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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, What is a good but cheap mig welder? I found a hobart that wasnt so high and Should weld about anything that I would need it to. Any thoughts? I would think I need to refer to BigKev on this one since he is the welding god!



Hobart 500521 Handler 125 EZ Flux Core Welder Recond
 

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as long as you're not doing anything thick, pretty good for just basic sheet metal and tubing work. Probably good for not much over an 1/8th inch thick. then you have to look at the duty cycle.....it's usually rated as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the longer you can weld before the machine shuts off to cool down.
Being gasless, you're pretty much stuck with just steel, if you get one that is capable of gas shielding, then you have the option of also doing aluminum.
 

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yeah but KFXHR likes'em "thick"


ive used several brands. the hobart is not bad. but like monkey said.... i only weld steel, i dont mess with SS and aluminum
 

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I think I would look for one that is set up with gas, Its a little extra money but I find they work alot better and are easier to set up then just flux core. Also you can weld thicker steel just fine if it is beveled, or v'd out and do several passes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I doubt that I would be welding aluminum or SS anyhow. I was gonna use it for tubing etc. I only want one that will work well on at least 3/16" steel.
 

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If you are going to be welding and repairing farm equipment out in a field, the flux core will be fine for you. If you plan on welding inside and have your welds look pretty good and not having to do alot of grinding then get a regulator and a small tank of mix gas.

I pesonally like Miller welders, and in my opion are hands down the best. I've welded with every different manufacture's machines and if you cant weld and plan on learning with your first welder buy a miller 140 with autoset. It will make things alot easier for you.:)
 

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You might look at the Hobart Handler140, it's gas optional. Just don't cheap out and get a Harbor Freight one.
 

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we get all the top makes this side, however they cost plenty!! like Miller, worth the money for a business!!

what I did get was an ''inverter DC welder'' way better then those oil bath welders

built the traylor that transports the quads and all the camping equipment for when we go away!! and the traylor has seen some pretty ugly offroad traveling loaded!!
its light
makes my welding look like a pro's weld
have even welded small aluminum jobs, like alternator brackets with the right rods!! yep with out gas!!
rods for cast and SS also available
fully adjustable in my case all the way up to 200amp, smaller and bigger ones available
kits are available for this one to convert it to a mig or tig welder
polarity reversible

sure their will be a lot of those doing the rounds that side as well!!


one of the best buys ever!!


SUGGESTION:
get an auto darkening helmet as well!!


hope the pic shows

or here is the link
Welding - Thermamax 160A Inverter 220V complete for sale in Ermelo

as in the pic, just that I have the 200amp one
great value for money!!

hope this helps
 

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Look at what and where you will be welding.A mig with gas will give you cleaner welds but you can't use them outside with any wind because the wind will blow the gas off of the weld.If money is tight buy a gasless welder that has the capability to be upgraded to gas in the future.As for the brand ,again think about what you will be doing .Yes the cheaper brands like the Harbor Frieght over seas welders will not hold up in a production shop but for the home hobby guy they will work fine.I actually bought my first mig from Harbor Frieght years ago and I welded everything from exhaust to 7/16 plate on the back of my tow trucks.I had it for five years before I traded it in for the snap-on one I have now.I actually got more than I originally paid for it.Also the parts were surprizingly available.My old man melted the hose and when I called up for the part it was sent from a warehouse in Texas.
Most of the good brands have spoolgun attachments for welding aluninum but for a good weld in aluninum you should use a tig anyway.
Look at the ajustabilities and availible accessories when buying.Spotweld and stitch weld timers are very handy when doing sheetmetal.Also if buying one of the lesser known brands look for the availibility of the consumables (tips,cups etc.).
Just don't be affraid of buying a off brand as your first welder if money is tight.you can always trade up as money is more availible.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you are going to be welding and repairing farm equipment out in a field, the flux core will be fine for you. If you plan on welding inside and have your welds look pretty good and not having to do alot of grinding then get a regulator and a small tank of mix gas.

I pesonally like Miller welders, and in my opion are hands down the best. I've welded with every different manufacture's machines and if you cant weld and plan on learning with your first welder buy a miller 140 with autoset. It will make things alot easier for you.:)


I know how to weld I just need a welder. I have a big Lincoln Arc welder which is almost useless to what I want to do. I have mig welded some here and there but it wasnt my welder. It was a mid sized Hobart with gas. That thing welded so pretty and easy. It was 1k+ welder though and I was wondering some cheap but quality options! I can't weld anything like you but for what I do I don't need to weld that pretty:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SUGGESTION:
get an auto darkening helmet as well!!




hope this helps


Thanks for the info Nando. I have an auto darkening helmet already. Only kind to have!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Look at what and where you will be welding.A mig with gas will give you cleaner welds but you can't use them outside with any wind because the wind will blow the gas off of the weld.If money is tight buy a gasless welder that has the capability to be upgraded to gas in the future.As for the brand ,again think about what you will be doing .Yes the cheaper brands like the Harbor Frieght over seas welders will not hold up in a production shop but for the home hobby guy they will work fine.I actually bought my first mig from Harbor Frieght years ago and I welded everything from exhaust to 7/16 plate on the back of my tow trucks.I had it for five years before I traded it in for the snap-on one I have now.I actually got more than I originally paid for it.Also the parts were surprizingly available.My old man melted the hose and when I called up for the part it was sent from a warehouse in Texas.
Most of the good brands have spoolgun attachments for welding aluninum but for a good weld in aluninum you should use a tig anyway.
Look at the ajustabilities and availible accessories when buying.Spotweld and stitch weld timers are very handy when doing sheetmetal.Also if buying one of the lesser known brands look for the availibility of the consumables (tips,cups etc.).
Just don't be affraid of buying a off brand as your first welder if money is tight.you can always trade up as money is more availible.


Thanks for the info! I was thinking of getting an either or, It will be a little while but I want to find something so when I got the money I will grab one.
 

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That Hobard Handler 140 would probably be good. Tractor Supply here has it for 479+tax and it welds quite nicely up to either 3/16'' or 1/4''
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah thats all I should need to weld is up to 1/4" max.
 

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to do 1/4, you'll have to bevel and make a couple passes probably, and that's where the duty cycle comes in
 

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Hobart is made by Miller if you were worried about quality of the unit. Sounds like the flux core will be perfect for what your doing with it.
 
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