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  1. #326
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrivenToMake View Post
    Yes, but the original year is "your money back". The extended warranty is an additional 2 years, 3 total.

    I agree on the rest of what you wrote. Though I still need to do my own research on the exact warranty terms.

    It's going to take 2-3 years to see how the whole thing plays out.

    It's still not quite risk-free though, or without the need for careful consideration of the warranty...


    Acknowledging the 1-year money-back guarantee and the 2-year extended warranty which would follow, realize that Harbor Freight has that figured out and the psychology that drives consumer spending. You only have 30 days from the purchase date to add the optional extended warranty, and that's just short enough that people get nervous. Sure if the product is DOA or has a serious fault, you will find it within those 30 days and just have a simple return. But if it survives OK, you may have that year of a money back guarantee, but you are still forced to make a decision on the extended warranty, based on your own comfort level, within just 30 days. So what do you do as a consumer? "Stress Test" (abuse) your own product right when you get it to see how stout it is, and risk predisposing it to failures as a result? Use it normally and hope for the best? Or ease your mind with the purchase of the extended warranty? If you return the product during that year, would you get your money back on the extended warranty, or is that just lost?


    The other issue is that with a replacement plan, which Harbor Freight uses, is that a product design flaw is a terminal condition for the consumer. It's the achilles heel of the warranty. Buy a grinder and it died early because it was made on a Monday and the guy pressing the bearings in crushed one crooked because he had too much to drink on the weekend? Odds are that it was a limited problem and your replacement will be fine. But if you buy a grinder that had an undersized casting for the bearing support that fatigues and cracks with use, it's a design issue, and any replacement will be a ticking time bomb just like the first. Your warranty has replaced the product (once), but hasn't given you a good working grinder. And the slap in the face is that you've paid MORE than the cost of a grinder to get nothing. With older products that have been in the catalog for a while, you can read the reviews and usually get a feel for how you will fall on this one. But for brand new unproven products, it's a complete gamble.


    And then there is the warranty cost. Ever looked into how it is priced? The cost of the extended warranty is based on the FULL product cost. Buy a product that has a "regular" price of $500, but you got it with a coupon for $275 or at the parking lot sale for $200? Your extended warranty cost is still based off of a $500 item cost.



    Completely agree that it will take several years for this all to settle out... but in the mean time, Harbor Freight is still going to be making lots of (extra) money, and consumers will still be tempted to spend extra, despite the reassurances of the guarantee.


    And I say this as a person who has both purchased and refused extended warranties. You have to understand what you are doing, and when it makes or doesn't make sense for each case.

  2. #327
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Very well articulated Noble. However, the stress of choosing the warranty doesn't exist. I can return the machine inside of a year, buy a new machine and opt into the replacement. So I really have a year.

    Here is my plan:

    1) I will be purchasing the MIGMax 215.
    2) I will not be purchasing the extended replacement.
    3) Any signs of performance issues or frequent reports of failure (akin to your casting analogy), it will go back before the year is up.

    Best case, the machines turn out to be as good as advertised, and I use it until it bites the dust.

    Middle ground, problems arise. I take it back, I'm out no money, but am on the hunt for a MIG again, I roll the $600 into a Miller 211. Maybe I don't like the machine and I roll to the Miller anyway.

    Worst case, issues crop up in years 1+ to 5 of service and there is no avenue for repair.

    Financially, I can tolerate the worst case scenario. It would annoy me for a good long time, but I also knew I was taking the chance.

    The Handler 140 that Hobart refused to support cost me $250 ($500 purchase, $250 resale) in just over a year.

    In all, I think this approach presents an acceptable risk/reward for me.

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  3. #328
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Livingstone View Post
    Yeah,

    And I'm curious, whatever the price, if the two additional years have the same 100% satisfaction guarantee/full-refund policy as the first year does (though without the additional cost).

    Presumable it would.

    So, a 3-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee/full-refund policy would be a somewhat tempting industy first, I think.

