I’m never to sure about plasma cutter welder combos, especially cheaper machines that have a low price tag. There’s often a compromise in their abilities, especially when it comes to duty cycles. So. I set out to review the PrimeWeld Ct520D with this in mind. Is this high-power plasma cutter welder combo as good for a professional shop as it is for DIY metalworkers?
Given that the PrimeWeld Ct520D is priced quite low for a plasma cutter, I had some reservations as to how good this plasma cutter welder actually is.
While some, more industrious, professionals might find this machine slightly lacking, I think it can hold up to a good deal of medium to heavy-duty work. PrimeWeld make great welders and plasma cutters.
The PrimeWeld Ct520D is a 50A plasma cutter, already more than a Mickey Mouse home plasma cutter. In addition to this, it functions as TIG and stick (MMA) welder with a 200A maximum current. The kit comes with absolutely everything you’d need: welding attachments for TIG and stick welding, all your gas pipes, clamps and filter, a ground clamp, and a variety of tips and accessories. The only thing you don’t get is a pedal control but the Primeweld Ct520D can accommodate a pedal. I wouldn’t call the clamps and attachments industrial grade equipment. They are decent quality, however, certainly above average.
What’s the PrimeWeld Ct520D like to use?
Getting started, whether you’re a seasoned metal worker or a beginner, is as easy as it gets. The user panel at the front has everything clearly marked and is easy to understand. It has a switch to engage machine or pedal mode. Another 3-way toggle switch allows you to quickly and easily select plasma cutter or either of the two DC welding options – TIG or MMA.
An analog gas pressure gauge in the top left corner is visible at a glance. Two self-explanatory dials enable easy settings for current (A) and gas. You can check the current on a 3-digit LED display. This is also clearly visible as you work. It’s large enough to observe from quite a distance. Connections for the plasma cutter, welder, gas pipe, and pedal are also on this panel, at the bottom and out of the way. Setting up the machine and using it is a breeze.
Once you set to work, I think most would be suitably impressed. With a 60% duty cycle at maximum power, this is an incredibly efficient machine. You’ll often see welders and plasma cutter advertised as having a 60% duty cycle. But, it’s only when you read the fine print that you see this is for around 50% power or less. This plasma cutter / welder has the nuts to meet any challenge. TIG input frequency is 50HZ – 60HZ, with a power frequency of 58%. Power efficiency is 85%.
A 50A plasma cutter can cut through just about any metal and make pretty deep clean cuts. You can easily cut cast iron, mild steel, copper, aluminum, stainless steel – you name it. The only not so good thing (for some) might be the absence of cutting pilot arc. A 200A DC Stick or TIG welder is also way above average. Using the current dial you can go as low as is needed for thin sheets and soft metals.
Should You Buy the PrimeWeld Ct520D Plasma Cutter?
This is one of the most capable plasma cutter welding combos you’ll find – especially at the price. If you work the machine hard, day in day out, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Though the ground clamp, cutting torch, and welding attachments might need replacing if you’re using the Ct520D daily in a professional shop.
This product has a 3-year warranty, which is greatly reassuring. Though even the best inverter plasma cutters and welders can have their issues, especially if you’re using them regularly for years. These are sophisticated machines. Probably the most important consideration is customer service and how a company reacts to warranty returns or repairs. This is where the guys at PrimeWeld really make the difference.
You just have to read the customer reviews on Amazon and other sites to know how amazing their service is. They promise full service and no shipping fee for returns and warranty repairs. By all accounts, they always deliver on this promise, even going beyond what is considered normal courteous customer service. Now, that’s quite rare these days. Probably one of the best reasons to choose the brand.