Eastwood Mig Welder and Plasma Cutter long term review

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
I have been in need for a new welder for a while now and have been on the fence with the Mig or Tig decision. I have a lot more experience mig welding but I do have a few years of tig welding under my belt. My budget is very tight and I have certain things that are pretty important on what ever I buy.

First and foremost the most important thing to me is Duty Cycle, I hate a machine with a crappy duty cycle.
Second is power, I hate buying something and then finding out I need something with a little more.
Third is Consumer Rating and Warranty
Fourth is Price (Most for my money)

I decided that for most of what I do the Mig would be the better fit for me, for most of what I do it just makes sense. I think I would still like a small basic tig welder for small light weight material type work in the future. I set a budget of $1500, made a list of welders I have used in the past and started going over the pros and cons of them all. I kept looking at the Lincoln 180c, I have used one quite a bit and it does a pretty good job but I did have the occasional time when I would run into Duty Cycle issues, I also felt like there wasn't enough adjust ability. I looked at a couple Millers and Hobarts but what I was finding was "150 a at 21.5 VDC, 40% Duty Cycle" or "130 A/20V/30%" I know that this is pretty normal on a Machine in the budget that I had set. I googled "High Duty Cycle Mig" and came across an article from Eastwood Explaining duty cycle that mentioned their "Mig 175" that had a 30% duty cycle at 130 amps. I looked at their website and that's when I saw the "Mig 250" 60% duty cycle at 250 amps. I started reading reviews, watching videos and searching forums. The reviews were pretty dang good, the warranty is par with any manufacture and better than most and last but not least the price was perfect.

http://www.eastwood.com/mig-250.html

The Machine is China Made and proud of it, but the company is solid and for the price I could pick up a Plasma to go with it. I have a pretty extensive amount of Chinese production experience, most of the time the first test products are perfect pieces and then everything goes down hill as products go into production. I am sure that with the amount of stuff that Eastwood sells they know how to get a pretty good product and if the Mig makes it through the 3 year warranty time then it will probably last a few more.


The Plasma I went with is the 60 amp Versa Cut, 7/8" cut ability and even better reviews than the welder. At $700 for a plasma that will do more than I should ever need and that will save me a ton of time on the projects I am working on right now, how could I argue. Same 3 year warranty and the torch feels like it is a well made product. This plasma cutter has an arch igniter and can't be used on a plasma table, but I don't have room for a plasma table so not a big deal.

http://www.eastwood.com/versa-cut-60-plasma-cutter.html


I purchased these as a combo that came with a cart and I grabbed some consumables to have on hand for each of them, the total with shipping to my house was $1721 and change.

I had to run to Homedepot tonight and pick up some 6 gauge wire, a 50 amp breaker and a few parts so I am able to run it at full power as I currently am only running a 30 amp setup.

This definitely is not a $5000 3 phase miller, but if I held out for something like that I would be using my old machine for ever and I would hate every second I welded and would never get anything done.

Here are some pics from this morning, kind of like Christmas... but I actually got something. Ill start using these over the next week, my son goes into the MTC Wednesday so my time is a little tight for the next few days.

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frieed

Jeepless in Draper
Supporting Member
Location
Draper, UT
That's a really good duty cycle. Is the fan is on-demand or continuous?
My MM252 has so much mass to it that the fan rarely turns on with the type of work I'm doing but
the fan on the TIG water cooler is constant and so loud that I bought an air-cooled torch for light work.

B2, dedicated MIG machines are Constant Voltage, DC boxes.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
That's a really good duty cycle. Is the fan is on-demand or continuous?
My MM252 has so much mass to it that the fan rarely turns on with the type of work I'm doing but
the fan on the TIG water cooler is constant and so loud that I bought an air-cooled torch for light work.

B2, dedicated MIG machines are Constant Voltage, DC boxes.
Not sure about the fan, it is an inverter machine so I wouldn't be surprised if it stays on most of if not all of the time but it isn't very loud. I plugged it in to 120v and loaded some wire, that is all I have done at this point. I like the infinite voltage adjustment, it was one of the selling points and it will support a spool gun that is only $200. I did notice it does have post gas flow, I'm not sure about pre gas and I don't think that it is adjustable and it doesn't say anything about it in the manual or on their website. IT really does seem like a well put together machine, but I will be doing a lot of welding with it in the near future so we will find out soon.
 

