Two big names in small portable MIG welders are
the Millermatic-135 and the Lincoln-135.
Both run on 110v and are 135amp MIG welders.
But yet the weld thickness claims are different.
Lincoln-135 - up to 5/16"
Miller-135 - up to 3/16"
So why doesn't the Miller weld the same thickness
as the Lincoln if they are both similar machines
with similar amperages?
Reference: (to see specs on both welders)
Both of these are really 90 amp machines with a 1/4" max weld.
They can both weld 3/16" easily.
Miller is being realistic, Lincoln is in LA-LA land.
Both machines will only output 135 amps if fed a 45 amp line of 120v AC.
Where exactly are you planning to find 45 amp circuit of 120 v AC power?
The connector exists on he charts, but I doubt there are many in
The first link is for Lincoln SP-135+. Really looks like relabeled
SP125+ which I own. Product information for SP125+ always had note
saying multipale pass required for thicker than 1/8". That got left
off of this product info for SP135+ but is well covered in the
welder's manual available on line.
Much better is the New SP100 product info with bar graph showing what
thickness metal can be welding with solid steel wire, fluxcore wire
and aluminum wire. Informative and realistic information that should
be added to the rest of their welders product info and manuals. All
that's missing is the volt and wire speed setting. They should add
that bar graph to the manual.
Ernie is right on the money,
1/4 inch is realistic.
you don't want to weld anything heavier with a 110 machine.
or you end up a with a cold-lap weld.
I thing even if you could use a heavier circuit than the recommended
all the internal wiring and the 110 V connector/ wire is a 14 gauge
wire at its best.
110V baby MIG has it's limitation for sure.
sometime I wish I would have not bought my lincoln 135, but other
times it is nice that you could take it, plug it in and weld at just
about any place where there is a 110 connector.
For that reason alone I will keep mine, and spring for a used 220V
stick welder for the occasional heavier jobs.
I purposely went to the Lincoln175SP+ because I wanted the extra oomph for
when I need it. That is not often, but it really does make a difference.
Spend the extra few bucks and have one machine that will do so much more.
Buy the 175 220v machine.
yes of course, a 220 V will do more,
but my point is......
reason to buy a 110V is portability !!
220V is for shop use at a fixed location.
a 110V you can throw in the trunk of your car , take it "where ever"
and a 110V receptacle will most likely be near by, and you can plug
it in and start welding things.
some things are not easy or impossible to transport to a shop.
a few things come in mind, I fixed a broken fence /gate hinge for my
father-inlaw, welded a broken shift lever pivot shaft on his riding
lawnmover recently. A 110V baby mig was idial for the job.
The baby MIGs made by lincoln are sweet welders. MY SP125+ welds down
to 24 gage right up to 1/8" with recommended wires. The setting chart
is real close to what I use. When I bought mine the equivilant
millermatic and hobart handlers were haveing problems welding 22ga and
24ga steel. Nice welders but easy to outgrow.
Do the math. 135 amps at 20 volts is 2700 watts. If the welder
were 100% efficient, that would be 22.5 amps input at 120 volts.
Since normal household 120 circuits are 15 amps, you're already
short. This is the reason people say you only get 90 amps out of
But these machines aren't 100% efficient. A reasonable (perhaps
a bit optimistic) assumption is that they're 70% efficient. That
means they need to draw at least 32 amps at 120 to produce
135 amps at the arc.
a question for ya,
are'nt these transformer welders works with primary and secondary
meaning 110V and say15-20 amp goes through the primary coils, which is
energizing the secondary coils , usually a different size wire with
different amount of wounding (wind) around a center carbon or metal
core. creating lower voltage and higher amperage. and that is where
the loss is. Am I right?
is it possible to make that loss a gain somehow????
also lets say in theory: that i can create a 30amp 110V circuit ,
with heavy duty connectors.
with the 30 amp circuit, and original Lincoln internal wiring, can
this welder produce 135 amp of welding power?
I was just reading through my lincoln SP135 manual , and it does say
welding current 25-135 AMp. Are they making it up ????
In the past I have mentioned how important it is to plug one of these
into a "box outlet", an outlet directly connected to your main breaker box.
My SP125+ is plugged into a 20A outlet on a 20A breaker two feet from
my main electric panel. No extension cord. It is VERY EASY to notice
the power drop when welding 80' away in my garage.
1/4" welding is possible, especially if the pieces are not large. Just this
past weekend I was doing some welding on 1/4 plate to 2" ID trailer
tube. The parts were carefully fitted. No problem with full penetration,
as the whole assembly heated up to about 300F. 0.030 wire, max voltage,
about 1/3 speed, lots of C02, flat position.
If I need to weld lots of 1/4 or thicker stuff, I borrow my friend Mitch's
Power MIG 255. Very nice to work with, that one, and much less time
has to be spent on prep.
In the old days engineers got to name the welding machines, so you had
machines like Betamig 200's and Millermatic 150's.
