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opinion on powerweld mini mig welder (180A / 230v)


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#1 motobreeder ONLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2015 - 01:45 PM

Anyone have experience with the "powerweld" mini-mig welders?

These welders are available at busybee and TSC (canada) stores.

 

Is this a good or bad one?  Are the parts compatible with the Lincoln welder?

 

 

Before I can use this, I'm going to have to run a 230v outlet.  A task well within my skill set.

I have a 4500 watt Porter Cable generator - I'm wondering if that's recommended or not.

 

 

This one is interesting - it's on sale right now for about $300.

http://www.tscstores...DER-P20997.aspx

 

 

My intent is to use a welder for general repairs on garden tractor parts.

I've never used one before, but my son will be getting welding instruction at school this fall.


Edited by motobreeder, July 04, 2015 - 05:29 PM.


#2 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2015 - 04:24 PM

It sure looks a lot like a Clarke Mig.  If it is made by Clarke, then it's a pretty decent welder.  I have a Clarke 180EN and it is the only welder I used in building my FEL, and I've put that loader through heck, and no welds have ever failed.

 

clarke mig.JPG


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#3 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 06, 2015 - 01:33 PM

They sure do look similar.


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#4 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2015 - 10:10 PM

Motobreeder, do you have a Harbor Freight near you? They sell a 90 amp flux core wire welder which normally sells for abot $111.00 US, and sometimes you can find it on sale or use a "super coupon" and get it for $99 bucks! I own one and have used it extensively over the past year. Must have already run 8lbs. of wire through it with no real issues. It needs good strong power, so a dedicated 20 amp circuit with at least a 12ga, extention cord as short as possible, will make it perform very well. I LOVE this thing! Best equipment i purchased all of last year and I must have spent 2k on tools and equipment last year. The nice thing about flux core wire is you can grab your machine, plug it in and be welding in litterally two minutes, most of which time is spent putting on your welding gear. Super easy to use and you will be able to learn how to use it very quickley. At the price point were talking, you can't beat this thing with a stick! Garanteed. The only issue I had, after figuring out the "make sure you give it a full 20 amps" issue was that the plastic carry handle broke off. HF was too far to drive to to justify dropping what I was doing to exchange it since it was under warranty, so I replaced the handle with a length of 1" nylon webbing I had in my shop>Problem solved and better than new! That handle won't break again. Will weld 3/16ths in a single pass and I have welded 3/8" in multiple passes where edges are properly prepared. works quite well on sheet metal too. Oh and it's 110volts to boot!


Edited by backyardtinker, July 28, 2015 - 10:15 PM.

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#5 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2015 - 05:16 PM

As a hobbiest I have to say good things about the HF 180amp 230v mig and the extended warranty. They work great for me. I beat the crap out of my first one and eventually destroyed it. No problem with the extended warranty ($50). I went and got a new one for free after almost 2 years of abuse. I did buy another extended warranty on the new one. I fried it last week, not sure how or why but the drive feed motor is only running about half speed. No problem, I am going tomorrow to get another new one under warranty. I thinkits a small price to pay for a person learning what not to do with a mig welder. When I finally feel like I can afford a name brand welder that I wont tear up I will buy one of the big name brands. Until then I am happy tearing up the cheap HF ones.


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#6 motobreeder ONLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2015 - 07:21 PM

My guess is that the TSC and HF welder are the same.  Made in China and re-badged for retail.

(just a different piece of plastic added on the front - switches, dials and wire locations are identical)

 

 

 

Coldone: how did yours fail?  From use or abuse, burned out or mechanical?

Should I see if i can add the extended warranty (it's an extra $60)?

Another difference - the one from TSC (Canada) has a 2 year warranty.

 

 

GetImage.ashx.jpg image_20395.jpg


Edited by motobreeder, July 29, 2015 - 07:29 PM.


#7 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2015 - 10:05 PM

The first one failed due to abuse. I was learning to weld and I am pretty sure I did most everything wrong. It lasted a little less than 2 years. The welder did not fail, it was the gun. The nozzle would not come off anymore so changing the contact tip was challenging. Instead of fighting with it I just returned it for a new one.

 

The latest one, the drive motor is doing something funky. I was welding in a tight spot with flux core so i had the nozzle removed. I stuck the contatct tip to the piece while I was running the bead and then it would not feed the wire anymore. I changed out the contact tip and it still would not feed. The wire moves freely by hand through the cable and torch. I am not sure what happened I guess that I blew one of the solid state drivers in the motor circuit.

 

In the pic above, the TSC welder seems to have a longer hose. If it has the same 2 year warranty and about the same price I might go with it. The longer hose is much better. The HF one is only about 6 feet long, that has created a few problems when using it. The regulator that comes with the TSC one is about a $70 value. You will need this if you ever use solid wire for welding.


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#8 Jazz OFFLINE  

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Posted July 30, 2015 - 06:55 AM

Good luck with that..generally a decent mig will cost $600 which is around where that unit is priced. Create a project such as building a small trailer to give the welder a good work out and yourself some experience. That will bring out the gremlins if any. 2 year warranty is a bonus. I have been using a Liquide Air 130 for 15 years,,they don't make it ,,I think its a rebranded Miller.  

I use a Speedglas auto welding helmet. Nothing else compares! The clarity is much better than any other auto helmet I have used. Not that you need auto helmet but they are nice in many situations.

 

I use blue shield gas ALL the time...get my wire from US cheap! I have a US shipping address.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item2ed1aed6ae


Edited by Jazz, July 30, 2015 - 12:58 PM.

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