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What's the most expensive workshop tool out there?


Torchmate CNC Plasma Cutting System
Photo Courtesy of Torchmate

If dad has his heart set on a plasma cutter for Christmas, there are small floor models and handheld models that might be the perfect fit. For heavy-duty settings like industrial workshops and factories, the 10' x 40' Torchmate XS2 Precision Plasma and Oxy-Fuel Water Table Cutting System, along with its added accessories, might be just what you need -- provided you have $219,592.84 to spend on it [source: Miller].

The Torchmate XS2 is based off a 10 by 40 foot (roughly 3 by 12 meter) water table which is useful for large projects and for decreasing the amount of debris and smoke put out by the cutting process. This Torchmate system can be used for plasma cutting, as well as a similar process called oxy-fuel cutting, which is better for handling thicker pieces of steel.

The Torchmate XS2 is based off a 10 by 40 foot (roughly 3 by 12 meter) water table which is useful for large projects and for decreasing the amount of debris and smoke put out by the cutting process. This Torchmate system can be used for plasma cutting, as well as a similar process called oxy-fuel cutting, which is better for handling thicker pieces of steel.

Moving at speeds between about 3 and 1,500 inches per minute, this plasma cutter is capable of creating precision resolutions with an accuracy of around .0015 of an inch. It also carefully monitors the flow of plasma with a special torch height control system. When producing parts for assembly, marking each piece with a serial number can be a big help -- and the Torchmate is able to take care of that for you. In fact, it's the ideal workshop tool for anyone looking to quickly and accurately cut, engrave or drill a piece of metal.

Since the Torchmate plasma cutter is a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine, this expensive model comes with its very own Dell computer all set up with software that allows users to create, scan, import and scale potential shapes and patterns. From there, lots of other things are possible. For instance, the shapes can be duplicated and automatically condensed together to conserve metal while cutting. Whether designing your own shapes or choosing existing ones from large clip-art selections, pretty much anything is possible. The computer controls also mean everything is fully digital, so important settings like pierce delay and initial cut height can be adjusted with exacting precision for high-quality finished products.

For more information about the possibilities of plasma and other workshop tools, follow the links on the next page.