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Plasma cutter

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by 1grnlwn, Sep 28, 2001.

  1. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Anybody out there got a plasma cutter? I want to get one this winter. How many uses pop up that you didn't imagine? Any pitfalls to watch out for?
  2. Fish

    Fish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    Nice tool, but the serious welders in the shop just used a torch.
  3. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Plasma cutters have their uses - for non-ferrous materials such as aluminum and stainless, they're great. (Using a torch on aluminum or stainless becomes a melting operation, not a cutting one! :eek: )

    Plasma cutters also work well on light material, less distortion from the heat as compared to using a torch.
  4. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I would primarily use it for lite guage steel 1/4 max. My perception is that the cut would be smoother and the cuts more precise. (for a rookie). I also do not want to mess with acet and ox tanks. Can you cut tubing with a plasma, square? pipe?:confused:
  5. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Although where I'm working now I don't use a plasma cutter (I'm "out in the field" 80+% of the time) the place I used to be at had one, I liked to think of it as the "electric torch". Very versatile piece of equipment - pipe, tube, angle, plate, ferrous or non-ferrous - does a good job.

    One thing you will need is a decent supply of compressed air.

    There's times I wish I had a plasma cutter handy, so if you can afford one - get it.
  6. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I have a plasma cutter that is rated for 5/8" material but probably should be rated for 3/8" They are great for thicknesses up to about 2/3 of their rating. Neat cut, you can almost pick up the pieces bare handed after cutting. (No heat distortion problems). The above post is right - you need a large compressor as they do need a very ample supply of air. They are like anything else - don't hurry them and they will do a good job.
  7. justractors

    justractors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    The posts about air are correct but in addition to needing a lot of air you need the air to be as clean and dry as possible.
    If the air is not clean and dry your tips will be destroyed in very little time and with the cost per tip being between $3 to $8 it can sure eat up your profits quickly.
    I have seen some ads for a couple of smaller plasma cutters with a build in air compressors but I have no idea of how well they work or hold up.
    You may want to do a web search for plasma ciutters and go to some web sites and see what out there.

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