TIG Welder buying advice sought please.

  1. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Hi,
    New to the forum but not to welding!
    I have read through a large number of threads but not found anything specific to my question so here goes:

    Looking to purchase an AC/DC water cooled TIG for general use.
    I’m not familiar with TIG machines nor am I proficient at TIG welding!

    With this in mind; I need a machine that is both user friendly and easy to set up.

    I have been considering used and new machines.
    EWM Triton used
    EWM Tetrix Comfort 230A new
    Kemppi MasterTig 230A new
    Lincoln Aspect 200A new

    The three new machines carry 3 year warranty vs a 3 month warranty on the used Triton.

    The Triton is half the price of the other three!!

    The Lincoln is a cheaper machine than the EWM and Kemppi but comes with a foot pedal.

    How reliable are the EWM product?

    Is there much in it between the new Kemppi and EWM in terms of performance and function?

    Is the Lincoln comparable to either the EWM or the Kemppi?

    I’m based in Essex and have selected machines that can be supported by local dealers. I don’t think there’s a local Miller dealer hence it not being on the list.

    Bottom line: What would you buy given the choices outlined above?
    Open to other suggestions but machine must be single phase and water cooled.

    Thank you in advance/anticipation.

    All the Best
    Peter
     
  2. Davidcardiff Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Kildare . Ireland
    Just bought a tetrix 230 AC/DC comfort 2.0 and I can highly recommend it
    Its a tank
    Duty cycle is excellent
    Easy setup too
     
    6 milli billi likes this.
  3. Munkul Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Cumbria, UK
    If you're predominantly working with thicknesses lower than 6mm, then 200 amps from a good quality machine will do you. 200amps will do 6mm fillets at a push, but 220+ amps will make life a lot easier.

    Lorch Handy TIG 200 should be in your list :)

    You'll get a really good price on one, and they are superb. The more you look into the specs and capabilities, the more you realise they're a serious machine hiding under a simple interface.

    the EWM is a step up again, but so is the price. If you're looking at a Tetrix 230, then also look at a Lorch T220 controlpro.

    The Lincoln Aspect 200 would have be my other contender, in fact it's a similar price point to the Lorch, and it has a number of advantages, however I almost got my fingers burned with a Lincoln TPX over Christmas time and its made me a bit leery of their quality and their warranty now.

    Kemppis are top end also, I've not personally used a 2300 on aluminium but I used to love using our 2000's on DC stainless. Our sheetmetal guys don't like them as much as their other thermal arc machines, though, and parts are really expensive.
     
    matt1978 likes this.
  4. Kickmuck

    Kickmuck Member

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Manchester
    North - South divide right there lol

    Up north in pie land our local dealers support Stealth, Jasic, Parweld, ESAB :rules:
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  5. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Thanks for taking the time to look at this and reply guys. Greatly appreciated and very useful to a TIG novice like me.

    Will look into the Lorch products.
    I’ve just had a quote in for a Fronius Magic wave 230i with cooler that is comparable to the Kemppi on price alone.


    have a good day.
    All the Best
    Peter
     
  6. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Update:
    Having reviewed prices and specifications I’ve booked a demonstration with a Kemppi MasterTig 230A ac/dc with cooler and foot pedal.
    From an ‘idiot’ perspective; the TFT screen allows the user to select material and thickness and adjusts parameters to suit. Obviously this feature is a huge benefit to a novice like me who can tweak it in due course to customise once proficient?

    Will post a review if I take the plunge?
    Thanks for all the help/suggestions.
    All the Best
    Peter
     
  7. brockenhammer Member

    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Freiburg, Germany
    Hi Peter,
    from the machines you mentioned, I used the Mastertig 2300 AC/DC (ACX panel) but not the newest 235 version with tft screen.
    I also used several EWM machines like an old tig 200AC/DC powersinus (for more then 10 years), Tetrix Comfort 2.0 and also Triton 220 AC/DC.
    I also used different Lorch (V240mobil, t pro 300), Rehm, Ess, Jäckle...

    I do most time thin crmo tubing and really like the EWM Arc on the DC side. Setup of the machines is simple and you have more then enough functions they offer.
    I never had a problem with the EWM´s I owned.
    The Triton is a great machine, but the pulse is limited (only slow pulse). What I really like is the quitness (the fan stands still until there is heat building up in the machine).
    What I also like: gas postflow only runs when there was an arc established. Even if you touched the trigger or pedal. Thats different on the newer tetrix which leads to waste of gas in some situations.
    The Tetrix offers 10A more, pulse frequency up to 15khz!! (300hz at Kemppi I think) and some other functions in the hidden menue.

