The Harbor Freight TIG welder Vulcan ProTIG 165 is an affordable and capable unit that includes almost everything you need to get started
Hey folks. Here’s a review of the inexpensive Harbor Freight TIG Welder Vulcan ProTIG 165. A (very!) well-made video at the end of this article shows this Vulcan TIG welder in action.
Most of us know Harbor Freight as where we’ll go to buy some cheap consumables but rarely do we spend money on something expensive there.
Need a pair of throwaway gloves? Harbor Freight is your place.
How about a few rolls of duct tape? Yep, head on down to Harbor Freight.
Well, wait a minute. Maybe this Vulcan TIG Welder is worth a closer look.
A rule of mine when purchasing from Harbor Freight is to be extremely cautious about buying anything that could be dangerous. A poorly made welder falls into this category. However, in this case, the Harbor Freight TIG Welder (Vulcan ProTIG 165) is worth it if your welding falls into the sweet spot for the welder itself.
With sophisticated features, you’d normally find in many higher-end units and performance to boot, the Harbor Freight Vulcan TIG line of welders is worth a serious look.
Vulcan ProTIG 165 – Product Review: A Comprehensive Analysis
Are you looking for a reliable and versatile welder that can handle various welding tasks? Look no further than the Vulcan ProTIG 165. This professional-grade TIG welder is designed with dependability and performance in mind, making it ideal for both fieldwork and shop use.
With its lightweight design and powerful performance, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 is popular among welders of all skill levels. It features a range of key features, including lift start and high-frequency starting, and accessories and parts to help you get the job done right.
So if you’re looking for a high-quality welder that won’t let you down, consider the Vulcan ProTIG 165. With its impressive performance, versatile capabilities, and top-notch build quality, it’s a welder you can rely on for years.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 is a professional-class TIG welder designed for dependability and performance. It is a multi-process welder that offers both lift start and high-frequency starting, making it ideal for a wide range of welding applications.
One of the standout features of the ProTIG 165 is its weight. Weighing in at just 20 pounds, this welder is incredibly portable and easy to move from job to job. This makes it an excellent choice for field work or for those who need to transport their welder to different locations.
Another key feature of the ProTIG 165 is its dual voltage capability. It can be used with both 120V and 240V power sources, giving you the flexibility to work in various environments. This also makes it an excellent choice for those who need to work in remote locations where power sources may be limited or unavailable.
In terms of performance, the ProTIG 165 is a top-performing welder. It offers a duty cycle of up to 30% at 165 amps, which makes it ideal for welding a wide range of materials. It also offers a range of settings and adjustments, allowing you to fine-tune your welding to achieve the best possible results.
Overall, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 is an excellent choice for anyone needing a reliable, high-performance TIG welder. Its lightweight design, dual voltage capability, and top-notch performance make it a standout choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 is a versatile welding machine with many features to help you get the job done. Here are some of the key features that make this welder stand out:
Control and Operation
The ProTIG 165 has a range of controls that allow you to adjust the welding parameters to suit your needs. The clear and easy-to-read digital display shows the current settings and the intuitive interface makes it easy to change them as needed.
Dual Voltage Technology
The ProTIG 165 is designed with dual voltage technology, which means it can be used with 120V and 240V power supplies. This makes it an excellent choice for home and professional use, as it can be used in various settings.
The ProTIG 165 uses inverter technology, which allows it to provide a stable and consistent output. This means you can get a clean and precise weld every time without worrying about fluctuations in the power supply.
Thermal Overload Protection
The ProTIG 165 is designed with thermal overload protection, which helps to prevent the machine from overheating. This feature ensures the welder remains safe and reliable, even during prolonged use.
Overall, the ProTIG 165 is a reliable and versatile welding machine with many features to help you get the job done. Its high-frequency starting and lift start capabilities make it suitable for a range of welding applications. Whether you are a professional welder or a DIY enthusiast, the ProTIG 165 is an excellent choice for your welding needs.
Performance and Quality
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 Industrial Welder is a top-notch choice regarding performance and quality. This professional-class TIG welder is designed with dependability and performance in mind, making it ideal for both fieldwork and shop use. In this section, we’ll look closer at the welding capacities, output and duty cycle, travel speeds, and heat distortion of the ProTIG 165.
The ProTIG 165 can work with many materials, including stainless steel and mild steel. It can weld materials up to 1/8 inches thick with SMAW and up to 5/64 inches thick with TIG welding. The welder also features a lift start and high-frequency starting, giving you greater control over the welding process.
Output and Duty Cycle
The ProTIG 165 has a duty cycle of 25% at 90 amps with 120V input and 30% at 165 amps with 240V input. This means you can weld continuously before the welder needs to cool down. The welder also has a stable arc and produces clean, precise welds with minimal spatter.
The ProTIG 165 allows for fast travel speeds, which can help increase productivity and reduce welding time. With its precise control over the welding process, you can move quickly without sacrificing quality or accuracy. This makes it ideal for experienced welders and those just starting out.
