I have seen the back posts mentioning the ESAB, but none that I could find are recent. I was wondering if anyone here has had this machine for a year or so and would care to share their opinions about reliability and ease of use.
Please reply to group, I don't check this email account very often. Thank you doubleeboy
support for it is usually not local, meaning the local shop will have to send it out if you have problems with the machine. my replacement 161 has been solid thus far (my original 161 had a HF problem, but the nice folks at ESAB in SC took care of me and got me a brand new unit).
it performs DC+, DC-, and AC well in TIG or Stick. it has two 2-stroke and two 4-stroke start modes. you'll need the pedal if you want to TIG alot. this unit is also lightweight (tote type unit). you cant tote a miller 180sd around in the back of your cab.....
if you're looking for a unit for job purposes, unless you live near ESAB in SC, go with a miller or lincoln unit. if you're a hobby weldor like me the the 161 is great.
i'm looking for a new MIG and i'm looking at a esab unit.
The import 161 was made to work with a button control, Esab in the states is the one that wanted the foot control setup. It was the real cause for a lot of the problems with that unit. I picked this comeback up from my friend at Airgas. He sold it as a stick only machine because he just got tired of sending them back. ($450.00) It was laying on it's side when I spotted it. I took it home an tried it if a button control for the sloper and a esab foot control I have. I ran a 1/16 tungsten and it worked really well. I was surprised how nice the arc was. It was a standard good Inverter arc. The problem seemed to be a little large tungsten for that unit and the CK slider control it came with. I sold it for the exact same price to a guy that was just starting out. He was looking at a HF dc pile so I got him at least something better to learn on. It was mint until UPS creamed it!!! It still works just bent some sheetmetal on the back of the thing. UPS paid for the damage, but he just uses it as is. He is into it about $150.00 Beats the HF deal he was set on. :)
Now if you want a esab mig this is the unit. Nothing around with a better short-arc. It really does nice on non pulsed aluminum. I had a powermig/ python 300 to compare it to.