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Seeking suggestions for a 110v MIG welder.


Eddo Rogue

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Hey guys. I often find myself welding at locations that do not have a 220/240V outlet for my machine. I think its time I bite the bullet and get a 110v welder, ideally one that does both.

I have been borrowing a buddies miller 211, and love it, but they are beyond my budget. My buddy paid $1300 OTD for his, they are $2300 OTD now.

I was looking at the lincolns...Can get a 140 for $869 OTD, or the 180C for a little over a grand.

I am considering the various off brand cheapos as well. Hobart,Esab,Clark etc... But I have a hard time believing a 6 in 1 machine for $400 bucks does it all. If that was true, why would $10,000 machines that only do TIG even exist?

I sometimes use a 110V stick welder in a pinch, but its not fun or pretty.

All I need it for is regular old gas mig wire welding when lacking 220V for my usual machine. Ideally on a budget.

Any suggestions?
 


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Hobart and Miller are the same company. Usually Hobart is the same machine, just with fewer features. Look up a Handler 210 vs a Miller 211 for example. Both are good quality.

Lincoln makes good machines too but as a Miller owner I'd rather be dead than Red as they say 😂:thefinger:

I'd watch for sales on Cyberweld.com. My buddy picked up a 211 recently for about $1400, they come on sale all the time, as do other brands. ESAB and HTP both make good welders as well.

Basically what you're getting for more money is (a) a much higher duty cycle, (b) a much better/longer warranty, and (c) guaranteed parts availability for quite a few years.
 

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The esab Rebel seems to be popular for this.
Hear a lot of good stuff about HTP and prime weld, but I don’t know if they have a lunchbox mig.

I would personally rather go with a little inverter stick machine like a miller max star, I feel like stick is more versatile and easier to use for a portable repair rig.



Edit; looking at the Rebel online, about $2700 normally. Cyberweld has a $150 esab rebate, plus either a $350 cash discount or a $396 Optrel hood. https://store.cyberweld.com/esab-rebel-emp-215ic-welder-0558102240.html Brings it down to $2250 after both rebates. Pretty good considering its an actual multiprocess unit with all the fixin's
 
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I remember in The Love Bug in which Herby was cut in half and Buddy Hackett was trying to gas weld him back together, while racing down the course, with an oxy-acetylene torch.
 

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I got my lincon 110 for very cheap from someone upgrading, and you can convert it to shielded gas mig very easily
 

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I've been beating the heck out of my Titanium MIG 170 from harbor freight... I found it open box for like $125, it'll do gas or flux core on 110 or 220v... it kinda sucks on sheet metal wire feed speeds (with .030 wire, feed is just inconsistent) but when you get up a little it works pretty good.

Name brands would probably be better for parts availability but I haven't been able to kill the little 170, I've stalled generators, blew breakers and killed a GFI outlet with it trying to get as much heat as possible for the conditions and it somehow keeps going, I think I've had that thing for like 4 years now...
 

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I have a Titanium mig.. yet to use it but the reviews were enough for me.
 

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I've had a Lincoln Weldpac100 for decades. It's fluxcore, 110V, and portable without straining. I've welded up to 1/4" multipass, and done sheetmetal to tube. It's great outdoors in a breeze where gas sucks balls. For a general hobby welder it's great.
At work I use the owners Miller gas Mig. Not sure exact size but it works great on bigger stuff. Makes my welds look awesome, but it's probably a 3-4 thousand machine, and not portable.
I would look at something similar to the Lincoln for what you want.
 

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I am considering the various off brand cheapos as well. Hobart,Esab,Clark etc... But I have a hard time believing a 6 in 1 machine for $400 bucks does it all. If that was true, why would $10,000 machines that only do TIG even exist?
Like someone else said, it's duty cycle and how heavy the machine is built. For happy homeowner use, you do not need a heavy built machine. What little a homeowner welds, he can stop and let the machine rest if he has to.

And then you have all the middle men that need to be paid. They have to eat too. Harbor Freight skips some of the middle men, and that's why they have better deals on the lighter duty machines. We know for a fact that the Harbor Freight floor jack is built in the same factory as the Snap on floor jack is. Don't know but it might be true with some of the welders also.
 

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I have a vulcan 210 mig from harbor freight. Its 110 or 220 volts. I've been using the heck out of it, Takes Lincoln parts for the gun that I get at the farm store. Its been a very nice machine for what I paid for it. Its no name brand machine, but its been good so far.
 

