Vulcan Welders, Who has tried one?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MJS, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    I have to replace a Lincoln 180C MIG which was stolen. Harbor Freight has a new line of Vulcan welders with a one year satisfaction guarantee. Their Migmax 215 compares with the Millermatic 211 and is a few dollars less than the Lincoln 180. The Lincoln served me well but I wouldn't mind the higher output of the Miller.

    Almost always used with gas from 18ga to 1/4" steel (I use stick on occasion to 3/8"). I don't need multi-process as I have an Alpha TIG. And since I'm off-grid an inverter machine is going to be better than a transformer due to limited power input.

    So, anyone purchased a HF Vulcan welder? Thoughts on the machine and consumables?

    TIA
    #1
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  2. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

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    Sorry, no experience with that welder. To me, when you say welder, all I understand is Miller or Lincoln. I did have a little backpack welder from McCoulach (sp) that I used to run up ladders with to tack up frames for unit heaters but even that is gone now. Bought longer cables.
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  3. TeneRay

    TeneRay Shlong Timer

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    From a manufacturing and engineering standpoint, the Vulcan's are probably not too far behind a name brand like Lincoln or Miller. Most likely if Miller or Lincoln moved manufacturing to China, they could sell just above Vulcan's MSRP. It's probably still too early to judge the Vulcan's performance since they just released not too long ago but pushing an one year satisfaction like that for a new product that's obviously Chinese, it's probably not too bad. You can spend the few extra hundred and get a Lincoln MP210 with the 3/5 warranty. I've been rocking my MP210 or a few years and it's pretty good. People been praising the other import brands like Everlast and AHP so Vulcan ought to stand up to the rest. I can understand not everyone can afford a red or blue box but people need to realize technology nowadays moves at the speed of light. Once one person comes out with something state-of-the-art, the other guy is right behind them and they just volley back and forth. It's very likely the internals are supplied by one manufacturer and it goes into ten different brand machines. Now you're just paying for a name.
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  4. OscarJr

    OscarJr n00b

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  5. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I guess no one has bit yet?
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  6. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    I went ahead and bought one. Figured there was not much to loose with a one year satisfaction guarantee. I'll try in out in a few days.
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  7. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I had the e-mail coupon that I posted and when we got home from vacation my wife handed me the circular that was in the mail while we were gone with the coupon right on top.... I'm taking that as both and omen and approval.
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  8. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    Do it!
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  9. DonM

    DonM Do-dah Do-dah Supporter

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    Be the beta tester for us!
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  10. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat Super Supporter

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    Unless it is a coupon specifically for a welder, the 20% off normally seen in magazines and others I have seen exclude welders. If I am incorrect, please let me know.
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  11. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    You're correct. However it pays to ask. When I went to get my welder I had a mobile coupon for $50 off. Pulled it up on my phone and the coupon had changed to$30 off with a new expiration date. So I asked for the original discount. Manager asked if I was an inside track club member. I wasn't. So he says if I join there is a coupon for 20% off of any Vulcan product. Let's see, $30 membership fee for 20% off a$600 item. That's a no brainier.
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  12. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat Super Supporter

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    The 20% coupon I saw for September is for Vulcan accessories or consumables as I read it, all a matter of interpretation. I will give them a call and maybe............
    Good for you if they did a deal for you :clap. I know sometimes for an inside track member they will add incentives.
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  13. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    You don't need to be an inside track member but it helps.... If you are a steady/good customer the manager will bend the rules.
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  14. biggziff

    biggziff Funk Soul Bruvah

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    I'm tempted to buy the 200 amp (uh huh) Inverter Tig unit. I need AC and DC tig. I've only found a couple reviews on it. Nothing terrible yet.
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  15. miguelitro

    miguelitro I like the ads, in fact, give me more ads.

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    I am considering the multi process unit but I wonder what TIG accessories I can get for it. I may try it and if I am not satisfied I will return it (as much as it feels a little shady). If I like it and it passes the test of "time" I will certainly let the world know.

    Mike
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  16. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    OK so I am getting close to pulling the trigger on one of these and I notice that it does not include a TIG torch. TIG torches are anywhere between $100-$500. The Alpha Tig does include everything.
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  17. biggziff

    biggziff Funk Soul Bruvah

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    The protig does include a Tig torch, but the multi-process unit does not. The Alpha is not a muti-process unit.
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  18. HOTPASS

    HOTPASS F*ck cancer.

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    I don't want to be "that" guy. But I'd like to give some input as a professional welder.

    The problem with HF and other cheap import machines is two fold.

    Problem #1. You have approximately zero after sales service. Unless something has changed AHP has one guy that can service your machine in the USA, and your gonna pay for shipping back and forth to him. There is no running down to the local LWS for a new 6 pin whip connector, or a new drive reel. If it breaks your SOL.

    Problem #2 almost without fail they come with the most garbage leads, ground clamps, TIG torches, stick stingers, hard plastic gas lines, everything that's attached to the machine. By the time you replace them with some half serviceable you could have bought a Lincoln mp210, squarewave 200, esab Rebel(which actually still has junk leads) or the new miller multi.


    I'm no diehard red or blue guy. I've used them all and loved and hated them all, but when it comes to welding, you really do get what you pay for. Learning TIG is gonna be 100 times easier with a good quality torch without all that ergo shaped crap, and a good super flex TIG hose is gonna help even more. Same with stick stingers that don't go loose and wobbly after 2hrs.


    If your gonna buy low end import. Me and everyone I've ever worked with agrees the Longevity and everlast are about the bottom of the barrel to still be serviceable. Mind you, they both have legendary shitty customer service.

    Miller service is bar non amazing. I restored an obscure 1964 miller engine drive machine and called them up for info. A guy literally said give me an hour. He dug through a warehouse of old dusty files and mailed me photocopies of the OG service manual. For a worldwide company to do that is pretty amazing. Everyone has stores like this with the blue guys in Appleton.

    It's also insanely helpful knowing every single decent sized town in the county has Lincoln, miller, esab, thermal arc, etc service centers and parts at every welding shop. Yes... this shit pays my bills so it's different, but even for hobby use that would be massive for protecting my machine investment whether $800 or $12,000


    Sorry to be that guy.
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  19. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    Don't be sorry. When I had my shop with the exception of one esab machine we were all red or blue. But being retired in a place that is a150 miles from the LWS nothing has local service. I can get gas delivered but other than some 60xx rod there's nothing local. I hated to give up my Lincoln 350 amp TIG but no way to run that on my solar system. The AlphaTig works and gives me enough capabilities to do what I want/need to do.

    I've been welding with the HF Migmaster for a few days now and I'm happy with it. Works well for what it is and it's inexpensive enough that I won't cry if something happens to it when the 3 year warranty is up.
    #19
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  20. HOTPASS

    HOTPASS F*ck cancer.

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    That sounds to me like the perfect situation and mentality to have with these machines. Keeping expectations low can provide some nice surprises. It always pains me when people buy them trying to save a buck and expecting the red/blue use experience.

    I was very plesently suprised with the actually weld/arc quality of the AHP, and I like they keep it simple with a ton of pot dials. The leads are just the worst though,hah.


    I'd be very interested to hear how much a single phase 200amp machines draws from a solar power system. That's pretty cool, and certainly cheaper than running an engine drive all the time. I had to do that for a few years when I didn't have a shop. Everything had to be powered by my ancient miller gennie machine. I was Hemorrhaging money.
    #20