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which Miller mig should i buy

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  • which Miller mig should i buy

    I am looking to buy a new Miller Mig welder, right now I have an older Millermatic 200 and it is not spool gun ready. As far as I have found out those parts to make my 200 able to use a spool gun are no longer available. We have a small fab shop and work on race cars and dirt bikes and want to be able to mig weld aluminum from very light gauge and up to1/4" and maybe 3/8ths sometimes, mostly skid plates and body panels. The steel we mostly work with is chromoly and D.O.M mild steel, what do you guys suggest 211,212, 255 or? We already have a Dynasty 200 DX for tig welding, but really would like to have a mig that is aluminum capable and for faster welding jobs on steel.
    Thanks for any information

  • #2
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.com/miller-millermatic-252-mig-welder-with-30a-spool-gun-951066&ved=2ahUKEwilrvvJ27fnAhXBLH0KHTYPDI8QFjACeg QIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw1ArIzElZgkbp9MltUZMSZb

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    • #3
      I’ve run a few spool guns, but the best I’ve used to date has been the new 30a on a MM252. I have put countless spools of 5356 through that gun and machine with no problems whatsoever.

      Being that you have a really good old machine in that MM200, you could look around and pick up a regency 200 or 250. It’s basically the same machine minus the built in feeder. Those machines were made to run the spool gun.

      There are also other options out there for adding a spool gun to your MM200, but I am not certain they are compatible with your older machine, but it doesn’t hurt to find out. HTP makes spool guns and controls modules for adding on to existing wire feeders. Weldmart online does as well. Like I said, not sure about the compatibility, but it’s worth a look if I were you.

      Let us know what you decide.

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      • #4
        I would skip the 211 since that model is limited to the Spoolmate 100 or 150 gun. The 212, 252 or 255 will all run the Spoolmate 200 or a Spoolmatic 15A/30A and you can't go wrong with any of them. We've got a 212 at work (newer model with Autoset) and it's a nice machine. I have a 252 at home and it's an even nicer machine...a few extra features over the 212 that are nice to have. It's hard to beat the 15A/30A, but I picked up a Spoolmate 200 at auction really cheap a while back and was impressed with how it worked. For a commercial setting I would be worried the plastic housing might be on the light side though, so that would have me leaning towards the 15A/30A.

        I have zero experience with a 255, but would love to try one. Between the 212 and 252 I'd go for the 252 since it's a little more robust (just look at the wire feed and it's obvious), has a few more options like spot weld and adjustable pre-flow, etc, and you can also direct connect a push/pull gun if you want to (although that pretty much dedicates the machine to aluminum temporarily as they take a while to get dialed in).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rocky4by View Post
          ...want to be able to mig weld aluminum ... up to ... 3/8ths ...
          Millermatic 350 then.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MAC702 View Post

            Millermatic 350 then.
            No question the 350 is a nicer machine, but the 252 is rated for up to 3/8" 4043 and 1/2" 5356 so it would still work. I recall that the 255 specs are similar enough to be in the same ballpark.

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            • #7
              I weld on dump trucks with the 252 and a 30a. It will definitely do dirt bikes and drag cars. I have never used the spool gun on anything for the drag cars and I’ve never worked on a dirt bike, if that helps any.

              I also have a short whip (10’) I made for my MM250 and run 3/64th 5356 like a mad man through it. You just have to keep the tension on the wire easy and the whip as straight as possible.

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              • #8
                Ryan, do you use the U groove drive rolls and teflon liner too? I have a short whip with a teflon liner, 4-drive U-grooves and back end for my miller, but am thinking of switching it to a Tweco/Lincoln power pin to try the synergic, pulse, pulse on pulse goodness on the Powerwave/Powerfeed 10 (older wire feeder doesn't support a spool gun) without spending ~$300 on the U-groove drive rolls. If it's an exercise in frustration with V-groove, I'll save the money on the lincoln power pin and find a different way or stick to spool and CV.

                Rocky4by, when you say light gauge to ... 3/8", are you talking aluminum, and how thin of aluminum?

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                • #9
                  It’s an old tweco gun with a Teflon liner and .054 tips. I’ve had such trouble getting my LWS to get me the feed roller kit for my machine that I’ve been using .045 serrated rollers. I know it’s wrong and it does give me some problems, but it s what I have and it’s worked well enough.

                  I really need to just find the roller kit elsewhere one of these days.

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                  • #10
                    Gotcha. Check ebay, that's where I found mine from searching for Miller U groove. Much cheaper too...

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                    • #11
                      If there is a need for speed a 252 costs 1/2 to put down the same weld as a 211 and 2x as fast. Would or could pay for the difference in cost in a week or 2.

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                      • #12
                        I really need to just find the roller kit elsewhere one of these days.
                        I avoid buying from LWS as they make more than enough on gas to stay in business. It's easy for you to know more than most counter people so why bother with them when some typing and mouse clicks save you the drive and hassle? Thanks to this forum I found https://www.miller4less.com/ though I always look up the part number on Ebay first.

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                        • #13
                          I agree on all accounts.

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