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What reason for high cost of plasma cutters

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  • What reason for high cost of plasma cutters

    My brother in-law who is an electronics nerd was over yesterday and was curious about the used Spectrum 375 plasma cutter I recently purchased but have not used yet. When he asked me how much plasma cutters cost, and I gave him some approx prices for different sizes, he could not believe there was anything too complicated or specialized under the cover of the 375 to justify the cost. Being the inquisitive person he is, he wanted to open the 375 up to have a look. I refused to let him do it because I havn't used it yet, and would probably blame him if something was wrong with it. His questions did get me thinking, so is anyone familiar with the internal workings of these machines, and what is the theory of operation and the driving force behind the cost of these units..............just curious

  • #2
    Assuming there is nothing different undfer the cover than on a mig or tig machine, I would guess that its due to the difference in production levels. I'm sure that many more Mig/Tig machines are manufacutred than Plasma. Same issue with fly rods. A ame brand spinning or casting rod might cost $100-150 while the same quality fly rod could easily cost twice as much because not as many are produced.


    • #3
      I dont think they are expensive. There is a lot of competition and a plasma is a complex machine intended to do real work and give long sevice life. People pay lots for toys and dont complain, big screen tv's, boats etc, 300$ golf putters. Plasma is a real deal considering what it can do.


      • #4
        Your basically paying for Technology!


        • #5
          I probably should have clarified that I personally don't believe plasma cutters are too expensive for the benefits you receive from them. Sberry27 is right when he stated people pay lots for toys and don't complain. I can certainly think of a lot more uses for a plasma cutter than a big screen TV. I guess what I should have asked is what parts or technologies combined are in plasma cutters that contribute to the cost. Does anyone know of a website that gives an explanation of the internal parts, and information on the person / business that invented the plasma cutter. I have looked but just get pages advertising plasma cutter sales, and medical mumbo jumbo about blood plasma...........thanks


          • #6
            Yeah, but what about a plasma TV.


            • #7

              Here's a good start at the historical development:

              and some of hypertherm's patented improvements:



              • #8

                Thank you for the links regarding plasma development. I guess I am going to have to learn some proper search methods, or start using something besides google...............thanks again


                • #9
                  See if the bro-inlaw can build one,,, ha The prices have also come down a lot, mine cost 2300 when I bought it.
                  Last edited by Sberry; 10-13-2003, 10:28 AM.


                  • #10
                    they use inverter technology...puts a lot of power in a small package...thats why they are so small....and the small tigs that put out gobs of power.

                    older plasma cutters were pretty big...

                    they are many here a lot smarter than me...that can tell you more.
                    It's a poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a
                    word." -- Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)