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Miller Diversion or Millermatic - need some advice

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TS057, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. TS057
    Joined: Apr 10, 2012
    Posts: 64

    from Fargo, ND
    1. shoe box hambers

    I'm looking to by a welder and I need some advice. I'm really torn between whether I'd be better off with MIG or TIG. I did a fair amount of research and searching and still feel no closer to making a decision. I really like the idea of TIG but part of me wonders if that would be a mistake.

    I basically have my search narrowed down to a Miller Diversion 180 (or 165) or a Millermatic 211. That's about all that's in the budget. Also I'm looking to buy new so scoring a deal on CL isn't likely.

    I have some basic MIG experience and about the same amount of Oxy-Acetylene experience. I'm somewhat concerned with the learning curve for TIG. I also worry that the Diversion may be too much of an entry level machine compared to a Syncro or Dynasty and not give me what I need if I go that route.

    This machine will be strictly for hobby/garage use. Some of the things I could see myself welding up are:

    *patch panels
    *c-notch / car frame
    *motorcycle frame / DOM tubing
    *motorcycle tins / sheet metal
    *misc aluminum
    *misc brackets / small parts
    *some random simple projects w/ square tubing/angle iron (trailers, racks, repairs, etc.)

    I guess I could see the TIG being nice for the more cosmetic parts and aluminum and patch panels but wonder if I'd have limitations due to the metal being clean enough and also feel limited if I were to do a car frame or heavier welding like that.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!

  2. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,980


    I love my Mig but TIG is the way to go if you can. More learning curve but bigger payoff and more versatile.
  3. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,782


    I can only suggest that if you are not working with clean metal you don't want a TIG unit. The secret for good welds with a TIG is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. I much prefer the TIG unit (180) over the MIG but it takes some practice to make it look like the welds you see on here.
    The MIG is a better all around choice for everyday welding and only requires one hand to tack items and is easier to learn. You should go to a night school and try them out prior to making a purchase. Our local school will give you a couple of nights free.
    Good Luck.
  4. I finally bought a Miller syncrowave 200 a few years ago, best money I ever spent. I thought I might have some trouble with Tig also but it is a breeze and you won't regret a good machine. Its nice to go from steel to aluminum with a flip of the switch and not have to change cables, tanks ect. as I was doing with the mig I Blue....

  5. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    This is a geezer talking. If you are young, can afford really good tools, have a place to keep them that is high and dry, you will never regret buying good stuff. I know guys who use tig for everything, chassis work to small light parts. Go for it, take care of it, keep it clean, it will last for a long time.
  6. TS057
    Joined: Apr 10, 2012
    Posts: 64

    from Fargo, ND
    1. shoe box hambers

    It sounds like most so far lean towards TIG... I'm just hoping the Diversion would do the job.

    The CLEAN is part of my concern. Has the metal prep for patch panels / old metal been a problem for any of you using TIG? I like that it won't shrink the metal as much and require the grinding of MIG but if I can't get the metal clean enough to weld in the first place TIG sort of loses its advantage...
  7. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    from Panama IA

    Most will say prep work is the key to a good weld, I've tiged old metal to new with no problems and also tiged what I would call dirty metal, Worked fine just the welds aren't as pretty,,, BUT Alum must be clean ,,,, Tim Jones
  8. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,107


    The Miller dealers in this area (New Orleans) offer a location where a person can try out various Miller machines to help get a feel for what may work for their particular needs.
  9. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    If you plan on doing alum. you need a minimum of 200 amps and 250 is better,although pre heating makes a world of diff. Make sure your power supply can handle the needed amp draw of whatever machine you buy. Doing out of position welding with a TIG can be very difficult.A MIG with .025 and .035 wire will do just about anything you will ever need on a car.
  10. Smilin Jack
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 465

    Smilin Jack

    No matter what welder you choose, just from my own experience, Miller customer service can not be beat!. They're the best.
  11. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Both Mig and Tig have their places. Our Miller 210 and 211 have been flawless and have built quite a few cars in their lifetime. We also have a Syncrowave 200 Tig that is starting to get used, but the Mig still gets a lot of use, especially when there are long welds to do.

    Some people thing Mig is old hat, but in the right hands they can produce very nice, strong welds. You won't go wrong with either.

  12. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,107


  13. It runs "regular" MIG, aluminum MIG, TIG, and stick... pretty impressive machine, more so than I thought when I started looking, like the OP, for a new welder.

