Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?
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  1. #1
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    Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    I am selling my Miller Challenger 172 which has done everything I ever needed it to. I want to upgrade because I always wanted a spool gun for aluminum and I want more adjustments and possibly pulse MIG (now that I researched it more). I have a Dynasty 200 DX to TIG weld aluminum, but I still want a faster easier method for some things. I am not welding for a living day in and day out or anything. I only use my welders for various projects here and there as needed.

    With that said I was looking at the Miller 220 or the ESAB 205ci and selling my TIG, but I see that my TIG is still better than the AC functions of these welders. So, I feel it would be a downgrade by giving up my Dynasty. I eventually took these out of the running. I hardly use my TIG, but feel like I should keep it's abilities in case I ever need or want AC pulse etc.

    So with the "All in one machines" out of the running, I started looking at the Millermatic 255 to replace my Challenger 172 because it has the nice ability to have the MIG gun and a 200, 15A, or 30A spool gun hooked up. It can easily switch between MIG and spool gun without unhooking or hooking things up. I also like the quick settings. I am not a pro welder that does it day in and day out. I might not pick it up between long times of no use, so just having some nice quick settings to choose from will be beneficial.

    While researching the Miller 255, I ran across the HTP Pro Pulse 200. I found a few people mentioning it and talking good about it. This looks like it would do everything I need to do. I don't see anyone saying anything bad about it. The down side is that I would have to switch out the gun and drive roller and either put in a Y valve or switch gas to go from steel to aluminum. However it is cheaper and it does seem to do even more than the Miller 255? Other than lower amperage, the HTP seems just as capable or possibly more capable?

    I did kind of look Everlast also before anyone mentions it, but I feel the Miller or HTP would be better. Let me know if you disagree.

    So, I am looking for opinions on which way you guys would go? The HTP would save me some money, but I would have to swap things in and out for aluminum vs steel. With that said, I do not well that often in the grand scheme of things, so maybe the cost savings would be worth it?

    I have not used a spool gun before, so I am also wondering how the MIG gun style welding the HTP uses for aluminum would compare to the Miller spool guns? I would think it might be nicer, but it is limited to an 8 ft cord. This is not really that big of a deal. I will have it on a cart and only use it in my shop.

    Hopefully that paints a little picture of what I am trying to accomplish. Basically I just want to upgrade my Challenger 172 and gain aluminum welding with it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    First I ain't no mig weldor, but I would be cautious of any new miller on the market for a couple years I've got burned as did alot of others, that said I very had millers that were fantastic, you got a 200 dynasty I would think pulsed aluminum mig would be a giant step backwards except for production welding on thinner aluminum

  3. #3
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    If you are a hobby welder, and by your own admission don't weld that much, do you really need the pulse MIG? Only reason I ask is that if you decide you don't need it, you can get a millermatic 252 with a 30A spool gun, and it is the same sort of deal. You leave the spoolgun hooked up and the machine automatically knows which you are using when you pull the trigger. So a 252 will give you what the 255 will do, just without the pulse feature. Plus you can find used 252s for not a lot of money. I paid $1500 for mine.

    But returning to your original question, I would think the HTP Pro Pulse 300 would be a better match against the Millermatic 255, since the max output on the Miller is 350 amps. So $4895 for a Pro Pulse 300 vs $2742 for the Miller 255. I think the Miller is a better value personally.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat h View Post
    First I ain't no mig weldor, but I would be cautious of any new miller on the market for a couple years I've got burned as did alot of others, that said I very had millers that were fantastic, you got a 200 dynasty I would think pulsed aluminum mig would be a giant step backwards except for production welding on thinner aluminum
    I have wished I had a spool gun when fixing a wrecked aluminum trailer or working on a boat and on other occasions. Yeah it could be considered less quality in looks, but it would be easier and faster in some cases. That is why I want one.

  5. #5
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    If you are a hobby welder, and by your own admission don't weld that much, do you really need the pulse MIG? Only reason I ask is that if you decide you don't need it, you can get a millermatic 252 with a 30A spool gun, and it is the same sort of deal. You leave the spoolgun hooked up and the machine automatically knows which you are using when you pull the trigger. So a 252 will give you what the 255 will do, just without the pulse feature. Plus you can find used 252s for not a lot of money. I paid $1500 for mine.

    But returning to your original question, I would think the HTP Pro Pulse 300 would be a better match against the Millermatic 255, since the max output on the Miller is 350 amps. So $4895 for a Pro Pulse 300 vs $2742 for the Miller 255. I think the Miller is a better value personally.
    Do I need it. Probably not. I have a lot of stuff I don't "Need"
    Do I "need" a new welder at all. Probably not. Do I want a new welder and do I want one with the most features for the money within reason? Yeah! Why not. I might have this for the next 20 years like my Challenger. I would rather pay for more now and have it and not need it than need it or want it later and not have it. If I get a new one I want the latest features in my price range.

