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Old 10-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Plasma Cutter choices

I had my heart set on a Hypertherm 85 but it looks like they are 6 weeks out so I need to make a decision on a different machine. I need the ability to cut intricate parts out of thin material while still being able to cuts parts for brackets in thicker stutt..

Any recommendations on a unit, I hate to go with the Hypertherm 1250 cause I feel like I am getting older technology.

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You would be looking at an A80 Thermal Dynamics Plasma cutter as another excellent option. Might save you a little more money up front, and on consumables as well. They work just fine with the Torchmate machines.

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Old 10-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What are you looking to cut for material and thickness?

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Old 10-07-2010, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We plan on cutting as thin as 14 ga steel and up to 1/2" for a few lifts we produce, edge starts are not an option on the 1/2. I know the 65 would have worked for this but for a few more $$ it was silly not to get the 85.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What are you looking to cut for material and thickness?

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Jim,

I too am very interested in a Powermax 85 but I don't know if I can wait for one to arrive. The lead time on them is scaring me off. I would order one today if I could get it sooner, as of now it looks like I will be ordering a A120 in the next day or two.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I personally would wait for the Hyperterm. If it is a right now issue, then the 1250 is the way to go. Bigger is always better in Plasma cutters since the knob on the front will turn it down if you dont need the juice. The current/old technology issue is really a moot point with HT because whatever tech level is out is in their stuff. If a new torch is available, then whatever they currently offer will usually be equiped with it from the factory. I am a died in the wool HT user because of the Durability, Quality, and SUPPORT and their commitment to ongoing development. My HT PM1000 G3 is probably old by current standards, but it still outperforms any cutter in it's class, cut and consumable wise, so I am convinced that HT is definately the way to go. Just my .02.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sure would be nice if someone could do some side by side shots of say a A80 or A120 beside a HT PM45, PM 65, PM85 and a 1250. While I do have limited three phase at my shop Phase Perfect digital phase converter (30hp) I want to run the plasma unit on single phase power...
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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While I like my A120, if I was to do it again, I would buy a Hypertherm. Not because I think it's a better machine, but because Jim has been a very useful tool. I also have a HT Powermax 600 that has been a great machine for the 6? years I've had it.

To me support is key. That's why i also have a Torchmate table
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The Hypertherm unit seems to be totally kickass I cannot deny that and want one badly but answers from distributors that "they should be ready to ship in 4-6 weeks but they really don't know for sure" scare me. I have alot of money "for me" tied up in a table and it needs to start making money right away, soft deadlines don't make the bank happy.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, the 65 and 85's have been shipping since the 20th of September, which was right on schedule. The problem is that the demand is more than double what was anticipated, and with over 1400 welding supply stores that carry the Powermax units....just filling the pipeline takes some time. Bear with us, it will be 6 to 8 weeks before we get the lead time down to the normal 2-3 days. Trust me, they will be worth waiting for, have been in development for 3 years, and have been through Hyperther's reliability lab as well as pretty extensive field trials.

There may be a few 1250's and 1000's still out there in dealer inventories. These units, even though now considered "older technology" by Hypertherm's standards....still have a leg up on any of their competitors. Look at the Killowatt (kW) output ratings of the Hypertherm 60 Amp 1000 vs the competitors 80 Amp units....our KW rating is actually slightly higher than their unit that produces 20 more Amps.....it is killowatts that does the cutting, not amperage. Compare duty cycle ratings as well at full output power. The hard thing to compare is consumable life....because that takes some time, however Hypertherm is well known for having superior consumable life with all of their systems.

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Old 10-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The Hypertherm units are great units. No doubt.
If your looking for a 60 amp, 1/2" rated cutter that you need right now, might I sugest the Thermal Dymanics cutmaster 52. It has a 1/2" rated cut with a max cut of 1 1/8".
I've been happy with my Cutmaster 52.

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Old 10-08-2010, 10:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, the 65 and 85's have been shipping since the 20th of September, which was right on schedule. The problem is that the demand is more than double what was anticipated, and with over 1400 welding supply stores that carry the Powermax units....just filling the pipeline takes some time. Bear with us, it will be 6 to 8 weeks before we get the lead time down to the normal 2-3 days. Trust me, they will be worth waiting for, have been in development for 3 years, and have been through Hyperther's reliability lab as well as pretty extensive field trials.

There may be a few 1250's and 1000's still out there in dealer inventories. These units, even though now considered "older technology" by Hypertherm's standards....still have a leg up on any of their competitors. Look at the Killowatt (kW) output ratings of the Hypertherm 60 Amp 1000 vs the competitors 80 Amp units....our KW rating is actually slightly higher than their unit that produces 20 more Amps.....it is killowatts that does the cutting, not amperage. Compare duty cycle ratings as well at full output power. The hard thing to compare is consumable life....because that takes some time, however Hypertherm is well known for having superior consumable life with all of their systems.

Jim


Jim,

I must say, your involvment on Pirate, Cnczone, etc is the only reason this choice has been so hard for me. The service you provide is second to none. I always preach that service is most important, and have been overlooking how much you help out the little guy. That has pushed me to wait for the 85, I am going to check around Monday and see how fast someone can get me one.

Could you by chance pm me the model number I need if I want the 85 with a 25 foot machine torch, the shorter torch would be perfered.

Thank you,
Tyler
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Jim,

I must say, your involvment on Pirate, Cnczone, etc is the only reason this choice has been so hard for me. The service you provide is second to none. I always preach that service is most important, and have been overlooking how much you help out the little guy. That has pushed me to wait for the 85, I am going to check around Monday and see how fast someone can get me one.

