Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig
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  1. #1
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    Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Hello. I'm looking at these two welders. I'd love to spend a lot more on either an Everlast, or something from the bigger brands, but as a hobbyist that's budgeting to be able to complete an expensive project, it's just not doable for now. Besides, this will be my first Tig Welder. I specifically need to do aluminum, but will end up using this for steel and aluminum. Likely some stainless as well. Bottom line here, I'm a beginner for TIG. I understand that both welders have their own connectors for torches, but there are work arounds if needed. I live close enough to one of the Eastwood stores that I could feasibly head to the store if I really needed to resolve anything. Being a hobbyist, and also having a MIG welder already, I doubt I'd be bouncing off the 25% duty cycle of the Eastwood, but the memory functions might be handy once I get dialed in on a specific job. I think the Eastwood might have a lower starting amp ability for thin stuff. My memory might be hazy on that.

    Any suggestions between the two?

  2. #2
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Unless you have an Eastwood store within driving distance, I would vote for neither. My choice would be the Pro-TIG 200 from Harbor Freight. One of the members here was a beta tester for these units and gives them great reviews. Several other members have bought them since, and also give good reviews. This Harbor Freight welder comes with a 1 year, money back guarantee, try before you buy kind of deal. If for any reason, even if you just don't like it or you out grow it, you can bring it back for a full refund for 1 year. That is pretty risk free. Go buy one, try it for your project and if you don't like it bring it back and get the Eastwood. The ONLY way I would buy an AHP unit is if I got it through Home Depot and paid for it on my Home Depot credit card. In that case (and only that case) Home Depot allows you to return it for up to a year, for any reason. But if you are buying from Amazon, etc, no way. The mail order warranty is useless in my opinion.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    I did see that the HF Pro-TIG got some good reviews. I understand that it can do a good job for what it is, but I remember thinking the functionality was somewhat lacking, even in comparison to the AHP which is cheaper. Really, the only other welder I'm considering is the Everlast PowerTIG 210 EXT, which is significantly more expensive. That said, I'm trying to have a realistic look at what I'd need to upgrade with the cheaper welders (pedal maybe, regulator) and even purchase outright (larger or smaller torch) and have to deal with (non standard torch connectors, not setup for water cooler if I end up wanting to add that). Maybe in the long run, the more expensive one with better stuff would be better.

    Before the debate begins, I'm not interested in buying a used name brand unit. I've had very bad luck buying anything used in the area I currently live, and it has always cost more in the long run than just buying something new.

  4. #4
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    You are a brand new TIG welder yes? Buy the HF unit and use it for a year. It has more functions than the average new TIG welder will know how to use. If you outgrow it in a year, return it and get something else. It has more than enough power and functionality to get the job done.

    I am not sure it is very wise to buy from a mail order company. I wouldn't do it, regardless of the price. Heard too many nightmare stories about people not being able to get service from them. What good is a warranty if they ship you a part and you have to install it yourself?
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  5. #5
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    I purchased an HTP 221 from a mail order company. Should I send it back?

  6. #6
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Unless you have an Eastwood store within driving distance, I would vote for neither. My choice would be the Pro-TIG 200 from Harbor Freight. One of the members here was a beta tester for these units and gives them great reviews. Several other members have bought them since, and also give good reviews. This Harbor Freight welder comes with a 1 year, money back guarantee, try before you buy kind of deal. If for any reason, even if you just don't like it or you out grow it, you can bring it back for a full refund for 1 year. That is pretty risk free. Go buy one, try it for your project and if you don't like it bring it back and get the Eastwood. The ONLY way I would buy an AHP unit is if I got it through Home l and paid for it on my Home Depot credit card. In that case (and only that case) Home Depot allows you to return it for up to a year, for any reason. But if you are buying from Amazon, etc, no way. The mail order warranty is useless in my opinion.
    I didn't know Home Depot sold AHP welders.

