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Which wire welder to buy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by worken2much, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    Looking for some advice. I have a Lincoln 140 Mig PLus now. It is a 110 volt for use with either flux core or gas. I'm not very happy with it, the drive mechanism for the wire feed is really mickey mouse in my opinion. It works but I'm tired of struggling with it. I work on it about as much as I weld with it.

    I'm looking to move up to a 220volt machine and am leaning towards Miller. I won't have another Lincoln as they have done a really piss poor job of helping me with their issues. Are the Hobart machines sold at the farm & ranch stores any good?

    Any particular model that is good or bad? How is Miller or Hobart to work with? Welder will be used in race car construction including roll cages.

  2. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,178


    I have used a Hobart for 20 years and it has been great!
  3. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,631


    Licoln MIG 135 welder with Argon/CO2 mix. I know 2 car restorations places that use that setup, as well as myself, and it works perfectly for what you need as far as car restoration.

    I know you say you have a 140, but I have never had a problem with mine and my friends that own car resto shops in the area havent had problems either. Sounds like you got the bad one in the batch.
  4. walker
    Joined: Dec 29, 2008
    Posts: 221


    I own Miller welders and have been very happy with them and their customer support. For a Miller you would want to stick with a MM210 or 211 at minimum, though the MM251 or 252 are even better yet and give you much more capacity. I have welded with various Hobart welder and they share common parts with Miller though slightly fewer bells and whistles. THey weld fine though.

  5. BinderRod
    Joined: Jul 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,736


    I have a Hobart and have had no problems. From what I hear, Miller and Hobart are made by the same company.
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,071

    Jalopy Joker

    did you do a search here on this before starting your thread? lots of info already posted. Have Fun
  7. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    I looked at a new Lincoln 140 yesterday, they have completely changed the wire feed drive since I bought mine. Mine is less than 3 years old. Still under warranty but can't get a $3 part before the weekend gets here, I called dealers & factory on Monday morning before 10:00 am. NO MORE LINCOLNS IN MY SHOP EVER.
  8. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em

  9. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    Yes, I did do a search. But most threads seem to fall off into discussions more related to welding processes or tecniques than the machines or companies themselves. Or maybe I'm just not very good at using the search function. There is so much information on the HAMB that it is hard to find what you are looking for sometimes.
  10. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    Ok, I'll bite...what is esab?
  11. Da' Bomb
    Joined: Apr 8, 2005
    Posts: 438

    Da' Bomb

    Miller and Hobart are made by the same manufacturer......Having probably mis-spelled that, I've had my Hobart 180 for about ten years working just fine.
  12. Frank36
    Joined: Aug 27, 2007
    Posts: 45


    I have a Miller 211, it can be used as 110 v or 220 v by switching the cord ends. Works great.
  13. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    from western ky

    you said you didnt like lincoln?

    my lincoln 180c is a nice 220v machine, runs sweet and has a good looking (all metal) wire drive..

    miller owns hobart now, basicly hobart is millers economy units..and hobarts are good also if you go up to the 220v units, 110v units are just undersized to me.
    friend of mine has a hobart 200amp thats a few years old thats a real good welding machine.

    i bought my lincoln and also my thermal arc 185 tig from . both welders were on my door on the 2nd day after ordering, very speedy shipping..
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  14. Do your self a favor Buy a Miller. You won't regret it!!
  15. I don't believe that is true. I talked to a friend that works for one of the largest Welding distributor's when I bought my newest Miller and he stated emphatically that Miller, Lincoln and Hobart made their own products in their own factories (Wisconsin for Miller, Hobart in Ohio)
    Regardless of that, I had nothing but trouble with my Lincoln PowerMig 250 (the wire feed wasn't worth a damn and and it took them 3 times to get it right) and replaced it with a Miller Millermatic 252, much better machine. I have had my Miller Dial Arc 300 TIG since 1986 and had a very minor problem after about 2 months. Miller sent a tech and a crane truck to pick it up and had it back the next day!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  16. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    from SE PA

    Nothing but good things to say about my Miller 135. I am upgrading to a 211 and selling the 135.
  17. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

    I've been running a miller 140 and a comparable blue point unit both work great but can at times be a little under powered making good penetration difficult sometimes. Snap-on/blue point might be Lincoln, not sure I have a bigger snap-on one at work that is garbage. I have a friend with the comparable Lincoln that sits in the corner collecting dust because it sucks hard!!! Another friend has a company that builds movie screens he has been running the Hobart version for about 15 years and it keeps ticking like a champ. I just started running a miller 180 and holy god its like the first time you get a chick in the back of your van. I highly recommend the miller 180, though I have yet to do a ton of sheet metal work with it but I did some exhaust and it worked fine. I have done some frame and suspension stuff and it is the sweetest welder I've worked with.
  18. J, which ones of those welders are currently in my garage?
  19. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

    The miller 140 that is yours now and the bluepoint
  20. grainmaker
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 29


    I bought a panasonic "gun slinger" of course I need it for a farm shop as well its a strong 300 machine and it also has the capability to switch over to stick which is nice on the farm. I looked real hard at the miller 252 (or is it 251?) anyway I just dont like the digital controls on the miller and this panasonic will weld circles around the comparable miller anyday of the week. BUT what I really love about it is that with the right wire I could weld razor blades together or I can bump it up and weld 1" or better material if I want and the price was right. Ive used them all, will not own a lincoln unless its a stick, hobart is a cheap miller but still nice welders, and millers are great- I used a 250 a TON but it was the older one with dials.
  21. I have a Lincoln 140, not the gratest but OK for thin stuff. I wont buy another 110v that's for sure.
  22. voodoochili
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 130


    hobart.... no problems
  23. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

    Alliance Vendor

    I've got three wire welders in the shop, two of which get used pretty regular.

    My favorite is an L-Tec Migmaster 250. ESAB bought out L-Tec several years back, but they retained the Migmaster line of welders entirely intact (except they're yellow now instead of seafoam green). It's been a good welder, and in the fifteen+ years I've owned it, I've only had to replace consumables and a microswitch in the stinger (just last year, God only knows how many times that switch had been actuated).

    I also have a Lincoln IdealArc DC-250 with an LN-7 wire feeder on top. It welds really well, but I don't like the ergonomics of the Bernard torch on the LN-7, so I leave that one for the Old Man to run. He likes his machine set way different than I do anyway, so this way we can each set a machine and know it's going to do what we expect when we pull the trigger.

    I would not hesitate to buy either of these machines again. The ESAB will be the cheaper of the two, obviously, but the IdealArc will also stick and DC TIG weld as well (with the right attachments).

    I have never owned a Miller, but that doesn't mean they're bad machines. We never had any Miller dealers around these parts, so that put them at a disadvantage right off the bat. Now, with the internet and shipping like it is, that's not such a big deal. 15-20 years ago, having parts available locally was a make or break selling point.
  24. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

  25. J scow, that was funny as sh!t!!! "and holy god its like the first time you get a chick in the back of your van"

    Can I use that some time when I'm describing something that I REALLLLLY like?!?!?

    Back to your regularly scheduled topic, already in progress...
  26. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,354

    from Minnesota

    Miller is the only way to go. I had a miler 185 for years and just upgraded to a Miller 210. Dependable and a great machine to weld with. You can't ever get fired for buying a Miller :)
  27. Rick Sis
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Posts: 710

    Rick Sis
    from Tulsa OK

    I think that means that he found it clumsy to use, and it had a very short duty cycle. :D
  28. "hotroddon" is correct... Hobart and Miller are not made by the same manufacturer, and Miller does not own Hobart ... although, some of their products use the same parts, and a few of their products are basically the same with different company colors... they are seperate companies owned by the same parent company, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), which also owns many other companies and divisions.
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,241


    I have been doing the same research lately. I have had a 220v,
    160 amp Mig for 22 years. I am looking for a 120v unit to do a
    lot of sheetmetal welding. I have narrowed my choice to 2 units.
    1 - Miller Autoset 140 at approx. $ 609.00 -or- Hobart Handler 140 at approx. $ 480.00. Both will do everything from 1/4" plate to 24 gauge sheetmetal work. Both units have fantastic reviews.
    There is a little more adjustability to the Miller 140. I hope this
    helps with your selection.
  30. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Helps a bunch.


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