View Full Version : Decided to go 230v. How big of a machine to get?
11-22-2006, 12:39 AM
I put up this thread:
Well, the electrician now has the garage all wired for 230v.
So, now I'm thinking of the Millermatic 180 MIG and Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter. Or, I can get bigger machines - Millermatic 210 and Miller Spectrum 625. I don't think I'll want to weld anything that thick, but you never know. It's not a huge amount of money to change to the bigger machines, but is this going overboard for someone new to the hobby?
11-22-2006, 01:10 AM
I needed a welder to weld 18 gage sheetmetal for my 1950 willys jeepster. I was wondering the same thing was I buying too big of a machine. I bought an HTP mig 200. Now about 10 years later I think you can't have too big a welder. Miller is a great machine, I would go for the big one. New jobs will come along. I do not think you will ever regret the larger machine. Can't help you on the plasma cutter, I don't know.
11-22-2006, 02:06 AM
I had the miller 135 (the 115v machine) for a long time. I was always sorry I hadn't spent the extra couple hundred or whatever it is for the 220v machine.
My philosophy on kinda big-ticket items like this - buy it once and be done with it.
Then instead of dreaming of the 220 mig you should have bought, you can start dreaming about the tig machine instead... :)
11-22-2006, 02:10 AM
Now on re-reading your post I guess you are pondering 220 vs. "bigger" 220.
I think unless you have a burning need to weld up a battleship in your backyard or something, the entry-level 220 machine will suit you fine.
You can be a pretty serious hobbiest and not run out of ability with the entry-level 220, I believe.
When you figure out the plasma let me know, I'm currently drooling over the same thing.....
11-22-2006, 02:17 AM
It's not a huge amount of money to change to the bigger machines, but is this going overboard for someone new to the hobby?
I'm new to the hobby and went with a 210 after much discussion with friends of mine that do this for a living. I have yet to need/utilize the horsepower of my 210, but it's nice to have ready. I go by the philosophy that if you enjoy something, you should buy excess capacity because someday you'll want it. I've made mistakes with other purchases where I haven't gone big enough at first and wasted more money with a second purchase.
11-22-2006, 11:21 AM
Go bigger than you think you 'need' now, and you might be OK.
Unless you are only going to be doing automotive sheetmetal or that type of thickness, get the bigger machine if your budget can handle it.
Millermatic 175 - 24 ga to 1/4 mild steel single pass, 130A at 20 VDC 30% duty cycle, 73 lbs
Millermatic 210 - 22 ga to 3/8 mild steel single pass, 160A at 24.5 VDC 60% duty cycle, 200 lbs
If you can afford it, I'd get the 210.
On the plasma cutter, the 375 has the ability to run on 120V or 240V, with reduced capacity and duty cycle on 120 V. Note that based on my limited experience with the 375, operation on a 15A or 20A 120V line is iffy (breaker pops a lot on torch start-up). The 625 is a 240V only machine, but it has a much beefier duty-cycle and more output than the 375. Again, unless you have a need to maybe run on a 120V circuit, go for the 625.
Anything else we can help you spend money on?
11-22-2006, 11:27 AM
Eric,I would buy one size larger machine than you think you will need, in a year you will be wanting an even larger machine. THINK DUTY CYCLE. It hurts the small machines every time they cut themselves off due to overheating. Our school's autobody classes use 135 amp Mig machines, 120V. The fab class loves them for a lot of the small stuff they do, but after a semester of autobody classes, we can tell that they do not work as well and they must be replaced each year. This is due to their duty cycle being exceeded on a steady basis. If you have the power to handle it in your shop then I would get the 210. Last Trucking company I drove for has had one of these machines for many years and as much as they abuse it, it still works well.
As for plasma cutting, if you plan on doing Aluminum and Stainless on a regular basis then yes and also get one size larger than you think you need. I use my o/a rig, I don't do stainless except for Tigging replacement Grill tops and new grills and when I need holes I use an Iron Worker or plasma torch at school. An O/A torch will find much more use than a plasma torch and you can weld with it also, you'll love that. O/A cutting and welding outfit paired with a Steel cutting circular saw combined are less expensive than any plasma machine. Remember SAFETY and FIREWATCH.
Hope this helps, Happy Shoping, John H.
11-22-2006, 01:43 PM
If you can afford the bigger machine and you take care of your equipment, go for it, you'll never lose money if you decide ten years down the road to sell it. In the mean time, you may just find out you like your new toy.:blob4:
12-06-2006, 12:54 PM
Go BIG. I bought a hobart 140 last year I really like the welder and have not hit the duty cycle once. However about 3 months after getting it I was needing a bigger one. I'm going to go with the HTP 2400, ordering it next week. I like the options and 15' tweco gun for the same price as the MM210.
12-06-2006, 01:12 PM
I agree about buying the most power you can afford. I must say though that I am glad I bought my little 130 Miller wirefeed because I can use it anywhere there is 120 power.
12-06-2006, 01:13 PM
Go Big or go home. :gunsfirin
12-06-2006, 04:28 PM
If money is not a problem I would recommend buying the MM210 or MM251 at least you'll have the horsepower for that one off occasion when you need it. If you end up losing interest in welding you can always sell it and most likely you would get back most of your money if it is kept well.
12-06-2006, 09:31 PM
Go big but make it a Lincoln, of course. ;)
12-07-2006, 07:04 PM
miller210 all the way,and definitly the big plazma
12-07-2006, 07:46 PM
Eric, Just look at the bottom of this reply at my signature. I'm a retired (early) pipefitter and have a small shop at the house, just to do small repairs and some fab work. I mostly build roll cages, sandrail and mini-sandrail frames. Sometimes I do get to fab bigger stuff. You'll notice that I bought big. OVERKILL rules. Not saying it's for you but like everyone else is saying "It's better to have and not need than need and not have." A few times I've done some welding projects, for my sons construction company, where the extra was needed and I had it already.
I don't have a plasma yet, but was in the local WS shop yesterday and was looking at one. Once again, OVERKILL will raise it's nasty head and I will bring home one larger than I will ever need, but if the extra power is ever needed, I won't be pushing the limit with an underrated model.
What else can I say.:drinkup: :drinkup:
12-08-2006, 12:00 PM
Eric, I'm just a weekend weldor but I too was faced with this decision about a year ago and contemplated the MM175. I ended up purchasing the MM210 and I couldn't be happier. It has the extra hookup for a spoolgun if you ever want to weld aluminum, and a much greater duty cycle as well. I built a bbq that reqiured a continous weld about 42in. long...didn't even phase the machine. Please think carefully about this decision and go with the 210 if you can swing the extra cash...you won't be sorry!
12-20-2006, 02:32 PM
I agree with the "go bigger" crowd. I got a Millermatic 251 several weeks ago. I like it a lot! :D
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