Advice on 1st mig welder

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by bnew17, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    ALright guys. Im going to be needing a mig welder here soon. Ive got a smoker build project im wanting to do but i dont have a welder.I will need one that can weld 1/4" steel . Ive been doing some reading and noticed that 110v are not ideal for 1/4" that i would need to go bigger to a 220v. Ive got the hooks ups in my shop for the 220v so thats not a problem. I had thought of getting a Harbor Freight 220 v welder for 300 but im deciding against it now. Ive looked on Lowes website and they sell Llincoln welders. I have come to realize from all the readign that Lincolns and Millers are the cream of the crop. Here are 2 welders ive looked at on Lowe's website and i was hoping to get some input from yall on them.

    The first welder is a Lincoln Pro Mig 140 amp. It says its 120v and can weld up to 5/16" with the Lincoln innershield wire. Its $524. Here it is

    This is the Lincoln pro mig 180 amp. It says its a 208 v that can weld up to 1/2" steel using the Lincoln innershield wire. Its $669 making it roughly $150 dollars more than the Lincoln 140.

    Does anybody have an experiences with either of these and which would you reccomend? thanks

  2. dasmoke

    dasmoke Newbie

    Do yourself a favor and go to an actual tool store to buy a welder and not a box store.  They have the knowledge and parts to help you if you ever have a  problem.  Lowes will just say we need to order it and who knows how long it will take.   All electric tools are not the same.  Just because they have the same name and paint colors does not mean they have the same parts inside to last you a long time.

  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Buy the biggest you can within your budget

    I agree that a welding supply store will have better answers and can handle the service end if there's an issue.

    Also, consider Craigslist.  You may find a deal, but try it out first.

  4. mag409

    mag409 Fire Starter

    The lincoln welders at Lowes are imported.  Either Lincoln or Miller would do you just fine.  I would lean towards the Miller 180 autoset.  It automatically adjusts for your material selection.  Look for a welder that has infinite wire and voltage control.  Models with preset voltages and wire are hard to get the right settings.  Your either too hot or too cold and it can be a real pita.  You definately want a 220v machine running on a CO2 shielding mix gas.  While your at it, pick up two 11lb spools of .035" solid wire.  You will burn through at least one spool on your build.  Look for an ER70s grade wire.  It's a good all around wire that handles mill scale and slight rust well.

    Check Ebay.  There is a dealer out of Indiana that has great prices and free shipping.  

    I currently have a Lincoln SP175 PLus that I picked up about 7 years ago.  I have never had an issue with it but I think Miller has alot of nice features for the money and I would not hesitate to purchase either.  Good luck. 

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