    Good job, Harbor Freight!
    just a question, how can you congratulate HF on a policy you dont even know exists???? I would say its a promotional 1 year no hassle return( and who knows how long that will last) and the extended would only be for repairs, but I dont know for sure, so untill I do im not going to keep pushing that is their policy...

  4. #329
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbytime View Post
    just a question, how can you congratulate HF on a policy you dont even know exists???? I would say its a promotional 1 year no hassle return( and who knows how long that will last) and the extended would only be for repairs, but I dont know for sure, so untill I do im not going to keep pushing that is their policy...
    Where did the idea that it was a temporary promotion come into this?

    The warranty, as stated, is the following "We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 1 year from the date of purchase. Limitations apply."

    Harbor freight also advertises a 1 year risk free trial on it. The two things are separate (legally). They would have to get rid of both the warranty and the risk free trial separately for it to no longer have coverage for 1 year.

    regardless, speculating on what they might change in the future is pointless. Miller might reduce their warranty to 90 days. Lincoln could extend theirs to 50 years. Both unlikely, but possible.
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  5. #330
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Well,

    It's very easy to congratulate HF beforehand, with the reasonable qualifier I gave of "presumably".

    See how easy that is, Hobby, as you even admit that it could be precisely the case, or not.

    And, yes, the 1-year unconditional warrantee could easily be reduced to a more typical 30-day unconditional one, especially if a good many people just buy the units and return them within the 1-year, to sort of get a free rental on the Vulcan machines.

    I suppose the unit prices could be increased a bit too, after an introductory period, which may cause some to keep their units, rather than return them just to have a free rental, as the replacement cost would then be increased.

    Otherwise, HF is still to be congratulated for its no-added-cost, 1-year unconditional, 100% satisfaction/full-refund warrantee.

    Nobody but Harbor Freight has ever offered that to the North American welding community that I've ever heard of, till now.

    So, the HF warrantee is a customer-friendly, innovative one that is a sort of Black Swan that nobody in the industry saw coming. And their offer of a warrantee extention, for an added cost, may appeal to some, "especially if" it's for two more years of 100% satisfaction/full refund.

    Absolutely, congratulations, Harbor Freight!

    So, I like what HF is doing, and will probably like what it does later, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbytime View Post
    just a question, how can you congratulate HF on a policy you dont even know exists???? I would say its a promotional 1 year no hassle return( and who knows how long that will last) and the extended would only be for repairs, but I dont know for sure, so untill I do im not going to keep pushing that is their policy...
    Last edited by C. Livingstone; 09-13-2017 at 05:37 PM.
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  6. #331
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loscaldazar View Post
    Where did the idea that it was a temporary promotion come into this?

    The warranty, as stated, is the following "We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 1 year from the date of purchase. Limitations apply."

    Harbor freight also advertises a 1 year risk free trial on it. The two things are separate (legally). They would have to get rid of both the warranty and the risk free trial separately for it to no longer have coverage for 1 year.

    regardless, speculating on what they might change in the future is pointless. Miller might reduce their warranty to 90 days. Lincoln could extend theirs to 50 years. Both unlikely, but possible.
    all they have to do is take that off the box and change the warranty on any new unit they sell, the welders sold under the 1 year return will be continued to be honored, the welders all have serial numbers to keep track, im not saying for fact its temporary, but once sales go up and they get their foot in the door, policy will change...there are plenty of companies that change warranties, the change only applies to the new units being sold, not the ones already sold...does this clarify what I stated?

  7. #332
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Livingstone View Post
    Well,

    It's very easy to congratulate HF beforehand, with the reasonable qualifier I gave of "presumably".

    See how easy that is, Hobby, as you even admit that it could be precisely the case, or not.

    And, yes, the 1-year unconditional warrantee could easily be reduced to a more typical 30-day unconditional one, especially if a good many people just buy the units and return them within the 1-year, to sort of get a free rental on the Vulcan machines.

