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Ok I’ve been trying to find a good entry level 230v mig machine. I have ruled out the Harbor Freight welders. Too many unknowns. And crappy warranty. It’s down to tried and true transformer technology or newer inverter technology. I am looking at the Pro-Mig 180 from Lincoln. 3 year warranty About $700. And the Everlast Power Mig 200. About $650. 5 year warranty. The Everlast also comes with the ability to do stick welding. I have an A/C buzz box I use now for stick so would actually upgrade me there also. Is the new inverter technology a huge difference? Is it worth having burn back and dig force adjustments gonna matter to a newbie like myself? Or should I stick with the older more reliable Lincoln and not worry about it. What do you guys think? And all I can find about Everlast welders it looks like theyre an upper end foreign made American brand. If that makes sense.
 
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Check out the PrimeWeld.com Mig180. It's a MIG, stick, and aluminum (with the included aluminum spool gun. They have a solid reputation, strong warranty and tech support. I bought one of their TIG machines, and am please with it. I think their MIG 180, with torch, spool gun, stick electrode holder, all cables, etc. sells for around $479.00.
 
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My neighbor has an Everlast TIG that surprised me. Inverter MIG power supplies have features you can't get with a tranny machine.

I'd get the inverter!
 

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Is the new inverter technology a huge difference?
One of the biggest differences with inverters is that they consume less power at a given amperage vs. a transformer. I have a Tweco 211i inverter and can get its full 210 amp output on a 30 amp circuit vs a 50 (sometimes more) amp circuit for a transformer welder. Yes, you can legally undersize conductors per the NEC for a dedicated welder outlet but if you need the unit to be semi-portable, inverters need far less power.

As far as the Everlast, I don't know who to believe regarding their reliability. I've read horror stories and I've heard from owners how great their customer service is. I would personally go for more of a name brand.

BTW - the Harbor Freight Vulcan welders have some very good feedback on welidngweb.com and at least one of the weldingweb experts was a beta tester of the Vulcan TIGs and raved about them. I share your general concern about HF products however I feel the same about Everlast.

If not obvious, I wouldn't consider anything but an inverter due to it being smaller in size, weight, and power consumption while providing features that do make you a better welder.

Good luck with your decision.
 
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It's not power consumption, it's in-rush current when energizing a transformer. Transformers have huge power spikes when you go from off to on.

Transformer machines do have smoother arcs.
 

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It's not power consumption, it's in-rush current when energizing a transformer. Transformers have huge power spikes when you go from off to on.

Transformer machines do have smoother arcs.
It's actually both.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One of the biggest differences with inverters is that they consume less power at a given amperage vs. a transformer. I have a Tweco 211i inverter and can get its full 210 amp output on a 30 amp circuit vs a 50 (sometimes more) amp circuit for a transformer welder. Yes, you can legally undersize conductors per the NEC for a dedicated welder outlet but if you need the unit to be semi-portable, inverters need far less power.

As far as the Everlast, I don't know who to believe regarding their reliability. I've read horror stories and I've heard from owners how great their customer service is. I would personally go for more of a name brand.

BTW - the Harbor Freight Vulcan welders have some very good feedback on welidngweb.com and at least one of the weldingweb experts was a beta tester of the Vulcan TIGs and raved about them. I share your general concern about HF products however I feel the same about Everlast.

If not obvious, I wouldn't consider anything but an inverter due to it being smaller in size, weight, and power consumption while providing features that do make you a better welder.

Good luck with your decision.
That helps me understand the difference more. This welder will spend its life in my garage. On a dedicated 50amp breaker. Probably for 1/8 inch material. Seems all the name brand machines in my price range are transformers (Lincoln 180,Hobart 190) I’d love to save up for a Lincoln 210 mp and replace my old tombstone welder also. It’s more than double the $ what the 180 is however and even though mine is just an a/c machine i do have the ability to stick weld. I looked at the titanium welders at hf they are relatively low priced. The Vulcan seems premium priced and it’s hard to spend premium $ at HF.
 
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