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Username Post: harbor freight welders        (Topic#356744)
Airlifter 
"4th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 585
Airlifter
Age: 73
Loc: Tazewell county, Virginia
Reg: 06-07-15
06-09-19 04:16 PM - Post#2768063    

I would like to buy a mig welder but I can't justify the price of the Lincoln and Miller welders. I have been looking at the ones at harbor freight. Does anyone have any experience with these welders<

1951 styline deluxe sport coupe w/54 engine & powerglide


 




grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 17309
grumpyvette
Age: 71
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
06-10-19 08:17 AM - Post#2768107    
    In response to Airlifter

Ive had several friends purchase welders from HF,
the results vary considerably , my B.I.L. purchased both the 90 amp rated flux core
(returned it as worthless, after a 24 hour trial, )
he bought a $289 flux core mig ,
and also returned that after a short test,
and it should be obvious that a decent MIG welder even a rather cheaper versions will work fairly well,

he bought a lincoln mig later, and has had zero issues with it,
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_20 ...

as with most things you tend to GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR,
QUALITY COSTS MORE

while not always true ,because designs and components differ higher WEIGHT is also an indicator of better quality
anything much under about $400-$500 is not going to be high quality and good for decades of trouble free use with only minor maintenance,
but theres a huge difference between a cheap FLUX CORE welder and a decent lower cost MIG welder... MIG WELDING REQUIRES USE OF A TANK OF SHIELD GAS AND GAS REGULATOR
hobart, lincoln, eastwood and other vendors also sell lower cost MIG welders , youll want to decide on if youll be reasonably well served with a 110 volt 140 amp mig or need something with more capacity,
understand DUTY CYCLE, if a welder says 30% duty cycle at x amps its means you weld for 3 minutes and let cool for 7 minutes before it can be used again, lower amps generally allow higher duty cycle,
anything that almost any welder advertises, that says FLUX CORE is not going too be high quality mig.
why not visit a local lincoln dealer and ask questions
the eastwood welders have a decent reputation



https://bestweldinghelmet .review/mig-welders/

https://weldingpros.net/best-mig-welder-revie ws/

http://www.kingsofwelding.com/buyers-guides/best-m...

https://www.drillpressview.com/best-mig-welder/


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CNOVZU/?creati veASIN...



https://www.harborfreight.com/migmax-140-industria...

https://www.farmandfleet.com/products/693798-linco ...

https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-mig-welder-1 75-a...

https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-mp200i.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=mig%20welde...

https://www.eastwood.com/welders/mig-welders.html

https://weldingdirect.com/migwe11mama.html

https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/equipment/mi...





IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!


Edited by grumpyvette on 06-10-19 02:52 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 17309
grumpyvette
Age: 71
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
06-10-19 10:13 AM - Post#2768119    
    In response to grumpyvette

a couple hours reading linked info could easily save you hundreds of dollars and days of problem solving,
Id point out that decent quality, 110 volt 120 amp mig will do a decent job on sheet metal,
but most are limited to work on under 3/16" thick metal and thats really pushing the limits,
now that may be on a 20-30% duty cycle, that requires you to weld 2-3 minutes and let the welder cool 7-8 minutes between welds
if you spent a bit more you get a 220 volt 180 amp-210 amp welder , if used at the amps required for sheet metal , duty cycle is far higher
maybe at 70% so you weld for 6-7 minutes and let cool for 3-4 minutes.
you rarely weld for more than a minute or two, so in reality, you can use the 180-210 amp rated migs almost constantly
if used on the lower amp settings
go a bit excessive, get a 230-250 amp mig and your duty cycles high enough that you ignore duty cycle limitations

yes Im a tool junky
I don,t know how anyone in this hobby can get by without a decent welder.
no you don,t need anything near the cost of a miller 252 mig but I would certainly ;look at the hobart,eastwood,lincoln migs in the links and strongly consider spending $500-$800 on a higher quality mig that should last for decades and select a brand where parts are likely too be available in 4-6 years



this miller 252 migs been damn useful, and its most likely the most practical choice,but I've found I use both a MIG and TIG and occasionally an ARC welder.
if limited to a single welder I think it would be a 250-300 amp range TIG with a water cooled torch, and easy switch adjustable polarity, adjustable frequency, and amps (yes the foot petal works on my tig

