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  1. #1
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    Default Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    If it looks too long to read, just skip to the part by the asterisks (*). LOL.

    I just started learning to weld a month or so back - I've wanted to for a long time, but finally made it a priority. A friend loaned me his 110v mig to play with. I'm ready to buy my own, but wish to purchase something I won't grow out of too quick. I've been reading all that I can and will probably take a class this fall or at least spend a bunch of Saturdays with a friend who welds for a living.

    My metal building is only wired for 110v and poorly at that. Eventually, I'll get 220v out to it, but want to start welding now, as getting 220v may take a while. That being said, there's a dedicated 220v plug about 50' or so from the metal building (for the master bedroom HVAC wall unit).

    I know that I could go w/ a mig and it'd be easier starting out, but I want to learn to stick weld, so I have my sights set on a stick welder, herein lies the question:

    ***Should I go w/ an older stick (220v) and run a long plug into the existing 220 outlet - knowing that I'd lose power and not be able to run the machine at it's full rated output, which really isn't a problem since I'll just be burning sticks to learn, for now. Are there other issues I should be aware of using a long power cord? Or is this an absolute no-no?

    ***Or should I go w/ something like the Everlast 140 dual voltage stick/tig welder, knowing that even at 220v it will only put out 140 amps, iirc - will I get frustrated w/ only 140 amps too soon? The price is in the ball park as the 220v stick welders I've been looking at, $229. I could at least be able to learn to weld and will have better (not much) amperage than 110v eventually. I know I'd be hoping that Everlast lasts and they honor their warranty. So some ifs involved here.

    In this area, 220v AC only (I know this is not as desirable as an AC/DC machine) machines go for $100-$200. The 220v AC/DC machines go for roughly $200-$400 for the older tried and true Lincolns and Millers.

    I found a Miller Thunderbolt 225v w/ 100' cord and leads for $100 - I know this is AC only. Lincoln tombstone AC only for $175. Should I hold out for the AC/DC machine as a beginner? How limited would I be w/ an AC only?

    I also found a Miller Dialarc 250P ac/dc w/ 100' welding lead and 30' ground for $350.

    And a Miller 225 AC/DC Thunderbolt for $300. The seller mentions that it has the variable adjustment versus the snap lock adjustment.

    For now I'll just be spending time learning to weld. Eventually I'll maintain/upgrade my tractor and implements and fix whatever else I manage to break on our property. Way in the future, I may look at building a trailer and gates, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    Clint.
    Last edited by Cacinok; 08-04-2011 at 10:11 PM. Reason: to avoid TL:DR
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  2. #2
    Advertiser Mark @ Everlast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    Clint,
    I can give you a special TBN deal. Just contact me at my number below.

    The 140 will still deliver enough power to handle 1/8" rods. And don't forget it comes with a TIG rig for steel and stainless.

    Having a DC welder, is a no brainer when compared to an AC only machine. AC and DC isn't really a bonus in my book either.

    Weighing in at less than 20 lbs, the 140 is much smaller and way more portable than anything else you have mentioned,

    But I'd still get the thuderbolt, tear it down and strip the cables down and sell it for scrap. You'll turn a slight profit. If its really this cheap, with that long of leads, I'd be careful though unless you know the person.
    Mark Lugo
    Everlast Welders
    http://www.everlastgenerators.com/

    Need a welder? Give me a call at (877) 755-9353 ext 204!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    Mark, thanks, I'm seriously leaning toward the Everlast 140 b/c of the dual voltage - I could use it now, and it'd be even better when I finally install 220 - I just needed some more opinions.

    The Thunderbolt w/ the 100' power cord is about 1.5 hours away, so I wasn't really excited to drive out and look at it. The price is cheap though.


    There are way more generator/welder machines around here for sale than 220v plug in machines - guess that's what happens when you live in the oil patch.
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    Watch CL for a couple weeks and you will find a good deal on a used AC or AC/DC basic welder. Don't worry about the distance as you will not lose enough power over that distance to matter, as long as you use a decent size extension cord. Our local Fleet Farm stores carry a pre-made one by Hobart, or you can make your own with the proper plugs and some 8ga Cu wire (or even 6 if you really want overkill).

