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Art & Inspiration Welder recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GTS225, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,087

    GTS225
    Member

    Retiring shortly, and will no longer have access to the nice, 480V, 3-phase at work.
    Looking for a decent MIG welder. 240vac, gas ready. Experimented a little with my nephew's Clark-branded POS, and was horrified that anybody would sell something like that as a "welder".

    Any suggestions from the fabricating crowd?

    Roger
     
  2. My ThermalArc MIG has served me well (we use 240 volts here in the UK) but you can't go wrong with Miller or Lincoln. If I was buying again I would go with Kemppi but I don't think they're available in the US.

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 9,971

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Yep. Miller is the best.
     
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  4. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,019

    slowmotion
    Member

    Red or Blue, chocolate or vanilla, bowtie or blue oval...it's kinda like that. S'all good.
     
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  5. aerocolor
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,132

    aerocolor
    Member
    from dayton

    As long as you get a name brand, they're all pretty equal in performance and parts availability.
    I've used Miller, Hobart (owned by Miller), Lincoln and Esab.
    My preference is Miller.
    Look for someone upgrading and buy their previous machine if it has been cared for. Lot of them out there.
     
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  6. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 734

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    Always had good luck with Lincoln. You might consider buying one from a welding supply store like Airgas, Praxair, or around here, CK Supply so they can repair it or sell you parts.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. Mr cheater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 410

    Mr cheater
    Member

    Miller 211 with auto set gets my vote


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
  8. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,770

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    Stuck with a name brand, for me miller first then Lincoln , esab and Hobart

    220v look for used as they can be had for pennies on the dollar.
     
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  9. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 85

    big john d
    Member
    from ma

    whenever i go to my neighbors sailboat all the welders that sit out on the dock are all blue
     
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  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,270

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Blue
    We have a LOT of blue welders at school, one red and a couple yellow ones
     
  11. lowrd
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 191

    lowrd
    Member

    Check on Garage Journal, bunch of opinions available.
     
  12. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,096

    oldsman41
    Member

    Miller imho is still the best welder if you drop some good money. The 211 is a good machine and with the spool gun option aluminum welding can be done. Our you dead set against tig?
     
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  13. hotrod1948
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 333

    hotrod1948
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Milton, WI

    Can't go wrong with Miller.. Just upgraded to a Millermatic 252. All digital. Using .030 wire. Great range. Love it!
     
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  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,850

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Can't go wrong with the old style Millermatic 200, I bought mine in the late 80's.
     
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  15. I have a Millermatic 150 I bought in 1996 and I still think it is great. When I bought it the 150 was the smallest 240V welder they had. Since I use it for body work and smaller stuff, it works fine.

    Now if you are getting into structural steel then you need something with some more grunt.
     
  16. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,495

    1-SHOT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Most tig machines are capable of stick welding. You could have your stick welder and later learn to tig on this type of machine. I have a Lincoln 275 TIG and a Miller 180 MIG and I almost always use the tig.
     
    mkebaird likes this.
  17. another vote on a Miller
    We have Miller and Lincoln 240 machines at school and I have a Miller 110 machine at home.
     
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  18. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 404

    AldeanFan

    Miller or Lincoln.
    Get what’s available and has the best local support.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 239

    Vics stuff
    Member

    I am a Miller guy. My first machine was a Miller 250HF tig and stick unit . bought it 35 years ago. My other welder is a Miller Matic 250 , mig and spool gun. Bought it 25 years ago. Both machines work as good as the day I bought them.
    Vic
     
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  20. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 812

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Used Miller's, used Lincoln, I prefer Lincoln.

    I have a 220v 180sp Lincoln at home, one of those that are supposed to weld aluminum with just a liner, wire and gas change. Never tried it yet.
     
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  21. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 1,533

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Depends on what you are going to do with it.
    Regardless of brand, look at the duty cycle. If you are tacking sheet metal, a lesser duty cycle will suffice.
    If you are going to do heavier material, and lots of it, then you need a machine with a higher duty cycle unless you like drinking beer in retirement while your welder cools off.....
     
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  22. I still like to drink beer even if the welder is not hot.:D
     
  23. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,157

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Mine are black and use electricity and gas. They make sparks and everything.
     
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  24. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,236

    flatford39
    Member

    Bought a brand new wire feed Lincoln 125 mig at a garage sale probably 20 years ago and have never looked back
     
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,188

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Personally If I had been using Miller welders at work for a number of years and the dealer that sold and serviced them took good care of things that is who I would go to to buy my home unit from.
    Miller, Lincoln, Esab or Hobart don't get you laughed out of welding supply service shops even if you didn't buy the unit from them. Those can be worked on until they are so old they are beyond obsolete and that takes being pretty old.
    I have a Lincoln 185 mig simply because when I had the money stashed to buy a mig one popped up on Craigslist that looked new for a seriously nice price and the seller held it for me for three days until I could get there. He had used it for a few projects before buying a bigger unit for the production shop he was setting up. I got it for the price of the on sale 120 Volt Hobart at the farm and ranch store. It's been a nice trouble free unit so far. Odd thing is that I told the guy I bought the Lincoln from that I had been ready to buy a Hobart 140 and he opens a cabinet and shows me his Hobart 140 that he had tucked away.
     
  26. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,269

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Got two Millers, three Lincoln’s, all good welders. Buy either, take care of them, they’ll take care of you. Check which has the best dealer in your area. The dealer can make the difference.



    Bones
     
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  27. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,620

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I find it interesting that people are making recommendations...based on what? Loyalty.

    If you are doing sheetmetal only or building frames for bulldozers different machines are needed.

    For my home shop where I do a little bit of everything, I got a Hobart Handler 190 with a free spool gun. Fit my needs, was a lot cheaper than red or blue and I can find all the consumables at any Tractor Supply type store. So far I really like it. I think if I needed something with a longer duty cycle or more juice, I would probably have gone red again.

    Since the early 90's our go to welder was a Lincoln 125SP-Plus. Worked well on race car repairs and was easy to take in the trailer to the track. It was a demo model that the welding company gave us as sponsorship one season. It was a little amped up compared to other 125 SP's I had run.

    Really depends on your needs.
    SPark
     
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  28. Weldemup
    Joined: Dec 12, 2003
    Posts: 174

    Weldemup
    Member
    from Central,NY

    I've bought a few used Miller 200's and Miller 35's over the years and always had good luck with them.
    The 200's in particular have a really smooth and stable arc and usually sell around $750 used.
    You can still source parts for them and they seem to run forever.
     
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  29. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,087

    GTS225
    Member

    ******************************************************************************************
    Actually, this is exactly what we have at work, just the 480v, 3-phase version. I like it, but I'm not so sure I need that much welder.
    Maybe something that'll do 5/16 or 3/8 plate, not necessarily in a single pass, but still have a low amp setting for thin gauge sheet.

    Seems like the blue machines are the general consensus, just what model is up to what I'm doing with it.

    Thanks, guys.....Roger
     

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