    I ruled out all the other Millers. It may be a risk if the 255 has issues, but I would pick it over the lesser models and hope it is good. It has nicer features in most every way on paper.

    I may pick the Miller by price only over the HTP 300, but the HTP 200 will be a lot cheaper with the same or better features on paper (except amps). The HTP 300 is overkill for me and the price is also more than I feel like spending.
    I don't need the amps of the HTP 300 or the Miller 255. I picked the 255 for it's features and the amps is just a bonus. If they had one with the same features in the 200 amp range for less money I would go there, but they don't.

    Also when comparing, don't forget to add the spool gun to that Miller price....another $1000 and another $300 or better if you want the cart, but the HTP does not come with a cart so we will forget about that part. The aluminum gun for the HTP is $149 and the drive roller is $24.95. Basically the whole setup for steel and aluminum on the HTP 200 would be under $2400 (including the gas hose). Also they have extended me the black friday discount which brings this much lower....good till the end of this month.

    The negative of the HTP is switching things out to go from aluminum to steel. However, it seems to have more capabilities and I really don't know if their setup is better than a spool gun for aluminum?

    I have been very happy with my Millers though and I expect this to be something I will have for a long time. I want to make the right choice. It is not as much about the money up to a point. I won't miss the money down the road, but I might regret the decision if I pick the wrong one. I like to do a bunch of research and ask a lot of questions. I hope some people that have used the HTP chime in.
    Last edited by jevs; 01-13-2019 at 12:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    I would much rather have amps over pulse features. It takes amps to run aluminum and it takes amps to run certain kinds of wires like dual shield. Giving up amps for pulse seems to me like a step backwards. The propulse 200 can't do what my mm 252 can do...just can't. It's not the same class even with the pulse features. Comparing it to the mm 255 seems like apples and oranges ges to me.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    If I had a steady diet of stuff that I needed pulse for it would be worth having. To have it for that odd job here or there , I would not even give it a second thought. I have been welding most of my adult life on everything you could think of and have done just fine without pulse. The times I could use pulse my finger was my pulse control. Sure its not as nice but it has gotten me by . It is a nice feature and if you made your living welding and used it frequently it is well worth having.

  8. #8
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    I have both the ProPulse 300 and the ProPulse 200.




    Granted I have not yet set them up for aluminum, that will change shortly. Yes the PP300 will cost you a pretty penny, but it's jam-packed with a lot of features as well. The PP200 can, in some synergic programs, for brief instants, likely the pulse programs), output up to 300A. Obviously it's not something that it can do on a continuous basis to compete with the 300A class machines, but for a 200A class machine, it can definitely hold it's own. The ProPulse 300 is rumored to be able to pulse nearly double of it's "300" rating for brief instants.

    You've done your homework as we can all see. The Millermatic 255 is definitely no slouch either. You do have spoolgun options which can free you up from the machine (distance-wise), and with the PP200/300 you can run 8-12" spools through the 8 ft 26-series gun [on the PP200], or up to a 12 ft standard gun [on the 300], resulting in cost savings from the larger spools vs having to buy lots of little 4"/1-lb spools of aluminum. A few people I acquaint with are considering purchasing a 2nd PP200 or a 300 in addition to their 200, in order to have one setup for steel and the other for aluminum. Go figure, eh?

    Here are some options for the ProPulse 300:
    • 10’, 12’, and 15’ air-cooled MIG welding guns for steel, stainless steel, silicon bronze, and flux-cored wires.
    • 8’, 10’, and 12’ air-cooled MIG welding guns for aluminum wire.
    • 10’ water-cooled MIG welding gun for aluminum wire.
    • Air-cooled and/or water-cooled specialty MIG welding guns for specialty applications and severe conditions
      (available by special order).
    • 19’ to 39’ air-cooled and/or water-cooled push-pull guns (they stock a 26’ water-cooled push-pull gun with built-in
      remote control; all other options available by special order).
    • 25’ air-cooled spool guns (optional 50’ air-cooled and 25’ water-cooled spool guns available by special order).
    Last edited by Oscar; 01-13-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    I would much rather have amps over pulse features. It takes amps to run aluminum and it takes amps to run certain kinds of wires like dual shield. Giving up amps for pulse seems to me like a step backwards. The propulse 200 can't do what my mm 252 can do...just can't. It's not the same class even with the pulse features. Comparing it to the mm 255 seems like apples and oranges ges to me.
    Its not really a case of choosing amps over pulse. Both of the welders I am interested in have pulse. The HTP seems to have more pulse options though. I am not really interested in anything lower then the 255 in the Miller line.
    If you only run the Miller up to the same Amp rating as the HTP, then it does seem like the HTP might be a bit more capable at half the cost though?