  7. #7
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by Brianstick View Post
    I didn't know Home Depot sold AHP welders.
    People sell on homedepot website just like amazon, Sears, Walmart, eBay
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  8. #8
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    I purchased an HTP 221 from a mail order company. Should I send it back?
    No you should send it to me immediately. I will take care of it for you. :-) But in all seriousness, nobody in their right mind equates HTP America with the other mail order companies. Night and day difference. I firmly believe the HTP221 is the best value in TIG welders if you need all of the bells and whistles. I have this theory however, that the number of people who really need or use all of the features on a Dynasty or a HTP 221 is really small. I suspect that lots of folks buy those welders in order to be able to say they have fancy wave forms, or an AC frequency that goes to 1 bajillion hertz or whatever (keeping up with the Jones' so to speak). But you see very few pictures on here of actual aluminum projects that really require all those bells and whistles. There's a few, but not many. Its just my theory after seeing what Zap and a few others can do with old sine wave TIG machines, with no features.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Well, I appreciate your opinion, but spending more money on the HF option is frankly a non-starter for me. I'm not paying more money for less options, and I'm not "buying" one with the intention of returning it in a year and taking advantage of a business. All things being equal, I'd love to just buy the HTP, because frankly that's what I'd really like. In no way can I justify buying a welder and gear and startup kits of consumables and spend $3500 or more to get started. That's what I'd prefer, as I would really like to just buy the welder that I won't out grow. For reference, I've had my MIG welder for going on 23 years or so. I don't really have any "Jones's" to keep up with. I work on projects, it's what I do. One day I may do simple mods on a motorcycle. Another, I might be milling parts I develop for racing. Another, I might be welding together an exhaust from scratch. I'd like the bells and whistles because maybe I'll try making my own muffler using .020" stainless or titanium, if my welder can do it. Maybe in 5 years I'll decide to make something where one of the wave forms will help out, even though I'm a beginner to TIG today, looking at welders. If I'm going cheap, I'm going cheap. I don't see any reason to spend $300 extra for less features on Harbor Freight stuff. And frankly, everything is going to mail order these days. I fix 400 ton plastic injection machines and related systems for my day job. If Eastwood, Everlast, or AHP would just send me a part to fix a problem, great! Easier on me and I know it's done right. I'll probably be able to tell them exactly what component on the board failed anyway.

  10. #10
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Its your money and a free country. You asked for advice and I provided it. If you don't like my advice, that's just fine with me. Go forth and prosper. But the fact is I could do all those projects just fine with my Syncrowave which has no pulse, no adjustable frequency, no wave forms, etc.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    I bought a 2015 AHP Alpha Tig in 2017 - I am the 3rd owner. A few months in I had a board "go" - called and spoke to AHP support who were very helpful and responsive (if you call) - shipped me a new board, plugged it in - have been running since without issue ( 18 months). I have welded both aluminum and steel - thick and thin. I've maxed the AMP's out and used lower amps (to the best of my skill) - I am also a hobbyist. I am VERY pleased with the machine I have - and wish I could upgrade to the 2018 machine offered through Amazon - and get the 3 yr warranty offered. Good luck with your decision.

  12. #12
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    chipmunkshavenuts of the two welders you are considering I would get the AHP Alpha Tig.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by chipmunkshavenuts View Post
    Well, I appreciate your opinion, but spending more money on the HF option is frankly a non-starter for me. I'm not paying more money for less options, and I'm not "buying" one with the intention of returning it in a year and taking advantage of a business. Maybe in 5 years I'll decide to make something where one of the wave forms will help out, even though I'm a beginner to TIG today, looking at welders. If I'm going cheap, I'm going cheap. I don't see any reason to spend $300 extra for less features on Harbor Freight stuff.


    Last edited by shovelon; 11-09-2018 at 12:00 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Terry, I like your style...man of few words... LOL
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  15. #15
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Well, thanks to the people that actually responded to my questions. Hadn't realized I stumbled into the dead horse coral.

    I'm going to try to buy the Eastwood tomorrow. For clarity, I have a chance to get it brand new for under $700. It has lower AC starting current options than the AHP. If I can't get it at that price, then I'll evaluate either getting the AHP for the current $720 price, or just saving a bit longer and getting the Everlast 210 EXT.

