Need to replace stolen welder
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View Poll Results: Best Beginner choice?

Voters
4. You may not vote on this poll
  • FP 165 even though it's discontinued

    0 0%
  • Millermatic 141

    1 25.00%
  • Esab Fabricator 141i 3-in-1

    1 25.00%
  • Hobart Handler 140 (or 190)

    2 50.00%
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Need to replace stolen welder

    I had a ThermalArc FP 165 that was stolen from my garage and now I need to replace it with insurance money. I wanted to gather some opinions on models here. In a nutshell, I'm a hobbyist, so I got the TA used (although it was new in an opened box) for making homebrewing stands, simple truck fixes, etc. It's probably overkill, but it was a good price and it was rated for 5/16" plate thickness. I made a spreadsheet to think of the models I have in mind. Keep in mind that I know the 165 isn't exactly the same tier as the others since most welders are in the 140 range then jump up to 190 or 200. For all the blue fans out there, I know Miller is the bomb, but I'm not a pro, so I'm wondering if the Millermatic 141 is sufficient for my tasks considering the highest price tag. One thing to note is I can find the TA FP165 online for 500-700 bucks depending on site, but since it's no longer made, IDK about part availability. TA merged with Tweco and they make Esab welders. I attached a screenshot of my table. I'm not familiar with Esab as it looks like a newcomer. There's always been Miller and Lincoln, and people seem to love Hobarts too. I don't really want to go with off brands like Everlast and others. Looking at the specs, the Esab is a sweet machine considering it has 3 functions. if I ever wanted to make a trailer or something bulky, stick would come in handy. I have stainless steel kettles for brewing, so TIG would come in handy there instead of me paying a TIG guy for that stuff. Hobart Handlers have their lovers, but if I went that route, I might consider the 190 instead of the 140, just doesn't have enough oomh vs the others. The handler has fixed voltage settings like the FP 165 vs the Esab and Miller with infinite control. Whatcha think?

    Esab also makes a Rebel line and they have a smart MIG function on their computer which auto-adjusts voltage as necessary, freaking cool. However, that one's 1700 bucks to start so no thanks. Name:  Welders.jpg
Views: 530
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Posts
    1,546

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    If you have the money buy a Miller 211AS. It is dual voltage for when you need it. It is like a 141 until you plug into 220v.

    Look for a used one

    That’s my vote.
    Burt
    _____________________
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Millermatic 211 w/Spoolmate
    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
    Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 120

    10FtDrillBit.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,167

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Lincoln Powermig 210MP, now on sale for $999 after $433 rebate. https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...welder-k3963-1

    You are handicapping yourself with a 120v only welder.

    My other choice would be the Harbor Freight Migmax 215. Get's lots of great reviews, and it has a money back guarantee for 1 year, even if you just don't like it. https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-63617.html
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hamilton Ontario Canada
    Posts
    315

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    ESAB has been around for at least 30 years. However, Louie1961 is right you are limiting yourself with a 120-volt machine.
    Welders: IdealArc AC/DC 250
    Lincoln AC 225 converted to AC/DC
    O/A torches
    Lots of Hammers Clamps and Grinders

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Aside from metal thickness, what is the upside to a bigger machine? If I plan to weld mostly angle, square tube, etc and maybe make myself a truck rack, can't the little guy do it? Or does it have to do with the bigger machine handling smaller jobs even easier and be more reliable?

    Also, even if I go 220, no love for the hobie eh?

    I cringe dropping that cash on a HF product. However, I do have their Daytona (Snap On copycat) jacks. Omnipro is also a cool looking machine. I only considered the ESAB for the sake of TIG for stainless, which I RARELY do. That's when I think "Hey I should add another valve to my brew kettle" which is maybe once every other year. So maybe it's not worth the multiprocess

    https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-63621.html
    Last edited by mendozer; 11-05-2018 at 02:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    I calculated my remibursement for this to be 891 (welder, helmet, regulator) plus 170 for the tank. So the Millermatic 211 right now with thej rebate and free helmet puts it at 1009. Not TOO bad considering it's a bump above other MIGs. Do you think that if I wanted to tinker with stainless, I'd just have to buy a small cylinder of tri mix or 100% argon and use stainless wire? Because at this power level MIG is all I would need for thick or thin materials (stick no longer needed)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,167

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    The Lincoln, for less money, does MIG, stick and DC TIG.
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stokes County, NC
    Posts
    87

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    I'll confess to being a wee bit confused. You mention that you'd like to have the ability to TIG and stick weld but three of the four welders you list are MIG only units so they are one trick ponies while you want the whole dog and pony show. They can, of course, do that one trick well but if you want the flexibility of a multi-process machine they likely shouldn't be on the list.....

