HTP TIG Welder
Has anyone had experience with the HTP inverter TIG welder made in Italy? If so, what is your opinion?
Machines from italy are about one step up from china. Throw away machines. Lincolns and Esabs small machines come from there and they are garbage. Just a terrible design. Poor internal interconnects. Inefficient design. Weak mechanical design.
Thanks Mac. I saw one on eBay and was curious.
The Italians make nice guns and good wine. I guess they are not up to speed on their welders.
I was researching the HTP welders a while back and found nothing but good feedback about them. I believe most of what I found was on the Miller forum, as well. I was checking out the Invertig 201, and it received a lot of positive reviews. One of the things I noted (and attracted me to it) was that it is quite a bit bigger than a comparable Miller (Dynasty 200). It was designed to have more room inside the machine that it could be user-serviceable. On the aforementioned forum, owners said that they got fantastic support from HTP here in the states. Owners of other machines usually have to drop off their machine at a service center and often times pay exorbitant prices for simple repairs. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an HTP machine. Check out the reviews on the Miller forum.
I've had a chance to use the HTP 200 amp tig, and i was very impressed with how it welded. it takes a few extra button pushes to get set up, but my frame of reference is from using transformer machines like a miller sw351. i think the button setup is pretty common among inverter welders. it welded nicely on steel an aluminum. i prefer old transformer machines for steel, but that's just my opinion.
from looking at the htp, i think it's actually very nicely made. i've never seen the italiann made lincoln or esab to compare, but the wiring on the htp is run neatly and well secured, the boards appear to be more modular than some of the other welders i've been inside (panasonic, cebora, esab). what i mean by that is that the functionality seems to be broken up into smaller boards, so if something goes wrong, you replace that board, and not have to replace the $900 do everything board. that has the upside of replacing just what you need to and the downside of more connections.
if you plan to do much welding over ~140 amps, i would suggest getting the watercooled option. i was welding a bunch of steel at ~180 amps and the torch was getting pretty toasty.
from what i can tell, they put together a nice welder, and like someone else mentioned, they are pushing hard on the support side to make sure their customers are satisfied.
with the big name welders your support is as good as your local service center within the warranty period. after that you can bet on expensive spares. i asked the local miller service guy about the reliability of miller dynasty 200, vs the 350, he pointed me to a sw351 that he just got as a trade in. he said the bigger miller inverter (dyn350) was more reliable than the dyn200 in his experience. both were relatively good, but that "you don't want to have to pay for repairs on those when they go out of warranty", so he referred me to the older tranformer machines as he knew i'm not running the machine very often, and repairs are more managable on those.
i would say, if you like the htp, go for it, as they are a good bet as long as the company is around, which looks good in the near future. if you want something to run forever get an old transformer machine that you can get discrete components for.
Keep in mind the good reviews for the HTP come mainly from car guys, and not industrial users. They advertise heavily in car magazines.
I'm not saying that feedback is useless, (I'm a car guy) just not made by people who weld with them all day long (I usually weld all day long).
I ran a Dynasty 300 all day today, and it stayed on for the next guy. I run my Dynasty 200dx a lot. I wouldn't buy an HTP to do this sort of work, and you don't see HTP welders in commercial shops, save in the corner of an auto or auto-body related shop.
Of all the maxstar 200's and dynasty 200's that had come into my shop only two times was it for the failure of the machine. Once the input power module fried and took out the power board and the second time it was for a bad HF board. All the other times was for user error or abuse of the machine.
Internally the newer miller machines use very few wires. On the Dynasty and Maxstar the boards plug into each other. The only company that has nicer designs is hypertherm, but they dont do welders.
Solid machines. And one very hand feature that stands above the rest is the ability to run off of anything from 120v to 480v 3 phase so it makes it a truly portable machine. Plus the miller is about half the size and 2/3 the weight.
European welder manufacturers were making inverter welders long before it was available in the USA. I think it is rather short sided to think that the best welders are necessarily made in the USA.. Kind of like saying the best cars/trucks are made in the USA. Might have been true 20 years ago, but not the case now.
Originally Posted by macona
I would not hesitate to order the HTP invertig 201 or Thermal Arc 200 over the Miller dynasty 200DX. I think it has more value. HTP will give you a 30 day trial period on their welders and will gladly refund the money if you don't like it.
Many guys on the Hobart and Miller web sites are not car guys and they seem to like HTP equipment. I've ordered consumables from them and never had any problems.
The reason you don't see HTP equipment on TV shows is because they don't spend alot of money sponsoring like Miller or Lincoln. I think their niche is the home hobby user.
disclaimer: not affiliated with any vendor.
"Inverter" welders are nothing more than Switched Mode Power Supplies. Those are common everywhere.
The first successful inverter was the PowCon in the late 70's/early eighties. It was invented by Goran Hedberg from Sweden and someone else. He brought the design over here and created the PowCon/Cyclomatic brand name. Very popular machine in the military because of its portability. In 94 ITW bought PowCon and a few year later they were discontinued.
