Plasma Cutter

bronc71

Member

Equipment
BX25D
Feb 25, 2021
54
36
18
North Idaho
10 years ago I bought a Hobart 12ci. I used it maybe a dozen times, and kept it stored on a shelf in my shop so it still looks like I just pulled it out of the box. I put it to good use the past few weeks working on things like making the Equal angle hitch for the mower, and a few other projects.

Last weekend I was cutting off the axle brackets on a cart with it and it quit working. Last Friday I opened up the case and found the reason is due to a burned circuit board. I contacted Hobart support and found out a replacement board cost $2,308. This unit cost me $740 brand new off the shelf and I can replace it for $650 with a newer model.

Reason for this post is not to complain, but to find out what others have for plasma cutter? Other brands, and how they held up.
I had a very similar problem on my Miller plasma cutter. Circuit board would cost about a thousand bucks. I contacted Miller to get some deeper troubleshooting information. Turned out to be a 5 dollar transistor with 20 bucks shipping On internet. I tried it and fixed it. It pulled away from a heat sink and cooked. Might be worth calling Hobart to get more technical troubleshooting information? I was very lucky.
 

ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
646
394
63
Illinois
I had a very similar problem on my Miller plasma cutter. Circuit board would cost about a thousand bucks. I contacted Miller to get some deeper troubleshooting information. Turned out to be a 5 dollar transistor with 20 bucks shipping On internet. I tried it and fixed it. It pulled away from a heat sink and cooked. Might be worth calling Hobart to get more technical troubleshooting information? I was very lucky.
Board is fried, being multi layer, its can't be bread boarded either. There is literally a gouge in the board between three transistors.
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
4,091
1,782
113
Texas
I bought a Forney 20P from TSC for less than $500, but Amazon will beat even that price at $450 with free shipping:
I have worked it VERY hard cutting almost 3,000 feet of 14 ga steel and it also cuts right thru 1/4” steel like it was butter. Expendables are easy to find, inexpensive, and also available online. Anyone who’s been welding/cutting metal vey long will know the name Forney:

https://www.amazon.com/Ferny-Easy-Weld-251-Plasma/dp/B078TZ9WMM/ref=asc_df_B078TZ9WMM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312096335436&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14865501243173873900&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1026201&hvtargid=pla-569011383329&th=1
 
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ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
646
394
63
Illinois
I have to say, that Yeswelder I got is NutZ! It needs to be low amp on 120, but on 240, Holy Schiznit! It sliced through hardened bed bolts like butter. It will take practice to get a nice clean slagless cut, but handsdown 100% better than the Hobart 12CI.

I also had to get a cylinder for the welder since Flux core and thin sheet don't go together very well, too hot, burns through quickly so have to spot weld plugs and then slag builds up causing arc issues. Once I switched to .024 and 75 Argon, the welds came out great, so now have a decent welding setup, only need a Stick and TIG to complete it.
 
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Showmedata

Member

Equipment
LX3310
May 18, 2022
59
38
18
Boulder CO
I have to say, that Yeswelder I got is NutZ! It needs to be low amp on 120, but on 240, Holy Schiznit! It sliced through hardened bed bolts like butter. It will take practice to get a nice clean slagless cut, but handsdown 100% better than the Hobart 12CI.

I also had to get a cylinder for the welder since Flux core and thin sheet don't go together very well, too hot, burns through quickly so have to spot weld plugs and then slag builds up causing arc issues. Once I switched to .024 and 75 Argon, the welds came out great, so now have a decent welding setup, only need a Stick and TIG to complete it.
I'm glad your YesWelder plasma is a good unit. I got the MP200 5-in-1 machine and I'm not really thrilled with it. The primary problem is that the Tig is crap. The plasma is OK, and the mig is just OK. (haven't tried stick or flux core). It's convenient having only one box, but if the Tig had been accurately advertised on the kickstarter I would not have bought it.
 

WFM

Active member

Equipment
L3800
Apr 5, 2013
923
209
43
Porter Maine
I have the Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 52 it has given years of service.
Cuts 1/2" , gouge to 3/4"
I did have the 1/4" version for ten years back in the 90's. Firestorm I think it was called. I sold it on Feebay for what I paid for it after ten years of use.
Made in Lebanon New Hampshire I believe.
 

