Harbor freight plasma cutter?

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by lx450landcruiser, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. lx450landcruiser

    lx450landcruiser Moderator

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    looking at getting one for this summers bumper builds is this thing a hunk a junk or worth the cash? i guess all im really needing to cut it plate steel about 3/8 thick but i dont want to drop the money if its not gonna go the job or break on me. any one have one?
     
  2. reffug

    reffug

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    Linkey would help. :D
     
  3. Junk

    Junk

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    Get a torch setup if you don't already have one. It will likely see more use.

    I've had 2 plasma cutters - one a Hypertherm and one a Thermodyne. Neither saw much use, so I sold them and instead use the torch.
     
  4. alia176

    alia176

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    Stay away from HB Plasma/welder/torch. If you really need a plasma cutter, get a Hypertherm Powermax 380 with the air filter (optional). Great unit for weekend warriors.
     
  5. honk

    honk

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    If you're talking about the little red one with smooth curved sides - it ain't that bad for the $500. price. It claims to cut 3/8" so expect that it'll cut 3/16" as that's the nature of the claims made for welding equipment of all types. Nice sheet metal cutter though.

    Plasma cutters aren't magic and they're not really as easy to use as they seem. There's a learning curve to do with amperage settings, standoff, speed, and angles - technique mostly. And if you can't draw a straight line with a pencil and paper you won't do it with a cutter either. There are guides made for them - cumbersome expensive things mostly.

    If your environment has high moisture content - like you live in a humid place you'll have to take extraordinary measures to assure a dry and clean air supply to the cutter - it's critical, and the thing won't work at all well without.

    Along with clean air you have to have enough of it. Mine requires that it have 65 psi at it's inlet no matter what. That doesn't seem a lot but if it means that a compressor has to run continually to maintain it then it will get hotter and hotter making more and more moisture and thus screwing up the air by pumping water along as well. There are good filtration systems that need to be added for the cutter all by itself (in addition to whatever line filter may be already in place).

    So. Will that little cutter do a job for you? Yes, if you do one for it. Big IF.

    Otherwise buy a torchset and learn to use it. It's cheaper and does a lot of other stuff too. You can cut sheetmetal with a jigsaw and a good bimetallic blade or five.
     
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