As the how-to video opens, Kevin is looking at the combination MIG / stick (arc) welder. “I’m wondering how they got it so darn small,” he says. Despite its size, Longevity’s MIGWeld 250MP has a lot of power and flexibility. It’s a multiple pulse machine with a single pulse and a double pulse – Kevin is still playing around with the double pulse, trying to understand it better.
The control panel is different than many welders. It has nine different presets. It also has a gas test button that lets you purge the gun without wasting any welding wire. There’s a welding current control, as well as a voltage time control for when you are adjusting your pulse parameters. You can choose 2T or 4T, and it also has controls for selecting stick or MIG welding, single pulse, double pulse and controls for changing parameters in the machine.
In the top right corner of the control panel you can select different metals you want to weld by their chemical names. Kevin recognizes “Fe” as steel, but he’s not too sure what the others are yet. There are also presets for different wire diameters from .030 to .060. There’s also a digital display that controls the functions at the top of the panel, which are adjusted with the two knobs on the front of the machine.
Unlike a lot of the welders Kevin sees, this one is a little complex – it takes a little thought to use all of the settings effectively.
Combining MIG with a stick welder (or arc welder) is unusual. Kevin says that Longevity probably did so because a MIG welder of this size can weld up to about 1/2″, and then the stick welder can weld thicker metal.
This welder also has an optional spool gun for welding aluminum as well as a push-pull gun. Kevin shows the latter, comparing it to a standard MIG torch, which relies on the drive rollers inside the welder to push the wire up and out. A push-pull gun has an extra set of drive rollers in it that adds extra power to also pull the wire through. That comes in handy when welding with aluminum or at a long distance – the cable is nice and long. Kevin sees how it could really help when welding, say, up high on beams or, for him, on top of a sculpture. The push-pull gun is also optional.
Inside the welder is a nice metal drive roller assembly that is geared instead of keyed. On the back, this pre-production welder has a barb for the gas hose connection that uses a hose clamp – as does the regulator – although Kevin understands that the production version will have a regular hose fitting. The gas and power connections are on the sides of the machine back so the bottle fits nicely between them. It will also take a bigger gas bottle than Kevin is using. Also on the back is a circuit-breaker style on / off switch.
Finally, it’s time to make some sparks! Kevin is using some 1/8″ steel plate for the base of a sculpture he is creating. The welder is set at 22 volts and 106 amps. This machine does not have a wirefeed adjustment – wirefeed is controlled by the welder depending upon the amperage and voltage. It’s set on 2T MIG, no pulse. With everything set, Kevin lays down a nice long bead.
Longevity’s MIGWeld 250MP is an interesting machine, says Kevin, with the best of both worlds with the MIG and stick welders, without having to have a TIG. You can handle your thinner metals with the MIG, then switch it over to stick for thicker metals.
Currently, this welder is on sale for about $2,200 (regularly $2,500).
(And don’t miss Kevin’s deadpan attempt at stand-up comedy at the end of the video).