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Thread: Two questions: water vs. not, multi-function vs. single...

  1. Default Two questions: water vs. not, multi-function vs. single...

    Ok, I'm ready to take the plunge and buy a TIG welder. I did some gas welding back in the day, but this arc stuff is all new to me :-)

    This is for my home shop, and fairly infrequent use. I want to weld aluminum, so I need AC. I want to be able to weld a fairly broad range of material sizes, in a perfect world (may not be realistic) down to .058" wall aluminum tubing and up to 1/4" or 3/8" thick plate. I have 220 volts available. I'm sensitive to cost, but I'd rather buy the right machine and spend a few more dollars than have to do this again in six months.

    So I have two questions.

    1) Seems on the surface that water cooling is a hassle that I would rather not deal with. That is suggesting the 200 amp class machines, rather than the ~250 amp machines. But I know that water cooled torches are smaller, and thus easier to maneuver - and obviously water cooling allows more power which allows thicker material. Anyone have any comments on the water vs. air cooled issue - if I don't mind the extra cost of the bigger machine and water cooler? Am i right to stick with air cooled - just simpler, fewer things to break, etc.?

    2) I am very attracted to the Power Pro 205 multi-function machine, because it gives me a plasma cutter which seems quite useful (I don't have any other way to cut metal in my shop other than a small band saw). Also, the PP205 seems to have better welding features than the PT200DX - the 205 has both pre and post flow, and both up and down slope, where the 200DX doesn't. BUT - multi-functions means more stuff to break, more controls to fiddle with, etc. And obviously higher cost than just the welder...

    Any input on these two items would be very much appreciated!

  2. #2


    Ok, water cooled torches aren't smaller than the equivalent same series torch. This is a misconception. The units come with an 18 torch which is quite large...which is sufficient to carry the amperage of AC and DC current up to 250 amps and over. A smaller 20 which is water cooled too is generally rated for 250 amps DC, and less than 200 amps AC.

    A power TIG 200 DX will probably do most everything you'll ever need, and you can use an air cooled torch with it (which is supplied with a 26 series which is good up to 200 amps). If you are going to use a foot pedal, those other features do nothing for you. Even with a torch switch, the 200DX does everything necessary.

    You'll be happier with separate units.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Northern Virginia


    Welcome to the forum, Garrik! Good idea to post up questions about the machines to help with your purchase decision, ask away.

    I have not used the 200DX but having read this forum over time there are a lot of guys who are VERY happy with it. I just looked over the specs, here...
    ... and saw that it does have downslope, and pre- and post-flow (not to be contentious, just to arm you with all the facts). There's also a 110 / 220 auto-sensing model available, too:
    Oxweld oxy acet gear
    IMIG 200
    PowerTIG 210 EXT... Amazing!

  4. #4


    I agree with Mark on happier with separate units...

    The 200DX and a Power Plasma 50 would be my picks. I've used our products for years, and the PP256 as well. Always liked them dedicated to the function (CUT or WELD). You have better duty cycle. You break something and you are not out all the functions. There is a little more cost and space to deal with, but worth it to me.

    On the torch, I think a couple (two) videos ago, Jody at welding tips and tricks used an WP18 or WP26 in the video. I think he mentioned which torch, but you can clearly see it. He did not complain one time, and the welds look great. There's nothing wrong with those torches. Great starting torch. As you get into TIG, then you POP for the CK.
    Mike R.
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  5. #5


    I have the 200DX. I have had it for about 2 years. I have the air cooled torch. It is not the smallest one, but I have not had a problem with it. I always thought the water cooled torches are larger. I don't think you need water cooled unless you are doing a lot of work. I haven't had a problem so far of the torch getting too hot.

    I also have the opinion of getting 2 machines. I haven't gotten a plasma cutter yet. Always thinking about it.

    You also mentioned up to 5/8". The 200 is pretty good at 1/4". It is labeled as thicker with a multipass. If that is what you want. 5/8" is pretty thick.

    Since you also mentioned you are new to arc welding. I also have a MIG welder. As in every tool does things good in its own way. Personally for steel I use the MIG a LOT more often than the TIG welder. The TIG is the best way to go for Aluminum or other non ferrous metals. It also does a great job on intricate steel work. The MIG on the other hand is faster for jobs that are not as precise. Break a flange off of the mower, Welding some 1/4" angle to make a frame, putting a shock mount on a frame, putting fenders on a trailer, etc.

    Just giving you some more info to confuse you even more.
    Shade tree MIG welder.
    Now a Shade tree TIG welder.

  6. #6


    I have had 2 air cooled flex heads basically melt the thin rubber around the end of the torch at less than max amps.. I have since been using a water cooled wp20 and cant imagine going back.. Now I just need a water cooled flex head
    Everlast 255EXT - Perfection
    Everlast PowerPro 256 - UPS Demolished
    Everlast MTS200s
    12 Ton Shop Press
    DeWalt Hand Tools/ChopSaw

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