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Choosing A Welder

This is a discussion on Choosing A Welder within the Tools forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok guys, thinking about getting a welder, I know there are some out there pretty cheap but I'm worried you ...

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    Choosing A Welder

    Ok guys, thinking about getting a welder, I know there are some out there pretty cheap but I'm worried you get what you pay for so I need help from the people that actually know what they are talking about. I'd use it for small projects around the garage at home, fabricating simple parts, and welding exhaust in both stainless and mild steel.

    I'm considering either a MIG or stick welder. What voltage rating in welders should I be looking for? If I go the MIG route will it be so bad if I don't use one with gas? Any recommendations on a specific welder?
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    I have a Hobart Handler 185 -- absolutely a great welder that is simple to use and makes me look like I know what I am doing (when I really don't). I went with the 220 volt model as I do weld some thicker metals from time to time. The latest model is the Handler 187: http://hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler187/ I don't think you can go wrong with one of these for the price.

    I forgot to mention, that I use C25 for a shielding gas, and generally run .030 wire, but have .023 on hand for thinner metals.
    Last edited by pajeff02; 05-31-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: More info

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    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I have a Hobart Handler 185 -- absolutely a great welder that is simple to use and makes me look like I know what I am doing (when I really don't). I went with the 220 volt model as I do weld some thicker metals from time to time. The latest model is the Handler 187: http://hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler187/ I don't think you can go wrong with one of these for the price.

    I forgot to mention, that I use C25 for a shielding gas, and generally run .030 wire, but have .023 on hand for thinner metals.


    Hobart makes a really nice welder.

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    That's a nice one, but a bit pricey. Would be so bad if I didn't run gas?

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    I have never tried the fluxcore wire. Their site Q&A had the following: http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=32474

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    I've found one I'm interested in, what do you guys think?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/FLUX-WIRE-WELDER...ayphotohosting

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    the argon/carbon dioxide gas(mig gas) forces the oxygen and nitrogen out of the air forming a shielding atmosphere around your weld. This helps to keep a clean pool going, smoother, and keeps it from forming cracks. You dont need to have gas if you use flux core...but using the gas is in general a much cleaner (no slag ti chip away), and easier to work with. You can buy small bottle of mig gas and hook it up to your home machine and its not that expensive.

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    bottom line for buying a machine.....if you dont want a machine thats going to give you crappy welds or welds that will not last, then spend the extra money and get a good welder, miller, hobart, even a craftsman

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    What about this? Its new and goes for $450 normally. But at this cost plus shipping about $400.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CRAFT...motiveQ5fTools

    By the way does Lincoln make a good welder? I could pick one up that has about the same specs as the one above for $320, free shipping, with a 3 year warranty. Would that be a better deal?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Lincoln-Work-Pak...3%3A1|294%3A50
    Last edited by RedVertTA; 06-02-2009 at 02:12 PM.

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    They both look to be fairly equivalent. Not sure if one or both are imported... probably both the way things are these days. Wouldn't hurt to check length of warranty too.

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    Lincoln makes awesome welders. Every welder used at Caterpillar is a Lincoln. I have only used Lincoln welders for the last 3.5 years and have zero complaints. Of course, they were 1000/1500+ dollar welders... but Im sure they make a cheaper line.

    If I was in the market, I would not even consider a welder that didnt accept argon shielding gas. Its a no brainer to me.

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Po View Post
    Lincoln makes awesome welders. Every welder used at Caterpillar is a Lincoln. I have only used Lincoln welders for the last 3.5 years and have zero complaints. Of course, they were 1000/1500+ dollar welders... but Im sure they make a cheaper line.

    If I was in the market, I would not even consider a welder that didnt accept argon shielding gas. Its a no brainer to me.
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