CHINESE? YEA, I TRIED.
Ive had a Lincoln SP 100 for 12 years and its seen some very hard use. The first welder I owned was a cambell hausfeld wich was probly the first chinese welder out and was sold at walmart. In my experience there's no comparison. The Lincoln out welded the cambell hausfeld fresh out of the box and theres no doubt that it would have outlasted it also. 12 Years been used in the snow, rained on in the back of the pickup on the way home, hale, sleet,bumped down as much as 12 concrete steps doing hand rails. Left on in the garage drinking with friends for days at a time and finally after 8 or so years it stopped working because the cooling fan motor quit.(probably due too the leaving on for days at a time after heavy drinking) 38$ from Lincoln got me a new fan and its worked fine ever since. The drinking and leaving it on and out in the back of the truck in bad weather has all but stopped due to machuring of the owner, however the machine is still in service. I can complain about Lincolns tech support since I now have Miller tig and generator machines but I was able to get the tech support and parts to fix the machine. I have tried out 2 welders from harbor freight and the plasma cutter as well. I called tech support for Harbor freight and after 45 minutes found that I knew more about the machine then the tech its just that they had the inside company information as far as what parts "MAY" be available. In my experience with the chinese welders I like to think of the comedian Rodney Carrington in his joke about returning diapers to walmart. "THESE PAMPERS ALREADY HAD SHIT IN'EM". "WELL GO ON BACK TO THE SHELF N GET YOU ANOTHER PAIR". In other words as long as Walmart carried the same Cambell hausfeld welder I could probly have pulled his pamper routine when it crapped out and that would have made owning a chinese welder ok because Walmart Would warranty it. Kind of a joke. I sold the machine after upgrading to the Lincoln witch welded smoother, wasnt hot until I touched the trigger so I could place the wire in the corner hit the trigger and go.
The 2 welders I tried from Harbor Freight both sucked rite out of the box. The first was a 110 volt DC stick welder I thought Id be able to scratch start steel and stainless with a tig torch hooked up like the little dragster 80 from thermal dynamics. No luck whatsoever. That went back and I tried out the 220 volt DC only tig and stick machine. This too seemed to have a buzz box type arc on stick weld and didnt seem to get much hotter then the dragster 80 which operated on 110volts for portability. It went back also. The 3rd welder from harbor freight and I know I said 2 above but I just remembered this one was a mig welder with spool gun instead of a traditional mig lead. How freekin clever!! Finally a company selling a 110 volt welder that was light enough to be portable and had the spool gun to do aluminum and for less than 150$!! Cant beat that rite! Well not exactly, There was NO gas hook up on the machine and no provisions for it in the spool gun mechanism itself!!! Why on earth would anyone ever want weld with a bulky spoolgun instead of a traditional mig lead like the one on the sp100? Unless of course it was for aluminum but then You need the gas so this thing was just a complete scam!! They took it off the market about 4 months after mine went back.
I bought my first true tig welder Used for about 1/3 the price of a new one after a lot of research.
It cost just a little more then a really expensive import. It operates on 110, 220,460 single or 3 phase. it ways 45 pounds and well tig aluminum off the 110 volts up to 150 amps witch with its advanced square wave technology is good for smaller pieces,then 8"x8" of 1/4" aluminum.220 volts input gets 200 honest amps output. I can get a tech on the phone monday through friday with less then 3 minutes hold time. The techs are retired engineers from the star ship enterprize and have more welding experience then me and my 3 closest welding buddys combined. I have plenty of experience in calling upon there wisdom and have yet to stump them with my daft stupidity although Im still trying. They all speak english as a first language and depending on where You're from and what You're used to, they may sound slightly Canadian although they are NOT!! Im very happy and proud to support this company and am glad I took the time to wait for the rite deal on used machinery thats been known to last since the beginning of electric arc welding has been "KNOWN BY MAN". They still offer tech support on old machines no matter how basic or "antiquated" with less then 3 min. hold time. The ahm, name of the manufacturer escapes me rite now for anybody honestly looking for info on buying welding gear but the tech support # is 1800 4amiller.
Good luck and Ill pass on what I was told, "Its better to cry once then cry twice or more"."Id rather be fixing a name brand welder then a non name brand"."A broken name brand welder is still worth more then a broken non named brand". Author Unknown.
ok , we get it...its miller.
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