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Thread: Need a MIG welder

  1. #26
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    Where do you live?

    The Titanium line at HF. I have used a Titanium 140 and it works just fine.

    140 ( 120v) $379.00
    170 (120v/240v) $479.00


    You'll probably hear " ya get what ya pay for..." but sometimes we gotta stick to our budgets and the Titanium line is a good option that fits in the budget.
    Looks like the warranty period is 90 days for any HF welder now. So if satisfied withing 30 days better opt for the extended warranty of 1 or two years. And then flog it hard. Only way I would buy one now. Originally the Vulcan line had a 1 year satisfaction, no questions asked refund policy. That is gone. The Vulcan line still looks the more durable than the Titanium line but the price is nice.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  2. #27
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Looks like the warranty period is 90 days for any HF welder now. So if satisfied withing 30 days better opt for the extended warranty of 1 or two years. And then flog it hard. Only way I would buy one now. Originally the Vulcan line had a 1 year satisfaction, no questions asked refund policy. That is gone. The Vulcan line still looks the more durable than the Titanium line but the price is nice.
    That why I said this in a follow up post

    "If yer buying a used Lincoln- no warranty so they are both even on warranty since HF basic warranty is only 90 days from purchase, unless you purchase the extended warranty.
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  3. #28
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    The Lincoln C models do have Continuous voltage selection.

    Power Mig 140c Power Mig 180C these units are only sold through welding Supply shops.


    The Retail Models are Tapped Voltage: EasyMig180, Weldpak 180, MigPak180 are sold at the box stores. All of them are the same machine with a different name as each retail store stocks their own model.


    They both look the same with a slight difference on the voltage control label. C models have the red band around the dial.
    Are the C models likely to give you the ability to dial the voltage down lower than the tapped A setting?

  4. #29
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    I'm not sure on which model has a lower voltage.

    Contact Lincoln.

    service@lincolnelectric.com


    They have always been helpful when I contacted them in the past.
    about a day to respond M-F
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  5. #30
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    I'm not sure on which model has a lower voltage.

    Contact Lincoln.

    service@lincolnelectric.com


    They have always been helpful when I contacted them in the past.
    about a day to respond M-F

    We'll see what they say.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Eastwood welders?

  6. #31
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by jtap View Post
    We'll see what they say.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Eastwood welders?
    Your responsibility to immediately find shipping damage and file claim. If warranty requires shipping, cost is on you both ways. Deal breaker for me. One reason I recommend Harbor Freight as there is a store nearly everywhere.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  7. #32
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Your responsibility to immediately find shipping damage and file claim. If warranty requires shipping, cost is on you both ways. Deal breaker for me. One reason I recommend Harbor Freight as there is a store nearly everywhere.
    Interesting and good to know. There is a used one for sale around here. A 175 MIG. Was wondering how they compared.

    I have also found out I could rent a machine (like a MM 211 for $80 a day $135 a week) but it seems like I'd rather toss that money into a HF welder that I can keep.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-19-2020 at 05:00 PM.

  8. #33
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Design wise the Millermatic 135 is a flawed unit. If you make an adjustment to the voltage it changes thr rate that the wire is being fed too. Typically requiring a wire speed dial setting change too. I used to own a Millermatic 175 that was designed the same way. It was the most frustrating machine I have ever operated.

    The Handler 190 has a good low end for thin ga sheet metal. The PowerMIG 180C that I suggested earlier is better yet though.

    Tapped units can have a real good low end. My Ironman 230 and Migmaster 250 have really good low ends. Let's say they have very good low ends. They're beyond your budget though.
    Last edited by Dan; 11-19-2020 at 07:39 PM.

  9. #34
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Design wise the Millermatic 135 is a flawed unit. If you make an adjustment to the voltage it changes thr rate that the wire is being fed too. Typically requiring a wire speed dial setting change too. I used to own a Millermatic 175 that was designed the same way. It was the most frustrating machine I have ever operated.

