" Diversion 180 and Everlast 185 The Blue and the Green? "
For this weeks Tig Welder Demo video I was able to get a loaner of the Miller Diversion 180 as well as a Everlast PowerTig 185 Micro tig welder.
First of all , let me be clear...
I am not endorsing Everlast over Miller or vice versa.
...I am just trying to provide some information about 2 welding machines that have generated a lot of interest in online forums etc.
The Miller Diversion 180, and The Everlast powertig 185 micro.
I dont know how long either welder will last, how long it will take to get parts if needed, how customer service will be, or how well technical support will perform when called upon.
Miller has authorized repair centers and that is pretty much where you go to get a miller welder repaired.
I do know that Everlast, like HTP and a few others, will attempt to troubleshoot your welder over the phone and guide you thru repairs if at all possible. The reason is some fixes are pretty simple, and a simple fix over the phone is preferable to being without the welder for days or even weeks.
What do these machines have in common? They are simplified tig welders...or simplified tig inverters to be more accurate.
...simplified in the sense that most of the switches and knobs have been removed to make the whole process of getting started tig welding simpler and less daunting.
The Miller Diversion for example, only has 2 settings. ..polarity and amperage....and polarity is even labeled "steel or aluminum"
There is even a quick amperage chart displayed right on the front panel to help the welder out in knowing how much amperage will be needed for a certain type metal and thickness.
The Miller Diversion is not only designed for noobs . But also for people who just like things kept simple. Apparently, Miller's research showed there was a market for a simpler tig machine. With tig inverters offering more and more features like pulse, ac balance, ac waveforms, ac amplitude settings, start amperage settings, 2t, 4t, preflow, postflow, upslope, downslope, etc.
It can be dizzying.
You have to wonder how people manages to tig weld anything 40 years ago before all these settings came along.
Miller realized that not everyone wants to use all that stuff. Some people just want to weld.
There is an old saying that goes something like this ...
"No one who buys a drill really wants a drill. What they want is a hole"
There are folks who have welded for years using only a simple scratch start tig. For them, the Diversion is a huge step up while still being pretty simple. Basically , the Diversion is a high quality tig inverter with some of the settings locked.
Preflow and postflow are preset. ac balance is preset, and the ac frequency , while higher than a conventional tig transformer, is not adjustable. ( it seems like its set around 100hz)
That's how miller was able to keep it simple. by presetting a bunch of things that would normally have a switch, button, or knob.
All you really need to know to set the miller diversion 180 is material type and thickness.
A tig inverter that is somewhat like the Diversion 180 is the Everlast powertig 185 micro. ( I guess its call micro because of the size. its really small)
Everlast took the concept of making a simpler tig inverter but kept a few extra settings.
A/C balance and A/C frequency are adjustable on the Everlast 185 micro. There is also a switch to select pedal or panel for when you use a foot pedal. ...but thats it.
...so the only knobs to fool with are amperage, polarity, ac balance, ac frequency, and the pedal vs panel switch.
Why did Everlast do this? My guess is they read forums like Miller's welding forum, weldingweb.com, etc.
and what they noticed were lots of posts complaining about the Diversion leaving these settings off. You know, too dumbed down!
These 2 settings do make a difference. Especially the AC balance. Watch the video to see how much difference.
Are these tig inverters any good? How thick of metal can you weld with the Diversion 180 or the Everlast 185 ?
Are they just cheap hobby welders that wont weld anything thicker than 16 ga?
Some features and things I noticed are:
the Diversion 180 is a dual voltage machine. It can be operated with either 115v or 230v and comes with adapters ready to plug in.
comes with a 17 style 12.5 foot air cooled torch that is hard wired in to the machine. ( I am baffled)
torch has on off switch as well as amperage control wheel
a very small but nice remote foot control is included
12 ft (3.7 m) ground clamp lead included
Smith® Argon regulator/flow gauge with hose...not the ball type flowmeter ( these can be very inaccurate in my experience)
torch consumables are included like cup, electrode, collet, collet body , etc.
TIG Welding for Dummies book
Set-up and operation DVD
Welding project blueprint for a machine cart/cylinder rack
extremely good starts on dc and ac
very good low end amperage on dc ...not quite as good low end on AC
ac balance is not adjustable and sometimes thats a drawback
ac frequency is pre set at a pretty decent default setting
comes with torch, ground cable with clamp, regulator with ball type flowmeter, consumables for torch
Does not come with foot pedal ( foot pedal can be purchased)
only 230 volt plug with no dual voltage option
#25 dinse connectors for easy swap out of torch and ground cable
ac balance and ac frequency adjustments make for more control when aluminum welding
some false starting on ac...every now and then, I had to tap the pedal again to start the arc on aluminum. (The same thing happens on my Miller dynasty 200dx. )
not quite as good a low end control on DC (steel) as the diversion
better low end control than diversion on AC
welds cleaner on AC than the diversion
#26 torch that came with it seems big to me
no amperage control on torch. only on off switch.
Prices are below.
The Miller Diversion™ 180 AC/DC TIG welding machine
Cyberweld Price: $1,742.00
Everlast PowerTig 185 Micro
I would be happy to own either machine. Both are about the same weight, and both are very portable.