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Is it better to lease or buy welding gas???

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  • Is it better to lease or buy welding gas???

    I just got a used Lincoln 5000 HD mig welder and will be welding mild sheet steel such as 18 guage. I need gas to get going and am wondering if it is reccomended to buy or lease. What are the benefits and downsides to both? Which is cheaper? I am asking because i'm still in school and can't afford a whole lot unfortunately. I do however want to get welding!!!
    Also, most guys i spoke to said i would want 75% Argon and 25%CO2.
    I got a few quotes locally and the cheapest was:

    $240 To own a 50 cubic foot tank and $53 to refill it.
    $76/year To lease a 125 cubic foot tank and $75 to refill it.
    I just don't know exactly how much welding i will do. It is just a hobby (fixing up my car). Then after that i will do more hobby welding.
    How fast does gas get used up? Roughly. Does any one know how quickly a 50 cubic foot tank goes?

    Thanks so much for any help or advice in advance!!!

  • #2
    If you look around a little, you can get pretty good deals on tanks. I paid $120 for my 125cf tank already filled with C25. It has current hydro and was never a rental.

    I wouldn't rent unless I was using a lot of gas.
    Jack Olsen
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    • #3
      You always have to buy gas, sorry, they won't let you lease it!
      The tank however.......that's another story. If you plan on having it a while I say buy it. It's cheaper for me to fill my owner tank too.
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      • #4
        I own mine.

        I can't for the life of me remember the size, maybe someone will help me out. My 75/25 is waist high and about 8 or 9 inchs dia. Just looked at one of my tickets and it says size 80 and its $16.00 to refill.

        I also have a 20 lb co2 that cost me 100 bucks and its $15.00 to fill it. Doing body work, I don't think you want co2. It runs a little hotter.

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        • #5
          I rent mine because my LWS will not sell me a big bottle and I dont want to run back and forth very often to swap em out.... I own a small bottle that I keep just in case I run out of gas on a weekend or something but thats all its for.

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          • #6
            A bigger bottle is typically cheaper to fill per CF than a small one. Less trips to LWS ends up cheaper as well becuse I for one can't just get what i went for, I always pick up something.

            pretty easy to figure out how long a bottle will last, divide the bottle size(cf)
            by your average flow (CFH) setting. The rseulting number will tell you approximately how many hours of on the trigger time you have. 1 full hour of welding time will take a while if you figure in time to cut and prep material, post weld grinding, duty cycle etc.

            If you are going to buy your own bottle: get the largest bottle you can afford, if buying used, be sure to make sure it has been tested and is still in date code

            If renting: be prepared to put down a deposit plus a monthly rental fee and realize you have to keep going back to that store to get refills unless you turn the bottle in, collect your deposit and go to another store
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            • #7
              Lease or buy?

              You are correct that for thinner mild steel c-25 is the right gas to use and will suit you for most of your projects. How long a bottle lasts depends on how often you weld, how long you weld and your gas flow rate which will usually be between 15 to 22 cubic feet per hour. I really dont think a bottle lasts the same length of time for any two people, but you will be able to tell your own needs after your first bottle. I own my own cylinders. In my area they are either sold or leased for 99 years for a one time fee. Cylinders must be hydrotested every 10 years before your gas supplier will fill them. Also some cylinder designs are replaced such as the old slip ring neck cylinders. if you do consider a lease; Ask your gas/cylinder supplier if they cover the cost of the hydrotest and will they replace the cylinder if the style is ever phased out due to saftey. If you own your own cylinders, you are responsible for these costs.
              Sometimes there's no second chances.

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              • #8
                How long will a tank last ?
                An 80cf. tank @ 20cfh. = 4 hrs. of arc time .
                It's cheaper in the long run to own your own tanks !

                ......... Norm
                www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  One other issue. In Maryland I haven't found anyone that will swap out owned bottles larger than 80cf. Not a big deal, I have basically 4 80s. 2 Argons, 1 75/25 and one 90/10. The idea is that if any go empty late night or on a weekend I'm covered.

                  However, that 90/10 mix took about a week to get because the LWS doesn't stock that mix in 80 quantities. So its not a perfect situation for me. And the LWS charged me full boat for the 'special' order. 80 Argon is something like $36 (I can get it cheaper from a gas supplier), the 90/10 cost me something like $60.

                  The only real question is how much gas are you going to use. If your gas bill for a year is measure in $1000, go ahead and rent and get the biggest bottles you can handle. Rental around here is something like $100/yr. Buying an 80 is about $200 (I've seen sales for less, list is more like $225). So for me, 4-5 fills a year, the owned bottle is the way to go.

                  Now with the aluminum gun, I might be burning through more argon, so I might change strategies. I also found an aluminum supplier that doesn't ask how many tons I want to buy.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sammy View Post
                    $240 To own a 50 cubic foot tank
                    Holy cow! They sure bend you Canadians over don’t they!

                    I didn’t pay that much for my 250 bottles.
                    Caution!
                    These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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                    • #11
                      Ahhh, Can you say CANADA, Not alot of places will give you the option of owning your own tanks.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks tons

                        Thanks alot for the advice! I think that i will look out for some more options such as buying used. The $240 for a 50 CF probably isn't the best. Mind you, that is probably a brand new bottle. What sort of places can you find used ones?
                        Any suggestions???

                        Thanks!!!

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                        • #13
                          $240 for a 50cf empty! Wow! Scammer! Here you paid $148! I got my 80Cf for $225 empty (Before taxes)

                          But wen you fill they got you by the Ba**s... 1$ per cubic feet plus 14.5% taxes!The best I get was $54 for my 80Cf

                          If you go for a use try Kijiji or local advertising, never buy a cylinder not tested and check if there is a trace of welding mistake on it because nobody will fill that tank...
                          Last edited by OLD SKULL; 02-24-2010, 09:59 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry. The $240 for the 50CF is full! Then $53 to refill.
                            Some others are 80CF- $289 to buy and $80 to refill.

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                            • #15
                              I own my gas cylinders. (4 - 1 Argon, 2 C25, 1 Nitrogen (I recently picked up from CL for $50 and once I used it up for tires, exchange it for Argon.)).

                              I looked into renting a 250-300 cf Argon but it was just too expensive at $20 per month. $240 per year!!!!

                              I know that cyberweld.com sells cylinder online and it's cheaper then what your local place quoted you. http://store.cyberweld.com/shielgascyl4.html

                              Filled? I wished my LWS would filled my bottles. I currently have two recently serviced cylinders and they are all one color (Purple) and matching cap. Whenever I get them exchange, I bet I will get an ugly multi-color cylinder.
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