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  • What's the best MIG machine?

    I bet this question has been asked and answered a thousand times on here, but when I try to search the forum won't take the term "MIG" because it's too common . . . so I'm asking it again here. I apologize for that!

    I posted a question earlier about using a Synchrowave 350 for mig, and several people were kind enough to set me straignt on that bad idea (Thanks again!) and best of all WHY it's a bad idea. So, now I'm shopping for a MIG machine. Here's what I would like to find:

    Something I can:
    use for Stainless, Mild Steel, and Aluminum.
    use on heavy aluminum plate (up to 1.5" thick), multiple passes is OK.
    power with 240 volt, single phase
    that's smarter than me and will apply programmed parameters for setup, etc wherever possible.

    I've been lusting after the Miller Pipepro 450 because of it's computer control and power . . . but it doesn't do aluminum and it needs 3 phase.

    So, if you could budget up to $15 K for a new state-of-the-are MIG machine, what would you get?

    BillyDoc

  • #2
    My choice would be a Deltaweld 452 but its not single phase...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, I would buy an XMT 304 or 350, a 70S wirefeeder, and an aluminum feeder with a push/pull gun, or you could also go with a Millermatic 350 and an aluminum spool gun or push/pull gun

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, nice fat budget there!

        Are you sure you're ready for a machine of this caliber if you haven't mastered setting the machine settings on a mig welder ???

        Miller does make several Auto-Set mig machines in the lower price range that are geared to those who don't know how to set volts and wire speed on a mig welder. They are models Millermatic 140AS, 180AS, 211AS portable machines and the 212AS shop machine. All are capable machines in their output classes.

        Top of the line all-metals mig machines I would consider are-

        Millermatic 350P with push-pull torch. I have this one with all 3 torches (mig, push-pull and spool gun). It is an EXCELLENT all-in-one pluse mig machine at a very reasonable price, considering the prices of other machines in it's class. Costs about $3500 with the mig gun or $5000 with the push-pull gun, or $4500 with the mig gun and spool gun. This machine is synergic in pulse mode, meaning that the operator sets the wire speed and the machine selects the voltage for that wire speed. There are a myriad of other settings that are operator controlled. It can be very easy machine to operate, or can be very complicated, depending on how much you 'experiment' with the controls. The 350P runs on both single-phase and 3-phase.

        Invision 350MPa with mig feeder and/or push-pull feeder. Invision MPa is a pulsing mig-only power supply that can be hooked up to a variety of wire feeders and spool guns for feeding any type of wire. Pulse is not synergic on this machine, meaning operator sets volts and wire speed just like a normal mig, along with all the pulse control settings. Expect the combination of power supply and feeder to run about $6000-7000, more for mulitple feeders or feeder + spool gun. Miller has a new version of this machine that includes a digital XR push-pull feeder, called AlumaFeed that is synergic in the pulse like the 350P. The Invision runs on 3-phase only.

        XMT 350MPa with mig feeder and/or push-pull feeder. The XMT is a multi-process power supply with similar pulse mig charactersitics as the Invision, but also has stick and dc tig capability. A very versatile machine. I have the lower-line XMT 304 CC/CV power supply with external Optima pulse control and use it with a Suitcase RC feeder and Spoolmatic spool gun and XR Control push-pull feeder & gun. It's a great machine for all processes. Price is about $500 more than the Invision, if I remember right. The XMT runs on both single-phase and 3-phase.

        Lincoln Powermig 350MP with push-pull torch. This is Lincoln's answer the 350P pulse mig, but it is also a multi-process machine that can do stick and dc tig as well. It is more expensive than the 350P but less money than an XMT or Invision and feeder. The Powermig is both single-phase and 3-phase, if I remember right.

        Lincoln Powerwave C300. This is a portable machine similar to an XMT, but has a built in feeder too, so it's like a portable Powermig 350MP. The Powerwave is both single-phase and 3-phase, if I remember right.

