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Harbor Frieght Tig welder

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by the metalsurgeon, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,238

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

    ok i curious about the portable Tig welder from harbor frieght ,does anyone have one?how does it perform?
    I already have a Miller 180 sd which is superb.I do,occasionally work on site at customers workshops.this tig welder could come in handy ?
    any feedfack appreciated?
  2. hotrod-Linkin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,382


    won't last very long.
  3. LarzBahrs
    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 759

    from Sacramento

    Did you get the one that switches from flux core to reg wire? I bought one for 40 dollars at a yard sale and even though it works, I rather have my linde running.
  4. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    from illinois

    he said TIG not MIG.

  5. SniffnPaint
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 434


    I would never buy anything from HF that has moving or electrical 2 cents.
  6. Rot'nRodder
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 145


  7. Check out tigs by Everlast. I just got a Tig/Plasma and love it. My buddy has the same machine for about two years now and never has a problem.
  8. your going to take a harbor freight tool to a jobsite? that'd be funny:eek:
  9. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    I think everyone hates harbor freight for no good reason, just that it puts "decent" tools in the shade tree mechanics hands for 1/4 of the price of anyone else's chinese crap!!I suggest you buy it, if it breaks return it if its OK keep it.They garrentee (?) all there stuff. go for experience then you'll find out if its ok or not.
    I personally have a ton of shit from HF & never had a problem
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  10. mottsrods
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 742


    Stay away from it....go buy you a Miller Maxstar 150STL... 115v and 220v, dc stick and dc tig only though... but only weighs about 15 lbs.
  11. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,028

    from Auburn WA

    i got my miller syncrowave tig off c-list.

    Half price, and it came with a bottle. Still had the display plastic bag hangin on it.
  12. I assume that it's like every other product they sell- it's completely unserviceable. When it breaks- it's done.
  13. Left Turn
    Joined: Nov 13, 2009
    Posts: 634

    Left Turn
    Member Emeritus
    from Omaha, NE

    I don't hate Harbor Freight they have great disposable tools.. I would never buy anything that I would have to do percision work with from them...

    I usually just buy tools to cut up, weld on, heat, bend, etc from them... I did buy a gantry crane and a couple engine stands from them.. But I replace all the bolts with grade 8's...

    As for a welder I'd go with a Miller unit, or something from Snap On... Always had good luck with my Snap On welders..

    Check Craig's List too you might find something nice for good $$..
  14. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim

    I would buy an air tool or electric grinder but I would NEVER buy or use a welder from HF !

  15. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,238

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

    its what you do with, and how you operate the tool in conjunction with your skill level.ok yes its a harbor freight product and if it happens to work great,put a sticker of your favorite disneyland character over the HB decal!if your that vain.
    Ive worked with guys that buy only Snap-on planishing hammers because of the name only,when there is equally good metal hammers out there on the market......and the funny thing is they may as well use it as an ornament to look at as they cant use it.
    the question was 'has anyone used these machines'

    thank you for everyone elses comments.i was just curious about the product,but if i needed to get another Tig id be looking at some of your suggestions.

    thanks all.
  16. if you do try one out and it perfoms the way you need it to cool, if not you can always return it. and by chance it does work then buy the extended warranty. post your results here good or bad as tool feedback is always needed.
  17. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    I know I'm not answering your question, I just like Harbor Freight. I buy a lot of disposables and other tools too, there because of the price. I guess I've been lucky with Harbor Freight stuff in general. I have their flux-core wire-feed, the lowest price one they had. It has performed without a glitch, have ran three of the BIG reels of wire through it in about 5? years, forget when I got it. The only maintenance I have had to do on it is replace the copper tip that the wire slides through every once in a while, and clean the shield on the tip. It's my opinion that's the nature of the beast, not who made the machine.
  18. slamdpup
    Joined: Apr 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,094


    same the waranty people...i got a new 220 mig welder today..with a 2 year waranty..for $180...if it fucks up..then i will take it back and get another for the next 2 years..knock on wood all my tools have lasted me..
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,171


    Ramps to put the 180SD in the back of a pickup truck or on a small trailer are cheaper and will last longer. My 250DX has gone on-site a few times.
  20. diggers4life
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 202


    My wife's grandpa has a Harbor Freight portable TIG welder. I've used it a few times, and it works ok. We have Miller welders at work, and it's not near as nice as welding with one of those machines. But if you're just doing hobby stuff at home, it probably wouldn't be that bad.

