true...tools are generally for life but.... some tools that you may not use much, why pay 4 times more.
the tolls i use all the time or need to rely on, i get good ones. i will by HF for my tool bags on my truck.
when i did not have a plasma cutter, i thought of how much i would need it. bought a china cheapy. and i hardly use it. glad i did not pay $1200++ for a great name brand. i think i paid like $200. the few times i have used it, it has works great. i bought way more consumable so i would make sure i could get them.
Here is where I stand on the chinee vs American made plasma cutter issue.
I have 2X friends that bought Miller plasma cutters in the early 2000’s. I respect both of those guys fab abilities and patriotism.
Both of the above referenced plasma cutters experienced board failures within the first 3-4 years of general home/hobby/garage use. Miller told both friends to kindly get fucked and that a new board was $1200. A brand spankin’ new Miller plasma cutter was $1500, for fucksake!
That was the first thing that soured me towards Miller plasma cutters. Could have been isolated incidents, but back then, I had three friends with plasma cutters and two had major issues that rendered their investment useless.
Financial analysis/Price Point:
Miller Spectrum 375
Genuine miller Consumable cost for 5X tips, 5X nozzles, 1 cup: $115
Miller machine costs 6X more
Miller consumables cost approx 33X more!
My first chinese machine had a similar lifespan as both my friend’s Miller machines—around 4 years.
All my friends that have used the Chinee machine and American made machines say the Chinee offering is 85% as good, if not better. It’s a plasma cutter—technique is of paramount importance—as is dry air and timely replacement of worn consumables.
After 4 years, my original Colossal Tech chinee prasma cuttel died, and I bought the exact same machine to replace it because fuck it, $250.
**the listed cutting capacity of the chinee CUT50 is a little more and the advertised travel speed is slightly higher than the Miller that I used for comparison**
I'll add an anecdote about Miller. My dad bought a Spectrum 375 a couple of years ago and while we have used it somewhat heavily it is nothing near a professional work load. It is already having issues that are either a board going bad or another expesive part starting to go out. We have always babied it as well, draining water out of the air tank before use, using the proper filter on it, always making sure air pressure is in the right zone and keeping it stored in the case.
awesome discussion guys, much appreciated and I'm sure it will help others in the future as well. I will say, personally, never even thought of getting a Miller, or the like, cause i can't afford it. But Im glad to know that people are at least getting their moneys worth out of the chinese units and seems like some are getting even better life than miller. The value is definitely there. But unfortunately this purchase is on hold for now. My dog needs surgery so money is going to her bills.
I use the brass axe. Has way more versatility than a plasma. Takes more skill to use well. If I did more sheet metal work I would probably buy a plasma. I worked for a guy who had a trace cutter permanently hooked up to oxy acetalyne and that thing was the shit for plate work. Build a template out of ply wood bolt it to the machine and start cutting.
I use this machine for most of my prasma cuttel needs and it works great. As far as it being the same as the rest of the chinee prasma cuttel’s, theyre probably all made in the same factory in china and last the same 4 years ish