Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Re: Plasma Cutter
Don't know about those particular boxes. I have a Thermal Dynamics Econo-Pak 50. They call it a 1/2" capicity machine, and it cost about $1600 about 7 years ago. It will cut 1/2" steel plate, but it's too slow to be practical. On that stuff I use the gas axe. It is wonderful on sheet metal - zips through 18 gauge steel, aluminum or stainless. On 3/16" it's about equal in speed to the gas axe, but the cut quality is a lot better. By 1/4" I usually switch to the torch. I have been making stainless steel stuff with 3/16" 304, and it does a really good job on that. The cut is almost as good as a bandsaw, but it's many times faster.
I would think that $1300 should get you a comparable machine today. At that price, you should be able to borrow a unit and put it in your shop for a few days or a week, and try it out on the work you do. At the very least, spend several hours at the dealer's shop cutting your kind of work.