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Rottguinness
07-16-2013, 11:05 AM
I just bought a PT 225 and I thought I would share my thoughts of the machine for anyone looking at it as well.

For months now I have shopped and drooled over several TIG machines.
I asked many people what they thought and I mostly heard, “You have to buy Red” or “You have to buy Blue”, “NASCAR uses these”, “EAA uses those” and so on! The problem I had was, I didn't really care about all that. I wish I did. It would have made my decision much easier, but I am not really a brand loyal guy. I want value. As a matter of fact, my last truck was a Ford and I now drive a GMC. So truly I am not loyal.
I own a Synchrowave but does that mean thats all I can shop??? Of course not! This is america!
I loved my Synchrowave but lately I needed something larger. I have recently started doing more and more with aluminum projects. I wanted a TIG welder that had enough power to routinely do 1/8” to 1/4” aluminum and not break a sweat. Like most hobbyists, I also am on a budget. Even though I save a ton of money building things myself, I had to set a limit. That meant the Dynasty and Invertec were out! So was the Synchrowave 250 and the Precision TIG 275.

I finally settled on the Precision TIG 225! I purchased it from Harris Welding Supply in Monroe Oh. They were the cheapest on the web by several hundred dollars and offered free shipping. I emailed the store on a Saturday even though they were closed I got a response within a few hours. Tod, “The owner” offered a further discount if I picked it up. When I called a few days later, he answered all my questions about all the machines I was comparing. When I got there, Tod had shirts waiting for my son and I and assisted me with a problem I was having with my plasma cutter. Its a brand they didn't sell but he still worked with me, solved my problem and threw in a free inline filter for my plasma. WOW!!! That kind of service is hard to find! Well worth the long drive. Thanks Tod, we will be back!!!

I got the PT home and I was pleasantly surprised. All of the components were high quality and went together with ease. In 10 minutes I was ready to weld. The torch even comes with a collet, tungsten and cup. I opted to stay with my favorite gas lens but a nice touch. The cart is a show stopper. Very sturdy and only an inch off the ground so no lifting of the bottle. I liked this especially because I run a very large argon bottle. I attached the pre-connected safety chain, connected the regulator, pedal and torch and I was off and welding.

My first weld was on .100 aluminum. I had scrap left over from a project that I just completed with my Synchrowave 180. I made a console for my boat using 3/32, 2% lanthanated tungsten and 20 CFH argon and 125A .
I used the same settings for my new PT and to my surprise I burned right through the metal. I found that this machine consistently welds much hotter and with only 80A. I looked at the set up guide and it confirmed what I just found out. The PT welds hotter. I repeated the same weld using the pulser, and what an effortless weld.

While trying a corner, lap and butt, I noticed it did an equally good job. I saw my tungsten starting to blue a little and bumped up my post flow from 15 to 17 CFH with the touch of the knob and problem solved. New tungsten stayed grey. This machine holds a really tight arc even down to 10A. I am sure it would hold tight lower if I switched too smaller tungsten.
The next weld I tried I used the pulser. If you haven't used on before they are really cool. It really helps a new TIG welder make the “Stacked dimes” effect with a simple lay wire technique. Just match your pulses to your travel speed and you look like a pro. Next tried a fusion weld on .125 steel at 20 Pulses Per Second. It made perfect little ripples crowning the edge just right. A quick buff with the flap disk and HOLA, a perfect corner.

I moved to stainless. I was very pleased with the control I was able to maintain. With in the first inch of my first weld, I was able to get great penetration and keep the edge darkening to a minimum. Routinely I was only getting color changes out to 1/4 inch off the bead. Pretty good for 1/8 inch stainless.