    The Kemppi was also fine welding, but setup of the old Mastertig 2300mls Ac/Dc is not as intuitive I think. I don´t know the newer one, but the price of these would be my biggest concern.

    If you could get a MW230I watercooled for the same amount as gascooled Kemppi setup I would allways go for the MW.
    Fronius is well known for the AC side. Many Al Pro´s are conviced, there is nothing better on the market for ally.

    By the way:
    There is a great and very complete Magicwave 2000, cooler, pulse remote, highend torch, wireless pedal... from forum user Richard for sale. Maybe worth to look at. I think he would teach you to use the machine the right way too.
    It´s a machine with a very nice and crisp arc. Even if the machine is dated, there are several forum users who are able to fix it if broken. That´s not as easy with the newest generation of machines.
    I used a MW2000 a while and just gave it away because I don´t like the original pedal.

    What will you weld most of the time? That might be also important...
     
    Davidcardiff likes this.
  8. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Morning Brockenhammer,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply with detailed explanations.

    Initially my intentions are to weld steels in order to hone my skills, so to speak.
    Once I'm comfortable with the machine I would like to move onto aluminium.

    It's a hobby thing to start with but if I can TIG weld to good standard, I'll look at some basic design and fabrication.

    The Kemppi with water cooler, torch, cart and wireless foot pedal is vaguely more expensive than the EWM Tetrix with cooler etc but without pedal.
    The MW 230i with cooler, pedal etc is £400 more than the similar spec Kemppi.
    Really comes down to ease of use = Kemppi with tft panel vs more variable settings = EWM or Fronius MW 230i?

    I have seen Richards welder for sale....... I'm sure it is phenominal but no warranty and requires far more skill than I have to set up! Pretty large by comparison too?

    I note the frequency is far lower on the Kemppi. You are right, spec says 300Hz.
    Which is minuscule by comparison to the 15KHz offered by the EWM!
    My knowledge with regard to frequency and welding is very limited........ Surely, once you get to a fairly high setting; the difference is un-noticeable?
    That said; EWM give the adjustment so there must be use for it??

    Would be handy to know how the latest Kemppi with the MTP35X 7" tft screen performs? Do the 'smart' features enhance the function/results?

    Thanks for your help
    Best Regards
    Peter
     
  9. Munkul Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Cumbria, UK
    khz pulse settings are maybe useful for some very specialist applications, but in reality unless you're an expert you'll never need or want it.

    There are some on here who do use a 500hz+ setting for very thin work. The Lorch sets offer 2khz and higher but I personally don't see a use for it for the general purpose stuff I do. I'll use 90hz pulse for tacking and that's it.

    TIG welding is 95% man, 5% machine, it won't be the machine that holds you back at all, even if you went for a cheaper machine altogether.
     
    Cheesie likes this.
  10. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Thanks Mankul
    That pretty much qualifies it for me...... Kemppi are market leaders and know more than a thing or two about the process!? If a welder genuinely needed more than 300hz range the machine would have it, right?

    I’m drawn to the Kemppi because of the user interface which is more likely to allow me as a novice to extract the Best from the machine in hand. If I knew what I was doing, the choice would most probably be different?

    Appreciate your help once again.
    thank you

    All the Best
    Peter
     
  11. brockenhammer Member

    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Freiburg, Germany
    Hi Peter,
    I use higher pulse frequencies sometimes. It leads to a narrower and more stable arc and helps to protect workpiece edges from melting away.
    But it also leads to a very noisy arc which could be very annoying.
    For what I do I wouldn´t buy a new machine without the option of a pulse more then 1khz (or 999hz like Castotig or Stel).

    When it´s about interface design, I´m prefer the direct way with seperate dials or knobs for the different functions. You can see what the setup is and don´t have to navigate through hidden menues or decrypt codes or shortcuts.
    The EWM (Tetrix or Triton) interface is very nice to work with. The Miller Dynasty Interface is also very easy. The Magicwave generation before the 230i I don´tlike as much. But the 230i I don´t know and I would love to work with some of these one day.

    If the Triton you got offered is in good condition I would think about buying it. Learn with the machine and if there is something you are missing one day you could sell it without a big loss.
    But I shure it will fit your needs a very very long time.
    It´s still a great welder and there will be nearly nothing you couldn´t weld up to 6mm.

    Here is a pic the Triton I use sometimes.
     
    • IMG_4779.JPG
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  12. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Hi Brockenhammer,
    Thank you for taking the time to further expand upon the Hz matter.
    I can only hope to be as proficient with a TIG and require such an adjustment range!
    Given the current situation we find ourselves in; I’ve placed the purchase on hold.
    There’s no immediate rush to buy for me so it can wait for now.