    As far as ESAB being "new" the have been around since 1904 and were making the world's first coated electrodes by 1906. Lincoln has been around since 1895 but according to their website made their first welding equipment in 1909. Miller are the Jonny-come-latelys of the crew at 1929.

    I'm not a pro weldor or even a really talented amateur so take this with a grain of salt but the 210MVP looks like it will fit your bill of particulars very well and have a lot more punch and flexibility when needed. And parts, consumables and service will be available for many years to come.....
    Lance R


    2012 Miller Bobcat 225
    Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
    Lincoln LN-25
    Torch set

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    7,277

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Quote Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
    Aside from metal thickness, what is the upside to a bigger machine? If I plan to weld mostly angle, square tube, etc and maybe make myself a truck rack, can't the little guy do it? Or does it have to do with the bigger machine handling smaller jobs even easier and be more reliable?

    Also, even if I go 220, no love for the hobie eh?

    I cringe dropping that cash on a HF product. However, I do have their Daytona (Snap On copycat) jacks. Omnipro is also a cool looking machine. I only considered the ESAB for the sake of TIG for stainless, which I RARELY do. That's when I think "Hey I should add another valve to my brew kettle" which is maybe once every other year. So maybe it's not worth the multiprocess

    https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-63621.html
    240v machines don't weld thinner material any better than 120v machines but they do handle thicker material mo' better.

    If your diet is thin gauge material then a 120v machine can suit you just fine.


    We always recommend a 240v machine because you get more machine for not a lot more in investment.


    My vote is the Migmax if you dont want tig function. Their No hassle return makes it an easy choice to give it a shot.


    If you want a DC tig function, then the OMNI Pro but realize that it does not come with the TIG kit so that is an extra cost.
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.com/
    MM252
    MM211 (Sold)
    Passport Plus & Spool gun
    Lincoln SP135 Plus- (Gone to a good home)
    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
    SO 2020 bender
    Beer in the fridge

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stokes County, NC
    Posts
    87

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Perhaps the biggest reason for a 220V machine is that you can plan all you want for what you want to do NOW but things change and stuff happens. You really don't have any idea what you are going to want to weld next month let alone five years from now. Why paint yourself into a corner in terms of capabilities?

    As a 40 year builder and contractor I found out a long time ago that just enough tool was never enough tool in the long run.
    Last edited by LanceR; 11-05-2018 at 02:14 PM.
    Lance R


    2012 Miller Bobcat 225
    Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
    Lincoln LN-25
    Torch set

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,167

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    240v machines don't weld thinner material any better than 120v machines but they do handle thicker material mo' better.
    I disagree Ed...240 volt machines weld thinner material for longer periods (duty cycle) than do the 120v machines. I count that as better.
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    7,277

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    I disagree Ed...240 volt machines weld thinner material for longer periods (duty cycle) than do the 120v machines. I count that as better.
    That's pretty much what I said

    If the material only requires 40amps a HH140 and HH 190 are 100% duty cycle machines.



    If the material requires 90amps then the HH140 is 20% while the HH190 is about 60%


    a 240v machine handles the thicker material (90amps required) mo' better.
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.com/
    MM252
    MM211 (Sold)
    Passport Plus & Spool gun
    Lincoln SP135 Plus- (Gone to a good home)
    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
    SO 2020 bender
    Beer in the fridge

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Lititz, PA
    Posts
    47

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Hobart has been very reliable for me, however simple it is. I love my HH140 and wouldn't hesitate for a minute to get a 190 or 210.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Sorry for the confusion. I can be impulsive, so when I WANT something, it's not often what I NEED. My main plan is to do MIG. I do homebrew so if I want to tinker with modifying equipment or building entirely new equipment, then TIG would be necessary. But then one much consider the cost of the TIG supplies, torch, pedal, gas, consumables, etc plus the learning curve...or just pay the welder I know who charges me maybe 100 bucks for the few jobs I've thrown at him.

