Newb, no THCa nd keeping it low cost

How far can I go with no THC.

I am cutting holes (5/8) and slots 2x2 in small pieces mild steel 6 x 16 with thickness of 1/4 inch MAX. , i.e max cutting program time is about 8 holes of 1/2 inch and 1 slot 2x 2 in a total area of 6 x 16 inch.

I have read lots of Jim from Hypertherm and others experience with THC, but I need to do this low cost, so I am hoping not to have go for THC yet. Anything saved goes into good compressor, plasma cutter and air dryer (damp climate)

This is a diy leisure setup, with lots of monitoring - no walk away expected.

Will I get by without THC for a reasonable time, or am I going to regret it straight away.

I assume you have a CrossFire 2x2 table. THC is probably needed mostly when you’re cutting either thin material (which will warp when you cut it) and/or cutting material over a long cut (greater than 8 inches as a SWAG). If you have calibrated your table to be perfectly level with respect to the Gantry Arm, then you can successfully cut material if it doesn’t warp, without any Z or THC compensation.

And, I agree, investing in good supply of dry air should be your priority. Practically any cutter will cut 1/4 steel, but you need to use quality ‘consumables’ so pick a cutter that can accept good ones.

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Thanks, your answer suits me fine. I will go with no THC for the moment. I was considering crossfire or another brand 2nd hand. Other brand has simple home built thc on an underspeced Z , so was hoping to avoid buying it.