I have the Orion 150S. I use it daily and it is truly an amazing
device and technology. I use it on sterling, gold, stainless and
bronze. Often welding these together.
Many of my friends have the PUK4 which they like a bunch, some even
There are differences in the machines, some good, some not so good.
I still am not certain that I made the right decision in the Orion,
my main concerns being user interface (touchscreen and settings),
available and, especially, argon use.
I find the touchscreen non-intuitive (for an Apple user). And I have
been blowing thru argon. I should add that the folks at Sunstone, who
make the Orion, have been exceedingly helpful and cooperative.
As far as replacing my torch: in my experience, torch and pulse arc
technologies are very different, although there are some overlaps. I
used to torch weld gold, bronze and even sterling when I could but
the Orion/ pulse arc is way more accurate.
That being said, I am always reluctant to trust a pulse arc weld.
Brittleness has been a problem (among my PUK 4 colleagues as well).
The nature of the welded joint is simply not the same as a
braze/soldered one which, in my experience, is much more durable a
Additionally, the way that solder runs–in soldering a head or bezel
on, for instance–simply cannot be duplicated with a pulse arc welder
(in my experience). And welding takes much longer.
But the welder (or welding in general) cannot be beat for color
Or when you want to attach something without or with minimal
annealing/softening. I would not trust it for attaching a post,
unless there was no alternative, but for many things it really rocks.
I can weld right next to a ping pong ball for instance, which is very
flammable. (I use altered ping pong balls for earrings.) And for jump
rings it is awesome.
Just my 2 cnts.