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Thread: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

  1. #1
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    are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    I'd like to try pulsed MIG but I'm not ready to buy a new Millermatic 255. Are there any good options?

    metalmagpie

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    I think you are limited to the Millermatic 255, HTP propulse 220 and 300, and a couple of Everlast units, none of which are cheap. I think the everlast may also force you to set the pulse parameters, which the Miller and HTP units do not. They are more or less synergic. The only other alternatives are the cheapo ebay chinese welders like this one https://www.ebay.com/itm/38410551707...evt=1&mkcid=28
    Miller Multimatic 255

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    You definitely don't want to skimp out on a pulse MIG welder. It's not like TIG where it's quite easy to implement now a days. Unlike TIG where it's pretty simple only pulses the current (and perhaps to a very small extent the voltage to sustain the needed amps), pulse MIG can happen in two general ways: pulsing the voltage, or pulsing the current. HTP's primarily pulse the current. Other machines voltage. I don't know what the Miller's do though. Also note that changing the voltage offset aka: voltage "trim" to adjust the arc cone/characteristics on some machines, it also changes the pulse frequency. On the HTP this (voltage trim) can be done independently of pulse frequency, which is how I believe it should be, based on some scientific white paper's I've read.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    What do you need pulse for? Is the important question.

    On aluminium, it's great. On steel, not so much.

    Even the very newest and best pulse MIG sets in the world don't automatically make it easier to weld, and they are limited in what you can do with them. On thin steel, short-arc is still best.

    As for affordable... I bought an older Miller XMT with wirefeeder for 500, and added an Optima pulse pendant later for 300... so that was 800 for a quality pulse MIG...
    I upgraded recently to a Lorch Saprom S3 speedpulse, which is another level again, absolute dream on aluminium. But it's still limited to flat position on steel pulse, sometimes more wasted heat, and less penetration than with plain spray arc.

    So what advantage DOES it have on steel? Well... not much... less spatter is nice, but everything has to be super clean. A good spray arc will be low spatter anyway.

    I'm still undecided as to whether the Lorch S3 welds as nicely in plain CV as the Miller XMT did. That's not on any spec sheet for any welder, it's something about the machine itself... some MIG sets are just sweet to use.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    What do you need pulse for? Is the important question.

    On aluminium, it's great. On steel, not so much.

    Even the very newest and best pulse MIG sets in the world don't automatically make it easier to weld, and they are limited in what you can do with them. On thin steel, short-arc is still best.

    As for affordable... I bought an older Miller XMT with wirefeeder for 500, and added an Optima pulse pendant later for 300... so that was 800 for a quality pulse MIG...
    I upgraded recently to a Lorch Saprom S3 speedpulse, which is another level again, absolute dream on aluminium. But it's still limited to flat position on steel pulse, sometimes more wasted heat, and less penetration than with plain spray arc.

    So what advantage DOES it have on steel? Well... not much... less spatter is nice, but everything has to be super clean. A good spray arc will be low spatter anyway.

    I'm still undecided as to whether the Lorch S3 welds as nicely in plain CV as the Miller XMT did. That's not on any spec sheet for any welder, it's something about the machine itself... some MIG sets are just sweet to use.
    Pulsed MIG is one of those things where you get what you pay for to an even greater extent then usual.

    I've got to disagree with saying that a quality pulse MIG isn't useful on steel as long as you consider out of position work, for me at least using Fronius machines (or should I say specifically the fronius Trans puls synergic 2700) it's great for welding steel and stainless out of position with solid wire, I wouldn't choose it over gas shielded flux core, but it allows welding of pipe (my experience with it, i'm sure plate as well) in position with good speed, my go to setting with the TPS 2700 ended up with 14 m/min (550 IPM) of .9 wire at 27 volts for a 5G pipe for the fill and cap, and for thin material especially stainless it's a game changer.

    But with all of that said, you don't go for a Pulse MIG setup to do it cheaply, cheap ones are no better than standard CV, and good ones are worth the money if you have a use case for it.

