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JBFab 07-03-2019 05:22 PM

Chinesium Plasma Cutters
 
This topic has been posted here before, but it appears as though it's been a few years.

Has anyone here actually purchased one of the Lotos or other chinesium branded plasma cutters? I normally wouldn't consider this. I've used Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics, Miller, and Linde plasma cutters - all with good results. Here's my situation:

My "lifetime lease" that airgas fucked me out of after purchasing the company I leased the bottles from is gone. I am out of oxygen. I could pay $400 per bottle for the lease (from one of Airgas's competitors) and likely will at somepoint. However, I find myself needing to cut material more than I need to heat it lately. Also, since getting the spoolgun I find myself playing with aluminum more.

So now I find myself thinking I have a decent position to talk the wife into letting me buy one of these - it's the same price as a leased bottle. But I'm finding a hard time shelling out 25% of the cost of a "real" machine without knowing if it will work out of the box and last more than 3 minutes.

What say ye?

astronut 07-03-2019 05:32 PM

Years ago I owned a Giant Tech Cut 50D. It was okay for what I paid for it of around $400 at the time if I remember correctly. Only thing is it had the Mosfit electronics in it instead of the IGB electronics. Back then Mosfit electronics were known to go up in smoke at the drop of a hat. I never had an issue with mine when I had it and it would cut up to about 1/2" steel if I remember correctly. The only thing I did not like about it was that it did not have a pilot arc. It was contact start only. After a year or two of sitting with no use I put it up on ebay and sold it. I had a Thermaldynamics 25amp 110 volt unit before it and it would cut up to 3/16 steel and 1/4" with slow patience. I wish I would have kept that one since most of my plasma work that I usually did was 1/4" or less.

digger doug 07-03-2019 08:15 PM

There is a 3rd option:
I had purchased (2) 40 amp older xformer units (a hypertherm max 40, and a
solar model)
outfitted new torches to them, and used them for a few years.

HF start, torch's, hoses, consumables are all cheap on e-bay (pt-31 torch).

However I wanted to upgrade.
So I picked up a non working snap on ya-5550.
Original torch was made by Hypertherm.

55 amp xformer unit, dead simple, no HF to deal with.
Replaced the melted glob of a torch with a new Chinese copy ($80).
IIRC s-60 blowback torch.

I see them made under Century, Dayton, etc.

No they aren't portable by any means (well they doo have wheels
under them).

But, no one will steal it either.......

JBFab 07-04-2019 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digger doug (Post 738203)
There is a 3rd option:
I had purchased (2) 40 amp older xformer units (a hypertherm max 40, and a
solar model)
outfitted new torches to them, and used them for a few years.

HF start, torch's, hoses, consumables are all cheap on e-bay (pt-31 torch).

However I wanted to upgrade.
So I picked up a non working snap on ya-5550.
Original torch was made by Hypertherm.

55 amp xformer unit, dead simple, no HF to deal with.
Replaced the melted glob of a torch with a new Chinese copy ($80).
IIRC s-60 blowback torch.

I see them made under Century, Dayton, etc.

No they aren't portable by any means (well they doo have wheels
under them).

But, no one will steal it either.......

Thanks for your input. I took a look at that option, and didn't find anything that seemed to be priced right/something that I'm confident I could diagnose and repair.

Working, well used (beat up) name brand units in the 50 amp range still seem to be fetching $1000 or near that.

Sent from my SM-N960U using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

JBFab 07-04-2019 12:10 AM

Thanks for your reply, this particular model is pilot start.
Quote:

Originally Posted by astronut (Post 738190)
Years ago I owned a Giant Tech Cut 50D. It was okay for what I paid for it of around $400 at the time if I remember correctly. Only thing is it had the Mosfit electronics in it instead of the IGB electronics. Back then Mosfit electronics were known to go up in smoke at the drop of a hat. I never had an issue with mine when I had it and it would cut up to about 1/2" steel if I remember correctly. The only thing I did not like about it was that it did not have a pilot arc. It was contact start only. After a year or two of sitting with no use I put it up on ebay and sold it. I had a Thermaldynamics 25amp 110 volt unit before it and it would cut up to 3/16 steel and 1/4" with slow patience. I wish I would have kept that one since most of my plasma work that I usually did was 1/4" or less.

Sent from my SM-N960U using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

Shade Tree Welder 07-04-2019 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBFab (Post 738188)
My "lifetime lease" that airgas fucked me out of after purchasing the company
I leased the bottles from is gone.

Airgas pissed me off and chased me away from BOC back in the day. I followed
Chad over to SJ Smith, they have taken very good care of me over the years.

As far as the chinkomatics, I have no input. My Miller has been good to me
over the years. Next one will likely be a Hypertherm unit, if the Miller ever
dies.

moe1942 07-04-2019 10:03 AM

I have a Collosal Tech Cut 50...Good machine for the price.

digger doug 07-04-2019 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBFab (Post 738224)
Thanks for your input. I took a look at that option, and didn't find anything that seemed to be priced right/something that I'm confident I could diagnose and repair.

Working, well used (beat up) name brand units in the 50 amp range still seem to be fetching $1000 or near that.

Sent from my SM-N960U using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

I think you don't understand all that I wrote.

50 amp TRANSFORMER plasma cutters, but new enough to NOT
be HF start, and are AMERICAN MADE, or CEBORA (Italian made, sold
as the snap on ya-5550A, and a smaller unit sold thru Harbor freight)

And dirt simple to repair.

Max you should spend would be $400.
https://masoncity.craigslist.org/tls...898652358.html
https://columbus.craigslist.org/tls/...924880190.html
https://www.centurytool.net/Century_...rts_s/2381.htm

JBFab 07-07-2019 08:02 PM

I understood you fine, but I can't seem to find anything like that local to me.

That coupled with the fact that I'm still not confident in my ability to diagnose and repair one.

Sent from my mobile device using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

Matt G. 07-07-2019 09:36 PM

I have had one of the Lotos units for about 3 years now. I bought it for a specific project, which it successfully completed, and have used it maybe once a year since. It does the 5% of jobs my 14" band saw cannot do. So far, so good. Consumables are cheap on ebay, and at the rate I use it, I probably have a lifetime supply.


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