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Technical Welders

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Dec 30, 2014.

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  1. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730


    Looking at getting a new welder.

    Like anyone else Im budget conscious. Im new to welding as well.

    I had the Harbor Freight 90 amp flux core welder for like 3 days and the wire feed became so erratic that I got pissed off and returned it. I dont have gas or 220 outlets so I figured this would be a great learner.
    If that dang wire feed was smooth Id have nothing bad to say overall. It was fun while it lasted and quite strong. I practiced on 16 gauge sheet with .035 wire.

    Now Ive realized what many others do - you gotta spend more to get something to work well.

    Heres my issue. Im looking at welders that range from about 230-350 in price range. Lincoln, Hobart, Forney, Eastwood, and Campbell Hausfeld. These run on standard outlet power, and have the capability to do both flux core (for learning now) and gas mig for the future when I do floorpans and body panels, plus they have more heat settings which will really help with lighter gauge. Some, like the lincoln for example max out at 1/8" where as others can do 1/4. Id like the ability to do 1/4 if I ever need to make a gate or table.

    When I read the reviews of these welders theyre generally good, but I still see guys complaining about erratic wire speed feed (something that really pisses me off and ruin's the bead for me), and the internals on many hardly look much better than the dang harbor freight! Plastic wire feeds mainly.

    Am I to believe that unless I spend over $600, I'm stuck with american versions of HF welders with the same problems?

    I understand 220 power is best and all, but Im still learning and Im not going to save up 1000 just for a welder to do what it says it will.

  2. mt shasta steve
    Joined: Mar 26, 2010
    Posts: 270

    mt shasta steve

    I don't want to rain on your parade, but I've used 110 flux core welders and have never been pleased with them. At the very least get a 110 gas shielded, it will make learning easier. I stumbled across a Miller 210 for $600 and damn near tore the pocket off my jeans yanking my check book out. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
  3. I got a Hobart Handler 135 that I have been using since about '98 (give or take a year). I have done everything from sheet metal to chassis work with it. Anything that isn't sheet metal I V out anyway. Core wire actually works better for heavier steel if that helps.

    Anyway I have never experienced erratic wire feed operation. I did have to blow the grinder dust out of the power switch once about 5 years ago though.

    I'm happy with it.
  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,532

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

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