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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2009, 09:29 PM
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Help me pick a welder

I need help picking a welder. I have a Lincoln stick welder and a 110v flux core hobby welder, but I need a good 220v MIG. I'm looking to buy used since new = out of my budget. I'm looking for the ability to really smack some heat into things like vehicle frames and hitches. You can always turn it down, but you can't turn it up past its max.

What amperage?
Any specific features I should look for?


Do you think 200 amps is enough? The heaviest I can imagine needing to weld is 1/4" mild steel. Since I'm getting used, suggest some good reliable brands/models that still have a good parts supply in case I need to repair it.

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Old 03-16-2009, 05:43 AM
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Your best bet is to stick to the old reliables, like Miller, Lincoln. I'm sure there are welding shops in your area that may even handle used.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsetdart
Your best bet is to stick to the old reliables, like Miller, Lincoln.
Yup. The one feature I really like is infinite voltage and wire speed settings. Last I looked only Miller had that on their smaller (hobby level) machines like the 185. Other than that, you can't go wrong with Miller or Lincoln.

However, there are MUCH better welding pros on here, so I'd put any advice from me down near the bottom of your list.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:40 AM
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Miller and Lincoln are definitely good choices with parts and service easy to find but don't forget Hobart! Lincoln, Miller and Hobart are considered the "Big three" and are the most popular brands. My favorite is and always has been Lincoln but I think if you were to take a poll probably Miller would be the most popular followed by Lincoln then Hobart (Hobart is not made by Miller BTW but that is a popular myth). This in no way means they are the only good welders on the market and I think you will probably hear from other people who have some of the other brands but the "Big three" probably are the easiest to find and maintain.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:13 PM
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Miller and Lincoln are the best,i was recently going to get the new Miller 180 Autoset untill i found a few good deals on brand new Lincoln 180C's on eBay,i bought mine brand new from a registered Lincoln dealer on eBay for 460.00 plus 40.00 shipping,as compared to the cheapest i could find a Miller 180 was 800.00 +,just couldnt make myself justify the 300.00 difference especialy after ive used both models and couldnt see the difference except for the autoset,which i would personaly never use anyhow.
There is still some of the discontinued Lincoln 175's selling on eBay but they are selling for about as much as the new 180.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:23 PM
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Thanks for the help.

How many amps should I look for?
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
couldnt see the difference except for the autoset,which i would personaly never use anyhow..


Maybe there are some out there that like that feature and maybe I am just overlooking something but to me it just seems useless.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Maybe there are some out there that like that feature and maybe I am just overlooking something but to me it just seems useless.
To me it would be something for a beginner but,i would think that feature would kind of cheat the learner from learning how to set the heat for the thickness and size of weld,kind of like learning to play a piano that plays itself,you never learned WHY it works that way
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
Thanks for the help.

How many amps should I look for?

Quite simply the most power you can get in your price range.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
Thanks for the help.

How many amps should I look for?
the higher the amperage capability,the thicker you can weld.If your just a hobby welder and welding automotive stuff,175 would be more than sufficient enough.
What i would look for is the quality(brand name),incase something ever happens its easy to get parts,also make sure it is Mig/fluxcore and has everything for the gas bottle
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
Thanks for the help.

How many amps should I look for?

I have a 200 amp short arc and have only had it WOT one time in the last 12 years and that was not on anything auto related.

What stick machine do you have? You can always run a dry TIG set up with it for not much money at all, Torch, regulator, and a bottle.

I have a budy that just bought a 175 Lincolin and he is very happy with it. It is 220V and is in the small case so it does not take up much room. He bought it on the internet and got free shipping with the deal. Under 800.00 and new.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:08 PM
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I have the 220 LINCOLN PRO MIG 175 WELDER, That is one great little welder. I weld with it everyday. If it broke tomorrow,I will buy another one just like it.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H
IWhat stick machine do you have? You can always run a dry TIG set up with it for not much money at all, Torch, regulator, and a bottle.
.
My budget range is in the $400-600 range for a good used one. I'm selling (or trading) a really nice chainsaw to get a welder.

I would do TIG, but the learning curve is pretty steep to get it just right. I tried it once or twice and it was pretty weak. I could learn and I'm sure I will someday, but its a little scary at this point to be building hitches with a new process that I'm not used to.

I have an old Lincoln 225 stick welder. Its at least as old as the '70s, maybe 60s. My dad bought it used and had it since before I can remember and I was born in 73. Looks kinda like this:


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Old 03-16-2009, 09:33 PM
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You can run a dry rig off of that welder without any problems at all.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:41 PM
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Check with your local suppliers, I just got a Lincoln sp 175 plus for 400 bucks, well over half off, I had a pro mig 135 and it welded excellent for a 110 volt welder, plenty of heat to weld 1/4" in single pass. Never had any problems except a kinked liner
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