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  1. #1
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    Default Inverter Arc / Stick welder recommendations

    I have decided to bite the bullet and buy my own welder (currently using a Lincoln AC225) and have decided to get an inverter arc welder. My budget is around $500. Its only for home use, i'm currently making a work bench and waiting on 2.6mm shs (40x40mm) to come in so I can start, and will probably make a few other stands, bits and pieces and soon enough a trailer. As you can see i'm not going to be welding very large things at this stage.

    So with that in mind i've managed to find the following inverter arc welders, would people care to comment on them so I have an idea which would be the better one to purchase.

    CigWeld Weldskill 170 Inverter $489 approx - https://www.alltools.com.au/shop/index.php/67/1255_Cigweld_WeldSkill_170_Inverter_Arc_Welder_With_Tig_Capacity_(_Mild_Steel_)

    Tokentools Miniarc 142 $465 - http://www.tokentools.com.au/prod3.htm

    Smartarc 200 $450 - http://www.weldsmart.com.au/welding-...elder-with-vrd

    Unimig 160 II $574 - http://www.unimig.com.au/arc160.html (This so far is my best choice)

    Any other inverter arc welders I missed ??

    Matt.
    Last edited by Matty5700; 15th May 2009 at 08:16 PM. Reason: unintentional smiley faces showed up

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  3. #2
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    I have been using a Cigweld weldskill 170 for the last 2 weeks at work
    Its brand new out of the box so I can't judge it long term relability
    I have my own Cigweld 141i witch i have owned for nearly 5 years
    It ha proabily done a few hundred hours of work and no problem
    The company I work for has 4 diffrent sites with 3 of them have
    welders same as mine but fitted with VRD and digital read out
    We also have a BOC inverter 140 witch would now be at least 7 years old with out problems
    Most of the welders except the weldskill 170 have 10 amp power plugs
    The weldskill has a 15 amp witch is a pain and if you grind down the plug voids the warrentee
    I think that Cigweld also make a weldskill 140 witch I would say would have a 10 amp plug

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by boilermaker1 View Post
    I have been using a Cigweld weldskill 170 for the last 2 weeks at work. Its brand new out of the box so I can't judge it long term relability
    How does it weld ??

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matty5700 View Post
    How does it weld ??
    OK no different to most other DC inverters that I have used
    I like to use DC inverters especially when using low hydrogen and stainless rods

  6. #5
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    I just bought the Uni-Mig 160 II for $529, and a 15 amp extension cord. Now to get out the box and test it.

  7. #6
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    What about the TradeTools Stick 200 for $368.00 [I think]
    If you go into one of their shops they have more welders than are on their
    web site

  8. #7
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    Why did you choose the Unimig? The smartarc has 3 times the warrenty twice the duty cycle 40 extra amps and is only a little bit heavier and cheaper. The token tools seems good for light weight welder and is the only one that mentions Inverter Frequency. Or am I missing something?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn k View Post
    Why did you choose the Unimig? The smartarc has 3 times the warrenty twice the duty cycle 40 extra amps and is only a little bit heavier and cheaper. The token tools seems good for light weight welder and is the only one that mentions Inverter Frequency. Or am I missing something?
    Easy, because it suited my purpose, and they had them at a good price at the local shop. They also have 4m leads not 3 as most seem to have.

    Also I did not want the style of rod holder on the smartarc. I wanted the twist screw type.

    Matt.
    Last edited by Matty5700; 16th May 2009 at 06:26 PM. Reason: added more reason.

  10. #9
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    So I just spent over an hour in the shed using it for test welds on some scrap 2-3mm play I got from the scrap metal dealer. Used it almost continually on about 105 amps with Kobelco RB-26 rods (e6013 2.6mm) and I didnt even trip it out once for heat overload. (must have used at least 20 rods) That said its getting a bit cool out tonight, but I doubt I will ever put it through that much continual punishment when actually making something.

    My welds are certainly getting better, i'll post some pics sometime for those in the know to evaluate. All in all I am thoroughly enjoying this welder so far.

    And just for bragging rights my new welding setup is:

    UniMig Inverter 160 II
    UniMig Auto darkening welding helmet
    Kobelco 2.6mm (2 packets, 1 for practicing) & 3.2mm RB-26 E6013 welding rods

    Matt.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matty5700 View Post
    So I just spent over an hour in the shed using it for test welds on some scrap 2-3mm play I got from the scrap metal dealer. Used it almost continually on about 105 amps with Kobelco RB-26 rods (e6013 2.6mm) and I didnt even trip it out once for heat overload. (must have used at least 20 rods) That said its getting a bit cool out tonight, but I doubt I will ever put it through that much continual punishment when actually making something.

    My welds are certainly getting better, i'll post some pics sometime for those in the know to evaluate. All in all I am thoroughly enjoying this welder so far.

    And just for bragging rights my new welding setup is:

    UniMig Inverter 160 II
    UniMig Auto darkening welding helmet
    Kobelco 2.6mm (2 packets, 1 for practicing) & 3.2mm RB-26 E6013 welding rods

    Matt.

    Sounds good to me. These inverter MMA's are brilliant. I bought a little Fronius at Cash Converters a year or two ago, and I love it. Well I like it. So now I have a Lincoln three phase 250 amp stick for serious grunt, and the Fronius. What you'll find with your welder is that because the electronics are working hard at a higher frequency to maintain the arc, you can start playing around with arc length and travel speed and so on. But don't try to do it logically, it'll come naturally.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossluck View Post
    Sounds good to me. These inverter MMA's are brilliant. I bought a little Fronius at Cash Converters a year or two ago, and I love it. Well I like it. So now I have a Lincoln three phase 250 amp stick for serious grunt, and the Fronius. What you'll find with your welder is that because the electronics are working hard at a higher frequency to maintain the arc, you can start playing around with arc length and travel speed and so on. But don't try to do it logically, it'll come naturally.
    Sounds like you have a similar setup to me then, I have my new little welder sitting on top of a Lincoln AC225 3-phase arc welder, which I will use if I need something with major grunt, I am yet to see where that will be, but handy anyways.

    This welder is definately easier to get started than the lincoln, if my hand is steady enough I can just hold the rod above the spot I want to weld and it starts arcing

    Matt.

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