One of the biggest welding concerns is heat distortion, which can cause warping and other issues with the welded materials. The ProTIG 165 is designed to minimize heat distortion, thanks to its precise control over the welding process. This helps ensure that your welds are strong and reliable without compromising the integrity of the welded materials.
Overall, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 Industrial Welder is a high-quality, reliable choice for anyone looking to take their welding to the next level. This welder will meet and exceed your expectations with its impressive welding capacities, output and duty cycle, travel speeds, and heat distortion control.
Accessories and Parts
When welding, having the right accessories and parts can make all the difference. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 comes with several essential accessories and parts to help you get started on your welding projects.
TIG Torch and Accessories
One of the most critical accessories for TIG welding is the torch. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 has a 17V TIG torch, a standard size for most TIG welding applications. The torch is lightweight and easy to handle, making it comfortable for extended periods.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 also has a few TIG torch accessories, including a collet body, collets, and tungsten. These accessories are essential for ensuring a proper TIG weld. The tungsten is available in two sizes, 1/16″ and 3/32″, allowing you to choose the right size for your welding needs.
Work Clamp and Cable
The work clamp and cable are necessary accessories for grounding your welding project. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 comes with a 10ft work clamp and cable, which is long enough to give you the flexibility to move around your work area.
The work clamp is made of high-quality materials, ensuring a secure connection to your welding project. The cable is also durable and flexible, making maneuvering around your work area easy.
Foot Remote Control and Flow Gauge Regulator
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 comes with a foot remote control, which is an essential accessory for TIG welding. The foot pedal allows you to control the amperage of your weld, giving you greater precision and control.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 also comes with a flow gauge regulator, which regulates the gas flow to your welding project. The regulator is easy to use and helps ensure a consistent flow of gas, which is essential for a proper TIG weld.
Overall, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 has all the essential accessories and parts you need to start your welding projects. With high-quality accessories like the TIG torch, work clamp, cable, foot remote control, and flow gauge regulator, you can be confident that you have everything you need to produce high-quality welds.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 is a versatile welding machine that can handle various applications. Here are some suitable applications for the ProTIG 165:
DIY and Home Projects
If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to tackle welding projects around the house, the ProTIG 165 is an excellent choice. Whether you’re welding furniture, gates or repairing metal fixtures, this welder can handle it all. The ProTIG 165 is designed to be easy to use, so even if you’re a beginner, you can start welding quickly.
Automotive and Onsite Maintenance
The ProTIG 165 is also an excellent choice for automotive and onsite maintenance. This welder can handle the job, whether you’re working on a car, truck, or heavy equipment. The ProTIG 165 is designed to be portable, so you can take it wherever you need to go. Plus, it has a high-duty cycle, which means you can work more extended periods without stopping and letting the machine cool down.
Industrial and Professional Use
If you’re a professional welder or work in an industrial setting, the ProTIG 165 is a reliable and efficient machine. It can weld various materials, including stainless steel and mild steel. The ProTIG 165 has advanced features like AC/DC welding, lift arc starting, and pulse welding, which make it a top choice for professional welders.
In conclusion, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 is a versatile and reliable welder that can handle many applications. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, automotive technician, or professional welder, the ProTIG 165 is an excellent choice for all your welding needs.
When it comes to welding, choosing a suitable machine compatible with your working materials is crucial. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 is a versatile welder that can handle a wide range of materials.
Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 can weld both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals, such as steel, contain iron, while non-ferrous metals do not. The ProTIG 165 can weld mild steel, stainless steel, and cast iron.
Stainless and Chrome-Moly Steel
Stainless steel and chrome-moly steel are commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries due to their strength and durability. The ProTIG 165 can weld both types of steel using DC (direct current) welding. DC welding is ideal for welding thin materials, and the ProTIG 165 can weld stainless steel as thin as 24 gauge.
Aluminum and Other Weldable Metals
The ProTIG 165 is incapable of welding aluminum and other weldable metals such as brass and copper. Aluminum welding requires AC (alternating current) welding, and the ProTIG 165 does not support AC welding modes.
Vulcan vs. Lincoln
When comparing Vulcan to Lincoln, it’s important to note that Lincoln has been in the welding industry for over a century, whereas Vulcan is a newer brand. Lincoln offers a broader range of products and has a reputation for producing high-quality welding machines. However, Vulcan’s ProTIG 165 model has received positive reviews for its multi-process capabilities and ease of use.
Vulcan vs. Miller
Miller is another established welding industry brand known for its high-end products and advanced technology. Conversely, Vulcan is a more affordable option that still offers a range of features. While Miller may have an edge in quality and durability, the ProTIG 165 has been praised for its versatility and value.
Anybody vs. Harbor Freight
Harbor Freight is a discount tool and equipment retailer that offers a range of welding machines under the Vulcan brand. While some may question the quality of products sold at Harbor Freight, the ProTIG 165 has received positive reviews for its performance and value. Vulcan offers a warranty and customer support for their products, which may provide added peace of mind for buyers.
Overall, when comparing Vulcan to other brands in the welding industry, it’s clear that Vulcan offers an affordable option with a range of features. While established brands like Lincoln and Miller may have an edge in reputation and technology, the ProTIG 165 has received positive reviews for its versatility and value.
