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  #1  
Old 09-04-2017, 12:36 PM
Swede Swede is offline
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Amazon/Ebay plasma cutter opinions

Hey all, I'm looking at getting one of the cheap plasma cutters off of ebay or Amazon. I wouldn't use one enough to justify buying a miller/thermodynamic/hypertherm as much as I'd love one.

Anyone here use one of the el cheapo 350-500 dollar 40-50 amp machines? How well do they work, any issues getting consumables for them?

I'm thinking something along the lines of the "CUT50" type machines that are plentiful on those sites.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:02 PM
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I have a chinese one called accurate tool that I got off ebay. It's a 220v and is ok for up to 1/4" plate. Hasn't given me any trouble but only gets used occasionally. Bought a bunch of extra consumables for it from the seller. Have had it for several years now. Price was right. Has a habit of cracking the porcelain nozzle shield during heavy use.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:35 PM
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Thanks,

I just ordered one for $175 off Ebay, free shipping. It's a Zeny CUT50 model dual voltage (110/220).

Link to Zeny CUT50 on Ebay.ca

If it arrives I'll be sure to update this thread with an overview and pics. We all know how Ebay can be!

For that price, I figured it was worth a shot. There seems to be plenty of consumables for these on ebay and amazon for cheap, and given how much I expect to use it I think it'll be perfect for me as long as it works.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:12 AM
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I have a big fat expensive Miller, because I have a productive shop. I have used a few Chinese models and to be honest they work... Perhaps your travel time is slower but who cares when your time is your own.

It comes down to 2 things.

Duty cycle, the cheap brands don't hold up to a day of cutting.

Consumables, how easily available are your tips and torch parts going to be?

I found an Amazon dealer that sells knock offs that work fine and he seems to. Inventory everything. Given my volume discount at praxair it doesn't save me any money to buy online but good to know your consumables are available.

Buy an air conditioning kit and your bits will last longer.

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Old 09-05-2017, 10:51 AM
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Swede, definitely looking forward to a review of the product. That is crazy cheap. Hope you get it soon.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:42 AM
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I will definitely share pics and a review of this machine once I get it. I'm more than familiar with these small inverter based plasma's, I used to use a Miller 375 Extreme extensively at the shop. This one will not be a pilot arc like the Miller, it'll be a "scratch start" type. I have no illusions regarding the quality difference between the Miller and this one, but this cost less than a replacement torch for the Miller...

Providing it works it should be more than sufficient for occasional use in my garage at home, it'll pair nicely with my Lincoln 140C MIG and small inverter TIG/stick unit that I have.

One more thing, I did order consumables as well. $17 CAD for a 70 piece set (electrode/nozzle/swirl rings/cups.)

Here's the link for the consumables.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:03 PM
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I watched some youtube reviews of that cutter, and it looks like it works fine. What a change from when you couldn't buy one for under a grand.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:27 PM
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Thats the kind of machine I need, cheap because I wouldn't use it often but could often of used it :)
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:40 PM
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I ordered one as well, getting it shipped to Pembina Parcel from a US address.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:08 PM
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This isn't that cheap anymore on eBay...... unless I can't find it
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:18 PM
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I couldn't find it from the vendor that he ordered from either. I bought it instead from a US vendor that ships to a US location.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Zeny-Plasma-C....c100011.m1850

Cost me $244 cdn including shipping to Pembina ND. I'll just go pick it up. Much quicker (2-7 days) than waiting for delivery from China IMO.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:08 PM
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Got it. Should have time to set it up and try it on the weekend.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:08 PM
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Damn,

Mine's still on the slow boat. Patiently waiting over here.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:15 PM
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boy... I would sure like one.

does anyone know if it carries any US or Cdn certifications on it (already know first hand CE doesn't count for insurance here)

thanks
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:13 PM
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I paid $254 cdn for it and had it shipped to Pembina. It arrived there three weeks ago, but I didn't find time to pick it up. Looked through all my junk and couldn't locate the two welder's plugs I could have sworn I had. I'm sure I'll find them when I'm looking fir something else. Bought another at Princess Auto for $18. I should be able to try it out tomorrow morning if all goes well.

I can't find any certifications on it. Even looked on the bottom.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:39 AM
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Works excellent. I'm running mine off 220, although it will also work at 110, but have limits on the upper amperage range because of the doubled current draw. The instructions are a bit chinglish, so I am not completely sure how you are supposed to start the plasma. I press the button, and air flows. Seems like just air. Then when I bring the tip close to the workpiece, it starts shooting plasma. Not sure if I am supposed to initially touch the work piece? Was there supposed to be a pilot arc??

I quote directly from the manual:

"Press knob of torch and bum and strike arc" ????

The amperage range runs from 18 amps to 50. At 18 amps it cuts 1/8" just fine. At 35 amps it cuts 1/8" with way more heat, like a hot knife through butter, you can go faster.

About my only critiques so far is that the button on the torch isn't designed for easy operation with standard thick welding gloves on. Its a tiny button, flush with the torch surface, almost like you'd find on cell phone, not a big trigger like on a mig welder. I'll wear tig gloves instead. Also, I don't like the power switch on the back of the unit. Dumb place to put a power switch. Very inconvenient if the unit is on a shelf or cart up against a wall.

When you get it, it doesn't come with a power plug, or hose to connect the regulator to the plasma cutter. It comes with a regulator, with barb fittings and hose clamps, so that means you will need some plain old air hose. Unless you want to try unscrewing the barb fitting from the back of the machine, something I didn't want to try, because that would likely mean having to remove the cover because it may not be on a mounted block inside. Luckily I had some I'd kept from an argon line I cut one of the ends off to attach it to another bar end on a Princess auto regulator. You only need a foot.
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:38 PM
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My conclusion is that this doesn't have a pilot arc, so that's why its so much cheaper than the others. I'm fine with that, but make sure you read up on the advantages of pilot arc, before making a decision to buy one without pilot arc. A pilot arc starts the plasma before you bring it to the work piece. This allows you to start the plasma flow even if the work piece is dirty, rusty or painted, as the pilot arc will burn through that. It also eliminates the need to touch the workpiece, even if temporarily, with the non pilot arc model. That might allow the tips to last longer. I also read that a pilot arc is needed for easy cutting of perforated or expanded metal, as the arc won't go out during the gaps.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:44 PM
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Just cut some 1/2" flat bar. Made 5 cuts to get my technique down. Take your time, and it cuts 1/2" thick no problem. I wouldn't want to cut large figures out of 1/2" plate, as it would be awfully slow, but would work in a pinch. Severing some bar, or cutting a bolt or nut, this tool will work just fine.

Also cut some thin sheet aluminum. Pretty cool. Distortion free cutting. With a guide, you can move real quick and get neat results.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:35 PM
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Sounds like the perfect machine for the occasional user like me

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Old 10-14-2017, 12:36 AM
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I did some reading and I知 still on the fence. Seems that the pilot arc might be the way. Because sometimes you need to cut the rusty plate or bolt in your way%


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