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Thread: Chinese Welders

  1. #1
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    Chinese Welders

    OK This is my opinion on Chinese Inverter Welding Equipment.
    First off I made a comment on another thread which someone has hit the “delete” key, must have been trying to find the “any” key! Thought there was such a thing as “freedom of speech” guess I was wrong.

    Don’t really know yet whether this post/thread will be accidentally deleted !!
    I have visited Manufacturers/ Importers premises over here and all there equipment is on pallet racking, they have already been tested from the factory with tested tags on them, there testing facilities are very sophisticated.

    I have had many inverters in my shop, red, blue, yellow whatever.
    Many of them have had blown IGBTs, Mosfets probably not matched or under rated
    I believe that some manufacturers do not put high enough rated components in there equipment.

    When I do a replacement of say a board under warranty it may say “revised version 5” with a list of what they have changed, mostly it is upgraded components, or a diode or two added. Now doing these mods to there PCBs is great, at least they are getting feedback from failed components and doing something about it!

    Some engineer can design these bits and pieces and test them on a bench and loadbank in a controlled environment, temperature, dust, moisture, etc. But the proof comes when a person buys the machine and actually uses it under many different circumstances. One person may be an expert with the setup and use of the machine but may treat it like sh1t in the back of his truck, running them off a dodgy generator, allowing them to get wet, rain etc. Could go on but you get the drift about experts (Some)

    Then you have the guy that treats his like a baby in his shed, but he really does not know about the welding side of things, gets his stick stuck to the job or the tungsten, mig wire, effectively shorting it out, yes there are some machines that have circuitry built in to help with these situations but it still happens.

    I had a guy bring his Mig in with shot diodes, replaced them, he came back a month later claiming they were dodgy. I inspected the Mig gun and the tip holder and tip were blown away, he had shorted them to the job which in turn took out the diodes, assume that is what happened to the first lot. He learnt a costly lesson.

    Then you have Mig’s, which some people when they have a problem with the feed they screw down the wire tension and yes it welds better, little do they realize that they are overloading the motor which can take out the control board

    The operators that I am referring to should take more care with there equipment, and also READ the manual, yes I know that some manuals are very sketchy when it comes to information.

    Inverters are great for there intended use which is to be light weight, less physical size, etc. But personally give me a good old bulky, large transformer, solid rectifier, simple circuitry, heavy duty components inside and out any day.

    Who actually uses all the bells and whistles on a machine so equipped? Not many I would bet.

    If a person can actually weld then he does not need all the extras!!!
    I may have gone off the track a bit so to get back on track the problem with most Chinese welders are that the components are mostly of inferior quality, IGBTs and mosfets are not “matched” when installing them. When I replace these I make sure that they are matched and always replace the lot.

    Where do you get parts or any technical information, or a simple circuit!!!!
    The way that some are put together, my 10 year old could do a better job

    I guess if you pay peanuts you get monkeys!!!!

    Most Chinese welders do not appear to have any ongoing support, such as backup service, somewhere to take it for warranty issues, try ringing someone to answer a question etc

    Whereas the better brands have service guys all over the place, can get parts easily, can ring any office and get answers to questions there and then. You can ring a Rep and he will come and visit you to discuss any issues that you may have.

    I am saying that it is a lot of things that make a good product, reliability, function, versatility, service,etc

    But the last thing should be price!!!

    We have Chinese equipment over here that I sell and service as well as a lot of other people, but the difference is some of it has a 3 year warranty and there are local service agents to take them to, should they have a problem, they can ring the importer and get answers. They are very professional. I have confidence selling there product and they are Chinese made. Probably the difference is that the importers actually go to China and specify exactly what they want and it is overseen by an engineer not some person that has been promoted to “Quality Control Expert” and gets an extra 10 cents an hour.

    If someone comes in to my shop and says “bought this on Ebay” I say sorry I cant help you. As it would probably cost more for me to fix it than to buy another one off Ebay.