About 10-15 years ago the marketing departments got the power to name
the machines, and now those same machines are called Betamig 250's and
See they used to name a machine for it's output amperage at almost 100%
duty cycle, giving you a realistic idea of how much power it had, but
marketing peoole hate selling the same numbered machine for too many
years in a row.
So they started upping the numbers without changing the machines.
Their justification for the rising number was that they would just
calculate it at a steadily decreasing duty cycle, so now we have 90 amp
MIG machines being called 135 amp MIG machines because you could
theoretically weld at 135 amps for about 10 seconds.
The Hobart Handler 120, 130, 135, Millermatic 110, 120, 130, 135,
Lincoln SP100, 110, 120, 130, 135 are all 90 amp machines.
If anything they have actually reduced the duty cycles of these
machines by reducing the quality (and therefore the cost) of the
A lot of that is a necessity of the market.
Nobody can afford to make machines like they used to.
My Handler 120 is better built than any of the current 110 MIGs despite
their claims of "new" technology.
If they ever release an inverter based 110v MIG then they will actually
have entered the world of "new" technology.
The only thing they have improved are the lifespan of the diodes, wire
feeders and gun liners.
Mind you, YES you can weld thicker materiel than 3/16" steel with these
machines, BUT it takes a great deal of care, or you will fry your
I have done a full penetration weld on 1" plate with my handler 120
just to prove the point, but I did it with great care not to destroy my
It takes a full v-grind bevel, a preheat, and lots of small passes.
Letting the machine cool for a few minutes between each pass.
I do not recommend making a habit of it.
If you weld heavier materiel, the machine will get increasingly hotter
and hotter .
As it gets hotter the transformer gets less efficient and starts
pulling more and more power from the wall to maintain the output
Eventually you will either trip the overload protector in the machine,
trip your circuit breaker, or fry your diodes.
I am sorry if you bought your 110volt wire feeder because you believed
that you could weld bridges with it.
They are intended for sheet metal, and thin wall tubing, and not much
I love my Handler 120.
This year it is 10 years old and going strong.
I use it more than my Betamig 250.
We have 12 Handler 120s at school, and soon we will start retiring them
as it is getting increasingly expensive to repair them.
We will likely go with new Millermatic 135s.
These unrealistic ratings, are part of the reason I would like to find an
owners manual for the Astro Powermig 100 I fixed up. The newer 110 model
might be able to put out more amperage with newer diodes, with a lower
forward resistance. But ***NOT*** using a 15 Amp circuit! I am very doubtful
about getting even 100 amps for any useful time. Perhaps, just maybe on a
20-30 amp circuit. Mine, unlike the US model, has a 15 amp combined switch,
and breaker, which would have to be changed to get any where near full
output. Its best to take these ratings with a grain of salt! I plan on
helping out the diodes in mine a bit. The stock heatsink is just a piece of
sheet Aluminum. I am going to add a finned heatsink, with fan to it. In my
neck of the woods, a new welder costs little more than new diodes!
: In the old days engineers got to name the welding machines, so you had
: machines like Betamig 200's and Millermatic 150's.
: About 10-15 years ago the marketing departments got the power to name
: the machines, and now those same machines are called Betamig 250's and
: Millermatic 210's.
: See they used to name a machine for it's output amperage at almost 100%
: duty cycle, giving you a realistic idea of how much power it had, but
: marketing peoole hate selling the same numbered machine for too many
: years in a row.
: So they started upping the numbers without changing the machines.
This is known as "specsmanship". Very much like how they rate the
"horsepower" of a compressor. The catch word is "peak" horsepower or the
locked rotor amps times the line voltage.
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote: Also known as "Sears Horsepower".
Locked rotor power is undoubtedly the maximum power the motor is capable of
drawing from the line. It might be of interest to someone wanting to know
how quickly a given motor can be burned out. :-)
The core is silicon steel transformer "iron". The transformer is only
responsible for part of the loss. These machines also use circuitry
to achieve constant voltage DC. There's loss in those circuits too.
No. Energy output can't exceed energy input. That would
violate the conservation of energy law.
Yes, though not for long. (It'll heat up and thermally trip off
rather quickly at 135 amp output.)
After a fashion, yes. They're not using a 15 amp household circuit
to get that rating.
Ernie, out of curiosity, what sorts of repairs are you all having to
do on these machines, and why is it getting more expensive -- are
parts getting harder to find, or are more expensive parts wearing out,
or ... ?
If you go to Lincoln Electric site and download manual for SP100 it is
rated 115V 15amp in 85amp out with 20% duty cycle.
115V 20amp in 90 amp out with 20% duty cycle.
I think all 115V mini migs are simular because of power limits.
It can output more amps but at lower duty cycle. Also look at product
information sheets they have volt/amp curves charted and duty cycle
through out the amp range. Lincoln is being truthfull saying need
25amp circuit at higher settings welding thicker than1/8". Bet other
companies should say that. I have welded with my SP125+ on 1/8 and
3/16 on 20 amp circuit. Not long welds so the 20 amp breaker handles