- Written by webmin
I have to admit to being sucked in by this Lincoln press release promoting the 50-year-old AC 225 welder and Lincoln’s request for pics of owners’ old machines.
I paid $35 for my AC 225 used, and I’ve actually done some decent work with it. It’s two days older than dirt, but has no hours on it judging from the condition of the stinger and the ground clamp. I’m not sure the guy who I bought it from ever used it.
Over on Lincoln’s Facebook page, there’s a lot of waxing nostalgic from AC 225 owners about how it was their first machine or their Dad’s machine, and how their 225 still welds like new.
When I bought mine, I already owned a Lincoln wire feed welder, but the 225 was so cheap I couldn’t pass it up. The truth is, though, while these old welders are neat and it’s cool that they’ve remained on the market virtually unchanged for 50 years, once you’ve welded with an AC/DC 225, you’ll want to kick your AC buzz box to the curb. For about 200 bucks more (new) or whatever you can get one for used, the quality of your welding improves dramatically with an AC/DC machine.
The AC 225′s other problem is the wide variety of amazing, inexpensive MIG welders on the market. When a friend of mine set out to buy a new AC/DC stick welder, I begged him to splurge and buy a 200-plus amp MIG instead. At the time, he was single and had a pretty healthy disposable income, so he actually wound up buying both.
The stick welder was stolen before he had a chance to use it, but I couldn’t help noticing that he never bothered to replace it.
He raves about his MIG because it makes him look good every time he plugs it in. That isn’t to say there isn’t a time and place for a stick welder, because there most certainly is. But for hobbyists, a good 220-volt 200-and-up amp MIG welder is more machine than you’ll likely ever need.
That said, my AC 225 sits wedged between the wall studs in my garage unused. I’m not much on holding on to old stuff just for the sake of holding on to it, and a couple of times I’ve thought I should put it out by the road with a seriously low price or even my magic FREE sign on it.
But, you know, there’s always that nagging feeling that one day I’ll need it, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I could plug it in, and with the unmistakable thunk of that industrial-grade on-off switch (I love the way that thing feels and sounds), my $35 AC 225 will sit there humming like the day it was new.