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Best bang for buck welder

pennsylvaniaboy

make fullsizes great again
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Jun 27, 2020
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I am looking at picking up a welder...I want 240v welder, and 180-200amp machine. I have run a Hobart 210 MVP extensively and was pleased. I am also toying with Lincoln 180/190, or the Hobart 187/190.

Other brands to consider? Other models? This is for average offroad fab work. .120 wall tubing, 1/4" plate, etc.
 
I went with a Hobart MVP 210. I wanted a transformer based welder, otherwise Id go with a new Miller

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I really think you can't go wrong with the Hobart 210MVP for sub $1000. Sometimes tractor supply has them on sale if you are waiting for a deal, otherwise I have bought from these guys with no issues. https://store.cyberweld.com/homigweneha2.html

Hell, Amazon has them for $50 cheaper if you want to fund their world domination.

The Millers in the same class might be better but I don't think they are $500+ better. Maybe if I was making money off of them and wanted a local shop to warranty it but my Hobart 210 gets my hobby welding stuff done with very few issues over the years.
 
Another vote for the 210MVP if you're talking MIG. Otherwise Miller.
 
Another vote for the 210mpv. I got mine from blanes farm and fleet a few years ago for 750ish shipped(free shipping and no tax) not sure if that is dead or not. They do have sales on welders a few times a year and if you sign up for emails you can stack a sale with a coupon.

You should like the 210 I have a few hundred pounds of wire through mine and have no complaints besides operator error.
 
He's talking entry level guys, not professional grade. Bang for the buck, Hf doesn't get much better, when talking about new anyway.

Other than that, buy a used machine, Hobart/miller/esab/Lincoln. Hawk the machine auctions in your area, and you can get a great professional machine for not a lot of money.
 
I really think you can't go wrong with the Hobart .......
The Millers in the same class might be better but I don't think they are $500+ better. Maybe if I was making money off of them and wanted a local shop to warranty it but my Hobart 210 gets my hobby welding stuff done with very few issues over the years.

Hobart owns Miller. https://www.hobartbrothers.com/abou... family-owned,company of Miller Electric Mfg. Hobart is selling Miller's previous model versions that were rebranded. Miller puts out the flashy newness, Hobart sells the slightly older version/tech with the bugs worked out for alot less. Exact same stuff inside. Course if you just like the blue paint job.....

I have three Hobarts.
 
I went with a Hobart MVP 210. I wanted a transformer based welder, otherwise Id go with a new Miller

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fwiw i just got a brand new miller inverter multimatic 215 a couple weeks ago and it works fine on my cheapo champion generator, it will do mig/flux tig and stick
 
fwiw i just got a brand new miller inverter multimatic 215 a couple weeks ago and it works fine on my cheapo champion generator, it will do mig/flux tig and stick

transformer should be more reliable and last longer, or so i keep telling myself when carrying it around :homer:
 
Other than that, buy a used machine, Hobart/miller/esab/Lincoln. Hawk the machine auctions in your area, and you can get a great professional machine for not a lot of money.

fuck buying a welder with no warranty, IMO
 
fuck buying a welder with no warranty, IMO

:shaking:

They're not fucking magic. If they stop working you find the component that let out the magic smoke and replace it. If you buy a machine and it's DOA and you buy from anyone other than a classified ad you return it for a refund regardless of new or used. If you buy a new machine and pay a 50% stupid tax for "muh warranty" there is nearly zero chance you will put enough use on it within the warranty period to wear anything out.
 
When I did the math you are looking at closer to 10-20% for hf vs 'name brand'. When you look at resale if you have to sell it and 5/3/1 warranty vs 90 days hard to not spend the extra 100 bucks on the name brand machine. Also good luck finding parts for anything from hf unless you are making one runner out of two broken units.
 
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:shaking:

They're not fucking magic. If they stop working you find the component that let out the magic smoke and replace it. If you buy a machine and it's DOA and you buy from anyone other than a classified ad you return it for a refund regardless of new or used. If you buy a new machine and pay a 50% stupid tax for "muh warranty" there is nearly zero chance you will put enough use on it within the warranty period to wear anything out.

Not sure where you are, but welders around here hold their values like trailers and pickup trucks. 50% buys you a very well used beat up machine. Anything in half decent shape is 80% of new. 20% and you get new with warranty seems like a clear choice.
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p.s. not all of us are electricians who can troubleshoot capacitors ans shit. Inverter control boards and some repair parts arent cheap either.
 
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I bought my Hobart Ironman 210 with a full 175cf bottle, a 10# spool of .035" ER70s, welding wire, and a helmet, for $800. That's half off new. Deals are out there, you just have to look.

From HF, $200 for a 240v machine that can handle gas. Sure maybe arc control isn't as good as a $900 Hobart MVP (which really isn't entry level to begin with), but it's hard to argue against saving $700. Even if the HF welder only works for a year of regular use, who fucking cares? The guy will be able to make plenty of money with it before it kicks the bucket, or be able to do plenty of projects, before he figures out what he really wants/needs out of a machine.

https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...der-68885.html

This or used IMHO. I'll get off my soapbox now.
 
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Hobart owns Miller. https://www.hobartbrothers.com/abou... family-owned,company of Miller Electric Mfg. Hobart is selling Miller's previous model versions that were rebranded. Miller puts out the flashy newness, Hobart sells the slightly older version/tech with the bugs worked out for alot less. Exact same stuff inside. Course if you just like the blue paint job.....

I have three Hobarts.

I knew they were under the same parent company and use the same mig gun and consumables. My pre MVP Handler 210 actually has a plastic wire drive system compared to the millers of that time which had a metal drive system. from what I have seen the new Hobarts are metal drive.

