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Thread: Mig Welder

  1. #1
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    Mig Welder

    OK I know you get what you pay for, but at this price......



    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55525


    Tell me what you think.
    I don't have to do much welding, but I had three curbs come in that need to be adapted and I am in a hurry. One needs the supply and return on the other end(these are pitched curbs) and two are pitched the wrong direction. I will also need to make up some blk iron exhaust duct from hoods to roof mounted up blast fan units. So it looks like I need a small wire feed welder, and after looking around I have to say that the duty cycle on this one is better than Hobart, Craftsman, or Clark in the same range.
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  2. #2
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    I have no experience with that name brand of welder. But from the items I have purchased from there, the off brands are pretty much junk. I would stick with a name brand.
    I never let schooling interfere with my education... Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    It has a slightly better duty cycle than the 115v welders from the good manufacturers, which you would expect from a 230v welder...
    Its duty cycle isn't as good as the 230v welders made by the big boys, and it draws more amps.
    The heart of a wire feed welder is the transformer, that harbor freight one likely has a very crappy transformer. Probably a poopy gun too.

    It could be ok for occasional use, but see if you can find specs on what its lowest output amperage is. If it won't dial down to the 25-30A range, it is useless for welding sheet metal, and if it won't go below 50A, it is pretty useless for anything else that is under 1/8".

    I used to have a Hobart Handler 140, awesome performance for a 115v welder, could dial it down to stitch up a patch in a car fender, then turn around and dial it up to single pass weld 1/4" steel.
    Unfortunately someone decided they needed it more than me.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #4
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    if something ever happened to my miller 130 i would just die!!!

    my dad has a snap-on welder that he paid dearly for, but it has 100% duty cycle

    i don't see anything good about that particular welder you are looking at, but maybe it will work for what you need it for. before i bought my own welder it wasn't much for me to rent a decent one from local equipment rental place
    If Guns Kill People, Do Pencils Misspell Words?

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies guys. Probably right on this one, but it's hard to pass up the price. I have never heard of renting one? May be an option. For this project I will probably use flux core, but I want the gas option.

    The 115 or 230 on that one is kind of nice though. True you get less duty and high amps on 115, but it is the only one that I have seen so far that you can use with either voltage.

    I will keep looking, but I have to make up my mind by tomorrow I think. I hate being rushed
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  6. #6
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    i have used that welder before not bad for a hobbyist or a small job.

  7. #7
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    The 115 or 230 on that one is kind of nice though. True you get less duty and high amps on 115, but it is the only one that I have seen so far that you can use with either voltage.



    Look again thats 110 A not V

  8. #8
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    Whichever one you get, plan on getting an auto-dimming welding helmet to go with it.
    You will love the auto-dim. They let you SEE where you're welding much better than the old fixed style.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VetNutJim View Post
    Whichever one you get, plan on getting an auto-dimming welding helmet to go with it.
    You will love the auto-dim. They let you SEE where you're welding much better than the old fixed style.
    I have always wanted to try one of those. My dad was a welder on pipeline for years, and a couple of years on those big interstate power towers, and he tells me that they are very nice. Well if he likes them, and he is sort of old school, that is good enough for me. Wish he was up here right now, but they live in TX.
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  10. #10
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    Depends on what your going to do with it I guess. Those cheapo migs usually have no transformer inside. They're what are called inverter type power supplies, that's why the duty cycle is so low and the input amperage is so high. They tend to be sensitive to mains voltage and if you have to weld anything far away from an outlet, you'll need one hell of a heavy cord to do it. Another problem I've had with the inverter welders is your gun placement has to be 100% perfect in relation to the puddle, or you could wind up with a weak porous weld. (The inverter just doesn't have the overhead to handle varying arc currents as quickly as a transformer based supply can.)

    If your just getting your feet wet, then this one may be a good entry level mig to fool around with, but don't go welding together a new trailer hitch or anything where a joint failure could be huge. I don't recall if that ad in HF said anything or not, but you may want to get a welder that either comes with a shielding gas kit, or is upgradable to one.

    Lincoln and Miller would be good names to shoot for, but good welders cost $$$.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Nothing slows down a job (exspecially when you are in a hurry) more than cheap tools, my local home depo has a lincoln mig you can rent.
    Still learning opinions welcome.

  12. #12
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    Jul 2008
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    Davie, FL
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    I have defiantly learned that you get what you pay for, usually not to much more. You can never go wrong with a Miller Welder, that I can tell you.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2004
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    Northern Tool has some good prices on Hobart welders, I got mine there. They also had auto Dimming Helmets for $50 its not a great helmet but. but for hobbist or a few jobs a year you can beat it.



    Grainger had some OK prices (at least with our 15% off).




    Good Luck
    Last edited by fcs; 07-18-2008 at 09:23 AM.
    If you help others then you are a Success

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