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Question: how well known are Scandinavian welding brands known in the rest of the world?

Voodoowelder

Plastic
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
English welder here, working in the arctic circle as a fabricator and field welder in a small shop with one other guy excluding the owner. Anyone have any experience with brands such as Kemppi or ESAB? Interested to know what people think about them. Especially the older machines. I work most with an old ESAB A10 and a Kemppi miniarc 150 and they were both old 20 years ago, but still going strong. Interested to know other thoughts.
 

Voodoowelder

Plastic
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
The newer ones I’ve heard more bad than good about, but recently had the opportunity to burn with a ESAB rebel 215 and it wasn’t half bad. Yellows seem very all or nothing when it comes to performance
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
ive never used kempii or esab. kempii im not ever sure can be bought in usa.ive never seen any around here. esab seems to be a mixed bag. the high end models may be made in europe , thats what i assume anyway. perhaps theyre good machines. the low end models sold in usa welding stores i think are cheap asian imports. the videos ive seen of the lower end esab , they dont look like good machines. some people are having problems with some models and the build qaulity doesnt look good. personally i have all fronius machines and like them.
 

Jatrox

Plastic
Joined
May 20, 2016
Location
Kansas
The last place I worked tried out an ESAB MIG for production welding (trying to find something cheaper than Miller). Took FOREVER to get it set well enough to make a decent bead. It didn't make it a week. Back to Miller
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
Esab is pretty widely distributed in the USA. I had a weldor work for me for a couple of years who was really really good at every process, had certs for em all. He ended up being a show demonstrator for ESAB, this would have been about 4 years ago, and he LOVED the new ESAB Rebel multiprocess machine. This was a guy who had spent years and years on Lincolns and Millers. So my guess is, if you get into the mid and high end ESABs currently sold, they are decent.
Kempii has very little market penetration in the USA, they mainly concentrate on large orders of big power supplies for factory robotic welders.
Theoretically you can buy Kempii mig and tig machines here, but I have never seen one in real life, and I have been hanging out in welding stores since about 1980.
Miller and Lincoln have a lock on the market in the US, so we dont see much else. Local distribution, parts, and service make a big difference. I know my shop is currently pretty much all Miller, although I have owned Lincoln, Hobart, Century, and some euro stuff at various points. If I have a problem, the local supplier has an outside salesman who will drive me a part in a couple of hours if its in stock, or I will get it by mail in a day or two.
This is unlikely with Kempii or Fronius or other euro brands. Possible but more difficult with ESAB.
My business depends on those machines working. Cant wait a week for air shipment of parts from europe.
That said, the people I know who have used Kempii and Fronius really like em.
They tend to be more modern, more electronic, and more expensive than what many US shops want, though. Welding machines are a pretty conservative market, and, 50 years on since my first experience with solid state welding machines, I still know people who will whine all day about how nothing beats transformers.
Kinda like if you insisted all your vehicles had a carb for each cylinder, that needed mechanical syncing.
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
esab’s consumer and multiprocess welders all seem to be hold decent opionion.
We have at least a six or seven big esabs less than 5 years old as parts machines for the two remaining in the shop. More wire feeders of the same.
Our welding machines have to get certified/calibrated yearly, and if they can not they go to a fitter or parts boneyard. The fitters really do not like them.
 

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
I have a Kemppi MasterTig MLS 3500. Bought a year ago at auction; haven't used it yet.

I also have two Migatronic Mig welders. These are made in Denmark and over here in the US they are branded as Car O Liner, and aimed towards the automotive collision repair industry. The automakers approve of only certain brands of welders as suitable for doing repairs on their vehicles. So well known collision repair shops get these specific welders to satisfy manufacturer recommendations, which makes insurance agencies happy.

GM dealer solutions, Mopar Essential Tools & Equipment and Volvo Dealer Equipment sell them here.
 
