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Cheap Plasma Cutters

Discussion in 'Tool Corner' started by webmaster, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. webmaster

    webmaster New Member

    Has anybody bought one of these cheap plasma cutters ? You can pick them up on ebay for about £200 or so, claim to cut up to 12mm steel.

    Something like http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PLASMA-CUTTER...168?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item27bb72f2b0

    My mate bought one of the combined TIG/MMA/Plasma machines a couple of years back and we used that to cut up a 620, it was ok but a bit brutal, I've seen demos where they cut with about 0.8mm cut width, which would be great for cutting out shapes in repair panels, especially for cutting holes in the middle of panels etc.

    Similar product demo'd here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIDLA-CQxmw
  2. unstable load

    unstable load Well-Known Member

    If you buy one, replace the earth lead with a decent one and a proper clamp, they suffer similar problems to the cheaper welders.
    I heard from an old welder that taught me a few things that if you are cutting thick materials, it's advisable to orient the cut North/South because the flame can go off kilter. Never got to try it out though, so it may be a load of old cobblers....
  3. webmaster

    webmaster New Member

    Well, my "big" present for my 40th, was one of these....


    Just about the cheapest plasma I could get (probably a little cheaper on ebay but I had £100 of Amazon vouchers)

    It's brilliant ! Just point and cut basically, cut's 18 & 16 guage easily on lowest power setting, you can basically write your name in the steel with it. Cut width is about 1.5mm, and not a huge amount of slag on the back of the cut. What I wanted one for really was the ability to cut holes in the middle of panels etc without loads of effort, and it's great for that, with care you could just cut a circle any size you want and clean it up with a file, much much easier than drilling or drilling and sawing.

    The thickest metals I could find were some 5mm plate, and some 4mm racking brackets with bits welded on. No problems cutting both, even the racking with some 14 guage welded on, it went through the 14, the weld and the 4mm in one go, I'd say 9-10mm of metal all in. Stuff that would have taken ages with a grinder.

    What I'm trying to show in the pic above is that you can cut a slot down the middle of a piece of 5mm plate quite easily, something that would be pretty tricky using most other methods.

    All these cuts are by hand, but I did try resting the gun against a straight edge and it produced a really straight cut, so you could probably make templates out of MDF or something for cutting circles squares etc.

    I've never used an oxy/acetylene cutter, so can't compare but I am certainly quite impressed with this. How long such a cheap model lasts, we'll just have to see I guess.

    Attached Files:

  4. dano1987

    dano1987 New Member

    Yeah that one should be fine, I also got mine from ebay and it's been fine.
  5. unstable load

    unstable load Well-Known Member

  6. ButterFingers

    ButterFingers Active Member

    a friend bought one of those cutters and it works a treat.
    I wonder how it would go on a Safe full of money, would the heat set fire to the paper?
    Perhaps one could politely ask the local bank if they could try it out on a quiet Sunday morning?

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