    As for sweet MIG set's, I still go gaga for the WIA Weldmatic 500i, 500 amp MIG welder for 5k AUS that is so sweet for short circuit and spray in a way that makes sense given the price, fronius machines are equal in standard CV, but not better.

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Well for me I don't need a welder at all really, it is a hobby. Pulse MIG may prove to be very useful to me, but even if it doesn't, this welder gives me everything the Millermatic 252 used to give me, plus it is stick and DC TIG welder all in one unit, which appealed to me since I was losing an entire garage bay to welding machines before I made the switch. Having a Syncrowave, the MM252 and Idealarc just took up a lot of space. While I loved all three of those machines, I really don't do much TIG and virtually no aluminum TIG (other than coupons for learning), so I let all three go and got the Multimatic. I am moving south in 2 years when my youngest graduates high school, and the thought of paying someone to move those three behemoths was also weighing on my mind.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    But it's still limited to flat position on steel pulse

    So what advantage DOES it have on steel? Well... not much... less spatter is nice, but everything has to be super clean.
    I'm gonna have to disagree too.

    On steel, non-pulse vs pulse, same average amperage, the penetration profile offers deeper penetration. I'm sure with more practice I can get even better results. These were the some of the first attempts at pulsed-MIG that I did.





    As for limitations to only the flat-position, I think that is more dependent on technique/settings/wire. If you use ER70S-6, it has a very fluid puddle due to the added silicon, but if you use ER70S-3, you get a less fluid puddle that makes it a better choice for out-of-position/non-flat welding.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    Pulsed MIG is one of those things where you get what you pay for to an even greater extent then usual.
    I've got to disagree with saying that a quality pulse MIG isn't useful on steel as long as you consider out of position work, for me at least using Fronius machines (or should I say specifically the fronius Trans puls synergic 2700) it's great for welding steel and stainless out of position with solid wire,
    But with all of that said, you don't go for a Pulse MIG setup to do it cheaply, cheap ones are no better than standard CV, and good ones are worth the money if you have a use case for it.
    I can't get a pulse MIG to run nicely out-of-position on steel... the puddle is always too fluid. I've tried the Miller and Lorch, and an Esab. None of them ran a stiff enough puddle for anything other than on the flat. Maybe it's just me, but if it is, I'd dearly love to know how to stiffen it without dropping the arc length right down into the puddle itself.

    I believe the newer programs on Lorch and Fronius help a bit in this regard.

    My Lorch is one generation behind current, and I still run it on speedpulse on structural steel on the flat, it makes lovely clean spatter free welds and saves on cleanup. But I didn't buy it for steel specifically, I bought it for aluminium.

    Like you say, no point doing it on the cheap, it won't give any benefit.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    I'm gonna have to disagree too.

    On steel, non-pulse vs pulse, same average amperage, the penetration profile offers deeper penetration. I'm sure with more practice I can get even better results. These were the some of the first attempts at pulsed-MIG that I did.

    As for limitations to only the flat-position, I think that is more dependent on technique/settings/wire. If you use ER70S-6, it has a very fluid puddle due to the added silicon, but if you use ER70S-3, you get a less fluid puddle that makes it a better choice for out-of-position/non-flat welding.
    The penetration into the joint is impressive, but look at the lines out towards the toes... That's what i found with the Miller setup. The Lorch is better in this regard, more even penetration. Or maybe it's just me

    You don't really get ER70-s3 over here... it's usually S6. And I sincerely doubt that it's a noticeable difference to the puddle anyway, in spite of what they say. That's what arc length is for.

    Gas mixture makes much more of a difference, and I've tried both light and heavy CO2/Ar mixes.
    Last edited by Munkul; 07-20-2021 at 10:37 AM.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    The penetration into the joint is impressive, but look at the lines out towards the toes... That's what i found with the Miller setup. The Lorch is better in this regard, more even penetration. Or maybe it's just me
    Yea but remember I'm just a hobbyist. If I practiced more and more and improved my technique, I think the results would be even better. Welding is obviously not just about the machine or process, it's the operator. So that has to be taken into account.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    The penetration into the joint is impressive, but look at the lines out towards the toes... That's what i found with the Miller setup. The Lorch is better in this regard, more even penetration. Or maybe it's just me

    You don't really get ER70-s3 over here... it's usually S6. And I sincerely doubt that it's a noticeable difference to the puddle anyway, in spite of what they say. That's what arc length is for.

    Gas mixture makes much more of a difference, and I've tried both light and heavy CO2/Ar mixes.
    with MIG I don't really notice much difference between -2 -3 and -6 either, although -2 if you can get it might make a little bit of difference, with TIG -2 is a sticky mess compared to -6.

    I like more CO2 in the gas with pulse than straight up spray transfer, I think the BOC Argoshield universal with 16% Co2 and 2.75% O2 is the pulse sweet spot, while I use 5% Co2 2% O2 for spray usually.

    I find that out of position you can't quite run it like you can flat, it's not dual shield where it doesn't care about position, for overhead fillet welds I just decrease the trim a bit to about +3 and make sure to hold slightly more CTWD, 210 amps with 700 IPM of .9 and that works pretty nice.

    .For vertical I run less amps (170, 560ish ipm of .9) way more trim of +11 to +14 on the Fronius TPS 2700, run a fairly long stick out (around 20mm) and push it uphill with a good 15-20 degree push angle and dont be afraid to whip slightly up and down to spread the heat out if it's starting to get out of control, not so good if you try to cap a but weld with a near flush fill, it still need's something for it to hold onto so a straight run vertical on flat plate doesn't seem to work well, but for 6-8mm vertical fillet welds, or vertical fill and cap on pipe that works really well for me.
    Last edited by ttoks; 07-20-2021 at 07:12 PM.

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Interesting, so you actually increase the voltage/arc length trim and run a longer stickout, to get a cooler puddle?

    That might be where I'm going wrong... I'm doing the opposite! I was trying to put less voltage in. I'm also running more amps.

    I'll do some experimenting.
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Interesting, so you actually increase the voltage/arc length trim and run a longer stickout, to get a cooler puddle?

    That might be where I'm going wrong... I'm doing the opposite! I was trying to put less voltage in. I'm also running more amps.

    I'll do some experimenting.
    That's exactly it, more volts, less amps, more stick out to get the energy out of the puddle, doing uphill you don't need as many amps to get right into the root, and it really helps keep the puddle stiffer, the higher CO2 gas makes a big difference as well.

    I do the same sort of principal for very high deposition spray arc welding, 950-1000 IPM of .045 solid wire with 42 volts, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inch of stick out (32-37mm) gives around 350 amps, you get get incredibly high deposition rates without completely destroying the grain structure of the weld and base metal and still get full root fusion.

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    I realize this thread is asking about affordable mig pulse but Lincolns RapidArc on their powerwave series is very smooth and so easy to operate. Millers AccuPulse is very similar. I bring this up because of pulses superior weld penetration and reduction in splatter on mild steel. To my understanding, both companies mig pulse programs are not currently available on lower amperage machines. Spray mode pulse is not recommended for out of position welding. You would need to use a short circuit setting.

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebidiah View Post
    To my understanding, both companies mig pulse programs are not currently available on lower amperage machines.
    That is correct. From the USA/Europe side of things, Stel is likely the only manufacturer that has a properly working pulsed-spray machine in the 200A class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zebidiah View Post
    Spray mode pulse is not recommended for out of position welding. You would need to use a short circuit setting.
    Oh, it can be done alright.....
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    You the old way use trigger

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmagpie View Post
    I'd like to try pulsed MIG but I'm not ready to buy a new Millermatic 255. Are there any good options?

    metalmagpie

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    You the old way use trigger

    Dave
    That's stitch welding...not pulsed-spray transfer......
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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    It about close you get the pulsed welding without havinga pulse welder.

    I like pulse works but the cost is very high.u

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    That's stitch welding...not pulsed-spray transfer......

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    Re: are there any affordable pulsed MIG welders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    It about close you get the pulsed welding without havinga pulse welder.

    I like pulse works but the cost is very high.u

    Dave
    not even close
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