    So I'm flip flopping between the 210MP as the "buy once cry once" method vs the Hobart 190 or the Millermatic 211 for "just Mig everything and pay for the rare stainless TIG". That way there's one gas, one regulator, etc. Lincoln's rebate ends in a few days too so I have to make a decision. I don't know how they'll reimburse for used items, so I'll probably buy new (and nothing locally here anyways). I even just saw Firepower still sells Multiprocess welders like the 181 for 800 bucks on Northern Tool. IDK about part availability though, despite them being owned by Tweco

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    western kentucky
    Posts
    4,409

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    What about the Vulcan line from HF? I looked at them Sunday when I was in there and the drive assembly in those machines looked good, the knobs/dials didnt feel cheap either.. I wouldnt be afraid of trying one.. They have a 1 yr risk free trial/money back guarentee, and I bet you can buy an extended warranty with it..

    They have the Omnipro 220 for like $950, they also float a $100 off coupon on that machine.. http://www.hfqpdb.com/best_coupon/VU...240+VOLT+INPUT

    you might want a more mainstream name, but something to think about..

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    61

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceR View Post
    As a 40 year builder and contractor I found out a long time ago that just enough tool was never enough tool in the long run.
    This!

    if you had the choice between a 140a thin sheet metal welder, or a decent allround 200a welder... Oh wait, you DO have that choice!

    bigger amp welders are built heavier, with stronger wire feeders - a massive sticking point in my book. There is nothing worse than trying to work with a weedy spec MIG welder that's playing up after a few years of doing more duty than it was designed around.

    Also a quick-change torch is always a boon.

    MM211, 210MP OR.... I'd personally go with the ESAB rebel. ESAB stuff is quality. AND with a DECENT quick change gun
    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...der-0558102436


    But the smart money would actually be on the multi process model - it's a true professional class welder, and you will probably never need anything else for any type of steel welding. Cake and eating it.

    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...der-0558102240
    Last edited by Munkul; 11-07-2018 at 06:31 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Quote Originally Posted by brucer View Post
    What about the Vulcan line from HF? I looked at them Sunday when I was in there and the drive assembly in those machines looked good, the knobs/dials didnt feel cheap either.. I wouldnt be afraid of trying one.. They have a 1 yr risk free trial/money back guarentee, and I bet you can buy an extended warranty with it..

    They have the Omnipro 220 for like $950, they also float a $100 off coupon on that machine.. http://www.hfqpdb.com/best_coupon/VU...240+VOLT+INPUT

    you might want a more mainstream name, but something to think about..

    the 1 year guarantee is nice, but will it last 10? It's too new to tell obviously, and if it were say 600 bucks or even 750 then sure I'd try it. But if the Lincoln's also 999, to me it's a clear choice to go with a trusted reliable brand.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    I like the Lincoln 210 for the price, and I just discovered online the Blue Demon Trifecta. It looks just like the Lincoln, even where the buttons are. They also throw in the torch and I found one place online for 765. . It's not a complete clone because the duty is a little less (40% at 90A on 120, 20% at 200A at 230V) vs the Lincoln's 40% at 100, 25% at 200.

    Cant find much on it online though

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Posts
    168

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Go with the Lincoln or Miller, they both have a huge following and overall great track records.
    Pete




    ESAB SVI300
    ESAB MIG 4 HD
    MILLER PASSPORT 180
    MILLER DYNASTY 300DX
    MILLER COOLMATE 4
    MILLER 30A
    MILLER SPECTRUM 2050
    C&K WF-3
    PrimeWeld Tig 225X

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Quote Originally Posted by pgk View Post
    Go with the Lincoln or Miller, they both have a huge following and overall great track records.

    I bought the lincoln online, couldn't resist the rebate. thanks for all the info everyone! Ordered myself a helmet on amazon as well, and I think I need to repurchase gloves too

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    'ta town, KS
    Posts
    8

    Re: Need to replace stolen welder

    Have to 210mp... Mig is great (hobbiest) Tig is scratch start. I don't like a scratch start, so when it was available I purchased a Thermal Arc Tig machine from work... (way to cheap to pass up). About 2 weeks later purchased a tig cooler from work (WAY to Cheap). Before I brought them home ran them through maitenence and let them make sure nothing was wrong. Now I have a 2 machine setup and can handle welding aluminum.
    I haven't built anything I can't throw away. Perfection is the journey.

    Mac

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