    So there is Chinese and there is Chinese

    In short there are a lot of factors In the failure of some equipment!
    Would I buy one for my own use? Not likely! Maybe if they got it all together?

    I have a lot more input to this but I will wait and see what happens, probably a lot of flak, but eh I am thick skinned and can give it back!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    I see a lot of what appear as anti-chinese sentiments getting deleted on welding boards... These complaints are legitimate, its not anti-chinese, its anti-crappy product.

    its not that "Made in China" is bad... its just that, its taking a chance.

    I don't see anything wrong with your post, it shouldn't be deleted/censored.

    I'm Chinese, and I'm not offended at all.

    A couple of points need to be cleared up:
    1. a lot of manufacture plants in china makes products for cheaper, and that's the point: CHEAPER.
    2. they can built great stuff (the great wall has stood for quite a while now... and who doesn't like chinese food?)

    When they know when they're making a low end product, and they tend to not care, and not take pride in their work. Yes, it would be great to take pride in one's work, but when you are hungry, you want to eat... pride takes a back burner.

    one of the popular business models is, if you sell 1,000 low quality welders at $99.95 while making $10 each, profit = $10,000. if you only sell 50 high quality welders, at $500, while making $50 each, profit is only $2500... So, if you were hungry, which would you choose?

    Let's look at chinese calligraphy, the folks that make great calligraphy sells them for major $$. Real ink, written with real calligraphy pen, on high quality paper. and the craft takes so long to perfect a lot of these calligraphers are old, gray, wrinkled with hunch backs. yeah, they can make quality stuff.

    50 hand made calligraphy isn't going to feed your family though. 2 million sheets of mass produced (ink-jet-printed) hand-made-look-a-like, for 25 cents each... that will feed your family though.

    you can't really blame the chinese for doing these low budget products, they're being PAID to make these low budget products. unfortunately, a lot of these people doing the telling aren't chinese companies.

    Now for something I'm more familiar with (i'm only a n00b welder) motorcycles. when Honda first came to Taiwan, they were the dependable as rocks. Honda set a plant in Taiwan... and it was a disaster. Taiwanese made honda's were junk. I know, because my family had a few. Eventually, standards were raised, the workers' lives stabilized and they began to take pride in their work. Their supervisors began to instill the concept of "quality" and the workers understood. now-a-days, taiwanese made honda is indistinguishable from japanese made hondas.

    funny, both honda's have same quality...... and same cost.
    Last edited by oxy moron; 03-16-2009 at 03:14 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by oxy moron View Post
    I see a lot of what appear as anti-chinese sentiments getting deleted on welding boards... These complaints are legitimate, its not anti-chinese, its anti-crappy product.

    its not that "Made in China" is bad... its just that, its taking a chance.

    I don't see anything wrong with your post, it shouldn't be deleted/censored.

    I'm Chinese, and I'm not offended at all.

    A couple of points need to be cleared up:
    1. a lot of manufacture plants in china makes products for cheaper, and that's the point: CHEAPER.
    2. they can built great stuff (the great wall has stood for quite a while now... and who doesn't like chinese food?)



    When they know when they're making a low end product, and they tend to not care, and not take pride in their work. Yes, it would be great to take pride in one's work, but when you are hungry, you want to eat... pride takes a back burner.

    one of the popular business models is, if you sell 1,000 low quality welders at $99.95 while making $10 each, profit = $10,000. if you only sell 50 high quality welders, at $500, while making $50 each, profit is only $2500... So, if you were hungry, which would you choose?

    Let's look at chinese calligraphy, the folks that make great calligraphy sells them for major $$. Real ink, written with real calligraphy pen, on high quality paper. and the craft takes so long to perfect a lot of these calligraphers are old, gray, wrinkled with hunch backs. yeah, they can make quality stuff.

