Buying a Welding Machine.
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  1. #1

    Buying a Welding Machine.

    Hey, just wondering if you guys could help me out. Ive been looking at welding machines for a while but I dont know what to get. I want to make some gates for my house and other stuff that is needed and also be able to take it out to do some side jobs every once in a while. Just hoping you guys can steer me into the right machine for what I need. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    You want a engine drive or a line powered shop machine ?


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    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

  3. #3

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Not engine driven or anything to big as I want it to be portable. Use at home mostly but take with me every once in a while. My buddy works at a yard and every once in a while he needs stuff welded nothing too big.

  4. #4
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Well the two best transformer type AC/DC welders that are available used on Craigslist and such are Lincoln Idealarc 250 and Miller Dialarc250 machines. They are 350 lbs and need 50 amps to run correctly. $300-$700 is the used range depending on leads and such. Or you can go with a new inverter type machine that is much lighter and can be run off a medium sized portable generator or 110/230 volt 20amp line power. These are out in the used market now and might be perfect for your use. I have a Miller 140STR that welds great and weighs about 10lbs.


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    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

  5. #5

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    I was looking at this one ( https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...werarc-140-sti ) would that be a good one?
    What about for MIG what would be ideal? I was also looking at this also ( https://www.everlastgenerators.com/p...ower-i-mig-200 )

  6. #6
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    I think either would be good. I assumed you wanted a stick machine. Both are inverter machines.


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    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    72

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    How much are you looking to spend and are you going to be welding indoors or outdoors?
    I play with sticks
    Trailblazer 325 EFI w/ Excel Power, LN-25, Power Mig 210 MP, AlphaTig 200X

  8. #8

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Im just looking at the best options. To have one machine with both rather than buying a stick machine now and buying a MIG down the line. The only thing i was curious about is the 120v that can run out of a house type outlet correct?

  9. #9

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    It would be used outdoors for the most part, and the budget part idk probably around 700-800.

  10. #10
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    I can fabricate more with a a Lincoln AC225 than most here can dream of.It's connecting two pieces of recycled hot rolled garbage 3/8" or usually 1/4, 3/16 or 1/8" with a 3/32 6013 or 7014, That's it. It's that easy.

  11. #11
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungLeiva View Post
    It would be used outdoors for the most part, and the budget part idk probably around 700-800.
    I would suggest a stick machine. On a 120v outlet, a regular house outlet, you will be able to use 3/32 7018 or 1/8 6011. Between those to rods you should be able to weld most projects. Mig is not going to work outside and flux-core tends to take a lot of practice to get a decent looking weld. Get a stick machine and spend the rest of your budget on rod. If you want to switch processes later it will be much easier if you already can stick weld.
    I play with sticks
    Trailblazer 325 EFI w/ Excel Power, LN-25, Power Mig 210 MP, AlphaTig 200X

  12. #12

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Well I can do all 3 lol. I work for a Waste Management company so I have to mig weld hoppers and containers and flux-core weld the floor panels and stick weld when I have to go out in the field for repairs and also I took my classes and test for all 3 processes, but yeah I was looking into a stick welder but I know I will prob end up wanting a MIG as well down the line.

  13. #13
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    www.georgesplasmacuttershop.com
    Plasma Cutter and Welder Sales and Repairs--Ebay store
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  14. #14
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    If this thing is in a fixed place in the shop ? Get a Thunderchicken AC/DC or a Lincoln 225/150 and forget it. It you need dual volts and ability to carry to various job sites ? Get the the Everlast inverter guys ( formerly NEVERlast) because merkins are idiots and don't think anyone else can make a decent machine. WRONG , as usual.They have proven themselves.............repeatedly.
    NOTHING beats a transformer. The Inverter guys are Ali Vs Foreman. The boys are really close the last 3-4 years.We shalll seee.........in 20 years ( My transformers will be a strokin'===no doubt)

