Eastwood TIG Welder 200 Amp AC/DC

Eastwood TIG Welder 200 Amp AC/DC

Product Review (submitted on February 21, 2014):

I’m just a weekend hobbyist/hack with a little acetylene and arc/flux-core experience and zero TIG training, so I had no idea what to expect and can’t directly compare the Eastwood with others in this price range, let alone the big heavier-duty commercial machines. I bought my Eastwood AC/DC TIG machine straight from Eastwood (shipping was so fast it takes your breath away) and so far am quite satisfied … Like many other newbies I did a bunch of online research (as much as one can when they know little about the subject), but with no formal training other than watching some TIG vids I was still pretty apprehensive and decided to base my choice primarily on Eastwood’s well-established name.

I discovered the hand/eye coordination for the Eastman TIG is amazingly similar to gas, but as I expected it was a touch more demanding – and I’ve contaminated the tungsten so many times I’m afraid I’ve worn out the grinding wheel. Nonetheless, the arc-start mechanism is almost dirt-easy and even in a TIG rookie’s hands the Eastwood machine has produced creditable welds almost from the beginning, albeit not consistently owing to my novice competences. But no squawks so far, everything went right together out of the box (I broke with manly tradition and actually read the directions – twice!) and then dove right in with 4130 steel, which didn’t seem to present special challenges -- although a week later my skills still need improvement to say the least (and I’m still a ways from considering my welds airworthy).

The machine has been consistent and reassuring (and I’ve had no reason to test the after-purchase service…). When I get everything in the hand/eye department correct I can achieve the coveted stacked-dimes bead (until I sneeze, hiccup, jiggle my hand or something… ugh). I haven’t yet tried the Eastwood TIG on aluminum, which is why I wanted an AC/DC machine, but so far the TIG learning curve has been encouraging and just a bit simpler than I anticipated.