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Thread: any good knockoff welders

  1. #1
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    any good knockoff welders

    A little advice please. I am about to pull the trigger on a mig welder. Flux core, gas, etc. There are so many brands i'm confused. Eastwood 180, the hzxvogen 2280 , Yeswelder mig pro 250 amp mig welder, forney140,. Mostly fabrication, up to 3/8ths inch. some aluminum. no autobody work. but being able to weld light guage would be nice. 200 amp plus Lincoln or miller, hobart or esab for my simple homeshop needs costs too much. I want to do this for between 400 and 600 hundred dollars. There may be better brands that I didn't mention so what do you guys think? Can you help me narrow this down a little. I've read a bunch of reviews and now i am mostly confused. Thank you for reading.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    I look at knock-offs as a "one job tool"

    That is how I look at any HF tool, do the one job, be willing to toss it.
    If you want it to last for a while, IMO, get Miller,, etc,,,

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Regardless of "how often" you need to weld 3/8" steel, you will always need minimum 250A for a wirefeed using solidwire (200A using gasless flux core would be able to do 3/8" though). You cant take a 180A MIG and say "oh, just today I will turn it up to do 3/8"; you cant use amps you don't have. Cheap, new MIG machines in your price range don't deliver what they say. If it says 250, it puts out 180-200A. Increase your budget.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Don't lump all the cheaper China rigs together. Some are rated lower then their true output. Yes, they can weld as nice as anything else built too... I just picked up my old Klutch 220i back, and it outputs 190 stick amps, and 230+ in the mig (short-arc volts) Very high quality arc too..
    Last edited by Brand X; 01-09-2022 at 11:11 AM.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Big wish list, small budget. Tackle one thing at a time.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    If you do not have a welder start with a 200 class mvp mig. After that see what you cant do.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    This is a machine i would end leaning on when it was all over. I have 10 machines, this is what i use.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Sberry; 01-09-2022 at 11:16 AM.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    As for welders the cheapest 2 i own i use the most. I never use my "best". They are parked in back of storage.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Don't lump all the cheaper China rigs together. Some are rated lower then their true output. Yes, they can weld as nice as anything else built too... I just picked up my old Klutch 220i back, and it outputs 190 stick amps, and 230+ in the mig (short-arc volts) Very high quality arc too..
    I been following you. Its so easy to slip back and just did it with a saw instead of buyi g generic. They have refined these cheaper machines so the same thing can be rebranded etc but i think its so revolutionary for the machine can to the same work at 20% the cost. Its a hard concept to grasp it seems, usually the naysayers foow ith every what if that can be dreamed up. I will spend 4k today so i can spend another 4 in 30 yrs for parts if i need to. Could replace it se eral times at tomorrows dollars and get new features for free.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    If he's on a budget, I think it would be cheaper to buy 2 machines than to try to work all his variables into one. For welding 3/8"plus metal, buy a used $100 buzz box (yes, you will need a 230v plugin). If the new machine only has to weld thin steel or aluminum, that takes a lot of demand off what you need for total amperage. It is disappointing when you buy "assembled in the USA" prices only to find out all the components come from China anyway, but the difference is product support. Lots of lower end machines will perform well when new, but the parts and repair services for them leave a lot to be desired when they lose their magic smoke.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    I've mentioned many a times - I have the little YesWelder 110/220V multi process and like it a lot. Granted I'm as novice as they come but they've stood behind it, consumables are regular HF/Tweco(?) stuff. I bought an entire mig gun assemble including hose and liner for $50 just in case, so far haven't needed it (18 months +/-).

    Customer service is challenging - they have a stateside warehouse/something or other. May take a call or two, but usually it works out. The adjusting knob on the wire tensioner failed but they mailed out a new one no charge.

    EDIT: I bought the Forney you're talking about - I like the YesWelder MUCH better.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Cary,
    ten years ago I would of told people to run from these machines.. Lot of times they are a kit, and you need to have experience to figure out just what they need to work correct. Although, any brand or cost of machine can be challenging sometimes. You would probably struggle with a Lorch as much as a yes welder..

