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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    58
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    165

    Default Cigweld Transmig 175i

    I'm considering purchasing one of these now that I've wasted enough time on the old 130 Twin. The guy selling is not really prepared to come down any more, but I'm wondering what people here think, firstly about the welder in general and then on a reasonable price. Apparently the seller had it listed for $900 which was not going to happen. He dropped the price to $750 after no sale in 3 months and has further reduced it a little bit on my inquiry and in light of the distance I'd need to travel.

    Some facts:
    The welder was first purchased in 2012 but has seen very little use and only using the Gasless Mig function.
    It is a long drive from home and back to go get it. It will take a full day.
    The 175i is now listed as "Obsolete" on the Cigweld site but I'm not sure since when.
    The current model is the 175i+ which can be purchased for $1049 at tool shops or $990 at a well known Industrial supplier.
    Interstate there is a well used one for $450 and one that was bought but never used for $800.
    Industrial rated machine but 7 years out of the box.
    These originally held a 3 year warranty. (Now irrelevant)
    Duty Cycle
    MIG(GMAW/FCAW): 25% @ 175A, 22.8V(40C, 10mins)
    Stick(MMAW): 20% @ 175A, 27.0V(40C, 10mins)
    TIG(GTAW): 25% @ 175A, 17.0V(40C, 10mins)

    Possible Alternative:
    Cigweld Weldskill 185 3in1 is the corresponding DIY/ Trade version of the same size.
    Available with 2 years warranty for $612. (4 Payments of $153 on Afterpay)
    Duty Cycle
    MIG: 10% @ 185A , 23.3V
    STICK: 10% @ 160A, 26.4V
    TIG: 20% @ 160A, 16.4V

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
    Posts
    34

    Default

    In my opinion, for the extra couple of hundred, I would get the new one, due to the fact that you get a warranty. They can be expensive to get fixed and from what you said it would save you a long drive, plus the cost of fuel and your time. So in the end you would not be saving much at all, you would then have an older machine and no warranty.

    Whether or not that machine is any good I can't say as I have never used that type before but you haven't said what you want to weld with it or how much welding you intend to do with it.
    Cheers
    Ed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
    Age
    54
    Posts
    5,355

    Default

    The duty cycles look poor, especially on the weld skill, but that is at maximum amps. Do you have figures for lower amperages? The commoner sort of stick electrodes seem to run around 70 to 80A. If you have anything less than 50 to 60% around that amperage I would be looking again. (I don't use MIG so could not tell you what the equivalent for that should be)

    Michael

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
    Age
    58
    Posts
    165

    Default

    What do I weld? Whatever needs to be fixed or built. Boat trailer, horse float, shed, bird cage, ride-on mower cutter deck etc etc. I liked the old Mig for it's ability to be turned right down for light gauge or crappy steel (mower cutter deck) but powered up to do HRS and plate. I'm not a boiler-maker or exhaust manufacturer. It is purely DIY, but DIY equipment seems to be falling away in reliability and user comfort.

    Duty cycles: These are pretty common figures for machines I've been looking at and the 175i is better than most. Believe it or not 10% at the highest power output is pretty common. As for lower current figures, they are not provided. I guess I could download the User Manuals to get the full tables. I'll see what I can find.

    175i reviews: As with all welders, once you start reading reviews there are good and bad. Some people have had circuit board problems out of the box while others give glowing 5 star accolades. Other than actual failures, reviews on performance and operation are very subjective and depend a lot upon the individuals past experience and capabilities. A 5 Star review after un-boxing it and running a successful weld to fix a gate with a stick is a bit different to a review from an industrial user after 2 years and full capability use over the full range of applications. I have to say that reading the 175i reviews and related threads on this forum I'm not convinced the Cigweld is a good option at all (still wanting to but it is difficult). If the Industrial 175i is known for problems then the DIY/Trade Weldskill is a bit of a worry.

    That little bit extra: When do you stop saying, I'll just spend that extra couple of hundred? If I just spend that extra couple of hundred I can have the new one, but if I just spend another couple of hundred I can buy the 5 year warranted Token Tools machine.

    I'm actually now again considering buying 2 machines. A Mig and a Stick (maybe Tig capable). While the retailers tell you there is no problem with multi-function, this has never been my experience in the past. I need to do something soon as I have jobs to do and I'm not going to Oxy weld it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glivo View Post

    That little bit extra: When do you stop saying, I'll just spend that extra couple of hundred? If I just spend that extra couple of hundred I can have the new one, but if I just spend another couple of hundred I can buy the 5 year warranted Token Tools machine.
    Unfortunately most welders are built to a price point and you have to decide on whether you can justify spending thousands on something that you will only use once or twice a year, but it makes the choice easier if you need to weld everyday. Generally (but not always) the more you pay the better machine/more features you get. There are some truly horrible machines out there that are only fit to be used as boat anchors and even then they would fail. Having said that, if you aren't sure what welding jobs need to be done, then if it was me I would get the largest machine that you can afford and that will run on your power supply. If you intend to use it regularly then think of it as an investment. Second hand machines are always a gamble with no support or warranty so unless the machine is dirt cheap I would not risk it. If it is only a couple of hundred off new machine price then to my mind not worth it.

