Which welder? 110 or 220?
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  1. #1

    Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Now, I'm not all that new to welding, tho, I haven't done any welding in over 20 yrs, but, there were no 110v mig welders then, either. I'm wondering how good these 110v mig welders are, Lincoln, Hobart, etc. Most, if not all, of my welding will be around motorcycles, so it would be a major stretch to do any fabbing with anything with 1/4", 1/8" would be typical, as well as sheet. That is my situation, which would be the better machine, the 110 version or a 220? I realize that the 110v has the option of portability, and I suppose the 220 would too, with the right extension, but.....

    From what I have read so far, is that the 110v units tend to blow breakers when they are run at the high end of the amp scale, whereas, the 220 doesn't. Would this be happening due to undersized breakers or is this any breaker? I've been looking at the 140amp units from Lincoln & Hobart and they seem to fit the bill.

    Also, is there any difference to the quality of welds between the 110v & 220? If it's any help, I'm not looking to get into the welding business, just home projects, motorcycles, etc.

    Any recommendations? What about the reconditioned welders, like what Tool King sells? The only this that I have ever bought reconditioned is a Harmony 880 Remote. I've had it for several months and it works fine, but, it doesn't heat up, either. LOL I'd like to keep the cost between $400-$600 After reading several posts, here, there seems to be quite a few Horror Freight mig units here; these I want to stay away from. I'd rather go with something from the "big 3".

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

  2. #2
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    I went with a Hobart Handler 187 and made an extension cord like shown in the Electrical section of the forum. When welding, I just use the dryer outlet in my laundry room.

    But always check Craigslist. A lot of good deals pop up on there.. A friend of mine got a slightly used Hobart Handler 140 for only $200. It was only a year old and a woman was selling it because she divorced her husband..hah My welder was $599 from Tractor Supply and they even gave me a fancy cover for my welder, nice thick gloves, and a plyer/wire cut tool.
    Last edited by jetlag; 07-03-2009 at 02:17 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    I have been using the Miller 185 for a while now and for a 110 machine I don't think you can beat it. It will do pretty much any of the small projects and even some larger stuff, many repairs have been made on the 4 X 4s and no welds have broke yet. I have used it to make bumpers, build new and repair the exhaust, add in new bars in the roll cage and way to much to list. I will say to run it on gas (I use gold gas in mine) don't go with fluxcore. Bottles seems to being going up in price fast so get what you need the first time, don't do what my buddy did and that was buy a small bottle and then figure out he needed a bigger one.

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    Any body work to the cage was built with the Miller welder.

  4. #4
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    HF, no, no, the ratings are a pipedream. Yes you could do more with a 220 v Mig, a 120 v Mig is limited to a max of 130-140 amps unless you go with a more efficient inverter unit which is $$$. Using a extension cord only works IF you have 220 to plug into and with any extension cord, if # 12 wire is required use # 10. For 1/8 inch, you need 125 amps, which would be marginal for ¼ inch. Aluminum requires more heat [Amps] then steel. A 30% duty cycle is the absolute minimum. Get a Mig that is both gas shielding and flux-core, never can tell what you may need someday. If you power the unit with a generator select one that has more RUN watts then the Meg draws by 20 %. Others will add to the list. The problem is, one size doesn’t fit all so you have to get close.

  5. #5
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Why not get both 110v and 220v capability all in one machine? The Millermatic 211 runs on both 110 & 220 and doesn't cost much more than the 220-only Millermatic 180, about $150 price difference. Same size and weight too. My friend/helper bought one for about $900 at the local weld shop. It's a very nice machine to weld with.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...c_211_autoset/
    Last edited by DesertRider33; 07-03-2009 at 06:32 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    110 migs are a great welder when used properly and within their ratings. If you only plan to stay with sheet metal and 1/8 with the odd 1/4 then a 110 mig will work great for you. As to the breakers. As long as you are using the proper one you will never have any problem. Most of not all 110 mig require a 20 amp breaker. You will most likely find that the people who had troubles were plugged into a 15 amp breaker which will blow on the top end.

    The one thing that makes me think a dual voltage unit or a 220 unit would be a better choice is if you are going to be working around motorcycle's I would think you might want the ability to do some aluminum. If this might be a possibility, then go with the dual voltage or 220 unit.

    I have a Miller DVI2 dual voltage unit and love it.

