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Thread: cut 50 plasma cutter

  1. #1
    Supporting Member thehomeengineer's Avatar
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    thehomeengineer's Tools

    cut 50 plasma cutter

    Hi All
    Help advice/needed please.
    I am after some advice on Plasma cutters. I am in the market to possible buy one but I am looking at the lower end price bracket. Are these machines any good? I have looked on youtube but I know this will be a great place to get your views from guys that have used them in anger. The price is tempting but will I be wasting my money and would it be better to save up and buy a more expensive built machine?

    I thank you all in advance for your time
    The Home Engineer

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    I'm a hobby user and I purchased one from ALDI and it’s great for what I need. I guess the biggest question for you is what are you doing with it. If your cutting 5-6mm plate or bigger a lot then buy a “quality unit” but if it’s for occasional use and up to about 4-5mm thick then a cheaper unit will probably suit you. The things I have used it for are cutting out shapes in sheet metal for screens and cutting up metal table frames to scrap them. I did use a $2500 Lincoln plasma cutter and it’s the ducks nuts, cut through 10mm beams like a knife through butter but I couldn’t justify the cost for me. To be honest I could get away without one as I don’t use it as much as I thought I would. I tried to cut a 90mm hole in thin stainless steel with a metal hole saw. It stuffed the saw and barely touched the stainless and then I remembered the plasma cutter, told you it doesn’t get used much, and had the hole cut in less than 30 seconds. If it’s general cutting of flat bar, tube, square section in the shed then I would opt for a horizontal band saw, even a second had one. I bought a used one and it gets used almost daily and for cutting out straight cuts in plate steel then I tend to use the grinder as I can get a better edge. It’s very much like cutting with oxy acetylene but much faster in that it’s hard to get a nice edge unless you’re fairly experienced and use it often. Sorry it got so long winded. One more thing if you buy a cheapie, try and make sure it uses generic consumables that you can get easily on line as proprietary parts can be expensive. Hope this helps a little and good luck. Cheers Stuart, Australia.

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    I have been running a Cut50 for about 3 years. I did get the hi freq start model for about another 100USD.....consumables last longer. It has been chugging along faithfully and I have to admit I don't treat it delicately. Personally, I am quite happy with it.

    I might add that about 15 or 20 years ago, I used 3 different name brand ($$$$$$) machines. They were being repaired more than used. I sometimes ran them from a generator, so that may be a cause, but I was disappointed. Maybe technology has improved.

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  6. #4
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    You really want one that has a pilot arc rather than scratch start (it costs a sawbuck more) because scratch start goes through consumables much quicker. I've read good things about Primeweld units and the company too. They all need a good supply of dry, oil free air so plan on investing in a supplemental air drier.

    I'm on that particular fence too but for now I'm getting by with an angle grinder and a good straight edge or if I can I use my Portaband saw. I view a plasma cutter as a cutting torch equivalent without the empty bottle shuffle but because I also need to heat treat home made cutters a torch actually makes more sense for me.

    All things considered a bandsaw is the fastest because it cuts quickly and there's usually little edge cleanup required afterwards.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    about 4 years ago I purchased the Eastwood combo 175 mig, 40 plasma and have been more than happy with both. the one thing that was most important is that you purchase what ever you buy from a company that provides customer service.This past December I had an issue with my mig that was out of warranty. I contacted Eastwood and inquired if the part was available to make the repair and they found what I needed and sent it to me no charge, without any question. I use the plasma almost every weekend and have not had any issues. Its great that its a 110,220 volt unit clean dry air is a must, I added a small water trap inline on the unit. I recommend both eastwood products and their customer service.

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    Its like light bulbs, every one in a thousand can be a duffer. So if you hear bad feedback on these cheap and cheerful machines then that kind of gives you an idea, even those buying a Lincon can get a bad machine if they are unlucky. I have had a cut 50 for six years now and its had a fair bit of work on a cnc plasma table and given me very little grief. There is an issue with them regarding the arc gap in side the machine and is usually a massive cause as to why some hobbyists have had issues with them. basically they have come from the far east, been handled by truckers and Dockers and expected to perform brilliantly first time when they have not exactly been built to any quality standard. The main issue is that they wont strike an arc and its down to either the arc gap not being set (approximately 0.65mm) or duff consumables - sound weird but i have changed out consumables and for some reason they just wont work. Point proven by trying another set of consumables. Pilot arc over scratch start, if your not able to hold the torch gap up above the work piece and drag it over every surface you cut you will ream through consumables but if you can maintain a good arc gap after striking the arc you will find the consumable will actually last a reasonable length of time. i find consumables last me for at least 3 to 4 8ft x 4ft sheets (1.8mm mild steel) of cutting work over a three day period no bother at all, but im not too bothered about the precision of the cut /Kurf ?. Basically go for it, take a punt.

    Like Crusty and others have mentioned dry air is a must as indeed is air, you feel a right plonker if you go to cut stuff and you have forgotten to open the air valve on the compressor. Funnily enough it wont arc then either.
    Last edited by MeJasonT; 01-22-2020 at 06:01 AM.
    Citizen of the "New democratic" Republic of Britain, apart from Scotland who are still not very happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jts1012 View Post
    about 4 years ago I purchased the Eastwood combo 175 mig, 40 plasma and have been more than happy with both. the one thing that was most important is that you purchase what ever you buy from a company that provides customer service.This past December I had an issue with my mig that was out of warranty. I contacted Eastwood and inquired if the part was available to make the repair and they found what I needed and sent it to me no charge, without any question. I use the plasma almost every weekend and have not had any issues. Its great that its a 110,220 volt unit clean dry air is a must, I added a small water trap inline on the unit. I recommend both eastwood products and their customer service.
    I purchased an Eastwood Versacut 60 a few years back and after about a year it failed and Eastwood paid for shipping back and sent me a new one right away. Good customer service. I haven`t used it all that much yet, mostly due to it being easier to use several other cutting options I have such as a Milwaukee steel cutting circular saw, portable bandsaw, cutting torch, etc but I am rearranging and making it easier to put into use at a minutes`s notice.

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    Whats the set up for filters on plasma cutters to remove moisture from air? What type of filters should be used in home use? I have a new plasma cutter and 150L compressor but not sure on filter set up.

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    Thanks Scrounga.
    I think your post was spot on.

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    Don't forget the chop saw. For bar, pipe, and limited plate it's quick and clean. I've had my Milwaukee for nearly 20 years without a problem. For cutting intricate shapes from material up to about 1/16" I use a jig saw with a metal cutting blade. Not as fast as plasma or ox/ac but very controllable.

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