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To stop me filling up the tech spam thread with my questions, I thought it best to make a new thread. Hopefully this might help someone else that stumbles across this in future.

First the back story,

On 5/29/2018 at 23:27, kws said:

As someone that is new to welding, I want to buy a welder. I can get both of these at a similar price, does anyone have an opinion of which one would be the better option? I have heard inverter is a good thing?



Alternatively, anyone have any better option under the $500 mark?


On 5/29/2018 at 23:43, peteretep said:

First one looks like what you want. Second one looks to be slightly more specialized as a higher use mig, although has smaller max wire size. Unless you are doing lots of continuous welding, you dont need to worry about that duty cycle, and if it is a problem, just wait 5 minutes before continuing welding/blow on it


Bit of a pain they dont seem to have specs to properly compare models, although I suspect they have done that on purpose


And you don't want to go near flux cored welding, its the devils poos. And some manufacturers have something called 'live wire technology' or something similar, which means that when used as a mig, the wire is always live, which you super dont want


Best deal you will be able to find will be something second hand. And factor in the price of a decent helmet, gloves and a bottle


On 5/30/2018 at 00:05, Raizer said:

I looked at the first one, was a really decent price in the SCA trade mailer, was thinking I could flick my BOC tig off and just have the one machine.

Decided I want something a little bit gruntier with Euro torch though.

Looking at one of these ATM, they have smaller/cheaper options too and I've been hearing good things


Which left me with the question, MIG or TIG?

On 6/1/2018 at 17:29, kws said:

Looking around, im now a little conflicted. I just want to be able to do some basic welding on rust repairs and the usual Oldschool stuff; is it best to go for a cheap MIG (with gas), or get a semi-decent ARC that can do lift-TIG? @Raizer you clearly have a TIG, whats your opinion on your machine and your welding? Do you wish you had MIG instead?

I have done some gas welding before, but never electric. I know the basics behind them, but will have to learn from scratch.


On 6/1/2018 at 17:34, mjrstar said:

Unless you are keen on welding aluminum I would suggest getting an inverter mig which will do mig,  lift arc tig and stick. The only complication will be needing different bottles for mig and tig.

 I have a excel arc mig/tig/stick machine and a weld well AC / DC tig too.


On 6/1/2018 at 17:38, Transom said:

I have the cigweld 135 mig - was very cheap from supercheap and they stock tips and other bits 

fits a larger wire roll than the small crap flux core roll it comes with 

seems to do what I need as I only have single phase power anyway and have only hit thermal cutout a few times while really blasting on 5mm plate 

if / when the torch liner dies I will probably just buy an aliex euro torch conversion for it 


On 6/1/2018 at 17:54, Raizer said:

I've always failed at MIG, but have managed to hot glue a few different metals together successfully with my TIG.

Not saying I'm a good welder by any means, but I find TIG fun and fairly easy to get results that I am happy with and are functional at least.

My machine is just a little BOC 130amp inverter, ARC/Lift TIG, gives a really nice arc and is easy to set up (a pro welder gave me a couple lessons when I got it and he was impressed by it for a cheap machine)


But as I want to start doing a bit more fab work it looks like a MIG is going to be something that will be an asset to have, hopefully now I have a bit more confidence I'll be able to manage to actually do it haha.


@Truenotch was telling me last night about a couple different welders he reps, I can't remember the models but one has caught my interest.


On 6/1/2018 at 17:56, Transom said:

Think I paid 399 for mine not 529 but 

and 80 $ for a reg from tardme for big co2 bottles 

at that price it was easy and cheap to get started and learning mig after only using arc before - 

keen to try alloy with tig but to me it seems easier to have a machine setup for each rather than one that does all if you have the space for them 



On 6/1/2018 at 19:35, cletus said:

I have both mig and tig


I use my mig more,

if I have fiddly stuff that I want to look pretty I use the tig, I still have a lot to learn about it though.

mig is good if you just want to blaze stuff together or do rust patches on slightly questionable panels/things that are not perfect/gaps not 100%

also mig seems a lot more economical on gas


On 6/1/2018 at 20:28, Nominal said:

I'm pretty much where Cletus is.

I find the mig easier in rust repair as it is easier to fill in gaps and deals better with less than perfect prep.


On 6/1/2018 at 20:33, peteretep said:

If I were to only have one, it would be Mig, then tig. Mig is just a good all round solution, its not the best for everything, but easy enough to become reasonable at it, and it can weld 90% of stuff. I have a 180a mig, and while i have used it at max settings for welding 5mm to 5mm plate, I mostly use it in the middle/lower settings


On 6/1/2018 at 20:52, fletch said:

As above, mig for general glueing of all things.

I have a 3 in 1. Worst part is changing bottles to change welding type. 

A couple of fabricators at work run hugong welders from duroweld. They are pretty cheap and have 3 year warranty and have been absolutely flogged with no failures.

14 hours ago, Spencer said:

OS goes through the welder yarn a lot. 

MIG is 100% the way to start out for fucking around on cars it’s easy and cheap to get going. You can start with a cheaper unit if that is your price point, but IMO just jump to around the $1000 mark and you can get a inverter MIG which are super lush to use. Yes you get the extra TIG functionality but most likely you will never be bothered to have two gas bottles to fuck around with it. The actual bonus is how lush these cheap inverter units lay down weld, it’s just better than a sub $1000 traditional setup. Usually you get finer control also.

There is nothing extra to fuck out, there is no extra complexity to add the TIG and ARC functionally it’s just a bonus due to having the inverter deliver the juice. It’s literally a extra plug on the front and the torches will sit in the draw gathering dust while you MIG shit together all day.


