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Aircrafter 330 ST vs. Syncrowave 250

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  • Aircrafter 330 ST vs. Syncrowave 250

    Hey guys;

    I'm a new guy who is learning to weld (TIG) with a big interest in Aluminum.
    While I'm learning, I'm not 100% able to understand all the information/specs given on these two machines.

    I've got two welders in mind which are Aircrafter 330 ST and Syncrowave 250 (not DX but older tig-runner package).

    What I do not know and would like some help on is the major differences between these machines. I've got a few "Welding 101" DVD's and books but they do not touch on the different types (inverter, transformer, etc / sine wave vs. square wave).

    My goals are to weld automotive-related applications (cages, subframes, manifolds, etc). I might see metals up to 1/2" / 12mm thick. I know the output of a 330ST is an overkill but the used-price difference locally isn't too far off from one another.

    Here is the 250


    And the 330 ST


    Any advice is greatly appreciated

  • #2
    The Aircrafter is a sine-wave transformer machine, the last of its breed, and perhaps the best sine-machine Miller ever made. The Syncro is a later generation square-wave machine.

    If all you are doing is steel, then the Aircrafter is a superior machine. The Syncro is a better welder for aluminum, far better in most people's opinion. The Aircrafter has better low-end control for doing very thin steel. The Aircrafter is like 2 to 3 times the weight of the Syncro.

    Far more of the older Syncro's are still around, and parts are generally cheaper, and it's more economical to service.

    I first learned to weld aluminum on an Aircrafter, that said, I personally like the Syncro much more than an Aircrafter. I've seen Aircrafter's go really cheap, 'cause they are such boat anchors. (saw one go for $300 at a local auction, in really nice shape. )

    Others can chime in, but if the price is the same, I would vote for the Syncro....

    However, one key point. Neither welder is really good for 1/2" aluminum. THey are both undersized. You are going to be making several passes to do it, and I wouldn't call it something a beginner should ever tackle. What are you going to weld that requires 1/2"??

    A local shop that welds automotive heads have Syncro 500's, and they use all the power those machines will put out when they are building up ports that are cracked.....

    Maybe you could borrow FusionKing's new Dynasty 700.....
    Last edited by Jeffw5555; 04-28-2009, 09:27 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 3rotor View Post
      I might see metals up to 1/2" / 12mm thick. I know the output of a 330ST is an overkill...
      With balanced AC, you need more current as a greater amount of heat is "wasted" heating the tungsten. You'll push the capabilities of either welder to do 1/2" well.

      If either can be had about the same, I'd go synchro. But I can tell you that the 330 is a fine machine and it is a heck of a stick welder.

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