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View Full Version : Personel long term review of Esab Caddy C200i



HAY MAKER
05-12-2013, 11:18 AM
Good morning everyone. I am new to the forum and looking for advise prior to buying a Esab Caddy C200i. I am in the process of building an all steel/ welded 40X60 metal building and looking to add the Esab for the welding of the structural components because of portability. The material thickness that I will be welding will range from 14 gauge to 3/8" steel, and will be done with flux cored wire because of the outdoor envirnment. I currently have a Millermatic 250, Miller Bobcat 250, and a Miller 8VS Suitcase. I would use the Suitcase and the Bobcat but because of the 14 gauge, it is too hot. Does anybody have a couple of years under their belt with an Esab Caddy? I hate to purchase one and regret it later. Any advise?

7A749
05-12-2013, 12:42 PM
Good morning everyone. I am new to the forum and looking for advise prior to buying a Esab Caddy C200i. I am in the process of building an all steel/ welded 40X60 metal building and looking to add the Esab for the welding of the structural components because of portability. The material thickness that I will be welding will range from 14 gauge to 3/8" steel, and will be done with flux cored wire because of the outdoor envirnment. I currently have a Millermatic 250, Miller Bobcat 250, and a Miller 8VS Suitcase. I would use the Suitcase and the Bobcat but because of the 14 gauge, it is too hot. Does anybody have a couple of years under their belt with an Esab Caddy? I hate to purchase one and regret it later. Any advise?

Get with Brand X. He's very well experienced with ESAB equipment & has very positive comments regarding it.

Good luck.

HAY MAKER
05-12-2013, 12:57 PM
Thanks so much for the response>

Brand X
05-12-2013, 01:42 PM
With the Bobcat you will like it. I am yet to run self shielded wire in the thing, but I can't say why it won't work as well as solid wire. The wire lugs are a bit small to change around all the time, because it's packed in there really good. I did find I can use the Hobart shield for flux-core to protect the diffuser/tip holder on the Esab. You can run without a nozzle that way. I cut a bit of a spark plug boot to use in the Hobart shield, to hold the part snug on the Esab gun. Just did that the other day. I have self-shielded wire in my LN-25 pro, so I never had a real need to use the Esab that way. I think I will pretty soon though.

con_fuse9
05-12-2013, 01:58 PM
No experience with ESAB just a couple of notes.

1) ESAB is 220V only machine. My 220V extension cord is HEAVY. Can't imagine dragging that around.

2) I don't recall the weight of the ESAB, but I can warn you that the weights listed are without a spool... (and if you were using gas, without regulator cables etc.) Miller touts the light weight of the Multimatic... yeah, about that. I know its no 80lbs (plasma cutter) but its got to be 60lbs loaded up.

Bottom line, "portable" is subjective.

That being said, the Miller Multimatic is a pure inverter, does 110V (and 220) and can reasonably weld 3/16 on 110 (and therotically 1/4 but I tried turning it up on 3/16 and notice no change). Great machine, just pricey - probably too much for just FCAW. You could get similar performance from a Passport and given that Miller has (had?) really big rebate on the Multimatic the used Passports should be cheap (passport plus were going used for nearly $1200 on Ebay)

Last thing, MIG guns have different ratings when running flux vs. gas sheilded. The gas cools the gun. So make sure that the duty cycle of the gun matches up to what you need when your running flux core. Miller's website is down so I'm not sure what it is for the Multimatic, but ESAB says 20% at 120Amps FCAW. (gun, not machine).

Last thing. You mention 40x60 building. Assuming this is a metal shed/building that has reasonably low ceilings, most are built on concrete slabs. I'd be tempted to drag the 250 around before I bought a new machine (actually, who am I kidding? I'd try to find an excuse to buy another machine...:)) You could also consider gettng a stick machine. Just drag one wire up with you...

Brand X
05-12-2013, 02:51 PM
Passport is really good on 120 volts. Esab is the much better on 240 volts, Arc quality blows away the passport when using C-25. ( 27 pounds with a third of a roll of wire. Generator use the Esab is head and shoulders better then a passport. Owned a passport, and blew another one up with a bit small generator. (120 volts input) I would never plug my passport into one ,after I seen what happen there.. The drive motor in the passport is about the weakest thing built, and will also only run to 400 Ipm. Heavy too.

HAY MAKER
05-12-2013, 03:13 PM
I don't see the weight of the power cord being an issue. I plan on setting it up like my Millermatic 250, which I run about 40ft of super flexible Goodyear 10/3. I wired it that way about 13 years ago and have not had an issue, and have burned atleast 400 lbs. of .045 wire through it. I will consult the electrical recommendations prior to set up though, as I would like to go even longer with the power cord if possible.

