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post #1 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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25-30a plasma cutter?

Which "small/portable" plasma cutter would you pick? Based on some of my requirements below, I've narrowed it down to 4 units. The Powermax30 Air is in the lead. Anyone have any experience with one? Is the onboard air worth it or will I run into issues with it not being able to keep up with thicker cuts?

What I want:
- Dual voltage is nice but not required
- On board air looks pretty nice
- Usage:
Cutting brackets / gouging / orange peels and notching (in that order)
No ornamental / fancy cutting
Looking to replace awkwardness of a OA torch
- Do not want to spend over $2000 including cutter + extra consumables
- I've read often that the torch, not the power supply make the plasma cutter. Thoughts?


Blue:
375 X-treme - $1465
- Cut Mild steel: 1/4" (6.4mm)
- Sever Mild Steel: 5/8" (15.9mm)
- 240v 30 amp = 35% Duty Cycle
- 12' torch + 12' work cable
- 10' power cable

Pros:
22' work length
120 / 240v support
I've rented these so I'm familiar with them.

Cons:
You are paying for that ridiculous hard-side carry case
No on-board air option

Red:
Tomahawk 375 - $1495
- Cut Mild steel: 5/16" (7.9mm)
- Sever Mild Steel: 1/2" (12.7mm)
- 240v 25 amp = 35% Duty Cycle
- 10' torch + 10' work cable
- 8' power cable

Pros:
Might have a rebate

Cons:
18' work length
Is onboard air able to keep up with full duty cycle cuts?
Kinda cruddy reviews

Grey:
Powermax XP / AIR - $1420 / $1740
- Cut Mild steel: 3/8" (9.5mm)
- Sever Mild Steel: 5/8" (15.9mm)
- 240v 30 amp = 35% Duty Cycle
- 15' torch + 10' work cable
- 10' power cable

Pros:
25' work length (best)
Onboard air
Thickest recommended cut

Cons:
Is onboard air able to keep up with full duty cycle cuts?
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 05:39 PM
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Hypertherm all day long, although I would get he 45xp. Likely do the spectrum 625 as the second in line. Hypertherm used to make their torches.

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 06:59 PM
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I have the 30XP and love it. My cousin also got the 30XP and likes it a lot as well, but occasionally wishes he got the 45XP. I've never needed the extra power, but he occasionally could use it to cut 1/2" and up, and the 45XP would make short work of that. But he still gets plenty of use out of the 30XP and likes it a lot.

The 30XP air uses different torch comsumables to get the most out of the small, built-in compressor, but it still lags behind the standard 30XP in cutting power. Also, because of the different torch it is more limited in consumable options vs. the standard 30XP. I got the extended cut and gouge parts for my 30XP to fit in tight spots. Doesn't come up often, but they come in real handy once in a while.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Hypertherm all day long, although I would get he 45xp. Likely do the spectrum 625 as the second in line. Hypertherm used to make their torches.
It's a bit over my price point, but I'm sure I won't regret it.
Looking at the 45XP with 50' leads. That will give me more freedom to move around and keep the power supply out of the way. The flush cut consumables look interesting too.
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 07:13 PM
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Couple notes about the 30XP Air. The compressor will keep up with the duty cycle, as there is no storage, it simply uses what the pump can feed it all the time. It has a little, oil-less compressor along the lines of an ARB inside it.

Also, the specs you listed are for the 30XP, not the Air. The Air version I believe is rated for 1/4" cut and 1/2" sever, or something like that. Definitely rated a bit lower than the standard 30XP.

I run my 30XP off a Makita portable compressor (I think it is something like 4 gallon). It won't quite keep the pressure where I want it on long, continuous cuts. But for the vast majority of what I do it keeps up, and I don't have to wait on it.

From what I've read, the 45XP uses a fair bit more air than the 30XP, so you will want a decent compressor if you go with the 45XP. Awesome machine though.

Last edited by BigTB; 11-28-2018 at 07:17 PM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTB View Post
Couple notes about the 30XP Air. The compressor will keep up with the duty cycle, as there is no storage, it simply uses what the pump can feed it all the time. It has a little, oil-less compressor along the lines of an ARB inside it.