    As for Token Tools, I would feel happier to buy one of their machines, yes they are probably made in China, like most of the other machines, but at least they provide support. I bought an Everlast 4-1 256P welder, first one died after a couple of weeks. No problem sent it back and they sent me another one. Over the 5 years I had it, it had less than about 35hours work, then it stopped working, went to do some welding and lights were on but no spark no matter which process I selected. Everlast Australia did not carry spares, would not provide circuit diagrams and only wanted to sell me another at a discount. (like that was going to happen!!!). I sent the machine to 2 different places and after spending a few more hundred dollars no one could fix it because they didn't have circuit diagrams and to trace everything would end up costing more than what it was worth.

    As a last resort I happened to come across Token Tools when I was looking for another machine to replace mine, I rang them asking about warranties and had a talk to the owner discussing issues I had with mine and he said he might be able to help me as some of his machines shared some parts with other imported machines from China. So spent quite a bit of time (hours) over the phone and emails with him trying to diagnose the issue, eventually sent mine down to him as I wasn't confident about doing the repair myself and got it back about a week later. Parts and labour cost a few hundred but at least the machine works instead of being just a lump of useless non working machinery.

    Now Token Tools didn't have to help me as it wasn't one of their machines but he did manage to fix mine for which I am grateful. Most of us can't afford to keep buying new machines when they break down, so when they do it gives peace of mind to know someone is willing will look after your machine.

    At the end of the day your requirements will dictate whether or not you should spend more than you were willing to originally. It would also pay to ask about demo machines too, the price would be reduced but still provide warranty. Hope this helps.

    Ed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
    Age
    58
    Posts
    165

    Default

    My mind is made up in relation to the 2nd hand unit, and along the lines you mention. He won't come down in price and with it's age, distance from home and reviews concerning failed circuit boards, I'm not going there.

    I just spoke to a guy in a Tool Shop and there best price policy is to beat any competitor by and additional 11%. This opens up a whole new range of affordable welders for me as I've spent the last 3 days searching for the lowest prices on a few models. To make it even more affordable I've just set up an account for interest free payments with a provider that the shop will work with.

    I'm off to talk to a man about a new welder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Nothing like the "new box smell"!

    Last thing is when comparing duty cycles, be sure to compare the temps that the duty cycle is rated at and also the amps. Some machines are measured at 25C and some at 40C, so a duty cycle at the higher temp is better than one that is at the 25C if the rating is the same, as well as the amps. If the machine is rated at 40% duty at 140A but it is a 180A machine then find out what the rating is at full amps. The manufacturers try all sorts of advertising tricks to "enhance" their machines.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
    Age
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    Default


    Well the guy at the tool shop said their research team must be on holiday as I was able to walk in with lower prices on 3 models of Cigweld welders, which meant that after confirmation he was able to offer me an additional 11% off.

    I could have bought the Weldskill 155 for under $470 or the 185 for under $550. Both of these are 10 A plugged with the DIY / Trade duty cycles and 2 year warranty. They were both price beaten from Mitre 10 click & collect.

    Instead I went with the 15 A plugged Transmig 175i+ Professional Series (Industrial) which I was able to have for $881.10, walk out the door nothing to pay. 4 payments of $220.30 over the next 2 months will see it done. Too easy. This one has 3 year warranty and the better Duty Cycle. This was price beaten from the Blackwoods Express price. Most places, including where I bought it have them for $1049 so that actually works out at saving nearly $170, or over 16% discount, for doing a bit of research.

    Now it's just a matter of hoping that I haven't bought a lemon.

    I have 2 things to do now for powering it. Short term, I need to get a 15 Amp extension lead and run it from an existing outlet in my shed. I'll need it for use outside anyway. I then need to put a 15 Amp socket in at the outlet next to my welding bench. The dedicated wiring and circuit breaker are more than adequate (4 mm and 32 A) but at the moment it only has a 10 Amp GPO. That can be a job for my apprentice sparky son as the first welding job is for him anyway.

    So, no excuses now and hopefully it lasts a while and functions without any issues. I'm actually looking forward to teaching myself some basic TIG welding which will obviously involve spending some more money.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Welcome to welding!

