I've never heard of Smarter Tools. How do I know the welder is any good?
The Smarter Tools brand is new to North America, so you it's not surprising you haven't heard of it. However, the manufacturer has been in operation since 1997, and has made many refinements and improvements to its products over time. Smarter Tools products are used throughout Asia, Latin America and Europe. Visit their website, at http://www.smarter-welding.com to learn more. If you're still not convinced, consider that it's returnable for a full refund (read the return policy).
What do customers say about the Smarter Tools MMA-200?
"I have 30 years experience as a professional welder. Now that I am retired, I wanted a machine for building some gates and fences. I was skeptical about the technology, but after building my first gate, this machine have proven to be as good as any arc welder. The machine has plenty of power so that I do not have to worry about exceeding the duty cycle. You could compare this machine to the $1,600 Miller Dialarc which weighs 360 pound. Last week, I found a Dialarc at a garage sale for $750. But even at that price, why anyone want to buy a machine that you would need a forklift to move? This machine is more powerful than the Lincoln Invertec or Miller MaxStar.
There were other TIG/stick inverter machines and 120V invertor welders for sale, but I am interested in stick, not the TIG/stick combo or 120V machines. I would rather have a more powerful stick machine. This is most powerful 240V inverter stick welder for sale.
Light enough to hold in the palm of your hand.
Portable enough to place on bench.
Machine sounds like a computer when running--no buzz box sound.
Anti stick works--machine shuts down to prevent rod from turning red.
Electrode holder is strong.
Looks like machine was built to German standards.
Hand held helmet is light weight. Surprisingly good.
Lights do not flicker when welding."
Thanks for importing this machine."
What does MMA stand for?
The formal term for stick welding outside of North America is "Manual Metal Arc", or MMA, welding. So MMA-200 is a pretty straightforward model name for a 200 amp stick welder.
What does IGBT stand for, and why do I care?
IGBT stands for "insulated gate bipolar transistor". You care because most of the inverter welders on the market are based on the older MOSFET technology. A MOSFET-based unit can weld just as well, but the advantages of an IGBT-based unit over a MOSFET-based unit are:
-greater efficiency, leading to less waste heat
-less waste heat means longer life of circuitry and higher duty cycle
-it also means the unit will be smaller and lighter as it doesn't need as many heat
sinks. Beware of small, light MOSFET units, they won't have enough heat sinks and will
die an early death if they're used hard.
Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGBT