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An honest opinion of the Chinese brands...

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  • An honest opinion of the Chinese brands...

    Im sure there will be a few people on this forum who will try and make some smart azz remarks about this post, but I can accept that :} ..

    Heres my story :

    I decided to take a chance and purchase a 3 in 1 Simadre plasma cutter off of ebay { plasma, tig, stick } for $499.00 delivered to my door. I also purchased a chinese air compressor { Homier} off of ebay for $149 delivered which was a 15 gallon/ 4 hp compressor/ 110 volt.

    Ive had this unit for about 3 weeks now and Ive used it constantly { made a welding cart a Wood stove and am working on building a storm shelter made out of 14 gauge galvanzied culvert.

    I have nothing but positive things to say, so far, with its performance and price tag. I have used the stick welder and the plasma cutter for the last 3 weeks and they seem to work flawlessly { I havent used the tig welder and may never need to, so I cant comment on that aspect of the unit} .

    I run my compressor at 70 psi for the plasma cutter and it easily cuts thru 7 gauge flat steel plate. If this unit performs this well, even for only a few years, I will still be satisfied with the $499 I spent on it. In fact, its one of the most usefull things ive purchased, in recent years, for under $500.

    On a final note, I built a very cool welding cart for the unit which allows it to sit on the top of the cart { along with my seperate mig welder } and then I built a shelf attached to the cart, but behind it, which my air compressor sits on. This keeps the air compressor close to the plasma cutter unit and I only need 3 feet of air hose to go from the compressor to the plasma cutter air intake coupling.

    If anyone has any questions about my unit, I will try and answer them. So far, I am very satisified and even emailed the ebay seller yesterday, to tell him how happy I was with this unit. IMHO, if China continues to make products that perform this well, at such a low price { compared to American brands} , our country will not be able to compete anytime soon. My best friend has a Miller plasma cutter { and thats all it is...plasma cutter} and he payed over $2000 for it a few years ago and Its very big and heavy. Probably weighs about $100 lbs and is on 4 wheels { but his unit will cut 1" thick steel plate, where my unit will only cut 1/2" thick } and my unit weighs about 27 lbs and is the same size as a compact coreless flux mig welder.

  • #2
    From my understanding there are good Chinese company's over there and some not even good. I not complain. Our Enco mill would still be to tolerance if it weren't for the previous operator. I wont use there plumbing on our furnace. Can't keep the fittings from leaking. Still have most of a set of wrenches. The 9/16 has opened a tad but that was from loosening hot nuts. They make good fireworks but they don't know squat about steel as far as I'm concerned.


    • #3
      Hey electrum,
      Glad to hear you are having success with your new unit. Yes, there will be those who will castigate you for purchasing an import. I also have several imported units in my stable, a Riland WSE200P AC/DC TIG/Stick and a Riland MIG250L spoolgun MIG, and a Giant Tech ARC200 DC stick unit I purchased from member Grappletractor here on this forum. I use the WSE strictly for TIG for the classic/show car items(AL D/Plate) I fabricate and custom steel & SS items. It has performed flawlessly in the last 2 yrs and I have gone thru almost 100 lbs of TIG rod so far. The MIG250L has digested near 150 2lb rolls of S-6 without a hiccup and my "lunchbox" ARC200 DC stick unit has burned over 120 lbs of 6010/11/13, 7018/24, & NIrod. These last 2 units reside in my mobile unit and the TIG is in the shop.

      I am a dedicated Miller owner and use them religiously daily at my home shop and use a Lincoln 255 MIG at my employer and they have never let me down and, at times, pound them relentlessly. I needed to expand my operation and acquire additional units, thus the purchase of the Rilands & Giant Tech, and maintain a cost-effective solution for expansion. My main point here is to emphasize that you MUST do some homework/research on any equipment to determine if it will be a value to you and be reliable for your application. For those who condemn some of these units, they are unfair because they have never use any particular one, read the faults of those who have had problems, and assume they are all junk. Yes, some are junk, non-reliable, some with problems due to shipping issues. And yes, there are those that are a value, work very well, and are quite cost-effective for those who are "hobby" welders or "newbies" getting their feet wet. There is place for these imports if one really evaluates their usage for themselves.

