Oldred, does not ITW control the Big Three: Miller, Hobart and Lincoln? While all three are quality welders in comparison to all the multiple brands out there, I like my Thermal Arc better than any other I have used. It is my understanding that the Thrermal Arc was Hobart's top of the line that they sold to the Australian firm, Thermaldyne, before selling the rest to ITW. Don't know how good this info is, but the Thermal Arc speaks for itself. Expendables are no more expensive than those offered by the Big Three, but the design and quality of the wire feed has the others beat hands down.