The eave height of the building will be @ 14 ft, with the truss peak around 16 ft. so it makes the 250 inconveinent, as I will be welding out of the bucket of a frontend loader. I have limited stick experience, especially with light gauge materials. So I figured that with 25 years of Mig experience, the Esab for this project maybe the way to go. And yes, it maybe just another excuse for me to add another toy to the chest. :laugh:

Since I plan on running flux core (something I rarely do), any suggestions on what size wire would suffice for 14 gauge through 3/8'' mild steel? From what I can tell the Esab comes set up with .030 rollers and liner and I am hoping that someone can advise if the .030 size fluxed core wire will work well on all aspects of this project.

mikecwik
05-12-2013, 06:53 PM
I just got the machine and can't weld worth a darn. These are my first few inches of weld on 17 gauge with fluxcore.

I do not know if an inverter mig arc is different but I could see so much more than I ever have before with this machine. My attention actually got drawn away from the weld to the metal since I was thinking what they heck, I never saw that before.

http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n592/mike_cwik/DSCN1277_zps0d9ec7df.jpg (http://s1141.photobucket.com/user/mike_cwik/media/DSCN1277_zps0d9ec7df.jpg.html)

Silicon-based
05-12-2013, 10:17 PM
For that range of thickness you should really be running .035 flux core.

Also, you can use 12 ga cord with the ESAB up to 100'.

John

soutthpaw
05-13-2013, 12:53 AM
Keep in mind ESAB has a 100 day 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their machines. So if u don't like it, u can get full refund. But to be fair, I would say give their tech guys a call first and see if they can help get you dialed in.

Brand X
05-13-2013, 01:03 AM
Did you set the machine up for self shielded flux-core? Comes setup for gas shielded electrode positive. Most self-shielded is run electrode negative. With the small ten pounders anyway..

Here is the right liner. Just leave it in the whole time. Works just fine with smaller wire. I believe the factory drive roll is .035 also. I have it in the machine now.

http://www.scottgrossstore.com/servlet/the-13534/ESAB-Steel-Liner-.035-dsh-.045%22%2C/Detail

HAY MAKER
05-13-2013, 10:25 AM
Thanks for all the information guys! It continues to be very insightful in the progress of this purchase.

Brand-x, since I haven't purchased the machine yet, I am in the process of trying to figure out what extras I need to initially purchase with it to set it up for .035 flux cored wire, which sounds like the size that would best fulfill my needs. It sounds like all I need to add is just the liner and tips, if it already has an .035 drive roller in it.

I just fired off an email to Esab to have a local Rep contact me to discuss.

Con_fuse brought up a good point about the rating of the gun as it pertains to the amperage rating when running flux core. Does Esab offer a larger gun compatible with this unit? Or does everyone think the factory equipped gun will suffice? Please keep in mind that I am purchasing this machine to primarily run flux cored wire for outside jobs, initially for the building construction, but later for pipe fence construction/ repairs.

I currently run a Miller Extreme Siutcase with a Bobcat 250 for pipe fence construction but it blows through 1/8'' really easy. So I am trying to find that happy medium machine ( that is somewhat portable) suitable for average material thickness of 18 gauge through 1/4''.

mikecwik
05-13-2013, 04:36 PM
I like the machine.

All I had to do for the .035 is to rethread a contact tip from another machine. I think it is 6x 1.00.

I do not think it came with spare tips, just the .030 that was in the gun. Can we even say guns any more?

Brand X
05-13-2013, 05:12 PM
Thanks for all the information guys! It continues to be very insightful in the progress of this purchase.

Brand-x, since I haven't purchased the machine yet, I am in the process of trying to figure out what extras I need to initially purchase with it to set it up for .035 flux cored wire, which sounds like the size that would best fulfill my needs. It sounds like all I need to add is just the liner and tips, if it already has an .035 drive roller in it.

I just fired off an email to Esab to have a local Rep contact me to discuss.

Con_fuse brought up a good point about the rating of the gun as it pertains to the amperage rating when running flux core. Does Esab offer a larger gun compatible with this unit? Or does everyone think the factory equipped gun will suffice? Please keep in mind that I am purchasing this machine to primarily run flux cored wire for outside jobs, initially for the building construction, but later for pipe fence construction/ repairs.

I currently run a Miller Extreme Siutcase with a Bobcat 250 for pipe fence construction but it blows through 1/8'' really easy. So I am trying to find that happy medium machine ( that is somewhat portable) suitable for average material thickness of 18 gauge through 1/4''.


Factory Binzel gun is fine.. You can use the real Binzel contact tips to upgrade the front end a bit. Tweco 11 screw right in too but the Binzel are much more beefy.