Duty cycle is a welding equipment specification which defines the number of minutes, within a 10 minute period, during which a given welder can safely produce a particular welding current. For example, a 150 amp.welder with a 30% duty cycle must be "rested" for at least 7 minutes after 3 minutes of continuous welding.


http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

you NEED a tank of shield gas to MIG WELD CORRECTLY, you rent those tanks with a healthy deposit or buy and have the tanks refilled and re-certified every few years

https://www.eastwood.com/mig-250-welder-eastwo od.h...

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/t...devicetype=c...


http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?thr...

IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!


Edited by grumpyvette on 06-10-19 10:32 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4204

Reg: 12-29-02
06-10-19 10:25 AM - Post#2768121    
    In response to Airlifter

Cheaper welders like that tend to have an unstable arc, which makes it more difficult to get a nice weld bead with one. The cheaper welders use a lighter transformer which can't maintain as steady an arc voltage.





 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 405

Reg: 09-30-15
06-10-19 01:30 PM - Post#2768148    
    In response to 65_Impala

"I have been looking at the ones at harbor freight. Does anyone have any experience with these welders"

Airlifter,

A friend and former workmate of mine (we're geologists) had a HF mig machine fail in occasional hobby use. It was outside of the warranty time limit but he took it back to them, anyway. Instead of repairing it they replaced it with a new unit at no cost.

So it's a good news/bad news answer. They replaced it at no cost totally satisfying my friend. But, he's a really experienced welder and didn't abuse it so it should not have failed.

My experience with electric welding is I had a 240 volt 180 amp Absco buzz box that worked perfectly for about 40 years. Then I gave it to my son and now he's using it now with no issues.

My "New" welder is a Miller AC-DC stick/tig "Synchrowave 200" that is now about 12 years old. I really like the AC-DC versatility because I can tig aluminum and ferrous metals.

Looking back at all the welders I've seen in hobby use the only one that ever failed was my friend's from HF. My take away from that is that a quality welder will outlast its owner in hobby use.

I've never regretted buying quality tools. My oxy-acetylene welding rig is a genuine Victor (not Victor "style") bought in 1969 and except for replacing each of the regulator diaphragms once it's been totally trouble free for 50 years. Finding someone willing to sell me the diaphragms was a challenge, though.

Ray W





 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4204

Reg: 12-29-02
06-10-19 01:52 PM - Post#2768149    
    In response to Ray P W

Ray - I made a set using an inner tube. They worked just fine.



 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 14228
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
06-10-19 07:39 PM - Post#2768184    
    In response to 65_Impala

Check Craigslist and such. People do sell good welders used when they either finish a project or buy an upgraded welder.

Jay
Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon
1957 Cameo Carrier


 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 405

Reg: 09-30-15
06-10-19 09:11 PM - Post#2768188    
    In response to wagonman100

"Ray - I made a set using an inner tube. They worked just fine"

That's a great solution Impala. How long have those been in service?



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4204

Reg: 12-29-02
06-11-19 06:33 PM - Post#2768265    
    In response to Ray P W

I don't know. Did it years ago but haven't used them in a while. If the rubber fails I'll just do it again.



 
tommy49 
"5th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2588
tommy49
Loc: Kaleva, Michigan
Reg: 09-28-12
06-12-19 04:44 PM - Post#2768342    
    In response to Airlifter

  • Airlifter Said:
I would like to buy a mig welder but I can't justify the price of the Lincoln and Miller welders. I have been looking at the ones at harbor freight. Does anyone have any experience with these welders<



I bought my Miller 180 Autoset 10 years ago and have never had a problem with it. I recently bought a Miller Diversion 180 tig welder. I justified the money spent on reliability and local availability of parts and accessories.


Tommy

49 Deluxe Sport Coupe, 55 235, 700r4, Blazer rear axle, 4 wheel power disc brakes.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tommyfortynine /album...




 




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