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Plasma cutter for $500

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  • Plasma cutter for $500

    What is the best plasma cutter for around $500? Is it even possible to get decent quality at this price? I was thinking about the Firepower only beacuse it looked better than the cheap one Harbor Freight sells, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of choices in this price range. I figured this was the place to get some decent feedback.


  • #2
    Re: Plasma cutter for $500

    Originally posted by Zyvek
    What is the best plasma cutter for around $500?
    A used miller/thermal dynamic/hypertherm . Check rental contracators and welding distributors. For that price range you either won't get much, or you'll end up waiting and looking a long time.

    If you want new, then you'll be limited in its cutting ability. The cheapest I know of with a 30 second search is an esab handy plasma 125. It has 0.125" steel capability and sells for $699 at

    I have no idea how well it works though.
    But I would buy esab over harbor least most days.

    You didn't mention at all why you wanted a p-cutter. If you are making linear cuts, it is far cheaper to buy an air or electric sheetmetal shears for the light gauge and a tenryu metal cutting blade for a worm-drive saw for the heavier gauge stock. That will cut 3/8 steel easily and up to 1/2" with a little care. Plus you can do nifty bevel cuts as well.



    • #3
      Firepower is the hobby brand for Thermadyne that is well hidden on their web site.
      Firepower plasma cutter is Thermal Dynamics Drag-gun plasma cutter. It is a good small plasma cutter that has been around for long time. Hobart/miller has equivilant models.


      • #4
        man i dont even think i have even seenone that low
        MM 210
        Thermal Arc 250GTSW


        • #5
          Under $500.00, lets us know when you found one.



          • #6
            This is just for general purpose use to compliment the HH175, I don't expect to match the welding capacity of the HH175 in a plasma cutter (what, 1/4"?)

            I've seen the Firepower and a few other cheapies so I was wondering what else was out there. Every now and the HF knocks $50 of the Firepower unit bringing it to about $549.00

            I'll have to get the names of the other bargin brands I've seen.



            • #7
              Harbor Freight has some 30 amp refurbished models on sale for $529 right now...check the web-site. I called about them, and I've decided against at least that particular model. Apparently, they are discontinued. The ones available are refurbished, which to me doesn't speak well of their endurance. I guess I could be wrong about that though. The consumables have to ordered from Italy. However, this machine looks exactly like the 30 amp plasma cutter that HTP sells (I'm convinced it's the same machine...see, so you could probably get consumables from HTP. I gather from a few welding supply web-sites that the HTP and Nu-tecSys 30 amp plasma cutters use the same consumables. Anyway, research it and make your own decision!

              I may get lucky myself. There's a Hypertherm for sale locally for $500...I don't know the model yet, but I will find out this afternoon.

              I'd also check Ebay for used plasma cutters.

              Dave Sisk, Ferrous fun fanatic

              TIG: ESAB Heliarc 161 AC/DC
              Plasma: Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
              MIG: Millermatic 210