      Lastly, I will say that my choices have been quite satisfying, paid themselves off at least 5 times over, and would not hesitate to get another if needed. And that is for ALL the units I own, not just the imports. Anyway, just MHO and personal experience...... Denny
      Complete weld/mach./fab shop
      Mobile unit

      "A man's word is his honor...without honor, there is nothing."

      "Words are like bullets.... once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back."

      "I have no hesitation to kill nor reservation to die for the American Flag & the US Constitution."


      • #4
        My Riland Cut40 Plasma Cutter continues to be my ready and able little helper, and I use it frequently.
        "Good Enough Never Is"


        • #5
          I currently own a Longevity Super 160P, and after an initial problem, which was quickly addressed, the unit has performed beyond my expectations. I can't remember the last time I have used my O/A torch, when it is so much quicker, cleaner, and easier to user the plasma cutter. I got the unit because I wanted to learn TIG welding, and also wanted a plasma cutter, and at a third of what I would have had to pay to get the same capabilities in a US made units, I found it well worth the money spent.

          Lincoln Idealarc 250 (early 60's model)
          Lincoln Weldpac 100
          Hobart Stickmate 235 AC
          Hobart Champion 4500
          Longevity 160P Tig/Stick/Plasma


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hotfoot View Post
            My Riland Cut40 Plasma Cutter continues to be my ready and able little helper, and I use it frequently.
            So you are happy with your purchase of the Riland? No problems getting consumables or parts?
            This is the type of information I was looking for in my post. Thanks for starting this one.
            Hobart Handler 175
            Hypertherm PowerMax 380
            Victor OA
            Bridgeport vertical mill
            Logan 820 lathe
            Home built 10hp RPC
            Rockwell 28-300 vbs
            Powermatic 1200 drillpress
            Craftsman 150 drillpress
            Sanborn 80 gal 5 hp 2 stage compressor
            Wells saw 8M bandsaw
            U.S Navy Submarine Service Retired
            Industrial Electrician by trade.


            • #7
              I returned it (to Riland USA in California, which is areal place, staffed by knowledgeable techs, who talk to you on the phone), and after getting it checked over determined that it was probably a consumable on the torch that simply needed removing and re-tightening (operator error).

              It has been a flawless unit, other than that flub of mine. I did, on the recommendation of the tech, buy the Cut 60 torch, which is totally different. It was one of those "might as well" decisions on my part, but I have the original Cut 40 torch and consumables sitting in a box should that assembly ever give me a problem.

              I feel that for $600.00 (Including shipping) I paid for it, it has been great. the only reason I sold my TD Cutmaster 38 was it just wasn't up to the task of cutting oxygen cylinders, and the Cut 40 is...although I continue to explore ways to get a super clean cut (abrasive blades now, perhaps a lather cutting head next). The Thermal Dynamics was a super unit...I should have bought the Cutmaster 51 to start with...but I didn't....DO NOT UNDER-BUY!!!
              "Good Enough Never Is"


              • #8

                Is it's an honest opinion of Chinese brands, or of Chinese welding power sources that you want?

                Generally speaking, the product reflects the manufacturing process. Products made in China in factories that are registered to the applicable ISO standards, with correct engineering, quality control and assurance processes that are adequate, made from raw materials that meet the product specification, are excellent. This is usually reflected in the price.

                Conversely, products intended to be made as cheap knock-offs of American (or other Chinese) made goods are what you would expect - junk. This is also reflected in the price; pennies vs. dollars!

