Tips on Purchasing a Tip Dresser
Tip dressers have always been a traditional piece of equipment in the welding industry. There are many different variations of tip dresser as well as different ways to weld, but all tips are still tips. Today we will discuss only the spot welded variety of a tip dresser.
The basic differences between a spot welded Tip Dresser and a Tip Drill Press are: The spot welds are typically longer lasting due to the shorter cycle times. The shorter cycle times make them ideal for low-volume production as well as flexibility. This type of dresser also does not change depth with each successive pass as the common misconception is to believe.
The typical tip dresser is generally held on a stand and is fed by hoist or run over an electric screw or handle. The handle is then rotated with the tip of the welding guns to change the arc and repeat the process. Some tip dressers require manual feed changes from either side but most modern units come equipped with a safety switch that prevents injury by performing the change safely. Most robotic welding applications and robotic welding machines cannot perform this type of welding process without assistance.
Tip cutters are used in place of Tip Dressers and most often come complete with their own portable and adjustable stand and a host of cutter tools. All of the tools needed for the complete welding process are included in the package. They generally have a swivel, cutting tool, a welding press as well as electrode caps and filler metal sheets. Many also include an automatic power unit and variable speed fan to help maintain consistent dressing time and keep the plasma cutter at the proper temperature.
The two most popular and efficient pneumatic tip dresser systems are the MIG and the TIG. The MIG is the least expensive of all the product lines with the exception of the TIG, which is much more expensive. These two product lines both use a variety of different filler metal and electrode caps to produce quality welds consistently and easily. They are both available in both vertical and horizontal styles and the MIG typically comes with a sturdier construction than the TIG. MIG welding equipment is a superior line of product and should be considered when purchasing the right equipment for you.
A final consideration in choosing the perfect tip dresser is your welding guns. Your shop will determine what size and configuration you need and the appropriate guns will be determined by the amount of space you have and how many customers you expect to operate in your shop. You will need a gun with a larger arc and a finer tip than you would for a shorter shop and for a larger shop you will need a gun with a smaller arc and a wider tooth pattern. Because of these considerations it becomes imperative that you take time to look at the different guns on the market before deciding which one to buy. The best rule of thumb is to choose a welding gun that feels comfortable to hold, functions easily, and is the right size for your vision system.