Plasma Cutters, Hypertherm or Thermadyne, or ?
It's one of those toys I've always kinda wanted, I rarely have very much use for plasma cutting but probably would find some if I had it.
Hypertherm is supposed to be the industry leader or close to it, but then Thermadyne is also fairly well known and their Cutmaster True series has 4yr warranty and my Thermal Arc tig welder has been awesome, and the cutmaster looks tougher built for shop environment than the hypertherm.
So, did anyone get to use both by any chance and would have some extra feedback or comments of the real longevity and quality of either one?
Both are sold through the same local place so service doesn't worry me too much, but I don't want a machine blowing a board 2yrs in and have to buy anyone one again as seems to be the case with a post a bit further down.
I have a Thermadyne Autocut 100 and the XT-301 torch that is now several years old. The power supply has been flawless but I have had issues with the new style torch. I wish I had a Thermadyne rep who kept in contact with me. I have no experience with the Hypertherm but it is a solid company.
As a PM member we have one advantage in that a PM member, Jim Colt, is a regular contributor to the forum. He knows his stuff and represents Hypertherm.
All other stuff being equal it's the customer service that would make or break a deal for me. When I have a question do I want to be playing phone tag? Do I want to deal with a company that only talks to me when I have an issue?
I bailed out with Arcet and Airgas because of that reason. My Robert's Oxygen rep is here every Monday for at least 2 hours making sure everything is good with our welding process and consumables.
Last edited by Walter A; 05-22-2012 at 10:36 AM.
I prefer Hypertherm. I haven't used a new TD but the older ones I have used worked well enough.
New TD units are made in CHINA if that matters to you.
They are probably close enough to be a personal preference/customer service/service question rather than which is the 'best' machine.
I have a Hypertherm Powermax 45. I love it. Drag tip, so you just rest it on the edge of the metal, pull the trigger, and move. The tip works great with sheetmetal straightedges, and even cardboard shape templates.
It died about 1 year after I bought it. I called up a welding supplier even though I bought it over the web. They said no problem, bring it in. One week later it was done, no cost, no hassles. Now two years later no problems since and I still love it.
My next one will also be a Hypertherm, but larger.
I should be receiving a Hypertherm Powermax 45 tomorrow, it wasn't in stock but another location had it so its in transit now.
The Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster True series is made(or was that assembled) in mexico, I checked the back sticker anyhow, def didn't say china on them.
Seemed like a fairly solid unit and I like the roll bar around it, but hypertherm seemed to have better reviews overall.
I look forward to trying it.
cutmaster 42 (no roll bar on this one) on ebay (new) ad from ioc says:
"Made in China to Thermal Dynamics specs, first Chinese product we ever sold where 100% of buyers felt quality was excellent and it did more than they expected and everything it stated it would do and more. "
Don't know about the other models.
Like the OP, I am in the market for my first plasma cutter. It will be a Hypertherm but not sure of the model yet.
I was sold on the company and its reputation for quality and service but what really made up my mind was an experience over the last three weeks using one in a very rough field environment. I was helping rebuild a fishing boat on a mud flat in Alaska and one was being used extensively for all manner of steel and aluminum cutting in a very abusive environment. Not sure of the model but probably a Powermax 45. It cut literally miles of stock in a very dirty and wet jobsite with minimally trained operators. It did not miss a lick even after being rained on and at the end of 400 ft hose of very moist compressed air. The experience certainly convinced me of Hypertherm's quality and ruggedness.