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Old 09-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Plasma Cutter recomendations needed...

I currently have a Thermal Dynamics PackMaster25. It's a rather old 115v unit and it's life is just about over. It's served me well but it's time for another one.
This go round, I want a convertable voltage unit (115/230v). I need the ability to run on 115V at times but could also use the added capacity of using 230V. As it stands now, I'm looking at the Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38 or the Hypertherm Powermax 380. Any preferances between the two or perhaps a different manufacturer all together??? I've looked at ESAB (no convertable unit offered) and a few others but these 2 seem to be the best and most econimical. Between the two I mentioned, the Thermal Dynamics unit seems the better choice.

What do you guys use, how you like it, what would you suggest, and why?

Thanks yaul for any advise you can give.
I'll be making the purchace right around the 20th of this month. (I hope)

Happy Wheelin'!!
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm looking into the Miller Spectrum 375. It can do either voltage also.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebby
I'm looking into the Miller Spectrum 375. It can do either voltage also.

That was also in my initial list but according to info I got, they are in for repair quite often and are actually rebadge units. It was suggested to me to get an ESAB (not offered in convertable voltage), Thermal Dynamics, or a Hypertherm. Do not get Hobart, Miller, or Lincoln as they are all rebadged units.

Also according to the info I got, Hypertherm is the industry leader as far as sales but the Thermal Dynamics have just a bit more "oomph" to em. Upon checking, the Hyperthem is 27A @ a 35% duty cycle whilst the Thermal Dynamics is a 30A @ a 35% duty cycle. I was quoted locally, 1085.00 for the Hypertherm 380 and 1156.00 for the Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38.

Right now I'm lookin at the Esab 550. I can get it at www.cyberweld.com for 1322.00. It cuts considerable thicker than the Thermal Dynamics or the Hypertherm. The one thing that caught my eye on the Esab was 35A @ a 40% duty cycle.

Im short, it breaks down like this...

27A @ 35%dc for 1085.00
30A @ 35%dc for 1156.00
or
35A @ 40%dc for 1322.00

Hmmmmmm???? See why I asked for recomendations? LOL
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love my Miller 2050 I have absolutely no complaints at all on Miller's products. My mig welder is built by them and also works great with no problems at all. I'm hoping to pick up a tig welder from them soon, blue is good.
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Old 09-02-2004, 05:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Shane:
My mig is a Miller (infinite adjust kind) and I also have no comnplaints. Absolutely none! They MAKE great welders but as far as I can tell, they do not mfg their own plasma cutters but my info on that is second hand so.... In this case, you are paying more for the Miller name. In the case of welders, they Mfg. them so your paying for the quality of their welder.
Rugby:
I'm agreein' with ya. Thanks for breakin' it down so simply. Besides the better duty cycle, the case on Esab allow them to be left out in the rain (in case your working somwhere's outside I guess), as well as withstand a pretty good wallup from a fall. These are the only other 2 factors I can see including in the +300.00 bonz.
Thermal Dynamics also has a newly released torch that supposed to be much betta than the old designs (like my existing one). According to my info, Hypertherm won't have the new style torches till next years models at best.

Right now, I'm all for the Cutmaster 38. It seems like it'll do everything I'll need and a bit more.

Thanks yaul! Really appreciate your input.

It will be the 20th at best before I'll have the $$$ but I'll post back and let yaul know what one I ended up with.
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Old 09-02-2004, 11:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah, please let us know...

I have 2 friends w/ plasma cutters - one a TD (model?? it cuts 1/4" easy & is 110V) & one a new miller 375 - this guy loves the miller - no problems yet....but we kinda had some suspision about miller re-badging their machines....any idea who's making them?

