Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Worth it? $100 for 2 welders


Recommended Posts

As someone who has never welded before, I doubt I'd know a good deal if it jumped out & bit me. Two welders have been listed locally, at $100 for both (just the machines,  not even wire included) . They are both Chicago Electric, but seem slightly different between the two of them.

The intended use will be mostly learning & practice, along with light fabrication, and small to medium sized sculptural pieces when I want to make the wife swoon.

Would these be good for learning? What should I ask the seller? Other considerations? Thanks in advance for your thoughtful response!

00g0g_eLaMaxDwVES_600x450.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd pass the mig looks in ruff shape with the little wire hanging out the top of the spool gun goes into the feeder and that 90 amp stick machine is only 90 amps plus if i could not try it i would not buy it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd pass too. Chicago Electric is HF Chinese low end price at best. I had a flux core wire unit that lasted about a year without heavy use. Only good for light work when they do. At $50 each is not a bad price, if they work but unless you can have the seller demonstrate that it's a pig in the poke.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brand new this class welder can be had in the $200-250 range. It's cheap insurance for not inheriting  someone else's problems. The most common reason folks sell these off is a kinked wire feed tube or worn drive rolls. Some of the cheap machines can be hard to find basic wear item parts for. Feed tube liners and drive rolls seem to just not be around.

If you like 120v input I've owned a Hobart 120 Handler for about 35 years, parts are commonly available and it's a solid small stock work horse. Hobart has higher output wire feeds I don't know if they even offer the 120 Handler anymore but parts are still available.

A little more money up front pays dividends down the road. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for the guidance, gents. Yeah, the brand did seem like one I had filed under "HF gambles" in my brain lol. Actually found it on the site right before I fell asleep. At around $100 new, this person wants to sell two used Chinese welders for the price of a new one. I agree: not worth it.

If I ever show up to look at used welders that don't wire, I'll make sure to bring my own for testing. Owning a spool of welding wire without a welder to use it in, is better than owning a welder(s) that doesn't work! Cheers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note, the better "name brand" welders might seem more expensive to begin with but they also have a MUCH better resale value.  In many cases, you can buy one, use it for a few years, and sell it for essentially what you paid.  They are almost "free" except for having the money tied up.  The junkier welders tend to do nothing but go down in value.

Plus, once you've used a really good wire feed welder,  you'll never want to go back to a cantankerous lesser unit....ever.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Just want to throw out my experience with a HF 90a flux core welder. I had one for a decade and used it occasionally. Toward the end of my time with it I was putting it through its paces. Finally decided I was welding enough to upgrade and bought a Hobart AC/DC stick and a 190a mig. I passed the working HF on to a friend that occasionally needs a welder. Funny thing is I hardly had any tip problems with that HF and used the same one for almost the duration on the time I had it. My Hobart mig (using flux core wire) is always getting spattered up. But there is NO comparison to the difference in quality of the Hobart weld over the HF. I guess what I'm saying is, from my experience, the HF is decent for occasional small jobs. I wouldn't hesitate to get another if I needed to. Learning to control the voltage and wire speed was the best thing for the HF. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flux core wire feed welds spatter and are always buggering the contact tips. Use anti spatter spray or spend more time scraping spatter or replacing tips. Mig welds are known for not spattering IF you do it right, operator error can mess up anything. Ask me about it. -_-

You can't really compare the two types of weld just because they are wire feed. How the arc is shielded is everything. Personally I'll take stick over flux core wire any day.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Frosty, I'll get a bottle someday but for now the flux core works fine. I bought extra tips. 

 

I actually bought my stick welder first and used it for a couple of weeks before i got the Handler 190. Since then I have hardly picked up the stick. To me the ease of use of wire feed (even though it's flux core) outweighs the stick. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to burn an average of 70# of flux core a day for several years, 90% of the welding was overhead and vertical,  and would change tips about once a month. Sounds like you don't have enough wire sticking out and are burning it off too close to the contact tip. I kept the outer nozzle about 1/2 " out from the contact tip and ran my wire 1/2 -3/4 inch out from the nozzle. Same when running gas shield.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip Les. I switched to a flux core nozzle which leaves the tip sticking out maybe 1/8 of an inch. The spatter pretty much covers what portion of the tip is sticking out and the end of the nozzle. After a couple of welds I usually take rag and wipe it off. Most of it flakes off then I use a wire brush to clean the rest. I figured this was happening because of the higher amperage over the HF. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is your nozzle fixed in place or adjustable, the ones I use have a collar that screws onto the part the tip screws into and the nozzle slides onto the collar and is adjustable for stickout by pushing it down or pulling it out. Another trick to clean the tip when your wire starts dragging is to run about 6" wire out, take it and pull sideways then twist in a circle knocking the bb's off the end of the tip then break it off and go back to welding.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...