Buying a used AC welder versus and new DC inverter welder

As AC buzz box welders are falling out of favor, you can see a lot more for sale on the internet. This opens up a Pandora’s Box of educating perspective customers. Discussing with customers the reason for buy an Everlast product over used buzz box welders typically involves a great bit of education and reasoning.  But the part of the equation that we try to stress is that DC inverter welders simply are more efficient and portable.   That’s one thing that can’t be argued against. Would you prefer to carry around a 125 lb buzz box or a 35 lb inverter welder that has more capabilities? Of course, price is a factor as many of the buzz box welders lose a lot of value, even though there might be a good bit of life left in them. Buzz boxes are generally quite reliable, but a single repair easily outstrips the value of the welder itself, so buying one without a warranty just doesn’t make financial sense. One of the next hang-ups I deal with is: “What if I NEED AC?”  I simply reply “When would you need AC?”  There’s hardly any time I remember an answer to my question. That seems to settle it. But to keep the discussion fair I do mention the fact that AC is advantageous to have if you suffer from a condition known as “Arc Blow”.  This is where the DC arc becomes destabilized due to the magnetic field. The AC arc, because of its constant back and forth flow, creates a more stable arc in this situation. But again, this can usually be minimized or completely dealt with by wrapping or recoiling the welding lead around whatever you are working on or you can move the work clamp around etc. Rarely, will you ever not be able to solve the problem if you have DC and you experience arc blow. This is 99.9 percent of the time. I have welded long enough to experience a few arc blow issues, but I always have been able to deal with it. What it boils down to at the very heart are about three things that should be considered.

1) Performance. The DC inverter welders are superior in nearly every way. The one very small reason to buy AC from arc blow is not a reason to buy an AC welder. More welding rods work with DC than AC for a reason.

2) Warranty. When considering a used AC buzz box found on Craig’s list against an evenly priced Everlast unit, the Everlast usually beats it with the warranty aspect. People used to wonder if we’d be around long enough to honor the warranty. We’re still here since 2004. That’s long enough for our warranty to expire a number of times.  Our present product line of the “Power” series has been out since early 2009.  Do the math. We’ll be here for some time that’s for sure.

3.) Price. Our DC inverter welders are made in China. We don’t hide that fact. The price we have on them is way less than a US name brand. They are indeed made from name brand parts, but they are fully assembled in China. Used to be a few years ago, people would point to the name brands in the US being made right here. Even then, that statement was not fully true. Almost all units nowadays are made elsewhere.  Lincoln manufactures inverters in Italy largely from Chinese components. They even manufacture directly in China, along with Mexican assembled components. Miller has gone to labeling “assembled in the US” on much of their product line. They cannot meet the standards required to say Made in the USA. Almost all electronics are built in China or some Asian country now. We offer a good price to be sure. No issue there. But for a used “US” buzz box, it may be about the same price.

Still, some people have worries about technology and this “new” fangled thing called an inverter. Inverters have been around since the 80’s.  Enough said?