combination welders

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Lewayne
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combination welders

Post by Lewayne » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:20 pm

So, my little weld pack 100 Lincoln welder from Home despot has failed. And I've only had it for15 years. I have used it a lot though.
so I went to home depot again and at this time they have these units that are supposed to be Mig, Tig, and stick combo. do those actuallt work well, or are they a typical combo thing where nothing works as well as it should? They are $800 ,so rather expensive. Twice the cost of a low end Mig. I'm 70 and will not be using it for all that long, I suspect, but I hope to be using it for at least another 10 years. I'm retired so cost is important and I could just buy the low end machine again and hope it lasts as long as I need it to. but It would be nice to have a Tig.( if those combo units really do work well).

any thoughts on this?

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SteveHGraham
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Re: combination welders

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:44 pm

Harbor Freight now has combo machines, and so many people have reviewed them, you should be able to get a lot of info. Titanium is their cheaper brand, and it only comes with a 90-day warranty. Vulcan is the expensive brand, and I believe it has a real warranty. I don't know anything about the Home Depot welders.
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Lewayne
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Re: combination welders

Post by Lewayne » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:30 pm

I'm wondering more about the "combination" part of it rather than where they came from. Home Depot sells Lincoln. which are good machines. even the cheapest one. I just have no experience with the Mig/Tig aspect.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: combination welders

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:49 pm

Welding Tips and Tricks has a great forum.
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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: combination welders

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:02 pm

Lewayne wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:20 pm
...they have these units that are supposed to be Mig, Tig, and stick combo. do those actuallt work well, or are they a typical combo thing where nothing works as well as it should?
As an analogy, today's cell phones are pretty good for carrying on a conversation, but don't make particularly good cameras. Multi-function devices of any kind are generally inferior to equivalent single function devices when performing the latter's function. My phone will take pictures, but that's about it. My camera, which is by no means a high-end unit, takes far better pictures than even the latest iPhone, not surprising, when you consider that a camera's sole purpose in life is photography.

Welding machines are the same. Specifically, stick and TIG processes are performed with a constant-current power source, whereas MIG uses a constant voltage power source. The technologies are fundamentally different, just as conversation is very different than image acquisition. Make your choice: which process are are you going use most often?

Incidentally, I suspect your old welder died from being chronically overworked. Most machines of reasonable quality will last for decades if not consistently operated outside of the manufacturer's duty cycle specifications. :D
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liveaboard
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Re: combination welders

Post by liveaboard » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:41 am

A couple of years ago I bought a new 200A inverter stick / TIG machine for $200.
I'm in Europe so the label on the outside is different, but you know they all come from the same place.
The early inverter machines worked great, but not for very long unless you bought the expensive brands [like Lincoln].
But I was welding a lot then; sometimes all day.
Anyway, the 200A Ultacheapo is working great as a stick welder. I haven't tried the TIG function as I don't have gas, but it's DC only and I think it won't work for aluminum. That really limits it's usefulness.
It's light enough to carry in one hand.
The last inverter welding machine I bought was 160A branded 'Stel' and is supposed to be a better make, and it still works great after 12 years. I needed to buy another because I keep 2 sets of tools at opposite ends of the continent.

Russ Hanscom
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Re: combination welders

Post by Russ Hanscom » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:11 pm

Even Lincoln has different grades. If you look up the 140 MIG for example, there is a wide range in cost, and performance, about five steps in that series. Might look for a good used machine, I have had good results there.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: combination welders

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:22 pm

Another thing to consider is buying used. Perhaps keep your eyes glued to craigslist and see what pops up
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RMinMN
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Re: combination welders

Post by RMinMN » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:46 am

Lewayne wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:20 pm
So, my little weld pack 100 Lincoln welder from Home despot has failed. And I've only had it for15 years. I have used it a lot though.
so I went to home depot again and at this time they have these units that are supposed to be Mig, Tig, and stick combo. do those actuallt work well, or are they a typical combo thing where nothing works as well as it should? They are $800 ,so rather expensive. Twice the cost of a low end Mig. I'm 70 and will not be using it for all that long, I suspect, but I hope to be using it for at least another 10 years. I'm retired so cost is important and I could just buy the low end machine again and hope it lasts as long as I need it to. but It would be nice to have a Tig.( if those combo units really do work well).

any thoughts on this?
There is a good chance that what failed on your Lincoln weld pack is a MOSFET and that the board it is on can be replaced for a reasonable price. That will make it the same welder as you had when it was new. The other problem that could have happened is the wire feed itself, again can be repaired. If you want that welder to use, tell us what failed. If you simply want to upgrade to a newer machine with more features, pretend you didn't see this post.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: combination welders

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:01 pm

Only combo welder I have been around, is a Miller a friend bought. Stick welding, and MIG, it's fine. TIG, for steels or stainless, not bad either.
With a spool gun, which he bought, does a pretty good job on aluminum too....but we are talking 1/4" thick or better. No AC, so TIG for aluminum will work OK on thick stuff, but not on thinner pieces.

As far as a low priced combo, like a Vulcan from Horror Freight, I have no experience with one. I would think for a hobbyist, or occasional user, one would be fine, assuming aluminum wasn't in the menu.

And, I agree with RMinMN. Your Lincoln can probably be fixed economically. I bought a 4-pack of 300 amp Lincoln inverter welders, and we had all too many circuit board problems. Theory was, and it made sense, that they don't like 'dirty' power, as in, fluctuations with incoming voltage. They were all warrantied multiple times, but so troublesome, that the vendor I bought them from took them all back, and replaced them with Millers.
That was several years ago, and I'm not sure that the smaller Lincolns have that same disease, but it may be.

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BadDog
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Re: combination welders

Post by BadDog » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:26 pm

I prefer the blue line myself (MM175 MIG for general light fab, Sync 351 for Stick and TIG), but a lot of guys are really happy with the Everlast and such. But those seem to be a bit above the muck settled to the bottom of the barrel, so I don't know about Vulcan or the like.

However, I do recall some years ago being asked to help someone with only the HF (don't recall what it was called) FC wire welder, and it was a miserable little piece of garbage. I would much rather have a couple of 12V batteries and jumper cables with a proper dry electrode. Sure wouldn't want to got the very bottom.
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NP317
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Re: combination welders

Post by NP317 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:08 pm

I have a Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder, and it has served admirably, with parts available if needed.
Hobart is a cousin of Miller, and the 140 is one of the top recommended small welders for home use. It includes a shield gas regulator.
I've only needed to purchase consumables.

Functional limits are material thickness, and duty cycle, as it is 115Vac powered.
Now that I have 240Vac, I would get the larger size Hobart, or Miller equivalent. But I don't need one...
~RN

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