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Thread: How cheap can you go??

  1. #1
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    How cheap can you go??

    I am about to find out. Not ebay China cheap, but from a real store, but still China made.. I have this thing about getting a new sub-$100 stick welder that works. Last one was $129.99, and a real 3 year warranty..Worked very well too..Sold it to my friend, so moving the bar down even farther..Just want something cheap to throw into the truck/car Just don't want to do that with my little Sanrex PeeWee. Those were about $500.00 back in the day twenty years ago..(120 volt only)

    Duty-cycle is not too bad at 40% @ 75 Amp

    Coupon code (271577) brings it to $79.99 to my door.. (back ordered till next month)

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...3033_200833033
    Last edited by Brand X; 09-06-2020 at 01:51 AM.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
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  3. #2
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    I am about to find out. Not ebay China cheap, but from a real store, but still China made.. I have this thing about getting a new sub-$100 stick welder that works. Last one was $129.99, and a real 3 year warranty..Worked very well too..Sold it to my friend, so moving the bar down even farther..Just want something cheap to throw into the truck/car Just don't want to do that with my little Sanrex PeeWee. Those were about $500.00 back in the day twenty years ago..(120 volt only)

    Duty-cycle is not too bad at 40% @ 75 Amp

    Coupon code (271577) brings it to $79.99 to my door.. (back ordered till next month)

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...3033_200833033
    .
    Chinese welding store from 20 years ago. even then smaller welding machines are popular for doing stainless handrail and window bars and balcony railings, with a connected to tig torch scratch start. garage door street level shops often welding stuff on the sidewalk. carry back in at end of day
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  4. #3
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    I don't think I want my shop to look like that one above.. I do have one more cheaper 120 volt China unit,just for beating around outside. It's really powerful for a 120 volt unit flux-core unit but the Valve in torch design for gas use was like a 20 pound trigger pull.. This one cost me more then a small HF Ti. 125 or Century FC-90 machine.($260) Worth it for being able to run 10 pound spools, and it has a real handle on top..3 year warranty is another advantage. I would of just bought the little China made Hobart, but it's a transformer unit, and weighs a ton.. Had a better gun design then the Klutch, but not the advantage of the inverter of the one built in the Klutch unit.Sweet welder now..

    The work lead, and torch lead was very short,and just a POS mig gun.. I looked through my spare parts bin, and came up with a nice upgrade.I also added female dinse for a longer work lead. and better ground clamp. Then took a 15 ft Tweco Mini Mig gun, and converted it to a flux-core only gun. Just cut 5 ft off the end, wrapped the exposed copper wire in a shield,put the liner end into the feeder like the factory job. Then hooked up the trigger wire to the board inside.. It can be converted back to factory in case of a warranty issue. The way these cheap gas/flux core machines are setup for gas welding is through the gun trigger controlling all the gas flow.. Gas tube runs through the machine without any electronic gas valve. The feeder has enough power to push the extra length gun,and the power supply will output everything .035 flux-core could give it.. general use it's fine on a good 20 amp breaker push the machine in the 170/180 amp range, and it will pull a bunch of juice out the wall..

    One thing this country can still do very well, is some good old Hillbilly engineering
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    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
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    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
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    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

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  6. #4
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    I don't think I want my shop to look like that one above..
    Yea, looks like B/C/D-stock items that didn't make the amazingly high QC standards at the factory. So they get to chill in a street-level flea market for people to pick one up during their lunch break.