Goran Hedberg went on in 99 to help found ARCON welding which makes a modern version of the PowCon.
Saying the machines are good coming just because they were invented there makes no sense. There is a lot of crap that was invented in europe.
What makes the HTP or a Thermal Arc a better value? Just curious. The MSRP on the Miller and Thermal Arc are about the same (Prices by retailer vary greatly.)
I do have a Thermal Arc 300GTSW myself. I got mine from a customer that was sick and tired of it blowing up on him. Bought it and repaired it and so far it is still working for me. We stopped trying to push the Thermal Arcs as we couldnt guarantee its reliability. Also another issue with thermal arc is all the schematics are confidential. They will not give you and info even with a NDA. Since the machines are made by SanRex in Japan they use some very oddball components which are hard to get. Also the Thermal Arc uses unsealed boards and I have had several fail due to aluminum dust accumulating on the circuit boards.
I have no horse in this race. Dont do this job anymore. Just reporting what I have seen.
TA 200 is $2373.xx delivered
Originally Posted by macona
Tig kit includes 12.5 air cooled 200 (26) amp tig torch, regulator and hose, starter consumables kit, ground clamp and cable and foot control, stick kit includes electrode holder and cable. 5 year warranty
Dynasty 200DX is $2799.xx delivered
Rated at 200 amps at 20% duty cycle
Dynasty 200DX with contractors kit $3379.xx delivered
HTP Invertig 200. Price is $2395.xx
$2895.xx with water cooler kit
Rated at 200 amps at 35% duty cycle. Shipping is not included in the cost. 3 year warranty
Money Back Guarantee
Use any HTP machine for 90 days. If you don’t like it, we’ll take it back. Simple. No questions asked. After all, the right tool makes work a pleasure, and if it’s not the right tool, then we don’t want you to have it!
Dynasty 200DX gives you the dual voltage option and AC frequency to 250 hz compared to 200hz for the HTP. The additional 50hz and ability to run 110v may not be a big deal depending on the type work involved.
Last edited by crawler; 09-03-2008 at 06:04 PM.
So in other words, price?
You dont choose a car on price alone do you?
VALUE for the intended purpose
When I buy a key piece of equipment for my business, it has to do its job well and be reliable with good service. I will not say price is not and issue but it has to meet the above mentioned requirements. Things I buy for pleasure are looked at differently. I look at value and will it do basically what I think I want it to.
If I am buying for me to use to have fun, I look for something that will basically fit my needs. I do not care about impressing anyone with a name brand; however, I do stay away from Chinese products because they may not work, parts are hard to come by and service is usually poor or non existent.
For me, the 110 advantage of the Miller Dynasty is of no consequence; however, It would be nice to have the option to power it with three phase. For me, as a beginner, it would be hard to justify $3,400 for the Miller Dynasty with the contractor pack. If it is something I use every day in my business, it would be a whole different story. Without exception, everyone I have communicated with, that has a HTP machine, likes it and raves about the customer support. Locally, I would not get the attention a welding shop would if I had problems with a Miller. I know this because we have a Miller Bobcat in my farm shop. The level of support you pros need is very different from what I may need. If I contacted the Miller Dealer and asked a very elementary question, I would not likely get much help. As I mentioned above, this machine will be used 90% of the time for non essential projects I do for fun. It will be nice to have the ability to repair something in house that we would normally farm out but it would be hard for us to justify a TIG machine in our farm shop.
I have had several conversations with HTP since I started this thread. All my emails are answered quickly by a human being. I an not directed to a FAQ website. They act like they not only want to sell me a welder but want me to happy with it. As mentioned above, I do think they cater to people like me or folks that need a particular machine but not something that is used all day everyday.
My preference is normally US made goods. Second is Europe and South America. I avoid Jap products when I can. I believe the Japs make many high quality products; however, I also raise rice. Japs do not allow US rice to be sold in their country. Needless to say, my work truck is a Ford.
I guess in my case, a Lincoln would be nice but the Ford will serve my purpose well.
Thanks again for all your help and support. Look out, If I do buy a TIG, the questions will really flow.
I don't see a need to pay 33% more for a comparable product. I would be willing to pay 10 to 15% more to have a Miller in my home/shop, but I really cannot justify 33% more.
Originally Posted by macona
One thing that caught my eye was Thermal Arc's 5 year warranty. HTP has a better duty cycle at 200 amps AND has a 90 trial period for their tig welder. That says alot about their product.
There are many guys on the Hobart and Miller welding boards that have not had any issues with Thermal Arc tig welders or HTP Invertig 201.
I have not seen one negative comment about HTP. I've purchased products from them and spoke to Jeff Noland several times and have no doubt that they'll stand behind their product. Miller has good support and service too, but you could be unlucky and have a lousy LWS to deal with.
What you pay for an item is one component of value. Your mileage and definition of "value" will differ like opinions.
