Home New Products Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – HTP America Invertig 221 Stick & TIG Welder

Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – HTP America Invertig 221 Stick & TIG Welder

by Moses Ludel
In this coverage, we set up the HTP Invertig® 221 machine for stick (SMAW) welding. This is a versatile, dedicated TIG/GTAW and stick welder that meets all of our shop’s needs. For our TIG/GTAW work or stick use, the machine has been ideal, serving our shop since 2012.

We depend on the multipurpose HTP America Invertig® 221 machine for our shop’s TIG and stick welding needs!

The HTP America Invertig 221 delivers state-of-the-art inverter technology. Sometimes, big things come in smaller packages—this compact machine runs circles around older transformer equipment! Invertig 221 performance also outstrips the competitors’ inverter machines.

Modern welding machines, like other electronic equipment, have become lighter. Inverter technology has been the biggest boost yet. For TIG welding, inverter power dramatically reduces the cost of AC aluminum welding. In the past, transformer TIG machines were heavy and a huge electricity drain. Inverter technology changed that forever!

The Invertig 201 proved a very durable and functional welder!

It took some convincing to let go of this HTP America Invertig 201 machine! A versatile predecessor to the Invertig 221 machine, the 201 was HTP America’s second generation workhorse. This is a cart- or bench-based machine. If you have access to a good used Invertig 201, and if the amperage rating works for your usage, this machine will not disappoint!

The 4WD Mechanix Magazine shop/studio enjoyed the many features of HTP America’s Invertig 201 welder. A reliable, durable machine with a proven track record, the 201 with water-cooled torch option readily met our needs. The 201 has earned an excellent reputation among shops and users.

Same cart we used for the Invertig 221, the new machine is visibly smaller.
This is our HTP America Invertig® 221 set up with water cooling, an optimal machine for TIG/GTAW fabrication work.

Jeff Noland, President at HTP America, asked if 4WD Mechanix Magazine’s ‘Welding & Metal Fabrication Shop’ would consider giving up the 201 for the all-new 221 Invertig model. Most often, an offer like this elicits an immediate, “Yes!” With the great Invertig 201 machine to lose, however, the decision took some prompting.

As a rule, weldors seek a machine with the widest amperage range available. The Invertig 221 holds the appeal of 20 more amps than the 201 machine. This new machine, extensively tested and proven in Europe, offers a host of enticing functions. Careful review of the 221’s features earned a hearty, “Yes, let’s put the new Invertig 221 to work!”

201 Invertig fills up the welding cart deck.

The HTP America Invertig 201 has been a popular AC/DC stick welder and TIG/GTAW machine for shops, race car builders and metal fabricators. Relatively light and portable with its optional cart, the 201 has served the needs of welding professionals, including mobile welding operations. The machine’s single phase 220/230V AC input current is readily available.

Given its versatility and track record, why was the Invertig 201 replaced by the new Invertig 221 machine? Partly because the latest inverter technology has consumers expecting ever smaller components: less weight and maximum portability are key Invertig 221 assets.

The degree of adjustability is outstanding on the Invertig 221, meeting every welding requirement in its class!

For traditional welders, smaller machines get close scrutiny. Can you really get 220 actual amps of dependable, AC/DC power out of a machine that weighs 40 pounds? Or occupies the space of a metal desktop computer? Or can easily be tossed onto a field service truck?

HTP America water cooler used with 201 and 221 Invertig machines

Optional HTP America water cooler is a must if within your budget! For weldors who do hours of work at a time*, this makes handling the TIG torch with light TIG gloves a pleasure. We used this quality-built water cooler on the Invertig 201 machine and consider the cooler essential. Some of our cast iron repair work (search “cast iron repair” at the magazine) has kept us under the hood for 3-4 hours a day for several days. For this, a water cooled torch is essential.

*Want to see a job that benefits from a water cooled torch? See the large cast iron repair that involved a steady three to four hours a day of welding—for several days!

Pyrex and gas lens filter

For instructing or just plain seeing what you’re doing, you cannot beat the use of clear Pyrex glass shields! This HTP America system also uses a diffusing gas screen. Collets and adapters come in common 1/16″, 3/32″ and 1/8″ sizes to accommodate the range of electrodes you will use with this machine. HTP America provides professional-grade stuff!

