1 2
spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
3/4/19 8:50 a.m.

I've been using an old Lincoln SP-100 for years now. I bought it from a welding shop instead of a big box.  I  Most doing sheet metal stuff on cars and its been great.   It came down to a Miller Cricket, a Hobart Handler and the Lincoln.   The thing I like about this welder is the power is infinitely adjustable instead of 4 or 5 settings.          

Furious_E
Furious_E UltraDork
3/4/19 11:13 a.m.

I just upgraded from a HF $99 flux core special to a Miller 211 a couple weeks ago and all I can say is OMG THIS THING IS berkeleyING AWESOME! It will run off of either 120 or 240 and requires about 30 seconds to swap the plug, has continuous adjustment for heat and wire speed, and additionally an auto set feature that dials in your parameters (pretty accurately) based on what process and material you're running. Even with the rebate offer they're running right now, it's a decent jump up in price, but I bought this with the intent of never buying another MIG machine again and so far I'm happy with my decision.

My experience with welders is oddly concentrated at the very top and bottom ends of the market, between the industrial grade machines we run at work and the HF level junk I've used outside of there, so I don't have much frame of reference to compare to the likes of Eastwood, Hobart, or the big box store Lincoln models. I will say, however, there isn't much, if any, perceptible difference in arc quality between this and the machines we run at work with 5 figure price tags. The HF unit isn't even on the same planet. I've run a whole spool of .030" solid core through it so far welding up to 3/16" thick material building a welding cart and have yet to want for more power, even running on 120V input (need to swap to a different style outlet for 240 than what my garage is currently wired with.)

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 SuperDork
3/4/19 11:15 a.m.
Furious_E said:

I just upgraded from a HF $99 flux core special to a Miller 211 a couple weeks ago and all I can say is OMG THIS THING IS berkeleyING AWESOME! It will run off of either 120 or 240 and requires about 30 seconds to swap the plug, has continuous adjustment for heat and wire speed, and additionally an auto set feature that dials in your parameters (pretty accurately) based on what process and material you're running. Even with the rebate offer they're running right now, it's a decent jump up in price, but I bought this with the intent of never buying another MIG machine again and so far I'm happy with my decision.

My experience with welders is oddly concentrated at the very top and bottom ends of the market, between the industrial grade machines we run at work and the HF level junk I've used outside of there, so I don't have much frame of reference to compare to the likes of Eastwood, Hobart, or the big box store Lincoln models. I will say, however, there isn't much, if any, perceptible difference in arc quality between this and the machines we run at work with 5 figure price tags. The HF unit isn't even on the same planet. I've run a whole spool of .030" solid core through it so far welding up to 3/16" thick material building a welding cart and have yet to want for more power, even running on 120V input (need to swap to a different style outlet for 240 than what my garage is currently wired with.)

I also have the Miller 211 and love it! Hoping to get a Primeweld Tig225 next time they are in stock as well, but for MIG this thing is great!

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
7/10/21 2:12 p.m.

My dad worked in a welding supply store as a purchasing agent and told me if you can't afford a Miller get a Hobart.  I bought a Hobart Handler 120 and it's still working 30 years later.  Will handle up to 1/4" plate, although the duty cycle is limited to 20% with that.  Not sure what they go for now, but mine was under $400.

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
7/10/21 9:40 p.m.

Just to update my praises of PrimeWeld's customer service.

I bought the MIG180 almost 2 years ago.  Didn't get to use it until a year ago and had some questions about setup.  Emails were responded to within a half hour and if research was needed the followup was within a few hours.

The MIG180 came with a spool gun as well but that remained unopened until a week ago when I had a small project for work.  When I went to load the wire in the gun, I discovered it was broken.  An email to PW with a photo and I received a response in 20 minutes... verify your shipping address and a replacement will be sent out TODAY.  That was Friday July 2nd and I got the new one July 7th... not bad considering a holiday weekend.

These guys understand customer service and they have a customer for life.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Dork
7/12/21 10:13 p.m.
codrus said:
Bent-Valve said:

So follow the recommended duty cycle, weld a bit, then let it cool. It will be a fine tool.

Huh, I thought they had temperature sensors and self-protection circuitry so that they'd shut down if they got too hot?

 

A little late, but for what its worth. It was a Sears unit and it didn't have sensors that I saw when I opened it up. It just had a transformer, rectifier and stuff for the mig drive. It was not a good one. And the discoloration on the transformer windings were kind of a give away.

After reading the thread again I'm looking for a Hobart Handler 140 if I get one. right now I'm welder-less.

Groats
Groats New Reader
7/13/21 9:53 p.m.

Dear Grassroots Motorsports friends,

I'm looking to get a cheappie(ish) welder that will mainly be used for welding up exhausts.  Want to add some mufflers to my current panther project.  I've only got the 120 power in my garage.  Been watching videos and am more confused than ever.  I've seen people doing this with sticks, MIG and TIG.  Any recommendations for this?  Have zero welding experience, but am a quick learner!  The welds don't have to be pretty and I'd imagine some of it would need to be done with the exhaust still on the car.

Thanks!

bigeyedfish
bigeyedfish Reader
7/14/21 8:35 a.m.

MIG.  It is by far the easiest to learn.  It's less versatile than TIG, but cheaper and easier to get started.  It is also a much faster process than TIG or stick.  There are tons of inexpensive options for machines now.  They aren't particularly high quality, but my experience has been positive.

You'll need a bottle of shielding gas.  There are a few options, but the most common is 75% Ar : 25% CO2, typically called C25.  Also buy a roll of decent filler metal.  Lots of options, but you kind of get what you pay for here.  I typically buy Hobart, but I've used a lot of Lincoln and ESAB at work.  We had a couple machines that just wouldn't run the cheap stuff.

Practice on scrap, not on the project.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
RFZUYDE9YY9AijAYc7YMh8m81A1wSYJtns7JBEyGZzzhR6y2OGwm9sMxiMCVhLRO