Good Machine But not like past trailblazer models
March 11, 2020
Honest review of this machine after 200 plus hours is I'm ready to repower my old 301g trailblazer, and pull the 325efi off welding rig. To some this may sound strange but performance of the 325 is just not there in comparison to prior trailblazers. Don't get me wrong it's a great machine with excel power. running tools, and welding at idle its a very quiet machine and fuel efficient. Downfall is that unless you work on new clean metal all the time the arch performance suffers tremendously. Sure you have hot start parameters and dig control but really only applicable in certain applications. When welding at idle the machines arc is struggling to cut through any scale, rust, paint or just normal day to day things you come across in real world repair and fab.. 95% my application is field repair on less than perfect conditions that requires prompt repair. I've tried all settings on the machine.. adjusted hot start, played with the dig settings, went and bought the 14pin remote to adjust the temp up and down because the trips back and forth to the machine are just ridiculous. My prior machine I had no issues with other than heat up and down.. restarting rods on 325efi.. horrible... you feel like a wood pecker on a tree unless you turn the machine to full run and not on run idle. And then its better but the machine struggles to have a good arc that can cut through dirty material that the 301g cut right though with ease... fuel efficient.... yes..spend more time grinding, prepping... yes. Stick more rods due to poor arc performance..... yes.
I've used other 325efi machines and co workers have used my 301g and there is a total night and day difference in performance. I'm sure if welding on new material all the time or pipe is what your application is it is fine and a great machine. But for repair of broken dirty machines or equipment that is down and not in the perfect setting this machine lacks compared to prior model trailblazers.
ProsQuiet, fuel efficient. Running basic grinders chargers and power tools at idle is a plus, and you will need to grind everything you want to weld.... Lighter than prior models so less weight on truck.. however the weight you save on the machine you'll need more welding rod and grinding discs remotes and controls.. With the amount of warning stickers on the machine you never have to worry about the paint fading until the stickers wear off....
ConsOnly way to get the true arc performance from the machine is to run it at high idle.. at that point the machine is still quieter than the 301g but uses more fuel....still constantly need to adjust settings to every piece you weld...prior machine was pretty much set and forget.. meaning one job I set it and weld everything needed and maybe adjust temp only couple times. This machine its all the time.. so just factor in buying arc reach or remotes or other stuff to schlep around a repair site when it used to be just drag out leads.... so in the long run its more expensive to run..