    50 hand made calligraphy isn't going to feed your family though. 2 million sheets of mass produced (ink-jet-printed) hand-made-look-a-like, for 25 cents each... that will feed your family though.

    you can't really blame the chinese for doing these low budget products, they're being PAID to make these low budget products. unfortunately, a lot of these people doing the telling aren't chinese companies.

    Now for something I'm more familiar with (i'm only a n00b welder) motorcycles. when Honda first came to Taiwan, they were the dependable as rocks. Honda set a plant in Taiwan... and it was a disaster. Taiwanese made honda's were junk. I know, because my family had a few. Eventually, standards were raised, the workers' lives stabilized and they began to take pride in their work. Their supervisors began to instill the concept of "quality" and the workers understood. now-a-days, taiwanese made honda is indistinguishable from japanese made hondas.

    funny, both honda's have same quality...... and same cost.
    Any new product has to start with "Quality"
    The labor costs are cheap so why not spend a little extra for quality components
    Right from the word go there product gets a bad name for the sake of a few extra dollars
    They are only turning potential customers away, as you have mentioned with Honda products.
    As I said there are some good products coming out of China but not enough.
    The great wall was built on good foundations, and thats where it all starts

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    ......Any new product has to start with "Quality"
    The labor costs are cheap so why not spend a little extra for quality components...Cheers


    You hit the nail on the head ! Their labour is so cheap, their products "should", be built far better than anything they are competing with. If they had a top shelf product, they could sell it 25 % - 50 % cheaper than their competitors and still make a huge profit.

    If it is a good product, people will buy it, no matter the country of origin.

  5. #5
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    $$

    That is why they are what they are.

    Consumers are buying the Low Quality products so why in the world would the Manufacturer spend another dime?
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  6. #6

    Re: Chinese Welders

    I'm going to be totally cynical here, but...

    how many of the parts inside those "made in the usa" welders are actually made in China?

    (note, we don't sell welding machines, so I'm not making any specific claims here, but we do live and work in a global economy and I have seen maquilladora plants down in Mexico that make all kinds of things with American brand names put on them)
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  7. #7
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    There is a market for high end and a market for low end stuff..if there was no demand china wouldnt make the stuff, it has its place as long as you know what ur buying,if your stupid enough to think that harbor freight mig is any where the quality of a miller or lincoln then your the fool, but if you are only playing around and tinkering then its a great deal and that goeson for many different products, but I can tell you that the quote , American made products , quality is falling fast and service is getting worse..

  8. #8
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    I think they're making inferior products for the low end market because there are people buying them.

    Just like the super top end, exotic markets such as Bentley, Ferrari, Zonda... who really needs those things? I'm not sure if brand new Ferrari can stack up on reliability with Honda sedan. but there's a market for these exotics.

    there is definitely a market for cheap welders, that's why they exist. There's no market for Hummers, not anymore, so Hummer is gone!

    they can put out quality products/components, as we know, there's at least one component in "Made in USA" welders.

    I just hope their business model change like all the other nations: Japan, Taiwan, Korea... etc.

    remember the days when "Made in Japan" means Dime Store (i.e. 99cent store of today). Now Made in Japan is synonymous with reliability. The same goes for Made in Taiwan... they used to be cheap cloth, cheap electronics, now they're descent enough where "Made in taiwan" isn't an issue anymore.

    remember the days where Samsung was the "knock off"? now their cellphones rank right up there.
    The people didn't change. The business model did.

    a little bit more insight: even people in China don't like to buy "made in china" because they are also aware of the quality or lack thereof (even for basic hand tools such as a screw driver.) "Made in USA" fetches a premium... but they can't afford it, so they have to buy the chinese stuff. As their standard of living change, they will demand higher quality from their own factory down the street

  9. #9
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    I dont have a problem making a low buck machine, thats their right, and if someone buys it, good for them.
    However I have 2 very large problems with business ethics both in china and the USA.

