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Tig welding tips, questions, equipment, applications, instructions, techniques, tig welding machines, troubleshooting tig welding process
Yes they own Esab as well. If you look at any of the multi mig/tig machines that say 180i the front plate looks identical on most of them no mater who's name is on it. I used to work at a place where we ran lots of industrial thermaldyne machines. I've used the older 300 to stick weld a lot. They always worked great.
I have more questions than answers
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I was in a similar situation. I'm just a hobbyist welder. I was wanting a TIG machine but didn't want to spend a lot of money.
I had been MIG welding for a few years and wanted to learn to TIG. I have a Thermal ARC 181i and bought a TIG torch for this machine. The machine was awesome and I really like how it performs. The torch didn't last very long I was only able to weld about 2ft of weld when the torch quit working. At this point I decided I was going to invest in a better machine that could weld aluminum instead of purchasing a new gun for the thermal ARC.
The Chinese brands are very enticing with the low price point. I was trying to decide between the AHP Alpha TIG 200, Everlast 210 EXT, and the Lincoln Square Wave 200. All of the research showed that they seemed to be hit or miss on quality or longevity. It seemed that all of the Chinese had a lower quality guns and foot pedals. Which would need to be replaced or upgraded. I didn't want to deal with another cheap gun. At the end of the day the deciding factor for me was the total cost after upgrading to quality guns and foot pedals and not having to ship the machine if it failed. I ended up with the Lincoln Square Wave 200. It is a great machine at a great price point. If something fails then i can return it to my LWS. I know that between my LWS and Lincoln I will be taken care of.
As a side note I did take my cheap torch apart to see why it stopped working. The neck had snapped in two pieces. I guess it didn't handle the pressure from being placed in those magnetic torch holders. The upside is that I found a direct replacement on EBAY for $11 from China. I ordered two of them and they should be here some time next month.
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