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Machine Mart Vat Free day soon


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im thinking of upgrading my crappy sip130 gasless/gas welder with this one from machine mart:


with the vat free day ill get it £350.

Ive had a read through this site about welder reviews and seems that this may be of poorer quality than say a butters version around the same price. Also the butters comes with a euro torch although i dont know what the benefits are over the clarke one.

My old welder had a leaky gas solonoid and i dont wanna spend money on it tbh cos i may as well change the liner at the same time so will cost a few quid anyway, im thinking the money s better spent on a n upgrade.

I want to use the welder on the disco boot floor and was especially interested in the spot weld function on the clarke welder to weld the floor in. Anyone used it for this before? I am also toying with the idea to make my own HD front and rear bumpers and rock sliders so would have to be pretty meety to deal with 5mm steel box sections and perhaps some roll bar sections as well.

Hope you can help me spend my hard earned money wisely!



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A euro torch is a standard socket fitment which means you can change torches just by unplugging it and plugging in a new one, rather than it being hard-wired into the machine like that one. I'd say it was well worth it to have one as you can swap torches without having to take the machine apart.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the spot weld timer function, you have a finger.

A giveaway that this might not be total quality is the blurb:

Able to achieve the same top class results as the 195TE and 230TE, a lower duty cycle enables this fully featured 185amp MIG welder to be offered at an incredibly low price.

In other words it struggles to push big currents for any useful length of time, not what you want if you're gonna be welding 5mm stuff up as the thermal cutout will be popping. If Clarke are actually admitting to a rubbish duty cycle I can only guess at how low it must be.

You may be able to alleviate that by bodging a souped up cooling fan in there (the standard ones tend to be a bit asthmatic) but it's never going to be a screamer. Fine for your boot floor though.

My personal preference would be to shop round for a 2nd hand industrial unit for similar or less money, you'll get a far more solid machine with a far better duty cycle. My antique Butters will run at full pelt (~160-200A) until your face melts and cost significantly less than that Clarke. Down to you though, if you want a new machine I'd have a compare of some of the industrial stuff before getting your chequebook out. There are a few threads with similar info in this forum.

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Plenty come along for that kind of money, don't worry.

I second what John said. Search this section of the forum (search button at top) for threads on welders.

Someone was going to write a little guide to the basics, but it has taken a while to materialise... :rolleyes::ph34r:


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Is it a VAT free day or 17.5% discount?

I would imagine that Alastair Darling, being settled into Number 11 now, and a keen fan of budget engineering, is allowing Machine Mart a day of VAT exemption to celebrate having his wisdom teeth out. Keep an eye open soon for VAT free pizza and gentlemans beauty products. What do you think? :P


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The flyer I've got says they pay the VAT, what they really mean is the total price is going to be their usual ex-VAT price, or just under 15% to you & me.

The offer is only for Clarke stuff, everything else is 10% off.


but if you are like me then buy a couple of items a year and get the more expensive items when your invite arrives.

my 50 ltr compresser, air tools, part washer, bench driller etc were a lot cheaper when i got them. i must have saved over 400 notes doing it this way :P


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If you are VAT registered you can buy the item at the normal ex-vat price and then claim the vat back on that :D wahoo cheap stuff :lol:

Luke on here has recently bought a portamig welder was a little over 400 but its made in york and is very nice, maybe you could stretch your budget a little more?


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There are a couple of Butters AMT 1800's new on eBay for £400, my experience with Butters as a company has been excellent. Also look for Miller, Cebora, Portamig, Murex, Esab - all seem to be nailed together pretty well give or take the inevitable march of the accountants on newer models.

Also this gives some background on why industrial sets weld "nicer" than hobby sets due to an extra LC circuit (inductance/capacitance) in the output.

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I think you need a flyer or need to know someone with a flyer, however the dates on mine are 6th and 13th of Jan.

it depends upon your surname i think, as my neighbour gets them and he sometimes has different dates to me even though for the same store...

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