The Combine Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is a good brand of plasma cutter looking for farm use not commercial thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,603 Posts
Honestly if your cutting thicker than 1/2 inch unless you buy a $5000+ one you will be disappointed. If your cutting thick steel a good oxy setup with good tips matched to the steel thickness will cut quite fast and clean. We looked at plasma to cut 1/2 and 3/4 plate and a plasma with that capability's and speed was big dollars. however if you cut lots of thin steel and need clean cuts a plasma will work great. For farm use generally a torch is best
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Hypertherm I believe is the most recommended here. One that maxes out at 1/2" runs about $2200 or so. I agree with Alfred you still need a torch. Unless you're doing a lot of fab work on heavy plate etc does it justify a $5000 cutter? I would love the $2200 cutter as cutting 2/7/8" pipe it works good and the thin stuff especially. But for the amount of anything over 1/2" I cut I'd be wasting my money with a big one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,686 Posts
We just have a little Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 and it works great for farm use, though sometimes I wish we had the Cutmaster 85. We mostly cut 1/4" and smaller steel with it, but it will do 1/2" okay. Most farms don't work with steel over 1/2". I doubt most farmers are making their own pulldozer like duchek is doing.

This plasma cutter is without a doubt one of the most useful things we've ever bought for the farm. We use it all the time for small repair and fabrication jobs. We hardly use our oxy torch anymore. It's only ever used for heating, bending, brazing, or cutting really thick steel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Hypertherm I believe is the most recommended here. One that maxes out at 1/2" runs about $2200 or so. I agree with Alfred you still need a torch. Unless you're doing a lot of fab work on heavy plate etc does it justify a $5000 cutter? I would love the $2200 cutter as cutting 2/7/8" pipe it works good and the thin stuff especially. But for the amount of anything over 1/2" I cut I'd be wasting my money with a big one.
X2 for hypertherm
X2 for the size (XP 30, clean cut up to 3/8, about $2000)
X2 for you still will need a torch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Well I am going to disagree a bit on a few points....

Go big. I have a Thermaldynamics 102. The salesman didn't want to sell me the 100amp model, but I am glad I spent the extra $600 on it. It cost just over $3000 at the time, and came with a promo of a small portable 110V welder. The plasma spends most of its time with 80amp and 60amp tips in it, with the 100's and 40's getting used less often, but still get used. There is rarely a day that is doesn't get put to work on a job of some kind. The torch still gets used, but only for heating stuff and cutting off bearings etc. There is very little slag with the plasma, and what is there is easily knocked off. Only drawback of the 102, is that it needs to be direct wired, as plugs that large are cost prohibitive, and likely to fail. Mine is on a boom that can telescope out into the shop. If you need more length, you can get lead extensions. The other thing to make sure of is to keep an extra air dessicant/filter on hand. It will work extremely poor with damp/dirty air.