Also, the specs you listed are for the 30XP, not the Air. The Air version I believe is rated for 1/4" cut and 1/2" sever, or something like that. Definitely rated a bit lower than the standard 30XP.

I run my 30XP off a Makita portable compressor (I think it is something like 4 gallon). It won't quite keep the pressure where I want it on long, continuous cuts. But for the vast majority of what I do it keeps up, and I don't have to wait on it.

From what I've read, the 45XP uses a fair bit more air than the 30XP, so you will want a decent compressor if you go with the 45XP. Awesome machine though.
Thanks for pointing that out. I meant to compare the XP / AIR and posted before checking my numbers. Fairly moot since thedirtman has upsold me and gouged a hole in my amex.

I'll be driving this off a 5hp compressor with a desiccant dryer so I should be good on air. Originally I was thinking it might be nice to bring the air with me, however, the more I thought about it, I would never be without an air source anyway. Less parts to break is probably best because with my luck, something will break (usually my fault).
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snout View Post
It's a bit over my price point, but I'm sure I won't regret it.
Looking at the 45XP with 50' leads. That will give me more freedom to move around and keep the power supply out of the way. The flush cut consumables look interesting too.
You can get the 45 for $2015 shipped, only $15 over your prce and that comes with a consumables pack.
https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...nd-torch-88024

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Last edited by thedirtman; 11-28-2018 at 10:13 PM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-28-2018, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
You can get the 45 for $2015 shipped, only $15 over your prce and that comes with a consumables pack.
https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...nd-torch-88024
Argh. I ordered from Baker's. $2124 for the non CPC w/ 50' Leads and a consumable kit. Looks like IOC has the same setup with a cover for about $30 more. I'll cry to Baker's tomorrow and see if they'll sell me a cover for $30
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-29-2018, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snout View Post
Argh. I ordered from Baker's. $2124 for the non CPC w/ 50' Leads and a consumable kit. Looks like IOC has the same setup with a cover for about $30 more. I'll cry to Baker's tomorrow and see if they'll sell me a cover for $30
Boom. Free cover!
Thanks for all the info / help guys
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-02-2018, 11:46 AM
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Any plasma torch is better than none!

Cutting out shock mounts with a oxy torch today. I need a plasma.

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post #11 of 17 Old 12-02-2018, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt1guy View Post
Any plasma torch is better than none!

Cutting out shock mounts with a oxy torch today. I need a plasma.
That's brave. I'm guessing you have a lot of experience with the torch. I can be trusted to burn holes in stuff w/ a torch.

The flush cut consumables, while probably not useful for some bracket cutting look really nice. I'll try it out next week when it arrives. I need to cut my control arm brackets.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-05-2018, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-07-2018, 11:13 AM
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Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Awesome. Cut anything yet? When I first got mine I spent like ten minutes just cutting apart piece of steel flat bar with a big grin on my face. Just fun.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-07-2018, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome. Cut anything yet? When I first got mine I spent like ten minutes just cutting apart piece of steel flat bar with a big grin on my face. Just fun.
No. Itís still victoriously displayed on my dining room table and my wife is pissed.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-09-2018, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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@BigTB

What are you using to dry your air? Should I be ok with one of those inline desiccant dryers or do I need to go with the fancy cooler / dryer? I've got to save my shekels for the move East.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-09-2018, 10:08 PM
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You dont need the cooler type, I used the toilet paper filter back in the Midwest and it worked fine. Here in nevada I just use an inline filter and rarely have water in the compressor lines.
https://www.amazon.com/Motor-Guard-M...ter+air+filter

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post #17 of 17 Old 12-10-2018, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snout View Post
@BigTB

What are you using to dry your air? Should I be ok with one of those inline desiccant dryers or do I need to go with the fancy cooler / dryer? I've got to save my shekels for the move East.
As thedirtman said, I'm sure you could get away with less, but I got the Hypertherm branded filter/dryer with the auto-drain. I also got mine at Baker's, and at the time they had a deal on it with the purchase of the cutter.
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