Which tac welders are the best?

Could I have some input as to which tac-welders are the best bang for
the buck. What kind do you have, do you like it or would you rather
have a different kind…how different are they? (Obviously…I have
no info on tac-welders) : )

Mary Frances Dunker

I have had the PUK 2 for a year and a half. It is an amazing machine
once you begin to learn how to use it. The problem is that the
manufacturer (in Germany) and the vendors (in the USA) do not give
much useful about it. There is a web forum, but postings
are few and far between. The administrator of the forum almost never
attempts to answer questions (the site is provided by Lampert, the
manufacturer). I have found some excellent articles in the Orchid
archives. I am getting to where I just about don’t know what I would
do if I didn’t have my little PUK 2 anymore. Great machine, but
there is a steep learning curve.


We have had two welders. A few years ago, we were able to pick up a
used ABI Tac III in good condition. We used this for many jobs and
like the unlimited number of power settings. However, my goldsmith
had already developed a preference for the PUK and never became
comfortable with the ABI.

Having used both of them a bit, I can see his point. With the ABI
unit, we did not have one of those auto-shutter viewers so the user
had to blink at the point of applying power. Also, the foot pedal is
not as convenient for many jobs as the auto-sensor of the PUK. That
having been said, the PUK doesn’t seem to have the range of power
settings we used on the ABI. This is especially notable in the lower
power range. Also, even though a foot pedal is not as easy to use as
the auto sensor, it is more sure. That is, when you press the pedal,
you definitely get a spark. I think the auto sensor misses a few
welds that I could make if I still had the ABI hooked up.

Still, one has to make some sacrifices to keep the staff happy and
my smith is much happier having the unit with the auto-shutter. (I
have been posting that the ABI is for sale. ABI has recently
re-named this unit and taken the III off the name. It is now the
Pulse Welder. The new model III is a different unit.)

Hope this helps,