Need to buy a welder: are TIG + STICK + PLASMA combo units any good?
I'm trying to put together my shop. I already bought an old Southbend lathe and I'm loving it so far. But I also need a welder for welding aluminum, steel, cast iron, sheet metal and maybe some stainless once in a while. I've done a bit of stick welding (have a motorized Lincoln generator/welder now) and a bit of oxy/acetylene gas brazing, but that's it.
I know the basic differences between all the different types Mig/stick/Tig etc. I'll probably mostly be doing light grade stuff for hobby purposes with some heavy welding just once in a blue moon. I've been seeing these multipurpose machines that have Tig/Stick and plasma cutting capabilities. I like the idea of everything being wrapped up into one machine because of the lower expense and less space required (I'm working out of my little 2 car garage so space is an issue). The Everlast three in one units look good, but it's not a Lincoln, Miller or Hobart so I'm worried about the quality and reliability. Anyone have experience with these Everlast models?
I checked Lincoln, Hobart and Miller's websites and none of them offer a 3 in one machine like this. Any idea why not? I take that as a sign the technology has not matured yet to be considered reliable. I'd really like to have a plasma cutter too, I could really use something like that as well. I'm also not sure if I should get a Mig welder instead of the Tig/stick units. I'd also like to have the capability to use either 220VAC and 115VAC because there will surely be times that I'll have to move (and use) the welder to locations that a 220VAC outlet is not convenient. Confused about the whole thing. What do you guys think?