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I think what they are saying is that it will make a nice cut on 1/8" and it will make a nasty cut on 1/4".

So it should be fine on sheetmetal but not so good for thicker stuff. Two pieces of sheetmetal welded together probably would be considered "thicker stuff".
 

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I think what they are saying is that it will make a nice cut on 1/8" and it will make a nasty cut on 1/4".

So it should be fine on sheetmetal but not so good for thicker stuff. Two pieces of sheetmetal welded together probably would be considered "thicker stuff".
 

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hahaha i think i agree with rick look into something that operates on a 50 amps i think you will be happier
 

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I've been doing some investigating on plasma cutters, I have even rented two different kinds to see what would work best for what I do in the garage. I rented one that was rated to cut 1/8 inch (Torch Mate i think)..... can't even begin to tell you how frustrating and disappointed that endeavor was. I'm sure being a used machine and using used tips had everything to do with it.

I rented another rated at 1/4 (Miller) and despite my 20 amp circuit and the 30 or amp machine, I was constantly running down stairs to reset the breaker. I did work much better.

I learned a couple of things, wear a respirator... I don't care what others think, those vaporized metal particles are tiny and I did not want to be coughing and sneezing up gunk for three days. Ask me how I know.

I would stay away from the import machines.... Stay with the name brand units. I don't know much about the Hobart unit, but I bet it will work well. I have been looking for a good used machine and they are not that easy to find at a real decent price.... even used they seem to be close to a grand.

I kinda have the philosophy of, if big power is great, then even more power would be better..... I have a tendency to lean toward a plasma cutter that if rated for one size is good , then perhaps the next size bigger would be the one I need..... all depends on what your cutting most of though.

There are two machines that I am looking at: I believe that Hypertherm is about as good a machine as you can get, made in USA and has a great reputation, not a cheap machine, but very good.

Also looking at the Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 52, it is a higher rated machine but allows you to turn down the amperage for thin stuff like 1/8 inch or sheetmetal.... I like that feature.

Hope this helps in your own investigation.
Gil
 

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I have the Cutmaster 38. Right now I have it wired up to a 120 plug but it is capable of 240V. I would recommend a USA made one. Even though mine was used when I bought it and an older version, it works very well and I can get consumables for it locally. I use the heck out of it since I bought it. You do have to go slower when cutting stuff thicker than normal sheet metal but it still cuts it. If you find yourself cutting alot of metal thicker than sheet metal but not as thick as 1/2" then you can switch it over to a 240V. I've finally slowed down using it to make final cuts as I've learned I can't keep my hands stead enough but I still use it alot. I use it to remove body panels then final cuts with a cutoff. I wouldn't trade my cutmaster for nothing. The sl-60 torch is awesome. It fires without being even close to metal like those cheap china ones that needs to arch off of the metal. I've even cut metal with the ground clamped to a car and the metal no where near the car.
I borrowed a little Chinese made on and it would cut but not through rusty metal and it had to arch first which took some wiggling of the torch. The torch also was cheap and the contacts on the trigger had to be wiggled. I also broke 2 of the cups because they are ceramic, my Cutmaster is hard plastic and I kick it all over the floor. I also have a 15' torch on my cutmaster and don't have to haul the unit all over the garage. It actually has not moved from where I put it when I bought it.
I would recommend it.
josh
 

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I have a Miller SPectrum 375 and it works well for everything I do. It cuts 1/4" nice and clean, and it can cut up to 3/8" or so. I tried to cut 1/2" and it doesn't work well.

It is a 27A machine, and I run it on a 20A 110V circuit. After using it a while, I pop my 20A breaker if I turn it up too high. It's capable of running on 220V so I plan to make an extension cord with the appropriate receptacle. Maybe I more can cleanly cut 3/8" then.

I have used mine a lot, and I have found it to be very reliable. It came with a nice box of consumables too. Look for one with a long torch lead! That's one reason I like the regular 375 Spectrum over the 375 Extreme.....20ft cable versus 12 foot.

Spend a little more and get a better machine. These Millers are only a little more than that Hobart. If I ever get a new one, it will probably be the Miller 625 Extreme.

http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-SPECTRUM...847?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ad503312f

http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-SPECTRUM...70452123669?pt=BI_Welders&hash=item5640aad015
 

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The bigger the machine the bigger the circuit breaker is going to be needed in addition to a line and electrical outlet. So some additional expense in addition to the machine.

