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Old 03-06-2009, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default are cheap plasma cutters any good??

i know you get what you pay for, but i was just curious if the anyone has any experience with the cheap $300-$700 plasma cutters available on ebay. it wouldnt be used every day and i probably wouldnt ever cut anything thicker than 1/2" mild or ss, just seems like a good tool to have if i didnt have to shell out over a grand for it. ive also been tossing around the idea of getting a torchmate 1 cnc plasma cutting table. its around $3000 for the weld together 2 axis kit plus material for the table, so after buying that i really wouldnt have the cash to buy a $1k+ cutter and was curious if the cheaper cutter would work with the table or if it would just be stupid to use a **** cutter with the precision of a cnc table.

let me know what ya think or have experienced.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

the only plasma cutter i will ever use is a hypertherm. we have three and those things are monsters.

check craigslist. youll be able to find a good one on there for a good price
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

I can email you some instructions on how to build one yourself....Im in the process of it right now. They were on instructables.com and I downloaded them, however they are not there anymore, I dont know what happened to them....maybe I should take that as a sign?
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yeah once again, didn't listen to h-t's advice and fixed it when it should've been fixed. my car caught on fire yesterday. i have now confirmed one should never use tin foil as a fuse.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

haha, there was a thread on here a while back about that diy plasma cutter. how much did you end up spending on all the materials
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

$150...but I have this electronics superwarehouse outlet place called Mendelsons near me and I bought all the little stuff dirt cheap....got some of it from my electronic nerd buddy, and shopped the big trash pickup week pile for the stove burners and microwave stuff. I got the directions from that thread and I fully intend to post some vids and pics when I finish it.......I'll proly buy some hybrid electric gloves before I even think of plugging that baby in. Ive been so busy lately building a new garage and trying to get the car ready for spring that I havent had much time to mess with it lately but Ill keep everyone posted when I finish
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yeah once again, didn't listen to h-t's advice and fixed it when it should've been fixed. my car caught on fire yesterday. i have now confirmed one should never use tin foil as a fuse.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

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Originally Posted by srmofo View Post
I can email you some instructions on how to build one yourself....Im in the process of it right now. They were on instructables.com and I downloaded them, however they are not there anymore, I dont know what happened to them....maybe I should take that as a sign?
If it is the guy I spoke with back then who posted it. he has a website and sells the plans. I copied them as well and spoke in further detail about it with him. he pulled it because he had put it up to enter one of their contests (like the ones where you win thousands in Craftsman tools or a $10k laster cutter/etcher). But as usual there are idiots voting, people using their websites and facebook etc. to get people to register on instructables just to vote for them and so on. He pulled it when some stupid ideas were beating his out when most of them shouldn't have. I would have pulled it to since it is something he normally sells.

One time a person won the contest (I know staff picks the final winner sometimes but do not remember if they always have) because he put up on his website for people to register and vote for him and if they do he will etch something for free with the laser cutter/etcher he would win "if he won" and he did win. This was before the plasma cutter was posted though.

I have yet to post an instructable on that site, wouldn't freely give out most of my ideas and stuff I am working on anyway.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

go to your local welding store, ask them if they have any of their rental units for sale.
thats how i picked up my thermal dynamics cutmaster 38 for 300 bucks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

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Originally Posted by got wide View Post
i know you get what you pay for, but i was just curious if the anyone has any experience with the cheap $300-$700 plasma cutters available on ebay. it wouldnt be used every day and i probably wouldnt ever cut anything thicker than 1/2" mild or ss, just seems like a good tool to have if i didnt have to shell out over a grand for it. ive also been tossing around the idea of getting a torchmate 1 cnc plasma cutting table. its around $3000 for the weld together 2 axis kit plus material for the table, so after buying that i really wouldnt have the cash to buy a $1k+ cutter and was curious if the cheaper cutter would work with the table or if it would just be stupid to use a **** cutter with the precision of a cnc table.

let me know what ya think or have experienced.
most of the ebay units advertise 50amps cutting power, and in reality thats not really a apples to apples comparison. The ebay unit would cut 3/16 steel at 50amps with a clean cut, thats about all you'll get from one. if you do sheet metal work Im sure it would work fine. If you are wanting to get a cnc plasma you should look into a cutter something in the 100amp range. You'll broaden your cutting range, plus the duty cycle you would gain will help on a cnc
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: are cheap plasma cutters any good??

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go to your local welding store, ask them if they have any of their rental units for sale.
thats how i picked up my thermal dynamics cutmaster 38 for 300 bucks.
Used from an individual yes, but used from a shop or worse at rental place. I doubt I myself would do that. I may consider it though if its cheap enough like yours. I just am not a fan of buying used stuff unless it is hand tools.
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