    Thanks for all of your help Guys.
    Stay safe
    All the Best
     
  13. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,311
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Pete a classic thing new buyers get unnecessarily bogged down with is the machines bragging rights and stats.
    any machine you want to select from nowadays offerings will happily perform as far as scope and numbers are concerned.

    Out of principle I’d NOT be buying a new magicwave 230 if I was you.
    Fronius really need to step away from this “pay extra to unlock settings” malarkey and they really really really should offer standard connections so you can fit your own torches to their equipment.
    You’ll soon get pee’d off with spending mega money on genuine fronius consumable torch parts.
    Fronius give you the opportunity to take your extremely expensive magicwave and spend more money upgrading it so you get better pulse settings!!!
    Then you can also buy yourself a very expensive watercooled torch adapter if you wanna use your own torch!!

    They don’t make em like they used to :laughing:
     
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  14. brockenhammer Member

    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Freiburg, Germany
    Hi Richard,
    good point. You allways have to consider cost of consumables. And fronius is horrible at this point.
    The std. torch the 230i comes with seems also big and heavy. I just wouldn´t buy that thing. There are good alternatives like ck or Krüger (quality similar to weldmark). There are adaptors for that silly gas through thing offered by CK and also TBI.

    The update idea to have all the functions I don´t like too!
    But there where different panel options at Kemmpi, EWM, Rehm or Lorch since a while. Some offer more functions, some less. Some are more easy to work with, some less. Doesn´t make it easier for a beginner, that´s for shure.

    I´m shure Pete would be happy for a really long time with a used quality machine of an older design.
    I would def. go the second hand way.

    To be honest I could do all my work with a machine from the 90th with some basic functions and no customer would ever notice the difference. And the more functions there are, the more a untrained person is able to totally screw up the settings. So a potentionally great welding machine is not working right.
     
  15. Peter M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Guys,
    That’s really good advice and exactly the reason why I looked on here and asked the questions

    To be honest; I’m struggling to justify serious expenditure at the moment given our current uncertainty.
    I have my own business and am responsible for 9 employees who’s livelihood and security is more important than a welder to me.
    With this in mind; I’ve had a deal with a chap on a used EWM Tetrix AC DC.
    No cooler just now but I can add that as and when.

    Once I get it I’ll post up some pictures of my ‘attempts’.

    Thanks for all the input with regard to machine choice.
    Best Regards
    Peter
     
  16. brockenhammer Member

    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Freiburg, Germany
    Hi Pete,
    I´m shure you won´t be dissapointed choosing the Tetrix.
    It´s a great machine. I used an older Comfort and also the newer Comfort 2.0 version (Tetrix 300 here).
    It´s allways like coming home welding with a EWM when it´s about the arc characteristic. I just like it.
    Solid machines, easy to setup and very good overall performance.
    A pedal is easy to fit (no complicated can-bus system) and it has also std. connections for the torch.
    Unfortunately the newer units are louder then the older ones. But in a usual working environment that´s not as important.
    You are right. You could add a cooler later. And a cooler is a nice project too.
    If you received the machine and there are any questions regarding the setup please just ask.
     
    Davidcardiff likes this.
  17. Cheesie Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Lisburn
    Ewm tetrix are good machines we have two 3phase ones in work
    Dials are handy,
     
  18. northwest Member

    Messages:
    948
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Sadly, this is on the money. Though I do love my Parweld, which I will be using later today.

    Whether you like it or not, we do like a bit of "bragging rights" attached to whichever machine we choose. If for no other reason than to demonstrate how smart we are with our choice down the line, when someone on here asks "Which Tig Welder should I buy". It's human nature. Reality tells me that I needed to buy something within my budget, that would cover most of my bases. What I bought is far better than I will be so I am good, but what will be good for you may be totally different.
    Good Luck :-)
     
    Mark 2 likes this.
  19. Cheesie Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Lisburn
    I do occasional work for a company that uses a prweld, they are making money from it, and didnt have to spend a lot on it,
     
  20. Munkul Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Cumbria, UK
    I agree completely. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to machines, hence my machines are Miller and Lorch, and not Stealth/Jasic etc.
    My comment was still valid though. Especially in respect of the OP's choices of top end brands to start with :)

    I know a local company who made a whole load of pure aluminium ducting for us. I put the boss onto the Lorch dealer, and he trialed/rented a few different machines over the course of the ductwork job.
    In the end, he bought a Jasic as a replacement/upgrade. I asked him why. "look at the ducting - it doesn't care which machine made it".
     
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