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Thread: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

  1. #1
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    3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    Saw this on Ebay today. Wondering if you guys think it's a good deal. It's a cheapo, but for having all the features and including everything it does, it looks like a nice package.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/310406286090...#ht_4966wt_932

    -Alex
    -Alex

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  2. #2
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    Combination rigs MUST compromise in order to cut overall costs, so I don't buy them.

    Move slower, buy QUALITY, and you won't have to buy replacements for mistakes.

    Choose the next CAPABILITY you need. If you aren't deep into auto body and aren't a fab shop you don't need a plasma cutter. (I can afford a commercial unit and don't really care about getting one. There are MANY ways to cut auto sheet metal. (Much love for pneumatic recip saws!)

    If you get a good AC/DC stick machine you can TIG with that. If you have a place to store it, I strongly suggest getting a good OA outfit. People tend to want "electrical solutions" to "acetylene problems" because it's fashionable.

  3. #3
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    only combo unit i would buy would be the thermal arc 181i and 252i.. they are mig/dc-tig/stick/spoolgun..

    just buy one of the cheap import plasma cutters from ebay to get you by for the time being for a plasma cutter, but spend your money on a quality welding machine.. you can replace the plasma unit later on with a quality unit...

  4. #4
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    I would probably use it mostely for plasma cutting and Tig. Compared to other stores, $450 is a good deal. I was looking at oxy fuel tanks, but refilling them and paying the lease each year seems like it would really add up. With plasma, it seems much cheaper over time.

    And like Brucer said, It's not a great machine, compared to the big names, but for the small time welder like myself I think It would be fine. I'm not interested in Auto body work, Just reletively small projects. The thickest steel I ever had to weld was 1/4 in.
    -Alex

    Sears/Craftsman 230A Buzzy Box
    Sears/Craftsman 180A Buzzy Box
    Chicago Electric 80A Inverter

    ALL STICK...ALL THE TIME!

    I spent a lot of time with the square peg and round hole.

  5. #5
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    BTW a plasma cutter doesn't develop ability, while the same money (and unless you are rich, money matters) in your budget gives you a RANGE OF CHOICES.

    Your overall tool arsenal, very much including support equipment, is important to what you can do and learn. Don't looks for individual items before you have an OVERALL PLAN.

  6. #6
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcSpark96 View Post
    ... Wondering if you guys think it's a good deal...[/url]

    -Alex
    No. Look around the Phila area for used stuff that is the real deal.

  7. #7
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    The first thing to go bad on these units is the plasma cutter, then the tig. So all you have left is a stick welder.

    Don't waste your money
    www.georgesplasmacuttershop.com
    Plasma Cutter and Welder Sales and Repairs--Ebay store
    Tec.Mo. Dealer Consumables for the PT and IPT torch's

  8. #8
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    Quote Originally Posted by brucer View Post
    only combo unit i would buy would be the thermal arc 181i and 252i.. they are mig/dc-tig/stick/spoolgun..

    just buy one of the cheap import plasma cutters from ebay to get you by for the time being for a plasma cutter, but spend your money on a quality welding machine.. you can replace the plasma unit later on with a quality unit...

    I've been down this trail before. MY import plasma cutter works great and has been reliable for 5 years,

    Can't say the same for my 3-in-1 though. I bought it after my good luck with the plasma machine. First one I ordered, similar to theone you are looking at, blew up when I plugged it in. Second one came on but produced no arc. Third one worked fine for three years in all functions. I really liked functions on it like arc force and the plasma function was better than I expected. Then one day it just quit. It is in repair now and will come back with a three year warranty.

    My experience with used hasn't been much better. Hobart Champion 10k, and TA Cutmaster 39 both with bad PCBs. For the latter the board was more than the machine.

    Assuming they work and are reliable, the main issue with many imports is the cheap ness of the accessories. I had to replace the regulator and ground clamp on all but the plasma, the gas hoses were cheap plastic that stiffened and cracked, and thetorches themselves were quite cheap. I have a TD 181 now and the accessories are the absolute best (as was the torch with the Cutmaster 39).

    So, you really do get what you pay for. I plan to buy new American from here on out. Way too many adventures with both new import and used.

    Steve in Central TX

  9. #9
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    If you read all the post about import machines about 98% of the issues are with the 3 in 1 combo machines. There are too many things that can go wrong. I understand that money is an issues, but your better off buying individual machines. If one of my welders goes down I'm not out of business. The 3 in 1 deals go down your finished. I'm sure it's been covered, but I wonder if its something with the high frequency plasma that causes so many issues with those machines. They 3 in 1 machines seem to blow up quickly or run for a while. Most people that get them seem to want them more for the plasma cutter. I picked up a lotos plasma cutter on ebay for $300.00. I used it for a year and sold it for $350.00. I could not justify a $1,000.00 plasma cutter because I only used it once or twice a month. Figure out what your needs are, who much you will be using the machine, and buy one size up from what you think you will need.

  10. #10
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    I was looking at oxy fuel tanks, but refilling them and paying the lease each year seems like it would really add up.
    Patience. OA gear is quite capable of lasting a lifetime. Much of mine has already outlived its first owners.

    How many plasma cutters will last 60 years or more?

    Hunt Craigslist etc. Get an oxygen cylinder first and run LP for cutting. Get acetylene next for welding. Once you OWN cylinders, no lease fees. Cylinders last even longer than torches. The folks who made my WWII vintage oxygen cylinder I just received in an exchange are likely long dead. It doesn't care and neither did Airgas when they hydro'ed it and filled it.

    Another way to go is buy a new small cylinder, and then upgrade it later when exchanging it at your LWS. Some LWS upgrade sizes cheap (it's no skin off their posterior).

    Relentless searching and patience got me and many other folks more cylinders than they need. Once you get a cylinder, exchange it promptly. That magically turns an old empty cylinder into a full cylinder with current hydro which you can sell if you are so inclined.

    Developing an equipment acquisition strategy pays off.

    Average examples:

    http://cnj.craigslist.org/tls/3074275371.html

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/tls/3018496371.html

    This one has either a Victor or Uniweld straight torch by the looks of it. It doesn't show regulators but the torch is sixty to eighty bucks on Ebay, hose if any good is around thirty bucks, and that brings the tanks and cart within reason.

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/3054351896.html

    I look for deals like THIS, and I haul a$$ promptly with cash in hand. If it were near me I'd buy for resale as I already have more cylinders than I need:

    http://allentown.craigslist.org/tls/3067564551.html


    Where I found them:

    http://cnj.craigslist.org/search/?ar...ene&catAbb=sss
    Last edited by farmall; 06-14-2012 at 04:25 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    I think by now most of us have worked out that the cheapest meal is one meatball and no gravy.....if that's what you set your guidelines at the cheapest 3 in 1 has not yet been made.
    Ian.

  12. #12
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    Re: 3-in-1 Plasma/TIG/Stick welder

    A 30% duty cycle at it's lowest output no doubt

    No AC tig

    No Thanks
    Backed my CATMA over your CARMA oops clusmy me

    What would SATAN do ??


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