Vulcan ProTig 205

anickode

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Hey all!

'Bout 2 weeks ago, I pre-ordered a Vulcan ProTig 205 at my local HF store with the coupon from the June circular. Got the call this morning that it was in at the store (my local store doesn't stock them normally). I thought about ordering online, but know about the headaches of receiving damaged products through online order, and wanted to be able to inspect it before I took it home.

Unboxing videos are overdone and boring, so I'll just do a little writeup instead.

Outer box was plain brown cardboard, though not the usual squishy yellowish-beige stuff that is typical of chinese products. It was good, stiff two ply corrugated, free of damage.

Inside that box was the actual product box. It reminded me of the box my XMT304 came in. Very high quality, white cardboard with printed graphics on the whole thing; what you'd expect of a decent quality product.

Open that up, there are multiple other boxes containing the accessories: Foot pedal, power cords, Tig torch, regulator, ground cable, and stick welding stinger.

The welder itself had additional cardboard panels around it, with expanding polyurethane foam in bags all around it. Exactly how my Miller also came.

The accessories are all of decent quality, nothing particularly notable about them.

The foot pedal is distinctly reminiscent of a Lincoln pedal.

On to the good stuff... The machine itself. The fit and finish of the machine is very good, though that is to be expected of a $1000 machine. Display is clear and easy to read, and controls are extremely intuitive. The one rotary knob on the face feels a touch on the cheaper side, but for a sub-$1000 square wave AC/DC inverter TIG welder, the quality is acceptable. It's not a Miller Dynasty after all.

One nice feature of this machine (though something that won't see much use in my shop) is the ability to run on 120v as well as 240v, by use of a second (included) power cord. Vulcan uses a standard NEMA L6-20R twistlock on the back of the machine for the cord connection, so if the cord gets damaged, it can be replaced using off the shelf components from any electric supply house.

I haven't got a full tank of Argon laying around at the moment, so I can't do much else with it right away, but I've got to say I'm impressed, and so far quite satisfied with the $899 coupon price.

For those that don't know, the Vulcan line of machines are basically ripoffs of Lincon welders, though some more than others. The predecessor to the 205 (ProTig200) was so much so that Lincoln filed a lawsuit almost immediately following its release, and they had to discontinue them. The 205 is extremely similar to the 200, but they changed just enough not to violate copyright and/or patent laws. I guess among the changes was a revised version of the high frequency start/sustain system, which could occasionally be problematic in the 200.

If the $1800 Lincoln Square Wave 200 was a Ford Fusion, the Vulcan would be a Kia Optima. Obviously copied off it, changed just enough to skirt the law, a couple extra bells and whistles thrown in (like the LCD screen vs a simple LED display) to make it more appealing, and significantly cheaper.

Time will tell if the investment was worth it. Again, right up front, it seems like a reasonable deal on a decent product.

Not that TIG is all that commonplace for go kart DIYers, but I really didn't buy it for that.
 

gegcorp2012

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Hi @anickode

Post some pics when you get it going.
I love how TIG looks so flat.

When you are welding, does the TIG process look any different compared to MIG ?

I have trouble seeing what I am doing sometimes with my MIG, could be that I'm getting old, or just bad prep work, or maybe my shield is too dark.

Just curious...

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
 

Kartorbust

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Well you've sparked my interest. Been thinking about getting a tig welder in the future just to mess around with it. Haven't done any tig welding since college so it's been 8 years.
 

anickode

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I will definitely post when I get to fire it up. All the welding shops around here are only open till 5, and closed on the weekend, so I'm going to have to wait for a day I can cut out of work a little early to go pick up some argon.
 
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