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post #1 of 23 Old 09-17-2012, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Mig Welder, Opinions?

Alright so its finally in the budget to get a Mig (about $2200 max) and I'm wondering what you guys use/prefer? I need one that runs off of 1-phase ,220/230V. I would like something that will weld 3/8 (steel) in a single pass. I don't really plan on welding aluminum but it would be nice to be able to afford a spool gun if I ever wanted to.Most of the spoolguns are about $750+ (Ouch!) Although I see both Lincoln and Miller have a cheaper spool gun, (Lincolns is the Magnum 100sg @ $252 (130A @ 30%) and Millers is the Spoolmate 100 series, $268 (135A @ 30%) but on the Miller the biggest machine you can use it on is the Millermatic 211 (210A Max 130A@30%) where as the biggest machine you can use the Lincoln gun on is their Powermig 216 (250A max, 170A@60% and 216@30%)

Lincoln Powermig 216

Millermatic 211 auto-set

Now I know I'm comparing apples to oranges here as the Millermatic 211 and Lincoln Powermig 216 aren't really in the same class. (The direct competition of the Lincoln Powermig 216 is the Millermatic 212 auto-set, as those both have basically the same max and rated output, and basically the same price, but that miller would need an $800 heavy duty spool-gun where as the Lincoln can use a cheap one or an expensive one)

Millermatic 212 auto set

SO having said all that, What would you guys recommend? I seem to be able to find the Lincolns a couple hundred cheaper that the comparable Millers, is there a real reason for that? Is one noticeably better, or is it just personal preference? Any other Brands worth considering or any off-brand made by Miller or Lincoln? What about Hobart? is Hobart made by someone else?

Thanks in advance!!

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post #2 of 23 Old 09-19-2012, 07:49 AM
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I know everyone has a favorite when it comes to welding, but coming from someone who has done alot of it, my money will go toward a Miller. To me they weld so much better/smoother. Not as much fluxuation in amperage while welding and a cleaner better weld when done. And when it comes to aluminum, again Miller. I heard that Licoln updated there technology a while back, but I know for a fact that a Miller will weld aluminum very well. Nice shiny stacked coin beads. This is just my . So good luck with you choice...

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post #3 of 23 Old 09-20-2012, 04:07 PM
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i bought my Hobart Handler 210 (cheaper version from Miller i believe, my gun even says Miller on it) and I have nothing but good things to say about it..Im not sure what you plan on using it for commercial/business use or just for a hobby but i use mine at least a couple times a week at the marina i work for and its held up just fine, it even came with the spoolgun setup which i have yet to mess with unfortunately.

I know you didnt mention Hobart but why not save the money..I believe there very similar machines only differences are some parts that come on the Hobart are plastic vs steel/aluminum..So I've heard..Just throwing it out there good luck.

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post #4 of 23 Old 09-21-2012, 09:04 AM
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I also have the Hobart 210 MVP. Great Welder.
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-25-2012, 05:54 PM
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if i may chime in, being a CWI and a QA manager for a fabrication / prodution facility, i inheret welding related issues all day. my input on lincoln is this, they have hired individuals from the industry to represent them aside there regular area salesman, in turn for a slightly hire product price. in my opinion as QA and as a welder first, my vote would be MILLER. i say that because as stated, the millers are more consistant, i know the wire selection plays some role in cleaner appearing welds, but the consistant output makes a huge difference. i have never been excited about shops that i have worked in that stay all lincoln, the wire is rougher to work, and the machines are picky..... AGAIN, for my house , i would go with the 211. what will be your main use, 3/8 single pass is somewhat over kill for most home uses, where as better metal prep would aloow for welding of 3/8 , just make it several passes. unless it is going to happen everyday, save some dough.

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post #6 of 23 Old 09-28-2012, 03:04 PM
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My vote is a miller. I have a 252 for my home garage. It's awsome. I also have a 30a spool gun. Last time I priced one of those it was only 600 for the spool gun. There is nothing wrong with the class under that one. 211 or whatever they are calling it these days. I had a lincoln 255 and hated it. I wanted to pour gasoline on it and light it on fire! Check out Craigslist if you can. I've found some good deals on there. Btw, miller does use Lincoln's feed design. They are close. Just the miller welds like butter to me.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-30-2012, 09:09 PM
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I would go with the miller I have the 252 and a 175 both work great had them for 6 yrs now and use the 252 every day no problems at all

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post #8 of 23 Old 10-13-2012, 11:48 AM
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I have a MM211 and take it from someone who never welded before owning this machine, it's a great MIG welder, I can't imagine it gets any better. It makes the prettiest MIG welds after some practice.

I'm ready to move on to a do-it-yourselfer TIG. Pricing diversion 180s right now

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post #9 of 23 Old 10-16-2012, 10:26 AM
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I wish I could have affoarded one of the nicer units. I bought a Hobart 140, just a 110v MIG. It is awesome though! I do wish it had more precise controls (adjust voltage with a readout instead of just four settings).

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post #10 of 23 Old 11-01-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinner6.0L View Post
I have a MM211 and take it from someone who never welded before owning this machine, it's a great MIG welder, I can't imagine it gets any better. It makes the prettiest MIG welds after some practice.

I'm ready to move on to a do-it-yourselfer TIG. Pricing diversion 180s right now
the 211 is a great hobby machine.

It does get better though..... I stepped up from the 211 to a 212 and the difference is amazing. The feed system on the industrial machines are smoother, duty cycle is much better, the gun/lead is nicer.

My 212AS is a great machine for the price.

For an occasional hobby machine the 211 is impossible to beat.

If you do any extensive or heavy fabrication, spend the extra coin on a 212 or 252. You could even try to find a used 210. You wont be sorry.

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