    It's funny/interesting how you are intrigued with "going down the ladder" instead of UP! But you aren't really gonna "throw" it anywhere, right? Seeing as how you do need it to work.
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    I have had/used all the high-end machines from all over the world.. I am generally more impressed just how good the cheap stuff is today.. I am not really sure if it would be all that smart to throw one of your pulse machines around either. If I can get a good solid warranty on a cheap machine for little money, I am all in.. I will not spend a lot of money on a China made machine. It's just has to fit a lower end cost mode for me, and do the job. My other friend that has had many machines, has came to the same conclusion on some of these low rent units.. Tough, and really good value, if you know what to look for.. That is the key, understanding what you are buying. If you look at some of the Cheaper units from Lincoln in the mig units.. They are not even close to the toughness of the older SP units, They are now just in the range of all the little China units, and if you want a tough unit, buy a used old one.. Fence builders are about the worst on machines, and they just don't hold up.. unless you spend really big bucks.. In that case i will just use my LN-25 setup for toughness.
    Last edited by Brand X; 09-06-2020 at 10:42 AM.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

  8. #6
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Yep, I agree. The stuff being produced today at the price point they are selling it is crazy, even with typical inflation the lower-end stuff just keeps getting lower in price! I think by next year we might have vending machines for welding machines the size of a 1L bottle of soda pop! So small, you can't even plug in the dinse connectors! Pop in a $5 bill, out comes a 200A stick welder at the break/lunch room of your workplace!
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  9. #7
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Do they come with one of those shields you have to hold in your hand ? so you can go to your office and start welding right there on the desk.

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  11. #8
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Just want something cheap to throw into the truck/car
    Out of curiosity - what situations would you find yourself in that would benefit from such a small welder? What are you potentially going to be welding on and where?

  12. #9
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    I don't have very much China made stuff in my shop.. But what I do have is outstanding value. That said, if I am buying higher end stuff I just don't feel the trade off is worth it to me.. Had to good of luck with spending the big bucks one time.. Mid grade things like my tire machines/balancer/mid rise lift have been excellent value, and have paid for themselves very quickly. Buying higher end just was a matter of having or not having it now. It's easy to dump all our Problems on being made in China. We do have real issues with them for sure, but It will come out in the wash I believe.

    Many little maintenance stuff can be done with these machines.. I just don't want to drag 240 volt machines with me,just for tacking a fence together
    Last edited by Brand X; 09-06-2020 at 11:09 AM.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

  13. #10
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    Do they come with one of those shields you have to hold in your hand ? so you can go to your office and start welding right there on the desk.
    Who the hell works in a office? No my high end Italian machine came with a hand shield in it's case. Nothing with the china units, just the machine.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

  14. #11
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    So small, you can't even plug in the dinse connectors! Pop in a $5 bill, out comes a 200A stick welder at the break/lunch room of your workplace!

    Speaking of China Dinse connectors. These male/female pair are a good deal.. Pretty decent quality, meaning you can tighten the set screws up without breaking them.It's what I used on the work lead extension. Yes i have the real deal(Dinse) on some of my machines, and Lenco/Tweco ones too.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Last edited by Brand X; 09-06-2020 at 12:19 PM.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

  15. #12
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Speaking of China Dinse connectors. These male/female pair are a good deal.. Pretty decent quality, meaning you can tighten the set screws up without breaking them.It's what I used on the work lead extension. Yes i have the real deal(Dinse) on some of my machines, and Lenco/Tweco ones too.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Wow. Cheap.
    :

  16. #13
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Speaking of China Dinse connectors. These male/female pair are a good deal.. Pretty decent quality, meaning you can tighten the set screws up without breaking them.It's what I used on the work lead extension. Yes i have the real deal(Dinse) on some of my machines, and Lenco/Tweco ones too.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Those are pretty small ones.... #6-#4 wire size... I wonder if they're making them like the 'brass' hose ends on the china hoses at the Home depot???? lools like brass... smells like brass... tastes like brass... but it AIN'T brass

  17. #14
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Those are pretty small ones.... #6-#4 wire size... I wonder if they're making them like the 'brass' hose ends on the china hoses at the Home depot???? lools like brass... smells like brass... tastes like brass... but it AIN'T brass
    Some of them are garbage,and crack when you tighten them up. These have no issues,and work as well as my original Dinse 25 on my other machines. They also work together well too.
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

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