    The Handler 190 has a good low end for thin ga sheet metal. The PowerMIG 180C that I suggested earlier is better yet though.

    Tapped units can have a real good low end. My Ironman 230 and Migmaster 250 have really good low ends. Let's say they have very good low ends. They're beyond your budget though.
    Thanks for the info on the 135 and 175 units.

    I feel like my budget is going to have to go up closer to 1k to make sure I get something I am happy with. I will start trying to see what $750 will get me.

    There were a couple other millermatics for sale under 1k but there are super far away. There is an xmt 350 close by for 950 but I would have to get a wire feeder and I have no clue what those would cost.

    I may try to be patient and keep an eye out for something to pop up nearby that fits the bill better.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-19-2020 at 11:03 PM.

  10. #35
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Lincoln got back to me. The lowest tapped voltage is 1 volt lower than the continuous.

    A=18v (the other voltages if you care are B=20, C=22, D=24, E=32)

    Continuous goes from 19-30.

    Tapped having a lower low and higher high seems a bit better to me. I think that would make the wire feeder the main benefit to the 180 C model for me.

    The Hobart 190 manual shows the tapped settings to be around 17v at the lowest position and 30 at the max. The Hobart 210 goes from 18v to 33v.

    Is this site reputable? This seems like a decent deal.

    https://www.weldingandcutting.com/Lincoln-Electric-Refurbished-SP-180T-Welder-p/U2689-2.htm
    Last edited by jtap; 11-20-2020 at 11:16 AM.

  11. #36
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    if you are only going to weld thin sheet metal, less tham 3/16" then i would op for a 120 volt welder. did bodywork for 35 years and most of the auto dealers and trade schools used lincoln sp125 or 135 welders. large shops with up tp 15 bodymen. you wouldn't use an 8 lb sledge hammer to metal finish a small dent, why use a large welder to weld thin sheet metal. we had 1 large welder for special owner projects and older cars with frames, but even then they usually got welded with the 120 volt.

    the insurance companies welding certification was done with 120 volt welders on 1/8" coupons. thats all the thickest metals, unibodies, have for frames. get one with variable controls so you can dial it in to its sweet spot.
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  12. #37
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    if you are only going to weld thin sheet metal, less tham 3/16" then i would op for a 120 volt welder. did bodywork for 35 years and most of the auto dealers and trade schools used lincoln sp125 or 135 welders. large shops with up tp 15 bodymen. you wouldn't use an 8 lb sledge hammer to metal finish a small dent, why use a large welder to weld thin sheet metal. we had 1 large welder for special owner projects and older cars with frames, but even then they usually got welded with the 120 volt.

    the insurance companies welding certification was done with 120 volt welders on 1/8" coupons. thats all the thickest metals, unibodies, have for frames. get one with variable controls so you can dial it in to its sweet spot.
    You make a fine point. Thanks. Looks like a lincoln pro mig 135 just showed up on FB in town for $250.

    I liked the idea of paying a bit more to have the 180 over a 140 for being able to do some thicker stuff without paying much more some day down the road. I'd be fine with a solid smaller welder for this specific job, for sure.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-20-2020 at 12:02 PM.

  13. #38
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Jtap,
    The voltage values you are mentioning above are useless because they are an open circuit voltage value. Meaning no load. Once an arc is struck there is a drop in these voltages. How much of a drop depends on the level of slope designed into the unit.

    Based on those OCV values Lincoln provided for their tapped units there is going to be a major hole in the output between taps D and E. Meaning tap E is going to be a significant jump upward in output power, so there is going to be a large amount of output power range missed when going from tap D to E.

  14. #39
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Jtap,
    The voltage values you are mentioning above are useless because they are an open circuit voltage value. Meaning no load. Once an arc is struck there is a drop in these voltages. How much of a drop depends on the level of slope designed into the unit.

    Based on those OCV values Lincoln provided for their tapped units there is going to be a major hole in the output between taps D and E. Meaning tap E is going to be a significant jump upward in output power, so there is going to be a large amount of output power range missed when going from tap D to E.


