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First Welding Machine

4RunnerGuy

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I’ve never owned a welder. I would just being using it around the house. Home Depot has Lincoln 140 HD Mig for $499. A pawn shop has a Miller 135 for $320 and then there’s the Harbor Freight offerings.

The Miller seems like the best bang for my buck.

What do you guys think?
 

Provience

Kill!
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of those 3, i'd personally go with the used millermatic 135

check craigslist or whatever else as well, if from the pawn shop, make sure you get the gas regulator with it, just because. make sure it comes with wire rollers and the little stuff and such.

personally I have an older model hobart handle 140 and it does all the things it needs to. the current model has 5 different volt settings for more adjustment, i swapped over my earth clamp to a magnet. retail is about $500 new

if going with new, the millermatic 141 is a nice unit, but retails closer to $800. it has 10 different settings for voltage for more control. Not that it really matters to the 'everyman'

lincoln weld pak 140 looks to be the same options as the hobart 140 and about the same price. coin toss between the two.

https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow...O1324D_MIL.pdf

millermatic 135 owners manual
 

total newb

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Home deathpot cuts quality for pricepoint.
china mart=garage
Miller 4 the win

You aint wrong. But ive put 20ish 10lb spools through mine over the last 13 years and it has been a well used investment.

Ive had 2 issues. Some how the drive motor shaft got bent a d caused a bizarre pulsing issue. $65.
And the 2 main wires from the trans former broke off most likely from physical mishandeling. Lived in my work truck for 3 years of field service.

The biggest differences is the wire speed and heat controls and the drive motor housing being plastic instead of metal.

Ill buy another when it comes down to it and ill recommend them to any new welder for a starter machine.
 

laddy

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Depending on what your time line is I would watch farm and fleet and try and stack sales/coupons. I got my Hobart 210 mvp from them for under $750 otd with 2 spools of wire, they often run sales on welders that can be combined with fee shipping/ no tax and regular sales on the site(think mine was $100 off if spent $800.)

Depending on what you are planning on doing for $150 more the 190 would be a much more capable unit for not that much more upfront cost. It is a 220 machine not 110 if that makes a difference.

https://www.farmandfleet.com/products/690871-hobart-handler-190-230v-mig-welder.html

They also have the Lincoln you were looking at for a bit cheaper and no tax as well.

https://www.farmandfleet.com/product...40-welder.html
 

Provience

Kill!
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For the average homeowner who is using it for automotive and decorative stuff, 110v will get it done, but those are all ~140amp machines. I'm not sure the price jump would be worth it to get a dual voltage machine.

even if this turns in to a passion for the dude and he gets a dedicated 480v setup later in life, there will always be a place and home for a 115v fcaw machine. extension cords and whatnot.
 

dnsfailure

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For the average homeowner who is using it for automotive and decorative stuff, 110v will get it done, but those are all ~140amp machines. I'm not sure the price jump would be worth it to get a dual voltage machine.

even if this turns in to a passion for the dude and he gets a dedicated 480v setup later in life, there will always be a place and home for a 115v fcaw machine. extension cords and whatnot.

I would get a 180 amp machine at least, and if you don't have 220v outlets, put one in, it's worth it. Run .035 wire and that will take care of most things. Switch out to .025 for sheet metal.
 
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TrikeKid

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I used to be a 220v welder or you're wasting time guy, then I bought a small MIG machine off a guy at work who needed the cash and I haven't run into a situation yet where it was holding me back while working on a car or motorcycle.

"A" welder is 100% better than no welder at all. Of the three you listed I'd buy the Miller, I'm not big on the bottom dollar HD Lincolns I've used and while the HF welder might look good and run good today, I'd be worried about getting parts for it 5 years from now after they've changed models/names/suppliers 15 times.
 

Broncokyle88

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I’d try to find something dual voltage. You might think a 110 machine is enough for now, but at some point down the line you’ll be wishing you had a 220 machine. Dual voltage means when you hit that point you just swap out the cord and you are ready to go versus selling your 110 and trying to find a deal on a good used 220.

But between those 3, I’d go Miller. I’m a die hard Lincoln guy, but those weldpack machines the big boxes sell are garbage. Here, we’ll give you 5 voltage settings, and none of them will ever be right for the material you want to work with
 

woods

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Hobart Handler here. 220v. Its the 180 I think? Its got to be nearing 20 years old. Its been great. I run it on Argon mix. Badass machine. It is a bit hot for some of the smaller stuff like exhaust work though.
 

arse_sidewards

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For the average homeowner who is using it for automotive and decorative stuff, 110v will get it done, but those are all ~140amp machines. I'm not sure the price jump would be worth it to get a dual voltage machine.

even if this turns in to a passion for the dude and he gets a dedicated 480v setup later in life, there will always be a place and home for a 115v fcaw machine. extension cords and whatnot.

Been there done that.

I would much rather have only a DC stick welder and be forced to make my exhaust systems out of thicker pipe than have only a 120v wire welder and have to multi-pass everything larger than 1/8.
 
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