Most helpful positive review
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
WOW - wish I had purchased one long ago!
on October 24, 2012
My only hesitation in giving this item a rating of 5 stars is that I am such a novice at arc welding that I may not be qualified to give such a high rating to any welder.
Prior to purchasing this welder my only experience with arc welding was a brief introduction to stick welding I got as part of a Junior High School shop class back in the late 1950s. I still have vivid memories of how hard it was to try to start an arc and keep it going while also having to flip the helmet down at the same time. Those memories were enough to keep me from even considering the purchase of an arc welder until the morning I got the wild idea to order this welder and an auto darkening helmet.
WOW, what a difference using this is from memories of trying to learn to stick weld in Junior High School! After only a few practice welds I was able to create functional welds for use in various projects around my home. The welds I am getting are anything but "text book quality" in appearance. However an experienced welder has looked at some of them and assures me that they are strong and will hold. He also said that my welds will get better as I get more experience. Another experienced welder has told me that it is nearly impossible to get "good welds" with a "cheap welder". That may well be true, but at this point I am sure I would not be getting "good welds" no matter how expensive a welder I had purchased. One reviewer here commented that the trigger seemed to be a bit touchy. Occasionally when I think I have pressed the trigger on my unit nothing happens, however I am more inclined to believe it is due to something I am not doing quite correctly, rather than anything wrong with the trigger itself. This has never seriously hindered my ability to create the welds I want.
I am not planning to be using the welder for any large projects, but for a variety of small projects where having the ability to weld will save me from trying to figure out how to bolt together "whatever I can find at the hardware store" to create something I am trying to kluge together. Over the last year I have spent a small fortune on pre-drilled steel, bolts, and miscellaneous hardware to modify commercial scaffolding and build additional scaffold railings so I could work on a part of my home that is nearly impossible to reach. If I had had this welder when I was doing that, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money.
I wasn't sure what to expect from a "low end" welder like this! I have found that it does all that I expected and more. One of my first projects involved welding 2" x 3/16" angle iron, and I very happy to find that it handles this material with no problems. (It should be noted that I am using the welder on a dedicated 20 amp circuit as is recommended when using the highest power setting.)
While no "low end" welder will meet the needs of everyone looking to purchase a welder, this welder definitely meets my needs extremely well.