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Thread: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

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    Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    I know how much everyone loves these discussions/debates. Oscar and Louie1961 should be here commenting, at any moment. I mean that in a positive way.

    This is somewhat of a continuation of another thread I started, where I was looking (for advice) at the possibility of getting a spool gun for a Multimatic 215, vs. a TIG machine with AC capability. That moment ended with the purchase of a bandsaw.

    I still have the Multimatic 215, and recently I've seen the 'pre-announced' Everlast MTS 275, which I'm guessing will sell quite well. The 215 could be sold, and the MTS 275 could be the ticket. However, for this thread I'm going with the idea that there may be little to gain by getting rid of the 215, and replacing that unit with another machine which adds AC TIG. Therefore, a dedicated TIG machine seems to make the most sense for me.

    The machines below are the ones that I'm comparing. It's not necessary to mention that HTP is made in Italy, they have the best customer support, Everlast has mediocre standard accessories, they are made in China, etc. If I've read it once, I've read it more than a dozen times.

    I'm saying this, to try to focus the discussion on things that will help move the needle for me or others who have the same interest or a similar decision. I've read the specs for both machines, but it's really not easy for me to sort out all (some, I can sort out) of the feature differences, and if they would really add much value. Also, if you have an opinion where you've compared the interfaces, the output/quality of each or similar machines, that would be helpful, too. I do understand that the machine doesn't make the weldor. That also is one which has been mentioned a lot, too.

    For what it's worth - I am a hobby welder, but I am also working on a few side business ideas/ventures. Can't say I need much more than the basics, but adding skills, capabilities and experimenting, is part of the enjoyment of the hobby.


    Either of these units could work for me. Easily. To say what I said above in a different way: it would be helpful to focus on comparing features (mention the ones that might not be helpful), ease of use of the interface: buttons, menu options, the screen, etc., and any relevant experience with how they work in the field. As always, I appreciate your wisdom, experience and suggestions!

    HTP Invertig 221

    Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    I also am a hobby welder and have had 3 versions of the Everlast 255 tig welders the first was with Plasma built in, second was tig only (255EX) them moved to the 255 EXT. The EXT has more than I may ever us with the different AC settings (Tig Advance) but the main function I really like is the program setting options. Turn it on and select the welding functions with a push of a button, and weld. I opted for the better foot pedal when I bought it. I have my 255EX with cooler and cart up for sale if anybody is interested.
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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    ***********************

    CR

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    My opinion is that for most people who are hobby weldors, the features don't really matter much.There is a guy on here (Zapster) who used the oldest, most basic, refrigerator sized TIG welder that weighs like 900 lbs...literally. It has no frequency control, no balance control, no pulse features, and only one wave form...sine wave. Its a dinosaur by all standards, but he does the most beautiful work with it. The first question you have to ask yourself is how much are you really going to weld aluminum? Other than Moto, I don't see hardly any pictures of aluminum projects on this forum. If you do plan on welding aluminum, what thicknesses? Amps matter much more for thicker aluminum weldments and castings. Pulse, AC frequency, AC wave forms, balance, and the rest of the bells and whistles pretty much only come into play to allow you to weld thinner aluminum (I know I am generalizing here). A number of folks on here have opined that pulse and the rest of the doo dads are just crutches most of the time. But if you are going to weld aluminum, I wouldn't get too caught up in which one has more pulses per second, or higher AC frequency etc. If you are doing like Mike Zanconato and building super high end racing bicycles, then yeah, those features help. But for the average garage weldor, I doubt if pulse range or AC frequency range will make much of a difference. IMHO people get too caught up in comparing specs. Its a tool, you buy the tool you need for the jobs you will do. If both units will serve your purposes, I would go HTP all day every day and twice on Sunday. No doubt about it in my mind.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Not to hijack this thread, not at all. I am 1) not a great tig welder (take it for what it is) (2) I got my tig machine for $20 and a cooler for $1. (again take it for what it is). (3) I am learning to tig aluminum and it is a different BEAST than steel. I am learning to use all the features on it because I have them. I have a Lincoln 210 MP that I use for mig, but for tig I use the one with the high freq start and all the bells and whistles.

    ONLY reason. I agree with Louie on buying what you need. I always need more though.
    I haven't built anything I can't throw away. Perfection is the journey.