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steve-l

Titanium
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Geilenkirchen, Germany
In Europe both brands are well known as quality welders. I own a Kempi 320 amp MIG (transformer) machine and it is superb. I have no experience with their inverter models, so I can not say, but almost all manufacturers are building their inverter machines in China or are assembled using Chinese components just to remain competitive. I also own 4 other inverter welders all Chinese both MIG and TIG and they too are flawless.
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
the new millers ive seen say assembled in usa (probly with chinese parts im sure). lincoln is assembled in mexico (probly with chinese parts). smaller esabs sold in usa are made or assembled in some place like milaysia or something (full of chinese parts im sure). fronius packaging says made in austria but im not sure where every internal component is made. i emailed fronius about it but havent heard back yet
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Esab consumables were well regarded back as far as the 1960s.......from memory,they made all the specialty rods that other brands sold.....like stainless,hardfacing,bronze etc.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Five or ten years ago Harbor Fright actually sold ESAB flux core mig wire under some weird name. it was made in Italy. Reports here said it was fine. All I have seen at HF for the last five years is China stiff, often rusting inside the sealed plastic.
Bill D
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
i got a response back from the application engineer at fronius usa. i thought he would give atleast some specifics about the internal components but no. without taking apart the machine for examination its hard to say where the components are made . anyways this was copied from the email


The machines are assembled in Austria which allows us to advertise that it is made in Austria. I cannot say how much of the machine is actually made in Austria because we source our components from manufacturers all over the world and the number of components that are manufactured in Austria specifically could change depending on the batch of each component and supply and demand in the industry.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
i got a response back from the application engineer at fronius usa. i thought he would give atleast some specifics about the internal components but no. without taking apart the machine for examination its hard to say where the components are made . anyways this was copied from the email


The machines are assembled in Austria which allows us to advertise that it is made in Austria. I cannot say how much of the machine is actually made in Austria because we source our components from manufacturers all over the world and the number of components that are manufactured in Austria specifically could change depending on the batch of each component and supply and demand in the industry.
this is true for everything from welders to aircraft carriers. A tig machine is going to have things like SCR's in it that are simply not available from the USA. For instance, many miller SCRs may be made in India or China. I am pretty sure every hydraulic hose on ever CAT product is made in the CAT owned hose factory in China. Some die steels are made in one factory, globally, either in Germany or Japan. Same thing with all kinds of small components- they simply come from one source, worldwide, and thats it. Capacitors, or chokes, or switches in "american made" welders are often going to be imported, no matter the brand.
 

mikeylikesit

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
is anyone familiar with ewm ? i believe theyre a german manufacturer of welding machines. their website says they were, and maybe still are , manufacturing some internal components in house. i wonder if any of the other european welding machine companies are using ewm components
 

William Payne

Aluminum
Joined
May 29, 2016
this is true for everything from welders to aircraft carriers. A tig machine is going to have things like SCR's in it that are simply not available from the USA. For instance, many miller SCRs may be made in India or China. I am pretty sure every hydraulic hose on ever CAT product is made in the CAT owned hose factory in China. Some die steels are made in one factory, globally, either in Germany or Japan. Same thing with all kinds of small components- they simply come from one source, worldwide, and thats it. Capacitors, or chokes, or switches in "american made" welders are often going to be imported, no matter the brand.

This is the truth right here. If you want to get nit picky of the origins of the most smaller components say for example a resister on a pcb they will most likely be foreign as the reality is a lot of things especially electrical components are not made in many countries anymore.

In saying that though I popped all big capacitors in my ESAB Mig welder (older transformer machine) and they were made in Germany and the only place to find the exact same replacements was to buy from the manufacturer in Germany who just happened to have some NOS on the shelf. I couldn’t find an alternative as they had a very unique stud mount that nobody else made that I could find.
 

RC Mech

Stainless
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Location
Ontario, Canada
William, what model is your welder?

I have a mid-00’s Esab AristoMig 450 with U8 controller/wire feeder. It’s a solid workhorse. The welders are of the opinion it’s a great machine.
 








 
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