If you’re a reader of Welding Machine Review, then you you may know the Thermal Arc Fabricator 211i has some pretty big shoes to fill… even if those shoes belong to it’s “little ” brother, the Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i.
I’ve put the latter machine through hell and simply couldn’t be more pleased with it’s overall performance, quality, and value.
I’m not sure about you, but for me the keyword is value, especially if it’s for a hobbyist rather than a professional. But just because Thermal Arc provides a great value, doesn’t mean these machines aren’t up to the tasks that some of the bigger dogs can tackle… I can tell you from experience that these smaller, more compact, multi-process machines have made serious strides in quality over recent years.
So, as you might be able to tell, I’m a little excited to get to put the new thermal arc 211i through it’s paces, to see if it continues the excellent legacy of ther fabricator line, that was started with the 181i. Something tells me it will..
First of all.. What’s changed?
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Here’s a quick rundown of all the new features of the Fabricator 211i:
- 210 Amps of maximum output power.
- 115 and 208/230 VAC input power for most welding situations
- Offers ultimate flexibility when it comes to spool size compatibility, accommodating 4″, 8″ and industrial size 33 & 44 lb.12″ spools
- Accessory Ready: - Spool Gun, TIG Torches,Foot Controller
- Tweco #4 MIG Gun Connection
- Fast Control Response of only 13 micro seconds
OK.. If you’re like me, you may be thinking that the 210 amps offered by the Thermal Arc 211i is only 30 amps more than what the 181i has. This is true technically, but let me tell you, after using the 181i for over a year now (I love that machine) I can feel a noticeable power difference when stepping up to the 211i welder.
It became even more evident as I i attempted to MIG weld 1 inch steel plates together.. the little brother couldn’t quite handle this task, while the Fabricator 211i did it with complete ease.
Of course, this is hardly ever an issue as most of my welding done on my home shop where I keep my Thermal Arc, is almost always a light weight job in terms of how much welding power is needed. All the big stuff get welded in the work shop, where all the fun is… and that’s where I took the 211i.
It’s one thing to rely on a non generator welder at home, but it’s another thing to try to replace a commercial grade, heavy duty generator welder… and in reality, that’s not what the 211i was designed to do, but after a weekend at the shop with the sub 54 pound multi-process 3 in 1 welding machine, I could be wrong about that..
Thermal Arc built a great machine here, no doubt. If I hadn’t already purchased a Thermal Arc 181i, then I would most certainly be buying the Fabricator 211i.
It’s a no brainer.
Thermal has taken what made the 181i so great and improved on it by by adding just the right amount of power, without making the machine too heavy. Fifty pounds? That’s nothing considering what this baby is capable of.
One of my gripes about the 181i was the lack of 110 and 220 volt compatibility, and Thermal Arc listened because I’m happy to say that the Fabricator 211i is capable of both. This truly makes it the ultimate welding machine in power, flexibility, and.. here’s that word again, value.
I simply couldn’t recommend another welder at this price point that would provide more value than the 211i does. It’s just a great freaking machine. If you want an all in one welding machine that does TIG, MIG, and stick welding, in a package that weighs less than 54 pounds and can be plugged in just about anywhere.. then you found your machine. Add the optional spool gun to give you the power to weld aluminum, and there wouldn’t be too many times when you weren’t prepared. Buy a new Miller Digital Elite… and you’re all set!
The Thermal Arc Fabricator 211i is one of the best overall values that we’ve reviewed here at WeldingMachineReview.com.
The best part about it is Thermal Arc has kept the price at a reasonable range. All in all – this is just about the perfect welding machine. It’s got pretty much all the power and versatility you could ever need unless you’re doing really big time jobs.
Look no further.. The 211i is the welding machine you’ve been searching for.
Here’s a brief overview: