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Thread: TIG welder options - thinking.

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    TIG welder options - thinking.

    Last year I almost bought a stick/tig machine (Everlast) and was entertaining the idea of a more flexible mig/tig/stick unit. At the time I had my only machine down - a small flux core machine. In my thought process back then what made the most sense to me was to get an old transformer stick machine. If there is any process anyone that welds should have, I believe, it is stick. Yeah, it might not be the best, but you have so much capability in stick welding. Going back to the scenario I was in at the time - with a broke welder and nothing to weld with - it kicked in to gear the thought of reliability and "what if...". That is what pulled me away from Everlast and got me to look at the old transformer machines. I ended up with a Lincoln Idealarc AC/DC 250 from '66 (with a 3 wheel cart!) and restored it. For a bare bones, "always have something to run" welder I couldn't be happier. There isn't a whole lot on the machine I can't fix - maybe replace the rectifier with modern diodes, but thats easy. If the computer in an inverter machine goes - how do I fix it and get back to welding?

    That brings me to the post. I'd like to have TIG capability - AC and DC, foot control, etc.

    Are there any oldschool TIG set ups that are user-repairable that are worth looking at?

    I've looked at several inverters - ESAB, Everlast, PrimeWeld, and the big ones - Miller, Lincoln. HTP has come up also. What scares me about all of them is the electronics - especially in the lower price-point machines. However, that is also how you get a lot of the "nice to have" features - (stick) Hot Start, high frequency, variable frequency, variable waveform, etc, etc.

    Is it worth it to get the "nice to have" features and get something like, say, the HTP 221 vs an oldschool Miller or Lincoln? Or is there still a lot of merit to an old machine that can be worked on without sending it off to a certified repair center?

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    I relate with your way of thinking, and agree to a point. Have you ever had to pay to get a transformer rewound, or is that something you can do? Tech is not bad, 50 years ago if you got 100k out of an engine you had bragging rights, now, its just getting broke in. I look for value over a period of time/ cost. Lemons come in all flavors and diamonds come in all shapes.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    If the computer in an inverter machine goes - how do I fix it and get back to welding?
    You'd have to call each vendor you are considering and ask them that question if you want to hear it from the horse's mouth.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    "If the computer in an inverter machine goes - how do I fix it and get back to welding?"

    I JUST ordered a CHEAPO piece of inverter welding equipment off of Amazon this evening,, it has good reviews.
    I paid less than 1/3 of what a local welding supply store said the torch alone would cost for the entire piece of equipment.
    As I went to check out, an offer to purchase an extended warranty popped up.

    Normally, I would pass on that BUT, this is through Amazon,, if the warranty does not work, I would expect Amazon to at least refund it.

    The warranty covers everything, including cracked screens to both ways shipping,, and finding the service center.
    There were even good reviews.

    Ya gotta try something different once in a while,, heck, in 4 years, there may be a new technology I would rather have,
    so, my purchase is so cheap,, I can plan on tossing and replacing,, rather than trying to keep this new technology running for a LONG time,,

    I put some flooring down about 8 years ago,, my friend questioned why I bought the cheapo HF saw,, rather than something good,,
    Well, I got the floor installed, and the half dozen time that I have needed that saw to make some cut,, it did it.
    I do not floor or do woodwork for a living,, why would I want an expensive saw??

    I could buy the machine I got,, 6 times for what a local brick and mortar wanted for one machine,, that is rated at less amps.