SGT13

New member

Equipment
Bx23s, CB05 bucket, GS05 scraper, Shop made ballast, hangers, & anchor pts
Sep 2, 2021
14
11
3
Arizona
I have a venerable Lincoln "Procut 60". Out of production for several years now, it's getting harder to find parts and consumables. It is quite finicky about the electrode and nozzle condition and the cost of consumables is not negligible. The finish is not up to laser or waterjet standards, but is way neater, faster and far cheaper than oxy-acetelyne. Assuming you have an adequately sized air compressor and power supply, of course.

Another advantage of plasma is that you can cut anything that is electrically conductive. For fun, apply a layer of thin sheet metal or aluminium tape and you can cut non-conductive materials like glass. Not a great cut, but it will work. Best done with the metal on the back, overhanging the edge of the non-conductive material to start the arc.
That's interesting. Been using plasma for decades & never heard or thought of doing that. Now I've just gotta.
 

Oil pan 4

Active member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
322
74
28
NM
10 years ago I bought a Hobart 12ci. I used it maybe a dozen times, and kept it stored on a shelf in my shop so it still looks like I just pulled it out of the box. I put it to good use the past few weeks working on things like making the Equal angle hitch for the mower, and a few other projects.

Last weekend I was cutting off the axle brackets on a cart with it and it quit working. Last Friday I opened up the case and found the reason is due to a burned circuit board. I contacted Hobart support and found out a replacement board cost $2,308. This unit cost me $740 brand new off the shelf and I can replace it for $650 with a newer model.

Reason for this post is not to complain, but to find out what others have for plasma cutter? Other brands, and how they held up.
Get a hypertherm. They support their old tech and when something wears out you get an upgraded version most of the time. With Hobart you will buy the exact same board that will burn out again. With hypertherm they will sell you an better one and it won't be priced to force you to buy a new one.
 
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GrappleDave

Member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
New Kubota L2501
Mar 19, 2022
37
41
18
jackson NY
Get a hypertherm. They support their old tech and when something wears out you get an upgraded version most of the time. With Hobart you will buy the exact same board that will burn out again. With hypertherm they will sell you an better one and it won't be priced to force you to buy a new one.
True, Hypertherm does support some of their older machines but I think at the 20 year mark they give up supporting them. I have a year 2000 Hypertherm Powermax 900 plasma cutter and about two years ago they sent me an email telling me they would no longer support consumables for my machine. In the same email they informed me they are offering a new updated torch for my machine, I was hesitant to but it at $600 plus but I finally did and man what a difference, that and I bought a new 5hp 80 gallon two stage air compressor and tied the 80 gal tank to the 60 gal tank of my old compressor that the head seized up on. Definitely need a lot of dry air.
 

Oil pan 4

Active member

Equipment
L185 turbo
Sep 21, 2017
322
74
28
NM
Where I used to work has a hypertherm that was made about the same time as my miller625, back around 2003-2005. They can still get parts, upgrade parts. I cant. I have to either buy old parts at crazy inflated prices or mod my machine to run new hypertherm stuff, or sell it and buy a new hypertherm.
All the other welder companies just make you buy a new machine. If I had bought a hypertherm 20 years ago I definitely would have gotten an upgrade torch.
 
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chim

Well-known member

Equipment
L4240HSTC with FEL, Ford 1210
Jan 19, 2013
1,276
351
83
Near Lancaster, PA, USA
Late for the party, but I had a chance to get a Hypertherm 30AIR and it's served me well for the past few years. For me, it was an ideal choice. It has a built-in compressor, and operates on 120v (at a lower cutting amperage) or 240v at 30A. Power is all that's needed to run it. I have an air compressor, but no shop air setup with filter/dryers. I very rarely cut anything thicker than 1/4". The garage and tow-behind generator has both voltages available.
 

Orange L4310

New member

Equipment
L4310, GR2110, Deere 450b
Oct 31, 2022
3
1
3
Appalachia
My .02
My dad has a 10-12 year old Hypertherm. I’ve used it a bunch. Two years ago I moved away and had to buy my own plasma cutter. I bought a Lincoln tomahawk.
Neither has ever failed to function but the Lincoln cuts better/easier. Maybe newer technology makes the Lincoln better?