    On a side note, if you are going to get an extension lead for welding outside, get one that has 2.5mm square cores in it, and not the 1.5mm that a lot of them do, you might have to make one from parts from Bunnings, cable , plug and socket. Add a auto welding helmet and you should be set. If you are going to TIG weld, I assume that you have a bottle of pure Argon lined up, which by the way will not be suitable for MIG welding, you will need another different gas mix for that process. 93%Ar, 5%CO2, 2%O2 is a good mix.

    Cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
    Age
    58
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Being a retired metalwork teacher I've already welded. I've owned my own MIG welder for nearly 20 years and began using my father's old stick welder when I was a kid. This is a replacement welder (other thread) so I already have the gear. I took my BOC argoshield bottle back when the 130 Twin died in February but got a Coregas from Bunnings the other day. I understand that TIG requires pure Argon, plus leads, torch, tungsten inserts etc etc. It's a future possibility and not something I need to rush into.

    I'm kicking myself now because I could have "obtained" an E size bottle of pure Argon including gauges / regulator (gauge reading 1000 PSI) last week for next to nothing. I think it's gone now.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glivo View Post

    I'm kicking myself now because I could have "obtained" an E size bottle of pure Argon including gauges / regulator (gauge reading 1000 PSI) last week for next to nothing. I think it's gone now.
    I would definitely check, I try to never pass up a bargain, you never know when it might be handy much to my wifes disapproval .

  12. #12
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    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    Default

    I just went back over my phone logs from a week ago and contacted the guy. The bottle is still available so I'm off to pick it up. Obviously I won't be able to get it refilled once it's empty but it should get me started on TIG once I get a torch etc.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ningi Qld Australia
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    34

    Default

    Way to go! See it pays to be sure.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
    Age
    58
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    Default

    Some things to consider if you're thinking of going the Cigweld path. If you wish to go TIG you are pretty much locked into buying Cigweld accessories to do it, or you need to be able to modify other gear to suit. That's if you can buy the 8 pin plugs for the switching and control socket separately. (I've seen one on eBay in USA)

    There are only 2 Tig torches that you can go into a store and purchase if you wish to use the Lift Tig features of the 175i+ (and I believe the bigger models up to the 200 and 250). The W4013801 and W4013800. These are around $150 - $200 and $400- $500 (yep ) respectively and have the required switching plug (8 pin), torch power connection and a gas hose that connects direct to the bottle regulator. 801 is just a switch and manual gas valve while the 800 is current controlled within the machine set range.

    Alternately, you could buy a foot pedal, W4015800 ($399) which would supposedly (possibly) allow lift Tig with either of these torches and possibly a different branded non-switched torch provided the power and gas connections are suitable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glivo View Post
    Some things to consider if you're thinking of going the Cigweld path. If you wish to go TIG you are pretty much locked into buying Cigweld accessories to do it, or you need to be able to modify other gear to suit. That's if you can buy the 8 pin plugs for the switching and control socket separately. (I've seen one on eBay in USA)

    There are only 2 Tig torches that you can go into a store and purchase if you wish to use the Lift Tig features of the 175i+ (and I believe the bigger models up to the 200 and 250). The W4013801 and W4013800. These are around $150 - $200 and $400- $500 (yep ) respectively and have the required switching plug (8 pin), torch power connection and a gas hose that connects direct to the bottle regulator. 801 is just a switch and manual gas valve while the 800 is current controlled within the machine set range.

    Alternately, you could buy a foot pedal, W4015800 ($399) which would supposedly (possibly) allow lift Tig with either of these torches and possibly a different branded non-switched torch provided the power and gas connections are suitable.
    I'm intrigued.
    I've used a number of different TIG machines, some scratch start, some lift TIG (same as the 175i), and some HF start units (only way to roll, IMO).
    Looking at the 175i unit, the MIG side is a euro style connection - pretty much industry standard these days.
    The MMA/TIG outputs are just your run-of-the-mill 35-50mm2 DINSE connections. And the TIG is a lift-arc initiation. The newer 175i+ current model is also lift-tig.

    So with this in mind... nothing stopping a user getting a industry standard CK 9/17/26 series TIG torch with the appropriate DINSE SAFE-LOC style connector, and just run a torch with a valve on it (and run the gas straight to the reg, bypassing any internal gas solenoid, if any).

    Each to their own, but if a machine were a bargain, and I was certain I needed the features hindered by a silly 8 pole proprietary or obscure connection, I'd tap into the wires internally and make it work with the plug type I want (eg a 7 pin amphenol).
    HF in my experience uses only a 2 pin plug
    Foot pedal amperage and HF start controllers are usually a 5 pin job- 3 for the potentiometer, 1 for arc start signal, and either a spare pin, or a output voltage signal for a second pot.

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