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EmmaRose 10-23-2008 10:14 AM

MIG Welders
I personally am not a hotrodder and I actually don't know much about vehicles at all. However my boyfriend is a mechanic and I've been working a bit with him and learning more as I go. He absolutely love building trucks, cars and dune buggies.

With that being said. I want to get my boyfriend a MIG welder for Christmas as he says it would be handy for the work he does. I know I'm looking for a 220v MIG welder and I've seen how expensive they are in stores. My boyfriend told me the top brand names are Miller, Hobart and Lincoln. However I found a 220V MIG for $623 but the brand is I've never heard of.

My question is...Should I try to find a welder with one of the brand names my boyfriend told me or is this Maxus just as good as the others? Any help or advice would be very much appreciated:)

F&J 10-23-2008 10:48 AM

I'd go with name brands only because a good welder should last you a lifetime.. no kidding

I bought my old Miller around 1975-78 and it was a well used unit when I got it. It still works mint...and the parts will be available because it is a big company.

grouch 10-23-2008 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by EmmaRose
However I found a 220V MIG for $623 but the brand is I've never heard of.

If I was spending that kind of money on a welder, I'd want to get a known brand with a known reputation for durability and consistent quality.

An unknown or 'no-name' is somewhat of a gamble -- you decide how much to bet that it will work and last long enough to be a payback.

I spent $160 on a Harbor Freight "reconditioned" 220V MIG and have no complaints. I don't weld every day or even every week, but if it quit today, I feel I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it. It has tripped its thermal overload only once (the duty cycle varies according to how high a setting you're using). I've welded material ranging from sheet metal thinner than the typical car body to 3/16" thick. (I prefer to use my stick welder for heavy stuff).

My neighbor runs a 'dozer and backhoe service. He has a fairly heavy duty Miller with a 100% duty cycle at all settings. He's welded material ranging from sheet metal to over 3/4", including refacing the teeth on a trackhoe bucket. You'd have to fight him to get it away from him. Bring lunch; he's pretty wirey. :D

I gave away a 110V Lincoln Handy-Core (wire feed but not MIG) after buying the HF. Watch out for little "consumer" welders like that -- they're ok for fixing lawn chairs and maybe a mower deck, if you practice enough, but not fit, IMO, for working on a vehicle.

C-10 10-23-2008 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by EmmaRose
Hello, I personally am not a hotrodder and I actually don't know much about vehicles at all. However my boyfriend is a mechanic ..... Any help or advice would be very much appreciated:)

You'd be the best GF in the world if you could buy your man a Miller 252. I had to buy one for myself, THEN I caught hell for it. geesh. :rolleyes:

Local weld stores around here sell them for around $1900. It would be the last MIG you'd ever want to buy.

RPM 10-23-2008 12:15 PM

Check this out on Ebay. They are a very good company to deal with. I buy quite a bit from them. Call them up and ask to speak to Larry.

metalmeltr 10-23-2008 01:59 PM

Your boyfriend is very smart and clearly knows what is good take his advice and run with it.

metalmeltr 10-23-2008 02:03 PM

just googled maxus the welders look like crap.

TRAILERKING 10-23-2008 02:08 PM

Miller or Lincoln for sure. You get what you pay for. Miller even has auto voltage sensing for more versatiliy when powering up.

oldred 10-23-2008 02:28 PM

Miller, Lincoln or Hobart and even though my personal favorite is Lincoln the Hobart Handler series is hard to beat for the cost. Miller is good also but most have a few more bells and whistles that are nice but not necessary so the cost is a bit higher.

That link is just an example of a good machine with features such as you described and if you shop around you should be able to beat that price some.

Strictly Gravy 10-28-2008 06:39 AM

Exactly what I was going to post. I have used a few of them and absolutely love em. When I finally need a welder of my own, you can bet your butt its going to be a HH187!


scotzz 11-07-2008 09:25 AM

Anyone have experience purchasing through

They have a sale on Lincoln, Miller and Hobart with free shipping.

OneMoreTime 11-07-2008 10:27 PM

I have and they are a good outfit..


1930u 11-14-2008 09:37 PM

I'm using a 25 year old Lincoln that I bought used. It's a wonderful machine. If you can afford it I would stay with the brand name.

scotzz 11-23-2008 06:14 PM

I just pulled the trigger and bought a new Lincoln 180T from Harris Welding(who is listed on this thread)............$200 off list, free delivery and 3 day delivery..........

cboy 11-24-2008 07:14 AM

EmmaRose (that was my mother's name by the way, but first and middle, not one word),

Also be sure you are comparing apples and apples when comparing prices etc. Besides wanting a 220 welder, you might check with your BF as to the amperage he wants in his dream machine...which will be based a lot on how thick of metal he wants to work with. For most hobbyist/car builder, something in the neighborhood of a 175 or 185 should be quite adequate...but a double check with the gift-recipient wouldn't be a bad idea. Migs vary all over the place in terms of total amperage...and thus total cost. So just make sure you are looking at similar capacity when you are shopping.

You also might want to be aware that different machines (even the name machines) can vary in how they control the amperage and the wire speed. Miller, for example, has unlimited amp and speed controls while others you might see on the market are limited to 4 or 5 specific settings on the dial. Again, your BF may have a preference and that might make a difference in the machines you want to eliminate from the search.

There are a number of good threads regarding mig welder choices on this site. Just click the "search" feature (above, near the top of this page) and enter some appropriate search terms.

Happy hunting.

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