I have one of the older 150 Amp DC HTP TIG machines. I am very happy with this machine. The one thing I did do was modify the machine so that it can use a remote at the torch.
Thermal Arc compared to the HTP
How would yall compare the Thermal Arc to the HTP in terms of quality?
Cant say for sure without seeing inside of a HTP. Assuming they are like the other italian machines I have seen then the Thermal Arc is leaps and bounds better.
201 on the way
I bit the bullet and ordered the 201. Now all I have to do is learn to use it. I will keep you posted as to my progress.
Thanks again for all your help and comments.
My HPT 201 is Here and Working
My HTP 201 TIG welder is here and working well. Service and information from HTP was exceptional. Diana and Jeff set me up with what I needed to get started without selling me everything including the kitchen sink. I got the same good service concerning a Micro Cut 625 plasma cutter we bought at the same time. Setup was easy and the instructions were good.
I started practicing a bead without filler and then graduated to a bead with filler, all on mild steel. My butt welds are getting better. I am having a little trouble on my lap and fillet welds in keeping the arc on the lower piece but I am getting there. I called HTP and Jeff was very helpful.
I have fun with everything in my shop, except maybe a broom, but I am really having fun learning to TIG weld.
Yall have heard me say this before, I will take any and all suggestions on things I should practice, read or view.
I know I'm bringing this thread back from the dead, but I figured this would be a good place to post my impressions....
The first TIG I ever struck an arc with was a Miller Syncrowave 250DX and I only used it 3-4 times over a few months. Didn't have much luck (nor training).
A few years later I started working at a shop that had an HTP Invertig201, the owner sat me down, gave me a few tips, and told me to practice until I had it down. Within about a week I was laying nickles on 3/16" plate, and welding up 20ga fuel tanks on choppers.
After a few months I was able to weld just about anything, from razorblades edge-to-edge (and keep the bead in the groove), to a 3/8" thick 6061 Billet tag bracket (with an O/A preheat).
I ran the snot out of that machine for 3-5 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 4 years. Never had one problem.
About 5 years ago I started at a shop that had a Miller Dial-Arc 300HF with a water cooled push button torch. That took some getting used to (and remembering where on the dial my amp setting were), but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Though, I couldn't do my razorblade trick, and it wouldn't even begin to puddle a 3/8" Aluminum casting. Everything in between was cake though....
Two months ago I ordered a new HTP Invertig 201 and got a call back that they were discontinued . But that they were coming out with a replacement, the Invertig 221. I patiently waited a month for them to come in. It arrived last week, and I've been spending the last few days testing it out.
So far its pretty darn good. Threw down some pretty nice beads on some 316L, patched up a 22ga MS fuel tank (after a 2 week flush and purge), and I've been playing with the pulse settings this evening.
While typing this I ran out in the shop and threw a chunk of an old transmission case (A518) up on the table. Hit the bellhousing with a flap wheel, and struck an arc on the thickest part of the mounting flange I could find (~1/2" x 1/2" thick, roughly 30* of the case). It puddled within seconds, and I ran a bead a few inches long without a problem. It only penetrated ~1/8", but i was using the same settings (bal/freq) as i was using for 1/8" plate and just cranking the amperage all the way up. Without a preheat. I'm sure if I grooved it, tweaked the balance, and preheated it, I wouldn't have a problem.
The only negatives I can come up with are:
The welder came without a plug, nor US spec color codes on the cord. I finally figured out how to cross reference the ISO/DIN wire specs too hook it up to US 220V 1PH.
And the manual leaves much to be desired. It barely touches on the main settings, but doesn't go into the effects (or examples) of changing each setting (pulse freq, duty, balance, + duty, -duty, etc.).
I've run the dickens out of my Invertig 201, bought in early 2003. Gone through one water cooled torch cable (under $100 including shipping). Weld lots of aluminum, both thick & thin, quite a bit of stainless, some cast iron, some mild steel.
Factory support is beyond awesome from HTP, even though my total dollars spent with them was under $3k. I can always speak with Jeff or Steve whenever a quesiton comes up.
Contrast that to Big Blue (Miller) where I spent over $8k for a Trailblazer 302 engine drive, Suitcase 12RC, and Spoolmatic 30A. I bought half a dozen drive rolls for the Suitcase, based on telephone recommendations from Miller tech support, for feeding Lincoln NR212 Innershield. Seems like the 6th set was the only correct one for that wire, and sold the others on eBay for half price. They tried to help, but didn't help much. A frustrating experience that should not have happened.
When I ordered mine, Steve asked me what kind of plug I needed & included one with the machine. I did have to install the plug on the cord, but a phone call to HTP got that sorted out quickly.
The welder came without a plug, nor US spec color codes on the cord.
That it does. Again, a phone call will get your questions answered very quickly.
the manual leaves much to be desired.
FWIW, I also bought the MIG2400 & am just as happy with that machine.