    Good luck with your decision
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  7. #7
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    220. Even though you may only use your welder for occasional use, and the 110 might do the job MOST of the time, you're going to encounter a job you'll wish you bought the 220v model. Buy it to begin with, and you'll never be disappointed. Buy American. You'll be glad you did.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    paweldor summed it up pretty well. I bought a Lincoln WeldPac 100 when I retired just to have a wire machine to do small things with. I restored a "72 Chevy P/K with it and have used it for numerous projects including the two smokers I have posted pictures of. It has never had to have any maintainence at all except changing contact tips. But I've never been truly happy with it's performance. It just isn't powerful enough to get much work done with it in a timely manner.

    I don't have enough need for a wire welder to justify buying a larger machine. Still, almost every time I use it I have an urge to carry it out and deposit it in that wheeled green cart that sits outside my house and travels out to the road every week.

  9. #9
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    paweldor summed it up pretty well. I bought a Lincoln WeldPac 100 when I retired just to have a wire machine to do small things with. I restored a "72 Chevy P/K with it and have used it for numerous projects including the two smokers I have posted pictures of. It has never had to have any maintainence at all except changing contact tips. But I've never been truly happy with it's performance. It just isn't powerful enough to get much work done with it in a timely manner.

    I don't have enough need for a wire welder to justify buying a larger machine. Still, almost every time I use it I have an urge to carry it out and deposit it in that wheeled green cart that sits outside my house and travels out to the road every week.

    Another way to think about it. Spend $200 for a 110 v 90 amp Mig. Up grade to a 110 v 130 amp Mig, another $300. Upgrade to a 220 v 130 amp Mig, another $450. Get really pissed at the limitations and get a 220 v 250 amp unit at $ 1,500. Now you spent 200+300+450+1,500. Go figure!!

  10. #10

    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Thanks for the replies, fellas. I think the only reason I was considering a 110v unit is because I didn't think it would be feasible to use an extension cord with a 220 unit. I appear to be wrong. This was my main concern...in case I need to take out of my basement, away from the 220 source, it's nice to know that I can use an extension. Now, even tho a 110v unit will do the job, as some have mentioned, I'm thinking that a 220 unit is the way to go, particularly, IF, I want option to weld aluminum. As much as I'd like to go all out, I'm gonna stay in the $600 or less range. This will be another hobby, not a vocation, along with motorcycles, machining, computers, home theatre, radio control, NFL...DAMN! No time for work! Oh well.. LOL Looks like my mill will have to share!


    Now, what about these "refurbished" units, such as the ones that Tool King sells? Good? Bad? Stay away from 'em?

    I've been looking craigslist for a local unit, maybe save on shipping, eBay has some pretty good prices, some with "free" shipping. I'm just gonna keep lookin'.

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

  11. #11
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobLC View Post

    Now, what about these "refurbished" units, such as the ones that Tool King sells? Good? Bad? Stay away from 'em?
    I don't have experience with refurbished units, and this comparison is sort of apples to oranges.... but... I wouldn't buy a wrecked car even if the body shop did a good job repairing it
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  12. #12

    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Point taken, Jetlag. Any thoughts on a Lincoln Electric Weld-Pak 175HD? Why do I think that "HD" means Home Depot? I'd like to think that it means Heavy Duty, but......

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

  13. #13
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobLC View Post
    Point taken, Jetlag. Any thoughts on a Lincoln Electric Weld-Pak 175HD? Why do I think that "HD" means Home Depot? I'd like to think that it means Heavy Duty, but......

    Bob
    I'm pretty sure you're right in the guess about Home Depot.

    Lowe's will have the Lincoln ProMIGs.
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  14. #14

    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    So, this is a cheaper made unit than the "standard" Lincoln 180? Is there a down-side to buying one of these?

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    If you can get full warranty on the refurb unit, and the price is a great one then I can't see how you could loose. I know sometimes refurb units are ones that were sent back because they didn't work and all that was wrong is that a wire wasn't plugged in. Also you should look around hard as deals are popping up all the time with the economy that way it is. Used units should be considered to.

    I think you are making the right decision on going with a 220 unit. I would still consider a dual voltage unit though.
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...6073_200306073
    I have this unit its great...free shipping no tax...use good linciln wire not the crap cheap wire, I use flux core...115v makes it portable if you want to take it on the road to another location everyone has a 115v outlet and at $474.00...brand new not used or refabed

  17. #17

    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    That's a good welder, RKB and the free shipping and no tax sounds inviting, but, I think it still comes down to penetration & versatility. Don't get me wrong, the 110v units are very attractive, but, I'm still leaning toward a 220v unit, tho, I haven't ruled out any 110v units


    Quote Originally Posted by jamlit View Post
    If you can get full warranty on the refurb unit, and the price is a great one then I can't see how you could loose. I know sometimes refurb units are ones that were sent back because they didn't work and all that was wrong is that a wire wasn't plugged in. Also you should look around hard as deals are popping up all the time with the economy that way it is. Used units should be considered to.

