The welder that I’ve been borrowing from a cousin for the last two years finally needs to go back, which means I’ve started looking again at buying a welder. A while back I was looking at at Eastwood MIG 135, but after being metaphorically burned by buying a cheap electric chainsaw, I’m tempted to go with more of a brand name. Problem is, brand name welders seem a lot more expensive.

Around these parts, a Hobart Handler 140 (same as the one I borrowed) is $750 CAD on sale. That’s almost doable. But part of me wants to go with a TIG welder instead, as they seem better at handling lighter jobs (which is probably the bulk of what I’ll be using it for). Thing is, the cheapest brand name TIG welder that I can find is well over $1K. (The Hobart EZTig is something like $1.8K, and the Miller Maxstar 161 is even more, despite being DC only). At this point in time, I don’t think I’m quite comfortable spending that much money on another tool. (I already treated myself to a nice 12" Bosch mitre saw last year, and I’ve spent more in car repairs this year than I would have liked). Used welders aren’t terribly common around here, and the ones that I have seen seem to have asking prices that are close enough to new that a person might as well get a new one. That, or they are off-brand that seem pretty sketchy.

So... anyone here have any recommendations on a MIG or TIG welder that won’t break the bank... or break on me after 10 hours of use?