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Miller Thunderbolt® XL 225 AMP AC/DC vs Hobart Stickmate LX 235AC/DC

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  • Miller Thunderbolt® XL 225 AMP AC/DC vs Hobart Stickmate LX 235AC/DC

    I know nothing about welding except what I've been picking up on the internet for the last year. For no apparent reason I want to buy a new stick welder and see if I can learn to stick weld "reasonable well". I realize that welding entails more than just sticking two pieces of metal together. I'm not interested in MIG or TIG and I don't want a used welder.

    I've narrowed my choices to one of the two welders below. I'll spend the extra money and get the Miller if it's better than the Hobart. The question is, "is it better" and worth the extra expense? Some forums claim that they're basically the same (equivalent) welders. I realize this is a "Miller" forum and I'm not trying to start a war, so be nice, but please try to give me your honest and unbiased opinion. I'm leaning toward the Hobart because of the price. Having said that, the local AirGas dealer I visited who sells the Miller, was very friendly and knowledgeable, and this could be very valuable to a rookie like me. And what's the deal on aluminum versus copper windings, and does that even apply to these two units.

    What say you all?

    Thanks Guys,

    Don <><

    Miller Thunderbolt® XL 225 AMP AC - 150 AMP DC from my local AirGas dealer for $565.00

    Hobart Stickmate LX 235AC/160DC from my local Fleet Farm for $444.99

  • #2
    Aluminum-wound transformer terminations are incompatible with copper line and load cables. *
    Properly terminating line and load connections is more difficult for aluminum-wound transformers. *
    Line and load connections to copper-wound transformers are more reliable than those to aluminum-wound transformers. *
    Aluminum wound transformers are lighter in weight than copper wound equivalents. *
    Copper-wound low voltage transformers are better for "high-impact" loads because copper has higher tensile strength than aluminum. *
    Aluminum-wound transformers have higher losses because copper is a better conductor. *
    Aluminum-wound transformers have higher hot-spot temperatures because copper is a better thermal conductor than aluminum. *


    • #3
      See post #17 below and maybe it will clear up alum/copper windings...Bob
      Bob Wright


      • #4
        Same Machine??

        It sure looks like the same machine..same specs,... same size,...same weight,.. same look..... just different color and name

        would not be surprising... they are both ITW brands

        here are the manuals... take a look and compare....


        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000


        • #5
          Same machine different colour, actually made on the same line just like the expensive RED-D-Arc EX300 same as the cheaper XMT304


          • #6
            1. Buy the Hobart.

            2. Alum vs. copper is a non-issue.
            Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


            • #7
              if you are serious about welding, there is more to this decision than which machine, are you buying from a welding supplier or farm store(hobart), you would be best served to find a reputable welding supplier to buy from, when your skills improve you will have many questions and needs, the discount stores can not give you the quality service in a specific area as compared to the lws, buy from the dealer and start building a relationship, when time comes for supplies or upgrades you will already have a foot in the door, now if the lws sells both brands, get the best deal