        Lincoln also makes a Powerwave model that is similar to the C300 but without the internal wire feeder.
        Last edited by Desertrider33; 12-02-2009, 03:55 PM.
        Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
        Millermatic175
        MillermaticPassport/Q300
        HTP MIG200
        PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
        ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
        DialarcHF, Radiator-1
        Hypertherm PowerMax 380
        Purox oxy/ace
        Jackson EQC
        -F350 CrewCab 4x4
        -LoadNGo utility bed
        -Bobcat 250NT
        -PassportPlus/Q300
        -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
        -Suitcase8RC/Q400
        -Suitcase12RC/Q300
        -Smith oxy/propane
        -Jackson EQC

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Guys, sounds like some good leads there. It's gonna take me a while to check them out cause I have to get on home from here (work) soon. But I'm definitely on it tomorrow morning!

          Desertrider33 you can laugh, but to date I haven't personally actually seen a MIG machine, let alone figured out the frills. That's why I want one that's smarter than me (which shouldn't be too hard). And I learned a long time ago to buy the best tool I can afford and then use it forever, learning as I go. I did that with the Synchrowave and have never regretted it. That thing makes beautiful welds in spite of me, and I had only used gas and a cheapo Sears stick welder before I bought it. In fact I still remember how blown away I was the first time I tried it. TIG is just fantastic in my book, but I can see how it isn't going to do what I want to do now, so I'm checking out MIG.

          BillyDoc

          Comment


          • #6
            The KISS principle applies here, Look at a Miller 252. You don't need anything fancy, and this unit has everything you need.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BillyDoc View Post
              Thanks Guys, sounds like some good leads there. It's gonna take me a while to check them out cause I have to get on home from here (work) soon. But I'm definitely on it tomorrow morning!

              Desertrider33 you can laugh, but to date I haven't personally actually seen a MIG machine, let alone figured out the frills. That's why I want one that's smarter than me (which shouldn't be too hard). And I learned a long time ago to buy the best tool I can afford and then use it forever, learning as I go. I did that with the Synchrowave and have never regretted it. That thing makes beautiful welds in spite of me, and I had only used gas and a cheapo Sears stick welder before I bought it. In fact I still remember how blown away I was the first time I tried it. TIG is just fantastic in my book, but I can see how it isn't going to do what I want to do now, so I'm checking out MIG.

              BillyDoc
              I did laugh a little!

              I recommend starting out with something much simpler than any of the machines I talked about. Here's why-

              I would start with the very versatile and portable Millermatic 211AS. It has the auto set feature you want and is a very capable machine with 210 amps output that can run on both 110v and 220v. It makes very nice welds on steel and is a quality machine for under $1000 street price. For another $200 you can add the spool gun for aluminum.

              You can learn mig on this machine and, after you have some mig welding projects and jobs under your belt and are proficient at the process, you'll have a better idea of what you really want in a mig machine and can make a better, more educated decision when it comes time to buy the big bad *** machine you want. You can still use the 211 as a portable mig after you get the big shop model. Always a need for portability in welding!
              Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
              Millermatic175
              MillermaticPassport/Q300
              HTP MIG200
              PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
              ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
              DialarcHF, Radiator-1
              Hypertherm PowerMax 380
              Purox oxy/ace
              Jackson EQC
              -F350 CrewCab 4x4
              -LoadNGo utility bed
              -Bobcat 250NT
              -PassportPlus/Q300
              -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
              -Suitcase8RC/Q400
              -Suitcase12RC/Q300
              -Smith oxy/propane
              -Jackson EQC

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm just sitting here scratching my head.

                Good recommendations from all. A lot for the OP to think about.

                What threw me the curve was welding 1.5" aluminum plate (multiple passes ok).

                You planning to build an aluminum ship in your garage? What the heck do you plan to build/weld that calls for 1.5" aluminum plate.?

                Take that comment out of the equation and there are a lot of great mig welders that will do the job for you.
                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                Hobart HH187
                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                More grinders than hands

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
                  Wow, nice fat budget there!


                  Invision 350MPa with mig feeder and/or push-pull feeder. Invision MPa is a pulsing mig-only power supply that can be hooked up to a variety of wire feeders and spool guns for feeding any type of wire. Pulse is not synergic on this machine, meaning operator sets volts and wire speed just like a normal mig, along with all the pulse control settings. Expect the combination of power supply and feeder to run about $6000-7000, more for mulitple feeders or feeder + spool gun. Miller has a new version of this machine that includes a digital XR push-pull feeder, called AlumaFeed that is synergic in the pulse like the 350P. The Invision runs on 3-phase only.
                  I just looked up the spec's on the web it stills says 1/3 phase on the Invision 350MPa. I could be wrong its not the first time and I am sure it won't be the last.

