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Plastic Welding Kit with Air Motor and Temperature Adjustment - 96712 view this item at harborfreight.com »

Ratings: (5 is best)

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Review by msears on October 11th, 2013
Where to start. First, allow me to preface this review by saying, I've been a customer of Harbor Freight for years. If you want to buy some cheap hand tools like hammers and screwdrivers, you'll be ok. Anything you have to plug in or charge up, buyer beware. Now on to my product review of this Plastic Welder.

This welder is a great DIY learning tool. In my opinion, it is not anywhere close to a professional grade plastic welder. Always check the screws on the body of the welder, because the vibration can actually wiggle them out. This can even happen with internal screws, which will rattle in the body.

If you look up the Rion Digital Plastic Welder, you can see that the Chicago welder in question here, is a bad knock off of that welder. There are no charts to tell you which setting on the temperature dial is right for the plastic you are welding. (FYI for the DIYER's: Setting 4 works best for PVC)

The nozzles they give you, affect the temperature output. The tacking tip is badly engineered. The tip that worked best for me, for PVC welding, was the stocky tip (you can see it in the picture, it is the dull colored tip sitting near the ball base of the welder).

It will accept professional, after market tips for the more expensive welders, but be warned, a welding tip alone is 50 bucks. (2/3 the cost of the welder itself).

Cleaning the brushes is a huge pain, everything seems loose inside. Again, a poorly engineered piece of equipment. However, I have had mine for 2 years now, with about 300 hours of use on it. It's still running and the brushes have been staying pretty clean.

So if you want to buy something to teach yourself to weld plastic, or your kid, go for it and just remember my suggestions. But I would highly recommend going to the professional grade Rion Digital, after you understand how to weld at least types of plastic, understand how to tack weld, and how to choose which nozzle is best for the job. You will thank me later. :)

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