I wouldn't mind owning 1 myself, but can always barrow for now....still, would be nice.
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Old 09-02-2004, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, today I got conflicting info. A guy told me today that Miller makes their plasma cutters but they copy and don't do much R&D on em. Their R&D is mostly spent in the welding area. All hearsay!
I just made a call to a buddy that xrays welds in oil pipe (refineries)& power plants. His dads bveen doin' it 30 sum years and is a BurnBlue diehard. Apparently, he's good friends with the local factory Miller Rep. He's goina call his dad and ask him to ask the Miller guy. I sure hope my initial info was wrong. I hate to think of a Miller being rebadged! Anyways....I'm goin' with the TD regardless but now I just gotta know.
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Buddy just called me back after talkin' top his dad. As soon as he asked his dad, he said...both Miller & Lincoln are shipped in and then badged (as far as plasma cutter go). Couldn't say "who" was the actual mfgr, where they are made, or weather or not they are made by the same mfgr. Just said they are both shipped in. Guess that includes the Hobart to then. I'm not goina take his word for it though. Now, I wanna know. Someones got to know. Still searchin........................
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I posted the question over on a welding forum I've started to frequent.

http://www.weldingweb.com/index.php?
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Old 09-02-2004, 07:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebby
I posted the question over on a welding forum I've started to frequent.

http://www.weldingweb.com/index.php?
Cool!!! They oughta know for sure. I'll keep checkin' that post.

I thought about posting it to one of the machinist boards I go to but figured I get the "this is a machining board, go to a weldin' board" comments. Thanks Cebby.


BTW: Nice 210 unit you goit there! My best wheelin' bud has one. Fattys!!! Here it is right after his wife gave it to him for his birthday.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-02-2004, 07:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloPoke
I hate to think of a Miller being rebadged!
I personally don't give a rat's ass if something is rebadged. What matters is how well it works and availability of parts.
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Old 09-02-2004, 07:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I really don't care either as long as they stand behind it. Color me curious tho...
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane
I personally don't give a rat's ass if something is rebadged. What matters is how well it works and availability of parts.

Totally agree....guess I'm full of curiosity too. SOMEONE has ta know!
I'm sure Miller would stand behind their products, but it does sound like the TD is still the better machine.
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Old 09-03-2004, 08:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I care.
If I think I'm spendin' my money on a USA product but that company is really givin' my $$$ to say...China, I might just opt to spend my money on another mfgr. and maybe save a little by doin' so.
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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good point....can I change opinion? :pat: I'd definately rather have an American Made product vs. something else....even if I have to pay a little more.
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Freshly Exo'd 85 'Runner SR5 - Orient reman'd 22RE w/Marlin HD clutch / Rears Up front custom pack, 63 Chevy's / Marlin's Billet 6-shooter arms & hi-steer & IFS box / Cooper 35x12.5s STT's / Custom OD green softtop...PICS
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I had the same delema you have now a few months ago. I ended up with the HyperTherm Powermax 380. In my opinion both machines are just about equal. What it comes down to is wheather or not you want to spend another $100 for that extra omph. At the prices plasma cutters are now, another $100 wont hurt you. My advice, get the machine that best suits your needs. If you really need more power get the TD. If you want to save a few $$$ get the HT. My machine does all the cutting in my fab shop with no problems. Just go out there and find the best deal. If someone is offering the TD for $75 less than normal and the best deal on the HT is only $50 off then the best deal is the TD. But if you switch that then the best deal is the HT. Catch my drift?
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ordered TD CM38 last Thursday. Even got it for less than the $1070.00 price at Cyberweld!!!!!!

Should be here Teusday :bounce2: I'll let yaul know how I like it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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i would go with the hypertherm plasma,i have one and i like it better than any other brand i'v used. they also specialize only in plasma cutting/gouging systems unlike miller or lincoln who focus mainly on welding. and I think the electrodes and other consumables last longer with the hypertherm.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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just a thought

I been using a miller spectrum 350 for about 5 years and i love it.One thing that sold me on it was cost of consumables compared to other units.I have used hyperthrem and esab the esab is ok but I didnt like the hyperthrem at all.
The biggest factor in plasma cutters is the use of dry air if you have moisture in the air its going to be hard on consumables.And when you get up in the thickness of what it will handle is it a True 1" thick plasma or does the paper work just say it is . Get them to demo a machine they are trying to sell you after all you get to drive the car before you buy it.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 39
http://www.thermadyne.com/thermaldyn...?prodID=1-3830

All they do is plasmas. Great machines.

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Old 07-02-2011, 04:55 AM
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