    I think you are making the right decision on going with a 220 unit. I would still consider a dual voltage unit though.
    Dual voltage units are nice, but, more than I want to spend right now. Meanwhile, I'm not in a rush, so, I'm still looking, asking questions, gathering information. What I have seen so far, is that the fellas that have the 110v are very satisfied with them. And the folks with 220v units, well, that goes without saying. I'd even consider a used unit, but, I'm just leary of used...unless I know the person.

    As for the refurbed units, the ones that I have seen online do come with a full mfg warranty, It is another option, but, I'm keeping all of my options open.

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

  18. #18
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Tool King refurb is fine.

    Lincoln Welding machines sold at HD, Lowes, Sears are fine- they are assembled in Mexico but hey Dodge and Ford have assembled trucks from Mexico too.

    180HD or Pro Mig 180 would be a better choice as they are both SG plug and play.

    $600.00 budget

    Refurb HH187

    http://www.toolking.com/hobartwelders_500525a.aspx
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  19. #19
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobLC View Post
    ...As for the refurbed units, the ones that I have seen online do come with a full mfg warranty,...
    Check to make sure. I had one, a recon HH135 from toolking.com. It had a 1-year warranty instead of the 3-year warranty on a new one. I'd still buy one again if in that market.

  20. #20
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    I would stay away from the big-box stores welders. They are just not made with the highest quality parts. Go to your LWS and look at the options they have there, stay away from the cheap units. If your going with a lincoln mig, get a PowerMig, not a promig or weldpak.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Quote Originally Posted by sidthss View Post
    I would stay away from the big-box stores welders. They are just not made with the highest quality parts. Go to your LWS and look at the options they have there, stay away from the cheap units. If your going with a lincoln mig, get a PowerMig, not a promig or weldpak.
    "highest quality parts"
    People keep stating this about the Box store Lincolns but my bud has a Lincoln 100HD that just keeps on ticking.

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  22. #22

    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Ok, I seem to be leaning toward going with a Lincoln. I bought a Lincoln Arc welder about 30yrs ago and it was so much simpler then. Like George Carlin once said, "Too many choices! Not good!" Well, that's the way it is now, pretty much with most everything.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch....... I've narrowed it down to a Lincoln 180, but there are 3 different Lincoln180's!! WeldPak, ProMig and PowerMig. Is there any major differences that I should be concerned with or about between the 3? Now, I've learned that "HD" means Home Depot, which from what I have read, is assembled in Mexico, but, who really cares where it's assembled? Now, I dould be wrong, but, my interpretation is the PowerMig is the best, followed by the ProMig, with WeldPak being on the bottom. Just what are the differences?

    I really hate asking all of these questions, but you guys know as well as I do, as soon as you buy "this", you realize that you shoulda "that"...for whatever reason.

    Bob
    "If it ain't broke, gimme it, I can fix it!"

  23. #23
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Bob,

    all of the Box Store models are the same- just different names so each store can sell "their" Lincoln and you can't price match

    The only one that is "better" is the Power Mig.


    ProMig, Weldpak = Same exact machine
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  24. #24
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    Re: Which welder? 110 or 220?

    Hey Bob

    The advantages that the Power Mig 180C brings to the table compared to the "box store"
    versions are the continuous voltage control ( vs tapped control ) , and an aluminum feed mechanism with 100% wire support ( vs a plastic feed head and no wire support ) . Does this make a difference in the real world ? In my opinion, yes . The Power Mig 180c is worth paying the bit extra for .
    However , if you are looking at a 180 class machine , don't forget the Miller 180 . Over the last 4 months , I've had the opportunity to own 3 different 180 amp mig machines ( all brand new ) and I much perferred the performance of the Miller . It had substantially more top end power compared to the Lincoln Power Mig 180c and it sacrificed nothing on the bottom end . The Lincoln was quite soft on the top end . Does this matter to you ? Only you can answer that I suppose .

    The 120 volt machines simply pale in comparison ( regardless of brand name ) .

    Personally , if I had to buy this type of machine over again , I'd buy the Miller 211 ( dual voltage ) so fast it would make your head spin . In my opinion , it is superior to anything else currently available in this case ( by a long shot ) .
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