Sorry this is a bit long and sporadic, but I wanted to put the background info in as well as a brain dump so here it is. I am new to welding, I currently have a cheapish mig and a really cheap buzzbox stick welder that I bought as a used package to try out welding. I found out I like welding quite a bit (hobby use only) so I have been researching welders a lot and wanted to get a TIG/Stick unit. So far I enjoy stick much more than mig. So 2 weeks ago I finally broke down and placed an order for the AHP 200x welder when it went out of stock on Amazon and the price dropped to $680+shipping, well its still backordered and still 2-4 weeks out which is fine but now I've had all this time to contemplate my purchase and do more research.
I have a chop saw and grinders, but was looking at getting a bandsaw to get better and easier cuts. However I dont have much room left in the garage (always seem to need a bigger garage) and most decent bandsaws take up quite a bit of space. I thought about buying a small 4x6 bandsaw and converting it to a bench top unit but they are really heavy so I'm thinking that is not the best Idea. Anyway I started researching plasma cutters and I think that a decent plasma cutter is what I want plus I already have a nice monster 80 gallon 240v air compressor.
This will just be for hobby use but I want tig/stick & plasma that is capable for most tasks. I would hate to buy something and a few years later kick myself for not spending a bit more $ to get more needed functionality.
So now the dilemma, do I:
1) keep waiting for the Alpha Tig 200x and buy something like an alphacut 60 plasma cutter?
2) Buy an everlast powerpro 205si or 256si (I would probably just pay the extra $$$ and get the 256 just in case I ever needed to do higher amperage stuff so I guess consider the 256 as the primary comparison)
3) scrap both of those and get something else
Through amazon I think 1) and 2) are roughly the same price except for the 256 which is about another $190 after my amazon credit card discount. The everlast units on amazon say they are the s model, some people in the reviews of at least the 205 say they received the new si models so I will have to check into this further.
Pros for number 1 AHP: Two separate units for easier switching between plasma and welding, if one breaks at least I can still use the other one,
Pros for number 2 Everlast: Seem to get more bang for the buck featurewise with the 2in1, longer warranty 5year vs 3year, option to get higher amps with the 256, smaller footprint( though space for two units isnt really a problem)
Can anyone think of any more major pro/cons?
Is switching between plasma and tig really time consuming / painful? With the everlast it looks like if you put a quick connect fitting on the air lines it would be more manageable? This would probably be located under my welding table though so if I had to get to the back of the unit a lot this could be an issue.
What other suggestions do people have? Originally I was looking at the everlast 200DV vs the AHP 200X but it didnt seem like the extra features of the 200DV were worth almost double cost?