(Edmonton Alberta Canada)
Ok. I recently purchased a chinese inverter welder. Just a very basic stick welder, a Longevity brand name "Stickweld 140" to be exact (this is a 110/220v unit). It cost me $280 by the time I paid the dealer and made up a little conversion 110v to 220v cord for it.
My impressions from opening the box to actually trying it...
1. Nice looking and the quality of the cables and such was good. Wow I wasnt really prepared for how small it was. 13 and a half pounds is light.
2. Plugged it into 110v, turned it on and it worked.
3. Picked up a 3/32 rod and struck an arc. The rod started easily. Burned a bead.
4. Thought to myself "if I showed up for work and got a machine that ran this rough I'd curse my bad luck". More on this later.
5. Picked up a 1/8 rod and the arc started well for it as well. Burned it no prob.
6. Picked up a 5/32 rod and blew the breaker...duh...rod too big. So put on my little conversion and plugged it into the 220v.
7. Cranked the amps up all the way to where it says 140amps and burned the entire 5/32 rod in one go. It burnt it no problem at all.
8. Went back with a 1/8 rod and did some uphand vertical fillet, some downhand vertical fillet (long arc), and ran some flat fillets. It did the job on all three.
9. Decided that as a welder who works for others who supply me with a nice brand name machine I am a bit spoiled. So I figure that the Weldall 140 - Longevity is a decent unit for the price despite being a little rough.
The nearest thing I saw at Princess Auto was for $450 and it only utilized 110v.
That being said I also treated myself to a Miller Maxstar 150 with the high freq and pulse options so I sold the Longevity Weldall 140 to my cousin who likes to dabble but had no welding machine of his own. My cousin played with it for a half hour or so and didnt find it rough at all. He can run a nice consistent fillet weld btw.
So IMO if you dont want to break the bank I dont have anything bad to say about the Longevity Weldall 140 unit. Obviously I cant comment on how many welding hours it will work for without breaking down cause I only messed around with it for about an hour.
Conclusion: If I had no welder and I got the Weldall 140 I would be quite happy with it.
Hope this helps someone out. I had not much luck finding comments from people who had actually used one so I bought one! Have fun.