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Thread: MIG Welder

  1. #1

    Default MIG Welder

    I'm going to get a MIG and was wondering if there is one that is good but cheap (if there is such a thing). I'm looking at spending around $200-300, any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    My way of looking at it: If you know you arenít interested in welding and just want to play around a bit but
    not do any serious welding then go for it with the cheap machine. If you expect to develop your skills and do some nice projects over the next 20 years then forget the cheap machine and spend some time educating yourself and get the practical machine that may cost 3 or 4 times as much but you will be money ahead because you will soon tire of the poor quality of the first machine and you will get the better one. Save the cost of the cheap one and get one that will perform better first and you will have a good machine for a long time.

    Bob K

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHJoe View Post
    I'm going to get a MIG and was wondering if there is one that is good but cheap (if there is such a thing). I'm looking at spending around $200-300, any help would be appreciated.
    I've never seen a MIG that inexpensive but maybe Harbor Freight may have one. You can probably get a flux core for that low price but I'd recommend going with a MIG welder if possible.

  4. #4

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    Yes, MIG welder not a flux core. But which one? I know you get what you pay for but I have 3 kids in college and another getting ready to go!

  5. #5
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    Default Hmmmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by IHJoe View Post
    I'm going to get a MIG and was wondering if there is one that is good but cheap (if there is such a thing). I'm looking at spending around $200-300, any help would be appreciated.
    CAUTION: This is one of those times where we often can lose sight of the ball!

    What you don't want is a 'flux core' welder as for autobody sheetmetal the welds would be too brittle. For the price range you stated, you're best looking at a used MIG setup and there's nothing wrong with that if you could buy one from someone you know, looking to trade up or whatever.

    Time for you to 'network', put the word out that you want a MIG welder. Someone you know, knows someone with a MIG they don't use and would sell but haven't thought about it. Know any autobody people either in a shop or backyarder? Ask around and keep in mind, most will likely be 220V so you'll need power for it. You'll also need to buy or rent a bottle for the shielding gas required. AND there is nothing wrong with a 110V unit and I know of a couple shops who prefer the 110 so they can drag it outside for their needs.

    Take what Bob K. said and plant that seed in the back of your head as well. Also, who has one you can borrow? THNK! You must know of an avenue you can take. Keep us posted.

    Henry

    PS: What state do you live in?

  6. #6

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    Thank you all. I live in Kansas, just west of KC.

  7. #7
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    20 years ago I bought a Century 180 mig welder from Sam's Club for $500 with a cart. It was/is a great welder. Century used to make Snap On branded welders and well as Sun branded welders. About three years ago I swapped that Century welder with a buddy of mine's Miller 211 mig welder which is a fantastic welder. It is just about fool proof getting excellent welds. All you do is turn the dial to the thickness of metal you're welding and the other knob to what size mig wire you're using. The machine automatically sets the amperage and wire speed.

    My suggestion is to buy a good name brand mig welder used instead of a new no name Chinese mig welder. I would personally suggest staying away from 120v mig welders. They just don't have the stable arc that a 220v machine has.

  8. #8
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    welders are the sort of thing that tend to hold their value. especially if they've been well cared for. that's why they seldom come to market used for any cheap prices.
    like most everyone else i like to stay with good quality equipment. miller, lincoln, hobart, esab, thermal arc, etc...
    that said, there a few others i would consider. my son has a couple of the everlast machines and really likes them. he does metal fab for a high end yacht builder here locally and puts a lot of hours in burning rod.
    he has had a couple of issues with them but says the customer service has been very good about sending replacement parts or even new machines if needed.
    here's a dual voltage 180 amp rated (200 max) machine that might be in your budget range. https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...oaAvnPEALw_wcB
    the only thing i wish it had was a display for wire speed and voltage. but in the manual there must be something that gives a clue what the dial setting is in relation to output.
    b marler

  9. #9

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    What about a Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHJoe View Post
    I'm going to get a MIG and was wondering if there is one that is good but cheap (if there is such a thing). I'm looking at spending around $200-300, any help would be appreciated.
    Lots of great advice given. Buying a metal inert gas (mig) shielded welder is all about what you plan to use it for. For a hobbyist who only needs a mig welder for fusing .125 to .250 steel, a flux core welder will do you just fine after you learn to lay a good solid bead with good penetration. However, once you learn to weld you will be tempted to expand your skills to include sheet metal that a flux core welder is typically prohibited from doing as it will just blow through the metal and/or be brittle from too much heat. A "decent" mig welder can adapt to both gas and flux core shielded wire making this a no brainer for the first time buyers who are looking to purchase a good used welder with the ability to up their skills as they progress. I would think you can pick up a decent mig for around $500-600 from either Craigslist or a pawn shop? Just remember, when you get beyond a shield core wire you will need a bottle for shielding gas, such as C25, as well as a welding cart which will add to the expense. Personally I own all my bottles as I don't rent anything if I can help it. Then you have to consider 120 or 240v availability that was previously mentioned.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHJoe View Post
    What about a Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder?
    that's a 120 volt input welder. there's a couple of 120 volt machines in the budget range but they are fairly limited in capacity. i linked the everlast machine as it's a 240 volt machine with a much better output and duty cycle.
    b marler

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    that's a 120 volt input welder. there's a couple of 120 volt machines in the budget range but they are fairly limited in capacity. i linked the everlast machine as it's a 240 volt machine with a much better output and duty cycle.
    Marler,

    I've been curious about those Everlast welders. I hear people raving over how good they are. I've never had the chance to use one but from what I hear they are a really solid machines. Any chance that Everlast is an off brand from a national product like the Hobart made by Miller?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    Marler,

    I've been curious about those Everlast welders. I hear people raving over how good they are. I've never had the chance to use one but from what I hear they are a really solid machines. Any chance that Everlast is an off brand from a national product like the Hobart made by Miller?
    i really don't know what they're based on. it very well could be that they're built in one of the same factories that do some name brand stuff. everlast is really trying make a quality product that will go shoulder to shoulder with our favorite brands. i used one of the tig welders and it seems just as good and smooth as the thermal arc machines i usually use. great wave form adjustments, etc...
    i was thinking about getting one of their small dual voltage migs to use as my mobile machine. this one has all the features i would need for a portable: https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...waAjTcEALw_wcB
    when you look at it it's amazing you get all that in a low cost machine. arc force control, pre and post flow, burn back etc...all for $750.
    5 year warranty too. they're really upping their game to be on par with the best.
    b marler

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IHJoe View Post
    I'm going to get a MIG and was wondering if there is one that is good but cheap (if there is such a thing). I'm looking at spending around $200-300, any help would be appreciated.
    I purchased a used Lincoln 135-T off feebay for $175.00....

    The welder..... plus gas, new cart, new wire, new nozzle, new tips and a canvas cover I have $275.00 in the unit.

    Runs off 120V and works great for the work I need to do which is mostly auto sheet metal and light fab work.

    It is a little older, but I love it!

    So yes, you can get a decent machine but it’ll be light duty and you should look, IMO, at used.

    My Best To All

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1949 Panhead View Post
    I purchased a used Lincoln 135-T off feebay for $175.00....

    The welder..... plus gas, new cart, new wire, new nozzle, new tips and a canvas cover I have $275.00 in the unit.

    Runs off 120V and works great for the work I need to do which is mostly auto sheet metal and light fab work.

    It is a little older, but I love it!

    So yes, you can get a decent machine but itíll be light duty and you should look, IMO, at used.

    My Best To All
    That's true but you want to be able to get your money back if it's junk.

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