherm Powermax 600 many years ago, while I don't use it as much as I thought I would it's been handy to have around. I believe that Hypotherm is an industry leader in PC technology (much like Miller is for welders), and would buy that over Miller.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    I bought a used Hypotherm Powermax 600 many years ago, while I don't use it as much as I thought I would it's been handy to have around. I believe that Hypotherm is an industry leader in PC technology (much like Miller is for welders), and would buy that over Miller.
    I'm curious Kenny, do you find you use a torch more often than the plasma cutter to cut steel or do you use something else.
    I have been thinking about a plasma cutter but then I also think I would use a cold saw more.
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    JD 1025 TLB (2013) ** 60D 7 Iron MMM w/auto-connect ** H120 FEL** 260 BH ** 54" snowblower ** 54" blade ** 52" Front Broom ** Ken's Bolt on Hooks ** Frontier BB2048L box scraper ** County Line 5' landscape rake ** JD Hydraulic Dump MCS ** Artillian Forks w/36" Forks ** JD 3 - Point Ballast Box ** JD I-Match Quick Hitch ** Heavy Hitch front Weight Bar ** Heavy Hitch 3 Point Weight Bar ** Fimco 40 Gallon Sprayer ** EA Aerator ** FitRite Hydraulics Rear SCV ** 12 - 40# suitcase weights

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I'm seriously considering buying a plasma myself. The model I'm looking at isn't being mentioned here, but I have looked at the Hypotherm, looks nice. I'd like a machine with larger capabilities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    I'm curious Kenny, do you find you use a torch more often than the plasma cutter to cut steel or do you use something else.
    I have been thinking about a plasma cutter but then I also think I would use a cold saw more.
    Keep in mind that unlike a torch, the plasma cutter can be used on aluminum and stainless steel. A plasma cutter and cold saw are usually used for different purposes. The cold saw can make extremely accurate mitered cuts on new material when doing fabrication whereas the plasma cutter is more of a free hand tool (obviously cutting guides can be used).

    I mean, you can't hack off sections of material from a machine or vehicle with a cold saw and you probably wouldn't use a plasma cutter to do precision cuts when building something like a metal table.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Keep in mind that unlike a torch, the plasma cutter can be used on aluminum and stainless steel. A plasma cutter and cold saw are usually used for different purposes. The cold saw can make extremely accurate mitered cuts on new material when doing fabrication whereas the plasma cutter is more of a free hand tool (obviously cutting guides can be used).

    I mean, you can't hack off sections of material from a machine or vehicle with a cold saw and you probably wouldn't use a plasma cutter to do precision cuts when building something like a metal table.
    Yep!! Since I already have a torch and abrasive cut off saw (which I hate), I use the torch for all the misc. cut off work and heating something to bend or remove it.
    I guess what we are really saying, like usual, it depends on what you want it for.
    JD 1025 TLB (2013) ** 60D 7 Iron MMM w/auto-connect ** H120 FEL** 260 BH ** 54" snowblower ** 54" blade ** 52" Front Broom ** Ken's Bolt on Hooks ** Frontier BB2048L box scraper ** County Line 5' landscape rake ** JD Hydraulic Dump MCS ** Artillian Forks w/36" Forks ** JD 3 - Point Ballast Box ** JD I-Match Quick Hitch ** Heavy Hitch front Weight Bar ** Heavy Hitch 3 Point Weight Bar ** Fimco 40 Gallon Sprayer ** EA Aerator ** FitRite Hydraulics Rear SCV ** 12 - 40# suitcase weights

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    My arsenal includes:
    O/A Torch> It's a very small Victor el-cheapo set with small tanks. I bought it used to do some brazing when I rebuilt my lathe, while I think it could cut thinner steel, I've never tried that. It's not big enough to run "rose buds" or anything, but I do a plumbers style "Turbo Torch" on a B-sized acetylene tank that I used for heating material and silver soldering frequently.

    PC> Use for a few projects, mostly thinner materiel with odd shapes like these pulley cover I made for my old MMM-I made a cardboard template to follow:
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    I've also used a "gouging" tip to remove some welds on something I was working on, that was very cool! You need a bigger machine for I think, the smaller 30a machines can't use them. It's one of those tools that you don't need till you need it, it's nice to have it if needed.

    > Bandsaw, it's "Homier" brand (they used to have traveling tool shows) that bought 12+ years ago, it's the same basic thing as the Grizzly G9742 but much cheaper. This saw has been a doubled edged sword for me, it required extensive work to get it cutting straight, and now the vise is broken so I have to clamp everything into the vise bed, but it cuts accurately (now) and get used frequently-so much so it will probably be the next tool I upgrade because the vise thing is getting very frustrating. I've tried ordering parts from Grizzly to repair it but they where different enough that I couldn't make them work. Here is a drop from a piece of 2-1/2" x 1/4" angle I trimmed the other day, that's a pretty nice cut for a POS bandsaw!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is probably my most used cutting tool since most of the projects require just straight cuts in thicker material. It's not fast, but it's clean and quiet.

    >Abrasive 14" Chopsaw made by Rigid, it is what it is...noisy, messy, not accurate, heavy to move...I hate this tool. I got it used for $75 in like-new condition. It's nice for rough cutting longer pieces before final cutting on the bandsaw. I only use it outside when absolutely necessary.

    > I also have many different handsaws, grinders (battery, electric and pneumatic) with cutting wheels ect that get used as needed. One fairly recent favorite is the Dewalt DCG412 with a Lenox MetalMax diamond blade, this thing is bad-A$$!


    There is probably more...but I'm typed out for now
    Kenny

    -John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab TLB
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks and Modular Grapple, I-Match, Ballast Box, and lots of other STUFF.
    -John Deere 455 w/60" MMM


    Bolt on Grab Hooks and other cool stuff are now for sale!!

    Visit our YouTube Channel

    My Equipment:
    John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab, 300cx FEL, 366 Front Blade, 59" Front Snowblower, Ballast Box
    Artillian 3K Forks, Grapple, Front-Hoe Bucket
    John Deere 455, 60" MMM

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I just added that blade to my Amazon cart. Awesome, Thanks Ken.
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    2720 w/ 200CX FEL
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    110 round fender in the shop for crustoration
    Ferris IS3200Zzero turn mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Dieselshadow is my Hero.


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