Lincoln SP series mig welders versus a retail version?

Hey all And apologies in advance for the crosspost between RCM and
SEJW
I'm looking for advice with ragards to the lower end of the mig welder
family
I'm curious as to whether there are any real difference between the
Lincoln MIG's that are packaged for retail and the SP-135 and SP-175
I'm looking at a Mig pack 15 retail package and trying to find out if
there IS any actual REAL difference between it and the SP-175
My primary machine is a Miller Synchrowave 200 but i'm looking for the
MIG to try and close the gap on the two biggest limitations of the
Synchrowave Portability and outdoor environments.
I've had several instances where a portable outdoor welder is needed
over a bench welder that welds great. Mainly for one simple reason I
dont have a garage so any big project like automobile welding has to
be done outdoors in the driveway
Although I can use Stick welding for outdoor environments portability
is obviously an issue and Myself and SMAW will not get along well on
the thin materials i usually weld. I wont blame the machine i'll blame
the operator but stick and sheet metal are not my cup of tea
From careful studying of the stats for the MIG pack 15 and SP-175 it
Looks like the only difference is marketing because they have the same
gun they run the same wire sizes the same wirefeed speeds and the same
Nominal amperage and duty cycle. Is there something I'm missing that
statistics dont tell? Even the LIST PRICES are almost a dead match.
Am i nuts here and there IS a real difference? or am i thinking along
the right lines that the machines are identical except for some labels
and marketing?
I am Aware i need to add an appropriate regulator to the mig pack 15
if i'm going to use it for GMAW instead of FCAW but i have the hose
and its just a case of getting or using an appropriate regulator for
the gas i have.
FYI The biggest reason i'm even considering a retail welder is the
clearance price on it at the moment.
Thanks in advance for your help
Brent
Ottawa Canada
Reply to
Brent
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I had a SP-100, 110V version of their Mig wire feed welder. It was crap with a capitol C. Would not feed consistently no matter what I did. Speed settines were not the same from one day to the next. Someone stole it from me-and they deserve to have it
Reply to
Gerry
I'm looking at Lincoln's site
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|241|),and they don't look terribly similar -- to start with, the SP-175 is listed there as a 208/230 V, not a 110. It's also a 175 amp max, not a 135... the duty cycles are also pretty different.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
I find myself wondering just what the SP-100 really is -- I've seen them for sale, and they look like a Harbor Freight league piece of Chinese equipment (rocker switches to select voltage...). Lincoln doesn't even list them on their site.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
Are you sure youre loking at the right one on the retail column? or was it my mistake
The mig pack 15
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SP-175
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these are the two i'm looking at specifically. The Mig pack 15 is a 175A retail package
and i thinkthe mig pack 10 is the 135A version
Reply to
Brent
--Get the bigger one and beef up your circuit breakers. Had a great Mig class at the Crucible and got to use *8* different models of Lincoln machines. The little ones can't do crap. Larger ones niiiice.
Reply to
steamer
I don't know about retail vs the SP-135 but I do know that there used to be and may still be two SP-135 machines. One the SP-135 and the other SP-135 Plus. The Plus version has infinitely variable wire speed and voltage (or current, I don't remember which this morning). I have the SP-125 Plus which appears to be the same machine as the SP-135 Plus. I welded with a plain SP-125 and the difference is remarkable. It is much easier to weld with the Plus machine. especially on thin stuff. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
I'm looking at the 175 and I'm anything but worried about the breakers I have 240V all over the house and the shop will have 240 100A available
My big concern is that the 175A welder i'm looking at is actually on the wimpy side in construction compared to the SP-175. I detest buying tools twice and i want to do my best possible to make sure i'm not buying a toy welder with the Lincoln name on the side of it. I buy tools to last when they are treated right and i expect the portable MIG welder to be no different. If it is a toy i will pass up the deal, Scratch it from the list and wait fro a better deal that meets my requirements.
Or i'll hop the border and buy a welder in Ny State if the prices are bonkers between Canada and the US
Reply to
Brent
I have a 175Sp+, and 99% of the welding I do draws less amperage than the machine is rated for. You're not going to be welding full power very much.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
See if the retail version has voltage steps or continuous adjustment. Continuous adjustment doesn't matter much with steel over about .090 thick, but it is a big help on thin metal like auto body panels.
I have a Millermatic 210 for heavier work, but my "go-to" box for thin sheetmetal continues to be the little Lincoln SP125+. That is one seriously sweet little machine for work like that. I've visited a couple of pro vintage auto restoration shops where I saw one of these at every work station, that was a clue for me! It can MIG up to 1/8" or fluxcore up to 3/16", but it's a push: a 220-volt machine is considerably better for 1/8" and thicker, but not as good for thin sheetmetal. The bigger machines can do reasonably thin metal (22 gage) but the lil' red box is better and it can do down to 24 gage autobody panel metal with no problem. Ability to run on 117 volt current is also handy in the driveway. Use a 12-gage extension cord.
