you should also consider what you are going to use it for-
for instance, I know a guy who uses his to power his 3 phase equipment, as a 3phase generator welder was about 1/10 the cost of bringing 3 phase to his house- but most people dont need 3 phase.
if you are going to be stick welding pipe to certification quality all day, most guys prefer used, older Lincoln SA 200 rigs, which they claim are better than any new machine.
On the other hand, if you are like me, and mostly use either a tig torch or an XR push pull mig gun for jobsite repairs, you want a trailblazer that you can plug both into with no problems.
Tig welding like different power supply characteristics than stick.
how many amps of 110 volts do you need? 220?
diesel machines cost a lot more, but last longer, and, if you are going to be running one 8 hours a day, might be worth it.
I think the Ranger and Bobcat are both pretty good all around mid range machines, but if you are doing anything out of the ordinary, you need to think about it and factor that into your equation.
I have considered that many times, I could get by just fine with a Honda Generator, and a Maxstar 150, which is a lot cheaper...
Got in Trouble for that.