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Old 06-12-2017, 07:50 AM   #1
rowdyv10
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Default Plasma or cutting torch?

Hey TBHers, I want to start welding and trying to build up my equipment. I currently have a Lincoln 225 stick and Fire Power 120 amp mig units, saw and grinders.

My question is in yalls opinion, as a beginner would you go plasma cutter or torch next? Pros and cons of each?

I'll be in my garage doing feeders, stands, projects for wife and other fun stuff. Thanks in advance, I have really enjoyed all the info from you guys and no doubt y'all will steer me in the right direction.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:52 AM   #2
rowdyv10
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Forgot to mention I do have a makita 3hp 5 gallon compressor
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:53 AM   #3
txwhitetail
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It's good to learn and have a torch first in my opinion. You can use it to cut and bend material. Plasma is also a good tool but if you are just starting out there are a lot of applications you can use a torch for and at a cheaper price point.

When you get a** deep into it like I am you will lose your mind and go buy a Hypertherm 85 plasma to play with! Lol
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:54 AM   #4
muddyfuzzy
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get you a gas cutting rig, learn to burn........ there is a time and a place for a plasma but unless you are doing a ton on non-ferrous work a gas rig will get serve you better. you can also use a gas rig for ornamental, preheating and oxy-fuel welding tasks.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:06 AM   #5
savin yours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txwhitetail View Post
It's good to learn and have a torch first in my opinion. You can use it to cut and bend material. Plasma is also a good tool but if you are just starting out there are a lot of applications you can use a torch for and at a cheaper price point.

When you get a** deep into it like I am you will lose your mind and go buy a Hypertherm 85 plasma to play with! Lol
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Originally Posted by muddyfuzzy View Post
get you a gas cutting rig, learn to burn........ there is a time and a place for a plasma but unless you are doing a ton on non-ferrous work a gas rig will get serve you better. you can also use a gas rig for ornamental, preheating and oxy-fuel welding tasks.
Great advice here!
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:04 AM   #6
Texas Grown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddyfuzzy View Post
get you a gas cutting rig, learn to burn........ there is a time and a place for a plasma but unless you are doing a ton on non-ferrous work a gas rig will get serve you better. you can also use a gas rig for ornamental, preheating and oxy-fuel welding tasks.
What this feller said ^^^. I've been welding most of my adult life. And I'm get-n old . Been in a lot of different industries. Get you a cutting rig and learn all the ins and outs with it. It is also more portable than a plasma. You can cut thicker metal than a plasma too.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:59 AM   #7
JP135
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Fuel/oxy torch first. Portability and the ability to do more than just cut - you can braze multiple metals and silver solder in addition to using heat from the torch on other things.

Just yesterday my FIL needed to change out the blades on his hay cutter. He'd rounded off the heads of both bolts holding the blades on before he came to me for help. A little heat from the cutting torch and I was able to break the bolts loose.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:41 AM   #8
TacticalCowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddyfuzzy View Post
get you a gas cutting rig, learn to burn........ there is a time and a place for a plasma but unless you are doing a ton on non-ferrous work a gas rig will get serve you better. you can also use a gas rig for ornamental, preheating and oxy-fuel welding tasks.
Yup. Plasma cutters are GREAT for what they are for. But a torch is much more versatile.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:41 AM   #9
texan16
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Plasma cutters are awesome tools and have their place but a torch is a better all around piece of equipment. Along with cutting, you can heat and bend stuff with a torch that you cant do with a plasma cutter. Guess while you are at it you might as well go ahead and buy both If I had to buy one or the other I'd go with a torch set up.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
rowdyv10
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Thanks guys great info. Looks like I'll be getting a torch setup.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:56 PM   #11
kruppa24
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more uses for a torch. I vote torch
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:01 AM   #12
txpitdog
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Just used a torch for the first time this weekend. Way fun! Definitely some skill to it but I was able to make straight cuts using a fence. Also heat straightened a frame with it, which I could not have done at all without the torch
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpitdog View Post
Just used a torch for the first time this weekend. Way fun! Definitely some skill to it but I was able to make straight cuts using a fence. Also heat straightened a frame with it, which I could not have done at all without the torch
Glad it worked out for you buddy!
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:33 AM   #14
gonzaleziam
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Love my hypertherm....but wish I had a torch sometimes.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:05 PM   #15
Big H
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I have both and also suggest torch first. I would also suggest buying a good torch. If taken care of it will last a lifetime and there is a huge difference between cheap torches and good ones. I am a Victor only guy.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:29 PM   #16
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good question by OP -great info -thanks
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:32 PM   #17
White Falcon
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Torch all the way. Many many uses!
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Old 05-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #18
txtradesman
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I need a good victor torch
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:03 PM   #19
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Also know that a plasma won't cut any more accurate than a torch will. Torch cuts will be just as good if you have a clean tip and a steady hand. This is a project I just finished for some one to camo their air conditioner unit. A lot of torch work on 11 ga.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:20 AM   #20
txpitdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Also know that a plasma won't cut any more accurate than a torch will. Torch cuts will be just as good if you have a clean tip and a steady hand. This is a project I just finished for some one to camo their air conditioner unit. A lot of torch work on 11 ga.


Very nice work!

I was very surprised at how easy a torch is to use. Granted I watched about every dang YouTube video there is on safety and how to adjust the flame, but when I finally put the fire to the metal it was easy. Steady hand is right, and thereís definitely a difference between a cut and a clean cut. Letís just say ďdo your best grind the restĒ applies to me.

I thought I wanted a plasma cutter but after using a torch thatís what Iím going to get. Will help with my sonís blacksmithing too.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:35 AM   #21
Shu
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A plasma will take a lot more compressor than that.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:57 PM   #22
Draco
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Just a couple tips for better cutting on the thinner stuff. After you press the oxygen lever and the cut starts, let off on the lever a bit, using no more pressure than it takes to make it cut. Unlike thicker metal, keep the tip very close to the metal, right at the tip of the feathers in the flame. If you don't occasionally lose your cut then you aren't going fast enough. The faster you can go, the better the cut will be.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:04 AM   #23
Dale Moser
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This is almost the same conversation as wire vs stick.

Guys who can really use a torch, can do anything with it...I'm not that guy.

No question on the oxy/acet rig's versatility though...when everything else won't work, the gas axe will cut it! And there's a hundred different things you can do with it.




I really want a plasma rig.
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