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Which Welder To Buy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Colombo, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 962

    from arkansas

    Millermatic 211 auto. I did the same research when I bought this one new. It was not cheap but like others have said, you get what you pay for and this one will do anything I want.
  2. Every thread on welding has at least one guy that comes along and suggests oxy/acet is by far the best way to weld panels.

    I'm that guy.

    Short of that, pony up for the 220 unit with gas, you wont regret it.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    I'm in my last semester of classes and wanted an idea about the different machines available for home/garage use. My instructors advice was to talk to the guys at the welding supply store. It was worth every bit of time. One of the main things he stressed was NOT buying an off brand. If it breaks, chances are you'll be shipping it out for repairs.

    I can't imagine doing MIG without gas, but that's the only way I was taught. Although, one day, I did try it just to see what would happen. The welds looked like shit.
  4. LouMerc51
    Joined: Dec 29, 2013
    Posts: 64

    from Louisville

    This guy asked for a good low budget welder and run on 120v. Used 175's go for over $500 and are not 120v.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,783


    Of the 110 migs you can almost always get parts and service at any welding supply store that sells Miller or Lincoln (Hobart is usually sold through ag stores). When you get past those three you start having to either send them in to where you bought them or order any parts you need outside of normal expendable parts.

    Lowes or Home Depot usually put their Lincoln welders on sale about this time of year and you might watch for that or hit the local welding supplies and while looking at the new ones ask if they have any trade in units with low hours.
  6. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,572


    I'll come in from left field here and suggest you look at one of the new inverter based stick/Tig units. I started out using a 180 AMP Miller "Buzz box" and was really comfortable with it. I build my first "T"-bucket (which I still have) in the mid '60's with it and really liked how everything went. I later upgraded to a Miller 225 AMP "Buzz box", and was happy with that as well. I was out of the hobby for about 20 years, and when I got back in about 15 years ago, I bought a Hobart Handler 240, a 220 volt unit. Although it works well enough, I was never as comfortable with it as I was with my old stick welders. My current shop has only a 30 AMP circuit for a welder, so I decided not to "upgrade" to a transformer based stick welder, which would need more input amperage. This led me to look for an alternative.

    I ended up looking at an "Everlast 140ST". Now before you China haters stat throwing rocks at me, I have done my homework, and the welder itself is very highly rated as is their customer service. The unit comes with a 5 year warranty. Granted, it will only run up to 140 AMPs on the secondary, but I can't remember when I ever ran one of the old "sticks" over 125. Another thing is that I don't do a lot of sheet metal work, so that capability of the Hobart has been wasted on me. The Everlast has the added capability of running in Tig mode. Granted, it is a "scratch start", but it seems to work well enough given it's limitations. It will also run on 110 volt, so portability is another option. When I get back to my shop this spring, I am going to order one and see exactly what we have here. All the reviews look excellent; check "utube". I'll be sure to let you guys know how I fare.

    Oh, the cost? $250.00.
  7. JZACK
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 50


    If this helps I bought a Hobart EZ 140. Its a 110/ and get the bottle if you can for gas.I have welded frames, body panels, suspension parts and made a complete frame with it and they all worked and stayed together. I have had it for 7 years now and no problems. so I'd say to pick up one for about 449.00 new ( try tractor supply if there is one around you. I think you will be happy.
  8. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,667

    from Missouri

    Sounds like you don't have any welding experience.
    So you may want to do what tfeverfred has done and go to a welding class I am sure that after that you will know what you want and need.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    I have a Miller 110 Volt unit that has served me well. I use it with gas, and have welded sheetmetal to 1/4 plate. The only problem that I have withnit is the small duty cycle. If you have a lot of parts tack welded, and try to weld them at once (heavy welding like 3/16 - 1/4 plate) you will have to use a lot of cool down time or the welder will shut down unexpectdly. Other than that I love the unit
  10. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,262


    I've owned a Hobart Handler 140 for about 10 years, it was/is a good welder for lighter duty, my wife does metal sculpture and she didn't want to learn to use the old tombstone Lincoln stick welder I had so we bought a Lincoln 256 (about the same as a Miller 252) so she could weld heavy stuff. I'd suggest spending a little more and get a gas bottle but if you don't have the scratch then use flux core.
  11. 32duece51merc
    Joined: Aug 2, 2011
    Posts: 66


    Hobart Handler 140 with gas.... Simple, easy to use, and they weld nice for what you are looking for.
  12. I have had good luck with my Hobart Handler 140, has done everything I've asked it to do.
    Got it from "Northern tool" for about $500. Love that machine!
  13. I picked up a GIG Minimig 110, only good for small work like panels. Do yourself a favour and go one step higher rating than you think you need!

