Kevin is comparing the AHP Alpha 160 ST and the Everlast PowerARC 160STH. Both are stick welders (arc welders) and TIG welders.
There are only two big differences between the machines. For TIG welding, the Everlast has high frequency start and a gas connection, so the argon gas goes through the machine and on to the TIG torch. On the AHP, you have to hook your TIG torch directly to the bottle. There's a knob on top of the TIG torch to control the gas. The AHP uses lift start to start its TIG welder.
On the stick welding side, they're very similar. Both are 160 amp machines, both are dual voltage.
The Everlast is much bigger than the AHP, which has a handle. The Everlast has a strap and is maybe twice or three-quarters as heavy. After a couple of hours on the job site, you might want to set down the Everlast, while Kevin says the AHP "feels like a lunchbox with a full Thermos."
It's time to make some sparks! Kevin puts on his welding safety equipment - jacket, gloves and helmet.
Both machines are set to 115 amps. Caron runs the AHP first with a 1/8" diameter 7018 welding rod on a piece of 1/2" plate steel. He is using Lincoln's Excalibur welding rod. "It burns so nice and smooth," he says. Kevin is just laying the stick on the metal at a nice angle and letting it burn itself off as it walks along the metal.
Next he fires up the Everlast PowerARC 160STH. Kevin says it sounds little more energetic, a little harsher. He's using the same welding rod, laying the edge of the rod on the metal and letting it burn itself off and walk along.
Running the two welders side by side, Kevin says the Everlast sounded and felt a little hotter. The welding rod wanted to dip into the metal a little more easily, like it was getting more penetration. He also noticed that the welding rod was burning really nice on the bottom, digging in, but little globs of rod were falling off the front side, too. The AHP didn't do that.
So the Everlast seemed to run little hotter. Kevin says it's a good opportunity to learn the quirks of your machine. "This is where practice comes in," he points out. You learn to adjust the settings for each particular welder.
Kevin chipped off the slag on both welds and shows how the AHP weld is a little humped, so it was a little cold. The Everlast weld is a little flatter and might have gotten a little better penetration, especially at the end. That could be because the plate was cold when he started welding with the AHP, which preheated it up for the Everlast.
Kevin would rate the two machines about the same for stick welding. The Everlast is a little bigger and heavier - he has it on a cart. If Caron has to fix a fence or repair a sculpture on site, he'll take the AHP with him. It's small, light and easy to carry around. He does love the high frequency start in the Everlast.
When Kevin checked, the Everlast was $440 on eBay. The AHP has been $240 and should be back in stock soon.
Kevin is going back to work, so it's a great time to visit http://www.kevincaron.com to see his wild sculptures and more how-to videos.
Well, take one more moment to see Kevin make a fascinating anatomical observation ....