    And as far as buying used,, 99% of the time there is no warranty.
    I have a 90 amp plasma torch (ESAB) purchased in 2003,, Even if I could get it to run, the consumables would cost more than what I bought a cheapo off of Amazon.
    I do not need 90 amps of cutting power.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    If the computer in an inverter machine goes - how do I fix it and get back to welding?
    Buy a new one is usually the answer. Once the warranty is up and they take a dump they are paperweights most often. Especially the little cheap inverter types. Name brand stuff possible if you have local repair and don't have to ship it. By time you ship both ways and parts and labor your likely to have a bill over half the cost for the new current latest model.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Last year I almost bought a stick/tig machine (Everlast) and was entertaining the idea of a more flexible mig/tig/stick unit. At the time I had my only machine down - a small flux core machine. In my thought process back then what made the most sense to me was to get an old transformer stick machine. If there is any process anyone that welds should have, I believe, it is stick. Yeah, it might not be the best, but you have so much capability in stick welding. Going back to the scenario I was in at the time - with a broke welder and nothing to weld with - it kicked in to gear the thought of reliability and "what if...". That is what pulled me away from Everlast and got me to look at the old transformer machines. I ended up with a Lincoln Idealarc AC/DC 250 from '66 (with a 3 wheel cart!) and restored it. For a bare bones, "always have something to run" welder I couldn't be happier. There isn't a whole lot on the machine I can't fix - maybe replace the rectifier with modern diodes, but thats easy. If the computer in an inverter machine goes - how do I fix it and get back to welding?

    That brings me to the post. I'd like to have TIG capability - AC and DC, foot control, etc.

    Are there any oldschool TIG set ups that are user-repairable that are worth looking at?

    I've looked at several inverters - ESAB, Everlast, PrimeWeld, and the big ones - Miller, Lincoln. HTP has come up also. What scares me about all of them is the electronics - especially in the lower price-point machines. However, that is also how you get a lot of the "nice to have" features - (stick) Hot Start, high frequency, variable frequency, variable waveform, etc, etc.

    Is it worth it to get the "nice to have" features and get something like, say, the HTP 221 vs an oldschool Miller or Lincoln? Or is there still a lot of merit to an old machine that can be worked on without sending it off to a certified repair center?
    I went from a Miller 330 A/BP to a HTP 221.
    VERY nice machine.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    I went from a Miller 330 A/BP to a HTP 221.
    VERY nice machine.

    ...zap!
    Come on down and try out my Invertig 400 on 3-Φ. You'd love it.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Are there any oldschool TIG set ups that are user-repairable that are worth looking at?
    Its a crap shoot really. I bought a mid 90's Syncrowave 250 for a song and a dance because the seller wouldn't/couldn't let me demo the unit (no leads power cord cut off). I was able to fix it because it had a loose connector at the hall sensor. But if the main PC board goes, those are not generally user repairable. And lots of times before you can fix the main PC board, you first have to figure out what made it blow in the first place and fix that issue. Not easy to do as a former member here (Steve 7A749) could attest. He pulled out all his hair repairing synchrowaves, just to have the repaired units blow up again. And parts for some of the older syncrowaves are getting harder to find

    If you get much older than that you are into the 800 pound refrigerator machines (330 AB/P) or older Idealarc or Dialarc TIG welders. Being sine wave only machines, mostly without adjustable balance, they may not be your cup of tea. The older ESAB, L-Tec, airco squarewave machines are nice welders, but hard to find any parts for..Harder than the syncrowave for sure.

    If you find a nice square wave transformer TIG like a syncrowave or a Lincoln Precision TIG, etc, and it comes at a low enough price point and you can fully test it for function, then it may be worth getting. But none of them are user repairable to the same extent as an old Lincoln round top Idealarc 250.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    I went from a Miller 330 A/BP to a HTP 221.
    VERY nice machine.

    ...zap!
    Hey Zap, Not to dig up old arguments or anything, but all I want to know is if you have changed your mind about the usefulness of pulse or not!! ;-)
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    I was at a local welding supply yesterday,,
    I was asking about a multi process machine,, he had miller and Lincoln.

    He showed me how I could buy a TIG and a MIG machine,, in Miller, and be at less money than buying a multi process machine.
    He said the only people buying the multi process machines were people that had to take them onto job sites.

    Carrying one machine is easier than two.

    That make me want to think about it more,,,

    And, if one breaks,, that does not mean that both are broke,,
    so, the chances of two stand alone machines breaking are WAY greater than only one,,

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Are there any oldschool TIG set ups that are user-repairable that are worth looking at?
    I'm on my 16th Miller Syncrowave 250 or 250DX bought used and haven't had an major problems with any of them. I had a wire fall off the shunt of one of them after I did the initial test and then teardown/cleaning. Turns out I knocked the wire off while cleaning it, and it lost amperage control. Secured that wire and it was fixed. Another had a cooler with a bad radiator...running straight water when the company shut down and turned off power during the middle of a cold snap. Other than that it's just been tidying up wiring, new hoses, work cables/clamps, and stuff like that.

    I just finished another one last night...it'll go to a new home soon. There are only a handful of parts from the earlier versions I'm aware of that aren't readily available aside from really big stuff like the transformer. Some boards might be an issue, but they can frequently be repaired at the component level. Luckily, they don't seem to go bad very often at all.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    He showed me how I could buy a TIG and a MIG machine,, in Miller, and be at less money than buying a multi process machine.
    He said the only people buying the multi process machines were people that had to take them onto job sites.

    Carrying one machine is easier than two.

    That make me want to think about it more,,,

    And, if one breaks,, that does not mean that both are broke,,
    so, the chances of two stand alone machines breaking are WAY greater than only one,,
    What exactly did he pitch to you? What two machines were suggested? Unless you do a lot of [thin] aluminum, you can weld aluminum with a MIG via spoolgun or even just push-only like the HTP MIGs.

    IMO, unless you're "into" repairing old machines whose parts may be obsolete/NLA, don't bother with questionable equipment. Old machines that have been taken care of are obviously not a bad investment. But at the same time you do have the option of investing in the upper-echelon inverter machines that are very reliable. I may not use my machines like a professional welder, but I have abused them, literally just to see if I could reach their limits and how they respond/behave. A couple months ago, I inserted three 1/8" 7018 electrodes into the stinger on my Invertig 221 (don't ask how, LOL), cranked it up to max amperage, just to see if it would run them simultaneously on some scrap. I was pretty dang impressed with the action going on there! Machine still works as the day I received it in 2013. Try that with a cheapie and expect it to survive.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    And, if one breaks,, that does not mean that both are broke,,
    so, the chances of two stand alone machines breaking are WAY greater than only one,,
    That was a prime reason why I got an oldschool transformer stick machine - at the rate I weld it will never die. If something else goes I always have the stick machine to fall back to. But - that doesn't mean I want to risk the reliability equation with a less-than-stellar option. If I am in the middle of a project that requires TIG and my TIG machine goes down switching to stick isn't a substitute for TIG. If I am doing a less critical fab project and running TIG with the machine going down then switching to stick to get it done would be in the realm of reason.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Only 1 way to be sure you won't face down time if a machine goes down, have a backup. I'm at a hobbyist level, but I have acquired an oxy-acetylene setup, flux core only mig, true mig with spool gun and now an acdc tig. Two are inverter, Chinese made, and one transformer machine. The tig machine I got is a Weldpro ACDC200GD all digital and so easy to adjust settings. If it broke down in the middle of a project I would probably buy another because I like the machine, it's affordable and would get to me before warranty work could be done on the first one. I say that, but that scenario would most likely be an aluminum project where I had no choice but tig to finish. Oxy-acetylene or a mig spool gun are definitely more work, but doable.

    Some things are nice to have backups for, vehicles and hunting equipment for sure. Gotta start somewhere. Unless you're able to find a way to try out a particular machine before buying you'll be taking a leap of faith. Inverter machines are here to stay. Even the big names have them in their lineups. In a world economy it's hard to find anything anymore without foreign parts in them. I've only upgraded the ground clamp on my Weldpro. I could only open the original clamp about ", very stiff spring. So far the machine works as advertised and I'm learning the ins and outs of tig welding on a jon boat project. Things are going well. Best of luck with your decision.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    That was a prime reason why I got an oldschool transformer stick machine - at the rate I weld it will never die. If something else goes I always have the stick machine to fall back to. But - that doesn't mean I want to risk the reliability equation with a less-than-stellar option. If I am in the middle of a project that requires TIG and my TIG machine goes down switching to stick isn't a substitute for TIG. If I am doing a less critical fab project and running TIG with the machine going down then switching to stick to get it done would be in the realm of reason.
    One thing I left out of my earlier post was that of all the old school machines, Miller has the best support for parts over time of all the big names. It's a challenge to get parts for a Lincoln that's over ten years old....after that it's really just luck of the draw if they happen to have it on the shelf. Miller generally has almost anything you can think of for machines quite a bit older than that...easily 20-30 years in most cases. Hobart is a mixed bag...good support for the newer machines, not much for the older stuff before being purchased by ITW (same parent as Miller).

