Lancia Motor Club

General => General Chat => Topic started by: DavidLaver on 15 March, 2017, 10:31:20 AM

Title: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 15 March, 2017, 10:31:20 AM

Anyone tried or recommend an inverter MIG welder?   

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: Jay on 15 March, 2017, 11:48:23 AM

I need to purchase one and been looking since late last year, there are so many out there from UK to Chinese rebadge units, all with swings and roundabouts, that I am changing my mind on a daily basis, thus putting off the purchase. Be interested in which one you opt for, I can drop a PM with my findings as I donít want to put my opinions on the web quite yet.

This site has a lot of useful info

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: srawlins on 16 March, 2017, 09:06:11 AM
I have just bought an inverter MIG. The power supply where I live/work is atrocious - so an inverter type was my only choice!

After much research etc online - I plumped for this one.....

The kit itself seems rugged an well-made. Very easy to set up - but do get a larger capacity gas bottle. I use a refillable 10l bottle of Argon 5.

R-Tech are UK based and offer great support and advice.

I woul definitely recommend this welder as an excellent choice, if you are after a well-made, compact  MIG/MMA inverter.

I would certainly stay as far away as possible from cheap, far East junk! ;)

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 16 March, 2017, 04:17:08 PM

I enjoyed the demo / review videos.  Certainly worth a call.

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 31 March, 2017, 10:56:08 PM

I called, a few times, and just today got the "show discount" on one.

Interesting to compare with the Clarke 151 TE that Practical Classics use in their online "Skill Shack" films.  The inverter is a fair bit smaller, half the weight, but will run 60pct of the time at 150amps instead of the transformer's 75amps.  The R-Tech is better built, can arc and scratch start TIG with it, there's a sensibly priced spool gun and - if you factor in the upgrade cost to run on big bottles - not so much difference in the price.

The reason for buying now is that my 16yr old expressed an interest in learning to MIG weld.  I have gas but that's "old fashioned".  Its not what he sees on the TV or YouTube films.  I also think its easier to learn MIG, for all the hazards a degree safer, and any excuse eh?  Not like we're short of work for it.


Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: simonandjuliet on 01 April, 2017, 01:34:35 PM
Will be very interested to hear how you get on and if it works out better than std MIG

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 01 April, 2017, 10:26:40 PM

In time we might be able to do a back to back test against a friends unit.

Prime benefit is the punch of a wheelbarrow size machine in half the weight of an old fashioned DIY unit. 

Step free adjustment of voltage and wire speed.  LED display of current.

It does post gas and something clever with burning the wire back to a consistent length after each weld. 

I'm not sure quite how but they are said to produce a more stable arc.  I can imagine they are able to adjust "something" many times a second but have not got to the bottom of quite what or how. 

They are also said to be better on an extension lead or generator.

Downside is that they don't like the damp or a knock.

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 01 April, 2017, 11:04:50 PM

Been doing some reading.  More efficient, can be half the power consumption.  This also means can crank up to twice the power on a 13A plug.  That might also be why an advantage on a generator or extension lead.

Transformer runs at mains frequency.  Inverter at much higher frequency.

Inverters might be more sensitive to grinding dust and power surges - I'll ask about this one and dust...

Being a 21st century product a film not words:

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 18 April, 2017, 02:55:22 PM

Very pleased with it and the service. 

Am using a tiny bottle from BOC as they're just down the road.  Barely knee high.

We'll see how long they last and how much welding we do before either "going large" with BOC or investing in a rent free bottle.  I thought we'd have to travel to get a rent free one re-filled but plenty of places will deliver.  It was the small size that drove me to BOC this time ("under a bench" size, and able to "put the cart in the boot" to go to the brother in-law etc) but just today I saw an advert for smaller rent free to follow up on.

A friend came round to repair a trampoline leg and he loved it compared to his.  We did a "can't see that it has been repaired" job on it.  He liked that it didn't have the 50Hz buzz and thought that gave it a more stable arc and perhaps less splatter.  He loved being able to tweak the wire just a tiny bit more or less.  It was also his first experience of a flap wheel disk for an angle grinder.

William (age 16) has had a couple of goes and was able to butt weld 0.7mm steel after perhaps a half hour practice on some 1.5mm.  Again the "up a bit, down a bit" is a great help on power and wire.

The wire feed is very rugged, solid case, heavy earth cable and decent clamp.  The ones we looked at in Machine Mart when we got William's boiler suit, boots and helmet seemed like toys in comparison with lots of plastic and thin stiff cables etc.

So - early days - but great first impression, easy to use and learn with, the omens are good.

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 18 April, 2017, 03:43:24 PM

Adams Gas have small bottles rent free:

...but my "local" agent doesn't carry that size, so not an option after all.

The other (market leading?) rent free supplier:

If we start using a lot of gas I expect it will be a run to Dartford for a HobbyWeld bottle.

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: cyborg7 on 18 April, 2017, 08:42:00 PM
interesting read as I'm just down the road from you (Orpington) and am currently going through those disposable bottles from Machinemart at a rate of knots so co-incidentally was looking at making a trip to Darford also. I thought I'd be done with just the floorpans, but after finishing both of those I've now found rust in all 4 ends of the cills that I'm pysching myself up to deal with. Based on getting through 4/5 bottles so far and probably needing the same again I'm loathed to part with any more at Machinemart.

Title: Re: Inverter MIG welders
Post by: DavidLaver on 18 April, 2017, 11:00:56 PM

Hadn't looked at numbers and prices in detail (very easy to end up crosseyed) but I'd been told the throwaway bottles are good for about 6mins welding (ring true?), the little one I have 50mins (some say less), and a full size about an hour.

Between Hobbyweld and BOC just looking at size isn't enough as BOC is at higher pressure.

Doing the calculation my little bottle should - in theory - do 1hr 40mins at 10cu ft/hr.  Yours is 4.5x less so 20 minutes.

A BOC "X" bottle is five times the gas of a little "PD".  Hobbyweld is 2.7 times the gas.