    The Miller will have more amps than the HTP for sure. Sounds like your vote is for paying up for the Miller 255 and a spool gun over the HTP. In looking at a lot of reviews it seems like there are several people that like using the HTP MIG style gun better than a spool gun for aluminum though. Keep in mind I never needed more than 170 Amp machine in 30 years of welding, so again the amps is not really an issue. Either one has more amps than I have now. The HTP will do 1/4" Aluminum.

    I know it sounds like I am leaning towards the HTP and I kind of am. However, I am still reading up. I wish there was more reviews on the 255 and using a spool gun with it.

    Another thing that kind of got me going on the new welder is that I am trying to organize things in a much smaller shop temporarily. This is what got me looking at the Multimatic 220 and getting rid of my current two welders in favor of saving space.
    Like I said that faded once I compared its abilities to my Dynasty. One advantage the HTP would have is that I could build a stack cart for it any my Dynasty to save space and share the aluminum tank with a dual valve or something. It does not have a proprietary base like the miller to buy.

    If I get the Miller 255 then it would almost be silly not to go ahead and get the Miller cart bottom for it. This means my welders would stay seperate. This is okay, but would take more space. No more space than I am using now though. The other thing that is kind of annoying is that Miller makes you pay over $300 more just to make their cart the double tank version. You cannot buy a 255 with the double tank cart unless you get the Multimatic version. Either way drives the cost up even higher. I have not had time to do the math on the Multimatic vs the millermatic and upgrading the cart. It might make more sense to just pay more for the Multimatic. All of these up charges and the $1000 spool gun just make the HTP more attractive though I have to say.

    Thanks for the feedback so far though. I have someone coming to look at my welder today. If they buy it I may want to buy something this coming week. I really wish Miller had the 255 manual available for download. That is another thing that is limiting my information. All I can get is the sales flyer.
    Last edited by jevs; 01-13-2019 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by thegary View Post
    If I had a steady diet of stuff that I needed pulse for it would be worth having. To have it for that odd job here or there , I would not even give it a second thought. I have been welding most of my adult life on everything you could think of and have done just fine without pulse. The times I could use pulse my finger was my pulse control. Sure its not as nice but it has gotten me by . It is a nice feature and if you made your living welding and used it frequently it is well worth having.
    I am getting pulse either way with the two machines I am looking at...unless something changes.

  11. #11
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    I don't know much but this sounds like a sales ploy for HTP Pro to me.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by coxhaus View Post
    I don't know much but this sounds like a sales ploy for HTP Pro to me.
    Do explain. This should be good... A welder conspiracy.

  13. #13
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Did you end up buying the Miller 255?

    What do you think of it so far if so ?

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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?


  15. #15
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    The Fronius does not have pulsed MIG. So although it seems to be a nice machine, it is not really on my list. I did look at some of their higher models but the price just gets too high to justify for occasional use.
    Last edited by jevs; 01-26-2019 at 01:57 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorlife2005 View Post
    Did you end up buying the Miller 255?

    What do you think of it so far if so ?
    I have not purchased either one. It is still a tough choice. I have scanned everything there is to know about them on the web. There is nothing on a 255 with a spool gun. Miller also seems to lag on posting manuals for their new models. All I can find is sales flyers on the couple newer ones I have looked at.
    I think the HTP is the price vs features winner. My only hangups on the HTP is having to swap guns, drive wheels, spools, and gas when you go from steel to aluminum.
    With the miller 255 you can have MIG and spool gun hooked up at once. However, it has no double pulse and will cost twice as much. It also takes more space which I am limited on now (but will not be later when I build a new shop).
    The other thing is you could buy two HTP units (one setup for steel and one setup for aluminum for the same as the Miller. However I do not really want that many machines.
    The other thing to consider is the bulky use of the spool gun vs the MIG gun. I have not used a spool gun myself but I have seen other people use them. They cant get in as tight of a spot.
    I am leaning towards the HTP because in reality I dont weld that often. Even though I hate switching things over, it has more features and is half the price and I can make a double cart to share with my TIG for space savings.
    If I thought I needed the extra current of the Miller that would sway things, but really for steel my Challenger 172 did everything I ever needed to do.
    I did sell the Challenger 172 so now I am wanting to get something soon.
    I would love to here some more feedback on these machines or even alternates if there are any. It seems like there are not many people posting about a 255 yet.
    Last edited by jevs; 01-26-2019 at 01:59 PM.

