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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Harborfreight wire feed welder

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4 replies to this topic

#1 ihscout54


    Subaru Fanatic!

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  • Prescott, AZ

Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:14 PM

I just picked up one of those super cheapy Central Machine "reconditioned" wire feeds for $43 at the HF sidewalk sale. It seems to work ok, though I am used to my Lincoln. I really didnt need it but it was so cheap I couldnt resist.
There is 2 things that bug me about it. The wire/arc is always hot, the trigger only controls the feed. Thats pretty lame. And there is no internal fan. :-\
Anyone else out there play with the HF welders? Are they pretty bad? Odds are good the only use it will get is the test I just gave it but, you never know.

#2 bratman18



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  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

I have one. They aren't great and I too am used to using a Lincoln, but it has worked well for several little projects for me. I also really wish they hadn't made the wire hot at all times and an internal fan would have been awesome!!

#3 Gloyale


    It's a sickness

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  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 14 June 2009 - 10:48 AM

Mine lasted about 3 or 4 hours of working. then the speed control on the motor failed.

Never again.

Lincoln from now on.

#4 ihscout54


    Subaru Fanatic!

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  • Prescott, AZ

Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:43 PM

Its such a "crap" shoot there. Alot of their stuff is the same as whats at walmart, just in an ulgier box. I have an angle grinder I bought 10 years ago (one of the old green ones) I have been relentless with that noisy heavy POS and I cant kill it. I have a ratchet set few years old, its been great... And they are not bad about taking stuff back here.
But the list of things I have not been happy with is longer. If I were to add up all the losses on the "crap" shoot. I could have had much better stuff, just not as big a variety.
The things I remeber being bad:
HVLP airless paint sprayer (useless, absolutly useless)
5 speed little drill press (weak motor at best, but has lasted)
Fuel injection pressure tester (broke first time)
fancy tire inflator/gauge (worked great for 3 months)
cordless power tool set (haha, yea, one of the few things I returned, next day)
countless bits blades disks and pads (they suck!) exept the grinding wheels.
rolling tool bag (3 months of daily use max)
solar lights (well, I knew better)
the list could go on and on! But still you have so much fun getting all those "amazing deals" I just cant stop myself. :rolleyes:

#5 GeneralDisorder


    Elite Master of the Subaru

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  • Portland

Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:16 PM

I have one of their 115v mig boxes. Mine is a few years old - they seemingly don't make it anymore but at one time their smaller 115v unit could be configured with gas which I did. I purchased a quality 80/20 bottle and regulator (to go with my "nice" Miller that I planned on getting at a later date [and did recently]).

It welds *ok* if you already know how to weld. I wouldn't sugest it for someone that's learning.

The major problem I had was that the unit was designed before they switched to the push-in style tubing connectors for the gas tubing and the wire feed sheath on the gun end. I had to dissasemble the cheap thing, shorten the power lead and put on a new lug in order to get more length for the gas tubing and wire sheath. I then had to glue them into the gun head. After that ordeal it works decent. It can't weld much over 3/16" without multiple passes but I would say it was worth the $150 I paid for it - I've got my money out of it I'm sure.

I put it back to flux cored wire when I got my Miller 230v unit. It's nice for repairs and friends houses or across the yard where I can't get 230v but that's about it.

Their newer one's look better designed on the gun end with the push-lock tubing fittings - if you buy gas for them they do a decent job and are great for those that only occasionally weld something. As I said before though - if you are learning try to find someone to teach you that has a decent quality setup. These make learning more frustrating than it should be.


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