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the machine is not the issue as it has a hold back vise.
the issue is with the pipe. on gal water pipe, good chance it will crush on old rusty stuff. on clean gas pipe, no issues.
but you need to use the hold back vise or you will turn and torque the pipe fittings.
Yes, I always use the vise with the 600. I was really looking for an opinion on the weight of the 690 vs the 600 when using it for repairs up in the air.
I've had a couple circumstances where having the ability to do 1.5" or 2" in the field (off the tristand) would have been helpful and I thought the 690 would be a nice compromise between the 600 and 700.
The 600 is so light and maneuverable compared to the 700
Also, I have rarely had issues with threading galvanized water pipe in place.....unless it was from the 60's-70's. It seems to me that the quality of steel pipe dropped off significantly after the introduction of copper. I have seem homes with 100 year old galvanized systems still functioning fine with no leaks and some with 40 year old systems that have major issues. Of course, installation always plays into the equation too (just like copper).