View Full Version : wire feed welder what should I buy

Brett Hurt
10-13-2001, 02:41 AM
I have been looking around at them and need to know what one for the best price. I will not be useing it ever day just once in a moon. But want a good one. Also is there any one in Bakersfield CA. Thinks for your time Brett

Dave the Nave
10-13-2001, 08:35 PM
Hi Brett,I've allways heard good reports about Miller products.I'd go with Miller if I were you.

10-13-2001, 10:21 PM
depends alot on what you will be using it for.
sheet metal,fabrication?
what type of power feed?110-220

Have had a miller roughneck since 1975 and no problems with unit.
neighbor has a small lincoln wire feeder and he does 6-8 cars a year.
if you set up the wirefeeder correctly,you will probally not go back to stick.
i will stick with the stick machine.

10-13-2001, 10:36 PM
You can't go wrong with Miller or Lincoln.
What you must consider is the type of system to buy. There is straight wire with Inert gas and fluxcore that needs no gas. Fluxcore system is cheaper as you don't need to buy or rent a bottle and regulater setup. Fluxcore wire is more expensive but best if you are not doing much welding. Also, if you are doing sheet metal, the gas system is the best. Hope that helps. I am sure others can add more to this subject.

10-13-2001, 10:40 PM
Learn from my experience! I thought that all I needed was a small 110VAC wire feed machine. WRONG in a big way. I put $400.00 in one and when I couldn't get the results that I needed I bit the bullet and bought a Miller 250. I found that many welding stores sell this machine at a very competitive price. One store was $150.00 higher for the same setup. This machine will weld metal as thin as 22ga. and as thick as 1/2" on a single pass. The machine will do more that I need now but in the future I won't be limited by it. If you know that you won't ever need what the Miller 250 will do they have smaller machines that are very good. WALT WARREN

10-14-2001, 03:51 AM
I have done lots of production welding with Migs and Tigs. My favorite machine (just a little guy) is a 150A 240V Millermatic with a Bernard Handpiece & cable, and a proper flow regulator.

You can weld ok with a 2 stage regulator, but only a flow regulator allows you to set the proper CFM of sheilding gas. The Nozzle you use is important - as the oulet size changes you must change the flowrate. A screw type hose clamp on the nozzle prevents porosity from gas losses. I prefer .035 wire /copper flashed.

Argon, Argon/CO2, and CO2 are the most common gases. Argon (EXPENSIVE) is required for Aluminum & Stainless, CO2 (dirt cheap) is fine for non-critical welds in steel. The Nozzle should be dipped in anti-spatter compound to reduce build up in the nozzle every so often.

Everything from 38Ga. up to 1/4" can easily be welded with one of these rigs. Heavier sections need higher current/multiple passes. If you have trouble welding thinner material you can back the weld with a copper block to prevent burn through.

I purchased a nearly new one from a body shop with a flow regulator for $200 (Canadian) because the boneheads did not know how to set it up properly - I had to replace the liner and the rollers on the wire feed unit to get it to work again.

A quality welding helmet is a must. Go to a welding supply house and ask them to assist you in choosing a helmet. I use a #10 Gold Filter protected on both sides by polycarbonate covers. Gloves, and a leather welding shirt is a good idea. If you can afford them, the Speedglass electronic Helmets are...awesome!

Good luck, have fun.

10-15-2001, 12:25 AM
If your looking for a small 110 volt mig or flux core welder you can't go wrong with a Miller or Lincoln. Also, older Campbell Hausfeld welders (black case not blue) were made by Miller. They use a cheaper wire feed and it's noisy. It's a little tricky on anthing thinner than 14 ga. If you do go with a 110V mig/ flux core unit. Buy it without the small bottle and cheap regulator. Rent a large bottle from your local gas supplier and get a good regulator. I have a Campbell Hausfeld 130 amp mig and it has been great, just runs out of gas too quick with their small bottle and regulator.

Orlon Fides
10-17-2001, 11:09 PM
I concur, Miller defenently makes the best welders I have used.