    Mac

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    I also am a hobby welder and have had 3 versions of the Everlast 255 tig welders the first was with Plasma built in, second was tig only (255EX) them moved to the 255 EXT. The EXT has more than I may ever us with the different AC settings (Tig Advance) but the main function I really like is the program setting options. Turn it on and select the welding functions with a push of a button, and weld. I opted for the better foot pedal when I bought it. I have my 255EX with cooler and cart up for sale if anybody is interested.
    Thank you for your input, acourtjester. Agreed on the value of the program setting options.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Thank you, CrookedRoads. I have seen the chart, but as I mentioned above; it's not really helping me make a strong case for one vs. the other.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    My opinion is that for most people who are hobby weldors, the features don't really matter much.There is a guy on here (Zapster) who used the oldest, most basic, refrigerator sized TIG welder that weighs like 900 lbs...literally. It has no frequency control, no balance control, no pulse features, and only one wave form...sine wave. Its a dinosaur by all standards, but he does the most beautiful work with it. The first question you have to ask yourself is how much are you really going to weld aluminum? Other than Moto, I don't see hardly any pictures of aluminum projects on this forum. If you do plan on welding aluminum, what thicknesses? Amps matter much more for thicker aluminum weldments and castings. Pulse, AC frequency, AC wave forms, balance, and the rest of the bells and whistles pretty much only come into play to allow you to weld thinner aluminum (I know I am generalizing here). A number of folks on here have opined that pulse and the rest of the doo dads are just crutches most of the time. But if you are going to weld aluminum, I wouldn't get too caught up in which one has more pulses per second, or higher AC frequency etc. If you are doing like Mike Zanconato and building super high end racing bicycles, then yeah, those features help. But for the average garage weldor, I doubt if pulse range or AC frequency range will make much of a difference. IMHO people get too caught up in comparing specs. Its a tool, you buy the tool you need for the jobs you will do. If both units will serve your purposes, I would go HTP all day every day and twice on Sunday. No doubt about it in my mind.
    Those are fair points, Louie1961. I did mention above, that I'm not equating features with the quality of the work. As for the volume of aluminum work, I don't think it will add up to much, but there will be some. The economics side of the decision is a very low on the list for me.

    Understood on the amps needed for aluminum, but with the two choices that I'm considering, I'm fine with the 'risk' that I may need more in the future. I'm looking at it the other way: I know I'll do some aluminum, but I'm okay not knowing how thick/thin, vs. I know what I'll be welding, and then buying the machine that meets or slightly exceeds those requirements.

    I agree on the specs part.

    Why HTP, besides the comments I referenced in the OP, which are all of the things that I've heard before? Can you speak to how the interface is better, how the output is better, or how it has something helpful/special in the programming? Those are things that would be helpful to know.
    Last edited by CRCFX; 09-26-2019 at 10:01 PM.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by CRCFX View Post
    Thank you, CrookedRoads. I have seen the chart, but as I mentioned above; it's not really helping me make a strong case for one vs. the other.
    Did you check the duty cycles, many of these new machines are a joke.
    ***********************

    CR

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Working for Everlast, I can speak on the relative simplicity of setup versus other machines like HTP. All our programming is laid out on the front. No hidden menus to navigate. We offer a much more detailed and in depth manual than HTP.

    I frequently have return calls from customers thanking me for guiding them to a machine like the 210EXT and 255EXT. Many of them admit they weren't sure about it to begin with, because of the lights and the buttons. But they say once they got it, it all made sense and was really quite intuitive.
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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Aluminum.....60Hz and lots of amps, that gets you started and then it comes down to how good you are.

    I have used many AC tigs, they all have pros and cons. I would use my Syncrowave on everything if that's all I had. I hardly ever use pulse or advanced features.

    STEL (HTP import) makes great machines, I have a bigger ESAB version, nice starts and very smooth arc, my go to machine these days.

    Everlast 255ext, works very well overall, HF start not as solid as others, plenty of power and capable with good duty cycle. Only thing here is pedal upgrade is a must.

    I can weld the same part with the four tigs I have and most people could not tell the differnce on which one made what weld.
    ESAB Rebels 215 and 235, ESAB HELIARC 281i, ESAB ET 301i, Hypertherm 85 and 45XP, Thermal Arc 185, TD 60i, HTP PRO PULSE 300

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Both seem like good machines, so go with your gut. Or your wallet, whichever feels better...

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    I'm with Louie a hobbyist doesn't need all the bells and whistles. And the more bells and whistles there are, the more places there are for the Magic Smoke to leak out.

    Personally, I would forget buying new and would find a used transformer machine that was probably made before the OP was born and will continue welding after he has passed.

    My hunch is that a lot of these Chinese inerters are going to last about as long as an iPhone.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac's Crew View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, not at all. I am 1) not a great tig welder (take it for what it is) (2) I got my tig machine for $20 and a cooler for $1. (again take it for what it is). (3) I am learning to tig aluminum and it is a different BEAST than steel. I am learning to use all the features on it because I have them. I have a Lincoln 210 MP that I use for mig, but for tig I use the one with the high freq start and all the bells and whistles.