    I really think there is one deal right now that would be hard to beat.. Amazon deals for the exact machine that fits the bill. I bet it outputs way over it's 200 amp rating..
    Has more features then you can shake a stick at.. If I did not have the Klutch or Esab 160 Caddymig I would jump all over it. My 120 volt version has beeen outstanding.I run it flux only because I modified my Tweco mini gun to work with the cheaper gun hookup so no gas is available with this setup. I rather have this setup for .030/.035 flux (2-pounders for weight,and under 20 loaded) for no bottle use anyway. The stick arc is really nice, and powerful too..I would burn it in good, just to see if it's going to melt.. It would probably survive after a good run-in Limited warranty, but got to roll the dice if you want cheap.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Any welder with lots of bells and wishlists will most problems.
    Keep simple 👌 and 240 volt is less headaches too.

    I have a Chicago 170 it basic welder works great small to store. Before retirement I had Miller , Airco and Hobart all work great but to big for a garage so I down sized to a HF Chicago 170 very happy.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by clyde r View Post
    A little advice please. I am about to pull the trigger on a mig welder. Flux core, gas, etc. There are so many brands i'm confused. Eastwood 180, the hzxvogen 2280 , Yeswelder mig pro 250 amp mig welder, forney140,. Mostly fabrication, up to 3/8ths inch. some aluminum. no autobody work. but being able to weld light guage would be nice. 200 amp plus Lincoln or miller, hobart or esab for my simple homeshop needs costs too much. I want to do this for between 400 and 600 hundred dollars. There may be better brands that I didn't mention so what do you guys think? Can you help me narrow this down a little. I've read a bunch of reviews and now i am mostly confused. Thank you for reading.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    to all that responded. Thank you very much. A little update and some back story. I am a retired trucker, 73 years plus. I collect vintage equipment and machinery, First off I have 50 amp 220 circuit and more if i want to wire it in. I have 3 welders. A miller 250 amp ac dc welder. a little solar and an r2d2 red lincoln m,otor welder 3 phase.

    I want to spend what i am willing to spend as wisely as possible. I know a lot of the Chinese welders are 1 step above junk and some are pretty dam good. I need you guys that have bought them and used them to keep me as smart as possible. The eastwood for one has I think 5 stores in the us. Where are they on the food change?
    The gentleman from the urka farms, I couldn't recognize the welder in the foreground. So far the eastwood 180 mig is a contender, the yeswelder promig 250 amp and a real offbrand hzxvogen HBM 2280 mig is another one.
    I certainly can spend more money if I want to but if I dont have to why should I. More money for more of my endearing junk. Thank you once again, Clyde

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    I don't believe a reasonably decent quality MIG welder can be bought new for $4-600 that will do what you want. The least expensive machine I would consider for those tasks is a Hobart Handler 210MVP at around $950. It will weld up to 3/8" and you can get help from Hobart, or repair parts if needed, pretty easily.

    Harbor Freight has a similar output machine, but it's $900 so for the slight difference in price I wouldn't even consider it with a lack of support beyond a warranty replacement machine.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    I agree better to have the proper machine to do the job. But if your welding the odd piece of 3/8th here and there especially if it's not a super important structural piece, I'd think a 180 or 200 amp solid wire would do the job ok.
    Especially if your willing to do a quick pre heat to help get the material warmed up for better fusion at the start. And bevelling etc to get a solid weld.

    Id say in your budget either go with a cheap used buzzbox type stick welder, lincoln 225 for the thick projects, and a 120 volt mig for the thin stuff but doesn't cover aluminum.

    Or a hobart 190/210 mig or lincoln 180(bit small) with a spool gun for aluminum. I think if you can wait a bit and save up for a hobart 190 or 210 would be your best bet. Personally I think buying one of the knock off welders would be a mistake. Buy a decent machine and youll be a lot happier long term

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Not quite 200 amp MIG, but what about the Little Primeweld MIG 180 amp unit?

    feedback seems good- like the TIG 225 and for $500 it comes with a spool gun and 3 year warranty.

    I am in the market as well, cant decide whether to cheap out or spend 3 times the money, and get a transformer machine.

    Was really wanting the HTP 2400 but I don't even see it listed anymore on USA welds site.

    Cyberwelds sale on the Ironman 240 for $1549 is looking tempting

    My bandaided HF MIG 150 has got me by for over 30 years but it ain't cutting it anymore.

