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Old 09-20-2002, 05:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Welder Question

Hello all,

I am looking in to buying my first welder. I don't have the budget to buy a good mig so I am going to get a stick and learn how to use it. My question is whats the difference between a 230amp AC unit and a 230 amp AC/DC welder. The AC is 200 in the craftsman catalog and the AC/DC is 300 in the same catalog, so is the AC/DC worth the extra 100 dollars? In case it is pertinant I am thinking of getting a tig attachment eventually.

Thanks Guys
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the DC is nice for the extra it offers not only in material handling but also for the rod assortment on all steels as well. DC is smoother, most industrial stick welders prefer DC.
is it worth the extra?? well if you want a more flrxible machine and plan to learn that flexibity yes, but if your planning on pretty much welding like most ppl do, mild steels and such, you can spend the extra hunny toward a auto dimming mask.
as far as the tig attachment, ehh its not really worth it with scratch starts and pull off stops, even with alot of practice its still a crappy looking method. if you plan to use tig enough to spend money on it get a real tig machine.
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i like to use the dc for verticle and upside down,seems smoother. i tend to use dc reverse polarity most of the time. home depot has both types of welders (lincoln) . have not compared prices but i would imagine the depot would be cheaper. my .02
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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DC is smoother because the polarity of the arc is not switching back and forth 60 times a second (AC). Spend the 100. you wont be sorry.
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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thanks, I'll probably go AC
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what's wrong with scratch-arc tig? I have actually done some pretty precise stuff with a scratch arc. you just have to know how to use it. that said, get the one with dc, you'll like it a lot better. infact. find someone that has ac/dc machine and try both, you'll see that dc is a lot smoother as mentioned before, and is a lot easier to control. as for the tig attatchment, you'll probably be getting an air cooled torch, and those are not rated for anything hot and usually have a low duty cycle. so you won't be doign anything big /thick for long periods of time, but good for thin sheetmetal stuff, anyways.....just my .02

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Old 09-20-2002, 09:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a gas powered lincoln 220 Ac Dc welder I never use AC,,, DC is the way to go, so spend the extra cash and by the strait DC or the AC/DC
The AC only welders are a dime a dozen and not very good, They will weld ok, but you will enjoy welding DC mutch more.
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