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Old December 12th, 2016, 07:01 AM   #1
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Default Welder Advice

I am looking for a welder, and not sure what to buy. I plan on welding small stuff, fabricating parts for a tractor, and other little crap. Garage is wired for 240v. Can you help me decide what to get? Am I just looking for a MIG welder?
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Old December 12th, 2016, 07:22 AM   #2
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what's the thickest material you ever plan to weld?

I bought a millermatic 211 this summer. I like it, but I need to get a tank and get away from gasless fluxcore... I grew up on 3 phase machines, and thought I'd be able to tolerate all the spatter, but it's gross and I can't stand it.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #3
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A MIG welder will be just fine. In my experience Hobart is by far the best bang for the buck for a garage fabricator. I've had mine for over 9 years, have used it a ton, and have had no problems whatsoever. Several friends have gone out and bought Hobarts after seeing how well mine does. I've heard they have awesome customer service too, but I've never needed to use it.
Keep an eye out for deals at TSC and you can save $50-100 fairly often. Looks like the 190 is $50 off right now: http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...y?cm_vc=-10005
I have the older 210, which is one step up from that, but the 190 is a great machine and is plenty capable. The nice thing about the newer 210 is that it can be used on 110 or 220 power, so if you plan to take it anywhere that's a nice feature. Up to you whether or not it's worth the extra $200 though.

I've also heard good things about the new Eastwood MIG welder, but have no personal experience with it.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:04 AM   #4
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A MIG welder will be just fine. In my experience Hobart is by far the best bang for the buck for a garage fabricator. I've had mine for over 9 years, have used it a ton, and have had no problems whatsoever. Several friends have gone out and bought Hobarts after seeing how well mine does. I've heard they have awesome customer service too, but I've never needed to use it.
Keep an eye out for deals at TSC and you can save $50-100 fairly often. Looks like the 190 is $50 off right now: http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...y?cm_vc=-10005
I have the older 210, which is one step up from that, but the 190 is a great machine and is plenty capable. The nice thing about the newer 210 is that it can be used on 110 or 220 power, so if you plan to take it anywhere that's a nice feature. Up to you whether or not it's worth the extra $200 though.

I've also heard good things about the new Eastwood MIG welder, but have no personal experience with it.
A good choice. The only real difference I could tell was that both knobs were infinitely adjustable with the miller, and setpoints on the Hobart. Should be a fine piece of equipment regardless.

Hobarts are made by Miller now.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:30 AM   #5
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A good choice. The only real difference I could tell was that both knobs were infinitely adjustable with the miller, and setpoints on the Hobart. Should be a fine piece of equipment regardless.

Hobarts are made by Miller now.
Miller has been making Hobart for a long time. I don't know when it began, but it's been well over a decade, because that was common knowledge back when I bought mine. The gun on mine even says Miller right on it.

There were quite a few discussions about set points vs infinitely adjustable voltage back when I was first shopping for a welder. I was all set on getting the Lincoln 175 because at the time it was the only welder in that class with infinitely adjustable voltage. I had several experienced and even professional welders tell me it was completely unnecessary for a MIG, that technique and feed speed are far more important. They were right. There's never been a single time that I wished my voltage had finer adjustment ranges.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:34 AM   #6
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Miller 211 has been the best choice IMO for quite a while now. The Hobart 210 IIRC is really close to the same machine, but as mentioned, not infinitely adjustable. The new Miller 211 I think is an inverter machine, where the older ones were transformer based. I don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing. My older 211 is heavy, 78 pounds before wire IIRC, where the newer ones are a lot lighter. Some people like the inverter, some people prefer the transformer.

I expect though, that at some point, if not already, there will be a new machine from someone else who meets or beats the 211's price/performance/flexability/value. Maybe it's already here and I just don't know about it. I have heard that Eastwood has some good values. I don't know what type consumables or whips they take, and that can be an issue, if not a common type.

You'll have to do all your own research of the current market to get the best value available today, but IMO, you can't go wrong with the Miller 211, if you don't want to do the research.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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Miller has been making Hobart for a long time. I don't know when it began, but it's been well over a decade, because that was common knowledge back when I bought mine. The gun on mine even says Miller right on it.

