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Thread: Harbor Freight/Northern Tool welders???

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    Colonel andytk5's Avatar
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    Default Harbor Freight/Northern Tool welders???

    Anybody have any experience or opinions abotu these? I know they are the cheap/entry level stuff and prob CHina made doodoo, but do they work? I have welded using mig before but was only exhaust stuff which is what I will mainly be doing. Using it for small bracketry/piping/light guage steel stuff, just basic truck repair, maybe a frame mount/shock mount once in a while..

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    Modertator swbradley1's Avatar
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    If you do a search you will find at least one thread discussing HF and NT welders as well as a plethora of others.

    I myself have a Forney 250Amp stick welder and am looking to get a Millermatic 211.

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    Or look at it this way; do you feel comfortable using a high power electrical device with the capability to electrocute you that was made by the lowest of the lowest bidders?
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    I love my little NT 110v welder!!

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    HF / NT aren't bad for things like wrenches, but anything with moving parts is a gamble at best! I used to have a variety of impact tools, drills, sanders, etc. from both. They're all dead after only occasional use.

    The Hobart is a very decent machine though, despite where you buy it.

    Personally, I LOVE my Lincoln.

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    Good info on that, yeah I saw some 17.00 impacts, and cheap air wrenches but didnt get them thinking just that. Prob will get the Home Depot or Lowes 60gal air compressor for under 400.00 unless you guys have some serious negative input on it??

    Sorry about that, I will have to try searching again to find that. That is a point about the electrucution, but prob more to due with being safe I would guess, just curious about people's experiences with them, thanks guys!

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    Modertator swbradley1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetnoise400 View Post
    Or look at it this way; do you feel comfortable using a high power electrical device with the capability to electrocute you that was made by the lowest of the lowest bidders?

    I feel just as safe as our pilots did flying military aircraft that were procured the same way.

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    Personally, I do not recommend these HF units. For about $200 you can go to Home depot or Lowes and get a lincoln mig / wire feed unit that runs off 110V. Think it's model 125. That's what I paid for mine for wire feed only, then recently upgraded it with the mig kit (another $150 w/o tank) to be able to do lighter stuff.

    The HF ones have a short duty cycle, you can weld for 5 minutes, then let it cool for 30 before you weld again. I had one for a day, never again.

    Not sure about the northern ones, but spend the money to get a good one with a larger duty cycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blybrook View Post
    Personally, I do not recommend these HF units. For about $200 you can go to Home depot or Lowes and get a lincoln mig / wire feed unit that runs off 110V. Think it's model 125. That's what I paid for mine for wire feed only, then recently upgraded it with the mig kit (another $150 w/o tank) to be able to do lighter stuff.

    The HF ones have a short duty cycle, you can weld for 5 minutes, then let it cool for 30 before you weld again. I had one for a day, never again.

    Not sure about the northern ones, but spend the money to get a good one with a larger duty cycle.

    My $500 Lincoln from Lowes only has a 6 minute duty cycle.

    You are not getting 100% duty cycle for cheap.

    The HF MIG welders are fine if not abused. Its just a big transformer. HF welding tools (tig, Mig, Oxy) are rated pretty highly. Google is your friend.

    Most people trash HF stuff because they DIDN'T pay $1k for it and don't baby it like they would a name brand.
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    I ran 3 or 4 10lbs spools of wire thought my HF mig, it always worked fine for me. It's a 160 or 170 amp 220 volt one. As for there air tools I have a bunch. Same thing they always work for me.

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