Eastwood welders - avoid this company.

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Jun 27, 2014
So, for the holidays, I bought a welder and a plasma cutter from Eastwood for my us to learn on. We have an 80, and bumpers are expensive, so we figured we'd take the opportunity to learn the fine art of welding. And yet, I have not laid down a single bead since we bought these items. We don't claim to know everything, or anything, but we can follow instructions, and we set the machines up correctly. Perhaps it is user error, but I doubt it. Here are the issues:
  • The Versa-Cut 40 is junk. Mine would not stop leaking air - when you pulled the trigger, it would dump air endlessly until you turned it off. Well, I don't have a nine billion gallon air compressor, just a good little one. The tech suggested it was the regulator, but the regulator is responsible for regulating pressure, not turning the flow on and off. I decided to humor him and I waited for the new one. They shipped the wrong regulator, it wouldn't even fit in the machine - I believe the one they shipped me was for the Versa-Cut 60. So I shipped it back to them and asked for a replacement. They had 549 dollars (plus the 500 in the welder) and I had nothing to show for it. After waiting more than a week, I finally called and asked if I was going to be sent a new plasma cutter. They said they'd send one out the day after, and they did, but why did I have to ask? This is now more than a month after the original purchase. I just tried the new one, and it is dumping air internally. That means the aquarium tubing that passes for their air hoses is not properly seated in their crappy quick disconnects. And you know what? I don't care, I'm not taking the cover off and hunting around for a leak. I'm just done with Eastwood. It's one thing to have a product that works poorly, but the Versa-Cut 40 doesn't work at all. Which brings me to my next issue.

  • The welder itself seems to be of marginally higher quality, but the welding regulator they sent with it immediately had the flow meter go to max and it won't go back down. It's broken and cannot be used if I cannot control the CFH. I'm not going to sit here and wait for them to send me the wrong part, then just pack the damn thing back up and send it back. You can't get a regulator right, yet I should expect the MIG welder, which is far more complicated, to be fine? Realistically, I'm sure the welder is fine, but Eastwood has lost my confidence. It's going back as soon as I can get it into the box.
I know someone else did a favorable review of them here, recently, and I am certain that their experiences are probably different from ours, but I wanted everyone here to be aware of what they call "quality".

tl;dr: Eastwood's products are crap and I cannot wait to get my money back. I have nothing against Chinese products, but it's obvious they don't have anyone at all on the ground at the factory performing quality control. Do not buy any Eastwood products. They don't work.
Well I have nothing against China stuff .. just think for important stuff that matters to me buy the best my pocket can afford .. so I got a MIller welder .. ;)
The sweetness of cheapness is soon forgotten but the reality of crap lasts a lifetime. Thanks for the heads up.
Interesting. Hopefully it's an anomaly, but otherwise it's disappointing that the quality control went downhill. Pretty common from what I've learned from some local folks I know who have some parts manufactured in China. Samples are excellent quality and by the second or third production run they are nothing like the original unless you have someone on site doing quality control. OTOH places like Apple seem to track manufacturing quality pretty closely.

I have one he welders and my brother also does. I've been really pleased with it. My first reg was bad too - just no reading on the dial gauge. A new replacement was sent right away. Of course you won't get a victor gauge with a $500 welder. My parents own a metal fab shop so I have quite a bit of experience with most brands of mig welders. The worst I've ever used is a Panasonic commercial, and the best are usually the 400amp divorced miller/hobarts with the old all copper power units. The Eastwood is on par with a small miller IMO. It's damn near a direct clone and the internals are high quality - on mine. One of the early blue color ones. I've only run maybe 100lbs of wire through it, but also welded up a UTV complete chassis from scratch - and the obviously very cheap spool gun performed without a hitch. I can't imagine it would last in any type of production work, but that's not really the point of it.

It's certainly possible that quality has dropped. That's unfortunate. This was one of the only lower cost 180amp welders that I thought was actually a good welder. This is a winch plate I built two weeks ago. It lays down pretty nice welds in my book - for a cheap Chinese product.

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