View Full Version : Need Plasma Cutter recommendations

04-05-2017, 05:25 PM
I have been thinking about a small plasma cutter for cutting out the rusty stuff. I have the cut-off wheels and pneumatic saws and they work, it is just slow going. Basically I am thinking about a new toy for the shop. Any of you guys have a recommendation based on experience? I have 120V and 240V available. I would probably prefer a 240V unit.

04-05-2017, 05:31 PM
What is your price point and thickness requirements? I purchased a chinese unit off Ebay for under $200 that cuts 1/4" or better steel and stainless? I use it only occasionally. I'll post something like it if you're interested. If you think you need better, I'll just follow the posts.

Cuts stainless like this.



04-05-2017, 05:53 PM
I think it's a great idea!...Since we purchased a plasma cutter at work, I've almost completely gotten away from using the 'gas ax'.

And, once you get used to using it, it does a much 'cleaner', 'quicker' job than the good old 'ax'!...And an oxy-acetylene unit is useless when trying to cut stainless steel....GO FOR IT:!:!!!!

04-06-2017, 06:08 AM
I am only thinking about thin stuff (1/4" or less) and primarily auto body work. My biggest concern is duty cycle. When I start cutting, I want to be able to finish. I had a small MIG welder with a very short duty cycle. It would aggravate me every time I tried weld in a patch. I spent more time letting the welder rest than I did welding. As for price, I want the best unit I can get for reasonable money. Preferably less than $700.

04-06-2017, 02:36 PM
If the welder's duty cycle is too low for you, could you rig some sort of high power cooling fan on the power supply? Some of those eight inch muffin-type fans push a lot of air - and dust as well.

04-06-2017, 05:18 PM
This is the one that resides in my polebarn. It cut the stainless plate 1/8" in the previous post in one operation. It's actually burned a fair amount of steel and stainless over the last couple of years. I've no idea of duty cycle but the price was right and it meets my needs. Your results may vary. Bob


04-07-2017, 11:15 AM
Just my limited experience on '53 c/k:
Yep: very glad I bought one recently; enjoy working with it;
leftover tar paper and undercoating will make for ugly cuts, lots of sparks in all directions, and shortened life of consumables; I am sticking with the blue torch in spots I can't get fairly clean before cutting;
a 120v unit will be plenty adequate for sheet metal use: I bough a 240 volts, and it runs real low amps and air pressure on Stude 18 gage.