    I suppose the unit prices could be increased a bit too, after an introductory period, which may cause some to keep their units, rather than return them just to have a free rental, as the replacement cost would then be increased.

    Otherwise, HF is still to be congratulated for its no-added-cost, 1-year unconditional, 100% satisfaction/full-refund warrantee.

    Nobody but Harbor Freight has ever offered that to the North American welding community that I've ever heard of, till now.

    So, the HF warrantee is a customer-friendly, innovative one that is a sort of Black Swan that nobody in the industry saw coming. And their offer of a warrantee extention, for an added cost, may appeal to some, "especially if" it's for two more years of 100% satisfaction/full refund.

    Absolutely, congratulations, Harbor Freight!

    So, I like what HF is doing, and will probably like what it does later, too.
    GEEZ I need a BIG drink now...lol ill give you an A for enthusiasm ....

  8. #333
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbytime View Post
    GEEZ I need a BIG drink now...lol ill give you an A for enthusiasm ....
    If you have not been drinking all along, you are definitely way behind!

  9. #334
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Best comment ever.
    Eventual master of the obvious, practitioner of "stream of consciousness fabrication". P.S. I edit almost every post because because I'm posting from my phone and my fingers sometimes move faster than my brain.

  10. #335
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrivenToMake View Post
    Very well articulated Noble. However, the stress of choosing the warranty doesn't exist. I can return the machine inside of a year, buy a new machine and opt into the replacement. So I really have a year.

    Here is my plan:

    1) I will be purchasing the MIGMax 215.
    2) I will not be purchasing the extended replacement.
    3) Any signs of performance issues or frequent reports of failure (akin to your casting analogy), it will go back before the year is up.

    Best case, the machines turn out to be as good as advertised, and I use it until it bites the dust.

    Middle ground, problems arise. I take it back, I'm out no money, but am on the hunt for a MIG again, I roll the $600 into a Miller 211. Maybe I don't like the machine and I roll to the Miller anyway.

    Worst case, issues crop up in years 1+ to 5 of service and there is no avenue for repair.

    Financially, I can tolerate the worst case scenario. It would annoy me for a good long time, but I also knew I was taking the chance.

    The Handler 140 that Hobart refused to support cost me $250 ($500 purchase, $250 resale) in just over a year.

    In all, I think this approach presents an acceptable risk/reward for me.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
    Probably will follow DTM lead here and soon will purchase the Pro Tig 200 without warranty

    I have been Reading about at all of the forums.... Saving for.... Visiting my LWS... to look at the Lincoln SW Tig 200 since it was released a couple yrs ago. Seemed like every time I was at LWS for something, the price went up like 50 bucks. When I asked my guy at the store about the increase, his response was " the tig 200 is the most popular selling "home tig" in the country. No need to reduce the price"
    So I wonder if red will be looking at the new Vulcan and maybe re adjust?
    Standing inventory at Lincoln will get the marketing folks attention
    Bottom line for me

    I'd like the Lincoln!!!
    Will probably buy the Vulcan
    If Lincoln reduces the Tig 200 sell price within the said year.
    Vulcan goes back
    Then I'll buy the Lincoln
    easy-pezzy
    right?

  11. #336
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Yeah,

    Just the fact of an industry FIRST, risk-free, 1-year full-refund makes it a no-brainer.

    But even without that kind of a warrantee from Harbor Freight, these Vulcan units seem to be approximately equal to Miller and Lincoln units, at much lower prices and with a better return policy for the consumer. I mean, Shovelon, a pro WW member and shop owner who did beta testing on these units and reportedly couldn't kill them, so they'll undoubtedly prove to be be good units.

    Harbor Freight is marketing these Vulcan units directly against specific Lincoln and Miller products. And, at 1-year, even if a Lincoln does sell for $75 cheaper than it does now, you'll still have to kick out another $500 or so, for a lateral brand change.