Could you by chance pm me the model number I need if I want the 85 with a 25 foot machine torch, the shorter torch would be perfered.

Thank you,
Tyler
I too am impressed with the level of support that Jim gives to these online communities no matter which product a customer is using. Hypertherm has always made some of the top plasma cutting products on the market. For us, support from a plasma cutter manufacturer is the number one most important thing when it comes to our recommending it to go along with our Torchmate CNC cutting tables. Honestly, I think that you get what you pay for when it comes to most brands of plasma cutters as far as the actual cutter goes. The real cost of a plasma cutter will come when it quits working.

It is a very different thing using a cutter by hand versus in a CNC machine doing production. Any CNC machine. Once you become dependent on your plasma table, you will no longer make things the same way. Whether you spend $3k, $30k or $300k on your system, you will base your business on that machine working at all times. When it has a problem, you stand to lose hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars each day that you can't get it resolved. I have to know that a plasma cutter manufacturer is going to stand next to us in those situations and not throw us under the bus. Seeing Jim Colt from Hypertherm jump right into the firing line here and on the other forums really is a big deal. I am happy that you are here and will do my best to help promote your efforts Jim.

Bill
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It is a very different thing using a cutter by hand versus in a CNC machine doing production. Any CNC machine. Once you become dependent on your plasma table, you will no longer make things the same way.
Ain't that the truth! In the past, my bumper blanks have been made several ways; 5 axis CNC laser, mill and with a hand plasma and template - the hand plasma and template method is the most cost effective.

HOWEVER!

Now that I have my CNC table, I have been spending time writing code and building jigs to hold material to be processed. Now I put a bumper blank in the jig and hit 'print'. It goes down the top and engraes punch marks, then moves the gantry out of the way so I can rotate the blank to the bottom and it continues and moves out of the way again. Then I rotate it on the back, hit print, rotate it to the front, hit print and viola! In less time, and more accuracy than before, I'm able to make a bumper blank ready to go! Right now I'm still drilling the round holes by hand. But once I get to the point where I can trust the plasma process making perfect holes, then I'll have the CNC table do everything.

Not only do I do have it making blanks, but anything that requires holes in blank material in specific spots.

I figure my table is off maybe .015" over 10'. I can't even get that close with a tape measure and 3'! I'm sure I could get it even closer if I used dial calipers instead of a tape measure. And it's repeatability is spot on. I can engrave the same thing 10 times and still keep the lines sharp. Repeatability is where the accuracy is. I'm finding once you have that nailed, you can get the plasma to do anything you want.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a Hypertherm Powermax 1000 and an ESAB Powercut 1250. If I had th choose between the two, I love the ESAB best. The only problem with the ESAB is the diameter of the torch line and how hard the torch line is. Consumables semm to be a little more too.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a Hypertherm Powermax 1000 and an ESAB Powercut 1250. If I had th choose between the two, I love the ESAB best. The only problem with the ESAB is the diameter of the torch line and how hard the torch line is. Consumables semm to be a little more too.
Then why do you like it best?
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Then why do you like it best?
Because I get better cuts out of it! Don't get me wrong I like the Hypertherm, Just like the cuts better on the ESAB.

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Old 11-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well I went with the Powermax 85, if the dealer holds true to his word I should see it in about a week.....
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well I went with the Powermax 85, if the dealer holds true to his word I should see it in about a week.....
I ordered a Powermax 85 from Harris about 3 weeks ago still waiting for it. Last I was told was it should ship Thursday.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Anyone out there using a thermal dynamics cutmaster 51? It seems that alot of people are using the newer 52, but I have a 51 and was wondering if it would be compitable with the TM. I would love to know now so I can sell/buy a new cutter now so when i get my CNC I can start cutting instead of finding out the hard way.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Anyone out there using a thermal dynamics cutmaster 51? It seems that alot of people are using the newer 52, but I have a 51 and was wondering if it would be compitable with the TM. I would love to know now so I can sell/buy a new cutter now so when i get my CNC I can start cutting instead of finding out the hard way.

I would imagine it would work great. im one of the ones running the 52, and its a beast of a cutter. Very powerful and clean, easy to dial in. Would think the 51 would be almost the same. I know it will work with the TM system.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I would imagine it would work great. im one of the ones running the 52, and its a beast of a cutter. Very powerful and clean, easy to dial in. Would think the 51 would be almost the same. I know it will work with the TM system.
I remember talking to TM about the TD A51 as I had just ordered a TD A52. I had read that the A51 had a high capacity start that sounded like it would need to be grounded. I would check with TM first.

Haven't run mine yet as I have been busy with new air lines & working on a new leaking roof in the shop.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:42 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I remember talking to TM about the TD A51 as I had just ordered a TD A52. I had read that the A51 had a high capacity start that sounded like it would need to be grounded. I would check with TM first.

Haven't run mine yet as I have been busy with new air lines & working on a new leaking roof in the shop.

Actually you might be right on that....
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Well I went with the Powermax 85, if the dealer holds true to his word I should see it in about a week.....
Still Waiting!
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I would check with your dealer....they can make a quick call to Hypertherm to check the status of the order.....takes just a minute for customer service to look it up and provide an accurate ship date....hopefully it is already on its way.

The Powermax65 and 85 orders have been way above our forecasts....production at Hypertherm is working a lot of overtime, and we are hiring new people daily. Currently the backlog on Powermax65's are about 2 weeks, and 3 weeks on the 85. Trust me, they are worth the wait.

I just got my 85 today....been waiting for over a month, and I work for Hypertherm. I think my order got pushed back in favor of more impoortant customers though!

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