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Posted: 2/11/2010 6:49:09 PM EDT
Is there such a thing or are they all about the same. How about best arc welders?(I only have single phase power with a 15 KVA tub)   I haven't done any welding for years, but I am planning on just getting an arc welder for now. I need to start doing my own welding instead of paying someone to do it.
Link Posted: 2/11/2010 7:00:09 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/11/2010 7:11:02 PM EDT
I use a Speedglas 100V, had it close to 6 years now.  It's good for mig and stick.  The reaction time is really good and my eyes don't get that itchy feel like they do with those Harbor Freight specials.  The Jackson and Miller autodarkening helmets are excellent too.

Don't know much about stand alone stick welders....but the Millermatics are pretty versatile...at work we have a 252 and a 250, a Bobcat and a Trailblazer, a 300-something multiprocess, and an 875 plasma cutter.  At home I've got an older 250 and a 625 plasma cutter.


mm
Link Posted: 2/11/2010 7:12:21 PM EDT
Ive got a Forney auto-darkener. It was like $85 and works good enough for what I do.
Link Posted: 2/11/2010 7:14:40 PM EDT
I have used a speedglas 9002x for the last 4 years.  



It has always worked well for me.
Link Posted: 2/11/2010 7:21:55 PM EDT
One thing you should know is that UV protection is independent from the auto darkening electronics.  The replaceable polycarbonate lens in front of the darkening module naturally blocks UV, as well as the polycarbonate module, and all other polycarbonate lens.



The claims that this brand x of welding helmet darkens in 1/25000 of a second to better protect your eyes is nothing but advertising hype.

Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:26:49 PM EDT
Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:29:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kleinman:
Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?


That is what I needed and bought the Kobalt from Lowes.  Works great, I use it every few weeks for about ten min.  
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:37:00 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Kleinman:


Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?


What are you planning to weld and the max material thickness? I don't do much over 5/16 steel, so my Lincoln MIG 175 works fine for that. It's a nice little MIG welder.  For AL and Stainless, I break out my Miller Dynasty 200 TIG, but that unit costs some $.



 
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:46:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CnA:

Originally Posted By Kleinman:
Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?

What are you planning to weld and the max material thickness? I don't do much over 5/16 steel, so my Lincoln MIG 175 works fine for that. It's a nice little MIG welder.  For AL and Stainless, I break out my Miller Dynasty 200 TIG, but that unit costs some $.
 


Anything that will work better than those little portable Clarke 110 welders. I have one of those sitting around and I can't get that thing to hold an arc for anything. Tried using 6011 3/32" rods and it still doesn't work worth a shit. At least I got it for little or nothing.

Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:51:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2010 1:52:24 PM EDT by bookertbab]
Originally Posted By Kleinman:
Originally Posted By CnA:

Originally Posted By Kleinman:
Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?

What are you planning to weld and the max material thickness? I don't do much over 5/16 steel, so my Lincoln MIG 175 works fine for that. It's a nice little MIG welder.  For AL and Stainless, I break out my Miller Dynasty 200 TIG, but that unit costs some $.
 


Anything that will work better than those little portable Clarke 110 welders. I have one of those sitting around and I can't get that thing to hold an arc for anything. Tried using 6011 3/32" rods and it still doesn't work worth a shit. At least I got it for little or nothing.



If you want a stick welder check out craigslist for a used Lincoln buzz box.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 1:51:41 PM EDT
Speedglass or Optrel.   They are both excellent hoods.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 2:01:42 PM EDT
Used an Optrel for the last 5 years. Awesome helmet.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 2:04:59 PM EDT


A question. Why are you looking for an arc welder? Price?

I MIG welder would be more versatile.

As stated, Craigslist for a good used arc welder. A Lincoln 225 AC/DC or even a Miller Thunderbolt.

Where in Iowa are you? Close to Omaha? I have a Lincoln 180Amp AC welder Id make you a deal on if youre interested.



Link Posted: 2/12/2010 2:09:16 PM EDT
If you need a portable...

In 2004 I bought a new 305G Lincoln. 100% duty cycle in 10KW with peak at 11KW. AC/DC/DC reverse, outlets for 110/220 AC. (Built a pigtail to run to my house breaker box during power outages - 70 amps of 220 will get you through the night.) Under load, will work almost 15 hrs on 10 gallons of gas. Runs my LN25 suitcase wirefeed great as well as my plasma torch, also bought the 100' remote for amperage adjustment. Best engine-driven machine I've ever used with a TIG torch - very stable supply. Weighs about 700 lbs and cost $3100 back then.
Have about 2K hours on it and it's aircooled Onan 2 cylinder; oil changes every 160 hrs. Only regret: should've ponied up for the 305D (diesel) instead.

I ran Lincoln SA200s (now called the Pipeliner) for years, but so far, this machine does so much more I doubt I'll ever go back.
Shop box is a Lincoln Idealarc 250 - bulletproof.