    AC works fine for beginners, and you have the bonus that you can resell it for at least what you paid for it in the future, when you are looking to upgrade. The classic AC buzzboxes are out there by the billion and are easy to find and to sell.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    I would buy an old lincoln or miller ac only buzz box, and use a long cord. I have a 25 foot, 4 gauge cord for my lincoln ac 225, and it works just fine. I am not sure I would buy an everlast, becuase it will not last nearly as long as a tombstone. The ac only is fine for farm/hobby use, and it is just fine to start with.
    Never carry gasoline in your car trunk. If you do, atleast use some sort of container.
    -red green

  6. #6
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    I will throw in my 2 cents. I have the everlast PA160 it is a 220v welder only, my extension cord for the 220v is 30 ft long #8 SO cord. It works very well, I rarely use over 130 amps for anything I have ever done, usually lot less. I believer the duty cycle of my PA160 is higher than the new 140, but it wont run on 120v and does not come with the tig torch. I have a nice Lincoln buzzbox (225) I used for many years, I havent had it on since I got the Everlast over a year ago.. will never go back to AC.. (unless tig welding aluminum with HF). So to sum up In my humble non professional, not a very good welder,opinion.. DC is the way to go. It will instantly make a better looking bead, and make you look like you are a better welder than you are. You can rate my advice at about what you paid for it if you like. But that is my story and I am sticking to it. Good luck in your search.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    I would say , buy an inverter dc tig stick of what ever brand offers a built in Hot Start ( Thermal Arc for one ) or other. Strike and restrike on all rods happens instantly. Old Transformer units are hunt and peck to get the arc going and can be very frustrating for a beginner. Buying and hoping to upgrade is a hassle especially when the new inverters are very affordable with great warranties.At least weld with both before buying.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    I had no trouble starting the arc when learning to weld, and it was with a 20-30 year old lincoln. I agree dc is better, but I have to say for $100, get a tombstone and see how you like stick welding, it you like it, consider getting a dc machine, if you dont, you can sell it for what you payed for it. If you buy a new dc inverter, and find you hate stick welding, you can maby get half your money back. I also know a farmer who has a rectifier, made to convert an ac welder to a dc welder, he uses it with an ac miller thunderbolt, and it works great, that is another option if you buy a tombstone, and want dc.

    (I will hopefuly have DC before too long, going to get a lincoln SA-200 as a restoration project)
    Never carry gasoline in your car trunk. If you do, atleast use some sort of container.
    -red green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by deereman75 View Post
    I would buy an old lincoln or miller ac only buzz box, and use a long cord. I have a 25 foot, 4 gauge cord for my lincoln ac 225, and it works just fine. I am not sure I would buy an everlast, becuase it will not last nearly as long as a tombstone. The ac only is fine for farm/hobby use, and it is just fine to start with.
    +1 Lots of old Lincoln tombstones out there and they last forever. Why buy a new one, especially if you are just starting out? You may find that at first you have a lot of welding to do, but after that, the welder just sits.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which Stick Welder for a New Welder?

    Thanks for the info and opinions. Really good to know that long power leads are not a problem. Getting 220 to the metal building isn't as high on the list of things to do, needs to be done, just not as soon.

    Regarding the easier striking of an inverter unit, could you make striking the arc easier by turning up your amps a little? I know your facing burn through so you'd obviously have to be careful. In other words, how useful/necessary is the "hot start"?

    I have stick welded, a little. I managed to break my brush hog and my friend who welded it back together let me run some beads. So I know I'll like it, but it did seem a challenge to strike the arc - my friend told me that he should have turned up the amps to make it easier.

    As I mentioned earlier, I've always wanted to learn to weld, but never made it a priority. Now, I sit at the office wondering how early I can leave and go home and practice welding.

    @K0ua or anyone I'm not familiar w/ #8 SO cord. What is it?
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

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