    I will look into that machine (Millermatic 200) also.
  14. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132


    Some things to consider. If you want the vesitility to weld different types of metals, if you want to weld different thickness of metals, if you want to weld up parts that you repair or fabricate, buy a miller TIG welder & you will never look back & buy the biggest one you can afford because they last a life time. Anyone can learn to do tig welding the key is LEARNING not just trying.
  15. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,279


    I have both a Diversion 180 and a Millermatic 211. Be hard to give up either machine. The 180 is a great liitle machine. I do tons of sheetmetal and roll cages/ frames with it, no problems. It is a little too light duty on heavier aluminum however. If I could only have one it would be the tig, it will do most everything I work on where a mig won't and the fact I hate weld splatter. That said, I'd hate to give up the mig, just times when it's just so much faster and practical then tig.
  16. not trying to be a jerk but it is the ""multimatic 200". i believe that there is a millermatic 200, but it is an older machine. just didnt want anyone to search for the wrong model. but you are right it does mig, tig, stick. i should have looked closer and added it to my first post but to tig with it there is an extra purchase that needs to be made. the "MULTIMATIC 200 TIG KIT" has to be bought to get the extra tig tools need. its about a 500. but still cheaper then buying separate machines and what not.

    in 05 i bought a lincoln that does multiprocess. my big regret is not buying the tig setup at that time. i have been trying to piece it together now on the cheap. buy the other parts needed if you are gona get one. otherwise later you want to put the money to something else.
  17. TS057
    Joined: Apr 10, 2012
    Posts: 64

    from Fargo, ND
    1. shoe box hambers

    Great info here thanks! I don't think I could do any better than hearing from someone who owns both! Ideally I'll have a MIG someday but they're just not going to happen at the same time. Another thought is that I can think of about 5 people I know that would most likely borrow me their mig. I only know 1 guy with a tig and it is an old scratch-start unit.

    I have thought about that Multimatic. My main issue is that it's the same cost as the Diversion 180 (which it really pushing my upper limit) and then you need a $500 TIG kit and from what I can find that kit doesn't even include a pedal $$. I'd be interested to know if it works well for anyone but I worry that it would end up being a 'great compromise' between having a dedicated unit for each.
  18. 51custom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011
    Posts: 102


    I have a Millermatic 210 and I just love it...I have a couple friends that bought Miller 210 and a 211..on my recommendation, and they think they are Great....
  19. gary terhaar
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 656

    gary terhaar
    from oakdale ny

    I am going to go back 25 years here,I bought a Lincoln 300 tig at a auction for 750 bucks. I had little experience with all processes. Three bottles of gas later I felt comfortable enough to weld something of importance. This along with guidance of a childhood friend who was a nuclear welder. I was off and running.
    When I had a job that would have been easier with a mig I had no choice but to learn to tig it. Be it overhead on your back using your knee to work the pedal or strange one leg in the car stuff,got through it.
    My point here is human nature is to take the easy way,if you have two options and have a job to do grab the easiest process and do it.
    If all you have is one,it may be more challenging to learn one process and learn it to the fullest.
    Now I make a living with my machine and the learning curve helped me ten fold.
    Good luck with your choice,a lot of good advice here. Use it well.
  20. outlaw57
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 56


    I love my Miller 251 with an alum spool gun, welds anything, yes, the alum mig is not as pretty as tig, or to be used on lighter material without warpage, but have built many hotord parts. Some day i'll tig, some day....
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,893


    I own a Syncrowave 250DX, with a water cooled torch, and a Millermatic 210. The MIG gets used way more than the TIG.

    TIG welding has its place, however, the learning-curve is higher, and it takes longer.
  22. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,001


    I have a Miller 211 and really like it for steel. For aluminum and even thinner steel, 18 - 20 Ga, I am learning O/A welding. Before I decided to buy the O/A setup I was going to go with a Diversion TIG but for the same price I got the complete O/A kit and a nice plasma cutter. I may get a TIG one day but right now I am having a lot of fun learning O/A welding.

  23. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,279


    One thing I do like about my Diversion is the fingertip control + a foot pedal. I don't use the fingertip control much but it sure makes tacking/ welding easier when your in some awkward position welding a cage up. You do have to remember to turn the machine off when removing the tungsten to dress it when you're on finger control. Too easy to accidentally hit the button while your touching the tungsten, it'll light you right up. Guess how I know that!
  24. This is correct you cannot TIG Aluminum with this machine it does not have AC.

    I have barely used my MIG since I bought my TIG. Never had a problem welding old metal and really love the fact that there is no sparks produced when welding.
  25. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    I'm getting ready to start my last semester of welding classes. I plan on getting a machine afterwards and have decided on a MIG. It took a while, but I finally got decent at TIG, but what I learned was everything has to be RIGHT. As in clean, clean, clean. The welds look great and there's really nothing to clean up, but the metal prep is a must. MIG was a lot more forgiving and I still had to start with good prep, but MIG wasn't as demanding. They both do well, the TIG is better, but harder. For me anyway.
  26. lethal6
    Joined: Jul 5, 2007
    Posts: 2


    If you havent purchased yet you might look at the new miller syncro 210. Its a step above the 180 diverson and will weld aluminum. But it may be over your budget. Just a thought.
  27. 55Thunderboy
    Joined: Mar 27, 2009
    Posts: 357

    from NYC

    I have a millermatic 211 i honestly do not rave about this machine because my old lincoln 180 was so much smoother and consistent. Maybe there is something wrong with my machine or it has cheap internals i do not know but i a, buying a Diversion 180 and selling the MIG

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