    It does have an issue though. When you turn it on, it trips the circut breaker. When you flip the breaker back on (with the welder still on), the breaker stays on, and everything's fine. Something's obviously not quite right with the wiring inside the welder.

    Few things to think about:
    1) If it breaks, I don't think there is anyone who services them.
    2) It has a short duty cycle. I don't know exactly how long it is, but if I remember right, it's not long. Might want to check on that.
    3) Consumables might be hard to find. (Parts for the torch: cups, collets, things like that.)

    If it was me, I'd save my money and buy a quality machine that will last for many years. I think you'll be happier in the long run. :)
  21. stlouisgasser
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 673


    I've always been told to purchase the same kind of welder or computer printer that your employer has at work! You save a bunch of money on the inevitable consumables in the long run: Tungsten, gas cups, etc.,or.......printer ink! Seriously though, if you have a little bit of time to wait, just keep watching Craigslist and the cities within a 200-250 miles radius or so. Lots of things like welders and other equipment popping up for sale because of this terrible economy. About two years ago, I purchased one of the small Miller 200-amp portable "suitcase" TIG Welders from Craigslist for 'bout $900. It was the TIG welder that I always lusted for but NEVER thought I'd own because of the high price of brand new ones. Good things really do come to those who wait!
  22. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950


    Nothing wrong with Harbor Freight tools. They are just chinese made and not name brand so alot of guys are bias. I used to buy strickly craftsmen till 3 years ago. Now i buy any tool that has a lifetime gaurantee. They all break and as long as they replace it with another i'll buy it. My welder is from walmart. Ive had it 7 years now. Its supposed to be a short cycle but i use it till im done. Payed 200 bucks and its payed for itself.
  23. Kenny P
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 450

    Kenny P

    I've had cheapest welder they sell for 6 years now, built over 20 bicycle frames and a few repairs on a motorcycle frame with it and not a failure. It is messy though, nothin' a little grinding won't fix. :rolleyes:
  24. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,238

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

    thats a fair point ,thanks !
  25. youngrodder1929
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 429

    from Vancouver

    keep to miller and lincoln you will be glad you did
  26. tudorkeith
    Joined: May 10, 2009
    Posts: 454


    I can vouge for their hammers. they work well and are cheaper.. don't think I'd chance a tig or any other weldr from HF
  27. If you're a skilled welder, you can probably make it serve it's purpose as well as any other unit, but quality wise it's more suited to occasional, hobby use than something you want to rely on to make your living with. Just the nature of the beast. I've broken HF tools, Craftsman tools, even Snap-on tools, some break easier than others but they can all be broken. HF I've ended up with better stuff a few times when they were out of stock on exactly what I broke, so I can't complain. Buy the warranty if you go with their unit.
  28. yardgoat
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 724


    Ive bought small stuff from HF but something you need to depend on i dont know.Has anyone delt with there customer service ? And if it broke how long till its made good ?If you do a lot of welding i wouldnt even consider it,they might back it up but when?2months or more you could have bought a name brand for the money and time lost.Not counting shipping ect.Ive bought cheep stuff that lasted and stuff that broke looking at it,i would say ITS A COIN TOSS.Good luck....................YG
  29. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that. I would of spit it all over the screen. Thanks for the laugh. :eek:

    Let's not even joke about stealing like that. Not cool at all. Really. :eek:
  30. Jim Sideways
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 141

    Jim Sideways
    from Ohio

    WTF? HF TIG...... Anything with a motor or somekind of circuit board from HF... You are just asking for problems. By the way I have some nice land for sale down south if you are interested....... Don't get it. You get what you pay for. I would say you are paying for a headache Stay with Lincoln JMO!!!

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