Need info on MIGS!!!! HELP!!!

Hello all, I am interested in purchasing a mig for my garage/shop. There are so many migs out there to choose from and I would like to hear good/bad machines you guys have out there. I can run 220 or 110. Any info is great!!!


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I have a Lincoln SP-170T and love it! It requires 220V and will weld about any steel I've ever needed to. It's currently sold as the SP-175T and the MIG-Pak15 and I believe the HD3200 sold by Home Depot is the same welder.

My previous MIG was a Century 125GS and contrary to what many might tell you it was a decent unit as well but was underpowered for some of the things I wanted to do. On the plus side though, it used 110V so I could use it anywhere. If portability is a requirement for you I would recommend a Lincoln SP-135T or SP-135+ instead simply because they're probably a bit more powerful. The Century I had is probably closer in power to the Lincoln Weld-Pak 100. For the projects the Century couldn't handle I have an old Lincoln AC-225 stick welder.

Since I got the SP-170T I don't think I've used the AC-225 at all.

Best Regards, Keith Marshall

"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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Keith Marshall

Hi Justyn,

First you need to think about what you want to weld, how thick will you go. Then more importantly, how long do you expect to weld for at any given time. Welders are rated on power and duty cycle. Duty cycle is where they kick you in the pants. In HUGE letters it will show 225AMP!!!!! then you look closer and duty cycle is 10%. Duty cycle is nothing more then how long you can run it in a given time. A welder with 50% duty cycle needs to rest and cool down one minute for every minute it works. That doesn't mean I had my welder int he garage for 6 months now I have 3 months straight welding capability. Think of it in a 10 minute span. You can weld for 5 minutes then cool down for 5 minutes. 10% duty cycle will let you weld for 1 minute out of 10. That is how they can fit the same power welder into a much smaller box.

Your next question is how much you want to spend. You can find mig welders for 139 at Harbor Freight, and they are pretty good for the money, you can buy a name brand at home depot for 299 that will be a fine welder.

Unless you have to, do not get a 110 welder. I can't emphasize that enough. You MUST go for 220.

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I hit shift return by accident and wound up sending the file before done.

Buying a first MIG welder is alot like buying a first computer. You need to take into account how much you want to spend, what applications you are going to run, and where you going to plug it in :)

Good Luck


"V8TR4" welder int he garage for 6 months now I have 3 months straight welding

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If it says Linde, L-Tech, or ESAB run run like mad. Do not even consider, I purchased a Linde L-Tech welder new a few years back and what a lemon. Even the dealer today says they are embarrased to have ever sold the Linde/ESAB line of equiptment. Many Many problems..

Where are you located, we just cleaned out an ornamental iron shop and got several Miller Matic35 Mig welders.


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Buy the Lincoln SP175+. A 220v machine that will do most anything you want it to. A factory three year warranty. Around $750, plus a bottle.

Whatever you buy, buy one of the top of the line brand name models. They will perform better, and be easier to get parts, service, and consumables for.

And don't fall for the stuff, "Oh, I can get consumables for my MIG 28x9CT on the Internet." Who wants to wait several days for something you can go get for your brand name welder at the local shop? Or you find out that it has been discontinued, and can no longer get parts for it. If you live in Michigan, you will have a nice boat anchor for muskie fishing.

You get what you pay for. Spend the dough and get a good one. You won't regret it. I would only consider Miller and Lincoln, but I am somewhat biased because I have owned so many and they all ran great.


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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 21:17:00 GMT, "V8TR4" You MUST go for 220.

I recently swapped for a new MIG-100 Harbor Freight 110vt welder and last weekend, got a chance to fire the critter up. After some futzing, much of which was removing the (2) seperate 8" long pieces of welding wire somehow deep inside the wire feed tube, I got it fired up and running. The learning curve was so so, considering I stick weld (poorly on the grand scheme of things), but it was handy as hell, as I repaired my utility trailer, and various bit and pieces of this and that. I was tickled that it would weld a couple pieces of thin sheet metal together.

It got a good test though, when welding on my utility trailer. I attempted to run some long beads, holding a stiffener to the bottom of the trailer tounge. I could weld around 16" continious, and then the welder would kick the thermal safety, and Id have to wait 5 minutes before it would light off again. Running 8" runs, and then prepping for the next, never did trip the welder and I could make pretty good speed.

I managed to find a 2lb spool of .035 flux core, badged by Hobart at Harbor Freight priced the same as the Chinese marked wire. Shiney steel color as opposed to dark Chinese.

My opinion, is that this HF welder, is pretty decent for the genre, but is not rated (10%) for much heavy duty work. However this is fine, as I have stick welders for heavy duty work and needed something for thin tubing and light duty brackets and such. I was very impressed by the penetration I could get with that skinny wire, and how it blew through rust, once I got an arch started. (needed to steel brush a patch first). The Ground Clamp is pretty micky mouse, and doesnt open big enough (1.5").


Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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I agree with Steve. You get what you pay for in welders. Both Miller and Lincoln are great welders. You can start with one of their lower end welders or spend as much money as you wish to get more power. If you are doing hobby work on relatively thin material, you can get by on one of the lower end welders. If you are going to weld some pretty thick things then you will have to spend more money. I bought a middle of the line Miller and I have initally thought that I had spent too much money. After gaining some experience with it, I am most happy that I went ahead with a better machine. Don't buy the cheap machines from Harbor freight. The duty cycle is simetimes 10% and do you want to spend your time untangling wire jams?

Gary Pollard

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Gary Pollard

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