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Esab welder review

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So after many years of fighting with my little Lincoln mig welder, I finally gave in & bought a new machine. 

I set out searching with a few parameters in mind. I wanted a do all machine. I weld mig, tig, & stick on occasion. Something good for stainless, & carbon steels (I tig copper occasionally as well). I won't weld aluminum, so that wasn't a consideration to me. I wanted light weight & multi voltage 110/220v. 

Esab Rebel emp 215ic is what I ended up with. Was under $1800 USD (with an extended warranty) from Amazon. Comes with every thing a new welder would need to get started. Tweco mig, tig, & stick leads. Fairly nice Victor regulator (I prefer a floating ball type, but this will suffice). Tweco ground clamp. 2 pound spool of wire. Gas lines. You can get a foot controller, but I didn't. 

The machine itself comes in about 40 pounds & seems to be well thought out & designed. Has built in roll cage type housing with several built in handles. Handy if you plan on moving it a lot. There is a large color display. 4.5" or so I think. It'll quite literally tell you everything about the machine. What process you're set up for, polarity connections, ramp up & down for tig welding, to spare parts numbers. 

There is a smig mode. This is great for a noob welder. Punch in your wire size, material, & the machine will automatically impute the best wire speed & amp for what you're welding. Its supposed to learn the habits of the user & self adjust to those as well. I'll say this, it'll lay a real purdy bead. This is with 75/25 gas. It'll run flat, horizontal, vertical up & down nicely. There is also a standard mig mode for those of us who prefer to roll your own settings. 

I haven't tried tig much as yet. It will handle 10ga 316 stainless just fine. I'm used to Miller tig machines & this esab seem to run hotter at the same amps as the Miller. The supplied torch is on the bulky side in my opinion but usable. I connect the gas line straight to the bottle (straight argon, ive got some tri mix as well), as I like control. I'm not having any problems with craters at all, which surprised me. I'm hoping to have the time to weld up some 1095 / stainless San mai billets this weekend with some 2205 wire. I'm curious as to how well it'll handle that.

I havent run the stick stinger at all, so I can't comment there. 

 

I've only run this on 220v on a 40a circuit. Still gotta a 110v line for it. 

I've been a welder for a living off & on for the last 20 some years. I would be happy this machine at work. If want better / more comfortable leads though. But for home / hobby / light fab work, they're just fine. 

 

I'll get some pics up directly. 

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