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01-26-2013, 08:52 AM #1
Current value of a Miller TB AC/DC
I know there are a lot of threads out there on this topic (value of used welders) and prices seem to be all over the place.
So thought I would toss it out there yet again to see if this particular welder is in the ballpark.
I've got an old Forney AC 180 amp welder that I paid all of $50 for, but everywhere I turn I hear DC...DC...DC...
I even read a post that said "flip the switch to DC and cut the switch off" (or something to that effect).
So of course this local ad for a Miller Thurnderbolt AC/DC peaked my interest.
Seller is asking $299 and I'm curious what the current "fair" market value might be.
01-26-2013, 09:35 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2007
- SW OH - near Dayton, OH
- Kubota L285
Re: Current value of a Miller TB AC/DC
That photo is an older top crank Thunderbolt ( I have one). Current Thunderbolt (and its Hobart twin Stickmate) have the cranks on the front. Price is at absolute high end of what I would be willing pay for an older one like that. $250 or less is much more realistic for one that old IMOP. Cherry shape, extra long leads, etc. could change that...rough shape and price goes down.
Do not let everyone rag on your AC only Forney machine: They work fine for a occasional use hobbyist. Frankly that Forney of yours will still be working when many other welders have crapped out. First, nothing lasts longer than an AC welder and yours has zero moving parts in it so no adjustment knobs or cranks to ever fail. Granted, DC will work a bit better (not earth shattering better) and you can run some speciality rods on DC (e.g. hardfacing rods which I never use). Frankly now that I have DC I run the same rods that I ran when I only had AC (7014, 6011, and a touch of 6013). IMOP DC biggest advantage over AC on a buzzbox welder is at the settings less than 60 amps or so when trying to weld thinner metals (if you lack a wire feeder). DC is just more stable at really low amp settings and you can reverse polarity to help with burn through on thin stuff. Otherwise at amp settings above 75 amps then you might notice 10% to 15% improvement over AC.
DC is supposedly easier on "Out of Position welding" but I suck equally at OOP regardless of AC or DC so...little benefit to me anyway.
Of course if you want to add a scratch start tig torch then you will need DC....and the Miller Thunderbolts or Hobart Stickmates are the best choices for that as far as buzzboxes go due to the infinite amp adjustments over tapped settings. That said, if you are wanting to get serious with tig welding down the road then there are better welders to buy for that instead of the buzzboxes. Adding a cheap tig rig to a buzzbox sometimes makes sense if you already own a buzzbox, but buying a buzzbox to purposely add a tig rig to it then not so much - there are better choices for tig.
Last edited by rankrank1; 01-26-2013 at 09:59 AM.
01-26-2013, 09:53 PM #3
Hey first off I think the thunderbolts are great. I run the stew out of one and it is just a great little machine. As far as the value beauty is in the eye of the beholder. New prices are pretty straight across the board, so look at it compared to new and best of luck. The whole ac or dc argument is not that big a deal to me. I measure things in feeding my ego or feeding my family. Dc is nice, but I can weld nice, sound, pretty welds with ac. If I get a job and they have welder on site I'll weld with it, buzzbox or whatever.
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