Can you buy a good welder used? What kind of experience can you expect
with a pre-owned rig?
welding equipment can be great, but you need to watch what you purchase.
Like any used equipment, there are great deals out there and there are
welders that aren't worth the trouble.
A quick glance at online auction sites such as eBay show a vast array of
used welders on the market. But is a used unit for you? You'll see various
brands out there:
Used Welder Brands on the Market
Used Miller Tig welders
These welders can be purchased through websites, in classified ads, by
welding distributors, and through other sources. Some welding dealers will sell
demo or floor welders at a substantial discount. Heck, if you're in the
business, you probably know people with welders they're selling. I've known
people who bought older machines from their employers.
Some sites sell only used higher voltage 110V or 220V single phase TIG
welders TIG welders for industrial use, not to home or hobbyist welders. It's
advisable to only buy used welding equipment you can safely operate in your
Purchasing a used TIG welder online
If you're buying the used welder online, it's difficult (or impossible)
to inspect the machine for its condition.
If you purchase one on eBay, however, looking at a seller's eBay rating can
be helpful. Dealers who carry a secure commerce symbol are typically more
trustworthy. Demand a good photo. Don't accept one that the seller has taken
from the manufacturer's website - get a real photo of the welder they're selling
-- and the right to return the welder if it's not in the condition it was
Use a credit card if possible. Your card company can be a good ally if you
need to dispute the charge. See
eBay's TIG Welder Listings
for more details. There are good welders out there, and frankly, there are some
Buying used TIG welders from local classified ads
This is an easy way to buy a used welder because you can inspect the
unit before you buy. Look for wear and tear. If the welding machine's original
documentation is available, try to obtain it. Some brands allow you to download
manuals and documentation from their websites, so you may be able to get the
information even if the owner no longer has it. See if there is any warranty
left on it. That can sometimes transfer.