Suggestions on Welder

Hello everyone,
I am in the research stage of purchasing a new engine driven welder and would like + / - for one welder over another.
The two welders that I am looking at are the Lincoln Classic 300G (K1754-1) and the Lincoln Commander 300 Deluxe (K1585-2).
The reasons for these two are the Pipe and TIG support as well as AC electrical output for other devices such as Plasma Arc cutter, grinders, air compressor, etc...
My main concern is the arc control for Pipe (downhill).
I know that the most commonly used welder for downhill pipe is the PipeLiner series or the 300g but this seems to be due the dedication of welders who primarily are cross country pipeliners .
I want the flexibility of fine arc control for downhill Pipe along with the TIG for versatility. GMAW is a side benefit that has minor considerations in this issue due to any thin metal welding ( like two alum coke cans)can be done with TIG better than GMAW.
So to make this short, For the Pipe / TIG welders what would be the + / - of the Commander over the Classic as it relates to Pipe(Downhill) and arc control or are they compatible in that respect.
Any other + / - between the two that should be noted?
Thanks in advance for any information / personal experience that you may provide.
LS
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(K1754-1)
PipeLiner
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I don't have any first-hand experience, but I have spoken to a number of people who use these machines.
The Commander has many features not found on the Classic, such as Lift start TIG, constant voltage mode for MIG, and I believe it has significantly higher aux. power capacity. A few folks I have spoken to have even voiced a preference for Lincoln's chopper technology machines, such as the Commander, over the Classic and Pipeliner type machines.
I would recommend that try to "test drive" these machines if you can, then select the one that performs best in your application. Some of the larger suppliers may even have loaners or rentals available for you to try.
Good Luck,
Bob
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In a slightly smaller machine, the Ranger 250 K1725 is a Chopper Technology (DC only) machine with arc control, pipe mode, lift-start TIG and CV mode for MIG. But I have no idea how it directly compares to the Commander. Seems like same features looking at the above list, obviously less amps - duty cycle is 100% at 250 amps.
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wrote:

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Commander,
The Ranger 250 and Commander 300 do indeed have very similar welding features. The only difference I recall at this time, aside from the max output, is that the Commander has 5 pipe modes while the Ranger has 1. The deluxe model of the Commander, which is under consideration, also has meters, which are not available on the Ranger 250. (Meters are available on the Ranger 305.)
The greatest difference between these two machines is that the Commander is a 4-pole (1800 RPM) machine, and is larger in size. The Ranger machines all operate at 3600 RPM. The Commander also has a Deutz diesel engine. Because of the lower speed, and the industrial disel engine, I would expect the Commander to have better fuel efficiency and a longer life expectancy than the Ranger.
Oh! Thanks for mentioning that these machines have only DC welding output. They're probably not well suited for TIG welding aluminum.
Bob
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So would I. I'm actually on the verge of buying an 1800 RPM industrial liquid-cooled diesel generator because the Ranger is both noisy (not only 3600 RPM, also air-cooled) and expensive as a source of AC power (at the current price of $2.00/gallon, $1.60 an hour just to be ready, on up to $3.60 per hour at 8KW, or 45 cents/KWH).
When I bought it, I anticipated grid power; as it turns out, grid power will cost more per KWH than diesel to generate power, and the generator will cost less than the powerline to buy the more expensive grid power from. I also expect to pull building heat off of the cooling system (why burn fuel oil in a furnace for heat, when you can burn it in a diesel for heat and power?)
In some perfect world I could offload the Ranger and upgrade without losing my shirt in the process, in this world I'll most likely do better to just buy a non-welding diesel genset (probably a Northern Lights) and continue to buy gasoline for welding. Last I checked off-road diesel, the NL comes in around 10 cents/KWH, and I'd expect a welder/genset to be similar. Service intervals (oil changes, etc) on the diesel are also longer.
Live and learn...
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Thanks to everyone for the information supplied so far.
I did forget to mention that the TIG function of the Commander would be primarily for Pipe. A portable AC TIG unit that can be driven by the Commander would be used to TIG thin materials like aluminum where a AC arc would be more appropriate.
Here is what is currently being selected (still subject to change): Lincoln Commander 300 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38 Plasma Cutter Portable AC TIG ( not decided on Lincoln, Miller, or Hobart yet) Electric 25 gallon Air compressor capable of 8 CFM @ 90psi along with the normal Acetylene torch gear, grinders( 4.5 and 8 inch), and other tools needed on the job site.
All this will reside on a Chevy C4500(17500GVWR), Duramax 6.6 diesel, Allison 6 speed trans with PTO, which I am currently building the bed for. It will also have: a removable fifth wheel(hidden mounting rails when not in use), goose neck ball hitch (hidden when not in use) so that I can pull a travel trailer or if times are slow and I want to run Hot Shot loads I can., as well as a standard trailer hitch for toting the farm tractor/trailer rig around.
Maybe I am trying to do to much with one rig but it is looking good so far.
Any other suggetions that might be useful would be appreciated.
Thanks again for the information so far.
wrote:

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