View Full Version : Input on welders

01-12-2012, 10:26 PM
So, I am thinking I want to get a welder soon. The last time I welded was over a decade ago, and in HS lol. With that knowledge in place, what would people recommend for type (MIG, TIG, etc).

Odds are this will be a harbor freight purchase since they seem to have the lowest prices and this is just a hobby tool, so can't justify anything in the grand range.

Thanks for any input.

01-12-2012, 10:43 PM
Highly recommend a MIG. You will also need a regulator and gas tank but its worth it.

I bought a cheap little 110 unit last year to weld up my car, its worked pretty well but lately I'm having issues with the wire motor and the rollers. Plus its pretty much useless for anything more than 1/8".

Flux core is garbage, don't bother with it. If you do get a MIG do it properly and get the gas too, it will be a night and day difference.

You can probably find a mid range unit for a decent price second hand, try and get a 220 if you can.

01-12-2012, 11:23 PM
ive had mine for a few years, ive never had a problem with it. i even bought my dad one for xmas two years ago and he uses it alot. heres a link of the ones we have.


01-12-2012, 11:25 PM
I have a 90 amp Chicago flux wire mig. Works fine for me. It was given to me. Now, having spent 13 years in the metal fab trade I can tell you that compared to other flux wire welders they are low par and at times inconsistent. They tend to exceed the duty cycle a lot easier than a Miller or Lincoln. So the Chicago will overheat and shut down if you work it hard. After 30 minutes it will run again. The moving parts are cheap plastic but that has never giving me an issue. The liner is pretty cheap too so be careful not to kink it.

When I buy my next flux wire welder I'll buy a miller or Lincoln. A Chicago cost $110. A licoln or Miller cost $180 and they built better imo.

Just to clarify, 110 flux wire welders are mainly for "fix it now" stuff when in the field. I like having one around because they'll work anywhere. You can't beat the gas though. If you have 220v available in your garage.

01-13-2012, 12:11 AM
I've used Bruce's flux core welder, and it would be perfect for small jobs/hobby work. Nothing that you want to depend on tho. Flux core wire is slightly more expensive then normal tho.
If I were shopping for a cheap MIG today, I'd get me a 20% off coupon from a paper or something for harbor freight and go buy it. Its nice not having to worry about gas for hobby work.

I should clarify, I have been around welding and machine work all my life. I am not expert but I do know a thing or two. I have used expensive MIG rigs that make amazing beads no matter what, and I've ran welders that couldn't join two pieces of 1/4" steel together. I honestly feel the cheap fluxcore harbor freight welder is perfect for the hobbyist/shade tree mechanic who won't NEED a perfect weld, tho you can make nice welds with it, and it can do a quality job.

01-13-2012, 09:22 AM
A welder that uses shielding gas gives better welds than gasless. I've used both and would never buy or use a MIG welder without gas unless I absolutely had to.

01-16-2012, 07:09 PM
I've gone through all classes and have a welding certificate now, and the welded depends on what you want to be doing. I would recommend Mig, cause if you change wire type and gas you can pretty much weld whatever. Ive welded mild steel, stainless, and aluminum, with Mig. It's all pretty simple. Tig just looks a little cleaner.

04-23-2012, 06:51 PM
I think I'm going to take the plunge and pick up a Hobart 140 http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200306073_200306073 . I hear good things about it and since I'm not welding on a daily basis it should be more than enough for current or future projects. Price is alright at ~$500 and 110v (getting 220v in my new garage will cost quite a bit) so there is some portability and versatility for smaller jobs.