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ACCESSORIES YOU NEED
0.030" E71T-GS Flux Core Welding Wire, 2 Lbs.
Welding Helmet, Adjustable Shade Auto-Darkening
170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder - 22 volts @ 110 amps
Overweight Item subject to $14.95 additional Freight Charge.
(based on 162 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 162 customers
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It works just fine
By Dewart Lake Tackle Company
from Syracuse Indiana
About Me Avid Do-It-Yourselfer
See all my reviews
Comments about Chicago Electric Welding 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder:
First let me start by saying-I have used welders in the work place from the cheapo "buzzbox" style arc welders to $15k full on boat production TIG welders. I needed something for my home shop to do some exhaust work on the wife's car, my Jeep, and for some other small various projects. I had to "relearn" how to weld on this particular welder as it is super basic with out the luxury functions found on high cost welders. After some practice welds I went to work on my Jeep and this little welder got the job done just fine. I used it on the low setting and used a HF 12ga extension cord on a 15 amp outside circuit and it did what I needed to get done. I got good heat penetration by using the low amp setting and slowing the wire feed down. I really had to carefully watch the weld puddle just like using an arc welder. This is a no frills unit that does the job just fine. I would hate to learn how to weld on a unit like this as laying an adequate/strong/penetrating weld may not happen without knowing what you are watching for. Just slow down and take your time! I like mine and I'm glad I bought it(got it on sale too). I am sure I will get plenty of use out of it in the years to come. I hope the transformer holds out. Better than laying out more money for a brand name unit that does the same job and its made in the same import country anyway!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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Fantastic little welder, two thumbs up!
By Jerry L.
from Lancaster, Pa
I bought this welder to repair damaged automotive sheet metal...It claimes to weld 18 gage and up and I thought I might have problems handeling lighter material.....Well, with a little practice and learing how to dial it in, this little unit easily does the job!!!....I always look for a sale and save more money. I'm not a pro and just can't justify spending hundreds on tools that I only occasionally use.. Harbor Fright allows a guy to own and use good tools that you just normally woulden't go out and purchase...The H.F. stud welder comes to mind. This is another excellent value...Gets the job done at a fraction of the cost of professional equipment. I hate to borrow tools, or rent them and prefer owning my own....Again H.F. allows me to own speciality tools that only professionals would have in a shop.....Gets the job done at a fraction of the cost of a commercial unit!..... Go get this little welder, you'll be glad you did!...Good job Harbor Fright!....
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Good welder, Good price.
When i bought this welder i didt think i would use it that much but i was wrong most of the time i use it once a week or more from welding 20 gauge metel to 5/16 thik metel and it welds great.So far iv built a killer lawn mower as i call it the mud mower i also extended the wheelbase to 44inch with this welder and it work good.I have to say this welder weld good,nice strong welds as long as you know how to weld. I learned to weld by using this welder its my 1st and only welder.
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Great Welder for the Money
from Gadsden, AL
About Me Casual Do-It-Yourselfer
I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this welder. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a wire welder to use around the house for light duty projects. This welder has already paid for itself with the various projects I have completed. A "must have" for any garage.
(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)
from Warren, MI
great welder for small projects
i love mine for the garage,light duty of corase but it does a great job
(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)
from Bronson, Michigan
I have owned this welder for a good 4 weeks now. I have put a LOT of wire through it. I would say for me anyway a lot of wire, 7# of it anyway. I built a boat trailer, anchors, bullet catcher box for a .22, fixed a ATV snow plow skid plate...this thing will not stop! It has paid for itself already in what I have been able to do with it. What I have found is, like normal, getting the settings dialed in good. Wire feed, Min/Max...ect.
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
This wleder is......awesome! !!!!!!!
from Streamwood, IL
This thing is awesome. I thought it would be too much for my project but handled it just fine 1/4 thick steel gate of end dump trailer. Overheats after roughly 18 inches of continues welding than stays off for about 5min. Initial feed roller was set up at .030 wire, make sure you change/flip it if you intend to use .035 wire, this mistake did cost me some issues with proper feed and welding. I also got me auto darkening helmet, worth every penny. I used used it with 3000/3750 portable generator and it worked perfect, I love size and price of this cool welder
(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
WORTH EVERY PENNY
Bought this welder a few days ago and was very skeptical as to how well this machine would work for being so cheap and from Harbor Freight. Got it cheap so I wasn't complaining. I've used other welders costing well over a grand, and this thing seems to do the job just as well. Did exhaust on a Honda, and did some body work on my brothers car. For the price, you really cannot go wrong in anyway. Never had a problem with this machine yet, take care of your equipment, and it will stay around for a long time. I switched to Lincoln wire and swapped the tip out for a Lincoln as well. Buy this welder, you will definitely not be disappointed.
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