Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 158
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    western kentucky
    Posts
    4,409

    Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    thought some might be interested in Thermal Arc's new 3in1 mig/ tig/stick.. I think they are priced around $900


    http://www.thermadyne.com/Thermal%20...3in1/index.php

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    central arkansas
    Posts
    102

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    i demo'd one of these machines in my shop for thermal.... seems to be fairly decent lil machine, they only let me have it for 3 months tho.... it wont hold a full 44 pound roll of wire, so be ready to spend more cash for the lil 10 pound rolls.... the tig function is alright, does NOT compare to my dynasty, but what does? the stick is ok, just not enough "sack" to push the cellulose based rods.... then again, if i wanna run those rods, i should be using my big engine drives anyway.... small and light, it sure has its place...
    nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal

    www.sicfabrications.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    18

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    I went to an open house at the LWS and tried out the MIG and stick functions on one of these machines. I'd gone there to look at and try out Lincoln and Miller MIG welders in the upper end of the home usage range. (e.g. Millermatic 140, 180, and 211) This Thermal Arc unit really got my attention though. I already have stick capability in my shop, but was looking to add MIG. Even though I haven't learned it yet, the idea of getting TIG in the same package is really appealing.

    How did the internal components, reliability, welding characteristics, etc. compare to other brands? Was it a case of a machine that does everything, but nothing really well?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    western kentucky
    Posts
    4,409

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    looks like it would be good machine for a home shop...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,820

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by brucer View Post
    looks like it would be good machine for a home shop...
    Yes, and a really good price too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thermal-Arc-...ht_4522wt_1265
    Esab 2200i-TA34
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal Arc LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Arc Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 38XL-SL-40
    Thermal 60i (Beast)












    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    17

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Any updates on this machine? Looking to buy my first welder for a project in the next week or so and this looks like it would give me a lot of options in the future.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    17

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Got a great reply here if anyone is interested.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...414#post272414

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    18

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Thank you for the link.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fayetteville, N.C.
    Posts
    227

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by RacerTim View Post
    Got a great reply here if anyone is interested.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...414#post272414
    yeah thanks for the link as well. It sounds like a nice welder for the money,I was wondering what you decided to by?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    17

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    No, I'm still going back and forth. I only need MIG, but that is interesting because I could get an inverter machine with some basic TIG capability for just a few bucks more.

    On the other hand, I'm also considering a Harbor Freight machine since my primary need is one short project.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,820

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by RacerTim View Post

    On the other hand, I'm also considering a Harbor Freight machine since my primary need is one short project.

    Don't do anything HF in Mig. You will be sorry!!! The Thermal will return most of your money after that project. So will a Hobart 187/190/210
    Esab 2200i-TA34
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal Arc LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Arc Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 38XL-SL-40
    Thermal 60i (Beast)












    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal-LA
    Posts
    8,722

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Don't do anything HF in Mig. You will be sorry!!! The Thermal will return most of your money after that project. So will a Hobart 187/190/210
    Totally agree!

    I was very impressed with how well the thermalarc migged on first try. Maybe we got lucky, but the chart was spot. The arc was smooth and strong, and being an inverter the machine was very tolerant of the arc length.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200withspoolgun,MKCobra Mig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig3ea.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,820

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Totally agree!

    I was very impressed with how well the thermalarc migged on first try. Maybe we got lucky, but the chart was spot. The arc was smooth and strong, and being an inverter the machine was very tolerant of the arc length.

    Smooth and strong, That's exactly the arc of my 400 MST. Sold my Lincoln C-300 Powerwave, because the Thermal and Esab inverters have more of those qualities. Lincoln has a lot of nice welding options,and does weld smooth/ flat. Still that real dig was mostly missing from the electronic new wave arc. You could get close with different slopes, and wire brands, but overall the others ran with more dig in general. Some people might prefer the Lincoln inverter arc, I am just not one of them. The Thermal is kind similar to a Esab 260 arc, but that one is a chopper machine. Nothing wrong with those or even the Miller chopper setup. Shopmate 300 dx. I did not run one long enough to get a good read on that one. Kind on MM-210 like.
    Esab 2200i-TA34
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal Arc LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Arc Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 38XL-SL-40
    Thermal 60i (Beast)












    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong!

  14. #14

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Any new info on this machine. Im not a licensed welder but have a fair amount of welding exp. I've built a few trailer style heavy duty smokers n build some very minor armor for offroading. But very limited. I currently have a Lincoln 135plus n its just not enough. Been lookin at selling my 135 to buy this set up but just unsure? On avrg I'd weld 1/8-1/4 for skids, bumpers And very seldom and or rarely 3/8. I was looking at a millermatic 211 but the guy at the welding supply store said this unit far surpases the miller and cheaper. The miller says rated output is 150 amps @ 23.5v, 30% duty but says amperage range is up to 210? The thermal arc 181 says rated output is 180 amp @ 23v 20% duty cycle and amperage range is up to 180? I understand all the numbers n what they are but I don't understand why miller says up to 150 but output is up to 210 with no specs. Am I missing something?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    fowler michigan
    Posts
    92

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Have almost three weeks use of the 181i,picked it up at airgas lws ordered the optional tig torch when i ordered the welder price came to $1065.30 with tax. Works great no problems small package came with everything , 180 mig gun, heavy duty ground clamp not cheap one, good victor flow reg, tiq torch with switch [ took it apart and put switch on the bottom instead of top easyer to work with finger instead of thumb] burnback control on
    mig great feature have not change tip yet. Mig welds stainless steel with solid wire far smoother than mm211. The chart on the door as all the settings and they are dead on. so far its a great unit for the price.