HAY MAKER
05-13-2013, 09:19 PM
I like the machine.

All I had to do for the .035 is to rethread a contact tip from another machine. I think it is 6x 1.00.

I do not think it came with spare tips, just the .030 that was in the gun. Can we even say guns any more?


With that being said, it must already have a .030/.035 liner installed from the factory?

HAY MAKER
05-13-2013, 09:44 PM
Factory Binzel gun is fine.. You can use the real Binzel contact tips to upgrade the front end a bit. Tweco 11 screw right in too but the Binzel are much more beefy.

Just so I am clear, the "factory Binzel gun" you refer to is the MXL180 that comes with the Esab C220i? The "real Binzel tips" are labeled or sold as Esab tips?

mikecwik
05-13-2013, 10:26 PM
With that being said, it must already have a .030/.035 liner installed from the factory?

From Esab
"Optimized for .030 in. wire. Will also accept .023 in. and 0.35 in. wires as needed"

I figure most smaller migs are set up to run up to .035. I never really even thought about it.

Brand X
05-14-2013, 12:52 AM
Just so I am clear, the "factory Binzel gun" you refer to is the MXL180 that comes with the Esab C220i? The "real Binzel tips" are labeled or sold as Esab tips?

Esab tips are Binzel but the older style Binzel tips are the good ones. I don't have part # for them. but they are around. I tend to like the .035/,045 liner for the bigger wire, although the standard liner works too.It's really fast to change out liners in those machines. The gun is a different gun in how the back-end hooks to the machine but pretty much the same setup as the other Esab's


This style is what they look like..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Binzel-Style-Contact-Tip-0-6mm-1-6mm-M6-MIG-Spares-/180706811631


The Esab runs .035 solid excellent, and will give you a bit more on the very top. You can max out the WFS with .030, and still have voltage to spare.

snoeproe
05-14-2013, 08:49 AM
Get an experienced stick welder over to show you how to run some 7018 out of position. Then stick weld that building with your bobcat. Use your miller mig for the light gage stuff. No reason to invest in another machine for just one job when you have all the equipment you need for the job already. Just my opinion.

Broccoli1
05-14-2013, 03:03 PM
I think Mike was saying that he can't weld worth a darn- not that he can't weld with the Caddy. :)

From what I gather he welds better with the Caddy.

HAY MAKER
05-15-2013, 12:11 AM
Esab tips are Binzel but the older style Binzel tips are the good ones. I don't have part # for them. but they are around. I tend to like the .035/,045 liner for the bigger wire, although the standard liner works too.It's really fast to change out liners in those machines. The gun is a different gun in how the back-end hooks to the machine but pretty much the same setup as the other Esab's


This style is what they look like..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Binzel-Style-Contact-Tip-0-6mm-1-6mm-M6-MIG-Spares-/180706811631


The Esab runs .035 solid excellent, and will give you a bit more on the very top. You can max out the WFS with .030, and still have voltage to spare.
Thank you for the great suggestions, or should I say great "tips"!

HAY MAKER
05-15-2013, 12:33 AM
Get an experienced stick welder over to show you how to run some 7018 out of position. Then stick weld that building with your bobcat. Use your miller mig for the light gage stuff. No reason to invest in another machine for just one job when you have all the equipment you need for the job already. Just my opinion.

I have the utmost respect for the guys that burn rod day in and day out. Unfortunitely, since I am not one of those guys, I liken my efficiency with stick welding to that of a hand wrench and an air impact. I can surely get the bolt tight with the hand wrench, but in the time that it takes me, I can get 10 bolts tight with the impact. For me, the mig is my impact. :drinkup:

dubl_t
05-15-2013, 12:35 AM
HM, have you ruled out the 200's little brother, the 160?

Brand X
05-15-2013, 01:11 PM
HM, have you ruled out the 200's little brother, the 160?

I picked one up when they were $469.00 what a great deal for that machine. I would think it should of been called a C-195i:laugh: Sold off to a friend that loves it. Simple unit, but powerful too..

dubl_t
05-15-2013, 05:28 PM
I picked one up when they were $469.00 what a great deal for that machine. I would think it should of been called a C-195i:laugh: Sold off to a friend that loves it. Simple unit, but powerful too..

yea I did the same, on X's recommendation. As of now, I'm "pretty" happy with it, even ran some AL 5356 through it just for fun.
The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of adjustability, but overall the 160 is a very good welder....and light too ;)

HAY MAKER
05-15-2013, 08:34 PM
HM, have you ruled out the 200's little brother, the 160?

Yes sir I have. Believe me, it is very tempting for the price, but I am afraid I would regret it later for one reason or another.