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popazeus 08-06-2002 07:33 AM

cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
after reading the posts on welding lately (i'm picking up a lincon 155 with my next check [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]) I'm woundering what to get a cutting torch or a plasma cutter? I searched a little yesterday but couldn't find any prices for eather. any info / opinions would be great


jfralph 08-06-2002 09:33 AM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
I have never used a plasma cutter, just a little out of my price league. But I have seen the work they do, very clean and neat. A torch is significantly less expensive and is probably more versatile. Don't know for sure however. I do know they are less expensive. $300 will get you tank rental and a good torch outfit that will cut any material you will encounter on your jeep. For the same capabilities in a plasma cutter, expect to pay upwards of a $1000 and need good electrical. I would start with the torch, you will/can use it for other things besides cutting, and the plasma torch can come later.

jeepnmatt 08-06-2002 10:07 AM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?

at my place of work, we only use Hypertherm plasma cutters. i have used them quite a few times and they are excellent. i plan on getting either the 380 or 600 in the near future. the Hypertherm 380 can be run on household 120V, which is a benefit in case i take it someplace to do some work.


Bald_One 08-06-2002 12:24 PM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
I agree that the torch is going to be much more cost effective (read versitile) than a plasma cutter. I have a MAC 110V plasma cutter and the shop has a oxy torch set-up. The plasma cutter works awesome (neat, clean and straight) up to about 3/16 or 1/4 inch, Beyond that, it's slow and gloppy. The torch is much more useful from about 3/16" up. If I were going to buy one before/instead of the other, I would definately buy a GOOD torch kit. It can be used for welding, brazing, heating, etc. when you aren't cutting with it. A truly invaluable tool. If $$$ is unlimited, definately get both, you'll love the job the plasma cutter does on fender-wells, and such. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

As far as price goes, a good quality torch kit (minus tanks) should be under $300 (you can rent tanks from your local welding supply shop), where a decent plasma cutter can easily run you close to $1k.

HTH let me know if you have any more questions. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

popazeus 08-06-2002 01:00 PM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
thanks all ... this was exactly what i was looking for. Is there any torch thats better than the others? or any you realy recomend? or are thay all pretty much the same?

thanks [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Bald_One 08-06-2002 01:08 PM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
Do some shopping around... I don't know that there's a specific brand that I would pic over another, but just don't buy the cheapest one you can find... YOu definately get what you pay for when you're buying tools... (i.e. don't expect a snap-on rathcet when you're buying a blackhawk...)

BigHG 08-06-2002 02:29 PM

Re: cutting tools? plasma cutter or cutting torch?
I bought my torch first (last year) and recently bought a plasma cutter.

The torch has earned its keep many time over since I bought it. It's versatility is the key. It really takes some practice to make nice cuts. So make sure you save some cash for a good grinder also. You will need it to clean up the cuts.

If you buy anything from "Victor" you will have a decent quality set.

I bought a Thermal Dynamics 38XL for about $1,000. It can run on 110V or 220V. It puts a very nice cut through 3/16 and 1/4. Anything over that is slow and the cut starts to resemble that of the torch. It is probably the operators unsteady hand and not the plaz's fault though.

I would say, unless your budget permits getting both right right away, go for the torch first. You will still want the plaz though!

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