Hypertherm 65 or 85?

I’m new to cnc plasma. I’ve been in manual fabrication for a while. I have an XR on order. I’m looking at the hypertherm powermax sync 65 or 85. What are your thoughts? I’m leaning towards the 65 because I think the cut quality with fine cut consumables will be better on thinner material. I can’t decide. Have you guys or girls came acrossed a situation where you wished you bought a bigger plasma?

I ended up opting for the PowerMax 85 ( only 10 months before the sync was released lol)

The 65 and the 85 are basically the same machine.

Here’s the mechanized sales brochure which gives some basic details of the differences.


The main difference is

The 85 can only turn down to 25 amps where the 65 can turn down to 20 amps

The 85 will have longer duty cycles

Both will have pretty much the exact same performance on 14 gauge material.

The 85 will be able to pierce thicker material.

I feel that my Hypertherm powerMax 85 is worth every penny I spent on it.

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Thank you for the reply.

Have you cut 16 or 18 gauge with the 85?

I just don’t want to have problems getting clean cuts on thinner gauge if I get the 85.

Is the low end 5 amp difference between the 65-85 going to make that much of a difference? Or am I just worrying about nothing?

I want to buy the right plasma the first time

I don’t have a main objective with the cnc table. So I do not know what thickness I’ll be cutting more. I’m buying it as a hobby. If I can turn it into something then great. I would like to start a small fab shop.

Most likely I’ll be cutting signs and parts/brackets

I don’t have a hypertherm but if @TinWhisperer is using an 85 I don’t think you will have any issues with fine detail if you go that route. There is a thread on this forum where people post their projects and he has posted some stuff with some super fine detail.

His mountain bike bottom bracket wrench and wolf profile have some amazing precision.

Scroll through it, always fun to see what others come up with!


Thanks for the input @72pony. I kinda get the feeling @TinWhisperer is kind of a big deal around here. I think I will go with the 85. I will definitely check out the project thread you sent

Here’s some cutting I was doing on some 26 gauge galvanized.

I ended up turning my machine down to 25 amps and running it at 300 in per minute but I think it does a nice job.

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That turned out really nice. You convinced me. 85 it is. This is going to be fun. With help from the threads and the great members on this forum I cannot wait to get started