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Fronius TransPocket 180 vs Miller Maxstar 161 Stick Welder Comparison 0

You’re searching for an effective yet convenient stick welding machine that can handle the jobs you’re ready to throw at it. How do you choose? We put two popular portable models head-to-head to compare the features and tradeoffs for portability and power: the Miller Maxstar 161 and the Fronius TransPocket 180.

Miller Maxstar 161

Miller’s TIG/stick welder is a very portable 13.2 pounds with a simple feature set. Featuring PFC (Power Factor Correction) to reduce the chance of nuisance breaker tripping, it optimizes performance when powered on 120 volts, though both 120 and 240 are supported—and the machine automatically adjusts depending on the input. The Maxstar is noted for its superior stick arc performance, but lacks special modes dedicated to 6010 or 7018 electrodes. On a 15 amp breaker, for TIG 120v puts out 90 amps. For Stick, it puts out 60 amps. Convenience and safety features include TIG arc initiation without using high frequencies, hot starting, and stick-stuck and overload detection. When super portability and straightforward features are all that are required, the Maxstar is a well-regarded machine.

Fronius TransPocket 180

Fronius’ stick welder (TIG available) is a highly flexible unit that packs in more features while remaining portable at just under 20 pounds. The implementation of Power Factor Correction (PFC) in the TransPocket allows the user to power the device on longer extension cord runs without a change in output power (no power or voltage loss), so it’s even more convenient to use at a job site further from a power source (even in excess of 100 meters). Similar to the Maxstar, the Fronius HotStart function makes ignition easier with harder-to-ignite electrodes, but the TransPocket also features a SoftStart mode for low current welding conditions and Anti-Stick short circuit detection that shuts down the machine immediately to prevent burning out the electrode. Dedicated modes for 7018 and 6010 offer optimal performance for different electrode uses. Amazingly, the TransPocket 180 can put out 140 amps for TIG at 120v, and 85 amps for stick welding at 120v. That's incredible. A built-in air filter provides longer life while elevated feet help keep the unit safe from water damage. High energy efficiency adds up to reduced energy costs in the long term. The TransPocket packs in a larger feature set while still being a convenient-to-use and convenient-to-transport tool.

It can be tough to make a decision on what will be the best welding equipment for your workflow, so let this comparison help you choose the right stick welder for your needs. Based and all of the factors listed above, and the higher amp output, the TransPocket 180 is our choice! 

You can even shop now for the Fronius TransPocket 180 and accessories:

  • Dan Meister
Hypertherm Powermax30 XP vs. Hypertherm Powermax30 AIR

Hypertherm Powermax30 XP vs. Hypertherm Powermax30 AIR 0

Hypertherm Powermax plasma cutters are industry-leading in quality, durability, and reliability. The machines are most well-known for their simple setup and operation while still providing the accuracy operators are looking for. Although the Powermax30 XP and Powermax30 AIR may seem similar at first glance, there are some important distinctions between the two that you should know before purchasing.
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Choosing an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Choosing an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 0

Whether looking for a first welding helmet or a replacement, options can range from hobby-level to helmets suitable for industrial grade, and so do the price points. So how do you choose a high-quality, yet accessible helmet that you can trust to protect your eyes for many years of welding to come?
  • Andrew Blatner
What Types of Metal Can Be Cut with a Plasma Cutting Tool?

What Types of Metal Can Be Cut with a Plasma Cutting Tool? 0

Plasma cutting developed from roots in plasma welding in the 1960s to an efficient and effective method of cutting conductive metals with a couple decades. Today it remains a popular and powerful tool for metal fabricators in shops of all sizes.
  • Andrew Blatner
Angle Grinders: The Portable Cleaning and Cutting Powerhouse

Angle Grinders: The Portable Cleaning and Cutting Powerhouse 0

For clean welds, smooth finishes, and quick cutoff work, an angle grinder is an indispensable tool. First designed for clean-up and removing excess material, these versatile tools have found many uses over time due to the handy interchangeability of abrasive and cutting discs. Their portability means you can take the grinding or polishing work to the piece, rather than bringing the piece to the tool. And for quickly cutting through material at the job site, an angle grinder is ideal.
  • Andrew Blatner
Keeping Your Work Space Safe With a Gas Detection Monitor

Keeping Your Work Space Safe With a Gas Detection Monitor 0

Welding is a powerful fabrication method, but it can pose a number of hazards to any metalworker who lacks experience or caution. But one critical hazard that can be overlooked is indeed one you can’t see: toxic gases that can fill up a room without adequate ventilation. Since these gases can be hard to detect with human senses alone, a safe welding environment should make use of a gas detection monitor.
  • Andrew Blatner
The TIG Brush: The Best Way to Clean Your Welds

The TIG Brush: The Best Way to Clean Your Welds 0

Stainless steel is so versatile and durable that it’s not surprising it is so frequently used across numerous industries. It accepts weld readily and can be formed into a near endless array of shapes and serves as a sturdy foundation for structures large and small. Its surface can also be used as an aesthetic choice, so when it is exposed it’s critical that welds are cleaned up for a smooth, visually appealing, and corrosion-resistant finish. While there are a number of common weld cleaning methods, one is the superior choice for most applications: the TIG brush.
  • Andrew Blatner
Official Online Partner for Fronius USA

Official Online Partner for Fronius USA 0 has become the official online store for Fronius welding machines within the United States through our partnership with Fronius USA. We work hard to partner with companies that we believe in, and take pride in offering you the very best in welding technology. If you haven't heard of Fronius yet, let us introduce you. Fronius, while new to the US, is an Austrian company that has been a leader in welding machines and technologies for many years in Europe. Fronius welding machines can do amazing things; They even have a battery-powered stick welder called the AccuPocket, and we carry them in-stock everyday. We carry a lot of great brands on our website, but we exclusively stock Fronius welders because we believe they're the best. You'll find brands like Miller and Lincoln all over the internet, but come to us for your Fronius equipment. You won't be disappointed. If you're serious about welding, Fronius is about to become part of your vocabulary. 
  • Andrew Blatner
How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150?

How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150? 0

This question has been asked more times than I can count; How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150.  WHICH MEANS...Time to get the answer!
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The Fronius TransSteel 2200C has arrived!

The Fronius TransSteel 2200C has arrived! 0

We are one of the first to bring you the latest and greatest from our friends at Fronius Welding. The Fronius TransSteel 2200 is a multi-process, compact welding machine that's state-of-the-art and in-stock. Order today before 3pm Central, and your machine will ship today out of our Aurora, Illinois warehouse. This machine is available with and without a TIG welding package. This machine is the first single-phase inverter power source from Fronius that is also multi-process capable. We've run this off of some very long extension cords and it produces a consistent weld every time. 
  • Andrew Blatner