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  • Miller Stick welder...

    Fellas,
    Well, after buying my MM210 a while back, I'm just hooked.

    NOW, I'm looking to buy a nice Stick welder, OR a TIG/Stick combo.

    I'm a bit confused as to what machine might be in the same "ballpark" as the MM210 I own. Yes, I know, that's like comparing apples to oranges I guess, but hopefully you guys know what I mean.
    I don't get out to my local welding supply very often, as I work a lot, but thought I'd ask here instead.
    I would like a nice machine for general shop use, and I'd rather save a little while longer, to get a nice machine, then settle for something less.
    I really don't understand why anyone would buy "JUST" a stick machine, when they can have a TIG/Stick unit in one.
    What you 210 boys running for Stick and TIG?

    Also, are amps about the same relevance in Stick/TIG as they are in MIG?

    Maybe this sounds a bit odd, but I don't ever see "welds 1/2" in a single pass" on a Stick/TIG machine.
    Granted, I realize that phrase in the advertisements doesn't mean much, but it still gives me a good idea as to what a welder can really do.
    I guess I'm looking for a TIG/Stick machine that will work with the same thickness steels that my MM210 will.

    I thought I'd never be taking welding this far, but now I can't see why I haven't done it earlier!

    BTW,
    Any GA boys hanging out here on the boards?? I'd love to get together sometime...!!!

  • #2
    Syncro 180

    I really like my Syncro 180 on stick, it only does up to 180 amps, but for all the stuff I do that is plenty. If its not I fire up the TB302. The arc on the Syncro is really nice and for me, learning TIG, it has done more than I am capible of. It also has AC, so you can do basic alum work.

    Depends on the budget really. You can get just a stick machine a LOT cheaper than a TIG/Stick combo. But I am very happy with my decision. The rule of thumb I have heard is 1 amp for every .001 thickness of steel you intend to weld, that may help decide how many amps you are looking for.Of course Stick/TIG is a CC machine, while MIG is a CV machine.
    Thanks -- Kelly

    Trailblazer 302
    Millermatic 251
    Millermatic Passport
    Syncrowave 180SD

    Red 120V Mig
    HT600 Plasma Cutter
    Victor Journeyman O/A
    Loving Wife

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kejohnson
      Depends on the budget really.
      Yep. It's really hard to recommend machines to someone who doesn't tell us what he can spend. Is aluminum TIG necessary for you, or would it be nice? That'll make a difference, too.

      You can do a lot with a really small machine like a Miller Maxstar 150 STL or STH. The latter has HF start and Lift-Arc, plus some pulsing programs which are way cool on thin stuff, especially stainless. It's TIG thickness is limited, but you can do a lot more with the 150A of Stick welding. I have the older version, the Maxstar 140 STR and love it. Most of my mobile welding can be done from the customer's nearest receptacle without having to fire up the TB301G.

      A very popular machine is the Miller Dynasty 200DX, which is about as good as it gets in that class. Full pulsing features, plus AC capability for aluminum/magnesium, etc. And works on a myriad of input voltages.

      Both of those above-described machines are inverters that pack a lot of power in a small, lightweight package, and they have exceptional arc qualities as well.

      The Synchrowaves are excellent DC/AC machines, but heavy transformer-based units.

      Let us know some more parameters, and a budget, and we can help more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Congratulation on your MM210. I just love mine had it for 2 years now. For tig or stick the SD180 is a pretty good bet, I like mine and still have it even though I broke down and got a Dynasty 200 DX. The SD 180 is comperable to the MM210 in size, high quality and a keeper for all around shop stuff. The ultimate tig is the Dynasty 200 DX or for real heavy duty ths Dynasty 300 DX. light weight, works on any voltage including 110 and also 3 phase. Must admit it is on the pricy side. There are some other none miller units that are comperable in capability. Look for posts from scot on the 185, also from Hawk on the Dynastys.
        Harold
        Craftsman Colormatic AC
        Victor Journyman Setup
        Syncrowave 180 SD
        MM210 With Spoolgun
        Dynasty 200 DX
        Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
        Miller HD Tape Measure

        Comment


        • #5
          Well fellas,
          I usually do post a budget, but I guess I still haven't decided yet.
          I guess if I had to say as of now, I'd go with around $1500 minimum, and maybe $2K tops.
          It's hard for me to do much more than $2K (****, that's hard enough as it is!)

          I love the portability with the Maxstars/etc, but I would probably want something bigger for my first machine.

          I will check the pricing of the Dynasty 200X and 300X as well.

          Looks like maybe a Dynasty or Syn maybe....
          Thanks guys...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Cataldo
            I'd go with around $1500 minimum, and maybe $2K tops.
            Well, that rules out the Dynasties. BUT, you can go with a Maxstar 200DX for just under $2K with free shipping. Same power, features, arc quality, etc, but no AC. And you still have a lot of portability at less than 50 lbs.

            Comment


            • #7
              The portablility needs will mean a lot. If it is not required, I have to stick with the 180SD Tigrunner package, under 2K, 180Amp, complete with torch, foot control, stinger for stick, and cart. But as Mac said, it is not portable unless you are Superman. It also has the adpative hot start for stick welding, and variable dig control. Both of these features I like a lot and is part of the reason I got mine, although I have done very little stick on my unit. It has the squarewave AC output for alum, but not nearly the features the inverter based units have.

              I do hear rumors that a new 180 is coming out with pulsing built in, but no exact relase date. Do not ask TMT about this though.
              Thanks -- Kelly

              Trailblazer 302
              Millermatic 251
              Millermatic Passport
              Syncrowave 180SD

              Red 120V Mig
              HT600 Plasma Cutter
              Victor Journeyman O/A
              Loving Wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't overlook the Thermal arc 185. They seem to be the hot item in the last week or two. 3 or four of the guys have them and I think Hank has one on order. I'm pretty sure that's the way I'll be going pretty soon unless the new Miller 180 comes out first then I will have to take a look at it too.

                Dennis
                Dennis


                Thermal Arc 185-TSW
                Millermatic Challenger 172
                VictorO/A
                Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
                Esab PCM-875
                Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Fellas,
                  Thanks for all the info.
                  Where can I go on the web to view actual prices of all the machines mentioned?
                  I have seen several welding suppliers online, but have not yet found one with reasonable prices that I can compare ALL of the machines with. YES, I know Miller's site has the MSRP's listed, but that is of no use to me. I need actual prices to compare, with the convenience of sitting at home online.
                  Of course, my welding supply has all these machines, and has good prices, but I can't get out there anytime I like with work and all, JUST to compare prices on these machines.
                  I just need to view a few quick prices, and make my decision, THEN go to my local welding supply to make a purchase...
                  Thanks fellas. PM me with info if it is not ok to post here.... You guys have been great, and I really appreciate it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Cataldo
                    Where can I go on the web to view actual prices of all the machines mentioned?
                    I have seen several welding suppliers online, but have not yet found one with reasonable prices that I can compare ALL of the machines with.

                    I just need to view a few quick prices, and make my decision
                    Go to www.ebay.com

                    Just put "Miller" and the model number in the search box. There are several dealers who sell there and you'll find the lowest prices, all with shipping included. Check for packages, too. Some will come with extras for some good deals, like spoolguns with the MIGs or torches with the TIGs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, well I do that all the time.
                      I don't recall seeing all the Miller machines. I see most of the Millermatics, and smaller machines, but I don't recall seeing all the bigger TIG/Stick machines, or many of the Bobcats and engine driven units (which is what I'm most interested in) I think I was searching for a MM350 the other day, and couldn't find one anywhere on ebay. Maybe it was a glitch, as I know there have been times when I've searched for something that I KNOW is on ebay, but just doesn't show up due to some type of server problem or something...
                      I'll check again to see what's listed...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Cataldo
                        Yes, well I do that all the time.
                        I don't recall seeing all the Miller machines. I see most of the Millermatics, and smaller machines, but I don't recall seeing all the bigger TIG/Stick machines, or many of the Bobcats and engine driven units (which is what I'm most interested in)
                        I see the Bobcats and Trailblazers (THAT's the machine to look at, forget the Bobcat if you want a WELDER) as well as Maxstars and Dynasties everyday. Might have to vary your search words.

                        TB302: http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-TRAILBLAZ...QQcmdZViewItem

                        Maxstar 200DX: http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-MAXSTAR-2...QQcmdZViewItem

                        Dynasty 200DX (with contractor kit and foot control): http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-DYNASTY-2...QQcmdZViewItem

                        Synchrowave 180 Tigrunner Package: http://cgi.ebay.com/MILLER-SYNCROWAV...QQcmdZViewItem

                        These are just some examples. IOC is one of the dealers, but they got a bad recommendation lately. They refused to ship a third item to a buyer after the shipping company damaged the first two. So the only loser was the buyer who had to wait weeks and buy a new one from somewhere else after the price increase went into effect.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bought my Dynasty and Spectrum 375 from Cyberweld.com shipping is included in the price and i was happy with their service also saved the tax buying out of state. There are other sites with good prices but i always forget their names
                          Dynasty 200 DX
                          Millermatic 175
                          Spectrum 375
                          All kinds of Smith OA gear

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I could (or needed ) to buy 1 new machine right now it would be the Dyn 200, its a go anywhere deal, If I wanted to save some $ and was going to stay in the shop I would be looking hard at the TA.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I bought a used Dialarc HF. It is both stick and tig. I paid about $250 for mine, beat out the dents in the sheet metal, new paint, decals and cables - looks like new! I'm new at this welding, so I've been doing stick and when I master that, I'll try the tig.

                              I have seen on e-bay the Dialarc HF for about $600ish.

                              The advice I got here and other places was that the Dialarc was a most durable machine and top shelf to boot - and mine has turned out to be just that. I am extremely pleased with it.

                              As to thick stuff, this machine has plenty of head room. I have been playing with some 1/8" rods, 6011, 6013 and 7014 - trying various amperages loosely based on some rod/amp charts. My machine tends to need a bit more amps than the chart recommendations. The 6011, for me, has been the most difficult to work with. Hard to start, sticking and crappy looking welds. Soooo, I started turning-up the amps (just for kicks) beyond the rod/amp charts and my Dialarc will make those 6011's dance on the steel! Get the amps high enough and even I can't make the 6011's stick! Nothing I have turns steel to red faster than my Dialarc w/6011's and high amps!

                              Bottom line is that IMHO, you can get yourself into a really nice Dialarc HF for most likely less than $1000 and it will handle all of your stick and tig needs, including your want for a premium/heavy duty machine and ability to handle thick welding.

                              Good luck,
                              Bill
                              Bill
                              Miller Dialarc HF

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