14 hours ago, Spencer said:

Oh and a inverter MIG of a decentish brand will hold its value if you need to get rid of it. The reason they never are for sale second hand is they move fast, usually your friend will want to buy it before you can list it.

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I have now narrowed down to three options.

The CigWeld 135 Inverter. Single phase 10A plug, 20% @ 135A. Can do MIG and ARC

The Weldtech 160A inverter. Also single phase 10A, 20% @ 160A. MIG, TIG, ARC

Or the Toolshed branded 160A inverter MIG. Single phase, but 15A plug. 20% @ 160A. MIG and ARC.

The issue with the last one is that it would either need me to get a 15A plug installed in the garage, or use an adaptor like this, https://www.jaycar.co.nz/portable-rcd-with-15a-to-10a-mains-plug-conversion/p/MS4044 but i guess i risk not being able to run it at full grunt? is that even an issue?

The Toolshed looks like a nice little unit, backed with a good warranty by a local shop. The Cigweld is a known brand, backed by a warranty with supercheap. The Weldtech is an unknown, likely Chinese special, with unknown warranty backing, but is 10A and can do TIG.


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I looked at a toolshed compressor with the "special" 15 amp plug on it and the guys showed me it running plugged into a normal 10amp socket lol 

if your house / shed wiring will handle it - have a look at the fuses and wiring that go to the plug you will be using - decent garage should have good wiring

my 10 amp welded runs better in the carport than in the shed - one extension cord shorter makes a difference 

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Our house was built in 1965, and the fuse box hasnt been updated yet (still has old ceramic/wire fuses), but according to the building inspection guy the wiring was decent (and the wiring to the garage 10A sockets is thick TPS wire). Not sure i'd want to rely on just the house fuses protecting from overload; which is the advantage of that Jaycar adaptor, it has a 10A circuit breaker in it.

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Depends what you plan to use the welder for 100% thin metal, or wazz some 10mm bits together for a laugh. I had a 10A plug on my welder for a short time, while I waited for sparky to run me a new wire / plug. It worked fine, I just kept the power level down on the welder. Long term it would be a good idea to have a decent wire run to garage to cover the likes of welder / compressor etc. Saves spending money on a jaycar magical (legal?) adaptor. I have a 15A plug in garage now which I plug welder / compressor into (plus whatever else). I also made an extension lead up with 15A bits so I can use it with a bit of flexibility. That is the ideal solution I think. A sparky will confirm / deny.

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Yep I don't see how an rcd makes 10 amp into 15 ... 

best wiring in old houses is to the stove ... good modern extension cord off the plug on that ( if it has one ) and replace fuse with a breaker 

some actual electrician will come in here and school us up soon ...

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9 hours ago, Transom said:

Yep I don't see how an rcd makes 10 amp into 15 ... 

best wiring in old houses is to the stove ... good modern extension cord off the plug on that ( if it has one ) and replace fuse with a breaker 

some actual electrician will come in here and school us up soon ...

It doesn't. All of the adaptors ive seen/sold are a 10a breaker so as soon as you pull more than 10a it trips. 



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rcd dont make it into 15amps all an rcd dose in layman terms is protect agaisnt a fualt as in if your extension lead has a cut in it and you touch it giving yourself a shock it will trip out,
a breaker is rated to average working current ie a power point circuit is typically rated at 15-20 amps at the board, so you can get away with pulling higher current at the socket =)
i may just be confusing things now with this electricity stuff now haha

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that RCD is likely to have the wider earth socket that stops a 15A plug fitting a 10A socket. a quick tickle with a file makes them fit, but isn't the 'done' thing.... but is done very often !!

if you have decent sub-main in garage, get a sparky to wire up a grunty 15A plug circuit

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That jaycar thing has a rcbo (rcd+circuit breaker) so 10a trip and rcd protection. 

The actual conductor sizrs of the 10 and 15a plug are the same but if you are filing the plug down or changing plugs at least make sure the cable in the wall is thick enough 

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FYI you can go ~120 amps on your welder before those inline breaker thingies call it quits. We have them at work when only 10a is available.


At home I just run a 'special' short extension lead with 10a male and 15a female ends. Not legit I know..that way if a welder needs to go back under warranty no-one is asking about the filed down plug.

As far as 15a cabling goes I am no electrician, but as I understand it your 10a and 15a sockets are wired with the same size cable, the difference being that the 15a is a dedicated circuit off the board and the 10a sockets may have a handful of outlets off the same circuit - maybe someone can confirm?

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The fuse box/board is in the garage (under the house) so i can trace back the garage plugs to see what else is on the circuit. Would also be easy to get a 15A plug installed i guess.

Machinaryhouse is already on backorder for those Weldtech MIGs. Its a good price though.

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FYI all the people worried about 10a supply.

If you get an inverter welder you will be sweet. Last week at work i tested all of our welders for a long story...

1 was a hugong 200a inverter tig mig stick running off a 20m 10a lead fed from a 16a breaker. 15>10a modded plug.

The welder could not supply over 183a. Plugged it into the board and straight to 200a


200a cigweld all in 1 15a plug on a 30m lead, could not pull over 185a. Removed the lead. Straight to 200a

Etc etc etc.

180a at the tip is a lot of heat!

So get an inverter type welder and either

1 mod the plug -not legit warranty/insurance in a fire

2 buy the adpater with a 10a breaker

3 get your wiring checked and a 15a outlet fitted to an existing outlet

4 get a dedicated 15a outlet and cable fitted.


If your in taranaki i can help with 15a supply for beer money

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