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Best water cooled tig torch?

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  • Best water cooled tig torch?

    What's everyone running for water cooled torches? I was using a ck flex lock, but it blew up on me last night. My own fault for being too cheap(and poor) to have a proper cooler. I was circulating water with a little spray pump, pump was getting weak and not flowing enough water. I love the flex lock but I do find the head gets really hot since water does not flow through the head on these ones. I think on the regular flex heads the water actually flows through the head? When I worked in a production shop I was breaking flex heads all the time, never seemed to get more then 2 weeks out of one. I can't remember the brand. I think they have a limited amount of bends you can make before they fatigue and break, but maybe I was bending them too far as well. Trying to decide between a new flex lock or a normal flex head torch. In that production shop I got them to buy me a flex lock and I never broke another torch in over a year. Like I say I love the flex lock but find the head gets a bit too hot running aluminum.
    www.silvercreekwelding.com

    Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
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  • #2
    Yea, there is a small price to pay for the feature of the flex lock, I have typically used a CK 20 torch, but not the flex head. In spite of that I now own the CK20 flex head because I got a good deal, yet I seldom (remember to) flex it
    Richard

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    • #3
      Im just going to try and fix these one for the time being. Looks like I can just undo the crimp on the end of the power cable and put some new pvc tubing on. Your better off not flexing the torch for the longetivity of the torch but I cant stand putting my hand in an ackward position when i can just put the head where I want it.
      www.silvercreekwelding.com

      Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
      Miller extreme 12vs
      Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
      Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Willvis View Post
        Im just going to try and fix these one for the time being. Looks like I can just undo the crimp on the end of the power cable and put some new pvc tubing on. Your better off not flexing the torch for the longetivity of the torch but I cant stand putting my hand in an ackward position when i can just put the head where I want it.
        This is one of those times when design and function cost extra for a reason. I've stripped apart, taken the rubber off a few damaged water cooled torch heads. Too see how they were designed, where the damage was located. Used for props to show students the inherent flaws in design and with discussion to avoid excessive damage to the equipment adding to program costs or there future expense.

        Lol...followed by what would happen if I took your head and started twisting it like a bobble head flexes at the neck and shoulders? Ending with a reminder that as mentioned, you can do it only so much before some hurts or tears or breaks.

        That said avoid folding. Most grab the ends and bend. Applying pressure evenly with a radius and it increases longevity. Mine is a CK something flex head but I don't have a water cooled torch so that's the best I have to offer in reply?





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        • #5
          Ive had good luck with the CK FX20 flex heads. I try not to move them as much as I would like to keep them from fatiguing but haven't had a ton of failures either. Seems like the ck FX20 is easier to move around than the weldcraft/miller flex heads but they both work well. Ive seen an advertisement of a cut away comparing the ck and several other brands and they show that theirs has a larger water compartment that full circles the head of the torch for better heat removal.
          Last edited by mwahl; 02-25-2019, 05:19 AM. Reason: cant spell even with spell check

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          • #6
            I use the CK230FX. It is about as good as you are gonna get. It takes the #20 consumables but is rated at 300 amps. It also requires a different hose for the water feed line. They will still break if you bend it back and forth every time you weld. They show the max degrees it should be bent. We may go over a year on one and then break one on each machine in the same month. All in all the best thing we have found.
            I believe Speedway makes a very similar version as well.
            The are a consumable item IMO and simply part of the cost of doing business. YMMV

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
              I use the CK230FX
              How much larger is the CK230 over the CK20? I looked at it on their site and it looks to be not much bigger? Also the feed line you are referring to, dose it have a larger copper core running in the hose? Seems like when I burn out a rig its always the copper core that burns in half.

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              • #8
                Its maybe about the size of a 17 maybe? The 200 is smaller on the neck and handle diameter, but the 230 is certainly not annoying to me anyways.
                The line is a bit bigger and the fitting is a different wrench size. Never burnt one out so it must be better.
                Its all we use on the 700and the 280.
                Sometimes you do a job and you know you are gonna fry a torch if you tig it. That's when I try to go with the 350P

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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