Brand names

Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics, are they the same company.
Who has the best plasma cutter for mostly 1/2" max. thickness steel, but
rarely that, and more commonly 1/4" and 3/8" and a lot of thin stuff like 12
ga. without breaking the bank. I want suggestions on the most reliable
unit, and now I'm confused whether it was Hyperhterm or Thermal Dynamics, or
if they're the same.
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Reply to
Steve B
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No. Hypertherm is an independent company. Thermal Dynamics is part of Thermadyne, the 4th biggest welding conglomerate. (Miller, Lincoln and ESAB are all bigger)
Hypertherm tends to have the most power per amp, and the longest lasting consumables. They share a lot of technology with Miller, so Miller's machines are almost as good.
I bought my Thermal Dynamics Pak38XL 10 years ago because it had the finest cut on sheet metal. The Hypertherm 380 had more power in the same size machine, but I wanted the thinnest cut I could get.
I have never regretted my choice, but if I sell my Pak38XL to the school I will likely buy a new Hyperthem Max30.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
They are not the same. Most everyone praises Hypertherm. I have a 100 amp Hypertherm plasma cutter and I am very satisfied, except that it is 3 phase.
Reply to
I have the Hypertherm 380 (about 6 years now) and never had any problems with it. It'll cut 1/2 inch OK but not pretty and long cuts will probably max out the duty cycle. I've probably gone through about 3 sets of consumables, hardest on them is starting a cut not on the edge with the ensuing slag into the tip and not having dry air.
When I bought mine, plasma cutter were the only product Hypertherm designed and manufactured. Don't know it that is still true.
Reply to
John Miller
Same as John - I have also had a Hypertherm 380 for about same length of time. Useful machine to have. Easily slices through 10mm (3/8") thickness tube. Through the groove-weld with cover-pass around it no problem. 12mm / 1/2inch - freehand above plate surface at small stand-off following the soapstone mark with the plasma jet and it goes - needs concentration, but just fine.
Being realistic here - in a shed, you are confidently cutting 10mm day to day and 13mm when needed. That's some capability.
380 is an old model now. One would assume new Hypertherms have moved on som esince then.
Compressor you need to run it - wrote an article on compressors which won me a couple of long-term correspondents.
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Basically - 3HP portable does the job - and it'll run some air-tools you are happy to have.
Richard S
"John Miller" writes:
Reply to
Richard Smith
Steve B wrote in sci.engr.joining.welding on Sat, 20 Nov 2010 16:44:05 -0800:
not the same company.
I've only had one, a hypertherm powermax30, and I'm very pleased with it's performance. It will cut .250" no problem. And .375 you just have to slow down some. It will do .500" but it's not pretty. On sheet stock I can go as fast as I can move the torch following a template.
I like that you can run it on 110V or 220V. When on 110V, 15A, you have to turn down the output some, but still cuts up to .250" just fine. The tips and nozzles last much longer than I thought they would, and are not as expensive as I thought they would be.
That may be due in part to using very dry air at work. If I was using a different air supply, the nozzles might not last as long.
Reply to
I found electrode and nozzle life vastly longer after came back from working as a steel fabricator and worked with a stand-off. Having learning how to treat an oxy-acet cutting torch as a precision forming tool and controlling that, freehand plasma came as a bonus. Dragging or very close riding on a thin template gave me short tip life. Other thing - if freehanding, compensate for any off-line plasma by how you hold the torch, without knowing it, whereas if reliant on following template, need plasma jet to be dead square to the torch axis.
Help the OP I reckon - what template thickness if you rely on riding the shoulder on the nozzle / nozzle-holder on th etemplate edge? That's given MDF template - which you can cut with a jigsaw and sand smooth. 12mm / 1/2in too thin I reckon? 19mm / 3/4in too thick for small Hypertherm? Is there 5/8" / 16mm MDF right - if sch stuff exists?
Richard S
Reply to
Richard Smith
Is there 5/8" / 16mm MDF right - if sch stuff
Yup , they use it to build cheap cabinets for places like Blowes and Home Dipo . Useta work for a guy that'd spec 3/4" then sub 5/8 , for a savings of a couple of bucks per sheet . Kinda stupid of him IMO , the savings just weren't worth the risk of being busted .
Reply to
I worked for an industrial plant as the only Facility Maintenance Technician. I was responsible for almost every piece of equipment. I became proficient in calling tech suppourt and asking for help, especially for things I knew very little about.
I received excellent tech suppourt from Hypertherm, the engineer I spoke with was always very knowledgeble, paitient and helpful.
If I were to spend my own money on a plasma cutter I would buy a Hypertherm for this very reason.
Reply to

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