    As someone who follows used pricing pretty closely, I've seen a noticeable increase in prices in the past year on all the transformer MIGs and TIGs. Along those same lines, almost all of the machines I've sold have gone to welding/fabrication shops, or guys who weld full time and want a commercial machine for side jobs and weekend work. If you decide you want an old school machine I wouldn't hold off too long...I think prices will keep rising, and supply will go down.

    Right now if someone wants a blue TIG welder in the 250-350A range they're going to wind up spending $7500 or $8500 for a Syncrowave 300 or Dynasty 280 with cooler, pedal, etc. That makes a nice used Syncrowave 250 or 250DX look attractive at $2500-3000 if they don't absolutely need advanced functions.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    I never understood the reliability of the transformer vs inverter thing. If either fails it fails. Same thing with multiprocess machines. The same people who doubt these machines carry around a phone- computer that has a lot more going on in a smaller space and wouldn't give it a second thought.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    I'm on my 16th Miller Syncrowave 250 or 250DX bought used and haven't had an major problems with any of them.
    Hi,
    Bart, where are you finding all these machines at?

    For the OP, i have never cared for "multi-anything", preferring individual units.

    My Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC, started tripping out a few weeks ago, came on here and asked advice...

    Was pointed toward a Diode problem, pulled the Diodes, tested, found one bad, replaced all 4 as recommended, and she's back humming.

    Just sayin!

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    I never understood the reliability of the transformer vs inverter thing. If either fails it fails. Same thing with multiprocess machines. The same people who doubt these machines carry around a phone- computer that has a lot more going on in a smaller space and wouldn't give it a second thought.
    Before anyone says I'm anti-inverter I'll point out that two of my welders are inverters, one is a transformer, and the fourth is an engine drive that you can't directly compare. So, I'm a fan of the technology and features, but I'm also aware of the negatives that come with it.

    I don't see how anybody can't understand the basics of the issue....it's really pretty simple. Inverter repairs almost always require expensive board replacements that are often half the price of a new machine after the warranty period expires. That is rarely the case for the transformer machines. They have boards, but what they have can be repaired on a component level in most cases, and outright replacements are nowhere near as expensive.

    Right now I have a $6K inverter in my shop that's dead. It's a 2014 machine and won't power up. The power supply board is definitely dead, but that frequently kills the main board as well. The power supply board is around $1K and the main board is around $1500. There is no way to test the main board without replacing the power supply board. Who's going to spend $1K to find out they have to spend another $1500 on a machine that still could have other issues? I'm sure not going to do that...and from most of the comments I've seen on all the different welding boards other folks largely think the same way.

    Welders aren't smart phones...not even remotely a good comparison, but it does disprove your point. Who buys a smart phone expecting it to last decades? If your phone dies you go to the store and buy another one....just like inverter welders.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
    Hi,
    Bart, where are you finding all these machines at?
    There is a lot of manufacturing within a couple of hours of me, so I keep an eye on all the equipment auction sites as well as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. I also have a friend who owns a welding shop and sometimes get leads on shops closing down. I stick to stuff that appears to still be in service, and no obvious issues, and it's worked out well.

    My wife laughs, but I just love tearing apart a welder, getting it cleaned up, go through it from top to bottom, and then get it all put back together ready to go to work and I do them like I would for something I would keep myself. That's actually how I started...did one for myself, then found one a few years newer, and repeated the process. Anything questionable gets replaced, and I run them hard before I'll let them leave. I'm looking to add a load bank so I can do a better job of testing them...I've just missed out on a couple lately.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Just finished this beauty the other day. It came out of a small machine shop that closed down not far from me. It was still plugged in with a bottle on it when I got it, but it took me five minutes of moving stuff to get it out...they didn't use it much so I'm, pretty sure it has limited hours. The knobs tell a lot about welders like this...tight knobs haven't been used much, and this one fits that theme. I'd be shocked if it's not still running perfectly in 25 years.