    So, Miller and Lincoln already face some stiff competition from Everlast products, but now with this Harbor Freight/Vulcan line, for the prosumer welder segment, it's even stiffer, which may cause those companies to start to adapt to changing market conditions if they want to compete in that market segment, which would undoubtedly be a further improvement for consumers and the marketplace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by outsider347 View Post
    I'd like the Lincoln!!!
    Will probably buy the Vulcan
    If Lincoln reduces the Tig 200 sell price within the said year.
    Vulcan goes back
    Then I'll buy the Lincoln
    easy-pezzy
    right?
    Last edited by C. Livingstone; 09-14-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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  12. #337
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    it appears nobody actually buying the new vulcan machines. everybody waiting for somebody else to buy and let them know how well it works.
    .
    who cares about pictures. i only want to know how good it welds. even the few reviews on HF web site dont tell much. real reviews usually tell whats wrong with machine (even if minor problems) not how great it is

  13. #338
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Well,

    I'm sure people are snapping these up pretty quickly, and rightly so.

    The first adopter/user reviews are just now starting to trickle in with firsthand YouTube video clips.

    It may take a little longer for Harbor Freight personnel or a hired demonstrator to show these units being put through their paces on video.

    But, of course, if I was in the market for a unit, at the Vulcan prices and with that risk-free return policy I wouldn't be afraid to just buy one if I wanted to see for myself, without waiting for 100 reviews to tell me it safe to buy one.


    Quote Originally Posted by WNY_TomB View Post
    it appears nobody actually buying the new vulcan machines. everybody waiting for somebody else to buy and let them know how well it works.
    .
    who cares about pictures. i only want to know how good it welds. even the few reviews on HF web site dont tell much. real reviews usually tell whats wrong with machine (even if minor problems) not how great it is
    Peace to you all,
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  14. #339
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Livingstone View Post
    I mean, Shovelon, a pro WW member and shop owner who did beta testing on these units and reportedly couldn't kill them, so they'll undoubtedly prove to be be good units.
    The only thing that is still a variable... there was the other guy who came on, and said they had been using them for a year, but despite being willing to do so, couldn't show us photos of the inside because they were "pre-production" units and HF corporate wouldn't allow them to share the photos. So yes, while some people - even reputable people - have said good things about them, it isn't necessarily true that they were testing the exact same product as what you would buy in the store today.......

  15. #340
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Livingstone View Post

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    Those ads make me laugh. Nobody "Beats" anyone until they are actually run.

    Never seen a race car "Beat" anyone until it hits the track...

    The ad should say "Theoretically comparable on paper with a lower price tag"
    Dave J.

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  16. #341
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Those ads make me laugh. Nobody "Beats" anyone until they are actually run.

    Never seen a race car "Beat" anyone until it hits the track...

    The ad should say "Theoretically comparable on paper with a lower price tag"
    Ah, Dave. You and I would starve ifs our careers were in advertising.
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  17. #342
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Well,

    Harbor Freight, the Asian producer, and a WeldingWeb member who was also a beta tester of these units for a whole year all seem pretty confident in the Vulcan line already.

    I mean, it's pretty silly to think that it's a mystery in producing good units like these.

    This Vulcan line will undoubtedly prove to be a tremendou success for Harbor Freight, the Asian producer, and for North American customers.

    There's undoubtedly no conspiracy afoot here.

    Within the last five, or so, years its become a very refreshing and happy time for welding unit shoppers.

    This is just more amazing evidence of positive market changes, even in spite of State expansion of the fiat-currency supply, which robs purchasing power from productive people by, generally, making prices rise on most goods and services.


    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Those ads make me laugh. Nobody "Beats" anyone until they are actually run.

    Never seen a race car "Beat" anyone until it hits the track...