I look at the size as of the plasma the same buying a different tractor. Would you buy one that is just big enough for the equipment you have? Or would you like a few extra ponies for those few times you need it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
What do they mean by maximum sever cut? Some of them say something like 1/2" cut but up to 7/8" sever cut?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
What do they mean by maximum sever cut? Some of them say something like 1/2" cut but up to 7/8" sever cut?
It means it can cut 1/2" good and if you go slow and careful you can get it to just cut 7/8". At least that is the explanation I got when I asked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
I've got a hypertherm Powermax45 it has been a good machine for general farm shop work. The oxy/acetylene setup has been semi retired only getting used for heating and bending stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Like others have said depends on what your going to be cutting most of the time. I bought a hypertherm 65 and love it can cut one inch pretty easy if you take you time makes short work of anything 1/2 inch or less was around 3300 on sale has the bigger 85amp torch so it doesn't burn tips as fast when you cut lots of thick metal. would never go back to a torch for a primary cutting tool way cheaper to run and imo makes a nicer cut a torch has its place don't get me wrong. The guys at welders supplies basically told me hypertherm was the only one to buy best quality and would last the longest if you use it quite a bit. they are definitely not the cheapest but ive had mine over a year and never any issues. Also the gouging setting is nice to blow out old welds to re weld spots or you can use it to cut channels into steel to weld deeper into it. I've only used a thermal dynamcis a few times at a buddies it worked good one thing the hypertherm has that im not sure if the new thermal dynamics has or not is the cutting tip on the hypertherm is a drag tip which makes cutting super nice and simple just pull the trigger and drag it along the steel and your cutting no worrying about how close or far away you are from the steel. I think no matter what you buy as long as its not too small youll be happy with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
At lot of different opinions on here already. I will give you mine as well. I have 2 cutting torches, one acetylene and one propane, grinders with zip discs and a plasma cutter. My most used tool of these is the plasma. I think it is rated for 1/2" and will cut maybe 3/4" if I go real slow. They cut clean and cool. No preheating required. Shorting a leaf spring is fast and easy. No need to quench at all. Once you get used to how easy and fast it cuts, your mind starts thinking different as to how to cut things out. One day I needed a guard so my cows wouldn't step on my water pipe on my remote water trough. I ripped a 10' pipe in two, picked the pieces up and went to the pasture with it. Cutting with the torch would have used a lot of oxygen and the pieces would have been so hot that they would have had to cool for almost a hour before you could chip off the slag. As it was I just picked them up and went. Cutting steel bar to length is a fast simple affair, just make a 90 degree square to lay on it and cut it off. Lay the head against the jig and the cut is square both ways with very little clean up. Make lots of guides and jigs for the plasma and it becomes much more than just a torch. If the plasma stops because it needs at tip and I forgot to get a spare, I go get one from town, never think of using the cutting torch unless I'm cutting of a bearing. I even load it up and take it to the field for repairs with the portable welder and air compressor. On my place I would be lost without it. I would love a iron worker to shear, notch , bend and punch but they cost to much for me. A plasma is a good low cost replacement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
The one I have now is actually my second plasma. I bought my first one and used it for a couple weeks, then loaned it to a buddy while I was gone on a holiday. When I got back he told me I couldn't have it back, "go to town and put one on my account". I guess he liked it.:6:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,785 Posts
I've got a hypertherm Powermax45 it has been a good machine for general farm shop work. The oxy/acetylene setup has been semi retired only getting used for heating and bending stuff.
Same here. Wonderful machine. If you really feel the need to cut 1" all day long, get the Powermax 65.

Get them at farm and ranch show time. Good deals.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,295 Posts
Go big. I have a Thermaldynamics 102. The salesman didn't want to sell me the 100amp model, but I am glad I spent the extra $600 on it.
AGREE! I have the cut master 82, I'm often running it turned right up. Wish I got the 102

Only drawback of the 102, is that it needs to be direct wired, as plugs that large are cost prohibitive, and likely to fail.
Same problem on a 82 or anything above 40amps really. I run mine on a 100amp breaker using 50amp welder plugs. I was skeptical at first but nothing has melted or fused together.

The other thing to make sure of is to keep an extra air dessicant/filter on hand. It will work extremely poor with damp/dirty air.
I made that mistake once, I would install one right at the back of the plasma thats about the best you can do.

There isn't too many farms that NEED a plasma but its so nice to have. I would consider it a luxury, not one that I want to live without. If your working with a lot of thick metal a torch is probably better suited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I've been researching plasma's as well, my 20 year old one died and cost more to fix than its worth. Thermo Dynamatics has a much better trade in value on used plasma's than Hyperthem, half are telling me one brand, the other half the second brand. My fix it guy is saying to buy the cheaper one, and when it dies, not if, when, trade it off and buy the next one.


I was quoted about 1000 to boot on a TD cutmaster 52 and almost 1800 to boot on the hypertherm 45. Still sitting on the fence on this one, too many bad memories of the old money pit to get excited about another one.


I'm really leaning towards an ironworker instead, far more uses and far less maintenance issues and far better resale later on down the road if I'd want to update to a larger one in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
We have a hypertherm pm65 and love it. It cuts 1/2" easily. I have cut 1 1/4" with it. Really like the gouging feature. Ours has the 50ft torch which is great. I would buy another in a heart beat.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top