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Which Meg Welder To Purchase?

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  • Which Meg Welder To Purchase?

    I have been welding with a Lincoln Weld-Pac 100 using .035 flux cored wire and a Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox for years as a hobbyist welder. Most of my welding involves steel in 1/8 to 1/4 thickness. These two welders have both proved to be dependable and get the job done. However, I would like to move up to welding thicker steel and some aluminum in the future. Therefore, I am going to purchase a new welder. The three that I am considering are the Millermatic 251, Lincoln Power Mig 255 and Hobart IronMan 250. It appears that these three have somewhat similar capabilities

    I am leaning toward the Millermatic 251 at this point even though it is the most expensive. I could probably go with a smaller welder, but I want this to be the last mig welder I every need to buy so I want one that I won't outgrow. Again, this is going to be used by a hobbyist welder/metal fabricator and not a professional.

    I have the following questions:

    1. Is the Miller the best choice of the three for my needs?
    2. Is it relatively easy to setup and use?
    3. Should I purchase or rent a tank and what size?
    4. What gases would be best to use with this welder for steel and aluminum?
    5. Is this a good welding for mig welding aluminum?
    6. Either a 15A or 30A spool gun can be used with this welder? Which would be best and are they a good
    way to go for welding aluminum?
    7. What is involved to change over from steel to aluminum?

    8. Are there any other accessories that you would recommend?

    I will appreciate any and all feedback.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I've used the MM251 it was easy for me to use and setup. I've gathered for hobbist's it's best to rent tanks. Welding steel C25 is good and AL argon.
    Yes it's pretty good with AL. you can get a push pull module for it or a spool gun or run it like it is for AL. to change from steel to al change liner wire and gas. accessories all ready mentioned push pull mod and spool gun.
    hope this helps
    [email protected]


    • #3
      The MM251 is a great investment. Mine has been flawless in service and has seen it's share of long day's in the sun (or should I say the brilliant flash)
      It is a very easy machine to run and with a little practice I believe it will fill your every need, no matter what you throw at it professionally or extreme hobbyist
      To address your questions;
      Red make a good unit, I personally like Miller for customer service & product tech support (second to none). Hobart is a sister company to Miller and share a intrest in product lines. I prefer Miller for my own goofy reasons..
      2) Set-up, unpack the box install the mig gun per instructions. Read the instructions fully before use (safety first). Install a tank of gas (Argon/c25 mix is my preference for steel), add some wire & electrical supply and put you protective/safry gear and go. pretty much thats it.
      If you go spoolgun for aluminium, simple, to add, just one bolt to loosen one connection to the 14 pin spot and additional tank of 100% argon gas. I recommend the 30a for the longer whip (it works great your me with the additional length)
      3) I bought my tanks. I hate paying rent on something forever that I need.
      5) answered above.
      6) answered above.
      7) the spoolgun & standard gun have "GUN ON DEMAND " feature and can be set up and used on demand. See Millers web site for a better explanation.
      8) A Big window elite auto darkening helmet.
      Good luck with your decision


      • #4
        Buy your tanks and be done with it.


        • #5
          Of the three you mentioned I like Miller/Lincoln/Hobart in that order. before I bought the Ironman I would buy a MM210. The 210 would be more than adequate for your stated requirements and with a spool gun option it would be about the same price as the barebones MM251. It has a tapped transformer and is the nicest mig I have ever used.

          I too buy my cylinders. For fab shops that run through a cylinder in a week or so renting makes sense but not for home or intermittant use. Good luck with what ever you buy.