Miller mig welders

tyromeo55

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Ive been wanting a welder of my own for some time now. My experience is pretty limited but i'm a quick learner and have some more qualified people that are willing to help me learn. With that said, I'm leaning toward a miller. it looks better built and I really like the auto set feature. now... What size to get? Voltage means nothing to me. 240v is available anywhere I'd use it and 120v consumes so much current that it pretty much has to have a its own circuit. 220v might have a little edge because it would run on a generator easier.

would a semi hard core home hobbyist really need anything more then the 140? The 180 is just a couple hundred more but the extra money would be a good start towards a plasma cutter.

Am i being silly wanting to pay more for the miller over a Lincoln or harbor freight Japanese model? Any good or bad experiences with the millers?
 

OKIE-CARBINE

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i went with the 211. just so i could have the convenience of using when only 110 is available. but you got it right, it pulls a lot of juice. i was constantly throwing breakers. so i just switched it to 220. im pretty sure i would pass on the 140. it just wont have the balls. i also went with their bad ass digital elite helmet. sad thing is, i just dont use it enough.
 

_CY_

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you can't go wrong with a Millermatic 250 amp MIG welder
they come up all the time on craigslist for $650-$1250 range
super rugged and reliable... some comes complete with argon bottle and flow meter

if one is in good working condition, wouldn't give a thought buying used.
newer welders are going inverter... smaller footprint and uses less amps

if you are planning on welding thicker materials ... duty cycle comes into play
owning your argon/co2 bottle is the way to go

stay away from off brands like harbor freight, etc
Miller seems to be the preferred choice for MIG welders over Lincoln.

Lincoln has the edge for engine driven welders like SA200 pipeliners
 

Hump66

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I've got a 220v Hobart(built by miller just labelled different) and I love it. Does everything I could possibly need it to do(only gets occasional use).
 

Perplexed

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Some thoughts from a beginner welder. I picked up a cheap Hot Max 120V MIG welder that's rated for 135 amps, and supposedly the unit will weld up to 5/16" mild steel. I've been able to weld 1/4" steel with no issues, though that does take some time to weld up, and I'm not sure I'd trust those welds for critical applications. The Hot Max package I got came with the basic essentials including a spool of flux core wire, which is very handy for learning and practicing welding without having to worry about a gas cylinder. After a weekend of practice, I was able to fabricate a sturdy metal-working table with a 3/16" thick plate steel top, a 1/8" thick storage shelf, and 2" square steel tube legs (3/16" thick) with 1 1/2" square tube cross-bracing. The table is heavy enough that I ended up cutting 4" off the ends of each leg to weld on locking caster wheels, so I can move the table around the shop as needed. Anyway, I do find that to weld 3/16" thick metal, I have to dial the voltage control knob up to about 2/3 of its range, but I haven't had any issues with the unit tripping a 110V 20-amp breaker. Overall, for the price I'm pleased with the Hot Max welder.

If I could do it over again though, I'd probably spend the extra few hundred bucks to get a nice used 220V MIG/TIG/stick welder from Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart. Then I could learn how to weld using those different approaches, and be able to adapt my welding to the situation.
 

Shoot Summ

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So I have a related question, I have a Lincoln Weldpak 3200, it does fine for the small amount of welding I've done so far, and the price on clearance at HD was outstanding. I do want to add gas to it now and I see alot of different opinions on what I should get, any solid suggestions? CO2, Argon, mix, etc?

Thanks
 

Honeybee

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Welding with Argon makes a huge difference. I didn't think so until I tried it, Had an old CO2 bottle and used it but it left too many pits but when I changed over to Argon the pitting problem went away.
Welding on a windy day is still a pain if you are outside because it blows the gas away from your weld.
 

willystruck

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So I have a related question, I have a Lincoln Weldpak 3200, it does fine for the small amount of welding I've done so far, and the price on clearance at HD was outstanding. I do want to add gas to it now and I see alot of different opinions on what I should get, any solid suggestions? CO2, Argon, mix, etc?

Thanks

If I remember correctly you want to use argon/co2 mix for steel and straight argon for aluminum.
 

BReeves

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In My opinion the best bet for the home shop is actually two welders. Get an inexpensive Buzz Box ARC welder something like a Lincoln AC 225, if you shop long enough, yard sales and Crags list you can pick one up for around a hundred. If you luck out and find one that is both AC and DC that much the better. Use this to get started and for the heavy stuff... 1/4 and up.

Then while you are playing with the buzz box save up 5 to 600 and get a 220 volt mig, doesn't matter, Lincoln, Hobart just get a name brand that parts will be available for. This will do the fine/small stuff up to and including 1/4. Nothing wrong with intershield wire, it's a good start till you figure out what you're needs will actually be. It's all I use because I don't want to mess with bottles.

If you shop well you can have less than $800.00 invested and be able to weld anything made from steel. I have a Sears 225 AC Buzz box I picked up for under a hundred and a Lincoln Pro-Mig 175 I picked up off eBay for under $500. Have made everything from small yard ornaments to a tandem axle trailer.

I also have an O/A cutting torch but don't use it very often, mostly I cut material with a cheap B&D metal cutoff saw.
 
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