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  • Multi-process machines

    I'm fairly new to welding and want to upgrade from a basic AC stick machine. I'm interested in MIG but I know I want to move up to the higher skill TIG at some point. I would also like to have DC stick capability. Some of my questions are:

    1. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a multi-process machine?
    2. Do you loose any capabilities with a multi-process machine?
    3. Can a multi-process machine spray arc?
    4. Does the Shopmaster come with any cables or is it just the machine alone? (looking to cost compare)
    5. Is the multi-process a good idea or is it better to have separate machines?
    6. Does Miller/Hobart give enthusiastic Junior Members discount vouchers for participating on this site?
    Duke

  • #2
    I do not claim to be an expert on this but I will give my two cents and I am sure other will give better advice. I have Miller NT250. It is able to do most if not all of what you are looking for. HOWEVER, in order to do so you have to by all the different torches, cables, spool guns, etc. That being said, you can buy the whole seperate welders in alot of cases for the same amount, sometimes cheaper than the units you have to plug into the NT250. It is in my opinion better to have the seperate machines where you can just step right up and start welding rather than having to pull cables and set up depending on what welding you want to do. I am unsure of what the non- motor driven units will do or their costs. I have a 110v wire welder that I love and is very portable along with not having to start up the generator to weld one or two passes. I use it for the shop welding, and heavier stuff I use the NT250.

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    • #3
      Re: Multi-process machines

      With your wanting to try TIG welding spend extra for welding machine that can use remote amp control.

      1. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a multi-process machine?

      Higher initial cost. Extra time changing to different process instead of just turning on another welder.

      2. Do you loose any capabilities with a multi-process machine?

      No, you get what you pay for but most multiprocess welders don't have AC output let alone square wave AC.

      3. Can a multi-process machine spray arc?

      Spray arc is mainly fuction of amps, volts, proper shielding gas and abillity to push enough wire. Having infinate voltage control is nice. Could use CC or CV with the right wire feeder.

      4. Does the Shopmaster come with any cables or is it just the machine alone? (looking to cost compare)

      Generally Industrial class welders don't include welding leads unless part of package. The product sheet available at millerwelds.com for each welding machine they manufacture lists what is included.

      5. Is the multi-process a good idea or is it better to have separate machines?

      Your call. Really depends on what your doing and preferance.

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      • #4
        funny you should ask about shopmasters.
        in "92" i recieved a grant to upgrade our welding lab at the college where i teach. i put in 8 shopmasters with S22A wirefeeders,251D-1 hi-freqs, dc300 pulsers, and digi-meter 600's.
        after a few production line problems the machines have run flawlessly. they are great for the lab but would be too slow to set-up and change for my own business. the amps don't go low enough for small work and anything over .375 thick in aluminum is maxing the machine out[ even with a ar-he gas blend]. the terminals at the bottom of the machine are a pain and the knife switch for A/C,CC,CV only partially connects if you don't PULL it hard into position[boy does that make the gun glow!]. it's a real good machine but it's not a "money-maker"
        chip

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        • #5
          Thanks for the info guys. I think I'll go with the separate machines.
          Duke

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          • #6
            Multi-process is almost standard on larger engine drive welders. Don't think it cost much extra to do that in relation to overall cost.

            If all your welding depends on one machine your out of business when it's broken. Until you rent or buy new or fix old.

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