  14. rustyangels
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 178


    I had a Lincoln SP100, with shielding gas, It ran the best on a 20amp circuit (110V) with no extension cord
  15. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 862

    Dan in Pasadena

    I'm another Hobart Handler 140 owner. Bought it used from another GJ'er for (I think) $400(?) bought a bottle for ArC02 as I am doing sheet metal repairs on my '55 Chevy truck. Works great! Highly recommended.
  16. wade57
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 165

    from BC Canada

    For myself I use a miller 180 w/auto set. Had it for about 5 years and it works great, no problems at all. It was around 800 bucks. I've heard great things about the Hobart welders too
  17. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    Under the right circumstances Your $500.00 budget Would be best spent On a Used Mig welder, from craigslist, local paper etc. However Since you say you know nothing about welding machines, You could easily get Screwed buying a used machine. Since you are going to be doing body panels, I would suggest starting with a Brand New lincoln 140 with Gas bottle and use .023 or .030 wire. Also a really good little cheaper machine is the Clarke 130. Both good machines for your budget, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A FLUX CORE WIRE MACHINE. Flux core welding is a real learning curve, And gives you No where near as clean weld as a machine with a bottle. Some of the tight asses on here (who think they are welders because they bought the harbor freight $89.00 welder and used a 20% off coupon) are probably going to put their 2 cents in on my comment about flux core welding, But I do not really give a shit!...As I know what I am talking about and you do not go to any real welding or fab shops and see them using flux core wire PERIOD!!

    Also to whoever said Hobart machines are no good, Sorry but You are on your own there my friend. Hobart machines are indeed good welders, I have had many of them and no complaints here.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  18. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    LOL.....My uncle would have said the same thing.....Controling the heat and working the hammer.....It is a lost art
  19. Stretchmobile
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 108

    from So Cal

    +1 Cowtown. I bought my Millermatic 200 for $750 20 years ago. Came with bottle, tweeco gun and spool gun. Guy selling it was a welder and had it gone through in his shop before he sold it. He was only using his TIG and it was just sitting. I've put miles of wire through it. Had to replace the contacter once and the cooling fan finally died this last year. New contacter was $12 and the fan was $50. Neither was hard to replace. I weld everything from 22 gauge sheet metal to 1/2" plate. I love it, best money I have spent. Made some rock rails for my wife's Jeep today with it.
  20. my47buicksuper
    Joined: May 23, 2013
    Posts: 291

    from sunny fl.

    I picked up a little Lincoln 110 mig no gas for $60.00 it was pritty much new got it off a guy who bought it new to try and learn how to weld he got the wire all jamed up and sold it to me cheap I can buy a gas setup for I belive $150.00 with a bottle so for a little over $200 I got a very nice little welder and its strong enough to do frame work and I can be turns down to do sheet metal there out there just look and don't rush.
    You don't need a 220 its over kill for what your looking for this little Lincoln is doing great work I have used it a lot with no problems hell I think New there under $400 .00
  21. I have a 200 amp/240v Thermal Arc Fabricator. It's a gas welder with Eurotorch.

    I'm very pleased with it - although I wish I'd spent another £300 and got a Kemppi MinarcMig Evo 200 with full digital control. You just key in the metal thickness and it sorts out all the settings.
  22. We bought a Lincoln MIG SP 175. Gas set up and 220 power. Had it about 7 + years
    Welds like a dream. Paid about $700 but the price may have gone down for this or another comparable Lincoln.

    I'd gladly buy another one of these...
  23. Coyote13
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 73

    from Dallas, TX

    Hobart Handler 140 works great for me. Comes ready to use gas, but if you don't have a tank you can run flux core through it instead. Good deal for the money if you ask me.

    Edit: And it runs off 110, if you're like me and don't have access to a plethora of 220 outlets it works out pretty good.
  24. Anything made by MILLER.
    I bought a Millermatic 211 two years ago. It's never failed my
  25. jamesgr81
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 265


    Flux core is the way to go when you are out in a field building fences, welding duct work up on roof, or anywhere where there is wind. Plus you don't have to lug those bottles upstairs. For the shop the welds are too ugly for quality work, gas setup is the only way to go.
  26. Mac30
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 274

    1. S.F.C.C.

    I got a nice miller 140 I'll sell... I already out grew it.. Wish I would of got bigger in first place.

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