    ONLY reason. I agree with Louie on buying what you need. I always need more though.
    Thank you, Mac's Crew. Good points...and I tend to buy more as well.
    Last edited by CRCFX; 09-27-2019 at 09:48 AM.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedRoads View Post
    Did you check the duty cycles, many of these new machines are a joke.

    I did check the duty cycles, although you seem to be speaking to the broader mix of inverter (yes?) machines than the two I mentioned. The HTP does seem to be on the 'weaker' side for duty cycles.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    Working for Everlast, I can speak on the relative simplicity of setup versus other machines like HTP. All our programming is laid out on the front. No hidden menus to navigate. We offer a much more detailed and in depth manual than HTP.

    I frequently have return calls from customers thanking me for guiding them to a machine like the 210EXT and 255EXT. Many of them admit they weren't sure about it to begin with, because of the lights and the buttons. But they say once they got it, it all made sense and was really quite intuitive.
    Thank you for your input, Lugweld. It is appreciated.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawslandshark View Post
    Aluminum.....60Hz and lots of amps, that gets you started and then it comes down to how good you are.

    I have used many AC tigs, they all have pros and cons. I would use my Syncrowave on everything if that's all I had. I hardly ever use pulse or advanced features.

    STEL (HTP import) makes great machines, I have a bigger ESAB version, nice starts and very smooth arc, my go to machine these days.

    Everlast 255ext, works very well overall, HF start not as solid as others, plenty of power and capable with good duty cycle. Only thing here is pedal upgrade is a must.

    I can weld the same part with the four tigs I have and most people could not tell the differnce on which one made what weld.
    Those are all very helpful comments, Jaws. Which ESAB machine is your go-to?

    I am not at all surprised about the similarity of results.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I'm with Louie – a hobbyist doesn't need all the bells and whistles. And the more bells and whistles there are, the more places there are for the Magic Smoke to leak out.

    Personally, I would forget buying new and would find a used transformer machine that was probably made before the OP was born and will continue welding after he has passed.

    My hunch is that a lot of these Chinese inerters are going to last about as long as an iPhone.
    I appreciate your comments, Kelvin.

    The challenge with stating that "A hobbyist doesn't need..." is that it's a monolithic/absolute definition, and there is no such thing in this context. As a hobbyist, myself, I can no more define what hobbyists need, than the next person. There are too many variables, and people don't always buy what is most prudent or rational. You know this. That said, I get where you are coming from.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Both seem like good machines, so go with your gut. Or your wallet, whichever feels better...
    Thank you, Munkul. That's probably what it will come down to!

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Manuals and machine interfaces don't phase me. I don't mind if all the menu's are hidden; I just don't care about that stuff. It's never on my list of priorities if I decide to invest in a welder. My brain can easily wrap itself around "complexities" like that. To me, that's mickey-mouse stuff. I look at features and ranges of adjustability for each of the features. Can't comment on Everlast machines since I've never used one.
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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Manuals and machine interfaces don't phase me. I don't mind if all the menu's are hidden; I just don't care about that stuff. It's never on my list of priorities if I decide to invest in a welder. My brain can easily wrap itself around "complexities" like that. To me, that's mickey-mouse stuff. I look at features and ranges of adjustability for each of the features. Can't comment on Everlast machines since I've never used one.
    Thank you, Oscar.

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    If your starting a business buy the HTP. If all you do is hobby welding and have the money buy the Everlast. But all you really need is a Eastwood tig 200acdc.
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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by mechanic416 View Post
    If your starting a business buy the HTP. If all you do is hobby welding and have the money buy the Everlast.
    Thank you, mechanic416. Is your reasoning: you believe that one is more reliable than the other?

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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    I've used both. Good and bad about them both
    Are you stuck on both of those machines?
    Some people seem to like the new ESAB stuff, I think the Canaweld stuff (made in Italy) is a good value.
    If you want simplicity, and are new to it, I think something with analog controls would be good. My CK has analog and I love it. No need to jump through menus and you can see what it does adjusting it while welding. Not saying anything bad about digital because my RW is digital and it by far my favorite machine I've used.
    I can tell you what I wouldn't buy and that's a Lincoln sw200 or anything by longevity or lotos.
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    Re: Battle of the TIG Welders: Invertig 221 vs. PowerTIG 255EXT

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
    I've used both. Good and bad about them both
    Are you stuck on both of those machines?
    Some people seem to like the new ESAB stuff, I think the Canaweld stuff (made in Italy) is a good value.
    If you want simplicity, and are new to it, I think something with analog controls would be good. My CK has analog and I love it. No need to jump through menus and you can see what it does adjusting it while welding. Not saying anything bad about digital because my RW is digital and it by far my favorite machine I've used.
    I can tell you what I wouldn't buy and that's a Lincoln sw200 or anything by longevity or lotos.
    Thank you, Gamble. The ET220i from ESAB looks comparable. Fair point on the analog controls.

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