If you wonder if there's any difference in use between the SP125+ and an import, try em both and see what you think. I found that there was a world of difference in quality and appearance of welds, done by the same guy. (me)
The Linc can be a bit fussy about wirefeed. It wants clean, rust-free wire. I bag the wire in a ziplock when it won't be used for a while. Erratic wire speed can screw you up bigtime. Miller/Hobart may be better in that regard but I don't know if they have continuous arc voltage adjustment.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Take a look at the Hobart Handler while you're at it. I've not used one but there seems to be a large body of happy owners among restoration and motorcycle guys.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I misread your original post -- I thought you were asking about the 135 vs. the 175, not the "plain welder" vs. "mig pack". Sorry about that... Near as I can tell (I've also been looking into 110V welders), they're the same welder, but the 'Pak' version has additional goodies (useless face shield, instructional video, etc.)
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
I like my Weldpak 100 ... limited in capacity and duty cycle , but it works great within those limitations . I'm using .025" wire and CO2 , and can do small stuff up to 1/4" thick with some preheat . What it isn't big enough for , there's always the 225 amp buzzbox .
Reply to
Snag
I got a lincoln mig sp85 here. Its 10 years old, still works fine for me.
xman
Reply to
xmradio
I have an SP-170T which is an older version of the welders you're talking about. A friend has a MIG-Pak 15 (probably 10 years old). When I got mine I did a bit of research and compared parts listings and found that the Weld-Pak 150, MIG-Pak 15, SP-170T, SP-175T, Weld-Pak 175HD (sold by Home Depot), and a few other models sold at different times by Lowes and Home Depot are the same welder with different decals, etc.
The same goes for the SP-125T, Sp-135T, Home Depots 3200HD, etc. for the 110V version. In fact at one time the SP-100 was the same as the current SP-135 Plus with variable voltage but that was at least 10 years ago. The SP-100 of today is not the same and I believe that it is less welder than the current SP-135 line because the price is so much lower but I haven't verified that.
At that time the MIG-Pak 15 included the regulator for gas and the Weld-Pak 150 did not but it appears that has changed after looking at the link you provided.
Also, this was probably 4 or 5 years ago so I can't say for sure that things haven't changed. As of a year or so ago those are all sold more through the consumer outlets such as Lowes and Home Depot and they now have new models that are different and have the option of adding a spool gun for their pro market so they may have cheapened all of the SP models in some way.
And last but hardly least, according to the Lincoln site the MIG-Pak 15 is now currently only available in Canada. That may only be a marketing choice but it may also mean that it's different from the MIG-Pak 15 that I researched a few years ago. Parts listings are available for download from their site so to be safe you might want to do the same research yourself using current models.
As for the quality of the SP-170T that I have, I love it. I've had it for 4 or 5 years and it was at least that old before I got it and the only thing I've needed to do to it is replace a bearing in the wirefeed.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
Keith
First off THANK YOU that is exactly the news i was hoping for. Second i believe the Mig Pack 10 and 15 Are in the process of being discontinued for a similar box with different metalwork. Normally i would not have considered a "retail" welder and would have picked up an SP175+ at the welding shop or an appropriate miller product (Since my local welding shop pushes miller hard and i've been Very happy with miller welders)
But when its being discontinued and the price is WAY down for essentially the same machine as an SP175 I'd be nuts not to if its the same machine at heart. (Humming the theme to "The Price is Right")
By the way I deliberately included the link to the Canadian Mig pack 15 since i am Canadian. The US version is still in Lincolns Product list too but They likely are on their way out in general. i know only one store in Canada sells them and they have a new Lincoln model to replace it with. I think the only difference might be or have been a cold switch on the wire
I'm not worried at all about the regulator kit since i do tig and have an appropriate argon regulator and i'll deal with the hoses and regulators on my own and since i primarily want it for FCAW purposes outdoors
Thank you very much
Brent Ottawa Canada
Reply to
Brent
Let's see where we're at a year from now.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
how old is your SP175?
and steve if you have a digital cam can you snap a shot of the feed roller assembly?
thats the most significant mechanicla part of these machines and the most likely cause of grief it would definetly confirm that were dealing with the same or not the same machine
Reply to
Brent
"Brent" wrote
I'd say it's about four years old. Will take picture and post on Flickr. I'm not crazy about the appearance of the drive roller assembly. After having a MillerMatic 200 for years, and that mostly metal assembly, this mostly plastic one looks cheesy.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
You're welcome! But you do realize that my comparison was to the SP-175T and not to the SP-175+ model I hope? The T is the tapped model meaning you have a 5 position voltage selector that selects a tap on the transformer. The + model has a continuously variable voltage and is quite a bit more espensive. The MIG-Pak 15 is also a tapped machine.
But IMHO I prefer the tapped version for my own situation for the simple reason that there's less to fail and it's cheaper to fix. The only time I can imagine the variable voltage being all that important is for thin sheetmetal and you have TIG for that.
And yes, they all have the plastic wirefeed setup but there is a gearbox on the motor with a metal housing and all metal gears inside. I know because I had to open mine up to replace the bearing. The true drive portion is all metal. The plastic is the housing that holds it all together, and the tension arm which has a roller bearing in it. The plastic is in great shape on mine. It's just the bearing that died and it was a US-made brand-name bearing. The bearing most likely died because my son thinks that the way to adjust wire tension is to tighten the wingnut until you can't tighten it any more so the shaft coming out of the gearbox eventually started to sag to the point that you couldn't put enough tension on the wire for it to feed properly. :-/
That's not to say that it's the quality of Miller's wirefeed unit. Theirs is all metal and is obviously built more solidly but mine has held up quite well over the years.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall

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