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trickie dickie 01-08-2012 12:02 PM

mig welder
I am interested in buying a mig welder. I have 120 and 240 VAC in my shop. I do not see any heavy duty welding, just some sheet and frame welding on my 56 F100 project. What are your recommendations for manufacture and model.
thank you

Cape Cod Bob 01-08-2012 12:11 PM

I have a cheap sears 120vac flux core mig. It is great for stuff like what you are talking about. The gas migs are more preferred but cost more. The flux core makes more splatter.
If you want one that lasts longer try to find out if the drive gear is plastic or steel. Steel-better.

Have you used one before ?


OneMoreTime 01-08-2012 12:16 PM

Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart..I like the Miller for the infinite adjustments of heat and wire speed..Since you have 220 then get the 180/185 series and you will be using your welder for so many years the cost will not be remembered..Get the gas as well as you will see the need for that when you go to weld thin metal such as patch panels and such..


Strictly Gravy 01-08-2012 01:09 PM

I would definitely buy a 240v unit. if you are doing frame welding, you will want it. Look at the hobart handler 187 at northertool or tractor supply.

Or, keep your eye on craigslist. I bought a miller 255 mig with 2 30lb rolls of wire, bottle, regulator, etc for $750. The deals are out there, if you can be patient.

jrowe94 01-08-2012 01:26 PM

I agree with 'one more time' get a miller you will have more options.
one suggestion use 75 25 gas and flux core wire you will get less splatter and deeper penetration for frame welding

327NUT 01-08-2012 02:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
trickie...if you use the search function for...."mig welder" or ..."which mig welder" you'll get a ton of info. You can't go wrong with any 220v. Miller, Hobart or Lincoln. Do lots of shopping, there's deals to be had. I paid $549 for my 220v. Hobart Handler 187 on a close out sale from Tractor Supply. I bought a tank of 75/25 for $185 and the gloves and helmet were from a vendor on ebay.

trickie dickie 01-08-2012 03:24 PM

mig welder
I have limited experience with a stick welder years ago. A local buddy suggested a 120 VAC unit because 120 is everywhere...just handy. Sounds like 240/220 is the way to go. I have not seen any Miller units locally. Thanks guys for the response. I will need to upgrade my air for blasting too.

oldred 01-08-2012 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by Cape Cod Bob
I have a cheap sears 120vac flux core mig.

A flux core welder is NOT a mig! ALL mig welders use gas (M)etal (I)nert (G)as so there is no such thing as a "gasless" mig.

When shopping for one of these welders or asking for advice it's important to get the terminology right in order to get the right information. Flux core welders, also known as self shielding or innershield welders and MIG welders both feed wire from a roll but the similarity pretty much ends there and they are two different processes.

As for the OP's question, if you have 220 and can afford the heavier welder you will be far better off with it rather than a 110 machine which can very limited, remember you can always turn down the power on a big welder but you can't turn up the power on a little one! The MIG welder will cost quite a bit more to get set up than a flux core welder since not only does the machine itself cost a bit more you will also have to buy or rent a tank to go with it. A MIG is usually much better for most welding than a flux core especially for body work since it will make a cleaner weld that is much easier to do without burn-through. The flux core welders do have a couple of advantages you might need to consider however, if you need to weld outside then gas shielding can be a problem so flux core has the advantage here, it also is usually (depending on the wire used) a little more forgiving of contaminated metal. Of course most MIGs can be used as flux core machines should the need arise, just switch to flux core wire, change the polarity and leave the gas off and you will have a flux core welder, be aware however that some cheaper MIGs can be a bit difficult to change polarity on. Also some, but not all, flux core welders are fairly easily converted to MIG with the addition of a gas solenoid, regulator/flowmeter and hoses so if you are looking at a flux core welder you will want to ask what would be involved in switching it over. It's far better to just buy a MIG to start and be done with it and will be cheaper in the long run.

nine4gmc 01-08-2012 06:28 PM

i was in the market for a 220v but ran into a deal on a Hobart 140 that is 110v, i picked it up and have been more than satisfied. i have body dropped and boxed in my frame with it as well as panel and muffler welding, it is excellent. if you plan on lots of 3/8" welding or commercial welding, 220 is the way to go, if not you could get away with a large 110 imo. just depends on your needs and cash on hand...

MLA55 01-08-2012 06:51 PM

Check out the miller 211 It has a plug for 110 and a plug for 220. AWESOME MACHINE!! I bought one for my shop about 1yr ago and the guys wont use anything else,a bit pricey,but worth every penny!

matts37chev 01-08-2012 07:22 PM


Originally Posted by MLA55
Check out the miller 211 It has a plug for 110 and a plug for 220. AWESOME MACHINE!! I bought one for my shop about 1yr ago and the guys wont use anything else,a bit pricey,but worth every penny!

the miller 211 is what I have also, its awsome :thumbup:
thick or thin metal, can be used with a spool gun for alum.
220v for the shop and 110v for portable use
it does it all !!!

hobart has one that is similar, a few less features

trickie dickie 01-08-2012 09:53 PM

mig welder
Matt the Miller 211 is a wicked MIG. I am impressed and as you stated pricey. I am going to Grainger and see what kind of discount they can offer with my GE account.


BigEd36 01-09-2012 10:28 PM

I'm partial to Hobart and Miller migs (have one of each), and don't think you can go wrong with either one. IOC (Indiana Oxygen Co) has the Millermatic 211 right now for $995.00 with FREE shipping . I've never ordered a welder from them but have ordered other supplies. Their service is GREAT, normally same day shipping.

MLA55 01-10-2012 05:58 AM

I agree,over the 20 yrs of being in business,I had all brands. Buying the cheaper brands never worked out in the long haul!I bought a cheaper plasma cutter because it wont get used much and later found out the tips are triple the price of good ones. It wont take long using it until I could have bought the good one!

OneMoreTime 01-10-2012 06:41 AM

As far as what to get for yourself in a welder it is up to the individual...I have nearly every kind of welder known to man available to me and because it is just so convenient I use my Miller 140 110volt machine the most. I have had one of the 110volt welders in my van for about as long as they have been on the market (many years) and have found one of those to work just fine for lots of things. Only time I break out a bigger machine is when I need to weld some one inch plate or something like that or the work demands TIG. Bottom line for me is that the good quality 110 welder either Miller Lincoln or Hobart will give a good service for most guys in automotive work.


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