The advances in welding tech have really made things much easier, reliable and versatile over the years. Just about anything modern from Miller, Lincoln, Hobart etc. won't steer you wrong. Like many other purchases, you will tend to get what you pay for.

If you buy something from Harbor Freight, well....good luck with that.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 2:12:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By VRMN8R:
A question. Why are you looking for an arc welder? Price?
I MIG welder would be more versatile.
As stated, Craigslist for a good used arc welder. A Lincoln 225 AC/DC or even a Miller Thunderbolt.
Where in Iowa are you? Close to Omaha? I have a Lincoln 180Amp AC welder Id make you a deal on if youre interested.




No, I live in Northeast Iowa. How am rebuilding the powerlines that went down during the ice storm, so I will be in the Denison area for a while If you would Like to IM me with a price.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 3:41:36 PM EDT
I love my Optrel Satellite, excellent headgear, good clarity, infinate adjustment range, has a grind switch.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:02:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2010 7:03:51 PM EDT by CnA]







Originally Posted By bookertbab:
Originally Posted By Kleinman:






Originally Posted By CnA:
Originally Posted By Kleinman:



Thanks guys. How about a good, reasonably priced welder?




What are you planning to weld and the max material thickness? I don't do much over 5/16 steel, so my Lincoln MIG 175 works fine for that. It's a nice little MIG welder.  For AL and Stainless, I break out my Miller Dynasty 200 TIG, but that unit costs some $.



 

Anything that will work better than those little portable Clarke 110 welders. I have one of those sitting around and I can't get that thing to hold an arc for anything. Tried using 6011 3/32" rods and it still doesn't work worth a shit. At least I got it for little or nothing.








If you want a stick welder check out craigslist for a used Lincoln buzz box.




Got to agree with this.  You can get a good used stick welder cheap, but the downside is they can't do thin material.  There are cheap Lincoln or Miller MIG's on Craigslist also, but the small units can't as thick metal with a cheap stick welder.  It's a tradeoff and depends on what you want to weld.  To go cheap on a MIG unit, just use flux core wire first, then when you have the money get the shield gas setup for it.
As previously stated, don't ever, ever get any Harbor Freight welders. You WILL be sorry.





 

 
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:27:01 PM EDT
Ive got a miller helmet and a Lincoln idealarc 250.  works every time.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:50:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lunitar:
I have used a speedglas 9002x for the last 4 years.  

It has always worked well for me.


Same one I used for the last two years. Old welding teachers helmet. Absolutely loved it. Also don't mind using the Millers with 4 sensors.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:51:32 PM EDT
I never found an auto-darkener that got dark enough...but YMMV
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:54:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
I never found an auto-darkener that got dark enough...but YMMV


How many amps are you welding with?




To the OP, you won't be disappointed with a Miller Elite.
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:54:36 PM EDT
I have been very happy with my Miller Elite.

As far as who is the best, that is like asking who makes the best 1/2 ton pickup truck....
Link Posted: 2/12/2010 7:58:18 PM EDT

I got an auto darnkeing 2x4 lense that fits in any welding hood. I have it in my pipeliner at work. I like it alot. Been using it for years. Its alittle light for fluxcore, but just perfect for mig and tig. I don't like those big goofy auto darkening hoods. I'll stick with my 25 dollar fibre-metal pipeliner hood thank you very much.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 3:48:57 PM EDT
Great info.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 3:53:58 PM EDT
Jackson Nexgen is what I used when I was a welder, worked great for me.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:05:11 PM EDT
Another vote here for speedglass.
I had a miller elite fail on me and i had bad luck with customer service that day-went and bought a speedglass and sold the elite.
I love miller,i have tons of the blue in the shop. Just don't trust them with my eyes.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:07:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EyeScream:
Another vote here for speedglass.
I had a miller elite fail on me and i had bad luck with customer service that day-went and bought a speedglass and sold the elite.
I love miller,i have tons of the blue in the shop. Just don't trust them with my eyes.


Was your bad luck with a retail shop, or Miller's actual customer service department?
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:11:28 PM EDT
+1 for Jackson Nexgen. It is adjustable for different types of welding, it also has torch and grind settings. Mine was about $400 new though.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:12:13 PM EDT
Got a Lincoln Electric from Lowe's.  Most of my welding is gas but it works well enough.  I tend to blink my eyes shut when I'm striking an arc anyway.  The nice thing about it is that it's extremely comfortable to wear on your head for extended periods of time.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:18:15 PM EDT
the welder I work with has a miller elite and loves it.  I just use cheap harbor freight one for the little welding i do. (it beats having to bob your head to use a regular helmet)
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:23:55 PM EDT
Speedglas for the win. I still one of their first protype auto helmets. Works like a charm EVERYTIME!!!!!
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