                An example I like to cite is the local irrigation district's made-in-China (circa 1938) Pelton-wheel design hydroelectric generator. It has run for 50 years, and will probably run for 100 more.

                I don't know how old you are, but if you're old enough to remember Japanese goods from the post WWII era, before W. Edwards Deming established quality control, and then look at today's Honda, you would understand.

                ...from the Gadget Garage
                MM 210 w/3035, BWE
                HH 210 w/DP 3035
                Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
                Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...


                • #9
                  You are correct, I shoulda titled this thread my honest opinion of my chinese brand :

                  anyways, I have used this for about a month and built a woodstove, welding cart and am in the process of building a underground storm shelter made from culvert.

                  There is a small air leak around the air regulator where the plastic bowl screws into the regulator unit...but its not any thing major.

                  also, today when using the plamsa cutter, it started to only work intermientenlty and I thought to myself " UH OH" ...SOMETHING MAJOR IS GOING WRONG"..

                  well it turns out it was a very simple problem. There is a small metal pin that goes thruthe thumb trigger of the plasma gun. This pin backed itself out a bit of its hole and the thumb trigger wasnt making contact correctly to kick in the plasma cutter. I pushed the pin back in, and epoxied it so that wont be a problem again.

                  So still very pleased for a 3 in 1 unit for $499 shipped. Just for a Amercina made plasma cutter with simliar specs, it would cost around $1200. Hopefully I will not have to use the 1 year warranty and Im only a hobbyist who doesnt use it everyday, 8 hrs a day out in the field. For that type of intense work, it may not be ideal.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EdKing View Post
                    I currently own a Longevity Super 160P, and after an initial problem, which was quickly addressed, the unit has performed beyond my expectations. I can't remember the last time I have used my O/A torch, when it is so much quicker, cleaner, and easier to user the plasma cutter. I got the unit because I wanted to learn TIG welding, and also wanted a plasma cutter, and at a third of what I would have had to pay to get the same capabilities in a US made units, I found it well worth the money spent.

                    Ed, are you still happy w/ your Longevity Super 160P? I'm thinking of buying a plasma cutter is their products are 1/2 decent.
                    Where did I set my beer again?


                    • #11
                      I imagine for a part time user these products would be fine. For me I make my living off my tools.

                      I will be interested in how it is doing in say 1 year and three years.

                      Would also like to hear from some body really working the units hard.

                      I do not like the idea of not supporting our selves first, but when one can find something satisfactory, made by underpaid socialists labor what the heck. Who am I to tell you not to. Just remember when you want to sell something you welded with you import tool the customer might just tell you about the stuff they can get from ??? for half of what you are asking. Reap what you sow.

                      I know I am old school here in thinking one might have some amount a loyalty to a country that affords you rights unknown by most of China.
                      So go on passing the buck taking no responsibility.



                      • #12
                        I wanna find that little socialist that weld my generator frame together,,,,,,,,,,


                        • #13
                          ,,,,,, and,,, hire him.


                          • #14
                            Fat Fab:
                            x 2. If we won't buy from ourselves, to support our own economy, we are in trouble. And we are in trouble.
                            9-11-2001......We Will Never Forget

                            Retired desk jockey.

                            Hobby weldor with a little training.

                            Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

                            Miller Syncrowave 250


                            • #15
                              I'm sure the imports are fine for daily use in typical conditions but if your considering the rather severe conditions at work, literally at 350-400 amps everyday 10 hours a day for 6 days a week and the occasional 500+ amps when big carbon air gouging is required, stay Miller 100% but at home I will go into a rash and use my little wire feeder for a couple weeks straight everyday and have no problems I have a HH187 and HH120 great litte welders. Do what makes you happy they don't have to live with your choice, so more or less the he11 with others if they have negative comments. Just my $0.02.
                              Esab Multimaster 260 Sweet machine!
                              Thermal Arc Arc Master, Don't use it much just got a heck of a deal on this unit
                              Don't talk about it, be about it.