                  I have a Invision 354MP it is a SMOKING MIG welder on both steel and Alum. it runs on both 1/3 phase.

                  I have had a XMT also both are very good machines.

                  Railmen
                  2007 Trailblazer 302G
                  2004 Invision 354MP
                  1999 60 series feeder
                  2005 Maxstar 200DX
                  2007 CST280
                  1999 HF 251-1
                  older Hobart hefty wire feeder
                  Hyperthrem 600
                  Maxstar 150S(such a cute welder)
                  had and sold........
                  2003 XMT 304CC/CV
                  1947 Lincoln SA200G short hood
                  1963 Lincoln SA200G
                  1975 Lincoln SA200G(best machine ever had )
                  1970's Lincoln SAE400G
                  2 Maxstar's 200DX's
                  1 Maxstar 200SD
                  CST 280
                  2 CST 250
                  MM130


                  Railmen

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cruizer View Post
                    The KISS principle applies here, Look at a Miller 252. You don't need anything fancy, and this unit has everything you need.
                    If he contemplates the 252 then might as well step up to the 350P.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Welders

                      Originally posted by BillyDoc View Post
                      I bet this question has been asked and answered a thousand times on here, but when I try to search the forum won't take the term "MIG" because it's too common . . . so I'm asking it again here. I apologize for that!

                      I posted a question earlier about using a Synchrowave 350 for mig, and several people were kind enough to set me straignt on that bad idea (Thanks again!) and best of all WHY it's a bad idea. So, now I'm shopping for a MIG machine. Here's what I would like to find:

                      Something I can:
                      use for Stainless, Mild Steel, and Aluminum.
                      use on heavy aluminum plate (up to 1.5" thick), multiple passes is OK.
                      power with 240 volt, single phase
                      that's smarter than me and will apply programmed parameters for setup, etc wherever possible.

                      I've been lusting after the Miller Pipepro 450 because of it's computer control and power . . . but it doesn't do aluminum and it needs 3 phase.

                      So, if you could budget up to $15 K for a new state-of-the-are MIG machine, what would you get?

                      BillyDoc
                      Hey their take a look at 304 on this page under mulit-process welders 5k to 6k

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        for $15,000 id get the mm350p and
                        a dynasty 350 tig runner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BC Iron works View Post
                          for $15,000 id get the mm350p and
                          a dynasty 350 tig runner
                          I like your thinking !!!!plus he'll have some change leftover and still be untouchable with those 2 pieces of equipment.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BC Iron works View Post
                            for $15,000 id get the mm350p and
                            a dynasty 350 tig runner
                            He already has a Syncrowave 350...
                            Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                            Millermatic175
                            MillermaticPassport/Q300
                            HTP MIG200
                            PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                            ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                            DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                            Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                            Purox oxy/ace
                            Jackson EQC
                            -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                            -LoadNGo utility bed
                            -Bobcat 250NT
                            -PassportPlus/Q300
                            -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                            -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                            -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                            -Smith oxy/propane
                            -Jackson EQC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Railmen View Post
                              I just looked up the spec's on the web it stills says 1/3 phase on the Invision 350MPa. I could be wrong its not the first time and I am sure it won't be the last.

                              I have a Invision 354MP it is a SMOKING MIG welder on both steel and Alum. it runs on both 1/3 phase.

                              I have had a XMT also both are very good machines.

                              Railmen
                              2007 and earlier ones were single- and 3-phase. For 2008 and later, the printed product catalog and the website info are not in agreement. Catalog lists them as 3-phase only, web lists them as both single- and 3-phase. I don't know which is correct.
                              Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                              Millermatic175
                              MillermaticPassport/Q300
                              HTP MIG200
                              PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                              ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                              DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                              Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                              Purox oxy/ace
                              Jackson EQC
                              -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                              -LoadNGo utility bed
                              -Bobcat 250NT
                              -PassportPlus/Q300
                              -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                              -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                              -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                              -Smith oxy/propane
                              -Jackson EQC

                              Comment

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