Torch without the electrode in place

System is now ready to insert the electrode. Traditionally, mild and alloy steel benefitted from thoriated (slightly radioactive) electrodes, ground to a point. Aluminum required pure tungsten electrodes with the end “balled”. A major Invertig 221 benefit is precisely adjustable frequencies and pinpoint arcs. This makes it possible to weld mild steel and alloy steel effectively with lanthanated and ceriated electrodes. (No more thoriated electrodes at this shop!) Electrodes for aluminum welding can now be ground to a point for pinpoint arcs and heat control…Thanks, inverter technology!

Heavy duty ground clamp

This is a professional grade ground clamp, part of the Invertig 221 system! When you compare the Invertig 221 to other machines in its class, the quality features stand out. HTP America uses the best U.S. and European technology to provide reliable and serviceable products.

Remote foot control

Another quality component is the HTP America remote control pedal. We also use the optional “tractor” hand amperage control. In addition to these manual controls, the Invertig 221 has modes for fixed amperage control—including stitch, pulse and constant amperage. Notably, the Invertig 221 has precise arc starting options for simpler operation and better control. You can concentrate on quality welds, with uniform penetration and predictable heat affected zones (HAZ)!

Quality is apparent on the HTP America equipment!

Portable is the trend, with welders like the Miller Dynasty 200 and 210 Series within this class. Here are the specifications for HTP America’s Invertig 221 at 220* Volts:

*Note: There is a dual-voltage HTP America Invertig 221DV model that operates on either 115V or 230V—versatile for smaller jobs that do not require 220 or 230 volts. The comparison below is traditional 220V setup.

HTP America’s Invertig 221 AC/DC Welder Specifications for TIG

  • Input Voltage: 220 Volts
  • Input Amperage Tig: 36 amps @ 220 amps
  • Output Amperage Tig: 4 to 220 amps
  • Duty Cycle:
    • 20% @ 220 amps
    • 60% @ 165 amps
    • 100% @ 145 amps
  • No Load Voltage: 65 volts
  • Stick Welding Amps: 200 amps
  • Arc Voltage: 10.2 to 18.8 volts
  • Torch Length/Type SR 17: 12.5’ Long [Water cooled torch is optional]
  • Foot Pedal: Length 12 ft
  • Ground Cable: Length 10 ft
  • Slope Down: .1 to 10 sec
  • Pre-Gas Flow: .1 to 2 sec
  • Post Gas Flow: .1 to 30 sec
  • Final Current: 10% to 90%
  • Pulsing Frequency: 0.1 to 999 Hz
  • Back Ground Current: 10% to 90%
  • Peak Time: 10% to 90%
  • Spot Welding Time: .1-10 sec
  • AC Frequency: 20 to 200 Hz
  • AC Balance: 10 to 90%
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Cabinet Size: 19 ¾” L x 7 ½” W x 15 ¾” H
Invertig 221 has an a variety of adjustments with ready access from the control panel.

HTP America has this to share about the Invertig® 221 machine:’s own words:

“The Invertig 221 is packed with features many of our competitors don’t even offer at twice the price! It’s the only welder in its class with independent AC amperage adjustment. This feature gives you precise control over the heat input to both the workpiece and the tungsten by allowing you to separately adjust the electrode negative and electrode positive amperage.

“Conventional transformer TIG welders have a fixed AC frequency of 60 Hz (same as your household current). They use a pure tungsten electrode which forms a ball when welding AC. The Invertig 221 offers you the ability to adjust the AC frequency from 20 Hz to 200 Hz – the higher AC frequency gives you a more focused arc with greater arc control. With an inverter, running a higher AC frequency, say in the 150 Hz to 200 Hz range allows you to use ceriated, lanthanated, or thoriated tungsten sharpened to a point. This:

• Allows the arc to jump from a point instead of a ball which provides unparalleled arc stability and reduces “arc wandering”.

• Produces a more focused arc, resulting in a narrower bead and making it much easier to weld inside corners.

• Minimizes the heat affected zone as the heat is more concentrated, making it easier for both the novice and professional to weld thin materials.

“The 221 also gives you precise control over the AC balance (from 10% to 90%) so you can control the arc cleaning action. The 221 is also an excellent DC welder too. The smooth, stable arc coupled with the 221’s high speed pulse DC pulse make intricate work on mild steel, 4130, stainless, inconel and titanium a breeze. High speed DC pulse focuses the DC arc much like the AC balance focuses the AC Arc – the end result – more control and less arc wandering. With a pulse rate of up to 999pps, there isn’t a job out there the 221 can’t handle.

