First Kevin shows us the torch, which is an improvement on Longevity’s last torch with hand controls. “I like this,” says Kevin. The old torch had a horizontal amperage control wheel on the right side of the knob. The new one is vertical. They also moved the on / off button from above the wheel – where you might hit it and bump the amperage unintentionally – to beneath it.

On the front of the machine, things have gotten a lot more complicated. It’s more of a touch display, with three adjustment knobs in the center and forward and backward buttons. The adjustment knobs are for AC balance on the left, a variety of adjustments controlled by the middle knob and cleaning on the right.

Flanking them on the right are push button toggle switches that allow you to select AC, DC- and DC+; four different wave forms; and pulse control.

On the left side is the gas test; TIG or stick selector; 2T, 4T or foot pedal selector; and finally the high frequency or lift start options.

Across the top are amperage and output amps displays and then an area where you can set up to nine different presettings, as well as overtemp and power lights.

The machine is a 250 amp, AC / DC, TIG and stick welder, and it will run on 220 and 110.

Kevin has set up some 16 gauge aluminum and 16 gauge steel that he has cleaned the edges of and clamped to his workbench.

He puts on his helmet and gloves and first welds the aluminum. The arc starts a little weak, and Kevin was able to use the welding torch’s scroll wheel to increase the amperage as he was working. As he got to the end, he was able to scroll down the amperage a little, then hit the button to kill the welder. “Just like a foot pedal,” he says. He has the TIG welder set at 125 max amperage on the machine itself, so with the wheel turned all the way up, he had access to as much as 125 amps and could turn down the amperage to 4 – 5 amps.

Kevin is looking forward to using this machine out in the studio, when he’s working on something big – he won’t have to balance on one foot and operate the foot pedal because he has all the controls on the torch handle. He also really likes the way the torch fits his hand.

He next flips the switch to DC- to weld the steel. He leaves the pulse on, because with this welder, you can adjust the hertz in DC. “Listen to how this DC welding sounds,” he adds.

He welds the steel with the DC- setting, but it sounds like AC. He has it set at 110 hertz on the panel instead of the usual 60 hertz. It seems to give it a little tighter focus, just like AC frequency does on the AC side.

“I think we’ve got a real nice little machine here,” says Kevin. He’s going to play with it some more and put it through its paces and see what it will do. He wants to play with the adjustable hertz on the DC-, and then try out the DC+ side.