There is an old saying that goes "A bad workman blames his tools" but that was coined years ago when a blacksmith basically had a hammer and an anvil, which was hard to get wrong. Some modern tools are quite sophisticated and can indeed make the difference between a good and bad job. The prime example must be the MIG welder. We hear a lot of people say "I've tried. but I just can't do it so I had to hire someone". Even worse are those that just do a bad job and paint over it. Fact is, a cheap welder usually has two settings, which equate to 'blow holes in my panel' or 'lay a caterpillar bead on top of my steel'. Those machines will be fine for a 1/8" thick piece of angle iron but do not have the finite adjustment needed to weld automotive panels, especially the varying types you get. Classic Italian panels can be quite thin, for instance. An MGB from the 1960's will weld a lot differently to one from the 1970's (lower quality steel) and modern cars often have thinner steel (for lightness) but compensate by making it higher grade.
Frankly, with a cheap welder you don't stand a chance. We've all been there though, so once you've blown the upteenth hole in your panel or run a surface bead so thick you spend two hours grinding it flat, make your replacement machine one of these. The voltage and current are fully variable, so you can go thinner than you'll ever need. Steel housing, DIN torch, even a button to feed the new reel of wire without venting gas. The machine even continues the gas supply for a couple of seconds after you release the trigger to shield the weld during cooling. You just have to add a regulator and a bottle of gas, we add the clips etc you need to the package. You'll be amazed how quickly you are making the sound of crackling bacon with the MIG170 and just to soften the investment, it utilises the latest Inverter technology so it can run off a standard 13amp socket and uses much less power to achieve a weld than those cheap plastic and tin boxes from you know where.
Comes with an ARC torch for heavy duty stuff and you can add a TIG torch (available seperately) for TIG welding, but sadly not aluminium with this machine. Hey, it can't do everything! Full size interchangeable torch, full size wire drive, accepts full size reels too.
This machine is the one recommended by famous Classic Vehicle restoration wrtier and engineer, Lindsay Porter.
INVERTER FUSION IS A BRITISH COMPANY. FULL SPARES AVAILABILITY. BUILT FOR ENTHUSIATIC AMATEUR/SMALL WORKSHOP LONGEVITY, NOT TO A PRICE. 2 YEAR RETURN TO BASE WARRANTY.
Duty cycle: 100% @ 140 Amps, 60% @ 160 Amps, 20 - 40% @ 170 Amps
Power factor - 0.7
Efficiency - 85%
Input power voltage - 240 - 50/60Hz.
Maximum Input current - 22 Amps.
Maximum Power capacity - 5.1KVA
Current range MIG - 25 - 175 Amps
Current range MMA & TIG - 10-160 Amps
Voltage Range MIG - 11-26
Open circuit voltage MMA - 70
Wire feed speed (m/min) - 1.5 to16 m/min
MIG welding wire - 0.6-1.0mm
Insulation class - F
Protection class - IP21
Weight - 18kg
Dimensions - 480mm x 230mm x 360mm