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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 250A Miller transformer stick box. Works as good as anything I've ever welded with, which is limited to other transformer based stick boxes. I'm a pretty good stick welder.

I've never really welded MIG. My steel isn't usually that clean and I often weld with the shop door open or I have a fan running. I weld a lot of 1/4, 5/16" and 3/8" steel using 7014 and 7018 rods.

I need to weld thin steel and aluminum. I've always wanted a plasma cutter. Some day I hope to put together a CNC plasma table.

I've ordered an Everlast Power Pro 256. http://www.everlastgenerators.com/PowerPro-256-3909-pd.html. It wont be shipped for a couple weeks.

I really like the concept of these machines, but I am worried that the PP256 and others like them aren't really a HD machine.

For one thing, although the PP256 has a CNC port, its not really recommend you use it as such. Further on this line of thought, the PP256 plasma cutter is less powerful and robust than the stand alone Everlast 60A plasma.

Another thing that bothers me is the duty cycle. The PP256 has a 35% duty cycle at 250A for stick and 35% at 200A for TIG. The Everlast PowerTIG 250EX has a duty cycle of 60% for both.

It seems to me that the multi function aspect of the PP256 and machines like it really cut into its robustness and that stand alone boxes would be a better investment ?

Then there is the Longevity line, which seems to mostly have better specs as far as duty cycles and capabilities go and seems to give a bit more performance, dollar for dollar ?

I've looked at Lincoln and Miller products, new and used. I want an inverter based box and they are out of my price range with these brands. I also don't buy the "you get what you pay" line all the time.

I'm hoping these off shore inverter multi function welders are a breakthrough in the welding arena. Am I wrong ?

I'm looking for input from people that have used these things. Are the multi purpose inverter boxes a decent HD welding investment or are they junk ?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SEARCH :flipoff2:
This topic has been beat to death over and over.
search on "everlast longevity multi welder" = 2 threads, one of which is mine.

search on "everlast multi welder" = 7 threads, 2 from above and 5 marketing threads.

search on "everlast TIG plasma stick" = 11 threads. Equally as useful.

search on "everlast 256" = 10 threads, of which ONE post in ONE thread is useful.

Dude I've been hardcore (and i mean hardcore) miller fanboy, but i needed a plasma and a tig so i kinda gambled and bought a everlast powerpro 256. ive had it for since the start of summer. I have no regrets it works just like any high dollar miller with a built in 60 amp plaz. I use it alot, not production hours but alot. especially the plaz function. I cant complain at all, 5 year warranty also. I bought mine with the small tig torch with the flex head and i also have the watercooled torch which is a little big for my liking but its nice for aluminum. some of the stuff seems kinda cheap like. (example) not real happy with the stiffness of the torch leads and plaz leads but i can live with it for now.
Nowhere does this thread talk about duty cycle of a multi machine versus a single use machine.
 

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we are trying to break into this market for doing their warranty repairs!!

As Of before the Holidays there are no parts to be had east of China. Or any factory support at least in English

just know if you have a problem it is your nickel to get the unit back to the vendor.

Most times with the more then one process machines to keep the size down you give up duty cycle because it is harder to keep them cool in a smaller case.

We all gotta do bad things for lack of money I used to do garbage truck floors you can`t get lower than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I am not liking about these inverter machines in general is that they seem to be trouble prone. My 300 pound Miller transformer stick box has been going strong for 20 years. I kid you not. And I never worry that its going to quit.

It seems as though these inverter machines can go "poof" at any time.

I'm not sure what to think about all this.
 

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FWIW the Miller Diversion 165 and 180 has a duty cycle of 20% but stepping up to the Dynasty line gets you a 60% duty cycle. If the 35% duty cycle is at full amps I can't see it being that big of a problem once you consider how often a person welds at 250 amps, I know I don't very often.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
FWIW the Miller Diversion 165 and 180 has a duty cycle of 20% but stepping up to the Dynasty line gets you a 60% duty cycle. If the 35% duty cycle is at full amps I can't see it being that big of a problem once you consider how often a person welds at 250 amps, I know I don't very often.

I was thinking the same thing, but if one steps up to the Everlast PowerTig 250EX, you get 60% duty cycle at full welding amps TIG and 35% at 200A stick. Seems to me that is a pretty big step up in robustness.

I think I am going to get the PowerTig 250 EX instead of the PowerPro 256. When I need a Plasma, I'll buy a 60C. Its a bit more money to do it this way, but you get a more robust tool set all the way around AND 2 separate machines, which means you don't have to unhook the welder to use the plasma.

