Been thinking of getting a Mig welder for my side business. I've seen
looking 110volt units from Lincoln, Miller and Hobart. Now, I've been told
to not waste my money on a 100volt system because they will lay lousy beads
they will not get good penetration into the metal I am working with. Is
truth to this? Should I go 220volt and up? I would be welding things like
trailer hitches on pickups and SUV's. Nothing very thick though.
That is BS. If you stick with a quality machine (i.e. the brands you named
above) and understand said machines capabilities you'll be fine.
There's a guy on this group that welded 1" plate with a 110V welder just
to show it could be done. He had to prepare the joint properly and make
Should I go 220volt and up? I would be welding things like
Personally, I love my 170 amp 220 volt Miller. I have 220V in my
shop and don't need it to be too portable.
If you are not an experienced weldor and you plan to weld things
like trailers and hitchs, you need to get some instruction and
test your welds to destruction.
It is easy to lay a nice-looking but poorly penetrated bead with
a MIG welder. If one of these beads lets go on the road people can
110v is good for things up to .125" thick, IMHO.
I personally would not weld anything that anyone's life depended upon with a
110v. MIG. YMMV. My conscience is too tender. If I was to be welding
hitches, I would use 7018 and do it right. YES, you can do it with a 220v.
MIG, either gas or innershield techniques. But there is an easy chance to
get nice appearing cold lap IF, or LP welds. In which case a failure would
If you are now making trailer hitches on pickups and SUVs, and are using
material that is "nothing very thick", I suggest that you stop now, get more
education or training, and learn to build them three times as strong as they
need to be. Because in a crisis situation, that much force would be
applied. If it fails then, at least you know nothing would have saved that
poor family and dog in the station wagon. And also realize that you can put
more hitch on a vehicle than the vehicle can handle. And if you are not
200% sure that what you make is going to hold, don't touch it. It might be
your station wagon and dog that takes it in the neck.
There's a WHOLE lot more to making a hitch than just gorilla welding
something together with a 110v. MIG using multiple passes. No matter who
tells you they can do it. Usually the ones who say they can do it don't
really know how to weld anyway.
To me, if you can x ray with 7018, you can weld.
Just MHO, YMMV, hold the flames, thank you very much.
While not a cure-all, using flux-core wire will help prevent cold-lap. Yes,
there is slag and more work. Flux core does require more power though, so
you should keep that in consideration.
There's more to making trailer hitches than welding - there's a little
engineering. Good design goes hand in hand with good craftsmanship - both
If you start designing your own weldments (instead of copying) you should be
fully aware of the possible consequences.
Guess I should have been a bit more clear what I am wanting to accomplish.
how most truck and SUV today come with a 2" receiver for towing balls, well
I would be
welding an insert with a face plate on it to slide up in the receiver and
cover the opening.
So what I am welding together will carry no load, its just for added looks.
Hope I didnt scare anyone in thinking I was going to be welding an entire
You need a 220 volt machine. As a practical matter, the 110 volt units are
mainly useful for sheetmetal (and they're quite useful for that). You *can*
weld steel up to 1/8th inch with them, but then duty cycle limits start to
become a real issue. While the Miller and Hobart 175 amp machines
might suffice, I'd go with a 200 to 250 amp machine. That's what you'll
find in use at places that do this sort of work commercially.