As I've been scouting for these things, I've noticed that some of 'em are TIG welders, as well as plasma cutters. Almost the same money. Since I don't have TIG, and can't afford a real one (or a real plasma cutter, for that matter), I'm wondering if this isn't the way to go? Anyone here tried one of the Ebay "all-in-one" jobs?
Bought one this summer from China, 3 n 1 arc, tig, plasma. $250 plus $150 s&h. Received it, took it out of the box, wired it up, plugged in the air, and nothing - plasma function would not work. Tried the arc function - ok. No helium to try tig so didn't bother to even try to strike an arc, bought this machine for the plasma.
So......now what? Emailed them with the problem. They email me back saying they're sorry, they will work with me to try and solve the problem. Later I found out that this is a retail ebay store and they have to contact the factory engineer with the problem, he makes a suggestion to them, they email me back.......lots of lag time. Also bare in mind the time factor. There is about a 5-6 hr window in the late evening at my end to do the tests before I go to bed and they are just starting their day over in China. So anyhow, they send me an email with a bunch of pics showing me where to check ohms and volts. Luckily I kinda grasp this stuff. Email back the results, couple of days later they suggest more checks. Email back the results, couple of days later they tell me they think there's a bad transformer. They want to send me the transformer and want me to unsolder the old one and solder the new one into the printed circuit board. I say no way - I want the whole circuit board, I'm no electronics tech and I don't want to wreck anything. I want a plug n play replacement board. They finally agree to send one out.
I get the new board, change it out (not a job for the faint at heart) and try it out. I now have a plasma cutter. Tried the arc function and it does not work.
So......email them back again. More tests, more lag time, getting the drift here? They finally suggest replacing another of the boards. Receive the board, change it out (not a job for the faint at heart), and.........no arc welder function. Email them back again and they offered to give me my money back less s&h and tell me to take it to my local welding repair shop to get it fixed. So I now have a plasma cutter with no arc welder function for the price of s&h plus 7 weeks of stress. Thats how long it took.
Oh and there's also some language barrier to get around even though it's English. But all in all they did their best at customer service, I'll give them that.
Do you want to buy from China? That's a choice only you can make.