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  • Looking for advice

    Hello, I am new to the welding arena, but have been looking to purchase a mig welder. To start off, I have little to no experience with welding. I have a 100 amp Arc welder in my garage that I played with very little, ok VERY little, maybe 3 times many years ago. I have been told mig is the easiest welding to learn? I will be teaching myself the technique; although I work in a stainless steel manufacturing plant and have a few good friends that know mig/tig welding and can get some help in my training. I have been looking at welders for the past few weeks and today I ran across these forums. As I look and read the price keeps going up. From what I am reading it sounds like the Millermatic 175 and the 210 are a good choice. My long term intentions are to be able to weld on motorcycle frames and aluminum pieces. I guess I am just looking for a little input on what I should buy for a welder. From what I've seen online the price between the 175 and the 210 is about $500 difference. Considering what I know about welding, should I make the jump to the 210 or start out with the 175 to get to know a little more? Any advice would be appretiated. Thanks in advance.

    Jim

  • #2
    ADVICE

    FIRST THINGS FIRST WELCOME TO THE SITE THERES LOTS OF HELP HERE FOR BEGINNERS. OK NOW THE ADVICE PART. THIS QUESTION HAS COME UP BEFORE LOTS OF TIMES AND EVERY TIME IT SEEMS SOMETHING NEW COMES OUT OR IS LEARNED. LIKE YOU I STARTED ON A STICK WELDER I DID IT ALOT MORE THAN YOU SEEM TO HAVE BUT ONCE YOU DO A FEW PROJECTS YOU WILL REALLY LIKE IT MORE. I HAVE A MM210 W/SPOOLGUN AND HAVE USED IT FOR JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. THE 175 IS A GOOD MACHINE TO,BUT THE 210 ALLOWS YOU TO EXPAND AS YOU GET BETTER AND IN MY OPINION WORKS MUCH BETTER WITH ALUM. YES IT COSTS MORE. BUT IN MY EXPERIANCE YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO RECUPE YOUR MONEY ON A 210. YOU JUST DON'T SEE PEOPLE WANTING TO GET RID OF THEIR 210's. THATS MY TAKE ON THE SUBJECT. AND YES MIG IS ABOUT AS EASY TO LEARN AS IT GETS. GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY.
    PISTOL8

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    • #3
      Ncmlj,

      Like PISTOL8 said-WELCOME! Both are fine machines. However, my opinion is this: The MM175 is straddling the fence. It just enough machine to tease you. When you acquire some skill you will quickly outgrow this machine. Take the 500.00 jump to greener pastures lined with the MM210 and all kinds of wonderful accessories that can be purchased separately as time and money allow. You won't regret it after a few months of learning. The mig curve is quick to overcome on the basics. It sounds like you've got good help lined up. LET ME REPEAT MYSELF SO YOU DO NOT REPEAT MY HISTORY. More than once I have bought the lesser machine(not necessarily between these 2 machines)but always between 2 good Miller machines. A few weeks down the road I have lost money selling or trading up to what I should have purchased in the first place!!!

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      • #4
        Yep..... The same thing pistol8 and HAWK said. I concur with both.

        I have a MM 210 with spoolgun package (my first machine) and I'm very glad I went with the larger machine. If you can afford it, spend the extra bucks and go with the extra power.

        I weld steel, aluminum and stainless. The machine works great on all three.

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        • #5
          Jim,
          Welcome!
          These guys are give some real sound advice. Being the factory guy here, I would love for you to purchase the most expensive unit! That being said, It's kind of like buying a truck to pull a trailer. Sure the smaller one will pull it, but if you ever come to a hill, you will wish you went for the extra power. Especially with Aluminum.
          On the Alum subject. Depending on what the Alum pieces are, you may wish to go with a TIG unit later on or just job those pieces out.

          Good Luck!

          Have fun.

          Andy

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          • #6
            Thanks all for the welcome. I am sure you will be getting more questions from me in the future You guys all helped out alot in the one question. Looks like I will be getting the 210. Just going to look around a little more. I have one question though, do I dare talk about other brand of welders here? Thanks again.

            Jim

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            • #7
              Jim,

              Sure-mention other brands if you like. I'll get you started:

              There are many fine welding machines on the market today. I have used other brands in times past and have been well satisfied. After some years of welding and experience on different machines and processes I have developed a great appreciation for the Miller product. Thanks again to all the fine people who bring these products to the market. I bet if you ask, you'll find that ROCK from Miller and others on this site own additional brands of welders. My preference is Miller, but Lincoln, Hobart, Thermal Arc and others manufacture some fine machines.

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              • #8
                other brands

                Welcome to the welding world. Yes the other brands make good machines but for a single phase exceptional welder, I prefer the miller 250 xl. These machines will weld all day long, every day, with so little maintenance or consumables that you will recover the larger initial cost. I have used other brand similar size welders and they just don't measure up. My personal benchmark for welders is durability and I just bought a 650amp miller from an auction, where I used to work. We bought the welder used when it was acquired at my old job. I used the welder every day for 4 years doing heavy welding with only blowing out the dust every three months. When they closed I went to the auction and bought my old welder. The power supply and the feeder are 20 years old and work better than an new delta weld to me. I use it everyday to build bucket elevators and belt conveyors. I wish I had four more just like it. Back to the smaller welder, we have three 250 xl machines that we move all over the shop and weld with every day and they are the energizer bunny of the welding world, they just keep going, and going and .... Good luck.

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