Let me just say this is a great group and source of info, thanks
I've decided on the Miller Syncrowave 180 SD over the Econotig. (knowing
I'd have to upgrade within the 1st year if I get the econotig)
The SpeedGlas 9002X w/side windows over the NextGen. (because the side
windows rock) :)
I injured my feet a few years ago and the foot pedel may not be an
option, what do you thank about the torch mounted remotes?
They have a good feedback rating so they seem trustworthy.
I haven't heard anything bad about them yet.
CK has a new torch mounted controller that uses a toothed belt to
control the amperage.
Sliders can work, but I have never liked them much.
I have the CKW rotary torch-end amp control. I've had it for about two
years. When I bought it, someone here asked me for comments which, I am
sorry to write that I did not provide at the time. My (true) excuse was
that it was all still too new for me to write with confidence. That has
changed and here is my review:
(Background for those who do not know tig stuff: most tig hand welding is
done with the aid of an on-the-fly amperage control device. You change the
amps up or down--from 0 to the max you specify at your welder--in real time
as you weld. This control over the heat gives you terrific control over the
weld. For one example, at the end of a weld you can simply ease the amps
down, down, down, to make a perfect bead end. Even if you are at the edge
of a thin piece of sheet metal, if you do it right, you can get a nice
ending with great ease. I could go on with examples from other welding
situations but suffice it to write that amperage control is a really good
thing. (On tig/stick machines you can use your amp control in stick mode
1. I thought the CKW rotary control unit was a bit pricey. However, it is
likely not a high-volume item and I cannot imagine that CKW is swimming in
dough on account of the rotary torch control.
2. I was initially a bit concerned about whether it would stand up to use.
I am a weekend weldor but have used it _a lot_ for someone in that category.
I no longer fret on this issue.
3. Installation is easy. You remove your foot control pin connector and
put the torch-end controller pin connector in place on the welder. My
torch-end controller uses Velcro to attach to the torch. That's okay but I
had to trim some excess Velcro to get it out of the way of my fingers. I
attached the power cable (that runs between the welder and the torch-end
controller) to my tig torch line with nylon electric cable binders.
4. It was difficult to make the transition from foot control to torch-end
control at first. The big problem to solve is that one must learn to move
the little toothed belt with a finger _independent_ from the movement you
want from the torch. Look at the web picture of the device. You'll see the
little belt. and, you'll see the rotary wheel at the top that the belt
The rotary system has a 'catch' that seats home in the off position. It
takes a bit of force from your finger to overcome the catch and this force
can easily disrupt the position/action of the torch. This really sucks when
you are at the end of a weld and you push the rotary to 'off' and
simultaneously move the torch out of position and cause loss of argon
shield, for example. You have to learn to overcome the catch without
disrupting the torch position/action. I found this very challenging at
first but practice makes perfect. (Well, almost.)
4. I cannot compare the ease of use of CKW rotary control to a slide-type
torch-end control because I've not ever used a slider.
5. Comparing my torch end control to a foot control: Foot control is okay
for welding table work when you can sit comfortably in a standard position.
If you go out of position, such as needing to stand up, working a foot
control is more challenging. A foot control can be way less convenient for
off-table work when you cannot sit at the weldment. In some circumstances
it sucks really big time. Imagine you are building a frame structure
2meters high by 1 meter wide by 1 meter deep. Say you have to sit on the
floor, or even lay down on the floor to make a weld on the bottom of the
structure. How do you work the foot control? Maybe you have to put the
foot controller between your knees and operate the lever by pressing your
knees together, like one of those ThighMaster devices you see adverts on TV
for! Really awkward (but could build up your intra-pelvic musculature). A
torch-end control is sweet for this out of position work. The other
advantage, even when welding in a perfect sitting position, is that you
don't have to make sure the foot pedal is in place every time you get up and
sit back down. With a torch-end control there is one less thing to move
into place because it's always already there for you.
Last, would I make the same purchase again? Yep, in a New York minute; I am
very pleased with the device even though I found it pricey. I have also
been pleased with Cow's ability and willingness to answer questions on the
I have bought a Miller 301G Trailblazer, a Miller 251 mig, and misc other
items from OIC, They were OUTSTANDING. A cover for the 301G was lost by UPS
and they replaced it without question. Very fast, very cheap compared to
local dealers and fast.......