Finding Filler Metals, Gas and Consumables, Part 2
Finding the best source on filler metals, gas and consumables part2
When weighing the difference aspects of what welder you will get, the cost of operating the unit should include the cost of filler metals, gas, and consumables. Deciding between your supplier can factor into it as well. Consumables are perhaps the most widely purchased welding related item on the internet. This is likely because shipping costs quickly mount up when purchasing large amounts of filler metals due to the weight. Consumables are lighter to ship and large quantities can be shipped quickly for just a few dollars. A couple of rolls of MIG wire can quickly outstrip the online savings you may have found due to shipping. Another issue is that filler metal quality is highly variable and can vary brand to brand and even batch to batch if you have found a really good price that makes financial sense to ship. If you are purchasing an unknown filler metal brand from an online supplier, try to determine country of origin and the exact AWS classification and related paperwork before purchasing. Cheap brands of MIG wire may bind when it feeds or have excessive cast (corkscrewing) when it unwinds. It can have poor corrosion resistance, rusting in just days after it is delivered and installed in humid environments. Stick welding electrodes can be poor quality or badly stored and handled, arriving with flux that falls off the rod and dubious classifications from online sources, particularly if it has a “too good to be true” or clearance price. If possible, call the online vendor and establish a personal contact if there are questions about quality and origin of the products. Find out about any guarantees of quality and satisfaction. Especially find out if there are any return fees associated with making good on a poor quality or otherwise dissatisfying product. Buying online makes sense, if and only if, shipping is reasonable and quality is guaranteed.
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