Tigmate vs. Squarewave 175 pro vs. Miller SyncrowaveŽ 180
I am in the process of buying a Tig set up. I have narrowed it down to the Hobart tigmate and the Lincoln squarewave Tig 175 pro or the Miller Syncrowave 180. The lincoln goes down to 8 amps on it's lowest setting, the Hobart only goes down th 20 amps and the Miller goes down to 10 amps. The high side is almost the same. I will be doing some light sheet metal, like floorboards in cars, but mostly Chrome moly and mild steel roll cage in race/street cars. The Miller is about $200 more than the Lincoln, and $400 more than the Hobart. Is it worth saving $200 to $400? Which would you recomend?
Last edited by Mike Patton; 01-19-2003 at 05:04 PM.
Out of those two welders I would pick the Lincoln.I would pick a Miller 180 over those two,and the Esab 161 ac/dc inverter over all the others.If you shop around they can get real close in price,but not in performance.My .02 cents again.Try to get a demo then you will know,that you did not make a mistake.Good welding stores will let you try before you buy.
I will tell about what I know here instead of at my email,because I deleted your message,by mistake.
The Hobart I have not welded with,but I have welded with the
Econotig,and Its ok.Nothing thick at all or it just snaps off from it's low duty cycle.The Lincoln is better than the Econotig but still suffers from not enough amps to weld thick stuff.To me a transformer machine needs 200 amps to really get the puddle going in thick stuff.The only machine in the class that can do thicker the thicker stuff is the Esab inverter.It really has some neat things going for it.Since you say you only can find Miller,Hobart,Lincoln,That only leaves one to pick from as far as I can tell.That would be the new Redesigned Syncrowave 180 only because of the adjustable balance control.That one has more going for it than the other machines you asked about.I haven't welded with that one,but lots of people on this board have.Atleast with the older model of it.So I think it's up to you to make the call.None of the welders are bad so don't worry about that.
First of all, since your wanting to TIG thin sheetmetal, probably somewhere around at least 20ga. or thinner, I recommend that you remove the Tigmate from your list of machines. Reason being because the DC side of the machine only goes down to 30 amps which is going to make welding this thin material very difficult. The lower amperage on the Miller 180 or Lincoln 175 is going to give you much better control over the weld puddle on this thin material.
Now between the Miller 180 and the Lincoln 175 the Miller is the better overall machine because of all the features that it offers over the lincoln. Plus, the Miller has a much better duty cycle. Where are you pricing these machines at? My local supplier quoted me about the exact same price for both machines. Wanted the Miller but the wife said NO , so I took what she said yes to,which was a Miller Econotig. The Econotig works for me, because I mainly wanted a machine for 16ga. - 1/8" mild steel and stainless steel.
I use a Lincoln 175 at work and overall it is a good machine. I have noticed sometimes though that the arc does have some difficulty stabilizing quickly at the lower end of the amperage range on the machine. The one thing that I like about the Lincoln 175 over the Miller 180 is the fact that the Lincoln comes with a 125 amp torch with a gas lens assembly. Where as, the Miller 180 comes with a bulkier 150 amp torch, which isn t very good for tight quarters. Now, as I stated , I m able to get both machines for the same price and the Miller comes with all those extra features, so replacing the 150 amp torch with a 125 amp torch as an extra additional cost is no problem to me. By the way, my Econotig came with the same 150 amp torch as the Miller 180, and I was able to get a 125 amp Miller torch for it with a 25 ft cable for $52. If I remember right others have got it for about $60 to $70. Now you dont have to buy a Miller TIG torch, I just happen to like the design of the torch. Also, for the lighter work that your wanting to do, you might think about a 80 to 100 amp torch too for very tight areas.
In the end, as Scott has already stated, the best way to get the machine that will possibly best meet your needs is to test drive all the machines that you are considering.