Buying a new tig welder kit

Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
2,065
Location
Texas
So I'm buying a new klutch tig welder kit since the much more expensive miller thunderbolt xt i have is pretty unused since it doesn't have a pedal and cant have one attached, I can only use stick which is basically never and my miller 210 mig isn't really up for the small jobs.

This is the one i just ordered yesterday - https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200833050_200833050

I only need it to weld small small stainless shafts every now and then and a few other small things, mostly aluminum. I wanted something with a pedal or the connector to be able to attach a pedal if it didn't come with it, be well priced, decently powerful as i almost never will weld with it beyond 3/16 and doesn't have to be industrial as most of my work is on my trusty millermatic 210 and it would be used infrequently.

i was looking around and saw a similar harbor freight kit for 320 but figured it looked too cheap but the reviews still looked great but didn't get it, here's the link to it if you're curious - https://www.harborfreight.com/240-volt-inverter-arctig-welder-with-digital-readout-62486.html

- My question is if any of you have experience with cheaper welders and their reliability and weld quality. Especially if you've used a much more expensive one and can compare since welders aren't state of the art, patented, difficult to engineer and create pieces of equipment so now I'm seeing the miller and Lincoln prices a bit outrageous these days.

Sure they'll probably have a few nicer features and will get better weld quality out of the gate because of sinewave adjustment and such but it looks like were going from a camry to an S class and a camry is fine. I have a friend that has used a hundred buck harbor freight stick welder for years and it still works but all my other friends have more expensive machines.

- Another question is what brands of equipment yall prefer to use like the tungsten electrode and filler rod brand, diameter, ect, and what exactly for what applications yall have as I'm not too experienced with tig but still remember some of what i was taught long ago. But i will have to brush up and learn again on my own quick once i get it. Already sorted some scrap i have to practice on. i'll be welding a bit of aluminum and stainless so any tips are appreciated as im mostly just steel and a bit of cast iron.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Houston
So I'm buying a new klutch tig welder kit since the much more expensive miller thunderbolt xt i have is pretty unused since it doesn't have a pedal and cant have one attached, I can only use stick which is basically never and my miller 210 mig isn't really up for the small jobs.

This is the one i just ordered yesterday - https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200833050_200833050

I only need it to weld small small stainless shafts every now and then and a few other small things, mostly aluminum. I wanted something with a pedal or the connector to be able to attach a pedal if it didn't come with it, be well priced, decently powerful as i almost never will weld with it beyond 3/16 and doesn't have to be industrial as most of my work is on my trusty millermatic 210 and it would be used infrequently.

i was looking around and saw a similar harbor freight kit for 320 but figured it looked too cheap but the reviews still looked great but didn't get it, here's the link to it if you're curious - https://www.harborfreight.com/240-volt-inverter-arctig-welder-with-digital-readout-62486.html

- My question is if any of you have experience with cheaper welders and their reliability and weld quality. Especially if you've used a much more expensive one and can compare since welders aren't state of the art, patented, difficult to engineer and create pieces of equipment so now I'm seeing the miller and Lincoln prices a bit outrageous these days.

Sure they'll probably have a few nicer features and will get better weld quality out of the gate because of sinewave adjustment and such but it looks like were going from a camry to an S class and a camry is fine. I have a friend that has used a hundred buck harbor freight stick welder for years and it still works but all my other friends have more expensive machines.

- Another question is what brands of equipment yall prefer to use like the tungsten electrode and filler rod brand, diameter, ect, and what exactly for what applications yall have as I'm not too experienced with tig but still remember some of what i was taught long ago. But i will have to brush up and learn again on my own quick once i get it. Already sorted some scrap i have to practice on. i'll be welding a bit of aluminum and stainless so any tips are appreciated as im mostly just steel and a bit of castI
Do you need AC to tig weld aluminum?
 
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
2,493
Location
Lakeside CA and Lake Havasu City AZ
I can't comment on any of these shown in this thread, but I bought a cheap Chineese inverter stick welder about 5 years ago from Amazon. 120/240 for about $160 and it is the smoothest stick welder I have ever used. Incredibly stable arc, easy to use, nice welds. I am not a professional welder but have hobby welded with stick and mig for about 30 years.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
12
Location
Marblemount, WA, USA
I’ve had the same stick welder for 40 years. Was looking at home plasma cutters, read that of the various low cost lines, PrimeWeld has live customer support that is very good. I’ve been thinking to learn TIG and the PrimeWeld CT-520DP will do TIG, stick, and plasma cutting with pilot arc, but it doesn’t offer AC so aluminum is a no go with that one. They do have a fairly affordable line, worth looking at. I’d put real live responsive customer service ahead of even their three year warranty (Ridgid cordless tools have a “lifetime battery warranty,” but good luck ever getting them to make good on it, even if you jump through their many registration hoops). PrimeWeld’s TIG225X AC/DC TIG Welder is more than I was looking at, but might be a solid choice. Being a retired guy at home who occasionally makes arc sparks, I can’t justify Miller or other big name prices.
 
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