    1-Lower quality goods being sold as equal to higher end, by people not qualified to make those claims ( read "importers").
    2-Corporate espionage of china companies stealing designs and such, and then copying and selling a similiar looking product at a lot lower price tag. ( knock offs, clones ). I really dont think its fair for one company to put all the effort, engineering, development, and money into a product, only to have a china company steal the design and undersell the original company.

  10. #10
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Yes but they are making fairly good products, I see them over here with 3 year warranty and I dont see many in my shop for a warranty repair, If I do it is usually an operator fault.
    They are still very cheap. So why cant the rest of them do the same?

    Every major manufacturer has some sort of plant in china these days, with there brand on it.
    But the difference is that the Manufacturer calls the shots and strives to make sure that there branded "made in china" is built to a quality standard yet they are still very cheap, granted not as good as a genuine red or blue but it suits the lower end of the market.

    It can be done

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    blame it on the delegated quality control rep and the middle man that spec the product for his local need... the rest is just customer satisfaction excluding the end buyer...........
    Unit in my fab shop dept:
    my good hand and team that trust me...

    A lone welder make art... a village full of welder make Miracles...

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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Billy,
    I am new here and am looking at a realgear MIG 140 from my local GTS Welco store. It has a 1 year warranty. I am aware that you get what you pay for, but I need this welder to complete a car restoration consisting of welding in a trunk floor, quarters, etc... 20 ga to 14 ga. automotive sheetmetal. I am trying to do this restore on a budget. Do you have any feedback about this particular welder?

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Just went into my lws today. On the Victor torch box.... Made from parts from USA,Mexico and China. Now, anyone going to put the smackdown on Victor?
    Welders:
    Esab Migmaster 250
    Penncraft 230 (oldy but goody)
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  14. #14
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    Just went into my lws today. On the Victor torch box.... Made from parts from USA,Mexico and China. Now, anyone going to put the smackdown on Victor?
    I will,
    The welding tips have really gone to pot in the last 5 or 6 years. They moved production of the J series tips to Mexico, then China, and in every move the internal geometry of the tips got changed and cheapened. Same happened with the "N" tips. The current ones made by victor are absolute garbage, so much so that other companies have had to "step-up" and reproduce the original tips in quality form. Now I understand that most people now probably use their O/A equipment for cutting and wouldnt notice the quality drop off since cutting tips arent as critical.

  15. #15
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    When you buy a Lincoln or Miller welder it is not just the machine you are buying, it is years of developement work,testing,repairing, and getting feedback from industry in many environments for many years.

    Also there is a network of welding stores that can give you technical information and expert set up advice.

    Many times the welding stores know and have relationships with many businesses that specialize in different areas of welding and the store has access to get that info.

    When you buy a welding machine from a big box store on a 110 wire feed welding machine make sure you check the duty rating. Some of the machines do not have the same duty rating as machines sold in welding stores.
    The average big box store employee may know NOTHING about welding but can give damaging incorrect advice.
    AWS certified welding inspector
    AWS certified welder

  16. #16
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisd6875 View Post
    Billy,
    I am new here and am looking at a realgear MIG 140 from my local GTS Welco store. It has a 1 year warranty. I am aware that you get what you pay for, but I need this welder to complete a car restoration consisting of welding in a trunk floor, quarters, etc... 20 ga to 14 ga. automotive sheetmetal. I am trying to do this restore on a budget. Do you have any feedback about this particular welder?

    Thanks.
    No sorry I dont know that particular machine, as i said there are ones over here that have 3 years warranty so I would try to get the longest warranty (check the warranty conditions) and go for that one.

    One of the ones that I am talking about are made by Jasic, but are made to our manufacturers specs. They keep a very close eye on the build of these machines.
    As far as break downs they are better than Italian machines and on par with most of the higher end machines. In saying that they suit the handyman better than the semi pro and they are not red or blue.

