1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Decent welder brands?

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by Hayes, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Hayes

    Hayes

    Messages:
    2,345
    Media:
    8
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    561
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Location:
    South Jordan, UT
    The search function does not seem to be working right now, so I'll just fire out a question that has likely been discussed already...
    ...sorry.

    I'm toying with the idea of picking up a cheap welder than I can eventually use (after I've actually taught myself to weld) for small projects on my 80 and other stuff.

    I'm seeing many 90 to 130 amp MIG welders on Ebay for a variety of prices. Some in the low $100 range, most in the $200. What should I steer clear of? Any brands that are known to be crappy?

    Thanks.

    Hayes
     
  2. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

    Messages:
    12,005
    Likes Received:
    464
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    Knee deep in hookers and gin
    Miller, Hobart and Lincoln are all good brands. Toolshop and the like are most likely not.


    I prefer Miller myself, but I have had no problems with my Hobart Handler or with any modern Lincoln equipment.

    I would happily reccomend either the Millermatic 135 (about $600 new)or the Hobart handler 125 (about $400 new) as a good home shop MIG.
     
  3. Hayes

    Hayes

    Messages:
    2,345
    Media:
    8
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    561
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Location:
    South Jordan, UT
    What about Clarke?
    They've got a 135A for less than $300. Of course, I'd hate spend $300 on poo.

    Hayes
     
  4. Tigerstripe40

    Tigerstripe40

    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    132
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Utardia
    Clarke is the same stuff as the Chicago Electric stuff that Harbor Freight sells.

    Miller and Hobart are the same company.
    so Miller = Hobart

    Lincoln also makes a good welder.

    I have a MillerMatic 175 with infinitly adjustable voltage control.
    THAT is a VERY nice feature to have.

    I've run a few spools of fluxcore through it, and I ahve been REALLY happy with the results.

    I can't wait to get a gas tank and play with that!
     
  5. Degnol

    Degnol

    Messages:
    8,121
    Media:
    16
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Kansastitty

    I don't think that is correct. My Clarke is made in Italy. I run the gas kit with it and have had excellent results.
    I also have a Millermatic 250 and the only reason I use it over the Clarke is for heavier material or more continuous duty. I do like the portability of the Clarke as it is 110V.

    Ed
     
  6. Tigerstripe40

    Tigerstripe40

    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    132
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Utardia
    Could it be a DaytonaMig?

    A friend of mine has a DaytonaMig and, other than feeling like it's cheaply made, and making more noise than a stuck pig, it actually lays down pretty decent welds.

    My MillerMatic has a nicer gun, and doesn't make as much noise (from the transformer). But I also paid twice as much.

    The clarkewleders I've seen in the SummitRacing catalogue all use the exact same pictures I see in the Harbor Freight fliers.

    But they could be Daytona Mig machines.
     
  7. Degnol

    Degnol

    Messages:
    8,121
    Media:
    16
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Kansastitty
    Dunno about DaytonaMig, but it is made in Italy and not China where I thought all the Chicago Electric stuff was made. The machine seems quality and I am sure it can do a better job than the operator...at least in my case.;)
    Chicago Electric usually tries to copy the esthetics of know brands. Not that Clarke is all that well known.

    Ed
     
  8. honk

    honk

    Messages:
    3,415
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    365
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Location:
    PNW
    HF sells products from other countries and from China.

    Italy makes many fine products. Shotguns, Ferraris,....

    The cool little plasma cutter that HF sells is also made in Italy.

    People shouldn't badmouth Harbor Frieght so much as they happily shop at WalMart.
     
  9. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

    Messages:
    12,005
    Likes Received:
    464
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    Knee deep in hookers and gin
    Italy makes nice shotguns so they must make a quality welder?


    They also make Fiats.


    Great Britan makes nice shotguns too. No wonder Rovers are such well designed cars.
     
  10. honk

    honk

    Messages:
    3,415
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    365
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Location:
    PNW
    I guess I'll never figure out why midwesterners take what I say seriously.
    Were you born in Ohio, Gumby? They're the worst.
     
  11. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

    Messages:
    12,005
    Likes Received:
    464
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    Knee deep in hookers and gin
    Did you not mean to be taken seriously?


    I must have missed the joke. :confused:
     
  12. honk

    honk

    Messages:
    3,415
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    365
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Location:
    PNW
    So you were born in Ohio. See, you made the joke. Or do you think that I'm not aware of Fiat?

    Are the English still making shotguns? I know Purdy's can only be had custom ordered and one-off. Not sure if others have survived.
     
  13. fj40charles

    fj40charles

    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    278
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Not necessarily. If you compare Miller with Hobart, you will see difference in the duty cycle. Miller is better made and has a better duty cycle, but cost more too.

    Some people like the infinitely adjustable voltage control, others don't. Then there people who say tapped machines give better welds (better arc quality) and it easier to dial in the setting (you have 7 voltage settings (mm210), as opposed to infinite)

    All comes down to preferences.

    Almost forgot... walmart SUCKS.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2006
  14. fj40charles

    fj40charles

    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    278
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    What does shopping at walmart have to do with HF? I don't buy my hand tools at walmart because they're made in china crap. HF and Northern Tools both sell the same made in China crap.
     
  15. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,262
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    547
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN


    I that was the point chuck.......










    Pick a brand of welder that a welding supply shop close to your location can provided consumables for, so you are not required to find the goofy one-brand tip or gas nozzle shield for your equally as unique lead and gun assembly.


    You can find deals online, but I would stick with names that you know, and can get service parts for. Go to a local welding shop and bend the ear of the sales folks. They are typically willing to provide you with enough information to make you dangerous.


    Good luck!


    -Steve
     
  16. fj40charles

    fj40charles

    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    278
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the clarification Stef.
     
  17. mabrodis

    mabrodis

    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    That's actually not true.

    The Hobart 180, Millermatic 175 and Lincoln 175 all have the EXACT same specs as far as output power (130amp) at what voltage (20v) and what duty cycle (30%).

    You can argue about which is better made, but as far as published specs, they are identical. I have only used Lincoln wire welders, been very happy with them, most parts are available at Home Depot, not some out of the way welding shop, etc...

    I just ordered a Lincoln 175 off ebay for $470 shipped, new in box, full MIG kit and flux-core stuff also.

    :cheers:
     
  18. Tigerstripe40

    Tigerstripe40

    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    132
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Utardia

    Lowes near my house carry's the Lincoln welders, and Task Force welding tips and nozzels. And lincoln welding wire.

    I own a Millermatic 175 welder.

    The Task force welding tips thread right into my Miller MIG gun, and the nozzels also fit perfectly on the gun.

    The difference I see is that the Miller tips have slots for use with a mig tool, whereas the Task Force brand does not have the slots.

    The other difference is that the Miller tips are also MUCH cheaper when purchased from the 'out of the way' welding store. (I can get a bag of 25 tips for about $10) when the Task Force tips are $10 for 10.

    The Lincoln brand welding wire fits in my millermatic and works great.
     
  19. fj40charles

    fj40charles

    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    278
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Have you compared other Hobart and Miller welders? Some of the Hobart welder use aluminum wires in the transformers. Some features may be the same, but duty cycle, internals, and accessories may not be the same.

    Lets compare Hobart Ironman 210 with Millermatic 210.

    Ironman 210: 150 amps at 40% duty cycle, 10 foot M10 mig gun
    Millermatic 210: 160 amps at 60% duty cycle, 12 foot M25 mig gun

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/millermatic_210/

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/IronMan210.html
     
data-matched-content-rows-num="2,1" data-matched-content-columns-num="1,4" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">