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Air Vantage 500 vs Big Blue Air Pak

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Dad5, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    I would like some input/opinions on the pros and cons of these 2 units.
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Without looking at price, Big Blue Airpak every time.
     
  3. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    Price isn't much different so tell me what you know.
     
  4. norite

    norite Senior Member

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    Having never used either machine I have no preference for color, as long as it's red or blue. I own several welders of each color and they are all good afaiac.

    That said I did a quick look up on the net and the specs for these machines are virtually identical as far as spec's are concerned. Equal weld output, ac power output, compressor cfm etc.

    Some things that would help me decide on the Lincoln over the Miller.

    1. Lincoln has a Kubota engine vs Millers Deutz, in my experience Kubota are better on fuel and more dependable than a Deutz

    2. Lincoln has a SS hood instead of blue painted steel on the Miller.

    3. Lincoln has a gear drive compressor, Miller uses a belt drive.

    4. Lincoln has a specific optimized setting for arc gouging which is probably why most would buy this machine.

    I would be happy to own either machine, they would both be a good investment if this is what you are looking for. Whether a welder with a compressor is best or having a separate compressor is another question to consider.
     
  5. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    So.....is it worth the money to have the built in compressor?
     
  6. bigshow

    bigshow Senior Member

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    Fella at work has both, blue one is on the truck, red one sits at the shop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  7. norite

    norite Senior Member

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    These are really nice units, ideal as I said for arc gouging and welding in the field, for those who need the capability.

    The question is what if the welder or compressor fails. Then the entire unit is unusable while it gets repaired. The advantage of a separate compressor and welder is that failure of one doesn't affect the other and a replacement or rental unit gets you back to work quicker. Also you pay a premium price to get the all in one convenience, is it worth it? That is the question you must answer yourself.
     
  8. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    You make a good point regarding seperate units if a breakdown occurs.
     
  9. Diagonal Brace

    Diagonal Brace Well-Known Member

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    I have heard that the Lincoln doesn't have enough power to run both welder and compressor on the highest settings. We have Air Paks and they never waiver when welding even when turning the air on and off. They say the compressor should run 30 000 hours before overhaul. Again what was said about the Lincoln was heresay so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  10. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

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    i have the lincoln air vantage 500!! YES im predujice to lincoln, ( i attended welding school there) its a great machine. mine has 6200 hrs on it no problems with it at all just maintaince is all thats been done to it. i have friends that have the big blue with bout the same hrs as mine & havent done much to them either. i belive that the industry has made all the companys very competive on the market. i have 5 lincoln welders all of them great with no problems 1 have that was my dads that is over 45 years old & will start right up every time no matter what cant say that bout some of these new fangled machines!!! lol what are you going to be using the machine for? I will give you something to think bout, you dont see miller welders on the pipeline welders truck for a reason!!!! ;)
     
  11. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    I've noticed this too, but most of the time you don't see lincolns on mechanics trucks. always wondered why. as far as 225-250 amp machines , I've run both red and blue and don't see enough difference to make me partial to one or the other.
     
  12. alco

    alco Senior Member

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    Funny, you see TONS of Miller machines on pipeliner's trucks around here.
     
  13. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

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    as their main welder or as a generator side to run the grinder/lights, around here ALL the pipeliners run a BIG Lincoln welder & most have a smaller 225-250 amp machine to run the grinders/electric tools also..
     
  14. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    I like the compressor setups on the millers better but for the price premium of the air pack units you could get vantage 500 and a separate compressor drive unit
     
  15. Diagonal Brace

    Diagonal Brace Well-Known Member

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    Cant beat them where space is at a premium. Say what you want about pipeliners etc, but the railroads seems to use Miller exclusively and there is a reason for that.
     
  16. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting bunch of posts. So far I haven't seen anything that points to either one being a real problem. Myself and a co-worker were dicussing the merits of having a unit like this on a service truck. The high CFM air compressors are great for big air tools and CAG and the generator puts out lots of KVs for tools Hytork pumps etc. I currently run a truck with a VMAC compressor on it and it seems like such a waste of fuel to run a 6.7L Cummins just to supply air. The price and physical size are some of the cons in my book. Also as mentioned by norite if the unit goes down air, welding and a/c are all out of comission.
    That all being said, what are the thoughts of the group on using one of these types of units to run a service truck? Or, would a seperate welder, air compressor and generator be the best way to go? Keep in mind that I consider 60 - 70 CFM of air to be a requirement.
     
  17. 450 Bron

    450 Bron Active Member

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    I own a 4600hr air pak, Iam very happy with all aspects of this machine. It will burn 3/8 gouging rod all day long while 2 labourers can grind without stopping to let compressor build up and only put 15L of diesel in at end of day
     
  18. alco

    alco Senior Member

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    As their main welder. Haven't seen anyone running a separate machine for the accessories.
     
  19. norite

    norite Senior Member

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    If my main business was rebuilding buckets and repair welding in the field I would probably have one of these machines.

    For a general purpose service truck where the welder and air compressor is only used occasionally, I think I would pass and go with smaller individual units or something like the miller trailblazer air pack machine. Would be less costly to purchase and might be all you need on a general purpose service truck.
     
  20. Dad5

    Dad5 Well-Known Member

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    I wish the 302 Airpak was diesel powered. I'm not a fan of small gas engines on welders.