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ACCESSORIES YOU NEED
0.030" E71T-GS Flux Core Welding Wire, 2 Lbs.
Adjustable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Blue Flame Design
Overweight Item subject to $14.95 additional Freight Charge.
(based on 216 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Most Liked Positive Review
This isn't the first time I've done it, and I'm trying not to be a habitual offender, however, this welder saved the day once again so I feel compelled to post a second review...Read complete review
This isn't the first time I've done it, and I'm trying not to be a habitual offender, however, this welder saved the day once again so I feel compelled to post a second review!I apologize to those who dislike cheap tools and the people who buy them, who are willing to purchase these tools and take the time to review them so they may offer testimony to those of us who just don't know any better, explaining why we should buy vastly superior tools elsewhere for several times the cost, whether or not these cheap tools are up to the task for which they were purchased.Does HF sell some junky tools? Yes, lots of them, but I believe they sell enough high quality tools to offset those that are, from time to time, unusable :)Now that I've gotten that off my chest...Last weak my wife was backing the truck into the yard, and accidentally snapped a steel fence post that had been rusting beneath the dirt for the last 60 years. I suppose I could have dug it and the 30lbs of concrete poured around it up, but then I'd have to buy a new post, all the related materials, and do all that work.I decided to instead dig all around it and weld it in place. I would have preferred to use the stick welder on the post, but there was no way I was going to bring 30amps worth of 240volts to where this post was located. It was an extremely windy day, not ideal for wire welding, at least not from my past experience, but I've heard quite a few people say they've done all right with the flux cored wire in the wind, so I saw this as an oportunity to gain some experience.I should also point out, that while I don't recommend overburdoning an under-rated extension cord, it's both unsafe, and may also result in insufficient current to the powered device, the only extension cord I had that was long enough to get to where I needed it (50'), was only 12gauge wire.After wire wheeling the post, removing all the rust, at least from the exterior of the post, I cut 2 inch length of pipe I had just laying around in the garage, then slit the seam where it had been welded with my HF cut-off tool, then matched the outer diameter of the fence with several more grinds. Yeah, measure twice, cut once...I braced the post in place with two 2x4 and some clamps, long enough for me to tack the first edge of my sleeve in place, I then unclamped the 2x4's and reclamped a single 2x4, wedging the sleeve to follow the coutour of the fence post. Once I had 1 inch of the sleeve welded top and bottom, I removed the 2x4 and clamped only my sleeve, focing it along the contour of the post, welding an inch top and bottom, then moving my clamps and repeating until I'd made it all the way around.The job went relatively smoothly. My beads didn't exactly look like stacked dimes, more like miscellaneous loose change with a few pennies sitting off on their own...but I was able to beat up on the post pretty heavily, then tried forcing it with my body weight, and it held strong. I repainted the bottom of the post and called it a day. I still need to bury the bottom of the post and relevel the ground, but that can wait for some nicer weather.I really can't say how many times this HF 90amp flux wire has paid for itself but it's probably been a dozen or so times.I suppose I should have spent a dozen or so times what I paid for this welder and bought a Hobart, Lincoln, or Mi11er, then I'll have just about broken even by now.While I'm on the subject of the name brand welders, I had a friend over who used to work with me at a suspension shop almost 20 years ago. He was noticing my old blue HF 90amp wire welder on the shelf over my bench. He told me he'd just taken Lincoln 80 amp flux wire welder back to Se_rs that looked exactly the same. I want to say he paid somewhere around 400 for the thing, but took it back because it had trouble feeding the wire, then quit feeding all together. I told him my 100 do11ar HF welders have never done that to me. He said, "But mine is a Lincoln".I think if you're going to compare this welder to a name brand, that it should be a name brand that's at least in the same class, like the Lincoln Century 80 GL. Otherwise, leave us and our cheap HF tools in peace.One more thing I wanted to mention here before the end of my novel is that I've seen people go back and forth here with whether or not this welder is a hot tip welder. The answer is yes or no.The primary windings are energized through a solid state relay on the control board. I'm guessing that somebody smart at "Chicago Electric Welding" came up with the idea of not energizing that relay until the feed starts, and later revisions of this welder are configured as such, but since they haven't changed the SKU, still 68887 for this particular model, and it's not harmful to treat the newer versions as if they were always hot, they don't mention it. I looks like they were thinking about making some mention of it, because while page 14 of the included manual states boldly that this is a "hot tip" welder, whether the one you purchased is or not, the PDF version HF has on the web, Revision 12a which is virtually identical in content, but has different page numbers do to sizing and the addition of an index, page 12 is identical to page 14 of the hardcopy, with exception to that particular warning. Still, elsewhere in either versions, they indicate that it is hot.The only difference made to the newer version, at least the one I bought, was that they put a b1ack sticker on the box in two places to cover the "hot tip" warning.It's true. Although it is not officially documented anywhere, I can run my wire out an inch, then rub it all up and down the ground clamp and never get an arc, so long as I don't squeeze the trigger. I just wanted to clear that up because I think I saw somebody correcting somebody else, when in fact both individual were correct for the version of welder they bought.I think there are a few other differences. Mine came with a big heavy threaded torch nozzle with actual threads, others are just turn and slide. My ground clamp was some ugly zink covered clamp while I think others are copper...And that's all I have to say about my 90 amp HF flux wire welder!Steve
Most Liked Negative Review
bad wire feeder
received unit with a bad wire feeder. talked to tech support, told me to return it, but can't find receipt, so will have to order a replacement wire feeder for $12.40.Tech su...Read complete review
received unit with a bad wire feeder. talked to tech support, told me to return it, but can't find receipt, so will have to order a replacement wire feeder for $12.40.Tech support told me the motor was direct drive to the feed roller, but after the phone call I opened up the wire feeder unit (hoping a quick fix) and found it to be made with five gears in series. Three are plastic the other two steel. the plastic gear closest to the motor has teeth stripped. Too bad the manufacturer cheaped their way out on the feeder using plastic instead of brass or steel for the gears. Even if the plastic gear was good, i don't believe the unit could feed the wire smoothly enough for wire feed welding.
Reviewed by 216 customers
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(14 of 17 customers found this review helpful)
Great little welder for the price.....
from Rock Island, IL
About Me Professional
Comments about Chicago Electric Welding 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder:
I've had this welder for over 7 years now. Trying to raise a family kept me from purchasing a better unit until a few years ago. And with an employer who allowed you to use the shop equipment on your own time after work was a boon until he was bought out. That ended the use of better units and forced me to purchase this little guy for occasional use. I was finally able to purchase a better outfit a year ago and that unit sits in the back workshop. I keep this unit in the main garage for those projects that don't require me to crank up the more expensive blue unit. I've given the wire feed system a minor tweaking to better feed the wire. At the same time, by upgrading to a well known wire manufacturer, the welds come out more consistent than before. The unit just started to act up this past week. Found that the trigger leads in the torch handle were shorting out against each other causing the unit to self-feed wire. Liquid tape took care of that issue. For the money, this unit is good enough to get the novice started on learning how to weld, and yet, it can fill the minor needs of a pro who doesn't need to crank up his/her more costlier unit every time. It can set on a shelf until you need it.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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(10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)
Did the job!
from Richmond, VA
About Me Avid Do-It-Yourselfer
My son forgot to hook the trailer connector to the ball. When the trailer jumped off the ball the back end clipped a tree and knocked off a light. The welding shop quoted me $100.00 to weld the light back on. I elected to spend the money on a HF welder. It did the job with a minimum of fuss and I ended up with a welder for the same price as getting the light welded on by the shop. I've used the welder a number of time since then and while it's not a heavy duty welder, it does a great job around the garage.
