Looking at PowerMaster 256
Have a deposit in my hands for my old Lincoln PT 185 and am looking for more power. I am trying to decide between the PowerMaster 256 and the PowerTig 250ex. Is the ONLY difference that the PowerMaster does not have the scratch start ability?
I will be working with 1/4 6061 aluminum building trailers and need as much power as i can to keep this stuff hot.
Anyone with either of these machines doing 1/4 aluminum??
We will be posting an official announcement later, but the PM 256 has been changed to the PowerPro 256, no difference, but we were running into a trademark conflict. There are at least two other welder companies out there with that name. So we are referring now to the series as PowerPro.
The "PowerPro" 256 does not have the duty cycle that the 250EX does right now. WE are upgrading it in the future, but the 256 is at 35%. It also does not have a spot weld timer.
There are usually 3 reasons people give for buying the PPro 256:
1) Space limitations. They don't have the room for another unit.
2) Financial limitations. They cannot afford both units separately...A legitimate reason, not trying to use this in a negative light.
3) Portability. They cannot carry more than one machine or need it to get to the job site in one unit.
There are usually 3 or 4 reasons people give for buying the 250EX.
1) Serious commerical production. A dedicated unit saves time in production by not changing out hoses and paraphernalia constantly. The 256 can get aggravating changing out hoses in a production environment.
2) Convenience. It all depends upon a persons idea of convenience, but having 2 separate units is usually nice because if one breaks down, they only loose the use of that one. And its easy to pick up either a tig torch or a plasma torch without stopping to change and keep production up.
3) Dependability. Though the 256 is a reliable unit, anything with more parts has a higher probability of failure. If there is a failure see #2.
4) Features, though the 250EX may only have 2 more features, the people who know what they are appreciate them, especially the lift arc.
We have several customers using both for 1/4 inch aluminum and even greater.
Maybe some will chime in.
You know i am absoulute pleased with my pm256 so far, but he made a couple valid points. The 35% duty cycle when maxed out defiently would cut into your weld time though i have yet to weld at max 1/4 you would probably be around 225 on these units but i havent had much time to play around with some thicker aluminum yet. the real question you should ask your self is do you really need the plasma for me and what im fabricating thats a yes, but aluminum a good saw will take care ov that faster then you could swap over the lines and cut swap them back and weld. So far i am trying to teach my self to do all my cutting first then weld but of coarse i have had the oh poop i needed to cut that too, now that i have the tig on. all his poin are valid it just a question of what you really need and be honest with yourself.
TallyGuy64 is 100% correct. Think about what you really need for now and the future if you can.
It is very often I will cut all pieces and start to weld and find I forgot to cut something. Or could add something here and there.
The 35% mean you can weld 3.5 minutes every 10 minutes. That is not the end of the world, just depends on your plans and future plans for the unit.
I use a PP50 and 250EX myself. It cost more money up front and I am low on space, but for me it saves me a lot of time and fits my needs.
I am doing up to 1 inch aluminum with the 250 works great . I would recommend a unit for welding and a unit for plasma cutting . Have to say the 250 is very well made . my 250 gets use every day at my machine shop and worked very hard and works great.