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CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
7/26/11 10:23 p.m.

My birthday is coming up and i decided to gift myself a MIG welding unit. My price cap is pretty solid at $300. Must run on house current so no 220V systems. Must be a true MIG unit with gas setup...no flux core. Lastly no cheapo Harbor Freight units.

What units would you advise.

Annnnndddd go.

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Reader
7/26/11 10:29 p.m.

http://wio.ru/korea/mig15.jpg

Sorry, couldn't resist.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w SuperDork
7/26/11 10:49 p.m.
BoostedBrandon wrote: http://wio.ru/korea/mig15.jpg Sorry, couldn't resist.

They always say when it comes to MiGs, buy the best you can afford or you'll end up regretting it.

RexSeven
RexSeven SuperDork
7/26/11 11:02 p.m.

I'd still be careful with a MiG, no matter how new it is. One wrong move, and

fasted58
fasted58 Dork
7/26/11 11:19 p.m.

because welding with fire

Toyman01
Toyman01 SuperDork
7/27/11 6:20 a.m.

I use a cheapo CH unit from Lowes. It gets the job done. It came with the regulator and hoses for gas, but I have never used them. Flux wire does everything I need it to. It was $280, but that was ten years ago.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
7/27/11 7:26 a.m.
CarKid said: Find me a MIG.

http://www.controller.com/listingsdetail/aircraft-for-sale/MIKOYAN-MIG-21-UM/1967-MIKOYAN-MIG-21-UM/1163877.htm

That was tooo easy, what else ya got?

slantvaliant
slantvaliant Dork
7/27/11 7:37 a.m.
bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 New Reader
7/27/11 8:32 a.m.

In reply to slantvaliant:

That Eastwood is probably the best you'll find new for anywhere close to $300. I'm not 100% sold on them yet. I did a lot of reading on them after someone mentioned them in one of the other recent welder threads.

Tractor Supply has the Hobart 125 for $350, but you're stuck with only 4 voltage settings with it.

For another $140 you can get a reconditioned Hobart 140 from Toolking Pretty much the best deal you're going to find "new," and well worth it in my opinion.

  • Lee
bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 New Reader
7/27/11 8:37 a.m.

Is you're $300 budget including bottle, hood, tools, etc.? Or just for the welder? If you want it all for less than $300 then you're stuck with the cheapest of the cheap chi-com HF units or the Craig's List score of the decade.

  • Lee
YaNi
YaNi Reader
7/27/11 10:34 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 wrote: Is you're $300 budget including bottle, hood, tools, etc.? Or just for the welder? If you want it all for less than $300 then you're stuck with the cheapest of the cheap chi-com HF units or the Craig's List score of the decade. - Lee

That's like welding with a coat hanger, jumper cables, and a car battery. I bought a Horrible Freight 220v MIG when I was a broke kolledge student, and its their typical chicom garbage. My welds look 100x nicer with my friends 120v Lincoln and it doesn't spit and sputter before it creates an arc.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 New Reader
7/27/11 11:16 a.m.
YaNi wrote: That's like welding with a coat hanger, jumper cables, and a car battery. I bought a Horrible Freight 220v MIG when I was a broke kolledge student, and its their typical chicom garbage. My welds look 100x nicer with my friends 120v Lincoln and it doesn't spit and sputter before it creates an arc.

I was/am in no way recommending a HF or any other cheap POS "welder." OP stated he didn't want one, I was letting him know he is likely to have no other choice with such a limited budget.

  • Lee
cwh
cwh SuperDork
7/27/11 11:28 a.m.

The refurb Hobart is my suggestion. Good quality, parts available, good price.

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
7/27/11 4:03 p.m.
bigdaddylee82 wrote: Tractor Supply has the Hobart 125 for $350, but you're stuck with only 4 voltage settings with it. For another $140 you can get a reconditioned Hobart 140 from [Toolking](http://www.toolking.com/hobart-500500a-factory-reconditioned-handler-140-mig-flux-cored-welder-a-stock) Pretty much the best deal you're going to find "new," and well worth it in my opinion. - Lee

Ill look at both of those. Seem like good deals

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
8/2/11 7:40 p.m.
cwh wrote: The refurb Hobart is my suggestion. Good quality, parts available, good price.

That Hobart unit looks nice but its $450 which wil have to be ok.

BUT for $450 what else can i buy. Same guidelines but now a 450$ price cap

Taiden
Taiden HalfDork
8/2/11 7:45 p.m.

Personally I would wait for a used Lincoln 140C on craigslist.

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
8/2/11 8:14 p.m.

+1 I love my lincoln.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 New Reader
8/2/11 9:02 p.m.

I don't think your going to find anything as "new" as that Hobart for that kind of money.

Craigslist/fleabay are pretty much your only other options.

One of my at least bi-weekly Craig's List searches is a Miller 211. That's what I've got my sites on, but used it's still $700+ I haven't found that smoking deal yet.

I'd guess used you MIGHT get a Miller 180, Lincoln 180C, Hobart 185/187 for that kind of money. You could for sure get a used Lincoln 140C or Hobart 140 for that or less, maybe even a Miller 140.

It's been said a hundred times before, just pick you're favorite color.

  • Lee
Taiden
Taiden HalfDork
8/2/11 9:05 p.m.

I dream of the day that I find a Millermatic 211 for $400

It would make a fantastic complement to my $450 Maxstar 150 STL

HoserRacing
HoserRacing Reader
8/3/11 8:14 a.m.

Glad I found this! Looking for one myself, had a CH one, loaned it out to 2 different people, not sure which one it really crapped out on, never really got the chance to play with it Looking for a replacement to start learning with, was about to go to HF this weekend, glad now I looked at this. Saw the Hobart 125 & the 140 on Tractor Supply, they have the 140 new for $499, figure it's worth the $10 extra over the refurb price. The 140 only has 4 voltage settings per the TS website, that was mentioned as a downside for the 125. I never expect to be a master welder, but I would like to be able to go out to the shop, fix my trailer/tractor/go nuts & weld crap together, so is that a serious drawback, or just for the guys who weld daily?

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
8/3/11 8:56 a.m.

I haven't found the fixed voltage settings to be a limitation, FWIW.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 HalfDork
8/3/11 10:15 a.m.

I don't think they're a limitation if you are an experienced welder (that can adjust speed, and wire feed to compensate for "middle settings"). For less experienced welders I think it is nice to have a more "exact setting" to give you the best chance for a good weld.

I think this is one of the reasons I think TIG is easier than mig for the inexperienced welder. Much more control, much slower, fewer fireworks.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
8/3/11 10:20 a.m.

Could be. FWIW, 95% of the time all I do is set the machine to what the chart shows, and then hit the trigger. It's rare that I ever touch the knobs beyond that.

Gearhead_42
Gearhead_42 Dork
8/3/11 10:39 a.m.

Second recommendation for Eastwood 135

Taiden
Taiden HalfDork
8/3/11 2:45 p.m.

The 4 settings for heat shouldn't stop you from welding anything. But infinite adjustability makes for a better welding experience.

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