Which choice to get more welding power?

First, I am a hobbyist. I bought a mint condition Hobart Handler 120 mig welder for $250 a couple months ago. Now I want to weld some thicker materials like 1.25" rebar to 3/4" rebar to make some bed head boards, coffee tables, etc. The thick stuff is for not for strength, just looks. Also some thicker plate where weld strength is an issue. I have a dedicated 220v/50amp circuit in my garage. I have about $400 to spend. I see three options to get more welding power:

  1. an a/c buzzbox (0)
  2. an ac/dc stick (5)
  3. sell the HH120 for 5 and use that to buy a Lincoln 175T (0).

Pro stick: I can keep the HH120, I have the portability of a 110volt machine.

Con stick: If I buy the stick, I have the learning curve of learning stick.

Will the 175T give me the punch to do heavier metal, especially using flux-core? Is the 175T a good compromise? Thanks.

Reply to
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Keep the Handler 120, they are great machines. Get yourself a AC/DC Stick welder for your heavy stuff.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

How about finding a used AC/DC stick welder for sale. It's not like you will be moving it around very far. Put it on wheels if you need to be able to move it out for use, then roll it under a countertop for storage.

Reply to
Thomas Kendrick

If the thick stuff is not for strength you can use the 120 easily. I've welded 3/4" plate with my HH130 and this was parts from a working Ford 9N tractor (as in working everyday on a farm) The parts are still holding after 3 years.

You can weld haevy stuff with a small welder...you just have to be careful if it's structural. For decorative stuff...it's a non issue.

Reply to
James Arnold


IMHO, get yourself the AC/DC buzzbox. It will have the penetration you need AND you will be able to do TIG with it also. Add a nice little dry rig and a bottle of argon and you too can be a welding god just like Ernie L!! ;>)

Regards, Jim

Reply to
Jim C Roberts

Hi John

Reply to
Brian Carlson

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