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Mig Welder Recommendations ?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Pallet Pete, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Ok here is the deal my mig welder took a poop on me finally did not do bad for a chepo. I am a good welder but mostly on home projects now not pro anymore. My issue is as time goes by I see the value in buying quality more and more so this leads me to wonder who is the best for my situation and what I should save for now. I have used and love Miller and Hobart. Are there others available that are as good but not so expensive ? I may start doing odd jobs on the side for income with it but nothing to demanding.

    Pete

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  2. festerw

    festerw Member

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    I've got a Hobart Handler 140 works well for general repairs but is limited by being a 120v welder.
  3. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    I have an older Miller 175 and wouldn't trade it for anything. imho the Miller was worth every penny I paid for it.
    ScotO likes this.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Pete,

    What do you have available for voltage? I'm currently keeping my neighbor's MillerMatic 140 dry and well exercised. ;lol I have one at work too and it's a handy machine indeed. Runs off 120V AC and does a nice job for 1/8" and less. It will do heavier, but I really prefer more welder for that kind of work. I have run a lot of wire thru the little 140 at work. :cool:

    If you have 240V available, I'd highly recommend looking at a "multi-plug" kind of setup like what Miller has on the Millermatic 180 and a couple others. Very versatile, considering that route myself as I could run a 211 at home on 240V and still take it with me to run off my trailer's 120V output. But I'm having a love affair with the MillerMatic 252 so I'd have a hard time selling myself on a smaller machine than that. ;)

    If your opn a budget, Miller owns Hobart, and the Hobart Handler machines are very good. Me, I like to "fiddle" with heat and wire speed to get the machine singing the right tune, so the detent stops on those controls would be annoying. But my mechanic buddy runs a Handler 140 at his home shop and it does the job just fine.

    Lincoln makes good welders too, but as far as bang for the buck is concerned, I like the Hobarts better. Anything farther down the line (pricewise) and quality gets pretty spotty. Also I wouldn't bother with a 120V welder with less than 140AMPs output. They need all of that and then some to begin with.
  5. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    A stick for what U need it for, and inexpensive mig will do ya, IMO
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I have the Hobart Handler 190 (240v) version.
    I can only compare it to 120 VAC supply MIG welders of various types which I used previously and which I would not recommend using unless you have no choice.
    Keep in mind that you can easily get 240 VAC from an electric dryer connection if needed. I did that with a romex extension until I installed a dedicated circuit/outlet.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  7. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    MasterMech I have 120 & 240 in my garage also not to be nitpicking lol but ITW owns Hobart and Miller they are sister companies. After looking the other day I am leaning toward a Hobart 190 230V they just look sexy and after using a Hobart 210 for a while I like how they handle and they are a bit cheaper. I agree the 120 is really gutless for hotter thicker stronger welds.

    Pete
  8. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    HD I got to admit I absolutely 100% hate stick welding ! Plus I am a little shaky because my stupid body is hypoglycemic. When I get hungry I don't always stop which makes it hard to steady myself with a stick. They are great but just not for me so I am gonna stay with mig welding for personal use I can borrow a stick welder from a buddy when needed as well.

    Pete
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Miller/ Lincoln is a Ford/Chevy thing in general, but I drive Chevys and weld Lincolns.
    Last I recall, Lincoln made a 175 amp, 220 volt in the small package. Ran one, ran nice.

    Miller; ugh. Never met a Miller I liked, but like I said, Ford/Chevy.

    My personal MIG is a 250 ESAB, but you said you wanted to spend less, not more.
    If cost is no object, ESAB makes hands down the best MIG welder.
    Mine is a 1983, and I replaced the gun this year. I have never had to fix anything else, and 30 years for a professionally used gun is pretty reliable.
  10. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Hey dune does ESAB make Mig ? I have only seen Arc from them never used one either ! Off to google I go lol.


    Pete
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Holy crap! I'm not the only hypoglycemic MIG fanboy. Big MIG with flux-core will do a lot of what a stick welder will do and then some. Just costs more.

    I always eat before I have a lot of TIG to do. (or any welding) It really helps control the shakes. ;lol
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  12. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    I have the largest 120 volt Lincoln, I think a 160?? picked it up at Lowes when they were clearing them out for new models, 200 bucks
    I have used it on 1/4 inch plate with great success
    I was a certified aircraft welder, TIG, MIG, for years so maybe that helps
    it is not the best welder out there but for home use not many people will be welding stuff that heavy.
    works great on 1/8 and less too
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've not seen a 120 volt welder with output over 140 amps yet.
    nate379 likes this.
  14. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    that might be I am not a home to verify
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yes and no.
    I run 1/16th flux core in a Lincoln LN25 suitcase MIG, and power it with a Lincoln Invertec 350 (425 amps). Has to be a pretty large amount of welding to be worth
    it compared to 1/8 7018 (stick), but yes, when I need to throw down some wire, I can.
    Then there are the special rods, nickel, stainless steel, tool steel repair rods, etc.

    Too soon to give up on stick.
    MasterMech likes this.
  16. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    Don't be afraid to call a few welding supply houses, most do take in trades on new machines. Some have a few new machines set up for demos, stop by and play with a few. I have seen a few on craigslist also.
  17. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    We unfortunately haven't got any around us <>

    Pete
  18. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Found mine at Tractor Supply Co.
  19. RSNovi

    RSNovi Feeling the Heat

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    I have a miller 180. I think it works well for many different jobs.
  20. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I looked there today actually they had the Hobart 190 for $649 on sale.

    Pete
  21. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I own a Miller Bobcat 225NT and a Lincoln Weld-Pak 100... The WP100 is a homeowner class FCAW.. I bought the MIG kit for it... I have abused the snot out of it.... I'm at about 300# of wire through it.. the machine should have died by now... but it hasn't. My Bobcat..... that's where I make my money... It has run at 180 amps 5/32 7018.... 15# of rod a day welding cap plates on stub beams... that was 3 weeks straight... never had a problem with the bobcat.... the only problem I had with the lincoln was that I *wore out* the whip...

    to the OP... I'd buy a Miller 211 or a DVI.. forget the chinese crap
  22. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I've had a Lincoln 175 for about 10 years and it's worked well for my needs. Welder and a 125 cu/ft bottle was a bit over $1000 if I remember right.

    My brother has a Miller that is about the same size, I think 180, and I think it's build better. Less plastic and the over temp warning is nice too.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I never welded before I bought the Lincoln Power Mig 215 about 6 years ago. I use a shielding gas. I don't weld enough to reach the "pretty weld" results, but my welds have all done the job. I live in a rural area and found that if I can't fix things, the things become pieces of junk. The welder has always worked to expectation, but the operator falls a little short. My wife then bought me a birthday present of an auto-darkening face mask. That works well too.

    A real plus is that my 5500 watt - 240 volt generator has enough power for the welder so I can move the welder and generator out in the field to do work when no line power is available.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  24. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    Out of curiosity what kinda aircraft parts / components were you mig welding?
  25. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    +1

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