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Brand Comparison from Experienced Folks?

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  • Brand Comparison from Experienced Folks?

    Hi, I'm considering buying a plasma cutter, but being a neophyte I don't know much about the different brands. Is Thermal Dynamics considered a good brand? How does it compare to the others? There's a Cutmaster 38 advertised on Craigslist for $900 but I don't want to buy a "harbor freight" special and be unhappy with it later. Any thoughts from the experienced people out there?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    you can get a brand new 39 for $900. hf has some pretty good deals on stuff. some stuff just doesnt work that ive tried and gets tossed in the trash rather than returned for a new one that doesnt cut it either(no pun intended). a few hundred dollars is a lot of money but you are getting more as well. i wouldnt hesitate to buy a cutmaster in a size that meets my needs.

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    • #3
      The TD 38 is an excellent unit. It has one of the thinnest kerfs (cuts) of any Plasma...but be warned...its only a 20 watt unit, so the day will come..like when you're cutting frames, I-beams, etc...that you'll wish you had gotten the Cutmaster 51!!

      Speaking from experience here....and read other PC's comments...we all seem to "under-buy" on our first units...then take a soaking selling them to get more powerful ones.

      My Riland Cut 40 (Didn't have enough $$ for the "51") has served me very well for some years now. I had the TD C-38 (best deal at the time was Indiana Oxygen), and also the Snap On Italian one (maybe a HTP??), which I sold immediately after being rudely spoken down to by their Customer Support for buying a used unit....what a bunch of arrogant jerks they were!
      "Good Enough Never Is"

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      • #4
        The Cutmaster 42 is the Thermal unit to buy in that size, and price.The torch is really small, and feels about the best in the hand of any hand held plasma torch I have used.
        Esab 2200 AC/DC
        Thermal 211i
        Thermal Pee-wee 85s
        Smith O/A plus mini torch
        Smith machine torch
        LN-25 pro
        LF-72 feeder
        Edwards 65 ton
        5X10 CNC table
        Victor A-120
        Miller Shopmate 300DX
        S-74D feeder




        Remember good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

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        • #5
          Check out Hypertherm. I have a Powermax 600, and I love it. They are made in USA. Their cust serv is second to none. I truly believe they are the best units out there.
          "Stick-man"
          Miller Shopmaster 300, Super S-32P
          Lincoln
          Commander 500D
          LN-25
          Idealarc 250
          5 Idealarc Tig 300/300's
          Hypertherm Powermax 600

          Comment


          • #6
            +100 on stick mans comment. I have a PM 1000 G3 and it has been a faithfull and excelent machine for over 5 years now. It has never failed to cut what ever I tried on my torchmate CNC table and consumables are readilly available. Jim Colt is their rep and he really knows his stuff if you ever need help. So if your still shopping or undecided take a close look at an american made machine that packs a punch. I think Hyperterm has the highest amps/arc density when comparing different manufacturers so it will cut thicker and faster for the same amps. Consumables last a long time and are easy to replace too. I always suggest that you buy the highest amp unit you can afford and then turn down the power when it is not needed, nothing sucks worse than pinching a penny and getting caught short, I did on a Hobart 250 and that was a waste of a grand... Good luck on whatever machine you get.
            Bob
            Enough tools to do anything, common sense to use em properly.
            Big nasty scar, no kidneys, so you think you got issues?

            Comment


            • #7
              Ditto on the Hypertherm 600 now replaced by a smaller inverter type machine. Called a 45 I believe. I got the last 600 in 4 states. since I don't need a pick up and carry machine the cost was worth the trade off for the weight. I love it and it works like a charm. Was cutting circles after 15 minutes of picking up the torch for the first time.

              And like everybody has said, save up for a while if you have to. But get the next size larger machine than you think you need. Because you will just lose more money when you go to sell it.

              Since no one mentioned it also make sure you get an air compressor, that has the volume and ability to keep up with the amps of the cutter. And get a good dryer for the air line. Since dry air along with the proper volume/pressure will make your consumables last longer.
              https://www.hypertherm.com/en/Traini...cation/hci.jsp
              here is a great source of info
              glen, been there, done that and probably broke it!If you aren't on the edge. You'r taking up to much room

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=Rbeckett;413584I always suggest that you buy the highest amp unit you can afford and then turn down the power when it is not needed, nothing sucks worse than pinching a penny and getting caught short, I did on a Hobart 250 and that was a waste of a grand... Good luck on whatever machine you get.
                Bob[/QUOTE]

                Originally posted by ptsideshow View Post
                And like everybody has said, save up for a while if you have to. But get the next size larger machine than you think you need. Because you will just lose more money when you go to sell it.
                Absolutely! I bought the 600 and 3 months after I got it I was offered a job making thumbs for excavators. The material had to be minimum 1". I tried to pinch, and now I will be purchasing a Hypertherm 85, if I get this gig I'm working on. I hate buying stuff twice.
                "Stick-man"
                Miller Shopmaster 300, Super S-32P
                Lincoln
                Commander 500D
                LN-25
                Idealarc 250
                5 Idealarc Tig 300/300's
                Hypertherm Powermax 600

                Comment


                • #9
                  yeah i bought twice. i got the hypertherm 380 and used the heck out of it before i bought my cutmaster 52. i kept the 380 and i use them both often and would not hesitate to buy either brand in larger size next time.
                  tc.....jim

                  miller bobcat 225
                  miller AEAD200LE with hf tig
                  mm175, mm252 w/30a
                  lincoln PT 225, mm211, TA181i
                  stickmate LX 235/160
                  Speedglas 9100X/9100XX/Miller DE
                  hypertherm 380
                  TD cutmaster 52
                  steel max 14" & evolution 7.5" dry cut saws
                  2 victor journeyman/3 superange, smith little, meco midget torches
                  ridgid chop saw
                  kalamazoo band saw/ 8-4.5" & 1 rockwell 9" grinder
                  case 580 backhoe for things i can't lift

                  if at first you don't succeed
                  trash the b#####d (me )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics and ESAB plasma cutters stand out in regards to cut performance. quality and value compared to all others. Any of these 3 brand machines will serve you well.
                    I have a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 (replacement to the cutmaster 51) I have been very pleased and impressed with the performance and value of this unit.
                    Lincoln Idealarc 250
                    Miller Bobcat 250
                    Thermal arc Hefty 2 feeder
                    Thermal Dynamics Cusmaster 52
                    Torchmate CNC Table

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