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AHP 160 vs Everlast 160 - TIG Welder Test



Both the AHP 160ST and the Everlast PowerARC 160STH are stick welders (arc welders) and TIG welders. In his last how-to video, Kevin compared them head-to-head for stick welding. This time he compares their TIG welding capabilities and features.

The Everlast welder comes with a WP17 TIG welding torch. It's a fixed head, not a flex head, and has a finger trigger right on the torch. You can also get a foot pedal by ordering it separately.

The AHP welder does not come with a TIG torch so you have to order one. Kevin got his at http://www.gamblegarage.com .

The big difference between the two welders is that, for TIG welding, the gas goes through the Everlast machine. With the AHP, you have to have a torch with a gas knob on it to control the welding gas flow. The Everlast hooks up from the back of the machine to the flowmeter, while the AHP torch uses a really long hose to hook directly from the torch to the flowmeter on the argon gas bottle.

Both machines have their "on / off" switches on the back and are set to 100 amps. On the AHP, you just change the mode from MIG to TIG. Remember, this is a lift start machine, so once you put the welder into TIG mode, the tungsten is HOT electrically! Make sure it's in a holder or have it hung up somewhere. That prevents it from touching metal, because if you touch the tungsten to your workbench, you are welding!

On the Everlast, Kevin sets one toggle switch to TIG and the other to lift start. Even though this welder has high frequency - a nice advantage of this machine - he wants to compare apples and apples, and the AHP only has lift start.

First Kevin welds with the AHP welder. To show how lift start works, he lays the cup right on the metal, and touches the knob to start the gas flowing. Then he rocks up the torch so it touches the metal and lifts it at the same time to start the arc. This welder starts at very low amperage - 10 or 15 amps - so you don't contaminate the tungsten by going to 100 amps right away. Once it senses contact, startd a little arc, and let you get your distance set, it goes up to the amperage you have set. When you're done welding, you just snap away the torch and turn the gas knob to off.

With the Everlast, he's using the same tungsten as on the AHP (3/32nds). The nice thing about the Everlast welder is that this torch is dead until you click the switch. So before you rock up the cup, you click the "on" switch on the torch handle. When you're done, you just let go of the button, instead of having to snap it away. Yet you still have post flow to help cool down the metal. Like the AHP, the arc is really stable and smooth.

Next Kevin shows the two welds. The AHP was a little cool, but they're pretty similar. The beads are a little tighter on the Everlast weld, but that, Caron says, was operator caused. He wasn't that happy with the AHP bead - sweat was running in his eyes while he was welding.

All in all, though, both 160 amp welders do a fine job welding. You won't be able to weld 1/4" plate and they're DC only, so you can only weld steel, but for the price, they are great welders. The AHP is about $240 while the Everlast is about $440.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, but you might want to stick around for another moment and hear him try to adlib his way out of a flub ....

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