    My kid bought a so called 250 amp MIG for about $300 and it works but a test only showed a max amp output of about 160 amps, the leads are way to undersized for even what it does output.
    I want a real 200 amp + output ability at the torch.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by 455dan View Post
    Not quite 200 amp MIG, but what about the Little Primeweld MIG 180 amp unit?

    feedback seems good- like the TIG 225 and for $500 it comes with a spool gun and 3 year warranty.

    I am in the market as well, cant decide whether to cheap out or spend 3 times the money, and get a transformer machine.

    Was really wanting the HTP 2400 but I don't even see it listed anymore on USA welds site.

    Cyberwelds sale on the Ironman 240 for $1549 is looking tempting

    My bandaided HF MIG 150 has got me by for over 30 years but it ain't cutting it anymore.

    My kid bought a so called 250 amp MIG for about $300 and it works but a test only showed a max amp output of about 160 amps, the leads are way to undersized for even what it does output.
    I want a real 200 amp + output ability at the torch.
    No real personal experience with those machines so they may actually be decent enough for personal/hobby use.. But I still stick with buying a decent name machine that will most likely outlast these Chinese ones. The ironman 240 would be an excellent welder that would likely last you for yrs and yrs and all kinds of power. I'd think if you have the means to make that purchase you'd be quite happy and not regret it. The cheaper one may be ok, but I feel like there's a bigger chance of regret not spending more to get a quality machine

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Weldmark puts their label on some reasonable quality stuff. You might check some of their stuff out.

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    For the Life of me,,, I can't understand why anybody (except maybe if you were fulltime welding) would buy a Lincoln or a Miller...

    They too are made in China, have ridiculous repair costs, always cost more to buy with the least features, and shorter Warrantees. You can buy something like an Everlast with a 5yr warranty and after it's up still be able to buy a replacement board for a couple of hundred bucks (that Miller people pay a Grand for).

    So, OK,,, your Miller goes-down and you run it over to the local welding supply house you bought it from and they take it from there If it's an HTP, Primeweld, Everlast, etc., you're gonna be without it longer because there's no local support. If a turn-around delay costs you money then sure,,, go big Red/Blue. But for most of us, get a bigger Bang-for-the-Buck and enjoy the benefits of what you, for some reason, call a "knockoff" welder

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    For the Life of me,,, I can't understand why anybody (except maybe if you were fulltime welding) would buy a Lincoln or a Miller...

    They too are made in China, have ridiculous repair costs, always cost more to buy with the least features, and shorter Warrantees. You can buy something like an Everlast with a 5yr warranty and after it's up still be able to buy a replacement board for a couple of hundred bucks (that Miller people pay a Grand for).

    So, OK,,, your Miller goes-down and you run it over to the local welding supply house you bought it from and they take it from there If it's an HTP, Primeweld, Everlast, etc., you're gonna be without it longer because there's no local support. If a turn-around delay costs you money then sure,,, go big Red/Blue. But for most of us, get a bigger Bang-for-the-Buck and enjoy the benefits of what you, for some reason, call a "knockoff" welder
    Everlast warranty, that's some funny stuff right there.😂

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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by nick121 View Post
    No real personal experience with those machines so they may actually be decent enough for personal/hobby use.. But I still stick with buying a decent name machine that will most likely outlast these Chinese ones. The ironman 240 would be an excellent welder that would likely last you for yrs and yrs and all kinds of power. I'd think if you have the means to make that purchase you'd be quite happy and not regret it. The cheaper one may be ok, but I feel like there's a bigger chance of regret not spending more to get a quality machine
    Well I went ahead and ordered the Hobart 240 Ironman yesterday and Cyberweld just responded with a backorder message today.
    I am going to see if maybe they have the Ironman 240 with the spool gun in the kit for an extra $500 or so in stock.
    I don't want to wait for the welder to get back into stock with no known timeline.
    Wish they would put the back order note on the order form before you hit the buy button.

    ps. the local craigslist has a supposed "low hour" Lincoln 216 with CO2 cylinder- but he wants $1500 for it. A little less amps but i have always heard real good things about the weld quality of the 215 and 216.

    ps. 2 That was quick, Cyberweld just called about the order and I asked about them maybe having the spoolgun with Ironman 240 in stock, she said no and all INE welders are drop ships to reduce delays. She said that recently the delays are running around 4 weeks or so. Very professional at least calling me , but I cancelled the order.
    Last edited by 455dan; 01-10-2022 at 12:50 PM.
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    For the Life of me,,, I can't understand why anybody (except maybe if you were fulltime welding) would buy a Lincoln or a Miller...

    They too are made in China, have ridiculous repair costs, always cost more to buy with the least features, and shorter Warrantees. You can buy something like an Everlast with a 5yr warranty and after it's up still be able to buy a replacement board for a couple of hundred bucks (that Miller people pay a Grand for).

    So, OK,,, your Miller goes-down and you run it over to the local welding supply house you bought it from and they take it from there If it's an HTP, Primeweld, Everlast, etc., you're gonna be without it longer because there's no local support. If a turn-around delay costs you money then sure,,, go big Red/Blue. But for most of us, get a bigger Bang-for-the-Buck and enjoy the benefits of what you, for some reason, call a "knockoff" welder
    You can't understand, or don't want to admit, that some people are willing to pay more than you are for quality?

    My time is valuable and when I want to spend time welding on a project I don't want to be stuck waiting because my welder died. That can happen with any welder, but getting a red, blue or tan one fixed quickly is a lot easier than most of the imported brands. I'd have to go back and look but it took more than a month and a couple of dozen e-mails and phone calls with Everlast when my first welder from them went crazy. Ultimately I shipped it back and bought a more expensive model....all told I was out for two months or so.

    Oleg (owner of Everlast) told me that my PowerTIG 210EXT was a copy, feature for feature, of a Dynasty 210. Sounds a lot like a knockoff to me. We were talking about that after my previous Everlast went crazy within the first week or two....I was lucky I was still in the early part of the warranty when they'll actually be reasonable.

    I've sold more than a couple of nice Miller TIGs to guys replacing Everlast welders....for a reason. They all went for the bigger bang-for-the-buck and it cost them more in the long run.
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  30. #24
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    For the Life of me,,, I can't understand why anybody (except maybe if you were fulltime welding) would buy a Lincoln or a Miller...

    They too are made in China, have ridiculous repair costs, always cost more to buy with the least features, and shorter Warrantees. You can buy something like an Everlast with a 5yr warranty and after it's up still be able to buy a replacement board for a couple of hundred bucks (that Miller people pay a Grand for).

    So, OK,,, your Miller goes-down and you run it over to the local welding supply house you bought it from and they take it from there If it's an HTP, Primeweld, Everlast, etc., you're gonna be without it longer because there's no local support. If a turn-around delay costs you money then sure,,, go big Red/Blue. But for most of us, get a bigger Bang-for-the-Buck and enjoy the benefits of what you, for some reason, call a "knockoff" welder

    That was just a name I picked to describe ALL the welders and the different names that are out there. Here are a few. HZXVogen HBM 2280 mig welder, Andelimall.com Welder, Everlast, Lotos, Yesweld, Prime Weld, Tolliom, Forney, Names been around a long time, How about today? Vevor, Razor and just as many that I cant think of or don't know about. So I decided to call them knockoffs.

    Logic would dictate to me that some are better than others and perform close to what they claim. And I thought some of the folks on here through their experience could direct me to some of the better options out there. I've never owned a MIg welder. And once again thanks to all that have responded, I appreciate it. I am looking into the Blue Demon that Brand x suggested. Right now they are on back order.

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  32. #25
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    Re: any good knockoff welders

    Quote Originally Posted by clyde r View Post
    Logic would dictate to me that some are better than others and perform close to what they claim. And I thought some of the folks on here through their experience could direct me to some of the better options out there. I've never owned a MIg welder. And once again thanks to all that have responded, I appreciate it. I am looking into the Blue Demon that Brand x suggested. Right now they are on back order.
    Unfortunately, I doubt you're going to find much information here about many of the imported welders. You'll find some good info about Everlast and Primeweld, and a bit less about Forney, but almost nothing on the other brands. I'm not saying don't ask, but I wouldn't expect a whole lot of input.

    I would be more concerned about buying an inexpensive MIG welder than any other kind. The most common cause of problems with a MIG welder involve the wire feed system. The less expensive machines tend to be less robust in that area and wire feed issues can be a huge source of frustration. If anything, I'd look for folks commenting about that topic more than other areas. The reason I say all this is that TIG welders and stick welders are really just power sources with almost no moving parts (barring a water cooling system) to cause grief, so some of the inexpensive versions work pretty darned well.
    Last edited by G-ManBart; 01-10-2022 at 04:44 PM.
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