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Thread: Tig Torch Guidance please

  1. #1
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    Tig Torch Guidance please

    I really couldn't think of where to post this so I decided to be selfish and place it where I knew it would get the most views...lol

    I've grown tired of lugging my massive tig torch around that came with my welder and I'm digging into what makes a solid all around torch for the home gamer.

    From what I've seen so far, the two real contenders are a #9 and #17. Now the air cooled #9 doesn't have the capacity to run with my welder up in the upper range but is nimble from all reports which is what I think I'd prefer. The #17 still doesn't get to my top end of 275amps, but I can keep the current monster in a drawer somewhere on the off chance I do something heavy. The difference in size between the #17 and the #9 is notable. Whether or not the #17 will be cumbersome with delicate work...., I simply don't know.

    I am more than willing to make the leap into water cooing, so that will make that version of the #9 pretty much and all in one set up for me. I doubt I'll bother with a full blown water cooling set up, but opt to run tap water through the torch, and down the drain. For the tiny amount of welding I do, I can't justify the need for a costly cooling rig.

    So anyways... I'm leaning toward the water cooled #9, but seeing as we have a solid group of tig users here on the forum I thought I'd gather more intel before making a purchase. ...and I'll use the previous sentence as a segue into asking for suggestions for an online welding supplier for my new torch purchase.

    Thanks everyone
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  2. #2
    I run an air cooled 17. I've cranked it to 221amps a couple of times. Not for very long mind you, but if you need those kind of amps, chances are you are no longer working on small stuff anyways. Whatever size you do decide, be sure to get a CK torch setup complete with the hose. Mine is soft as butter and super flexible. I used lincoln's new tig machine last year and it was like wrestling a half frozen snake. I'm in no particular hurry when I sit down to tig and by the time the torch gets hot in my hand, it's time for a break anyways. A water cooler would be nice, but a necessity for me at the moment.

    OCD went water cooled #9 and he loves it. Kinda all comes down to the dollars really.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagboy69 View Post
    Kinda all comes down to the dollars really.
    Thanks for chiming in Jason, and of course you are completely right about the decision being all about $$$. I'm one of those guys that buys the tool I need for that potentially one off job rather than rent it. Meaning I'd rather spend the money and enjoy the versatility during my short time on the tig machine rather than wrestle that same snake I have in my garage...lol.

    I'm not fixated on water cooling, but extending the capability of a #9 so it covers the vast majority of even my potential needs seems to make sense. I mean why have both a limited 9 and then a 17 for sake of avoiding my current monster if I need a bit more juice then the air cooled 9 can handle...? I'm not a heavy gauge welder, but it's not uncommon for me to stitch together some thicker angle iron to some plate from time to time.

    I think what I'll do is add the costs of the 9 and 17 together and compare the duo to a water cooled 9 and see if I can swallow the cost.

    ...and I'll do so on CK products. I've heard nothing but solid comments on those products and everyone loves the super flexible hoses. Which isn't what I have, and the biggest reason for my motivation.
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  4. #4
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    Here's what I'm looking at in the "#9 sized" water cooled torch...: https://www.arc-zone.com/flexible-torch-pkg-ck212sf-fx

    It appears as though the combined cost of a 9 and 17 air cooled does get me in the range of the water cooled CK212 (flex head and super flex hoses). Now it's another ~$30 to double the hose length from 12.5' to 25'. Guess that's one of those things you wish you did after you need to reach something 13' away from your rig...lol. Probably not a concern for those fortunate enough to own those small inverter machines. I think I'd rather spend the $30 then drag my big old tranny machine that .5"...
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  5. #5
    That's a nice torch. Good idea about adding the 9 and 17 and stacking that up against a 9 water cooled. I'm not a fan of flex head.. Probably because I'm a gas lens user and I've always been able to get to where I need to usually by increased stickout. With a gas lens, I can easily go a healthy 1/2". Perfect for hard to reach corners. Someone told me ONLY run ck and I'm glad I learned that lesson early on.
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  6. #6
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    I'm not married to notion of a flex head. Figured it would just be handy to have if the need be and the cost difference seems minor.

    I'll probably invest in some pyrex lenses for this new torch, whatever it may end up being. Being a newb, i need all the little cheats I can get to help me follow the puddle.
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  7. #7
    Stubby gas lenses are a must! I haven't tried the pyrex cups yet. I know OCD did and suffered some big meltdowns with them. Overheated them I think? Maybe he will chime in. Same goes with gas lens. CK ONLY, lots of knock offs out there. They are cheap too...I think I am paying 3-4 bucks a piece. Grab a couple of each size you use. They normally last forever until that one day you light up at 200amps and forget to turn on the argon. They will suffer a cool meltdown. Spares will save your bacon. ;-)
    Last edited by jagboy69; 01-05-2018 at 03:30 PM.
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  8. #8
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    So I figured out that I'll go with the following:
    -a 9 sized water cooled torch which get me up to the ~250amp top end.
    -25' "superflex" hoses
    -Flex head (because I'm more than willing to spend $30 extra if it could save my ass some day...lol)

    Now everyone says to go CK WorldWide products. However being the research kind of guy I am, I did a little cost comparison. The CK product with the fore mentioned features, is ~$198. The WeldCraft comparable is ~#319...? So over a $120 difference...?...wow

    Both products are listed at Arc-Zone.com at those prices.

    If CK is such a better product then why the massive price increase for the Weld Craft comparable...?
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  9. #9
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    Cyberweld has a water cooled weldcraft 250 for $163 but it's not a flex head.
    I am just using a basic weldcraft aircooled size 17. I wonder if I should be looking at smaller water cooled torches? I rarely weld north of 150 amps for any length of time. Please keep us posted what you end up with and how it works for you.
    Robert
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for adding that Robert... I exercised my GoogleFu and found this: https://store.cyberweld.com/db250ampwatt.html

    If that's the one you're suggesting, that price comes with the 12ft hoses. Add an additional $51 to get the double length 25ft. So.... ~$215 ....Still waaay better than the ~$300 with the Arc-Zone vendor

    Unfortunately, CyberWeld doesn't seem to offer shipping into Canada either. At least I couldn't find the option within the CheckOut.
    FLAME ON...!!!!

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