    Hobart and Miller give these graphs (this is for the hobart 190). So I assume the machine chooses the amperage somehow in the circuitry? Would I be correct to assume Level 1 would be 13v-17v depending on that?

  15. #40
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    A 240 volt input unit is going to be capable of output just as good of a low end as a 120 volt unit.

    Even though I have tapped units with really good low ends, based on my experience with running several different tapped and variable voltage units, if I am looking for a unit for thin ga sheet, I'm going with the variable voltage unit. I can dial the 180C down to this very gentle soft low end arc. Can't get this same level gentleness in the arc out of a Handler 190. The big reason being the voltage doesn't go as low on the 190. Not all variable voltage units are equal on the low end though. I couldn't get as good of a low end arc out of a Millermatic 180 as I could the 180C.

    I liked Lincoln's SP 175 Plus. Only problem for this thread though is the fact that I never tried the low end on one with an .023 solid wire and C25.

  16. #41
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    A 240 volt input unit is going to be capable of output just as good of a low end as a 120 volt unit.

    Even though I have tapped units with really good low ends, based on my experience with running several different tapped and variable voltage units, if I am looking for a unit for thin ga sheet, I'm going with the variable voltage unit. I can dial the 180C down to this very gentle soft low end arc. Can't get this same level gentleness in the arc out of a Handler 190. The big reason being the voltage doesn't go as low on the 190. Not all variable voltage units are equal on the low end though. I couldn't get as good of a low end arc out of a Millermatic 180 as I could the 180C.

    I liked Lincoln's SP 175 Plus. Only problem for this thread though is the fact that I never tried the low end on one with an .023 solid wire and C25.

    I found this in another thread...wonder if it's true. It would make a big difference, if so.

    One1 said: 11-24-2018
    Re: MIG---Tapped control vs. Infinite

    There is only 1 reason to have continuous control over tapped and that is for low voltage sheetmetal. A little known side effect of continuous machines proves this, as most drop super low in voltage. A lincoln 180 for instance..... Tapped vs continuous models. The 180c goes all the way down to 10v and at halfway is level with the bottom "A" tap on the 180T.
    It sucks that it is hard to know how these machines will actually work on their lowest settings under load.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-20-2020 at 05:11 PM.

  17. #42
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    On the 180C the voltage dial can actually take the voltage down to low to where you can't produce a usable arc. If I am remembering correctly I got the amazingly soft low end arc out of the 180C with the voltage dial set around B.

    I've ran several tapped unit that have a good to very good low end. Understand though the power level a tap outputs is going to be influenced by your input voltage. Lets take a Handler 190 as an example. Lets say your input voltage is 238 Volts. Then lets say on tap 1 this input lets the 190 dial down to an output of 15.7 load volts and 28 amps. Then we take the 190 to my place where the input voltage is 242 volts. Now at my place we can only get tap 1 dialed in at around 16.2 load volts and 33 amps. Not a big difference but when were down this low on the thin sheet it is noticeable. Both will work on 22 ga. The lower output is just a little more for giving when you have a poor fit up situation.
    Input voltage is going to influence the voltage value a dial setting outputs on a unit like the 180C too. The difference though is that the variable dial allows you to make adjustments to compensate for this.

  18. #43
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    On the 180C the voltage dial can actually take the voltage down to low to where you can't produce a usable arc. If I am remembering correctly I got the amazingly soft low end arc out of the 180C with the voltage dial set around B.