B2-Bomber

Guest
Location
SL, UT
I thought this was a mig/tig unit.

Lots of reading, and he said he'd had a few years tig experience.

I missed where this was a dedicated mig machine.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
I couldn't stand it anymore, my wife was taking a nap after the temple dedication so i ditched out of the bedroom and ran my new plug and breaker for 50 amps and tried the welder. I could have ran it off the 30 amp but not at full power and I had the stuff to do it. I turned the mig on and the fan starts right up, not a surprise to me seeing that it is an inverter machine I figured it would. I had a bunch of 1.5" angle drops from a project and so I just started welding them all together. The fan stayed on the entire time, it welded great and was right on with the suggested setting for the 1/8" steel I was welding. My wife woke up and came outside and told me to get in the house so I had to stop, probably a good thing as I was right next to my steel bin and probably would have started welding everything together.:D
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
Update!!

I am really enjoying the Mig welder, it welds good and has had no problems.

The Plasma on the other hand had issues right out of the box. I went to make my first cut and all was well, it cut good, arc was strong all good.... Right until I let go of the trigger and the air stayed on, at first I thought post flow air but after a few seconds I knew something was wrong. After about 30 seconds I turned off the machine and a few seconds later the air stopped, I turned the machine back on and the air was off, i cut again and the air stays on........ :mad2:

I was able to get what I needed done and called Eastwood the next day, the tech girl was worthless, she acted like she didn't to talk to me and said Customer Service would call the next day to get an address to pick it up and that they would ship me a new one once they had mine. I was not happy with the though of 1 week back to them and then 1 more week to me. I was busy so I didn't answer when they called and I was gone most of last week so I finally got back to them today and told them that I was not happy with their fix, I told them they needed to send me the part so I wasn't without the machine for 2 weeks, seeing that I can still use it like it is. After a bit of run around I got them to send me a new regulator, it will be here in 4-6 days.

I hope this is a good fix to it, I heard of this same problem on a forum a few years ago on a Miller machine and I'm sure that this has happened before to them.

I guess we will see what next week brings.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
Well, I got the new air pressure regulator today and installed it. Everything works well now, I was able to do a little testing and it cuts great. I have done quite a bit of welding with the mig, I am really liking the ability to just add a volt of power or a couple inches per minuet of wire. It has been 3 years sense i used a welder with infinite control, i had almost forgotten how much of a difference it can make..I mean how much power is setting D anyways.:confused:
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
UPDATE!!
Welder is still running great, I put down about 20' of weld the other night and it ran flawlessly. On the other hand, I went to use the Plasma Cutter and the Pilot Arc came on for just a second and then turned off. I have used it quite a bit sense the replacement of the regulator with no problems. I looked at the consumables and they are a bit worn but shouldn't be causing a running issue yet, at the most maybe a little less of a clean cut but should have been fine to operate. I checked all connections and dropped the air pressure and turned it up also, no luck so I replaced the electrode, then the cutter nozzle, then the diffuser for good measure and finally the outer nozzle... No luck, I gave up and called Eastwood for a warranty pick up. It took them a couple days for the customer service guy to return my phone call but they say they will send me a new one.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
So I called hem today and asked if I was going to be alerted when It shipped and they checked to see where it was and they said that they received it on last Thursday the 21st in then morning and they would process and send a new one out in the next day or so.

I seem to be having a bad experience on my replacement, they did say that they would email me tracking info when it does ship.

I'm not very satisfied with their customer service efforts, I hope I don't have any more trouble.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
I got the replacement plasma cutter Thursday, so it was 2 full weeks that I was without it. I had to cut something Saturday morning so I hooked it up, it all works! maybe this unit will be better.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
So I have had the new plasma cutter for a while and have had the chance to use it a couple times and so far it is working great!! The Welder is awesome, I couldn't be more happy with it, i haven't had a single problem with it and it welds great.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
Well, its been a couple years and these are still working great! The duty cycle on the welder is unreal, I have never been able to weld long
enough to have any issues. I have welded everything from crazy thin stainless to 3/8" plate and it doesn't miss a beat.
 
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