Northern Industrial Welders ST80i Inverter-Based Stick Welder with TIG Option - 115 Volt, 20 - 90 Amp
Amazing welder (words or my dad)
In my last trip to the USA I bought this little guy for my dad. He had the chance to work with this until the past weekend and when I asked to him"- Did you like it?" he only said "- I love it! this is the most amazing welder I've ever had " That was enought for me.
February 10, 2014
New to welding but impressed by this welder
I've never welded before but I've always wanted to learn. If you do your research online, like I did, all you'll see is "Get a Lincoln", "Get a Miller", "Those 110v welders are pieces of junk". Most of those people weld for a living or do a lot of welding so of course they need the more heavy duty welders.
I haven't owned this welder for long but I would venture to say that it will do almost anything the typical homeowner/hobbyist would throw at it. Even if I decide I need an upgrade to a 220v welder, I would still want to keep this little welder handy just because of the portability and compatibility (not everyone has a 220v outlet available).
The duty cycle, although only 20% (another big complaint from pro/heavy welders), was never an issue. I never had to stop to wait for the welder to cool down or anything.
Like I said, this is my first welder so I have nothing to compare it to but I was impressed. I bought a piece of 1/8" x 3" x 3' flat bar to practice. After burning only 4 rods, I felt confident enough to tackle a broken hoe I had in my shed (picture attached). After that, I used my angle grinder to cut off the section of flat bar I had been practicing on and then I welded the 2 pieces back together at a 90 degree angle (picture attached). I know, I have a long way to go before my welds look nice but they seem to be strong.
I don't know if anyone should be taking advice from me yet but I do have a few tips for other people new to welding:
1.) Get an auto-darkening welding helmet. I bought the auto-darkening welding helmet from Northern Tool and I can't imagine trying to learn using a traditional helmet. It worked great and I think it really helped me catch on a lot quicker than I would have with a standard helmet.
2.) Besides 6011, get some 6013 welding rods. They are great for learning travel speed and technique because you can pretty much drag them across the metal instead of having to maintaining the gap required to keep the arc going with the 6011. On my test piece I ran the rods at around 50 amps. When working on the hoe, I had to turn it up closer to 60 amps to get a smooth arc.
3.) Flash burn is no joke. I pride myself on being careful because I understand the dangers of welding. However, I had my helmet flipped to get a good look at my work, before I had set the electrode down. When I did, it touched the edge of the metal and flashed for a split second. I was disappointed in my momentary carelessness but all seemed well. A few hours later, my eye (the one facing the flash) was watering and burning pretty bad. My face also felt like I had been out in the sun a little too long. All that from a flash that lasted less than a second. Lesson learned.
February 10, 2014
I received this little welder two days ago in great condition it was packaged very well and shipping was very fast. I waited 10 days to get it but it was back ordered from the factory. I burned a dozen 1/8 inch 6010 5p+ rods with it so far and it handled them with ease. This machine will not handle big jobs but it works perfect for small jobs around the house or farm. It's very small, lite,compact and very easy to transport. This little welder is built very well and seems like it will last a very long time. I have not had a chance to build or repair anything yet but I will be updating this review when I do.
February 6, 2014
Great little machine
I have an off-grid power system that has a 8500w backup gen set. 6500w continuous. I can run this little welder on its highest settings without any problems. I was skeptical that it wouldn't be worth buying. Long story short is that I love this little guy. Just be patient and let it do its job and you'll love it too!
February 4, 2014
I used this little welder to build a bbq pit out of 1/4 inch thick pipe using 1/8 6011 rods , it performed great, no problem what so ever ,I was very impressed ,I highly recommend this welder
December 12, 2013
Great portable welder at a great price
Wow. I was very impressed with this welder. It is very small and lightweight yet tackled a 3/8" welding job I had with no problem in two passes. It is also very quiet and the parts seem to be high quality. I highly recommend this welder for small jobs or jobs in the field away from a home or shop welder. I am going to purchase the TIG attachment now too.
September 17, 2013
this little welder does anything you want it too and more....can't go wrong buying this little welder
September 17, 2013
This machine is AMAZING! I love it!