  15. #15
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungLeiva View Post
    Well I can do all 3 lol. I work for a Waste Management company so I have to mig weld hoppers and containers and flux-core weld the floor panels and stick weld when I have to go out in the field for repairs and also I took my classes and test for all 3 processes, but yeah I was looking into a stick welder but I know I will prob end up wanting a MIG as well down the line.
    In that case it really comes down to weight of the machine. You shouldn't have a problem with Everlast. A stick machine is in the 10-15lb range while a multi-process machine will be in the 45-50lb range. If you have to move it all the time and are always welding stick outside the multi-process machine will be a pain to carry around. If you are welding in one location the added Mig functions will be a real asset. It really depends on what you want to do.
    I play with sticks
    Trailblazer 325 EFI w/ Excel Power, LN-25, Power Mig 210 MP, AlphaTig 200X

  16. #16

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWeldingConnector View Post
    In that case it really comes down to weight of the machine. You shouldn't have a problem with Everlast. A stick machine is in the 10-15lb range while a multi-process machine will be in the 45-50lb range. If you have to move it all the time and are always welding stick outside the multi-process machine will be a pain to carry around. If you are welding in one location the added Mig functions will be a real asset. It really depends on what you want to do.
    Okay I’m going to decide between the two and see which is better fitted for what I’m going to do. Another question, what would be a good generator for these machines if I decide to go with the stick or the multi process. I’m asking because at work they have one for a MIG welder but we never use it because it drops after using it for a couple seconds and I wouldn’t want to have that kind of problem on my hands.


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  17. #17
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    i would go with small inverter stick machine that you can run on a standard household plug.
    very portable, light, cheap and small enough to tuck away on the shelf. grab a selection of electrodes to cover most things.

    even if you get a mig, still keep the stick as its so handy. its just so much more portable than a decent mig.
    leave the mig for the garage/workshop where you can setup better power for it.

  18. #18
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWeldingConnector View Post
    I would suggest a stick machine. On a 120v outlet, a regular house outlet, you will be able to use 3/32 7018 or 1/8 6011. Between those to rods you should be able to weld most projects. Mig is not going to work outside and flux-core tends to take a lot of practice to get a decent looking weld. Get a stick machine and spend the rest of your budget on rod. If you want to switch processes later it will be much easier if you already can stick weld.
    ▲ This ▲

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungLeiva View Post
    Another question, what would be a good generator for these machines if I decide to go with the stick or the multi process. I’m asking because at work they have one for a MIG welder but we never use it because it drops after using it for a couple seconds and I wouldn’t want to have that kind of problem on my hands.
    Wire-feed welding isn't too bad on generators compared to stick. A 7kW generator capable of 30A @ 240V will support close to 200A of welding output with a wire-feeder at it's maximum, but stick-welding can really bring a generator to it's knees if it has a good amount of Hot-start. On 35% hot-start with one of my inverter welders, attempting to light a 3.2mm(1/8") E7018 @ 125A (panel setting) will consume ~7kW initially, but will eventually settle down to about 4800W when the welding current settles to the panel setting. Based on the empirical evidence I've thus seen, I'd recommend no less than 12kW running/15kW peak if you want no problems with a typical 200amp class inverter machine. The key is to have lots of reserve capability in the generator so it doesn't "hiccup" too bad with the initial current surges.
    Last edited by Oscar; 12-08-2018 at 10:20 PM.
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    HTP Invertig 221
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  19. #19
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungLeiva View Post
    Okay I’m going to decide between the two and see which is better fitted for what I’m going to do. Another question, what would be a good generator for these machines if I decide to go with the stick or the multi process. I’m asking because at work they have one for a MIG welder but we never use it because it drops after using it for a couple seconds and I wouldn’t want to have that kind of problem on my hands.
    If you want a mobile welding rig I personally think buying a 305G or a 325 Trailblazer is the only way to go. A generator with an inverter is a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion. There is a reason that the mobile stuff costs so much. I have welded on almost all the mobile stuff from 225 up to the big diesel welding machines. If you are welding under a hour or two at a time you won't notice a difference but after that you are looking at a 305G or a Trailblazer or one of the diesel machines. The problem with the smaller machines is the amperage starts to wonder as you tax the setup past what it is reasonable able to do. It can be overcome with welding skill but most people would rather not deal with it. I am sure there is a cheaper, some would say better, way to do mobile welding but from my experience I would rather have a good mobile machine.
    Last edited by TheWeldingConnector; 12-08-2018 at 10:47 PM.
    I play with sticks
    Trailblazer 325 EFI w/ Excel Power, LN-25, Power Mig 210 MP, AlphaTig 200X

