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wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/11/16 4:46 p.m.

The above says it all. I want to expand my skillset to include Tig welding Aluminum, Stainless, Titanium, and what the heck, good old steel . I'd rather overbuy than under. So, a machine to learn on, but hopefully it would be the last one I'd ever need. I have been researching a bit, but seeing as the hive knows all...

Things I have figured up to this point:

-wide operating range (10-200 amp)

-AC/DC (AC for Al)

-More pulse wave patterns= better

-Must have a pedal

-Everlast is probably too good for me ($$$)

-Hobart is the easiest to use, and priced right. I want to be able to weld anything on any machine (you, know, for WORK), I'm not certain easy is good.

-I believe that it is a poor magician who blames his wand. Still, without a decent wand, who is to say weather it is magic, or slight of hand?

The0retical
The0retical Dork
9/11/16 4:53 p.m.

All the guys that work with me and have professional fabrication experience own Millers. A lot of the work I've seen them do with them is practically witchcraft.

Mark57
Mark57 New Reader
9/11/16 5:16 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy:Buy the best Miller you can afford.

ncjay
ncjay SuperDork
9/11/16 5:37 p.m.

I got a Miller Syncrowave 200 last year. Thing is awesome and makes me look good as well. I have also used some Lincoln stuff that is very good as well.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/11/16 5:40 p.m.

Wow, as if in one voice.

I've got a Miller 212 Mig, and it is great, Thank you all for the input.

Anybody else?

rob_lewis
rob_lewis SuperDork
9/11/16 5:44 p.m.

Maybe the Eastwood?

I've got their MIG and it's been really good and they have pretty decent reviews.

Depending on what you plan on welding, not sure if you'd outgrow it.

If you can afford it, Miller is the way to go. Just wanted to offer a lower priced alternative.

-Rob

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
9/11/16 6:01 p.m.

Can't go wrong w/ Miller. Millermatic 185 MIG and Synchrowave 300 TIG, loves 'em both. I'm stickin' w/ blue.

old_
old_ Reader
9/11/16 6:06 p.m.

If everlas is too much$$ then consider AHP. The Tig has fantastic reviews pretty much everywhere. Wait till they go out of stock on Amazon, (sold by AHP, not Amazon prime) they lower the price to 680+ shipping.

Looks like that deal is going on right now, https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00REX6USW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473635055&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ahp+alphatig+200x&dpPl=1&dpID=41lIQ48b0qL&ref=plSrch

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/11/16 6:13 p.m.

In reply to old_: Yep, that one is definitely blipping the old radar. NICE price point.

In reply to Mr. Lewis,: That seems nice, but why does Eastwood electronic stuff make me just a little uneasy? Good to hear your Mig is as it should be.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/11/16 7:34 p.m.
old_ wrote: consider AHP.

Some pro and con reviews on you tube for interested parties.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/11/16 7:49 p.m.

I have the Eastwood TIG 200 and have some stick time on both Lincoln and Miller mid level machines. The Eastwood is fine. It works well has been reliable for me and is really a perfect hobbiest level TIG. I've TIGed .2" steel, and done some aluminum with it with no complaints really. I am completely satisfied for the $1250 I spent on it a cart and a Plasma (the plasma is great also). That said if you are willing to spend $1500+ on a TIG there is 0 reason to buy the Eastwood over a Blue or Red machine. They are simply better in every way.

Vracer111
Vracer111 Reader
9/11/16 8:00 p.m.

Can't help much but I've been happy with the limited use I've gotten out of the old but great shape Thermal Arc PRO Wave 185TSW (highly recommended 100% Japanese unit at the time, very portable unit, yet has decent power and duty cycle along with nice features). I'm not a welder, but my brother was a certified one for his first job and I got it so he could help me with custom fabbing a few items. Now I want to start learning more...still a ways to go, but my skill is okay enough for working with steel....still suck at aluminum though.

patgizz
patgizz GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/11/16 8:21 p.m.
old_ wrote: If everlas is too much$$ then consider AHP. The Tig has fantastic reviews pretty much everywhere. Wait till they go out of stock on Amazon, (sold by AHP, not Amazon prime) they lower the price to 680+ shipping. Looks like that deal is going on right now, https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00REX6USW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473635055&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ahp+alphatig+200x&dpPl=1&dpID=41lIQ48b0qL&ref=plSrch

I got mine in February and finally got an argon tank. So far love it for steel, have to learn aluminum next.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 HalfDork
9/11/16 8:23 p.m.