    Every high end manufacturer is in China making the lower end machines. The guts of machines are exactly the same but one is red and one is yellow or whatever.

    I have had more problems with the Italian jobs than any other. When one comes in to my shop I cringe!! And that includes red and blue!!!

    Cheers
    Billy

  17. #17
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Just to dd to my previous post if you are on a budget and you cant afford a higher end machine then go for one that has the longest warranty that you can get and a guarantee from your LWS that you can get immediate service. I would not buy one off ebay or similar under any circumstances!

    Cheers

    Billy

  18. #18
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Thanks for your response. My local welding store has been around for some time. Can't say that I trust them cause I don't know them, but they are attentive when I walk into the store and always ready to help.
    I will see if they can sell me an extended warranty.

    Chris.

  19. #19
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Oh yeah, also wanted to add that the guy at this store said these RealGear Welders are Lincoln knock-offs with the internal parts being the same as the Lincoln and it uses Lincoln accessories like tips, etc..The reason they only offer a 1 year warranty is because of the hugh price difference...makes sense to me, but what do I know about welders??

    Thanks again for your help.

  20. #20
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    I'm a bit late, but I would like to give some facts from a non American to enlighten the American ...

    Chinese can make good products, but there is a strong demand by "importers" who doesn't care about quality and the chinese need to work. The same happened with the Japanese and the Corean a few years ago...

    I'll give you some facts. A Mexican welder, owning a small shop wants to improve the quality and searchs a small Mig: a 140 Amps for example, with a spool gun.

    He can ask at best 20 USD an hour.
    Add to the following prices a sales tax of 15% plus a shipping around 100 USD.

    He asks Lincoln Mexico; the small MIG welders are not imported...
    He asks an independent importer: the 140T costs 1002 USD, the spool gun 351 USD. Total 1453 USD plus sales tax.
    Warranty none forget it. Lincoln Mexico won´t be of any help.

    He tries Miller. By Miller Mexico the Millermatic 140 plus the spool gun costs 1204 USD. No shipping cost. Warranty formally one year; in real life almost none.

    He tries Infra (mexican brand), after 3 weeks he gets a price on the MM175XL 1114 USD. No spool gun. Impossible to weld aluminum the feed rate is too low; 320 IPM.

    Morality, he renounces.

    Myself I'm going to import a RealGear 140, looks nice for 330 USD if I can adapt a Miller Spool gun and if GTS Welco accepts a payment by bank tranfert. Unless you are very rich it's impossible (and costly) to have an international credit card, and Paypal in Mexico is a pain.

    Total price of the welder after importation (includes sales tax) around 500 bucks. With a Lincoln spool gun around 750 USD. I almost forgot it's a "simplified" importation: I CAN'T DEDUCE IT as cost of my small shop. Nope. So add to the cost of importation the tax cost when you'll declare the benefits; 28 % of income tax, because you couldn't deduce it.

    To have a deducible importation I have to use the services of an official importer; minimal cost 250 USD plus sales tax.

    Who would pay in the States a 140T welder with a spool gun 1453 USD with no warranty?

    Nice situation isn't?

  21. #21
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    They don't go in for repair because the distributor tells them what its gonna cost ballpark or friend at em...told ya so. and they take it to the pasture and yup.

    That's what I believe.

    I've tried to get NTE,ECG and such replacements for an import and nobody could help with those made for production part # so name brand it was from there on
    Lincoln 225 Tombstone,
    Miller Big 20,
    Hobart 180,150' Argon,
    A/D hobart hood
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    79 F350 dump eats 4.75 TONS and still turns
    cutters,grinders,
    And a Hypertherm POWERMAX 30

  22. #22
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    The American companies installed in Mexico don't give a **** about the small customers. You can forget all about warranty. They won't risk a sue so... They won't never help you as I have too many examples.

