Tempted by the ads I'm looking at (relatively) small engine powered welder/generators again. They SEEM to be coming down in price and I'm GUESSING that there are surplus units due to production continuance after sales slowdown.... Seasonal ice storms and power interruptions are helping me to overcome the "domestic inertia", so as long as it has enough 12/240 to bring the furnace fan, fridge and lights back on that will be fine.
To the WELDING side of it I have to admit that a 180 Amp machine would probably be OK for most of what I have done so far, but then there's the old features/price escalator ride and the curve isn't all that steep, especially moving from say 225 A to 250 and then on up to 300. Here's the current dilemma; Lincoln machines above 225 Amp are DC only, how much does this matter ? Not at all if I don't use it - and if I don't have it, I can't - a self fulfilling whatsit.
Miller boast 'separate" generator and welder on the Trailblazer 302 - OK, same shaft, two sets of winding, how much is this "worth" in the compare & contrast equation ? I guess I see running a plasma cutter and air compressor off the 240 at the same time and when doing that it would be VERY UNLIKELY that I would be running weld output at the same time.
In domestic discussions around noise level I have been challenged with the Guardian claims of 66 dba for their standby gens. So far my only defense is that air cooled Vee-Twins of comparable displacement driving similar sized alternators probably make comparable sound level. I can't find good A/B sound levels for Lincoln and Miller, but the Guardian number doesn't state the distance at which the 66 dba was measured, so neither of us have "good numbers" on sound level. B'sides, we can put up with some noise if the alternative is cold and dark, right ?
It is also unlikely that I would want to actually weld or do any other metal working during a significant power cut, so simultaneous capability is less important to me than flexibility.
PLEASE don't bog this down with comparisons of red vs blue 500+ amp diesel pipeline rigs, I'm interested at the 10 KVA and 300Amp level machine.