Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder

   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #1  


Veteran Member
May 16, 2018
North Idaho
LS XR4145C
For the last several years, I've been doing all my welding at my neighbors shop. Since his son has come home from the military, the shop has been taken over by him and his vehicle projects. Currently, there is an engine block on the welding table. I have several welding projects to get to, so I need to stop relying on my neighbor and get my own welder.

I dont have the power in my garage for a decent welder. But I do have a 7500W Generator I plan on using. Only problem I see so far is the 30amp/240 outlet.

I went to my local welding supply store and spoke with the guy behind the counter, he told me that I should get the Miller 210 stick welder. I like stick, but I also like Mig (GMAW). The multi process welders he offered were well outside my price range. I figured I could simply get the stick welder to get me going, and get another wire feed later. So I ordered the Miller. That was two weeks ago. Yesterday I called and asked if it has come in yet. He said that Miller is having some issues with their supply, and my order is backordered for an unknown amount of time.

This is no good. I need a welder.

The guy behind the counter said he would look into other, more available, options for me and get back to me. I also started googling.

My Googling lead me to the Harbor Freight Vulcan Omnipro 220 multi process welder. They currently dont have them in stock, but apparently will sometime soon. I poured a bunch of research (reading reviews, watching videos, etc) and found it to be a decent welder for the price, which is at the very top of my budget.

Then the guy behind the counter called me back with news that he can get me the ESAB Rouge ES (though not sure which one) for about $700. But its stick only.

Here is my dilemma: I would prefer a multi-process welder, but will my generator even run that welder? Is it a good welder, coming from Harbor Freight? The ESAB seems good, in name, but is also very small and not multi-process. Will my generator run that welder?? 6011 and 7018 1/8th inch.

All these welders specify output power with amps. And only volts for input. But putting a welder on a 30amp circuit seems lightweight to me. Does it to you? Would it be worth attempting to run a 50amp/240v circuit from the other side of my house, into my garage though finished walls (about 90ft run)? Would that even be enough??

What would you do? What welder would you get and how would you power it?

EDIT: Do you recommend another name for a multi-process welder at about the $1000 mark?
Last edited:
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #2  
I think this is a hard question to answer without knowing what sort of welding you need to do on what sort of material?
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder
  • Thread Starter
Great question, and I apologize for not including it. I weld mostly mild steel that is relatively thick. Things like brackets and repairs on implements. My current project is making new lower links with the European style hooks. Its 3/4in thick.
I will bevel the two and fill with weld.

I also make things, typically smaller, like tables and shelving. I use tig or mig for these lighter jobs. I'm a home brewer, so tig welding stainless is also in my wheel house. However, I have not done any tig welding in years, since I built my brewery.

Mostly my welding is for my tractor and implements.
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #5  
Although you don't have a welder, it seems that you know what you want and need. Is running enough power to your garage totally out of the question?
Buyers remorse is especially bitter when it comes to tools and worse when it comes to fairly expensive tools that either won't do what you need well, or that don't last or are not serviceable.
I can't assess your generator, but I can recognize that your beyond just "dabbling" with welding. It may take some time, but work on your electric situation, then go save up for a good blue, red or yellow welder that you can confidently use for many years to come. 👍
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #7  
Everlast Powermig 230i is $1049 @ i have the 251SI DC MIG/TIG, and 255EXT AC/DC TIG, and 60S Plasma and am very pleased with all. I picked up the water cooler for the 255EXT at their last sale. Time to build a TIG cart.
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #8  
When I bought a welder for occasional use I chose a Miller Thunderbolt stick only machine. The primary reason I did not buy a MIG was I felt my unseated, uninsulated building in upstate NY would have been a poor environment for storage of MIG wire and the sheath and gun. Rusty welding wire is no fun.
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #9  
Imo Hobart is the way to go, I have a 210 mvp for mig, 190 with spool gun for aluminum, 235 lx ac/dc for stick and a lincoln 140c for flux core light duty out door welding. For heavier steel I'd try and run it off a 50amp breaker as I have tripped 30 and even 40 amp breakers when it's cranked. My only complaint on Hobart is the tap settings for amperage. Side note I'm not very familiar with hf welders except the cheap ones. Funny story I was welding for a buddy at his place with his hf flux core welder touched some rather hot steel burnt right through the lead, funny to see they use cocktail straws for the liner. For comparison at my old job I've ran over the leads of a lincoln mig welder with a fork truck did nothing and still functioned flawless.


  • KIMG0281.JPG
    1.2 MB · Views: 132
   / Need Your Thoughts On A New Welder #10  
i'd look into wiring a 220 dedicated circuit to your garage if there's room on your existing main.
years ago, i converted my garage into a working shop. i almost went with 110v machines using existing garage circuits....but decided to run 220 circuits & sure am glad i did. personally wouldn't want to run a gen every time i needed to weld.
if you consider, post here the distance from the main to the receptacle to get the correct gauge wire. important to get that right for safety & working requirements of welder. it pays to do the homework 1st :) good luck
Last edited: