Question about plasma cutters

I'm about to buy a plasma cutter, and I'm wondering if the Hypertherm 380 or Miller 375 are really worth the added expense? Seems to be
$400-600 difference between these two brands and some of the lesser knowns like Daytona, Chicago, etc?
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Yes it is worth the extra expense.
Hypertherm is the best in Plasma cutters.
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I can't speak to the off brands you mention, but I can compare an older name brand machine with a new Hypertherm.
I had a 1980's(?) Pak 5 from Thermal Dynamics. I bought it a new torch to convert it from nitrogen to compressed air (so new tip technology). I always figured that I just had lousy technique (well, I do), and that was why my cuts were always rough and ugly.
I sold it at a nice profit when we moved, and recently replaced it with a Hypertherm 600. The difference is truly amazing. I still have lousy technique (I'm learning), but the edges of the cut are amazingly smooth. A really nice machine.
Ronnie, these are very complex machines. Don't buy a cheap one.
Steve Smith
Ronnie Lyons, Meridian, Idaho wrote:

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In a word, yes.
Seems to be

You get what you pay for. It is no bargain if you are buying another in a year because this one had a coronary, or just doesn't do good work. Or you are dead in the water because you can't get consumables. Buy quality, and cry only once. Particularly true in welding equipment.
Steve
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You guys are the best! Thanks for the guidance. Ronnie
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you
Previous posters have mentioned the Hypertherm and the Thermal Dynamics. I evaluated both and found the Thermal Dynamics the best buy in terms of price, performance and cost of consumables.
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I have researched plasma cutters for some time now. I am about ready to purchase. Hypertherm or Thermal Dynamics will be my only two considerations. I will go and look at them physically before selecting.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Ernie claims Hypertherm can cut heavier and the consumables cost less but Thermal Dynamics give a finer cut. I have never used a Hypertherm but have had (and continue to have) several years of excellent service from my Thermal Dynamics Pak Master 50.
Ted
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The published US list prices currently in effect for Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherm consumables are:
Thermal Dynamics 1TORCH (used on CUTMASTER 38, 51, 81 and 101). The tip and electrode together are $11.00
Shield Cup @ $16.95 Shield Cup Body, MaximumLife @ $26.95 (used with threaded on Shield Caps) Shield Cap, 40A, Machine @ $11.95 Shield Cap, 50/60A, Machine @ $11.95 Shield Cap, 70/100A, Machine @ $11.95 Shield Cap, Deflector @$6.95 Tip, 20A, Drag @$4.50 Tip, 30A, Drag @$4.50 Tip, 40A, Drag @$4.50 Tip, 40A, Cutting @$4.50 Tip, 60A, Cutting @$4.50 Tip, 80A, Cutting @$4.50 Start Cartridge @$21.95 Electrode, MaximumLife @$6.50 O-Ring @$1.67 O-Ring @$1.67 Ohmic clip @$15.95 (attaches to torch body)
Hypertherm T80 Torch (used on Powermax1250). The nozzle and electrode together are $14.25.
Retaining Cap @ $28.00 Retaining Cap, Ohmic Contact @ $38.00 Shield, Hand Cutting @ $12.50 Shield, Machine Cutting @ $12.50 Shield, Gouging @ $15.50 Deflector @ $8.45 Nozzle, 80A, Shielded @ $5.95 Nozzle, 80A, Unshielded Extended @ $5.95 Nozzle, 60A, Unshielded Extended @ $5.95 Nozzle, 40A, Unshielded Extended @ $5.95 Nozzle, 60A, Shielded @ $5.95 Nozzle, 40A, Shielded @ $5.95 Nozzle, Gouging @ $8.75 Swirl Ring @ $14.95 Electrode @$8.30 Torch O-Ring @ $$ 3.60
Al

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On 11 Jul 2004 11:24:26 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Al) calmly ranted:

Thanks. I wonder what street/Ebay prices are.
-------------------------------------------- -- I'm in touch with my Inner Curmudgeon. -- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development ==========================================================
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I believe Thermal Dynamics is the best machine on the market today with the quick disconnect torch and good consumable life. I have used a Cutmaster 81 for the past year and I am well satisfied with the performance and the ability to use tips from 20 amps to 60 amps. Steve Peterson
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I have a Thermal Dynamics Pak Master 38 that is great for my needs. Parts are readily available and the unit is reliable/making great cuts. What ever model you get be certain to get a good air filter. Jim
--
James P. Riser
Http://www.JamesRiser.com
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