Looking to buy first MIG?

I am looking to buy my first MIG welder. The main use of it will probably be
doing trailer repairs and anything else that I need to use it on. I currenly
have a Lawn business, and I always seem to have a crack in the frame of some
of my equipment or need to put new wire mesh on my trailer and also for
welding angle iron. I have only try welding a few times with my buddies
welder so I have little experience. I just need some help on which kind of
welder to buy and how many amps would I need to do the welding I explained.
I see a lot of MIGs that are between 80 and 100 amps and I didnt know if
this would meet my needs. Im not looking to spend a fortune either, maybe 2
to 3 hundred dollars. Thanks for any help given.
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I suspect your cost estimate is low and probably the amperage also. If you want the most amperage for the money and want to stay in that budget you may need to go with an AC stick welder -- or an AC/DC stick welder.
I realize you asked about a MIG welder.
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You may want to just go to
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and do a search for welder.
$299.99, temporarily out of stock. They mention something about a rebate. Don't know if it applies to this.
Craftsman 240/160 amp AC/DC Stick Welder
Lets you weld overhead and vertically on materials up to 1/4 in. thick. Use with welding rods 1/16 in. and up. 3 welding currents: regular AC, DC reverse polarity, DC straight polarity.
Sears item #00920674000 Mfr. model #0-132-002
Jas> Hi,
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Al Patrick
If you are just going to tac things as they break, just buy a Lincoln and HOME DEPOT for the price they are asking it is worth that... Or buy a MILLER for life. I have a Miller 135 gas and I am pleased with it as a hobiest. It cost most but it is worth it to me over the Lincoln
Reply to
Don D
For occasional use maintenance welding, a plain old ordinary stick welder is cheaper, simpler, and better suited to the task.
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Before you commit to a welder from Home Depot or some other big box store check with your local welding suppliers. I found that by the time you add the hose/regulator kit, and a bottle at Home Depot and other big box stores they where $100.00 to $200.00 more on a Lincoln Weld(or MIG) Pak 10, 120 volt welder than any of the local welding suppliers where on a Hobart 135 or a Lincoln SP135T fully equipped and ready to weld. Both the Hobart and the SP135T are much better made than the consumer model Lincolns. Have a look at this Hobart Handler 125 that Northern Tool has on sale for $299.00. But keep in mind you still need the the regulator hose and a bottle if you want to weld with shield gas that adds $100-150.00 to the price. But you can get started welding with flux core wire and up grade when and if you need to.
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Last comment take a welding night class it's the best investment you will make in welding.
Doug Hamilton
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I was going to buy a stick welder, but it seemed everyone I was talking to said that for a beginner welder, a wire feed welder was much easier to use and learn. Are stick welders easy to use for a beginner? Also, I dont know much about gas welding, can someone briefly tell me what this does? Thanks for all the help.
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But, then, that assumes the operator knows how to weld.
To get where Jason wants to be, it will take time AND money. He can pay more money, and get a MIG welder that is easier, but then, he will still have some learning curve to follow, and it may or may not take him less time. He can pay less money, and get a stick, and weld most anything. The extra money will buy a lot of rods, and perhaps some instruction.
If it were me, and all I had was about $300, I would buy a used ac/dc stick welder. You probably could get a decent one, and it would weld thin to thick with a little practice. Fergeddabout a cheap MIG. You will be cussing and tossing it before long. It will be wasted money. Welding things as important as a trailer requires the right process, whether you do it with a cheap machine or an expensive one.
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if you are in the LAWN business, you probably got a few 6x12 or 5x12 trailer, with 3500LB capacity, the frame on those trailers is a 1/4" angle iron, ( at least mine is) while you would be able to do some repairs on the top side of your trailer with a 110 V MIG 135 amp unit using flux core (deeper penetration) and be able to plug it in anywhere, however on the bottom frame you would need something that can give you more AMPs. say a 175 amp 220 V unit , but it is around ~$600.
AC/DC stick $200-$400 + would give you the need amprage ,but you would need different rods for different size metal. with the stick , you have to have the right type of rod, righ size , and right amprage to match it to get good result. With MIG/ Flux, you can do a variety of jobs with a single wire size , say .030 or .035 . I found that rods tend to be more expensive than MIG supplies. MIG /flux would be cleaner, easier, and easier to learn ( at least for me ) but stick would be cheaper to purchase initially.
I would say look for a used 220 V MIG
Reply to
Don't go less than 130amp.
I just bought a 180 amp 220 vac unit last year, it's been great. From sheet metal to 3/8" thick flat bar...no problems.
Also if welding in areas with poor ventalation, get one with a gas kit. Flux core smokes way too much, and only goes down to .030" which is no good for thin materials. (mixed gas is most versatile) Hard wire goes down to .023".
For windy areas, using gas & flux works great
Also in the 150-180 amp class, and the right gas you will be able to weld a wider range of material types (alum,etc.)
I was originally going to go with a 130amp flux core only... I am glad I didn't.
I have built a HD 4x8' utility trailer, many small projects, and am now using it for auto body restoration (68 F100)
While Miller Hobart and Lincon, deffinatly are the units to buy, I bought a "Clark 180E with gas" and so far have not been disapointed ($600.00 CND)
Don't cheap out with the "Amps"... {{{ Used Maybe }}}
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Northern Tools and Hydraulics has a Hobart 135 on sale for $345.
Take the $50 discount for opening a credit account with them, and no interest for 6 months....
I couldn't resist that one. So I bought it.
Richard (happy boy) Lamb
Ray wrote:
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Richard Lamb

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