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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Apr 2002
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    184
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200, '55 Farmall Cub, '57 Ford 640

    Default Small MIGs Really any difference?

    All the top brands (and then some) make a small 110V wire feed.

    Is there really any difference between a Hobart/Miller/Lincoln? Or should a guy just find the best price.

    I will be learning to weld and (at this time) don't have a need for heavy duty. Need to do some craft type stuff and small repairs for now. MAYBE some stuff up to 3/16-1/4" tops. If I could afford a 220V model I would one, BUT I CAN'T. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

    So I thought I would get a small unit, learn how to weld, then (if needed) move up to a larger unit in a few years.

    So are there any difference in the small machines, or is it kinda like tractor colors (find one you like and stick with it [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img])

    Thanks
    Guy

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    800
    Location
    Winn Parish, LA
    Tractor
    Case 380B, Super C

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    I'd get one of the big 3. You'll be looking to get rid of it sooner than you think and you might get half your money back on a popular brand. Shop arounf and you might find an off brand 220v for same price as popular 110v. Pay attention to duty cycle and cooling when shopping.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    61
    Location
    Ava, MO
    Tractor
    Mahindra 5500 4WD

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    I'd ask HERE . Lots of members on this site who endorse either brand. Hobart has a really good BBS too, but you'll definitely get the Miller/Hobart slant there.

    My MIG is pretty large and sophisticated and I haven't used a 110v, so I'm no expert on comparing those models, but from everything I've seen on various BBS's, I get the impression that the Lincoln SP-125 Plus is the winner in this category for a multitude of reasons.

    All I'd say after that is that if you use a small machine like that, there's a good possibility that you could get really nice 'looking' welds with poor fusion and little penetration. The folks that seem the happiest with a 110v are generally those doing auto body and other low-current sheet metal work. If that's all you do, one of these makes a lot of sense and most of them can do the job quite nicely. If you're looking at 1/4" or better and/or at structural welds and think you can just weld multipass or run a large puddle with a 110v, then you are setting yourself up.

    Another relatively inexpensive alternative is oxy/fuel. It's very versatile and can produce top quality welds on all thicknesses with the least investment. Less than $1000 can get you a VERY nice torch/cutting/heating outfit (mine's a Victor Journeyman) and cylinders of oxygen and acetylene. For special welds like stainless and aluminum with oxy/acet, all you need is some flux. It's also a good teaching tool for all of the other styles of welding.

    Good luck and be safe.

    Dave

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    117
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Tractor
    L 245DT

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    I have used big ones and now have a small 110 miller and it's ok for under 3/16 but thats it. A 110 will treat you good but save up for another month or two and go as big as you can go.
    good luck

  5. #5
    Platinum Member bobodu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    954
    Location
    Whitley County,In.EIEIO
    Tractor
    Farmnought.Gravely Model L,Gravely Model LI,1941 Clinton two wheeler

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    Our maintenance shop is now without a MIG because the guy that owns it decided that he wanted to take it home for his new garage.The *****!! Geeeezz...we only had it for eight years or so.My boss has one of those lil 120v. machines and I borrowed it to weld up a bit of 11 gauge square tube.I tried and tried...won't penetrate for squat...ended up taking the rear end off the tractor ,hauling it down to the shop and making some ugly welds with old wet sticks and the arc.Like has been said...save up,shop around for something used,sell a child or quit smoking and drinking! Buy something that you can use Tuesday. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Rest in Peace

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    3,741
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710, IH TD6-62 dozer with Drott 4n1 bucket loader

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    If you go with a 110v unit you will be limited to 3/16" or less thickness for good welds. The Hobart/Miller/Lincoln discussions can get as heated as kubota/NH/JD. However, although Hobart and Miller are made by the same company and on the same production line they do have differences sort of like a full featured vs value tractor.

    For example, a Miller unit that appears identical to a Hobart unit will have a few more features (adjustments) and typically a wire feed drive that uses metal parts instead of plastic.

    Keep in mind that when you look at the 110v units that some wire feed units do not have the capability to use shielding gas. They use flux core wire. A true mig machine will have shielding gas capability and can be used with solid core wire or flux core wire.

    The Hobart/Miller welding forums contain a wealth of info and despite the forum title are not brand specific. All makes and types are surprisingly discussed objectively.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,915
    Location
    Wylie, Texas
    Tractor
    JCB165HF

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    Add my name to the list of those suggesting saving a little longer and buying up to a two twenty if possible. I have an older Lincoln 130 amp suitcase that's two twenty volt. (It's been replaced by the 175 without any obvious changes I can see.)

    It not only welds circles around the one ten models. It does it with ease, well worth the price difference.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,288
    Location
    S.E Texas
    Tractor
    Ym1300d-1401D-1601D , 1610D & Massey Ferguson 1020

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    Like many have said, there is a big difference in 110v and 220 including the duty cycle. You will outgrow the little mig pretty fast, especially if you have used a bigger mig.

    I have owned a Marquette, Solar and now a Miller 215. The latest 215 Miller has the extra portal for gas and the spooler gun for aluminum. Plus you can run 6 to 30 lbs of wire, which, price wise, makes it very efficient, as you will find the small rolls of wire for the 110 units are very expensive.

    BTW It's been very difficult for me to go back to stick as I can accompolish everything with as good results with the mig.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Nasty135's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    1,423
    Location
    Southern Md.
    Tractor
    massey ferguson 135/1433v

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    g42guy, I had the opportunity to use a 220volt miller with argon gas,Honestly it was almost fool proof with decent welds and good penitration ,but for my home unit (century??)110volt unit it works but is slooooow! I would almost rather gas weld and as said before 3/16 is about it .... but for most home stuff at least for me 3/16 is totally adequate...just another 2 cents worth [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    2,253
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: Small MIGs Really any difference?

    I went through this myself about a year ago. Up until then, I had access to an old stick welder. After asking a lot of questions, I settled on a Millermatic MM175 and a tank of mixed shielding gas. It has been a real pleasure to use, especially with the gas (lot less spatter to put up with than the flux core wire). The next purchase was an auto-darkening hood. I'm in heaven.............chim

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