Warranty and Support
When investing in a welding machine, you want to ensure that you are covered in case something goes wrong. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, which means you can return it for a full refund if you are not satisfied with the product. However, keep in mind that there is a restocking fee of 20% if the product is returned in less than new condition or needs parts added.
In addition to the satisfaction guarantee, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 comes with a 3-year warranty. This warranty covers parts and labor, so if anything goes wrong with your welder, you can get it fixed or replaced at no extra cost. Remember that the warranty does not cover damage caused by misuse or neglect, so use and maintain your welder properly.
If you need to make a warranty claim, contact Vulcan’s customer service team for support. They are knowledgeable and can help you troubleshoot any issues you may be experiencing. If a repair is needed, they can provide instructions on sending your welder in for service.
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 has a solid warranty and support system. The 3-year warranty provides peace of mind, and the customer service team can readily assist with any issues. Just be sure to take proper care of your welder to avoid any problems that the warranty may not cover.
What does the Vulcan ProTIG 165 come with?
The Vulcan TIG welder is a true entry-level system, providing everything you’ll need (except gas) to get started or to replace an existing welder:
- Two cables, one for 110V, the other for 220V.
- TIG torch – surprisingly good. You may expect a cheap or poorly made torch with this entry-level unit, but there are no complaints about this torch.
- Stinger – 150A
- Hose for connecting Argon.
- Ground clamp
- Regulator – functional but fairly cheap. You’ll probably want to use your own
- Pedal – very well made, good response, solid feel
- Nozzles, collets, and bodies
- Sheet Metal gauge – a useful little add-on
- It does not come with welding gloves, a welding cap, welding jacket, or a welding helmet. Make sure you purchase them separately if you don’t have them already.
The basics on this welder are as follows:
- Weighs 20 lbs…easy enough to carry as needed
- Supports 110v and 220v
- On 110v, it’ll run 130 Amps at 25% duty cycle.
- On 220V, it’ll weld up to 165 Amps with a 30% duty cycle.
- 5 Modes
- TIG/Pulse (2 pulses/second, 50% peak amp, 30% background current, NOT changeable)
- TIG/Lift w/pulse
- Easy to set up
- User friendly
- 130/165 Amp limitation
- Pulse is set – cannot be changed
- DC only, so no aluminum welding
If this sounds like a welder you are interested in, you can find it on Amazon here – take a look for the most recent pricing and for more details:
Let’s take a look at the video:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Vulcan ProTIG 165 suitable for welding aluminum?
No, the Vulcan ProTIG 165 is unsuitable for welding aluminum as it is a DC-only welder.
What are the upgrades available for the Vulcan ProTIG 205?
The Vulcan ProTIG 205 has several upgrades available, including a foot pedal, a water cooler, and a gas lens kit. The foot pedal allows for more precise control over the amperage, while the water cooler helps to keep the torch cool during extended welding sessions. The gas lens kit provides better gas coverage and reduces turbulence during the welding process.
How does the Vulcan ProTIG 165 compare to the Titanium UNLIMITED 140?
The Vulcan ProTIG 165 and the Titanium UNLIMITED 140 are excellent TIG welders, but they differ. The Vulcan ProTIG 165 has a higher duty cycle and can weld thicker materials, while the Titanium UNLIMITED 140 is more portable and has a lower price point. Choosing between the two will ultimately depend on your specific needs and budget.
What are some of the features of the Vulcan ProTIG 205?
The Vulcan ProTIG 205 has several features that make it an excellent choice for novice and experienced welders. Its dual voltage input allows it to be used with both 120V and 240V power sources. It also has a digital display for precise amperage control and a foot pedal for hands-free amperage adjustment. Additionally, it has a built-in gas solenoid valve and a high-frequency start for easy ignition.
Who manufactures the Vulcan TIG welders?
Vulcan TIG welders are manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools, a company specializing in affordable tools and equipment for DIYers and professionals alike. They have a reputation for producing high-quality products at a reasonable price point.
Can the Vulcan ProTig 165 do Friction Stir Welding?
No, this welder is far from what you’ll need for Friction Stir Welding (FSW).
What is the recommended gas for TIG welding?
The recommended gas for TIG welding is argon. Argon is an inert gas that helps to protect the weld from contamination and oxidation. Depending on the specific welding application, it is available in pure form and as a mix with other gases. Choosing the appropriate gas for your particular welding needs is crucial to ensure a high-quality weld.
Final thoughts about the Vulcan ProTig 165 welder
The Vulcan ProTig 165 welder has proven itself to be a reliable and impressive tool for welding enthusiasts. Its compact size and lightweight design make it highly portable, while its advanced features and user-friendly interface ensure a smooth and efficient welding experience. From its precise arc control to its exceptional weld quality, the ProTig 165 has exceeded expectations and delivered outstanding results. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional welder, this is a worthy investment combining affordability with top-notch performance. With the Vulcan ProTig 165 by your side, you can confidently tackle a wide range of welding projects and unleash your creativity with precision and ease.