  20. #20
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Keeping your budget and needs in mind I would look into the vulcan omnipro 220 from harbor freight. About 750 via coupon, if the coupon isn't available just wait a bit, another will come along shortly. Their warranty is truly no hassle (1 year base 3 year for sale). it does mig/mag, dc tig, dc stick. 120/240v, inverter based, and is about 50 lbs without wire. A friend of mine has owned one for a few months, about 3 or 4 arc hours a week, and it has been solid. remotely powering it is a different issue but on that note harbor freight makes excellent generators. We use them extensively for *ahem* horticulture and they too are solid. bought about 5 used 8750 watt units through offerup from different people for ~$400 and none have failed so far, save for one leaky tank. run everyday for 8+ hours avg. over 2 years. attach a cheap/used car muffler to quiet them down.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 12-09-2018 at 08:18 AM.

  21. #21
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWeldingConnector View Post
    A cheap generator with a cheap inverter is a disaster waiting to happen in my opinion.
    It all depends how "heavy" he wants to go. Once you go 1/4"+ 75% of the time, then it might make more sense to go with a capable engine drive for mobile work. But even then, put back into perspective of the OP, this is going to be a hobby welder, as he only wants to be able to do "side jobs" once in a while. I don't think his primary income will depend on this welder he is looking into. Also, he had already made up his mind, likely before he even posted this thread. It's obviously not a "huge" purchase/investment he wants to make, IMO.
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling signature!

    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300 MIG
    HTP Inverarc 200 TLP
    Millermatic 211 MIG w/ Spoolmate 150
    Eastwood Versacut40

  22. #22
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    That's where the no questions asked warranty comes into play. I would try to break it through non abuse before the 3 years is up. I agree the setup is far from ideal but I feel fairly confident it would not only suit his budget and needs, but would last longer than the 3 year warranty. Used engine drive welders are either near retail or completely overpriced for what they are - I've been looking for a long time. i'd give less confidence in the upkeep of a used unit around here (unless completely overpriced) than I would to a new unit with a 3 year hassle free warranty. BTW every single thing run in a house has been run off our HF 8750 watt units at one of our locations and nothing has broken thus far in a few years. I understand how much noise the signal must have but again everything from cheap/expensive TVs, computers, appliances, pumps, compressors, welders, power tools and chargers run everyday, air conditioners, microwaves, etc etc etc has run without issue. Time will tell if my plasma TV outlasts my old Zenith tube that ran for 17 years screen-on time according to the on screen timer. Just my .02 cents
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 12-09-2018 at 12:43 PM.

  23. #23
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    I would say, don't burn through your whole budget. The AHP 160ST. Will run 1/8 7018 with great duty cycle. You can add a rig torch for lift TIG. Will do 3/32 rod on 120 V. Weighs 11 lbs.
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  24. #24

    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    I’ll look into the Vulcan, didn’t really look into it since it was a harbor freight welder, but I’m thinking of doing what was suggested of getting a stick welder then down the line a mig one.

    But I will look into the Vulcan one. Is it suppose to be better than the everlast machine I posted as that machine is a whole 150 dollars less?


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  25. #25
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    Re: Buying a Welding Machine.

    The vulcan is untested as it's been available less than a year. Most of the reviews are really good, and based on some beta testing a member was involved in they seem to be pretty dang decent. AvE did a tear down of one and found no real fault. Everlast has a great reputation for quality these days, and a decent reputation in terms of durability that seems to be getting better, but finding a local dealer can be difficult.

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