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Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, all good welders. I own all Lincoln, but that’s just how it worked out. Started with an AC-225 stick that I still keep around, then got a deal on a big PowerMig and that’s been a pretty great welder. But it’s big.

Neighbor has a Miller and a Hobart, I want to say I ran the Hobart a little at one point and I don’t remember having any complaints.

My buddy up in the city has a Craftsman, but it looks like all the other cheap 110v wire feeders. It works alright but with only high and low settings, you really have to play with the wire speed and I seem to have a lot of trouble getting it dialed in when low is too low and high is too high.

My dad picked up one of the little Titanium inverter wire feeders from Harbor Freight awhile back. It ran really nice and super light and portable (has to be used on a 20 amp circuit though), but it stopped feeding hot through the gun not long after burning the first spool of wire in it. It will feed cold all day long, but not hot. Took the gun apart hoping the connection somehow came loose, but no. Haven’t dug into it any more and of course it was out of warranty when it quit.

Because it quit and I was mad I went looking for a used or new 110v wire feed/MIG and my one requirement was adjustments for heat instead of a high/low switch and I ended up with a Lincoln WeldPac 100. New un-kinked liner, new tip, and a fresh 10# spool and it runs real nice.

Back when I worked maintenance, they had a Lincoln multi-process welder and that thing was pretty sweet. Dual voltage, stick, wire feed, MIG, and TIG (but we didn’t have the TIG torch, would have liked to have played with that). After playing with the settings and stuff a bit, I was able to 110v stick weld thick plate together with a weld so perfect that the slag peeled itself off as it cooled. Someday I may own one of those welders, but right now it’s out of my budget.
 

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Go 220 volt and make an extension cord out of 10 ga wire. Easy to plug into a dryer outlet or a breaker. I used to do portable welding with a Millermatic 185. It's better to have power and a decent duty cycle that 220 volts gives you, IMO. Flux core is lame for serious work, unless it's farm work that you don't care what it looks like. Get a decent gas regulator with a flow ball meter. Buy your own standard size gas cylinder. Mini cylinders or renting is dumb. With practice and enough shielding gas, you can make almost TIG quality looking welds with a 185. Mine was made in the late 1990s and was bullet proof. I used to carry it and a full size cylinder, in a 2nd gen VW Scirocco with the passenger seat removed.

Buy an electronic hood, extra tips, a tip cleaner set, good gloves/leathers and anti splatter/stick paste or spray. Practice a lot and/or take a class before any serious welding. Most newbies don't get proper penetration and/or voids/inclusions/undercut roots. You really have to pay attention to the arc and puddle the whole time. You also might have to decrease/increase the amps and speed as the metal heats up. Don't be too proud to grind away some of your welds to make sure it's perfect.
 
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Hey guys. I often find myself welding at locations that do not have a 220/240V outlet for my machine. I think its time I bite the bullet and get a 110v welder, ideally one that does both.

I have been borrowing a buddies miller 211, and love it, but they are beyond my budget. My buddy paid $1300 OTD for his, they are $2300 OTD now.

I was looking at the lincolns...Can get a 140 for $869 OTD, or the 180C for a little over a grand.

I am considering the various off brand cheapos as well. Hobart,Esab,Clark etc... But I have a hard time believing a 6 in 1 machine for $400 bucks does it all. If that was true, why would $10,000 machines that only do TIG even exist?

I sometimes use a 110V stick welder in a pinch, but its not fun or pretty.

All I need it for is regular old gas mig wire welding when lacking 220V for my usual machine. Ideally on a budget.

Any suggestions?
If you are a good welder you can make nice welds with a 120v $100 flux-core Chinese machine. I have an expensive 240V Lincoln, but I don't use it that much--just on things in the shop because I don't like to haul the tank around. I also have a 230amp Hobart stick welder. Most things, I like the 120V flux-core because it is easier with an extension cord. Big things, I stick weld them. Smaller things, I use the cheap cheap flux-core. Pretty things, I use the Lincoln. It's not too often.
 

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And to Will's point, that's why I have like 6 welders and a torch set... :) 3 stick welders, 3 wire feeds (the cheap 100A HFT flux core, the Titanium 170 and 200)...
 

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I have a harbor freight 110 gas/flux wire also. For 20 years its been putting stuff together for me with no trouble. I traded for it so i can't tell what it cost but it welds good enough for exhaust and cracked manifold repairs. And building jeep roll bars, forgot about those
 

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