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Best bang for your buck in MIG welders?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by KRAZIE87K5, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Not looking to spend a HEAP of money... but I'd like to look into a welder. I've only ever used a Miller MIG... but never actually used anything else. Is Miller the only way to go... or can I look at other welders too?

    Slap me around if need be... but I'm really just looking for help here.

    Thanks,
    -Dan
     
  2. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Well, Lincoln has a good rep. And of course, this cannot go on without saying buy as big as you can afford.

    Going on a budget on a welder kind of sucks, but for $700, I got a Lincoln SP-125 Plus with gas. It pretty much covers 99% of anything I have done, or will do. Of course, now they also have the SP-135. These are 110V models; but if you have a 220V outlet, then jump up to that.

    Also, make sure your breakers can handle it. I need to change mine out, I had problems when I was building my axle cart, but it's no big deal.

    The educated among us can explain all of this in better detail /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, educated is good... /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif Thanks for your info BRB! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    -Dan
     
  4. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    Millermatic 175's can be found for $650 or less online. They have a good warranty and are a great machine for general fab work. I've had mine for over three years with no problems at all. You might want to check out the Hobart Handler 175 also. Both are 220 machines and the hobart is basically the same as the Miller, with the exception of a few internal parts, which can be interchanged with the Miller. It should be around $600 or so.

    I would definitely recommend a 220 machine over a 110. You'll have a better duty cycle with the 220 vs a 110. Lincolns are good machines from what I've heard, but I don't have any first hand experience with them.

    BIGJ
     
  5. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    ... And of course, this cannot go on without saying buy as big as you can afford.


    [/ QUOTE ]


    Good advice for welders and/or breast implants..... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif



    I have a Lincoln 175+ (220V) and it's served me well so far....


    (Honestly, the topic of welders has been covered in the Garage a few times already....is there something more "extreme" we need to address here?)
    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Best band for the buck for a home fab shop is probably a Hobart 175. Mostly the same as the Miller, but less money. The Miller is better quality in some ways, but it will probably never show a difference in a home shop. Still, there was a good deal on Miller 175s when I bought mine, so I ponied up the extra money and I’ve been very happy with it.
     
  7. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Good discussion on welders for the home shop here I'm looking at buying a Lincoln sp175Plus when I can finally afford one. They run around $700. That site BTW is full of info for those who like to tinker with metal and such. Lot's of REAL smart folks on there who are always wiling to share their extensive knowledge. They will answer the seemingly stupidest questions and are more than willing to help with anything, even OT ?'s that have nothing to do with metalworking. Reminds me a lot of the spirit on this site. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a Lincoln SP-135 plus (has the infinitely variable current adjustment). I got the welder, a tank of CO2/Argon mix, a cart, 2 10#spools of wire, extra tips, and regulator flor like $825 I thinkIt works well for most everything I do...If you do ALOT of heavier (3/16"+) I would def. go with a 175...

    Honestly, I think millers are generally less expensive than Lincolns for a given amperage rating and similar features...
     
  9. 85m1009

    85m1009 1/2 ton status

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    Depends on usage and the budget.When I went shopping for a new shop welder I ended up with a Miller 210. It even has a separate spool gun for aluminum. Total cost 2 years ago was around $1200.00. For just home use I agree that the 175 would work just fine. You might price an ESAB they are good welders and are sometimes less pricey than the Miller.
     
  10. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  11. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    (Honestly, the topic of welders has been covered in the Garage a few times already....is there something more "extreme" we need to address here?)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Easy killer... I'm getting there! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Confused? Tell me something I don't know. Keep yer pants on. I'm just getting everyone's opinions assembled.
     
  13. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Got the Millermatic 175 and I love it. Good quality and durable so far. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Got the Millermatic 175 and I love it. Good quality and durable so far. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]


    me too and i like it and not 1 2nd thought the only thing i can add is you will use more then you think you will
     
  15. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Even though most say to go 220v if ya can, I have a Lincoln Pro Mig 135. Its a 110v mig with 135 amps. Works nice for me since I dont have 220 in the garage yet. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Even though most say to go 220v if ya can, I have a Lincoln Pro Mig 135. Its a 110v mig with 135 amps. Works nice for me since I dont have 220 in the garage yet. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, no 220 in the garage /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
    Honestly the 110 in the garage is not all that good either
    I have a Century 110v 85amp, It's not the greatest welder in the world, but at under $500 with gas I'm /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    I've welded mostly sheet, some tube and I have been playing around with 1/8-1/4" stuff practicing and it does pretty well once I asked on here and gotsome usefull insight /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Rene(tRustyk5) told me to make sure I am using a good extension cord if you are not plugging straight into the wall. Iam using an 8ft. 10 ga cord. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yes, a good quality LARGE guage extension is very important. I've got one for my 220 box that is made from a cable as big as my thumb. If you shop around, you can get a Hobart 175 with gas and ready to go for under $700. The same miller (on sale) will poke close to $800. Mine was just over $800 with the extras I got.
     
  19. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Rene(tRustyk5) told me to make sure I am using a good extension cord if you are not plugging straight into the wall. Iam using an 8ft. 10 ga cord. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm using the extention cord for out of our camper /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
    Its only about 1.75" across with plug adapters on each end, its about 40' /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    (haven't actually used it yet though, just bought the adapters yesterday)

    I have an 10' 10 gauge cord for inside the garage though /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    I've got one for my 220 box that is made from a cable as big as my thumb.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That what this cable for the camper is for (220). I can plug the camper cord into the main box for the house 220v (the place we plug the generator into when we loose power out here), but all the stick welders are buried. THUS, the adapter ends for 110v /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  20. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Boy have we hi-jacked this thread! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    I can tell a big difference between using my long "normal" extension cord compared to my homemade 10 gauge cord. The welder work much better with the 10 gauage!
     

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