  16. #16
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    I don't care what you get but where do you see that the Eastwood machine has lower starting amps than the AHP? The write up on the AHP says it starts at 10 amps and I do not even see a knob for that function on the Eastwood.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    For the Eastwood, it gives the range on their website. I've also asked people that work in the store. For the AHP, their website lists details for a new model, the 201. It lists a range starting at 10 amps for DC, but starting at 20 for AC. Could be a typo or something. Maybe it's the new model .vs the old. Maybe even the old model boosts to 20 for AC. The Pulse seems to be about the same. AC Balance seems to have a wider range on the AHP, but not really sure how much higher than 50% cleaning you'd really want to go with balance anyway. Being new to TIG, I personally think the memory could be nice for recalling settings for working with exact materials. I guess either way, I may need a notebook anyway. Either keep notes for settings, or at the very least keep notes for which memory works with what. For the Eastwood, I'm assuming I'll have to buy the gas lens kit and a better regulator. The pedal doesn't seem bad. For the AHP, everyone complains about the pedal, same gas lens stuff, and uncertain about the regulator. For comparison, the Eastwood does not include the stick welding lead, but that's only $25 or so, and I don't really plan on using stick anyway. The Eastwood also won't work on 120V, but I'm just going to add a 220V plug in my home shop anyway. I already had to redo the service going to that subpanel when I added a 3 phase Bridgeport.

    Being that I do have a 73 Mach 1 needing more panels welded in, the spot weld timing feature on the Eastwood might prove useful, though I doubt I'd really use it much.

    If I can't get the Eastwood at the sale price, then I don't think it's worth the full price.

  18. #18
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Well, after all that, I ended up not buying the Eastwood. When it came time to leave to make it to the sale, I just couldn't bring myself to go get it. I knew I was being like a kid in a candy store wanting to get to work on my project as quick as possible. I have two side jobs that are pending on me being able to work in my shop again. Getting close to being able to with my shoulder surgery recovery going well. If I finish those two jobs, that'll pay for the difference between either of these two welders and the Everlast 210 ext. I think I underestimated how powerful the fun of a personal project would be during the boredom and pain of shoulder surgery physical therapy and not working.

  19. #19
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by chipmunkshavenuts View Post
    Well, after all that, I ended up not buying the Eastwood. When it came time to leave to make it to the sale, I just couldn't bring myself to go get it. I knew I was being like a kid in a candy store wanting to get to work on my project as quick as possible. I have two side jobs that are pending on me being able to work in my shop again. Getting close to being able to with my shoulder surgery recovery going well. If I finish those two jobs, that'll pay for the difference between either of these two welders and the Everlast 210 ext. I think I underestimated how powerful the fun of a personal project would be during the boredom and pain of shoulder surgery physical therapy and not working.
    Good luck on your physical therapy. Doc wants me to start phys therapy on my shoulder for tendonitis, but I just don't have the time to be tortured 3 times a week.

    I looked over the Eastwood machine. It does not look bad actually, but the lack of dual voltage makes me scratch my heat. So that is a deal breaker for me.

    The Everlast is miles ahead IMO, but being a mail-order-mayhem, well you get that picture. Perhaps if I lived in upper Mongolia it would be an option.

    But really if you can beg, borrow, or whatever, buy the Harbor Freight Vulcan, and return it for full refund after a few months of learning tig. In fact as a non experienced tig newbie, you have a giant learning curve ahead of you just striking an arc and holding the arc length, let alone adding rod. The beauty is the machine is so simple, they have taken the thought out of setup. It is idiot proof.

