Northern Industrial Welders ST80i Inverter-Based Stick Welder with TIG Option - 115 Volt, 20 - 90 Amp
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
All I can say is WOW!
I have not been fabricating as much as I have been in the past, but use to build race cars some years ago. I had a decent amount of MIG under my belt, but not SMAW. I am a Automotive Master Technician, and like to have quality tools I can rely on, but when I am not using something every day it is hard to drop huge cash on a big name tool. After reading all the reviews on this little welder, it really seem to fit my needs very well.
I have plenty of people around with big welders for heavy fabrication, so I really did not need something large, Small compact for light fabrication work on my truck, something I can use at work on occasion, and something I could tote around.
Well the welder came in and I ran down to northern to grab a slag hammer and a helmet. Got over to work and started running some beads. Stick is a very different beast than MIG, but after about 2 beads I was amazed at the quality of this little thing. I was running 3/32 E-6013 rods on 1x2 box steel and 1.5 inch 1030 DOM .120 wall tube. At max rating this thing was getting full penetration with ease. Welding the tube to the box I used a beveled joint and 2 passes and it was no problem.
Now I had no previous stick welding experience so I cannot compare between other machines, but all I can say is this machine is very easy to start the arch as long as the heat range in correct for the work, and it does an amazing job.
If someone is looking for a small portable welder, this is the ticket, it does what it is advertised to do, and does it well.
April 26, 2013
This welder is fine for light duty work. Its not for welding Ibeams or heavy duty fabrication but for fixing up tools ect its great.
April 26, 2013
Was very suprised how fast it came and the consistancy the arc was
April 24, 2013
Best buzz for the buck
Key points I have found with this welder:
1: High quality product
2: Very very small
3: Amazing that 120 volt AC welder can weld as good as it does. Which is great
4: Fast shipping from northern tools.
5: Ive even had recent success welding some shims to a 2" square solid steel trailer hitch with no problem.
6: Has not overheated yet after welding continuously with 7018 and the welder settings on high.
7: easy to use and portable
8: I made the lower shelf of my toolbox the welders home.
Thanks northern tools
April 24, 2013
Awesome machine, great price
This little welder is an awesome machine. I spent the extra money and bought the TIG torch also. It does a great job for its little size. This is a perfect machine for basic garage jobs and to take on the road. I have done quite a bit of work with it and it performs flawlessly every time.
April 24, 2013