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SUI GENERIS UTE
GQ Ute 1990 Silvertop
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Tigs now days have come a long way, with so many brands its difficult to sort out what is better.

In a past life i was forced to use TIGs, owing a fabrication business i was forced to teach MIG/TIG/MMA to the various certificate quality, including the difficult BV and DNV. Just to put a bit of credibility into what i suggest.

Having to use/teach and pass many of the welding codes you get a feel to what welders are the easiest to teach with and pass these codes. There is NO doubt for TIG the Fronius Magicwave 2200 single phase is the most easiest Tig to use and pass the various codes, it comes with a nice price as well. So all other single phase TIGs in my opinion get compared to the Fronius. What stands out with the Fronius is arc stability and control it has, even if you are a novice. TIG is one of those skills that requires constant practice and honing your technique. This quality TIG sort of knows what you are doing wrong and adjusts for you. Many of us dont do enough TIG work to maintain that level of skill to do certificate welds, But the Fronius just seems to know what to adjusts for those rusty skills so you pass the code. Even for a novice it allows you to do great welds without to much experience once the welder is close to setup ideals.

Once you have a go at the different inverter TIGs even a novice, you quickly workout which one just seems to do the right things.

I have had the opportunity unfortunately to use/teach with many different TIGs. It wasn't to long ago so i still have experienced many of the same welders offered today most are just face lifts still the same internals with minor program adjustments.

The closest TIG to a Fronius in your dollar range i found was the Smootharc they are still only a BOC rebrand BTW. But that welder does emulate the Fronius arc control if nothing else. But dont even think its close it isn't, its still far and away inferior but $1200 compared to $6000 yeah well hmm you really cannot compare them. But some of these value for money TIG's like in the $2000 range are damn close in their programming and control to a Fronius.

A note though don't try running this value range welder on a generator, especially up in the top part of its amp range it will fail, On MMA will fail very quickly. This range of TIG usually will not have a 100% duty cycle rating usually about 30% at max power and usually a max of 60% at about half power. The Fronius quality TIGs have 100% duty cycle for about 2/3 rd power and they are generator capable. Thats why these high quality welders are somewhat more expensive. But the programming now days on some of these light duty TIG's is getting very close to Fronius quality if not the same.

You really need a novice level skill and try the different TIG's, you will quickly see the difference in programming.

For the 2 you posted Unimig Razor 200 and Smootharc 185 for the same money, i have used both. My rusty skill level allows me to weld OK with both. But the BOC unit has the edge for playing with knobs to set the machine to your skill level and probably has a bit better arc mostly, which is in the programming. When you start using the bigger tips for alloy like 2.4mm or bigger is where you will see the difference. 1.6mm tips on s/s or alloy not so much if at all.
 

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Uni mig machines work well. I own fronius and kemppi tig welders have been impressed with unimig units when i have used them especially considering the price. Lot of people bag out fluxcore wire if used correctly it works very well. If funds are limited a bottle of gas for tig welding for thinner materials. Some good quality flux core for thicker materials is a good compramise.
 
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