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There’s no debate that Forney is one of the compelling welding machine brands. It’s not the biggest name on the market, but it gives the top brands a run for their money in terms of build quality and performance. Forney welders are popular not only among amateurs and hobbyists but also among professional welders.
Let’s talk about Forney Industries
It all started when James Donovan Forney sold the Forney Instant Soldering Iron in 1932. The businessman sold the item door to door in Fort Collins. He wasn’t just doing business. He was also an inventor. In 1936, he invented and first successful 110V 125-amp and 150-amp welders that were intended for non-industrial use. In the following year, Forney Industries would grow and become known across the United States (1).
When the Rural Electric Associations delivered 230V service to farms and ranches in 1945, Forney Industries sought permission to test their welders. In the same year, the company added metal repair and tool hardening to the list of their products for farmers. The company continued to grow throughout the 1940s with 500 in-house employees selling around 500 welders a week. In the 1950s, the product line grew as the company started making auto generators, battery charges, vacuum cleaners, and more welders equipment and supplies. The growth trend continued even after the passing of J.D. Forney in 1986.
Throughout the 1990s, Forney continued to grow to become one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of metal fabrication equipment and supplies. Sales would grow from around $20M in at the start of the decade to $30M in the year 2000.
In 2009, the Forney welders were revolutionised and rebranded as green, a testament to the company’s dedication to improving their products and making them sustainable. Still operating In For Collins, Forney Industries bought a new warehouse and distribution facility in 2011. But in 2015, it moved its warehouse to a bigger facility in Tipp City, Ohio. The company continues to develop products. It recently launched its next generation of welding and cutting machines, adding to its line of innovative machines.
With its long history in the welding industry, it certainly is one of the longest family-owned tool and equipment product companies. Right now, the company has almost 20,000 retail aftermarkets across the United States and is selling products overseas.
How good are Forney welders?
Forney is one of the most affordable welding equipment brands out there. Although it has products that are considerably expensive, the company has compact and portable welders under $500. You can quickly recognise these units because of their signature green and black exterior. The metal and high-grade plastic make for a sturdy build quality. The controls also allow for easy setup.
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder
Forney Welders to Check Out
One of the multi-process welders to consider is the Forney 324. This machine can do MIG, TIG, stick, and flux core welding. At nearly $1000, this isn’t exactly an inexpensive machine, but it’s worth the price. Its adjustable controls make it suitable for beginners learning their way through the intricate art of welding. It’s a powerful unit that runs at 190 amps. It’s also a dual voltage machine, but you probably want to plug it into a 230V outlet and dial down the amperage 80 amps to get the maximum 35% duty cycle.
One downside of this machine is it can only do stick and MIG out of the box. You have to purchase a TIG torch if you want to do TIG. Nonetheless, the unit includes a flow meter and a gas hose. It’s quite big and heavy at 51 lbs, so it won’t be your first choice for outdoor welding tasks.
If you want a portable alternative to the Forney 324, you may want to check out the Forney Easy Weld 271. It’s another multi-process welder that can do MIG, DC TIG, and stick welding. This is probably more suited to beginners because of its user-friendly features. You can quickly switch from one type of operation to another. It’s only half the weight of the Forney 324 but not as powerful. But if you’re welding 1/8” thick pieces, you’ll find this welder quite useful.
For MIG enthusiasts, the Forney 309 is a good choice. Some users consider it a fantastic machine with its flux core capabilities. It can weld up to 1/4-inch steel. It’s perfect for garage and farm applications. You can easily control the wire feeding and the amperage. This machine has a Euro connect MIG system gun, which is just a complicated way of saying it allows you to replace your MIG torch easily. At 57 lbs, this is a tad heavier than the Forney 324, so you may not want to carry it anywhere. Thanks to its 15-foot power cord, you don’t have to move the unit too close to your working area.
Overall, the company that makes Forney welders has ensured that its products are definitely worth buying. They come with great features and remarkable build quality. Forney Industries makes different kinds of welding machines, from stick welders to multi-process machines. These machines feature an easy arc start, which is great if you’re a beginner. Needless to say, the welders offer good value for the price.