There were quite a few discussions about set points vs infinitely adjustable voltage back when I was first shopping for a welder. I was all set on getting the Lincoln 175 because at the time it was the only welder in that class with infinitely adjustable voltage. I had several experienced and even professional welders tell me it was completely unnecessary for a MIG, that technique and feed speed are far more important. They were right. There's never been a single time that I wished my voltage had finer adjustment ranges.
I agree and disagree with the set voltage and speed selections. You can adjust your technique to make them work, but on some machines, especially the cheaper units, the selections often don't work well at all together. I run an old Miller 200 at work quite frequently, and it has set voltage points, but infinite wire speed adjustment. There have been times I wished for a more adjustable power setting, but for the most part it is fine. The old 200's though are sweethearts and very forgiving machines that just work great, making up for the lack of infinite power adjustment.

I wouldn't let it make or break the decision, but I would put some weight on it.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:51 AM   #8
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I wanted a small welder, that was 120v powered.
I can take it anywhere, and use household current.
i got a deal on a like new lincoln weld pak 140.
it works pretty well for me. Its compact. It welds better than i do.
it can weld 3/16s" pretty well. 1/4" would probably b pushing it.
i have been borrowing a spare tank for it from a friend.
I need to break down and buy a tank.

My friend has a millermatic 180 i can use for bigger jobs.

Im sure most lincoln miller or hobart welders would do just fine for ya.

In an earlier post someone mentioned eastwood.
They offer a mig and plasma, purchased together, for a heck of a deal!
I almost bought it, but was afraid of their quality.

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Old December 12th, 2016, 10:12 AM   #9
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Miller 211 here. I too came fro a 480v welder. This thing works flawlessly and gets into those tight areas with ease. The thing I love to is when you first start, the wire feed is slow then ramps up. With this, you won't push the parts apart when you tack weld.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 10:33 AM   #10
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Miller 211 here. I too came fro a 480v welder. This thing works flawlessly and gets into those tight areas with ease. The thing I love to is when you first start, the wire feed is slow then ramps up. With this, you won't push the parts apart when you tack weld.
I hate that part about it

I have been so used to just plug and chug that I forget to slow down at the start until the wire really starts going. I wish I could bypass the slow start at times
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Old December 12th, 2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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I have 3.
A Lincoln 240V mig. Had it for 10 + years with no issues.
A 120V no-name flux core that stays in the motorhome. It's worked great for campground repairs but I wouldn't use it in my garage.
A 24V redi-welder stays in the Jeep. Again, great for trail repairs but not for the garage.

I always hear that Miller and Hobart are better than Lincoln. I can't comment other than to say that I see both in the steel mills.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:04 AM   #12
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Hobart is a Miller made in Mexico. Eastwood is a miller also but made in Milwaukee. Lincoln is made in Cleveland. I have used all four. I prefer a miller welders over any other. And fwiw never buy a snap on,mac,or matco welder. Not sure who makes them but they are JUNK!
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:17 AM   #13
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I'd like something that can weld up to 1/2". Does something that uses 240v weld 1/2"?
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #14
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I'd like something that can weld up to 1/2". Does something that uses 240v weld 1/2"?
what are you building, an armored car?
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:23 AM   #15
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what are you building, an armored car?
I'm making a chastity belt for your sweet ass.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:32 AM   #16
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I'm a whore, no chastity belt can keep my lovers out.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:41 AM   #17
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I'm a whore, no chastity belt can keep my lovers out.
Thats why I'm using 1/2".
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:45 AM   #18
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For 1/2" you definitely want a 240v welder. And put the extra effort into a bottle so you can run MIG vs FluxCore.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:46 AM   #19
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I hear the eastwood 250 is pretty worth the money at like $750
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:49 AM   #20
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For 1/2" you definitely want a 240v welder. And put the extra effort into a bottle so you can run MIG vs FluxCore.
Excellent. a bottle isn't terribly expensive is it?
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