“Let’s face it, control of the arc is the foundation to better welds and precision results. With the 221’s independent AC amperage adjustment, adjustable AC frequency, adjustable AC balance, and high speed DC pulse, the 221 gives you arc control like you have never before experienced.

“The 221 allows you to store up to 64 separate welding programs. So, say you found a setting you really like for welding aluminum radiator tanks to cores. AC – On, HF – On, Max Current = 180 amps, AC Balance = 65%, AC Frequency = 180 Hz, EP = 60%, Pulse Freq 1 Hz, Peak Time 80%, Background Current 30%. Simply store this program and you can come back to it when you have another tank to core job. Assigning banks of memory slots to multiple welders allows them to access their personal settings in a job shop environment.

“Conventional arc welding is really simple with the Invertig 221. Using the stick mode in conjunction with the foot pedal, allows you to vary the welding amperage. Perfect when doing pipe welding!

“Select the touch start mode for welding aluminum or any other material without High Frequency. This is important if your application takes you near sensitive electronic equipment, such as on site repairs in a hospital or repairing aluminum vehicles with on-board computers.

“This package of power weighs just 40 lbs and fits into a cabinet measuring 19 ¾” long by 7 ½” wide by 15 ¾” high. The machine comes standard with a 12 ½’ long 17 Series air-cooled TIG torch, a 12 ½’ foot pedal, flowmeter and 70 minute TIG DVD.

“The advanced technology found in the Invertig 221 will allow you to produce professional quality welds in all types of metal – quickly, easily and affordably. And every Invertig 221 comes with our 90 day money back guarantee – we are so sure you will love your Invertig 221 that you can try it in your own shop for 90 days—if for any reason you don’t like it we will take it back, no questions asked. And we further back the machine with a 3 year warranty.”

On the bench, an HTP America torch stand

After considering the features and AC frequency and balance adjustability, 4WD Mechanix© Magazine welcomes the new HTP America Invertig 221! There is much more control and range with this machine—far more than other inverter TIG equipment in this class. Add to this the 64 possible memory points; once you set the machine for your favorite projects, the Invertig 221 can be dialed for a similar job in seconds!

Replacing the Invertig 201 with a 221 machine was straightforward. Becoming familiar with the new machine’s settings and capabilities does not involve a steep learning curve, either. The HTP America “Owner’s Manual for the Invertig 221” is very helpful and easy to follow!

Argon bottle and regulator for the 221

Some of the Invertig 201 equipment works with the Invertig 221. We needed a new tractor hand control and foot remote pedal to match the 221’s plug pin types.The HTP America TIG gas regulator (shown) is the same between the Invertig 201 and Invertig 221.

Water cooler plug/pins change between the 201 and Invertig 221 machines. Shown here is the 221 plug.

The interface plug for the water cooler changed; the 220V receptacle plug remained the same. Water-cooled torch with Pyrex lens system, the rugged HTP America water cooler unit, the ground clamp and cord, the stick electrode holder and other accessories interchange readily.

Those who have worked with an Invertig 201 will readily appreciate the Invertig 221. The number of memory settings and fine-tuning capabilities (AC frequency, balance and the many other functions) are exceptional. An Invertig 221 produces the kinds of welds traditionally made by high-end industrial TIG welders—yet the portable Invertig 221 costs less than half the list price of the Miller Dynasty 200!

Add to this the TIG torch with water cooler, hand amperage controls and the electrode holder for precision stick welding, and this machine does everything you could want! The rest is up to your skill and training level, and we’ll work on that. HTP America’s Invertig 221 will be a great machine for the magazine’s ‘how-to’ projects, instructional articles and HD video welding demonstrations.

HTP America's Invertig 221 is portable, efficient and affordable!

As for projects, the Invertig 221 machine will easily handle single-pass 1/4″ or 5/16″ mild and alloy steel welds. 1/4″ aluminum AC welding is a breeze. Initial tests with the machine reveal its precise, wide-range adjustability. The Invertig 221 has the ability to perform chores never thought possible with a machine this size…But isn’t that the point? Welcome to the world of high-quality inverter welding technology!

For more information on the HTP Invertig® 221 Machine and direct access to the HTP/usaweld.com site, click here.

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