    I just realized I took the pictures of it with a regulator I put on to test briefly...it actually has a Harris 355 flow meter going with it. Disassembled, cleaned, new gas hose, new cooler lines, new torch, disassembled and flushed the cooler, fresh coolant, new screen in the cooler pump, etc, etc.

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    Last edited by G-ManBart; 03-28-2021 at 02:21 PM.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Hi Bart,
    WOW!

    That's nice, I enjoy getting things back to square one but admittedly my knowledge on the inner workings of Welders are limited!

    It would be nice to see a thread or even a vid of you going through one of the older welders and what exactly you do?

    I know every case is different, but...

    Just sayin, thanks for the info and pics!!!

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Before anyone says I'm anti-inverter I'll point out that two of my welders are inverters, one is a transformer, and the fourth is an engine drive that you can't directly compare. So, I'm a fan of the technology and features, but I'm also aware of the negatives that come with it.

    I don't see how anybody can't understand the basics of the issue....it's really pretty simple. Inverter repairs almost always require expensive board replacements that are often half the price of a new machine after the warranty period expires. That is rarely the case for the transformer machines. They have boards, but what they have can be repaired on a component level in most cases, and outright replacements are nowhere near as expensive.

    Right now I have a $6K inverter in my shop that's dead. It's a 2014 machine and won't power up. The power supply board is definitely dead, but that frequently kills the main board as well. The power supply board is around $1K and the main board is around $1500. There is no way to test the main board without replacing the power supply board. Who's going to spend $1K to find out they have to spend another $1500 on a machine that still could have other issues? I'm sure not going to do that...and from most of the comments I've seen on all the different welding boards other folks largely think the same way.

    Welders aren't smart phones...not even remotely a good comparison, but it does disprove your point. Who buys a smart phone expecting it to last decades? If your phone dies you go to the store and buy another one....just like inverter welders.
    Actually it doesnt disprove my point at all. It's a matter of electronics vs a mass of copper or aluminum. Are there tradeoffs, yes. Let this sink in, less mass, lower power supply needed and increased output for a given size. Sounds an awful lot like inverter technology and smart phone technology over the years. One could add television and audio technology to that as well. How about cordless tool technology. With your "logic" an old tube type television would be the way to go. Will a transformer machine outlast an inverter, possibly, probably, each situation is different. What I do know for sure is inverter machines are much more affordable than transformer machines,( new current purchase) and the savings in electrical costs would easily cover any costs even IF the inverter had a shorter lifespan. I bought a primeweld 225 a while back for 700$ with a 3 year warranty. A similar sized transformer, ( which I believe is discontinued) would be the Lincoln precision tig 225, which was over 2,000$. Between the initial cost and increased electrical draw, the Lincoln would have to last a bare minimum of 9 years,( but more like 20 years) with the increased electrical costs with moderate use) to even begin to be a better value than a low cost inverter machines. That doesn't even begin to factor in other benifits such as pulse, adjustable balance and frequency. Either way the FACT is inverter machines are here to stay and the transformer machines have gone the way of carburators, distributers and many other items. Whether that's good or bad it's reality. As for life expectancy out of a phone or anything else for that matter it's all relative to cost. My phone is about 3 years old and wasnt very expensive in the first place. The screen is getting beat up and battery life isn't what it once was, but I'm sure it will still function when I replace it. Would I be piszed if I paid 9,000$ for a dynasty and it puked a month after warranty, absolutely. If one can't take that hit,( which most of us couldn't) don't buy it, buy something cheaper. Using my primeweld for example, if it dies just outside the 3 year warranty, it cost me around 60 cents a day to own. I have a razorweld 45 plasma, similar cost, same warranty, same rough cost of ownership. I could go on and on about cost of ownership but that point is proven.