My Dad worked the last 20 years of his life for a welding supply company. He said Miller if you can afford it, and Hobart if you can't. I had $500 to spend and bought a Hobart MIG welder that has been good, but still wish I had bought a Miller.

jamscal
jamscal Dork
9/11/16 8:46 p.m.

Get an inverter machine if you want to play with the settings on aluminum and have more advanced pulse settings in general.

Even with a Syncrowave from miller you're limited to 60hz that's coming out of the wall.

I have a Miller Dynasty 200DX which allows 250hz on AC (I think the newer ones go up to 300) and this allows a very tight arc on fillet welds and more focus in general.

It screems at 250hz.

It also allows pulse from something super slow like .01 pps to 250pps and allows background amp changes. High pps is great for autogenously welding thin stainless...it sort of agitiates the puddle to come together easier.

Some of the chinese welders have these features too but it's apparently a crap shoot as far as quality and longevity.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Dork
9/11/16 10:14 p.m.

Really happy with my Thermal Arc 185tsw. Would have bought a dynasty but you know, money.

NordicSaab
NordicSaab HalfDork
9/11/16 10:16 p.m.
old_ wrote: If everlas is too much$$ then consider AHP. The Tig has fantastic reviews pretty much everywhere. Wait till they go out of stock on Amazon, (sold by AHP, not Amazon prime) they lower the price to 680+ shipping. Looks like that deal is going on right now, https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00REX6USW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473635055&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ahp+alphatig+200x&dpPl=1&dpID=41lIQ48b0qL&ref=plSrch

I own several machines and my go to is my AHP200. It can do everything you are looking for and doesnt break the bank. For a beginning TIG welder, it will be along time before you outgrow that machine.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/12/16 8:53 p.m.

The rabbit hole goes pretty deep on this one:

Red and Blue machines with Al capability are pricey.

Everlast looks better and better the more I look

Darned if that AHP200 doesn't appear to be the ultimate bang for the buck. Sort of the FiST of the Tig welding world

The thing is, I want to be able to operate any Tig, especially industrial units, so as to land a better job. I am beginning to believe I'm overthinking it. I'll update once I have blown some $$

subrew
subrew Reader
9/12/16 9:37 p.m.

I am very happy with my AHP200. I've done lots of small AL stuff for projects. And cranked it up for some thick steel work too.

LOTS of videos online showing setting for this machine too, and they use standard torch parts if you want to get a gas lens.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
9/12/16 10:06 p.m.

I have a Lincoln 185, I think. I seldom use it, because at 56, I still don't have the patience for TIG. Other people that do use it say its a nice machine.

I like my old Lincoln 215 MIG. I've burned u a lot of spools of wire through that thing.

turtl631
turtl631 Reader
9/12/16 10:20 p.m.

Here another option: http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/lincoln-square-wave-200.html

I'm pondering a Tig for hobby/garage aluminum and stainless work, kinda between this and the AHP 200X currently. I'd rather support an American company. I'd actually prefer Miller since they're in Wisconsin and our state economy sucks but there isn't really a decent option that will do aluminum at the hobbyist level. I do like my Miller 211 quite a bit.

Rodan
Rodan New Reader
9/12/16 10:22 p.m.

Another happy AHP owner here. I was looking hard at it and the Eastwood, and the AHP has more features at that price point. I would love to have a Miller, but just can't justify the $$ for the limited amount it gets used.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/28/16 3:21 p.m.

After much deliberation, I chose the Everlast 185DV. Ended up being right at a grand with a pedal purchased separately. Thread showing just how crap a person can be at TIG to follow...

pilotbraden
pilotbraden SuperDork
9/28/16 3:28 p.m.

Miller is what we teach with at the Community College, they work very well. The Thermal Arc Machines are now labeled Tweco, they are very good for the price. I have a Tweco 181i, it is a great machine but DC only so GTAW on Al is not an option.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/28/16 6:44 p.m.
pilotbraden wrote: I have a Tweco 181i, it is a great machine but DC only so GTAW on Al is not an option.

For me, a grand was the ceiling, and it had to be able to do Al. Hence ix-nay on the iller-may I think this board would love to hear about everyone"s experience with the AHP.

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