  16. #16

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    The Miller 211 is 150 30% duty cycle using 220 volt. you can get 210 amps out but the duty cylce is probably more like 10% - 15% so you can weld one and 1/2 minutes straight before the unit will shut itself down if you have it completely cranked with .035 hard wire.
    The Fabricator 181i is similar in output and duty cycle. Keep in mind it is 220 Volt only. Great machine in all processes. cheapest place online is http://weldersupply.com
    you get a nice autodarkening helmet for free too.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Posts
    1,462

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Just saw their newest machine, the Fabricator 252 at Fabtech. A larger machine, will take 12" reels. Made in New Hampshire, not China. Also more $$$, they indicated a price around $1800, will supposedly be available in December. Supposedly better 6010 performance than the 181, seemed pretty good to me.

    They will also have a dual-voltage machine (120/240) in a few months, to be competitive with the Millermatic 211 but substantially lighter. They did not have even a prototype of that machine there, but it sounded interesting.

    John
    A few welders
    A lot of hammers
    A whole lot of C-clamps

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    94

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Since I have 400 MST inverter with three different feeders for it. I really have no use for a 181. I do like the idea of a light weight stick machine though. I spotted this tonight, and since I sold my 95s to my friend, this made more sense for me. I would rather drag this around then the 181. Also the 400 MST supports the Miller 30A spool-gun with the WC-24 control. 400 amps output on a 60 amp single phase circuit. Really killer mig arc too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/THERMAL-ARC-...item53e5eb6922

  19. #19

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    i got the thermal arc 181i as my first welder. I'm a shade tree welder mostly projects for my self. I was torn between the miller 211 and this one. I really like it a lot. i want to get a Tig torch, and spool gun for it but i'll wait. the chart is spot on and produces nice welds.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    The dual voltage machine is what I'm waiting for. The local weld shops says the 181 is of the best machines they demo in a long while.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cal-i-forn-i-a like Swarzenegger
    Posts
    607

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Very interesting tread ..

    We have MTS160 and MTS200S models that build at the same factory as Fabricator 181i.

    if ANYONE wants to try our welder .. even side by side with 181i let me know .. i will send out 1-2 on loan

    181i model is more like our 160 model only with few more amps and few minor changes. 200S has Synergic option.

    Price on MTS160/200 will go down this week and will directly compete with 181i on pricing

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    south GA where its hot in summer and cold in winter
    Posts
    4,766

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Adding to that, we have been selling the MTS here a year longer than TA.
    Esab Migmaster 250
    Lincoln SA 200
    Lincoln Ranger 8
    Smith Oxy Fuel setup
    Everlast PowerPlasma 80
    Everlast Power iMIG 160
    Everlast Power iMIG 205
    Everlast Power iMIG 140E
    Everlast PowerARC 300
    Everlast PowerARC 140ST
    Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,485

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    OK the subject under discussion by users and prospective users is the new Thermal Arc 181i.
    Let's not turn this good thread into another old-time mess with vested-interest dealer's promoting their offshore stuff!
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  24. #24

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    I'll chime in on my experience with the 181i, we've had it for a little over two months and I've used it in all modes.

    Stick function seems to be good, I have very little experience welding with stick and it's not somthing I have too much use for currently, but the few times I've used it it's been able to lay a decent bead in properly fit up parts.

    MIG on this machine is oh so very sweet, it lays a perfect bead and the burnback control is very nice, leaps and bounds better than everything else I've tried, which isn't saying too much. I find it very controllable and capable. Duty cycle is impressive for such a tiny machine.

    TIG I'm not so impressed with.

    Starting with the torch, I had to buy gas lenses to get it to work at all, the normal cups that come with it let the tungstens burn up even with so little stickout that you can't even see the tip. It's also a big heavy bulky thing and they put the gas flow control right above the thumb trigger, this might not be so bad except for the fact that if anything (an upright on the workpiece or, most often, your thumb) touches the gas flow knob it shuts off the gas and you burn up your tungsten. Oh and get a full pedal too so you can have some upslope and keep the tip from being sucked onto the workpiece

    Also, don't forget for a second that this is a LIFT-TIG machine ONLY. Fine for when you're up in places that are hard to reach, but a royal pain in the *** when you're trying to work in tight spaces with little clearance. No HF so you can't weld aluminum

    Overall this is a great cheap little machine that does MIG superbly and perfect for repairing heavy equipment and fabricating large pieces. Also a great way to get you started on welding and to help you realize if you have what it takes to be a welder, but if you already know you want to weld and you really want to learn TIG then spend the extra money and get something with real TIG capabilities

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,820

    Re: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i mig/tig/stick

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    Adding to that, we have been selling the MTS here a year longer than TA.
    Looks like for $500-$600 more money for a year too. Not the same machine, and I would prefer to have Thermal-arc engineers designing my machines. They have always had input on the Japanese Sanrex models, and I am sure these welders are the same.
    Esab 2200i-TA34
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal Arc LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Arc Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 38XL-SL-40
    Thermal 60i (Beast)












    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement