AWSX1686 HalfDork
April 20, 2017 10:15 p.m.

Has anyone had any experience with any of the harbor freight welders. Looking at getting a flux-core welder.

Like this

Stefan MegaDork
April 20, 2017 10:40 p.m.

Convert it to D.C. and it works much better with decent flux core wire.

HF Flux core AC to DC conversion.

zordak New Reader
April 22, 2017 5:16 p.m.

I bought one. It has a 20% duty cycle, this means it will weld 170 amps (1/4" thick) for 2 minutes then an 8 min wait to do another 2 minutes. For welding light stuff 1/8" or thinner it works ok. I have not used it much just some exhaust and light brackets. it is better than nothing but not a good industrial grade welder. If you doing critical work I would use it for tacking then take somewhere with a quality welder to do the real welding.

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
April 22, 2017 5:44 p.m.

I use the 89 dollar flux core for my sheetmetal wirk. 20lbs of wire through it so far. Hates anything above 1/8 thick though.

AWSX1686 HalfDork
April 24, 2017 9:40 a.m.

Thanks for the input everyone! I think it'll be a little while before I get a welder yet, but the info helps for when I do. First I think I'll work on getting a lift.

April 24, 2017 10:25 a.m.

I have one and it's good for small jobs. First thing is to put better wire on the machine. Other than that not a bad machine for the money.

bluej UltraDork
April 24, 2017 10:35 a.m.

Anyone actually used one of their TIG units?

MulletTruck Reader
April 24, 2017 11:27 a.m.

The 90 and 120 amp 110v Flux core welders do ok for light work. 1/8th or less.

The newer ones are wired up DC so they work better than the last generation they used to sell, The tips are usually .35 and they sell it with .30 wire. Get a pack of .30 tips and it will work a lot better.

Also the wire they sell them with is crap, Quality wire makes a big difference.

BrokenYugo MegaDork
April 24, 2017 3:12 p.m.

The little 120 volt 90 amp fluxcore units work OK, if you're going bigger I'd look somewhere other than HF, Eastwood is probably a better option in the import MIG market.

Ranger50 UltimaDork
April 25, 2017 12:04 p.m.

You can get a Hobart Handler 140 unit for $470 at Tractor Supply right now.

RevRico SuperDork
April 25, 2017 5:32 p.m.
MulletTruck wrote: The 90 and 120 amp 110v Flux core welders do ok for light work. 1/8th or less. The newer ones are wired up DC so they work better than the last generation they used to sell, The tips are usually .35 and they sell it with .30 wire. Get a pack of .30 tips and it will work a lot better. Also the wire they sell them with is crap, Quality wire makes a big difference.

As of 11 day old reviews they still need to be converted to DC.

If you can show me somewhere that they're already converted, I might go get one tomorrow.

I was holding out for a $3-500 used Lincoln or Easton, but for $90 if it will do what I need I'll grab it up.

MulletTruck Reader
April 26, 2017 10:41 a.m.
RevRico wrote:
MulletTruck wrote: The 90 and 120 amp 110v Flux core welders do ok for light work. 1/8th or less. The newer ones are wired up DC so they work better than the last generation they used to sell, The tips are usually .35 and they sell it with .30 wire. Get a pack of .30 tips and it will work a lot better. Also the wire they sell them with is crap, Quality wire makes a big difference.

As of 11 day old reviews they still need to be converted to DC.

If you can show me somewhere that they're already converted, I might go get one tomorrow.

I was holding out for a $3-500 used Lincoln or Easton, but for $90 if it will do what I need I'll grab it up.

I have been going through all my crap and cant find the spicific e mail that states the DC issue, I did find one that was referring to the bottom line of 220v Flux/Mig welders so that may be what I was remembering.

I got a 120A 110V HF Flux welder (not Mig) a couple weeks ago and it works so much better than the past "affordable" welders I have used in the past so maybe my little brain was just wishful thinking that.

RevRico SuperDork
April 26, 2017 11:08 a.m.

In reply to MulletTruck:

I did some hunting before bed last night, for only $80 more they have a 170 amp dc mig/flux that had been very very highly reviewed. Possibly the 220v you bought actually, which is fine I have a breaker and room for another outlet as planned.

That's a bit more than the "oh well it didn't work" $90 90amp, but they're really good with their warranties so I might have to go get it soon.

MulletTruck Reader
April 26, 2017 12:31 p.m.

That 220v welder worked great for the price too. I miss having access to 220, my little generator will barely power the 120A welder I have now.

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