Mig, Tig, Stick

  1. Digger 58 Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Limerick Ireland
    Interested on views on what to buy, I am currently using a 1963 Triangle 180 that my late father bough new ( Still with the original chipping hammer and earth clamp!) and I also have Lidls best MIG toy , which I've never liked. I do a bit of general work like gates etc and some repairs. Fancy treating myself to some modern gear. I've seen these on the net but I don't think theyre on sale in this part of the world but ESAB seems to be the parent company. Any thoughts please. TIA
     
  2. skotl

    skotl Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Do you do a lot of work outdoors? If so, then stick is probably the best way to go - look at inverter arc welders from any of the known brands.

    Any thoughts on power requirements, or thickness of material? Does the old Triangle 180 have enough power for what you do right now?

    If you are outside a lot does it need to run off a generator?

    By the way, even though I bought one myself(!), the general recommendation would be to buy the best single process machine you can afford rather than look at a multiprocesss machine.
     
  3. Digger 58 Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Limerick Ireland
    Not a lot outdoors, no generator , generally 6/8mm is the heaviest, plenty of power in the old girl, just want a bit of versatility. What did you buy?
     
  4. skotl

    skotl Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Ah ok - so being indoors definitely opens up the options!

    I have an rtech MTS-255. I absolutely love it and it's very easy to use, both for MIG and stick (despite what I said above!). It's not been incredibly reliable, but rtech's service is exemplary so I would still buy another from them.

    That said, I also have an £80 Amazon inverter stick welder which does stick pretty much just as well. If I were doing it again, I'd buy a fantastic MIG for £600 or £700 and the £80 stick welder, rather than spending a grand on the multiprocess machine.

    If your budget is lower than that then the same applies - spend all you can on the MIG and leave a bit over for a "throwaway" stick welder (or keep the one you have).

    Lots of options on MIG, and others will be along in a moment with recommendations, and I doubt I would argue with any of them: GYS, ESAB, RTECH (of course), Cebora, IFL, Tec Arc, Portamig, etc.
     
    slim_boy_fat and metalmelt like this.
  5. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I was in the market for a new Mig a couple months back and looked at them all. I was very much going to buy a Thermal Arc 180i especially as they can be had as a bare machine for less than £500. After talking to a very frank and what appeared to me a straight distributor, I went with the Lincoln Electric "Bester". I have welded some pretty strange things with it over the last couple of months and it has done it all with ease. I have produced some very good welds with it and I wouldn't hesitate to replace it with another.

    Edit: It also does stick welding very well too.
     
    James1979 likes this.
  6. Taylormade100 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    kent
    Out of interest which model did you buy?. I have been looking at the 190c which is stick/mig/tig but the complexity worries me and I wonder if just buying a good mig would be more reliable.
     
    tom2207 likes this.
  7. Benterrier Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    UK Hereford
    Worth looking at Wilkinson Star ltd and their Autostar 160 and 250 mig/stick machines. They are cloned Jasic machines targeted at the auto industry but costing considerably less for the same internals. Good value, 3 year warranty and UK supplier.
     
    Pigeon_Droppings2 and tom2207 like this.
  8. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    There is only one model of Lincoln Bester and you are stretching things calling it "complex". It really isn't, it is very simple to use. I understand now that you are considering it's Tig function but frankly unless it was the only thing I had and Anarchy ruled I wouldn't even think about it, I have a very nice Tig machine thanks.
    The MMA function, as with most all inverter Mig or Tig machines, just works. I suppose later on you could get the torch and so on to use it as a Tig machine but I just use it's primary function, Mig. There are plenty of similar machines out there, some more expensive and some less, but I went with this one and I am not sorry I did.
     
    a111r and skotl like this.
  9. Taylormade100 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    kent
    Sorry, I didnt explain myself very well. My worry is there is more to go wrong with the machine because it is 3 machines in 1. A few years down the line when the warranty runs out is the chance of it going wrong higher because of the complexity of the inner workings of the machine. Glad you like your one and I am still tempted.
     
  10. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    One thing I do know, if I call a Lincoln Electric dealer up in three years time for spares, the likelihood is that they will have no trouble at all supplying me. Not so sure of something half Mig, half rice.
     
    James1979 and Taylormade100 like this.
  11. a111r Member

    Messages:
    889
    Location:
    London
    Yes this is the inverter vs. transformer dilemma. The former will out perform the latter, plus add MMA and TIG functions but how long it will last, no-one can know or guess.
    I would be searching out 'Sherman' a-likes with the longest warranty available, although that may end up being worth nothing.

    Buying a 'brand' is not the way out, either. An ESAB Caddy 200i is £900 but after the warranty's gone, the retail on a replacement board was around £600 / £700...
     
    Taylormade100 likes this.
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