    I've ran several tapped unit that have a good to very good low end. Understand though the power level a tap outputs is going to be influenced by your input voltage. Lets take a Handler 190 as an example. Lets say your input voltage is 238 Volts. Then lets say on tap 1 this input lets the 190 dial down to an output of 15.7 load volts and 28 amps. Then we take the 190 to my place where the input voltage is 242 volts. Now at my place we can only get tap 1 dialed in at around 16.2 load volts and 33 amps. Not a big difference but when were down this low on the thin sheet it is noticeable. Both will work on 22 ga. The lower output is just a little more for giving when you have a poor fit up situation.
    Input voltage is going to influence the voltage value a dial setting outputs on a unit like the 180C too. The difference though is that the variable dial allows you to make adjustments to compensate for this.
    Starting to think maybe I should just get that Lincoln 115v unit for ~225 and see how it goes, hoping it's softer, instead of paying $500 for the 180 HD. I don't need the extra top end as I have my stick welder for big stuff. This is all about the thin metal. It's a big jump to get a new 140 C at around $800.

    I'm not sure if there are any other continuous voltage models/brands worth getting that would be cheaper. I can always keep looking for one but I don't know how often they show up. These big box store tapped ones seem to be popping up all the time.

    If price was no object, what are the best welders for super thin gauge sheet metal? I don't think I even have a clue as to that question since as price goes up the units get more powerful and thus the focus is on their ability to weld thicker metal. Which machines have the best precision for thin gauge? Is it the Lincoln 140C or Millermatic 141 or something else?
    Last edited by jtap; 11-20-2020 at 05:56 PM.

  19. #44
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    I need to get my hands on a HF Titanium and see how those things perform.
    Inverter 30-140amps
    Continuous Voltage control and Inductance hmmm

    $379.00 until 11/25
    Last edited by Broccoli1; 11-20-2020 at 06:10 PM.
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  20. #45
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    I need to get my hands in a HF Titanium and see how those things perform.
    Inverter 30-140amps
    Continuous Voltage control and Inductance hmmm

    $379.00 until 11/25
    I have contemplated getting one since at least I have the option of eating 20% and making them re-stock it (comparable to a welder rental fee). I haven't welded with a good unit (haven't ever MIG welded) so I don't know what i'm missing.

    I did notice the inductance knob and wondered if that would allow you to dial it in better for thin metal.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-20-2020 at 06:00 PM.

  21. #46
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    In my experience with my Tweco Fabricator 181i and 211i the inductance control complicates things more, but if you're willing to play with it you can typically find some very good results.

    No experience with the Titanium units though. I'd spend the extra $100 for the 170 unit myself.

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  23. #47
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    The inductance control does help some with the " stiffness" of the arc, but where it really helps is when using different gas , such as co2, to reduce spatter.

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  25. #48
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    I do not need a MIG welder anymore.

    I do need gas and wire and skill...but not a welder. Went with the cheapest option, Lincoln 135 (well cheapest that was a name brand where I could get parts for it somewhat easily). Hopefully it will work for me and if not I don't have too much into it.

    I'm a bit confused by wire size and tips and welder setup and am trying to sort through that. The manual says .025 wire is the smallest...but I am seeing .023 wire and tips come up in searches and mentioned in threads for sheet metal welding. I was planning to just get a Lincoln SuperArc L-56 .025 2 lb spool.
    Last edited by jtap; 11-22-2020 at 10:22 AM.

  26. #49
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    .023 is the same as .025, just the way it's listed. Possibly the metric to imperial conversion. 23, 24, 25 whatever is more problematic to feed than .030 wire, just something to keep in mind

  27. #50
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    Re: Need a MIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by jtap View Post
    I do not need a MIG welder anymore.

    I do need gas and wire and skill...but not a welder. Went with the cheapest option, Lincoln 135 (well cheapest that was a name brand where I could get parts for it somewhat easily). Hopefully it will work for me and if not I don't have too much into it.

    I'm a bit confused by wire size and tips and welder setup and am trying to sort through that. The manual says .025 wire is the smallest...but I am seeing .023 wire and tips come up in searches and mentioned in threads for sheet metal welding. I was planning to just get a Lincoln SuperArc L-56 .025 2 lb spool.
    You will spend more on the 2lbs spools. Look for deals on 10 or 11lbs spools. The wire does not have to be Lincoln brand but Lincoln does have nice wire.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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