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First tig welder - ez-tig 165i?

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  • First tig welder - ez-tig 165i?

    I am pretty proficient with a mig and have always wanted to try tig welding. I think I am finally ready to pull the trigger. I will be welding light gauge for automotive - headers, exhaust, intake plumbing. It will be mild steel and some stainless. I'm also thinking I want to try some aluminum for the intake.

    Is the EZ-tig 165i a good choice for me? Should I spend a little more money and get something else? I have no aspirations to be a professional welder, but when it comes to tools, I'd rather spend more to get the right one first... even if I have to find one used. What do you guys suggest?

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Mad, I did the exact thing you are looking at a few years ago with an econo tig. The little unit is challenged by thick stuff, but excels at what you described. The Tigmate has slightly more amps but does have a few less features. For stainless and mild it wont make much difference but for AC and aluminum those adjustments and ranges are very usefull. So it all comes down to how much alli you plan to do, and max thickness because tig welders run out of amps and duty cycle pretty quick if you dont consider those factors carefully. I always try to get my best estimate of the average I plan to do and double it if I can. Seems like overkill, but the up front cost is small compared to the hassle of reselling a used machine and ordering a larger unit in the not too distant future. These are just some thoughts from the peanut gallery, but if I had to repeat the buy, I would go with a bigger inverter type machine with some of the features my little unit lacks. What is your budget for this, all new small stuff or used bigger stuff on the market. The 330 A/BP is a perfect example of that concept, and Zap does some serious art with an old transformer based machine all day every day.
    Enough tools to do anything, common sense to use em properly.
    Big nasty scar, no kidneys, so you think you got issues?


    • #3
      i would go up to atleast a 185amp machine..

      i would look at the thermal arc 185 or htp221 or miller dynasty.. probably in that order because of prices..

      i would also go with a tig cooler and watercooled torch...

      if you get a 160amp machine, i think you would be dissatisfied with it and be needing an upgrade to a larger machine within six months time


      • #4
        Hobart 165i

        I have the same ideas as you (mostly automotive) and I got the Hobart 165i. I liked the price. I have built a mild steel table for welding with it. I have welded a bunch of aluminum. It works great on 1/16th up to 3/16 thick material.

        Now for 1/4 inch thick structural aluminum and steel IDK. I am pretty sure you need about 200-220 amps for the first pass. So I dont think that stacking a bunch of welds with the 165i is advisable. One of the senior members will undoubtably know better than me.
        Last edited by Rectified; 09-01-2011, 09:53 PM.


        • #5
          Definately spend the extra money and but a lincoln square wave 175 or precision tig 225. Or you should get the miller equivalent.