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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by jevs View Post
    My only hangups on the HTP is having to swap guns, drive wheels, spools, and gas when you go from steel to aluminum.
    If I am not mistaken, some spool gun options are available for the ProPulse 200 like they are for the ProPulse 300, but you'd have to call HTP on that to confirm if they are indeed options. I know the machine itself has a setting for a spoolgun, but it's best to call/email to make sure.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    If I am not mistaken, some spool gun options are available for the ProPulse 200 like they are for the ProPulse 300, but you'd have to call HTP on that to confirm if they are indeed options. I know the machine itself has a setting for a spoolgun, but it's best to call/email to make sure.
    There is not a spool gun offered for the 200.

  19. #19
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by jevs View Post
    There is not a spool gun offered for the 200.
    Yup, you're right. It's only for the ProPulse 300 that the spoolgun options are available.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Location?
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  21. #21
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    i haven't read all the comments, but i would go for the Miller. i have the htp pp200 and almost never use it. it will weld 1/4" aluminum for about 10 inches then rather than turn off like most machines it dials back the the amperage. which is more frustrating than not welding at all.

    after the 1/4" aluminum i learned to only use it on realy light guage stuff under 1/8th".... the settings are all over the place... its supposed to be a set what wire and material thickness then go to town. but i'm having to adjust the voltage as much as -6v to +4v whith what i'm doing. seems in pulse mode, no matter the material or filler, ive been running -2 to -6volts. non-pulse 0 to +3v. and that doesn't begin to go into the other settings.

    most quality machines can feed aluminum wire just as good as the htp. my go to aluminum is an old hobart hefty voltage sensing feeder with a short stiff whip. i prefer the feeder over the htp on material .120"/ 10g and thicker. ive always ran a size over mig tip with aluminum.

    i just leave the htp set up for aluminum now occasionally silicon bronze, but knowing what i know now i would have bought a non pulse miller over the htp. i really liked the miller 252 with a short whip on aluminum. but i leave it set up with hardwire.

    the folks at htp were very helpful i'll add when the dilivery fell behind and they included both whips for the cost of one. proactive about informing me rather than letting me find out it was going to be behind.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    I’ve ran the Fronius battery powered cc welder in the past on a few construction sites. What a nice machine.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by tracymobilecnc View Post
    i haven't read all the comments, but i would go for the Miller. i have the htp pp200 and almost never use it. it will weld 1/4" aluminum for about 10 inches then rather than turn off like most machines it dials back the the amperage. which is more frustrating than not welding at all.

    after the 1/4" aluminum i learned to only use it on realy light guage stuff under 1/8th".... the settings are all over the place... its supposed to be a set what wire and material thickness then go to town. but i'm having to adjust the voltage as much as -6v to +4v whith what i'm doing. seems in pulse mode, no matter the material or filler, ive been running -2 to -6volts. non-pulse 0 to +3v. and that doesn't begin to go into the other settings.

    most quality machines can feed aluminum wire just as good as the htp. my go to aluminum is an old hobart hefty voltage sensing feeder with a short stiff whip. i prefer the feeder over the htp on material .120"/ 10g and thicker. ive always ran a size over mig tip with aluminum.

    i just leave the htp set up for aluminum now occasionally silicon bronze, but knowing what i know now i would have bought a non pulse miller over the htp. i really liked the miller 252 with a short whip on aluminum. but i leave it set up with hardwire.

    the folks at htp were very helpful i'll add when the dilivery fell behind and they included both whips for the cost of one. proactive about informing me rather than letting me find out it was going to be behind.
    Can't say I've tried aluminum with mine yet, but I have yet to have those kinds of troubles on the welding I've done with it, on mild steel, both pulse and non-pulse, with regard to the settings. I find myself adjusting them too, but just a little bit, as I find them very close to optimum. As for 1/4" aluminum, that's probably near the upper limits for the machine as you'd likely need over 200A given aluminum's quick heat conduction.
    Last edited by Oscar; 01-27-2019 at 11:16 AM.
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    5th Street Fab just picked up a 221 and had nothing but good things to say about it, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs1gJVKDP-I/
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    Re: Miller 255 or HTP Pro Pulse 200?

    Quote Originally Posted by pgk View Post
    5th Street Fab just picked up a 221 and had nothing but good things to say about it, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs1gJVKDP-I/
    Looks like good work! Especially the aluminum stuff!
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