    The ad should say "Theoretically comparable on paper with a lower price tag"
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  18. #343
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Ah, Dave. You and I would starve ifs our careers were in advertising.
    I think you're right
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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  19. #344
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    reminds me of insurance company. you pay $50,000 for a house and want $50,000 in insurance, they say house that size worth $200,000 and you have to get $200,000 insurance policy. then you get insurance and a month later they say you need to replace the roof on your house cause shingles are curled in a few spots (ashphalt shingles over wood shingle are never perfectly flat) roof has never leaked
    .
    so you have to decide on total roof tear off and replacement $10,000. minimum to "fix" a roof that dont leak. oh and insurnace company dont like roofing tar. i put roofing tar where i thought might be a problem in spots. i check roof once a year and rarely use $10 of tar. so i ask can i get insurance policy with higher deductible or dont have roof coverage and prefer only $50,000 in insurance as that all i paid for house. no insurance company says you can only buy what policies we sell. you have to fix roof ($10,000 cost) and roof dont leak to buy insurance.
    .
    same with HF welders they stop selling the $180 dc tig stick welder that i think are a very good welder and now only sell $400 to $800 welding machine. personally i dont like the take it or leave it method of selling. i more likely will look else where for cheaper welding machines
    .

  20. #345
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Are you saying you would want $50k in coverage for a house that would cost $100-150k to rebuild?

    Regardless of what you were able to negotiate as the sale price, has nothing to do with what it costs to rebuild.

    Or house burns down, you don't care and just want a $50k check?

    I get a property cheap, pay someone for arson services, collect a check for what I wanted in coverage I chose and double my money.

    Ultimately, this kind of insurance fraud is responsible for your lack of choices there.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

  21. #346
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble18 View Post
    The only thing that is still a variable... there was the other guy who came on, and said they had been using them for a year, but despite being willing to do so, couldn't show us photos of the inside because they were "pre-production" units and HF corporate wouldn't allow them to share the photos. So yes, while some people - even reputable people - have said good things about them, it isn't necessarily true that they were testing the exact same product as what you would buy in the store today.......
    You have brought up a very good point, and the machines I have are all pre-production. Many changes were made and I am hesitant to speak up too much about what I know about them. I am also curious as to what the final package looks like.

    Proof is in the pudding. I will be seeing the package version of the tig200 hopefully by tomarrow as I am mentoring 7 or 8 college kids this Sunday, and hope to rotate them on and off the HF tigs during the day. HF has told me that I can lend the tigs to the college during their project entry build this winter.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  22. #347
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Nah,

    That doesn't follow at all.

    After a year of beta testing, if there were any deficiencies, they're more likely to have been perfected or improved in these production units now on sale.


    Quote Originally Posted by Noble18 View Post
    The only thing that is still a variable... there was the other guy who came on, and said they had been using them for a year, but despite being willing to do so, couldn't show us photos of the inside because they were "pre-production" units and HF corporate wouldn't allow them to share the photos. So yes, while some people - even reputable people - have said good things about them, it isn't necessarily true that they were testing the exact same product as what you would buy in the store today.......
    Peace to you all,
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  23. #348
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    The ad should say "Theoretically comparable on paper with a lower price tag"
    Aw man you're taking all the fun out of this rampant speculation! As a Moderator you should encourage or at least add to the discussion of all these wild theories, to promote growth of the site overall.

    We will soon enough learn if we are seeing the leading edge of a new Craftsman-quality Harbor Freight, or just more of the same overpromoted third rate stuff. That dispute should still be open for discussion at the moment. Don't thow icewater on it! Reality will succeed speculation soon enough.


    (Moderator here for a much smaller VB-based site. Getting new topics going to encourage new members is a constant goal).
    Last edited by California; 09-14-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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  24. #349
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    I'm really tempted to pick one up this weekend (don't even know which one for sure). Just want to put it through its paces and see how it goes and report what I find. So much speculation, bias against, bias for, etc. I want to get one and see what's actually what.

  25. #350
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    Re: New "Vulcan" welder line?

    Just came back from my local HF. They sold out of the Omni 220 and MIGMax 215 already. They only have one left of each of the other three.

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