Aimed at: General users who occasionally Weld.
Pros: A portable and capable little welder that can be brought anywhere.
Remember when welders were so bulky you had to use them in a workshop or not at all? Sometimes they even had wheels to help you out a tiny bit. It wasn’t that long ago. But, in what seems like an almost single-handed quest to help welding reach the masses, the GYS Company in France has been using modern electronics to reduce the size and increase the capability and controllability of welders to the point where I have been reviewing and using a tiny welder that would literally fit into a child’s shoebox.
Measuring just 215mm long, 99mm wide and 143mm high and weighing in at around 2.5Kgs the GYSMi 80P has enough capability in its tiny casing to weld ferrous metals up to 5mm thick using welding rods from 1.6 to 2.5mm. With the right rods, steel, stainless steel and and cast iron can be welded. With its perfect portability it makes sense that this is a “go anywhere” welder for small tasks such as mending farm gates and steel frame buildings, so it is also great to know that it can be used in conjunction with a portable generator as low as 3kW capacity.
The GYSMi 80P is the smallest of a small series of welders that increase in size and capability in steps up to a very capable 200 amps and 5mm welding rods, so users can choose the machine to suit the tasks envisaged. They all have some very advanced technology built in, clearly the bigger they are, the more the technology that can be included.
However, the GYSMi 80P is no slouch. Electronic technologies have a great part to play in welding because they can be used to monitor the human input as well as the heat, current etc taking place at the welding point. Using all this data, the welder can optimise the weld so that even inexperienced welders can end up with an acceptable result. And with overheating etc overrides built in the user has the reassurance that he will not damage the machine by using it inexpertly.
This outcome is something that our Continental friends have been able to access for many years because welding is very much part of their DIY and light trade culture. I can only guess that in the past in the UK we have either been too scared of welding as it is seen as “dangerous” or “too specialised” or even too expensive to invest in for occasional use.
To give some examples of how the GYSMi 80P helps make better welders of its users, the electronics helps with some of the following: - The so called Hot Start increases the current at the start of the weld so that the user can get the weld going. This avoids the stop/start of the welding rod that many new to welding experience that usually results in a series of blobs on the welding line. In my short experience of using the machine the Hot Start feature was the feature that helped me get a weld going smoothly so that I could judge the feed rate of the welding rod.
The next feature is Arc Force – this increases the current when the electrode enters into melted metal created by the weld and then tends to stick. Again, this allows the user to remove the electrode and move on as smoothly as possible into the weld.
The Anti Sticking feature is the one that also helped me in my experience of welding. I tend to get a lot of “sticks” because I don’t feed the electrode smoothly and evenly enough to get that desired “ribbed” look of a successful weld.
Since becoming known as having a welder in my workshop I have had a number of requests to weld a few things. One of these was a set of weighted volleyball net holders whose legs had broken off from being bent over too far. In the end, it was a simple matter of realigning and then reattaching the legs by a couple of straight (ish?) welds. They are still in daily use weeks later, so my weld must have been good enough.
Other uses have been a couple of short welds for a friend who fancies himself as a sculptor. He is already talking about borrowing my GYSMi, but with a price of around the £100 for a ready to go kit, I am sure he could afford his own.
From the dealer point of view, welders like the GYSMi 80P are now not really any more specialised than some woodworking machines or power tools that they might stock. There could be many advantages in taking on a new line. Some dealers I have spoken to in rural areas have seen increases in business by stocking welding gear.
Like many other products, the welding machines are very competitively priced, but welding accessories are an absolute requirement for continued use, and these can help dealers develop healthy sales in electrodes, gloves, masks and other small tools.
It only takes one member of a sales force to have a bit of training and experience in welding for him/her to become a bit of an expert. At its HQ in Rugby, GYS UK is able to give the necessary training and product knowledge required to successfully stock and sell welders.
There is lots to like about the GYSMi 80P – not least of which is the fact that it is ready to go – all you really need to add are some suitable electrodes and basic safety kit like mask and gloves etc. And I have to say there is something very satisfying about being able to make a simple and quick, and hopefully long lasting repair, to something using a suitable weld. I have done the vain attempts to bind a pair of metal pieces together with wire, only to see the repair fail as the whole thing moves or falls apart because the strength of the repair is simply not good enough. And with a machine that helps you to be a better welder via its electronics – I will take that any day.