Cheap, fun, and easy – yup it’s what I shopped for in a prom date, unfortunately I never got all three. In the case of the Miller Spectrum 375 X-treme plasma cutter you get exactly that. While cheap is a relative term, the cost of owning a plasma cutter has dropped by about 50% in the last few years. As far as fun goes, if you can dream it up, you can cut it with this machine, from brackets, tabs, and frame work, to decorative household items for the Mrs., the Miller Spectrum 375 X-treme takes the guess work out of cutting altogether. With its simple multi-voltage plug, auto air regulator, and built in thermal protection, this little blue beauty couldn’t be easier.
The Miller Spectrum 375 X-treme lives us to its name and is truly the mighty-might of the plasma cutting world. It measures a svelte 13”x8”x6” and tips the scales at a feather-weight 18 pounds. But don’t let its size fool you, this little blue devil will easily slice through thick metal that bigger, more expensive units will struggle with. It’s so light and small, that Miller provides a shoulder strap attachment to allow you to tote it around the job site with you. Portable, powerful and limited only by your power and air connections.
The Miller Spectrum 375 X-treme plasma cutter ships in a durable plastic carrying case that has room to hold spare parts, manuals, accessories and more. The Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme is also big on versatility too, with a very innovative multi-voltage, twist-lock plug, allowing it to be used with both 110 volt and 220 volt power sources.
Another nice feature of the Miller 375 X-treme is that it operates without high frequency, thus no need to unplug computers or worry about ruining digital controls as in the past.
Features at a glance:
We sparked up our Miller 375 X-treme plasma cutter and first tested how it dealt with varying air supplies. The 375 X-treme requires 4.5 cfm @ 90 psi to operate, which is well within the limits of most medium-sized 110v hobbyist air compressors. Our first test was done with a 2 hp 33 gallon 110V Craftsman compressor that was rated at 6.2 cfm @ 90 psi and the 375 X-treme performed just fine. Our second test was conducted using 5 h.p. 80 gallon 220v compressor rated at 9.2 cfm@ 90 psi. The Spectrum 375 X-treme performed with no noticeable difference between the two compressors, only that the larger compressor kicked on only once during use and turned back off after a minute or so. The smaller compressor kicked on after only 30 seconds of cutting and ran continuously during use, but never fell behind or affected the Spectrum 375 X-treme’s function.
Our last test was to actually put the Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter to work on a real project. As is often the case, I jabbed and ribbed the boss just enough to get him to do something that he wouldn’t normally do, such as cutting into the pristine fenders on his ’74 FJ40 Land Cruiser. He’s been whining about building a set of more durable tube-fenders anyhow, and I just needed to push him over the edge. Rick was a bit apprehensive, but once the cut lines were drawn on the fenders, and the Miller 375 X-Treme was up and running, he sliced through his pristine Land Cruiser with reckless abandon. The Spectrum 375 X-Treme cut perfectly clean lines in the fenders and barely disturbed the paint. Care must be taken when cutting thin metal such as fenders, as a slight bobble, twitch or sneeze will take off metal you wanted to leave attached. Even in the hands of novice users such as Rick and I, the Miller Spectrum 375 X-treme made us look like pros.
The Miller 375 X-treme plasma cutter is so small, it’s almost cute (I get to keep my man card even though I just called a tool “cute”, because I’m actually using a manly plasma cutter). But don’t let the size fool you – this is a powerful plasma cutter that can just as easily be used by a weekend hobbyist as it can by a professional metal worker. It’s powerful, accurate, precise and very user-friendly. There is only one adjustment to be made on the Miller 375 X-treme, which is the power setting – everything else is regulated automatically by the plasma cutter itself – a very handy feature. The LED indicators for pressure, power, cup and temperature allow faster troubleshooting, but we we only able to get the air pressure light to come on when deliberately dropped the air pressure.