That cutmaster 52 looks like a good machine.
 

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That cutmaster 52 looks like a good machine.
Yes, but I think it's way overkill for 95% of what a home shop needs. It's relatively expensive, fairly heavy (compared to the Miller Extreme), and will ONLY run on 220V. Mine will do 95% of what I have needed it to do on 110V.

Here's a comparison of the equivalent machines. http://www.thermadyne.com/IM_Uploads/DocLib_3865_63-2743.pdf

I think one has to decide what he wants the plasma cutter for. If it's only for 1/4" and thinner, a 110V machine will probably do it ok. If you get to thicker material, you probably want to go to a 220V machine. Most people who need a plasma cutter also probably have a 220V welder. So use the same outlet and/or extension cord.
 

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Yes, but I think it's way overkill for 95% of what a home shop needs. It's relatively expensive, fairly heavy (compared to the Miller Extreme), and will ONLY run on 220V. Mine will do 95% of what I have needed it to do on 110V.

Here's a comparison of the equivalent machines. http://www.thermadyne.com/IM_Uploads/DocLib_3865_63-2743.pdf

I think one has to decide what he wants the plasma cutter for. If it's only for 1/4" and thinner, a 110V machine will probably do it ok. If you get to thicker material, you probably want to go to a 220V machine. Most people who need a plasma cutter also probably have a 220V welder. So use the same outlet and/or extension cord.
They're both nice machines. Cyberweld has them both for about $1400. so the prices are about the same. TD has a 4 year warranty vs 3 for Miller. Looks like the TD is a bit heavier duty than the Miller. Again, both good machines. Read that consumables for TD are less expensive.
 

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Yes, but I think it's way overkill for 95% of what a home shop needs. It's relatively expensive, fairly heavy (compared to the Miller Extreme), and will ONLY run on 220V. Mine will do 95% of what I have needed it to do on 110V.
What do ya do about the other 5%. :) Probably wished ya had a bigger machine. :cool: The 625 Extreme is 220V only too, right?
 

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I bought the Hobart Airforce 700i and love it! Well worth the money!!!

The 500i has a muilt plug. You and always run 110 then 220 when you need thicker cuts.
I was looking at the 500i yesterday, if it was on sale I'd buy one. it was about $1250, not much less than the Miller or TD. The TD is on sale till the end of December. Need to check and see if I have room for a 50a breaker in my box. I think I'm running a 30a breaker for my welder and compressor.
 

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I was looking at the 500i yesterday, if it was on sale I'd buy one. it was about $1250, not much less than the Miller or TD. The TD is on sale till the end of December. Need to check and see if I have room for a 50a breaker in my box. I think I'm running a 30a breaker for my welder and compressor.
TD does seem to make some nice machines. One thing you might want to consider is sales tax, versus buying online with free shipping. I saved a bunch of money buying my Miller TIG and plasma cutter from BRweldingsupply on Ebay with free shipping. Locally the machine costs a lot more.

Yes the 625 Extreme is a 220V machine. What I was suggesting is that if you didn't need anything more than a Miller 375, you could use 110V and cut most anything with it.

For the "other 5%", I'd find some other way to cut it. I have not needed to do that, so maybe the Miller 375 has really done 99.9% of what I need. ;)
 

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I have that exact Hobart model. I cut 3/16 routinely, you have to go slow. 1/4" is tough. Of course the thinner stuff cuts like butter. I don't need to cut 3/8" so this unit works great for me, additionally I didn't want to have to use a seperate air compressor when doing thin metal. Just depends on what your needs are. Miller makes some real good machines for going up to 3/8".
 

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Either the Miller 375 or the Cutmaster 39 would be excellent choices for what car guys do. Both can change run on 110V or 220V, if you are patient you can find them all over the net for $600 and up used, consumables can be found locally and they are built in the USA which means most welding vendors can repair them. Both are solid machines.
Josh
 

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Lots of good opinions and advice here on plasma cutters. :tu I think I am going to to the rental route first to see what works best for me. Brian:bowtieb:
 
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