Parker Metal Working Products
Plasma Tec40 Plasma Cutter
As most people on Pirate are probably aware, I am building a street-able
Yard Dog) that will showcase some of the technology and products developed
for the 4x4 market, usually
with ideas from our members and vendors.
For a build like this, one would usually require a plethora of
tools, wrenches, sockets, impact guns, drill presses and some sort of metal
removal tool like a oxy-acetylene torch, grinder and if you're very lucky and
relatively wealthy, a plasma cutter.
My garage is pretty well outfitted, with all of the above
mentioned tools and then some. The only problem I ran into while cutting
brackets off of the junk yard frame I purchased was that my 4 year old and very
expensive plasma cutter died! It would cost more than $600.00 to repair it. The manufacturer
wouldn't warranty it, as all they would be replacing is the circuit board.
Torches just didn't cut it for me as they
leave too much slag, refilling the gas is a pain, and they also make my home
insurance agent very nervous. A grinder or cut off disk would work and was put
to use until my wife complained about the noise and my co-workers
weren't too happy with me picking the black goodies out of my nose.
So in my usual fashion, I turned to my trusted advisor(s)
and searched on the Pirate board to find what people were using. I found that quite a few PBB'ers had found the ParkerMP
Plasma-Tec40 on E-bay and
people were happy with their purchase and the support they received from Parker MP.
I contacted Phil Sr. about one and he mentioned that he had
many in stock and that his most popular model was the Plasma-Tec 40 and that they
had a top secret Ninja upgrade to make the 40 amp unit into a 50 amp unit.
As you're all probably aware, Pirate4x4 is all about ingenuity and craftiness, but
better yet MORE POWER, so I had to have it. Not to mention the shipped price
was also lower than the repair price for my broken down, well used cutter. I
placed my order, received a tracking number from UPS ground and in four days
had a box on my doorstep.
ItÕs one small box!
The plasma cutter arrived very well packaged for the most part, although the shipped
box was far smaller than I anticipated. It did sustain some damage in transit
and after reading about them on the PBB, I was worried that something may have happened to
the delicate internals of the unit.
No damage to the unit and one sexy plastic bag.
Upon opening it, everything looked perfect. There was no visible damage to the
styrofoam or anything else. But you all probably want to know: HOW DID IT WORK?
Jason cutting ¼" like butter.
I wired the cord with a plug I had sitting around, attached the air regulator, air line, torch and ground clamp and
handed it over to Jason to play with. The torch already had consumables
installed and the unit came with extras. It worked perfectly right out of the box, with nothing else needed to make it work.
Overall, I am quite happy with the unit. It's much smaller
than my old one that was a 28Amp unit and much more powerful. I severed 1"
plate with it for giggles and it cut through cleanly and easily. The only gripe
I have about it: the air regulator has some weird (metric) measurements on it,
so it's difficult to determine what pressure youÕre actually working with. The
regulator/dryer itself is relatively cheesy, but does do its job. Other PBB readers have
replaced it, which I probably will do as well. Information on how to replace the regulator can also be found on PBB. ItÕs a nice simple but powerful device that has the functionality I was
looking for without the price associated with my old more "blingy" cutter.
I'll move the regulator placement for better fan
cooling and adding a real dryer and regulator. I also added a quick connect
fitting for my air line.
Although I have yet to need support from Parker MP, I've
read quite a bit and talked with other customers who have. Phil Sr. and Phil Jr.
really and truly know their converter tech and look at/ configure all units that
come in from their chosen factories in China. I generally have problems buying
Chinese stuff and really prefer to support the US by buying only USA made
items, but this is a great quality plasma cutter at a great price. It's
also increasingly difficult to walk that line, as even my old plasma cutter has parts
that were made in China, according to the manufacturer. The warranty is better
than my old plasma: 1 year on
labor, 1 year on mechanical parts and 3 years on electronic parts. They also
have a 1 year replacement policy.
You can see my old oxy-acetylene bottles that will be
sold off shortly.
Phil Sr. and I will be working on a cutting article. This
man has come up with some interesting tips and tricks on how to get the most
usage out of one.
E. 19th Lane
Apache Junction, AZ 85219