There are 6 reasons why I HATE my welder.
I purchased my welder roughly 8 years ago. At the time I thought it was great. My first welder, I had to start practicing. Little did I know I would grow to loathe this little machine.
So What do I hate about my welder? Well let me tell you!
- no brand recognition.
- cheap build quality.
- No option for shielding gas.
- 110v power only.
- no adjust-ability.
- plain ol’ crappy welds.
#1 No brand recognition
So one fine Saturday morning about 8 years ago I went down to my local Princess Auto to purchase my very first welder. I was Excited to say the least. I could now learn how to weld and potentially start doing my own metal work on my car. Well this proved to be my first mistake. You know what they say, “Buy nice, or buy twice”. I should have saved up and went with a name brand welder. The problem with buying the Power Fist brand welder was in the future when I wanted to upgrade I wouldn’t be able to find compatible parts to allow me to do so.
#2 Cheap build quality
So for anyone who has shopped at Princess Auto before you know their quality has a little to be desired. They have however started selling some “better?” items but the vast majority of their store is filled with Chinese made items.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against them, but its well known that a Chinese made tool is far less superior in quality to a North American made tool.
The Welder feels cheap from the time you pick it up out of the box.
- Plastic handles
- cheap ground clamp
- stiff torch cable
- Cheap plastic torch
- non-replaceable torch tip
#3 No Option for Shielding Gas
Ok, so this one should have been obvious originally. However the day I was looking at welders I paid the extra for the model that was supposedly up-gradable to a MIG welder buy adding a regulator and new torch cable. I quickly realized flux cored wire welding was essentially useless to what I had hoped to weld. (I was thinking about learning to weld body panels.) When I started researching how to upgrade to a MIG and start using a shielding gas. To my surprise it didn’t seem like any such accessory existed for this welder. I was either duped into believing it did and wasted my extra 70 bucks, or perhaps they sold me the wrong welder. (A third option of the wrong welder inside the box could exist) but it was s long ago this really is a moot point now anyways I’m stuck with this.
#4 110v power only
Buying a welder with relativity no experience or knowledge is probably a bad idea, just FYI. I saw this welder, it would run off a standard 110v power outlet, and I was excited to get started. Little did I know many years later the option to run 220v would have been more beneficial. So take my oversight as a bit of advice if you’re in the market for a welder. Look for a dual voltage unit. This way you can run it on 110/120v or 220/240v power.
#5 No Adjust-ability
I guess it has adjust ability, but really not that usable of an adjust ability. The only thing that can be adjusted is the wire speed, and the power can be either MIN/MAX there is not really any fine tuning the power. When welding with it, it seems more like you’re welding with a banana, and a warmer banana. In all honestly it’s ether a cold weld, or a slightly warm weld. I don’t feel as though it gets good penetration. See the Photo in the next section for a little more details on this weld quality
#6 Just Plain ol’ crappy welds
The many factors above are part of why the welds are just … well crappy for lack of a better word.
Now don’t think I am a professional welder, I am not by any means. I have just had a couple years to practice welding in my day job. So lets compare the welds I am able to create with my work welder, that is a 240V Lincoln welder with a C25 mixture shielding gas, (25% CO2, and 75% Argon) and my Powerfist welder
The Weld on the left is my works Lincoln welder weld, and the one on the right if my ol’ crappy weld, after the slag was chipped off. (but not cleaned.) These were welded on the exact same piece of metal for best comparison. as you can see the Lincoln looks nice, and the power fist was all over the place. I could not get the welder to lay a bead consistently.
So what I have learned is when I buy my next welder I need as much research as possible.
I have been looking at a Multi process welder which is a Dual voltage, MIG & Flux core, and has the ability to weld Stick, Mig and Tig processes. The only extra I would like is to have the ability to run Tig AC and have the ability to weld aluminum.
This feature jumps the price of a welder into the few thousand dollar area. I can’t justify the needs to weld that much aluminum. It may even be cheaper to buy a multi process and later get a TIG AC one. It could work out cheaper. I’ll have to research this more int eh future.
So Down in the comments Lets hear what type of welder you use and what your recommendations are. After all I am in the market for a new one soon.