I'll post up how it all works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If the 35% duty cycle is at full amps I can't see it being that big of a problem once you consider how often a person welds at 250 amps, I know I don't very often.
I think 1/4 or 5/16" aluminum would have one welding at full amps pretty quick. You could always supplement with helium instead of argon.
 

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I think 1/4 or 5/16" aluminum would have one welding at full amps pretty quick. You could always supplement with helium instead of argon.
Very true. Had to cap off the ends on some 1/4" thick aluminum channel two weeks ago with my Dynasty 200dx. Needed every amp the machine had, even with preheat and 25% helium. Keep in mind that at 200 amps on Al, you'll also want a water cooled torch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very true. Had to cap off the ends on some 1/4" thick aluminum channel two weeks ago with my Dynasty 200dx. Needed every amp the machine had, even with preheat and 25% helium.
Thanks for sharing that. Now for sure I am going to get the 250EX.
 

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They just randomly go POOF because they aren't using top quality parts :shaking:

You realized this, yet you are still going to buy one.

Don't ask for help when you break it :flipoff2:
 

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I grew up in and around the welding industry. My dad sold welding supplies for a family owned LWS for over 20 years until he died. I was fortunate enough to receive a full scholarship to Lincoln's Welding School in 1996. Lincoln, Miller and the local American Welding Society chapter all chipped in. For several years I worked in structural steel and for some local machine shops welding. I put myself through college welding during the day. I was in graduate school my internship did not work out and I needed to earn some money! Picked up a welder and then decided to go into business for my self doing small mobile welding jobs along with jobs I did in my driveway and garage. I own four Everlast Welders the Power Tig 200dx, Imig 200, Power Arc 200, and Power Arc 140st. I purchased a small trailer and generator from Northern Tool and I was in business. I started with the 200dx, Imig 200, and Power Arc 200. I also have a set of torches and plasma cutter. Loaded up on some Harbor Freight tools and also Northern Tool that I could afford. I put some adds on Craigslist, made business cards, and built a website and I was in business for myself. Everlast has been very good to me. I have only had one issue and that was the PowerArc 140ST. Mark from Everlast called me on a Saturday evening to help me with my problems, and then Mike worked with me as well. They tried to help me, but I had to send the welder back and they sent me a new one, and I have had no issues ever since. Obviously there are pluses and minus to dealing with Everlast. Yes I saved money. Yes I am happy with the performance of my machines. Yes I realized that in saving money on the front end I may have to shell out some cash for shipping if I have problems. Since I was working for myself I wanted separate machines for each process. If I had a problem I did not want to be without my tig welder and plasma cutter at the same time. I like the way inverter machines weld, that's my opinion.. I get it.. that's for you to decide. Are the transformer machines heavy duty absolutely, and they are heavy power hungry machines; that's what they are and have proven the test of time. From growing up going to my dad's workplace I can tell you I have seen stacks of broken down welders blue and red. If it's made by human hands it can break! I had a millermatic 211 that I absolutely loved and I read where someone purchased one and it arrived D.O.A. it happens to the best of us! There are advantages to all brands of inverter machines because of their weight/portability and all the functions they offer. I'm can't yet vouch for the long term, but If I had to I feel that I could take my welders apart and replace some of the boards if I had to. To me it's similar to a computer on the inside. I think you have the potential with inverters to repair them yourself. I've opened a transformer machine before with a maintenance man and I would not dare work on it! In my rambling all machines have the potential to break down. I think it's about your needs + cash flow + how much you plan to use it! I have a $300.00 ebay plasma cutter that's been kicking a year now. I hardly ever use it. I want to upgrade to one with a pilot arc, but I can't justify it! I've been happy with Everlast they have went above and beyond to help me out. I read all the negative and positive reviews and weighed my options. The machines I own from Everlast have little to no complaints on the forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
They just randomly go POOF because they aren't using top quality parts :shaking:

You realized this, yet you are still going to buy one.

Don't ask for help when you break it :flipoff2:
I found an Everlast 180 TIG advertised locally. By the time I called it was sold. The owner loved it and has ordered a larger Everlast. He had nothing bad to say about them.

I'll report how mine works. If it goes Poof, you'll hear about it.

I changed my order to a PowerTIG 250 EX and a PowerPlasma 80. These are the largest single phase machines they sell. I have a bunch of work lined up for them as soon as they arrive, which I hear should be a couple weeks.

I have no affiliation with Everlast or any other welding company.
 
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