  30. #23
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I was at a local welding supply yesterday,,
    I was asking about a multi process machine,, he had miller and Lincoln.

    He showed me how I could buy a TIG and a MIG machine,, in Miller, and be at less money than buying a multi process machine.
    This makes no sense to me. A Millermatic 255 MIG welder is only $356 cheaper than the multiprocess Multimatic 255. That salesman was pulling a fast one on you. If you take the cheapest TIG miller makes (diversion 180) and add it to a Millermatic 211, you are going to be >$500 more expensive than the AC/DC Multimatic 220, and the multimatic 220 is way more capable than those other two machines.
    Miller Multimatic 255

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  32. #24
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    This makes no sense to me. A Millermatic 255 MIG welder is only $356 cheaper than the multiprocess Multimatic 255. That salesman was pulling a fast one on you. If you take the cheapest TIG miller makes (diversion 180) and add it to a Millermatic 211, you are going to be >$500 more expensive than the AC/DC Multimatic 220, and the multimatic 220 is way more capable than those other two machines.
    Very astute observation as always, Louie. I too wondered what was said in that conversation and what numbers were thrown around.
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  34. #25
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Actually it doesnt disprove my point at all. It's a matter of electronics vs a mass of copper or aluminum. Are there tradeoffs, yes. Let this sink in, less mass, lower power supply needed and increased output for a given size. Sounds an awful lot like inverter technology and smart phone technology over the years. One could add television and audio technology to that as well. How about cordless tool technology. With your "logic" an old tube type television would be the way to go. Will a transformer machine outlast an inverter, possibly, probably, each situation is different. What I do know for sure is inverter machines are much more affordable than transformer machines,( new current purchase) and the savings in electrical costs would easily cover any costs even IF the inverter had a shorter lifespan. I bought a primeweld 225 a while back for 700$ with a 3 year warranty. A similar sized transformer, ( which I believe is discontinued) would be the Lincoln precision tig 225, which was over 2,000$. Between the initial cost and increased electrical draw, the Lincoln would have to last a bare minimum of 9 years,( but more like 20 years) with the increased electrical costs with moderate use) to even begin to be a better value than a low cost inverter machines. That doesn't even begin to factor in other benifits such as pulse, adjustable balance and frequency. Either way the FACT is inverter machines are here to stay and the transformer machines have gone the way of carburators, distributers and many other items. Whether that's good or bad it's reality. As for life expectancy out of a phone or anything else for that matter it's all relative to cost. My phone is about 3 years old and wasnt very expensive in the first place. The screen is getting beat up and battery life isn't what it once was, but I'm sure it will still function when I replace it. Would I be piszed if I paid 9,000$ for a dynasty and it puked a month after warranty, absolutely. If one can't take that hit,( which most of us couldn't) don't buy it, buy something cheaper. Using my primeweld for example, if it dies just outside the 3 year warranty, it cost me around 60 cents a day to own. I have a razorweld 45 plasma, similar cost, same warranty, same rough cost of ownership. I could go on and on about cost of ownership but that point is proven.
    Your example simply doesn't work from a logical standpoint. You can't compare prices on an imported Primeweld to that of a major U.S. brand and have it mean anything other than imported Chinese machines cost less....pretty sure we all know that.

    Miller just stopped selling the Syncrowave 250DX and replaced it with the Syncrowvae 300...similar output machines. The 250DX TIGRunner package was going for right around $7K. The new Syncrowave 300 TIGRunner package is $7500. Let that sink in for a minute.....no real savings, but I know which is more likely to live long past the warranty.

    Only cheap, imported inverters are less expensive than transformer machines....and I own one of them so I can point fingers all I want.

    You can debate all you want, but with the current foreseeable technology, when inverter welders die, they often go in the scrap pile once out of warranty. That isn't true of the transformer machines...and they don't die frequently to start with. The obvious tradeoff is size, power draw and less bells and whistles....just the way it is. I have both and almost never turn on the inverter, but it's a good backup.
    Check out my bench vise website:
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