In my quest for welders (MIG/TIG/Stick) and plasma cutters, I have
heard many opinions as to whether to buy new or used.
What is your opinion as to whether someone should buy new or used?
What did you do when it was your turn to sign the check?
Have you been happy with the results?
Would you have done it again?
What would you have done differently, if anything?
Thanks for whatever advice you can offer.
Over the last 4 or 5 years I've bought a number of welders and a couple of
plasma cutters at auctions. Some I resold in order to pay for the ones I
decided to keep along with a few other tools and such. Here's a list as
well as I can remember it:
Lincoln AC 225
Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
Lincoln Idealarc 250/250 TIG
Miller Econotig (Actually rebadged as a Mac Tools TIG welder)
Thermal Dynamics Pak 5XR plasma cutter
Hypertherm Max42 plasma cutter
Of those I only had trouble with 2...
The Lincoln Idealarc had a big glob of metal melted across the contacts of
the polarity switch where someone had apparently switched it while welding.
A file cleaned it up easily and it worked great after that. (Technically I
never actually owned this one. A friend loaned it to us so my son could
learn to TIG and then I sold it for the friend)
The Miller Econotig looked like new and supposedly had only about 50 hours
on it but the arc start didn't work. Turned out the output cap on the arc
start circuit had apparently shorted out, putting welding current through
the HV transformer and melting it. I fixed it myself but the parts cost me
All of the others worked perfectly and I still have the Lincoln AC/DC
225/125, the Lincoln SP-170T and the Hypertherm Max42.
I've passed over a few at auctions that I didn't think were worth the risk.
There was a Millermatic 185 I probably could have gotten for about $250 but
someone had removed the cover and never put the screws back in which is a
BAD sign. I also won't buy anything if the plug has been cut off the cord
unless it's REALLY cheap. That's often done on bad equipment so that no one
will plug it in and make smoke or hurt themselves.
I'm usually pretty handy at fixing things and for the most part the units
I've bought have been older technology transformer machines and there isn't
much to go bad in them. Newer, fancier units have more components that can
fail and are probably more expensive and difficult to fix so I've stayed
away from them so far.
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll
get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers (1879-1935).