Vulcan Master Welder Series
Harbor Freight Tools Raises the Bar For Affordable, Pro-Grade Welding Equipment
hRarely a day goes by at HOT ROD when we aren’t overwhelmed by new-product press releases, but one we got from Harbor Freight Tools stands out as having the potential to be a game-changer for a lot of DIY hobbyists. Harbor Freight Tools is mostly known for importing inexpensive products from Asia; what isn’t commonly known is that this U.S.-based company has an impressive campus for product development and quality-control testing. That interesting fact is the reason HFT has come out with its upscale Vulcan Master Welder Series.
The Vulcan line has the sophisticated features and performance of high-end pro gear, but at the significantly lower price we’re accustomed to from HFT. It turns out that one of the interesting benefits of being HFT and having such huge buying power with Asia for so many years is the company is in a position to dictate to the factory the level of manufacturing quality, and the volume means doing so at a very favorable price point. HFT’s lab facility in Calabasas, California, tows the quality line by regularly testing tools to their limits; we know from piling on the abuse to HFT stuff over the years that this approach works. Now with the Vulcan Series, HFT has benchmarked the features and performance of the newest products from top welding competitors, and this lineup is the result.
One of the biggest breakthroughs is that HFT’s next generation of welding products uses what it claims is best‐in‐class inverter technology. This would allow for better arc control, higher efficiencies, and a lighter welder. They are clearly designed for extreme portability with contractor-grade dual handles, making them easier to transport. If you’ve never compared the weight and durability of an inverter-style welder versus a transformer-powered unit, you’ll be duly impressed.