We have been selling the Cros ARC 200S for a couple of years now and I've never got around to a review until now! The reason is that for the last 6 months we have been doing a lot of TIG welder training especially for people wanting to weld alloy wheels. The refurbishment of alloy wheels has really taken off with many professional setups having equipment such as powder coating, wheel straighteners, diamond cutting machines and tyre balancing machines.
The market has grown and it's competitive, with a full powder coated alloy wheel costing from £50.
Welding is obviously something these guys are looking at as the trend for big alloys and thin-walled tyres for that "street cred" look means a cracked alloy is going to happen sooner or later.
Having welded with many TIGS from a Fronius to a Chinese 200P I really do think Cros Arc have a winner here!
CROS ARC 200S AC/DC TIG
Its a 200 amp tig from a 220V supply giving a respectable duty cycle of 200A @ 40%.
It welds in DC mode for stainless steel, ferrous and AC for Aluminium.
Both AC and DC have pulsed programmes with a frequency adjust up to 99Hz
Its digital synergic display is easy to use once you get the hang of it. Simply turn the small control knob and a little bar moves along the small led screen highlighting the synergic programme. When the bar is under what you want to adjust, simply press the knob and move your setting up and down accordingly. Press again to store. It can be a little fiddly with gloves on and sometimes I thought I was adjusting the welding current when in fact I was continuing to scroll through the display? If you take your time you soon get the hang of it.
It's compact weighing only 9kg and comes with a carry handle.
WHATS IT COME WITH?
The package includes everything to get you going with an air-cooled DGT26-12ft TIG Torch, MMA Leads and an Argon Regulator. A back to base 2-year warranty comes as standard.
WHAT DOES IT WELD LIKE?
Welding was smooth and controlled in both the AC and DC modes. The tungsten needs to be within 2-3mm of the workpiece to arc up smoothly though. The ramp-up and down work smoothly and generally, it does what it says on the tin. The pulse frequency of 99Hz is a bit stingy but for the price, it really does perform well.
After welding a few cracked alloys at around 115 amps the torch can get a little hot but I never managed to overheat the set. The optional foot pedal for me would be a must to weld alloys wheels professionally. The fixed control makes a little harder and I really missed being able to pump the amps at the start and back off a bit when I got to the alloys rim. It costs £130.00 as an optional extra and i think its a must.
SO WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
For a beginner looking for a Quality TIG welder with a few bells and whistles all packaged up, its great value. I would go on to say its one of the best value ACDC TIG packages out there right now and it performs well straight out of the box.