So far I am very happy with my purchase. I think it is of good quality and very easy to use. All of the controls are well placed. The components are well made and appear to be able to withstand years of use. The storage drawer is ok. If it were a few inches taller it would be great. It is plenty big enough to store the pedal and a few other items. I keep all of my extra TIG supplies in a small toolbox and I was bummed it didn't fit in the drawer. The cart is terrific and I cant say enough about it. The post flow control is great. You can adjust it very quickly with the turn of a knob. No change of menus or screens. When I researched this machine, I read a lot of welders worried about the duty cycle. I have to admit, I was a little concerned too. What I found was that the PT 225 welds hotter. Consistently 20-30 amps hotter than my Synchrowave. This means that the duty cycle scale is a little misleading. Compound this with 230 amps available, I think there is plenty of power for anything I am going to build for a long time. The “A/C Auto Balance” it probably the best welding option the PT has. Even being the control freak that I am, somethings are really better left to the technology inside. It produces the nicest welds with no extra frost. The pulser I could take or leave. A nice option for beginners who never learned to “Pulse the Pedal”. For everyone else its like having an electric can opener. Some say its the greatest, others say it takes longer than doing it manually. Either way it is cool. I prefer to use the pedal but I see that attraction. I also use a manual can opener soooo you be the judge. The top of the machine has a small storage spot thats about 7.25 x 4 x 3. The special part of this is that it has 2 cup holders on top. The cup holders are a nice touch. I gave the cup holders a real work out. I tried them with dark roasted coffee in the morning and beer in the afternoon. I especially like the way they worked with a few Saranac IPAs in the heat of the day.

I hope this review helps someone who is looking to make the same move I did. It is free of any brand bias ( Except for the beer ). I looked at a few of the imported inverters but they appeared cheaply made too me. Although I didn't weld with them, my first impression led me back to the home grown machines. I think that both Lincoln and Miller make great equipment as I own both. I think that it really comes down to personal preference and maybe even a little ergonomics of controls. If you are looking to buy a mid sized TIG machine and cant afford an inverter, I highly recommend the Lincoln Precision TIG 225. It has a ton of power and features that lets me enjoy welding even more than I did before.

RG

Lanse
07-16-2013, 11:35 AM
Awesome! Glad you like it :)

Brand X
07-16-2013, 11:48 AM
Taking to the Lincoln rep about the 225 years ago. Said Lincoln overshot the mark a bit on that machine. :drinkup: The 200 syncro is a bit down in power, but it really does have sweet/ soft AC arc to it. Still would take about any well designed 200 amp ac/dc inverter over those two machines. Still the 225 is a quality unit to own. good power for it's size..:cool:

zipzit
07-16-2013, 02:52 PM
I'm actually considering purchasing that machine. Couple of questions?

(Assuming 240v single phase) how are you fused at the wall? The Lincoln sales brochure says 39A/42A (230/208V)(Link here) (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/US/EN/literature/E337.pdf)

The owners manual (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/servicenavigator-public/lincoln3/im895.pdf)says "output Current at Rated Output 42A / 39A Effective and 94A / 85A Maximum.

Its not clear to me what the 94A/85A thing is all about. I thought the rated output (225Amps) is the maximum?

I've only got a 50Amp circuit (with breaker, not fuses) available.


Do you have to use green (pure) tungsten for welding aluminum with this machine?

Many thanks, zip

Rottguinness
07-16-2013, 05:28 PM
Zipzit,

I have it on a 50 a breaker single phase 220. I dont like pure tungsten. I use 1.5% or 2% Lanthanated for everything. I have used Thoriated and that works fine too. With these there is no balling, just welding. If you get pure tungsten really hot, it starts to spit and deform.

Goodluck,

RG

worm122
07-16-2013, 06:40 PM
I own a 225 and its a great machine with lots of stuff like pulse that others don't offer in the price range. I have mine on a 50A breaker and have never had a issue I run my plasma and mig on the same breaker just not at the same time of course. I am not brand loyal I don't think I own all Lincoln but if Miller had what I wanted for the best price I would surely own one. Just went to a Hypertherm and got rid of a smaller thermal dynamics plasma.