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Aluminum Mig welding

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  • Aluminum Mig welding

    I have looked thru most of the posts here and have not really seen what I was looking for. Here is the question: Can a MM175 or MM210 be used to weld Aluminum w/o the spool gun? A friend and I were talking at work last night and we were wondering if you could basically run one of the MillerMatic's as an Aluminum mig welder if you were going to weld mostly Aluminum? Or would it just be best to go with a TIG machine?
    While I am at it, what is the thinnest Aluminum material that you would use a spool gun on? What would be a good TIG machine to get? I use to work for a company that built petroleum and dry bulk tankers and 85% of the welding I did was AL TIG, but that was 12 yrs ago.

    As always, thanks,

  • #2
    The 175 and 210 are both capable of welding aluminum without the spoolgun. The problem with aluminum is pushing the soft aluminum wire 10'-12'. I'm not saying it can't be done but if you have trouble (and you probably will) it can get very frustrating. This is why spoolguns and push/pull systems were invented.

    The MM 175 is capable of welding aluminum from 14ga min up to about 1/4" max and the MM 210 is capable of 14ga min up to about 3/8" max. There are people that can weld thinner aluminum with a straight mig unit but it is very difficult.

    [email protected]
    Kevin Schuh
    Service Technician
    Miller Electric Mfg. Co.


    • #3
      AL MIG

      Thanks Kevin,
      As you have probably guessed, I am trying to decide between getting a spool gun or a Tig unit. I am fixing to get a MM210 in Dec. and if I go with the spool gun when I get my welder I can get a better deal on the whole package, BUT on the other hand I want a good TIG machine as well. I have a little while yet to decide. So I will probably be back quit often to see whats what and ask many more questions. Thanks again for all your time.

      What would be a good AC/DC TIG machine?



      • #4
        Mike, I have welded aluminum with a MM175. Here is a picture of a bead. Probably not my best, but it can be done. Like Kevin said, the problem comes with pushing the wire 10 feet, but there are a few tricks that can help.

        By the way, I also have a Syncrowave 180SD, which I like a lot. But if you are going to be welding a lot of aluminum that's thicker than 3/16", you may want to go with something a little bigger.

        Anyway, just my 2 cents ( and it might not be worth even that!)

        Attached Files


        • #5
          Thanks Mowjunk, I appreciate all input. How do you like your Syncrowave 180? If I go with the spool gun for now, I want a good Tig machine for later.
          Let me know,


          • #6
            Mike, I really love it. I have a 125 amp torch and a 150 amp torch, both aircooled. You can use watercooled torches and also add a pulser unit if you needed it. It weighs about 230 lbs without gas bottle so it's not really portable. The new thing seems to be the inverter machines, but they are expensive. If portability is not a problem, you might look into the 180.

            If I had to do it all over again, I would have gotten the 210 with the spool gun instead of the MM175 and I still would have gotten the 180 for TIG and Stick. Let me add that the MM175 has done everything I needed it to do but I think you are making the right decision with the 210. You won't be sorry.