Merit Plasma Cutter

Has anyone had any experience with one of these? I have the opportunity to pick one up for a song, but I cannot seem to find any
information about them.
Is this a decent brand? Are the consumables still available?
thanks,
Dajamesr
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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.
Ronnie
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Ronnie wrote:

I agree, but I'd go further and say "buy cheap and cry often". Bob
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What he said, by all means. I never regret a dime I spend on quality equipment.
Steve
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This topic is open and active in sci.engr.joining.welding about plasma cutters of "questionable origin"
Topic title is "import plasma cutter"
My opinion is to avoid the thing because you should treat all machine tools including welding equipment as Machines. Machines need to either have parts and a manufacturer to stand by them or be built in such a way that if need be old machines can have new parts fabricated.
it is essentially impossible to fabricate new complex circuit boards that machines like welders require so the manufacturer being available to stand by their products is essential to effective Use and service of that machine.
the Red White and Blue manufacturers have the footprint and support structure to do that.
Take an importer like HTP. their marketing push is towards SERVICEABLE machines as well despite being an importer they even say in some sales literature that some of their machines are bigger bulkier or heavier for the components to be more easily serviced or troubleshot by end users. They might not Make the machine but if their Rebranded machine is one that can be easily repaired with a reasonably quick turnaround time then who cares where it came from.
The fact that i have not heard HTP support FLAMEFESTS tells me that their machines work well and/or get fixed when they break. Machines break its the REPAIR AND SERVICE structure that differentiates manufacturers who care form fly by night operations
the fact that you cannot even find info about your MANUFACTURER or Distributor is scary. Most of the established ones will stand by their retired products as well as their current ones.
IN some cases like miller they have 30 year old instruction manuals on their website available for free download on machines that have long since been retired
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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