Shopping for a welding machine and wondering which is the best one? Here is my advice: Think about getting more than one. Why?
Because no single welding machine will do everything as well as having different welding machines, each designed to do one process and do it well.
Miller, Lincoln, and Esab all make Fiber Laser Parts Manufacturer welding machines in an attempt to please customers who want a “one size fits all” welding machine. There are even Chinese made machines that add in a plasma cutter to the mix.
The problem in this is threefold.
- All the hoses , cables, remote controls, and torches it takes to tig, mig, and stick are just plain unmanageable.
- When the machine breaks, you are dead in the water, whereas if you have separate machines for each, you can at least get by until you get the broke machine fixed
- Multiprocess machines never quite measure up in all three processes…kind of like an old El Camino that was supposed to be both car and truck, and was really not very good at being car OR truck.
Rather than try to buy on machine that does it all, why not buy 2 or 3 used welding machines that are not only a good value but also tried and true machines.
Here are some recommendations:
- for Tig and stick, A Miller Synrowave 250 or 300
- for Mig, a Millermatic 250 or 200amp mig welder
You can find a Syncrowave 250 on Craigslist for less than $2000 and a Millermatic 250 can be had for less than $750.
It takes a little effort and you may have to drive for a few hours but you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars as compared to buying new machines or a new multiprocess welder.
PS… Here is a tip for finding things on craigslist. Just type in your keyword into Google along with the word Craigslist.