The fact the you've never heard of them should tell you something.
Merit coulda been built by Miller, Thermadyne, etc. but I've never
heard of them...anyone else? The one thing I've learned about skimping
on tools like this...buy cheap and cry twice, buy good and cry once.
Some things I'll buy less than name brand if I don't need top
performance and reliablilty, but not on my welding equipment.
Welding is an expensive hobby and it takes time to amass your
collection. If a new cutter is totally out of the question, try and
locate a used name brand machine that someone will know something about
and repairmen can service for you. I worked two jobs and saved up for a
Hypertherm. It was tough to saddle up at the welding counter and lay
thirteen $100 bills down, but I sleep well at night knowing I'll never
have to do it again, and 20 years from now if it takes a dump on me,
welder-dudes can fix it.
Just my .02 worth, but I don't want you to have to learn from my
mistakes. How you gonna sell a non-working Merit plasma cutter, that no
one can fix and parts aren't available? You can't even recoup any of
the money you spent on it in the first place...see what I mean? Be
patient and do it right the first time.