If you are reading this, it is probably for the same reason I read countless hours of countless reviews of countless different welders...I can share with you WHY I choose this one over every other one out there that can be choosen from whether MIG or flux core, tig, AC Stick, AC/DC Stick, 220 volts and 115 volts, inverter and non- inverter.
Now, let me start off to say that I am new to this type of welder. (I never used an inverter welder) and I have not welded in over 25 years, and that was with an old gas AC miller welder to weld for water pressurized steel piping. I was looking for a welder for simple hand tool repairs like shovel repairs and digging tool reinforcements and adding steel attachments to my 8 x 5 trailer. Nothing crazy- but maybe ;). I was thinking of mig. ( pro- no slag) negative was that it works best with shielding gas which adds to your "up-front" cost of getting started. If you are welding different types of metals the welding wire needs to be painfully changed out. And I have seen the rat nest that can happen with sticky feeding mechs. Stick welding is simple as just a matter of switching sticks for metals type and thickens you are welding- old school YES but easy!!! Tig... is much more expensive for your up front cost, and, I never did it before. Now the 220 volt verses 115? I have both set ups in my garage/shop which most people do not. I was really leaning toward the Hobart LX 235 AC/DC welder which is 500 clams. I really think it is a SOLID machine but it is that 220 volts 47.5 amps max power demand issue . But this for the price off a the LX235 I can get this light weight baby little inverter welder, extended warranty, two good auto-darkening welding helmets, great long extension cord, two pair of welding gloves, grinder, chimping hammer with steel brush, clamps, and lots of rods for 500 dollars or less. I then thought that I would be using this possibly at clients' properties for simple landscaping repairs. (fences/gates) And there the 220 volt problem again...Most people do not have 220 circuits for 220 volt with a 30amp or worse a 50 amp circuit and even if they did, what about reaching the areas I may need to reach? 220 volt extension cords can cost you hundreds of dollars also which is another negative. Now a 115 volt 15/20 amp circuit no problem for any house hold. And 20 amp extension cords are really inexpensive compared to 220 volt cords. This welder needs at least volt 105 AC at plug and no more than 132 volts AC via the user manual. If using an extension cord... test your usable voltage at the end of the extension cord or where ever you are plugging the welder into. I have used a 75 foot 10 gauge cord with no problem with the welder. 12 gauge 25 foot extension cord wire is required if being used. Manual says no longer than 25 feet. LOL. Buy a 10/3 extension cord and you will not have ANY problems with getting your welder to work where you need it! The grounding cord and working cord are plenty long enough with your welder plugged in with a good extension cord. (If you do not have at least a 12/3 25 foot extension cord, expect to add that into yoiur welder cost.
You will need your auto darking welding helmet shade set with at 10 or more.
The anti-stick feature works great too. Rods do still stick but nothing like I remember... but unstick very easily with a lite twist-pull on this machine. The arc is very easy to start and re-starting the arc is easy and the arc is very smooth! WOW, was I surprised that this lunch box sized welder works this well! I actually burned through some tube steel I was repairing that I had set at 65 amps welding with a e6013 3/32 rod. I thought the unit was set low... could not believe I had to turn the AMPS down to 52. Producing and holding a good welding pool is easy and the quality of the welds are great too!
Now, I have only used 3/32 rods. This welder comes with a 1 year warranty... I bought the two year extended warranty for 25 dollars more. Worth it if you ask me.
I have no doubt this can handle steel and other metals with no problem up to 3/8 in thickness with proper preparation and multi passes on the thick stuff. Grinder with any welder is a must!
I had no problem with the duty cycle.
I will update as I have used this more. At this time I am very happy with this purchase.
August 28, 2013
Good value / performance
I used this welder today for the first time welding 1/8 x 1" x 1" mild steel tubing. It performed great using a 3/32" 7018 rod. I prepped the miter joints by grinding a bevel at the weld. The set-up couldn't be easier, just attach the leads, plug it in and go. I was hesitant to buy a 120 volt machine but I'm pleasantly surprised how well this machine works. It's small size and light weight are a real plus.
August 8, 2013
Awesome little welder
For such a small welder it does a great job of welding. Used 7018 welding rod, it was easy to start and ran very smooth at 60 amp, The same rod on a gas powered welder I run around 90 to 120 amps. I was looking at one of the 220 volt welders but thought I would try this one. was a good choice.
May 8, 2013