Like you said, the Hobarts don't have the flashy newness which includes the smooth start, auto set, fan on demand. I could be wrong but the Millers allow fine tuning of voltage where the hobarts have a finite number of set voltages, usually numbered 1-7. None of that is worth the 50%+ more in a new machine to ME, but it may be to others.
 
I knew they were under the same parent company and use the same mig gun and consumables. My pre MVP Handler 210 actually has a plastic wire drive system compared to the millers of that time which had a metal drive system. from what I have seen the new Hobarts are metal drive.

Like you said, the Hobarts don't have the flashy newness which includes the smooth start, auto set, fan on demand. I could be wrong but the Millers allow fine tuning of voltage where the hobarts have a finite number of set voltages, usually numbered 1-7. None of that is worth the 50%+ more in a new machine to ME, but it may be to others.

It is not unusual to get parts labelled miller on a hobart. I havent heard it the other way around, but wouldnt surprise me if it did.

Give it some time for Miller to move on to some newer flashier technology and all the hobart models will have the stuff that Miller is marketing now.
 
Hobart owns Miller. https://www.hobartbrothers.com/abou... family-owned,company of Miller Electric Mfg. Hobart is selling Miller's previous model versions that were rebranded. Miller puts out the flashy newness, Hobart sells the slightly older version/tech with the bugs worked out for alot less. Exact same stuff inside. Course if you just like the blue paint job.....

I have three Hobarts.

I don't think thats exactly it.

I went to the local welding supply store looking for a Hobart 210. They said it's a good machine but the Miller 211 was on sale for $1100 after a rebate. They told me that were a number of pieces that Miller uses aluminum where the Hobart uses plastic. I know half the guys in there, so they weren't blowing smoke up my ass. They're all badass welders, not just salesmen.

I still recommend the Hobart, but for the price difference, I couldn't pass up the 211. I've put probably 100 lbs of wire through it, So far, I love it. One thing I heard other people say, and I agree, is that it can be difficult to dial in different settings. I have my few setting for 4x4 stuff marked (1/8 - 1/4") I hate to admit it, but to be honest, if I'm doing a quick project where those don't fit, I just use the auto mode, works pretty decent and saves time.
 
Another vote for the Miller 211. Yes, it is a little more expensive than others, but yes, it is worth the extra expense.
 
It's really hard to beat a miller 211 in this range of machines. I've run a hobart 210 and a miller 211 back to back and while the hobart is a fine machine the miller just lays it down better. If there was a 500$ difference it might be a tougher call to make but with a little shopping you can get them within 150-200 of each other and at that price I think it easy to make the call for miller.

Resale is probably another point on the side of miller. I was recently looking for a new tig machine and when I was looking at used stuff the Hobart machines would pop up at 50% all the time while the miller machines were up around 70-80 percent of new, maybe because of the higher "list" price.

I've also found that for my miller a lot of the parts that I've needed such as rollers and other small parts have been in stock while I know people that have had to order parts for the hobart stuff. My machine is not really in the hobbiest class though so that might be part of the reason for that.
 
I don't think thats exactly it.

I went to the local welding supply store looking for a Hobart 210. They said it's a good machine but the Miller 211 was on sale for $1100 after a rebate. They told me that were a number of pieces that Miller uses aluminum where the Hobart uses plastic. I know half the guys in there, so they weren't blowing smoke up my ass. They're all badass welders, not just salesmen.

I still recommend the Hobart, but for the price difference, I couldn't pass up the 211. I've put probably 100 lbs of wire through it, So far, I love it. One thing I heard other people say, and I agree, is that it can be difficult to dial in different settings. I have my few setting for 4x4 stuff marked (1/8 - 1/4") I hate to admit it, but to be honest, if I'm doing a quick project where those don't fit, I just use the auto mode, works pretty decent and saves time.

You might be right. That Hobart exec I was talking to was probably full of shit.
 
I could be wrong but the Millers allow fine tuning of voltage

youre correct, my new miller 215 you can adjust the volts by .1 same with the wire speed

i almost bought a 211 but for a few hundred more a 215 can also do stick/tig and they call it a 215 but its the same machine as a 211
 
Its really hard to beat the miller 211. The unit itself is more expensive however, its a fantastic welder with a very limited power draw. For reference, I have owned the following mig units:

Miller 211 (mobile work unit)
Miller 255 multimatic (large shop unit with push pull gun)
Hobart ironman 230
Hobart 210

I was having drive system control issues with the hobart welders, I ended up selling both. I still own both the 211 and 255. To be honest , I enjoy using the 211 over the 255. If duty cycle isnt a concern its the nicest mig welder I own (note i havent fucked with the pulse mig on the 255). You'll spend more now but be happier in the long run with a miller unit. Buy once and be done, a welder is the backbone of this hobby you will use it constantly.

Tim
 
Miller multimatic 220 AC/DC. I think I spent a little over 3k and it came with everything but tanks. That's actually not a bad price if you plan to make money with it at some point. This hobby isn't exactly cheap either.
Miller Welders tend to hold their value pretty well too, I bought a new Millermatic 212 for about $1500 and sold it 10 years later for 900 (judging by the amount of interest I got from the ad I think I could have gotten more if I cared).

You won't likely outgrow the multimatic 220 AC/DC, you can practice mig, tig, stick, small enough to throw in your trunk, and it comes with mvp. Perfect hobby machine in my opinion.
 
The 220 is a fantastic machine. I have a couple friends that run them in small shops where space is the limiting factor. On the tig side of the house does 90% of what a dynasty does (I own a 200dx) and will lay one hell of a mig bead. I can count on one hand the times I have required advanced waveform for a job.....
 
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