(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)
Sweet little welder
from Phoenix, AZ
I've had this welder for a few months now. I've welded up two tables using 16g and 1/8 steel and penetration seems good. I also welded a stool made out of some scrap rebar and that is also holding up well. My welds were not pretty in the beginning. I did a little research and decided to change the ground clamp. The ground clamp included with this welder looks and feels very weak. I changed it out for the HF 400amp brass ground clamp. Overkill? Why yes, but the price on it justifies it. I also kept the spool of wire that comes with it. I made some pretty nice beads towards the end of the spool. A little spatter but easy to remove. I bought me a spool of the Lincoln wire and the difference was small. My bead appearance improved slightly and it looked like the penetration was a bit better but it wasn't enough to convince me to only buy Lincoln wire from now on. The duty cycle is low but I'm not going to build aircraft carriers with it. I have not made the Thermal overload light come on yet. The heat setting graph inside the cover is also pretty helpful. The cables are also short, so I bought a welding cart thus allowing me to bring the welder closer to the work. This is my 1st welder and it has been a great learning experience. For the welders on a budget, this little welder is awesome and great to learn on in my opinion. Its also a good idea to purchase the extended warranty. Its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
Great welder for the price
Small projects used on light steel or light cast iron.
(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)
Welds fine right out of the box
from Central Maine
I have not welded in 25 years but this welder is easy to use and it came right back to me. Welded a scrap piece first and then did a small repair job. It welded just fine for what it is. A 90 amp welder. You can't build a bridge with it. (New welder tips) Use USA made wire, tips, nozzles, and use nozzle jell too.Practice with tack welds first to get used to the wire feed speed and heat needed for the material you are welding and then connect the dots with a weld bead. Practice will make you a better welder and you will like using the welder once you can see it's limits.
(9 of 14 customers found this review helpful)
Lit up my day.
By Louis G
from Jessup PA
I bought this welder for less than a mechanic would charge me to weld the exhaust system together on my Jeep. I've used other wire welders before and got the same results with this one. There are a few things to keep in mind before using it. Be sure the spool is in correctly and not too tight when you put it in. Also make sure the feed tensioner is set right and the feed roller is set for the wire size you're using. Wire speed and technique is key to a clean solid weld. I had no problems at all with wire feed. The gun was small enough for me to get in some tight places. This welder is a pleasure to use and is great quality for the money. It comes with everything you need to get started. Nozzle gel or spray is helpful. This little gem definitely lit up my day!!
(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)
welding 3/8 threaded rod
from Amherst Ohio
About Me Beginner
I NEEDED TO WELD 3/8 THREADED ROD UNDER MY PT CRUISER WERE I HAD SHEARED OFF THE STABILIZER NUTS. THIS WELDER FIT THE BILL FOR THIS REPAIR.I AM VERY PLEASED I PURCHASED THIS TOOL.
(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)
Love this welder
from Avondale, AZ
This is my very 1st welder and its also my 1st time welding. I self taught myself woodworking and thought I can self teach myself welding. I read most of the reviews before purchasing. A lot of them said that this welder is good for beginners and they were right. I practiced on scrap metal and Yea...my first weld wasnt pretty but it will get better with time. I can really see myself doing a lot of projects with this welder and maybe combining my woodwork with the stuff I weld up. I also recommend purchasing the ext warranty. I love HF but you never know.
(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)
great burn penetration
By Juan E. Rascon
from PHX AZ
See all my reviews
I have a business with large wrote iron gates the open/close daily the hinge point had started to crack due to uneven ground. I welded a 1/4 steel plate to the wrote iron and got great penetration i have good color on the backside of the 1/4 inch plate. It did overheat on long bead but if you want to weld consecutive 12 inch beads than buy a Lincoln or a blue welder (M**ler)!
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
Great little welder
from Apopka Fl
for a small low cost welder it works great, i have welder 22g to 1/8" steel with no problems... think of ot as a auto stick welder for looks and type of weld
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