practical difference between millermatic 180 and 211

I've been looking for a MIG welder I can haul up and down stairs and these two seem to be the same weight in the same chassis. The 211 can take 120,
which really doesn't seem like something I need, as I'd be installing a 240 volt outlet anyways.
Aside for the slightly higher current and duty cycle rating, is there any real difference between the two units? Does one have truly beefier parts inside it, or something truly better than the other? It seems the 211 is a slightly newer model, but as to whetever or not there are true improvements over the other is not clear. The price difference is just over $100 these days which isn't too much.
The other web forums have people asking this question all the time, and there's never a really good answer other than you can run ther 211 off 120 if you want to.
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Gunner Asch wrote:

I have a Weldpak 100 , and Gunner's right . I try to limit myself to max 3/16 or so with flux core , 1/8 with solid wire/gas <CO2 usually> single pass . Of course the exact application will modify that .
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I'm most interested in messing with fairly thin steel under 1/4" although the wire gun attachment for aluminum looks interesting. It seems the capacity of Al is less than that of steel for either units due to heat loss or whatever. Any limitiations would just be tough luck for me and not a show stopper of any sort.
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Although you say you will always have a 220 source available, choosing the 120 volt machine means you can go almost _anywhere_, any time with a portable machine and glue something back together... without depending on the availability of a 220 source...
That's why our portable is a 120 machine...
Carla
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I'm more interested in the internal differences between the machines than anything else like hypothetical welding in somebody's kitchen.
Oddly, I'm not able to locate internal photos of either machine.
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2014 04:19:01 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader

Have you tried looking for schematics? I found them for my Lincoln SP125+ on the Lincoln web site. Maybe MIller does the same. My wire feed is a 120 volt model which limits the thickness of the metal it will weld properly to fairly thin stuff. On the occasions where I needed to weld thicker metal I just pre-heated with a weed burner. So if you already have a good torch and are going to weld mostly thin stuff then maybe the smaller machine might make more sense for you if a good deal comes up on one. Eric
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snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

I haven't found any schematics on these units either. I'm really quite curious as to what happens inside them.
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On 3/17/2014 3:27 PM, Cydrome Leader wrote:

If you go to the Miller web site (http://www.millerwelds.com/service/ownersmanuals.php?model), you can download the owners manuals. The schematics are toward the back of each manual. The schematics don't include the contents of the boards, but there is still some useful information there.
BobH
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I don't have serials for products I don't own.
That makes me wonder, is miller service a load of shit, like needing a serial number to get a manual?
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On 3/17/2014 5:00 PM, Cydrome Leader wrote:

There are two paths out of that page, the "Enter your serial number" one that gets you the manual that will match a machine you have, or the "Locate your manual by model name". The model name path gives you a list of their machines and you pick the one you want. What you get out of the model name path is the most recent version printed. If all you want to do is see the guts or specs, the most recent version is good enough.
I have been using Miller gear for a long time and it has been excellent stuff. I can't say much more about their service because I have never needed it.
BobH
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it looks like I hit a bug with their website. the millermatic 211 in the manuals section has a "&" character in causing the site to not locate the manual. I called miller and the guy there said just double click on it, in the pulldown. it loaded ok that way, and now I can see exploded diagrams of what's inside the 180 vs the 211.
A 10 minute check doesn't reveal any spectacular differences in the 180 vs 211. There are extra things in the 211 like a small control transformer and fan shroud that supports that. The fan and motor have differen numbers but that's expected for a dual voltage unit. The stabilizer choke and capacitor are the same in both models.
The recitifer assemblies differ and the 211 has a thermal switch on the rectifier plate, the 180 does not.
So it appears there's a little more going on inside the 211 over the 180. I'm not sure if these are improvements or if the 180 has some cost cutting going on.
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On 3/16/2014 11:50 AM, Cydrome Leader wrote:

I got a Miller 180 from a friend after my Lincoln SP175 plus took a shit on my after not much use. Looking at the two inside, there is no comparison. Lincoln is cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesy. Drive assembly wimpy. I'll never buy another Lincoln product. I'd say a 180 will do what you want, is a good machine, and will last. I only hit the duty cycle on it once, and I was WELDING. Now, to take that POS LINCOLN and have it fixed.
Steve
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It turns out there's a miller 211 waiting for me to pickup, but the little things like finding a dolly in the trash that needs a new wheel (cylinder cart) and the wiring changes are going to burn more time than I anticipated.
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Well it looks like electrical plugs and receptacles come from china already. Oddly, in the realm of 6-50R receptacles, the chinese one from pass+seymour is better made than the mexican one from leviton. The P&S has a thicker faceplace stamping with folds for extra strength and the plastic molding is better looking. The 4" boxes for the outlet at the breaker panel were from the US, the cable gland was from india, but I had that for years. The cable itself was from the US, not sure where the breaker came from. I noticed the miller 211 which is new now says "assembled in USA" on the box and the "Made in USA" star was removed from the front bezel. The included regulator from Smith is still domestic but has a corny c-clip and hose barb attachment for the hose. The only thing needed now is the gas cylinder before I can test it.
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SteveB wrote:

Steve , that's a pretty broad brush yer wieldin' there ... take into consideration the age of that SP175 . My Weldpak 100 does a great job , the internals appear plenty robust for the intended application - and yes , I have hit the duty cycle limitations a few times . Now this ain't a commercial welder , but neither am I . Might just be I got one from before they started makin' them cheaper to hit that price point , but either way it's a dandy machine and I'm happy with it . It does help that I have bigger machines for bigger jobs ... but neither of them is easily transportable .
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On 4/3/2014 6:38 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I went to a welding supplier, and bought the top of the line 175, not the reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaalllllllllly cheesy ones they sell at HD that have even crappier guts. I had troubles six months into it. The machine has a total of less than 100 hours use on it. I specifically spent more to get the better one that Lincoln sells, and went 220 so that I would have more situations covered. A supposedly REAL welder instead of just a 110 that most people use four hours a month. I got a lemon, and because of it, Lincoln lost a long time customer.
Steve
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Greetings Steve, I have been inside my Lincoln SP125+ to make some mods to the circuit board in order to add a purge button. Mine is plenty robust inside where ther are "no User Serviceable Parts". The drive system is also well built and has never been a problem. I bought the thing used and have used it hard since. How old is your SP175? I think mine was made in 2001. I am going to be buying a larger MIG welder and was leaning toward Lincoln but if the quality has really gone down that much then I will need to avoid them. Eric
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On 4/3/2014 10:56 AM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

Just go look at the two. Compare the amount of metal in the drive components. Compare the cases, the fit, the workmanship.
There is no comparison. Miller is hands down a far better built machine, made of sturdier parts. I would buy the 180 over a 175 any day. My 180 is a loaner. When the owner wants it back, I will drive over and buy a 180 with absolutely no hesitation.
Steve
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Well that's a pretty positive vote for Miller. I will compare the two when I go shopping. I realize that a sample of one is only that. But it's good to have at least one opinion before you go shopping. Eric
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On 4/4/2014 10:50 AM, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:

Test 1. Pick them both up. Not at the same time, mind you. Lincoln a lot lighter.
Test 2. Open the cover. Look the HUGE difference in the size and amount of metal in the two. Lincoln is mostly plastic.
Test 3. Compare the guns. The Lincoln is held together with plastic bands, and once you take one apart, they have two bare wires as contact points. CHEESY WITH A CAPITAL C.
Just look at the two and let your eyes and common sense make up your mind.
Steve
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