    One example: I bought a DeWalt 4" grinder (the model with thermal protection industrial line) price 110 USD. American branded but chinese (not an issue for me) made, amking the price obscene. Theoretically with one year warranty and tutti quanti. After 3 days of normal use it caught fire, in a complete short circuit. Happily I have a good electric circuit and the breaker did its job.

    DeWalt Mexico said nuts for the warranty. I'm french, and froggies are big mouths, plus I'm a retired navy officer and naval engineer so I have enough education to judge about a grinder, it's a bit simpler than the electric system of a destroyer.
    After a very hard discussion, my big captain's voice won the contest and the grinder was finally opened in my presence at the DeWalt center service: it appeared that the shaft of the rotor had broken (defect in the steel) thus putting in contact the rotor and the stator, and burnt before the thermal protection reacted.
    After a second hard discussion I was refund. I made all that for the principle not for the money; if you offer a warranty, respect it. I won't never buy De Walt.

    Morality I buy now Urrea (mexican brand) which sells a similar chinese grinder for 35 USD and the warranty works fine.

    I won't speak too much about a Millermatic 140 sold by Miller Mexico (a subsidiary of Miller USA) which was visibly a refurbished american unit, sold in Mexico as new. It never worked correctly and Miller Mexico never did something. Happily for the owner, friend of mine, I could repair it with the help of an electronician, it works fine now.

    Conclusion in Mexico it's not worth to pay the name...

  23. #23
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Yes but they are making fairly good products, I see them over here with 3 year warranty and I dont see many in my shop for a warranty repair, If I do it is usually an operator fault.
    They are still very cheap. So why cant the rest of them do the same?

    Every major manufacturer has some sort of plant in china these days, with there brand on it.
    But the difference is that the Manufacturer calls the shots and strives to make sure that there branded "made in china" is built to a quality standard yet they are still very cheap, granted not as good as a genuine red or blue but it suits the lower end of the market.

    It can be done

    Cheers
    Stihl hedge trimmers are now made in China, But under German supervision. The quality is as good as the German made units. The big MADE IN CHINA stickers will be tiny next year though, due to US flack, and slow sales.
    I dont think its the workers as much as is who is running the show.

  24. #24
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Just to dd to my previous post if you are on a budget and you cant afford a higher end machine then go for one that has the longest warranty that you can get and a guarantee from your LWS that you can get immediate service. I would not buy one off ebay or similar under any circumstances!

    Cheers

    Billy
    Billy I have to say that I both agree and disagree. A home hobby guy might use his machine 2 times a month and go for a few years before any problem. The big boys warranty is owned time also. Yes the LWS will cut you some slack, But most LWS send their repairs to the big boys warranty place, if its out of warranty get the check book out., they don't do it in house. If the machine is bad. its bad and not using much it is not a help. On the other side of the coin is your LWS will do what he can to help you get through your problems if you bought it through them .

  25. #25
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    Re: Chinese Welders

    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchit View Post
    Billy I have to say that I both agree and disagree. A home hobby guy might use his machine 2 times a month and go for a few years before any problem. The big boys warranty is owned time also. Yes the LWS will cut you some slack, But most LWS send their repairs to the big boys warranty place, if its out of warranty get the check book out., they don't do it in house. If the machine is bad. its bad and not using much it is not a help. On the other side of the coin is your LWS will do what he can to help you get through your problems if you bought it through them .
    Yes thats why I say to get the longest warranty possible as the diy wont use it as much as a shop. So if you have 1 year warranty and only use it 12 times, but if you have 3 year warranty can and will make a difference. Only buy one if you know for sure that you can get it fixed.
    We have a lot of re-badged chinese machines which are very cheap, but they are imported and sold by reputable manufacturers, with service guys all over Oz, and we have access to parts, they actually stock the parts here.
    Normally if it is out of warranty I tell the customer first up that it may cost more to fix it than to buy a new one, decision is his.
    I do get more Italian machines than chinese to repair though.

    Cheers

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