Help me pick a welder!

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DanteGTZ
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Help me pick a welder!

Postby DanteGTZ » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:31 pm

I've never owned a welder, although I've used a few. I find myself needing a welder more and more for various projects but honestly, I have no idea what to buy. Prices seem astronomically scary, but then again, I'm not sure I'm looking at exactly what I'd need, either.

I'd like a wire feed MIG (w/gas??) that will handle the small stuff but will also handle say ~3/16" steel as well. This will be a bit of a training exercise as well, but I'd like to buy something quality that I can grow into as my skill improves. What should I look for? What price range am I looking at?

Thanks!


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby bonecrrusher » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:54 pm

Heavywoody bought a Miller welder - it looks nice.

I'd skip the Harbor Freight/Hobart welders - get a quality one.

Probably going to spend around $1500+/- for one.


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:09 pm

I hate to disagree... but it depends on the amount of welding you plan on doing. Do you expect to use this once a month on a weekend project, or every day for the foreseeable future?

For my "Brand name plug" I have a Linde-225 MIG welder, it's probably older than I am... They have been bought out by Esab IIRC, Now don't get me wrong this thing is built tough, and I'm sure I could build a bridge with it but its OVERKILL and I got it for $400 used from a friend at work that's the only reason why I have it. But when I went to buy a TIG welder I just grabbed a $450 one off of ebay that does TIG, Plasma cutting and stick welding. And so far the unit has done me well and I've done quite a few projects with it. Granted my projects have been very sporadic which is why I couldn't justify spending 2k on a Miller at the time. I'm not a fab shop...

Depending on what you need to do I don't see why a Hobart wouldn't fit the bill... I mean your not going to be welding exhaust every day and fabricating race cars for a living... And on that note the owner of the race car I worked on, his welder was a Harbor Freight special (Chicago Electric)... He's had it since before I started helping and that was in 01.

I was actually contemplating getting a Hobart middle of the road sized one because the Linde is very powerful and makes doing delicate work with it very difficult, you can't TIG everything.



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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby Cliff8928 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:06 pm

I use the predecessor to this model. It's worked good for anything I've needed. Runs on 120v and has the capability to use shielding gas. I did overheat it repairing a lift gate, but it just needed to cool down before it was back at it.

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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 3X00-Modified » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:28 pm

I think something like that or just one step up and get a 220v version he should be golden... No need to drop 1500

This
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Elec ... /100670932

Or this
http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/h ... -gun-ready



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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby wicked-irocz » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:03 pm

I think dollar for dollar you cant beat a Lincoln. I think the handler 140 (135 amps) is good but I prefer the 180 (175 amps) for its ability to go over 1/8". You will need a 220 outlet for that though. My favorite home welder is the Miller 211, I love that thing but I myself bought a NOS Lincoln 155 (155 amps) for $575 all said and done with a filled 110 cf tank. I wish I had gone bigger as I have needed to use Flux core on my trail trucks frame.


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby woody90gtz » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:08 pm

I have a Lincoln 170 (220v) and couldn't be happier with it. I've done lot's of sheet metal and quite a bit of heavy stuff too and it has never given me problems. I won't tell you what I paid for it though...got it for a steal at Carlisle. It was so cheap it probably was stolen! haha


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby heavywoody » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:37 pm

I've got a Miller 211 (and really need to use it; it's sat untouched for a couple years now :( )

Hobarts are made by Miller, just FYI.

It's always a Lincoln vs Miller debate, just like Ford vs Chevy.

Pick what you like and go from there.


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby DanteGTZ » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:06 pm

Good info, fellas! I didn't even know there was anything available in the 500-700 range! I assumed 1500 was going to be a minimum. Does Miller make a comparable unit to the Lincoln 180?


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 3X00-Modified » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:19 am




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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 1988GTU » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:46 am

Any suggestions for something that would do good alloy welding for at home use? I am getting burned out of taking my personal projects to the shop so I can resume finishing it there. Wouldnt be a problem if I had the space to just start and finish the project there, but unless I expand the walls out in the work are, I'm stuck at home doing what I can and lugging the aluminum with me to the shop. Plus, I dont have 440 hook up at home which is what the shop unit is config'd to use.


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby heavywoody » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:39 am

I know the 211 I have can be paired with a spool gun (about $275 extra) and will MIG aluminum.


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 1988GTU » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:52 am

heavywoody wrote:I know the 211 I have can be paired with a spool gun (about $275 extra) and will MIG aluminum.

You say "will" but will it be of decent workmanship quality? 220v unit right? You know the amperage output specs?


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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby 3X00-Modified » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:08 am

The Hobart can also be paired with a spool gun...

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/w ... andler190/

Another reason why I may get a mid grade unit... I can't do aluminum with my TIG since it's not DC, it's only an AC tig.



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Re: Help me pick a welder!

Postby heavywoody » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:54 am

From what I've seen at the welding place I bought my welder at, they looked to be nice quality welds. Not TIG'd by any means, but they looked pretty professional to me.

Specs here: http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig ... del=M00245


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