For this build we selected the Hypertherm Powermax 65 plasma torch.
As we discussed earlier in the Research section we were able to do hands on
demos with plasma torches from nearly every manufacture at the SEMA Show.
Hypertherm stood out in a few areas:
They are Plasma that's what they do and they do it very well.
The machines are built well and are very reliable.
Innovative features like the onboard consumable storage and integrated air filtration
Duramax Torch system that allows us to switch between a hand torch and a machine torch in minutes using only one machine.
Power and Size
Consumables were affordable, available for many vendors and easy to replace.
And Finally the support. If you have spent any time on the forums you know the name Jim Colt. He is the go to guy for plasma cutting knowledge and support. Hypertherm has great support, super fast response and they actually care. Things not found in some of the other companies.
We purchased our Powermax 65 from Baker Gas and opted for the Machine torch and purchased a Hand torch. We really liked the fact that we could leave our machine torch on the table and dedicated yet still have the ability to simply disconnect the torch lead from the machine and hook up our hand torch to cut off material or take it mobile to a job site while keeping our machine torch in place. This allow us to purchase a higher power unit and get a multi use function saving lots of money by not needing multiple units. A majority of the consumables interchange between the torches as well so that means less part numbers to worry about.
When you go to select your plasma cutter remember a few things:
Check the power requirements of the unit you are looking at and make sure your shop is capable of supplying the power. We had an electrician come out and upgrade our sub panel to handle the required input for this unit since it was a significant upgrade from our previous.
The power unit does not come with a plug so make sure you have the one for your application so you can hook it up and get to work when it arrives.