    You may not know this, but I product test beta-versions of their Vulcan tig line. I give them feedback as I try to kill them(non had died in my hands). And I feel instrumental in the adoption of their satisfaction guaranty return within a year campaign. They really did not want to offer a 3 year parts and labor warranty so they did the one year no questions asked return, and the optional $75 warranty upgrade to 3 years. They really want you to purchase, abuse, and return for full refund. The idea is you will be pleasantly surprised at the capability, as neanderthal as it is, and spread the word. In some cases, maybe most, it will serve your needs as limited in options as it is, that once mastered the machine you would not part with it to save your soul. Good machines that feel right are hard to come by.

    I am not a Harbor Freight salesman. And I rolled my eyes when they told me who they were. And believe you me I tried to kill these things. I will say that a few came DOA or the peripherals were jacked in one way or another. But the release units are solid with extremely adequate peripherals.

    So go buy one and start learning. Then take it back and upgrade with the refund.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Good luck on your physical therapy. Doc wants me to start phys therapy on my shoulder for tendonitis, but I just don't have the time to be tortured 3 times a week.

    I looked over the Eastwood machine. It does not look bad actually, but the lack of dual voltage makes me scratch my heat. So that is a deal breaker for me.

    The Everlast is miles ahead IMO, but being a mail-order-mayhem, well you get that picture. Perhaps if I lived in upper Mongolia it would be an option.

    But really if you can beg, borrow, or whatever, buy the Harbor Freight Vulcan, and return it for full refund after a few months of learning tig. In fact as a non experienced tig newbie, you have a giant learning curve ahead of you just striking an arc and holding the arc length, let alone adding rod. The beauty is the machine is so simple, they have taken the thought out of setup. It is idiot proof.

    You may not know this, but I product test beta-versions of their Vulcan tig line. I give them feedback as I try to kill them(non had died in my hands). And I feel instrumental in the adoption of their satisfaction guaranty return within a year campaign. They really did not want to offer a 3 year parts and labor warranty so they did the one year no questions asked return, and the optional $75 warranty upgrade to 3 years. They really want you to purchase, abuse, and return for full refund. The idea is you will be pleasantly surprised at the capability, as neanderthal as it is, and spread the word. In some cases, maybe most, it will serve your needs as limited in options as it is, that once mastered the machine you would not part with it to save your soul. Good machines that feel right are hard to come by.

    I am not a Harbor Freight salesman. And I rolled my eyes when they told me who they were. And believe you me I tried to kill these things. I will say that a few came DOA or the peripherals were jacked in one way or another. But the release units are solid with extremely adequate peripherals.

    So go buy one and start learning. Then take it back and upgrade with the refund.
    So far, the physical therapy is going well. I'm definitely in the phase of no pain, no gain. Last week had a lot of time where it really felt like I needed to stretch my shoulder out to feel better, and yet couldn't move it that far because I'm still regaining range of motion. Constant progress every day though. I had a tear in the labrum, and when they went in to repair that, also moved one of the bicep tendons from that lining to the humorous under the pectoral muscle.

    I can see the appeal of the HF welder. I know I'm starting out as a tig newbie, but I have a feeling I'll pick it up pretty quick. I do pretty good with MIG, but I also have extensive experience soldering. I know, still totally different. I think all the experience I have working on super tiny parts under a microscope will help me with fine control in keeping a consistent spark length, and adding the filler material with the other hand. I know the simplicity in setup with the HF welder is likely a good thing in the beginning, but I'd also like to understand all the adjustments. But you never know. I have looked into it enough to know that they have offered coupons on that welder several times this past year. Maybe if they offer that welder cheaper than the $1000 it currently is, I'll find it worth it.

    Just for clarity, the Everlast PowerTIG 210 EXT does have dual voltage capability, and has reduced max output for using 120V vs 240V. That's actually one of the minor things that got me to decide against the Eastwood welder. Not just that, but for seemingly no reason, the Eastwood welder "requires" a 50amp 240V breaker. Max in-rush on 240V for the Everlast is 31amps, and that's with a higher output potential compared with the Eastwood. I don't like the idea of being "required" to run a much larger breaker than actually needed.

  21. #21
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post



    Then it went up in smoke?
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Eastwood Digital Tig .vs AHP Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by VPT View Post
    Then it went up in smoke?
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