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'nother welder question??

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  • 'nother welder question??

    Hey guys, I've been following the thread on MIG welders. I've been considering "biting the bullet" in a big way (for me) and buying a Miller Maxstar 200DX TIG/stick unit...wondering if anyone has any experience with this machine and how it compares to the Miller Econotig? The Econotig comes fully kitted out with all the gear...the Maxstar is a few more bucks and is just the power source. It'll be used mainly for home and "light industrial" use...appreciate any opinions....thanks,

  • #2
    There are huge differences between these two units, so it really depends on what you want.

    EconoTig is a transformer machine, weighs 140#. Transformer welders draw more current and give you less ability to fine tune, control and shape the arc. The duty cycle of the EconoTig is only 20% @ 150 Amps. That means two minutes welding & eight minutes waiting for cooldown @ 150 Amps. That duty cycle may be enough for your needs, but it's awfully light. On the plus side, the entire package is $1,598US, ready to go except for a bottle of gas.

    The MaxStar is a different type & different class machine. It uses an inverter instead of a transformer, so it weighs only 37#. Inverters give you more arc control (in AC welding) because you aren't limited to only 60Hz output. You can adjust the frequency high for a tight arc cone or low when you need a wide arc cone for better preheat. Also on the MaxStar you pick up pulse (which is handy) and the duty cycle is 70% @ 150 Amps, which means more time welding & less time waiting.

    I've welded with both & prefer the inverter unit (MaxStar). Although it costs more, you pick up valuable features if you need them now or later. If you go with the MaxStar you may want to choose the water-cooled torch, as it maximizes the higher duty cycle of the machine.

    Barry Milton
    Barry Milton


    • #3
      Good topic for me today, 'couse monday I will take delivery on a brand new Miller 210 mig machine with the dual bottle setup and spoolgun for alum. this has cost me $1800+tax and I have my first job with the spoolgun I bid $200.00 for about 4hrs work repairing a jeritran(sp) flatbed the guy is real anxious to get it done. 9 more jobs like this one and its paid for.


      • #4
        That's the neat thing about a TIG or MIG machine, they repay pretty quickly. Of all the tools & machines in the shop, the welders and the metal lathe make money every day, while costing very little. You still have to have all the other tools & equipment, but welders & lathes spend more time running than any other machines.
        Barry Milton


        • #5

          If you're determined to by a Miller you may want to look at the 180SD, it's quite a bit more welder than the Econotig, and a little cheaper than the Maxstar. It has square wave output and you can stick weld with it, also you can wire it up single phase. I suspect you wouldn't be happy with an Econotig (altough I'm sure there are people that are). I personally own a 175 A squarewave Lincoln, I've had it about 4 years, it's been a good welder. The only thing I didn't like was the torch that came with it so I bought a Weldcraft torch to replace the stock one. They probably have different one now.

          Take care


          • #6
            Before you spend your money, go talk to the service department.

            While I would recommend the SD180 over the Econotig, I would ask some questions about cost of repair in relation to the SD180 versus the Maxstar. Inverter based machines have a well earned reputation of being VERY EXPENSIVE to repair. I would ask the prices of major components for both of the welders in addition to "which one breaks more?". Warranties do run out and the person holding the welder when it breaks is stuck with the bill.

            I did the same search about a year ago and I went with the SD180 for the repair cost reason. I tend to buy and keep my tools for a long time and the Synchowave series has a good reputation for repairability. The Maxstar is more flexible, lighter and takes a smaller current drain but was MUCH more expensive to fix out of warranty and more to buy initially.

            Also for your information, after an EXTENSIVE search for the best price I found to my surprise that the best pricing is on...EBAY.

            Several other locations that I would recommend researchong before you write the check are:




            Good luck with the search and let us know what you end up buying.



            • #7
              without reading anybody elses responses, let me tell you this: stay the hell away from the econotig. if you're looking for a cheap machine, get a syncrowave 180. this is exactly what the welding instructor at the vo-tech i used to attend told me and he was right. my 180sd kicks ass.


              • #8

                I've been taking a TIG class and I love it... I'm using an older Syncrowave 300 in class but I plan to get the Syncrowave 250 DX TIGrunner w/torch package for my shop either from Ebay, or a local shop if I can find one. I'm probably going to order my Syncrowave next week.



                • #9
                  the 180 is double the cost of the Econotig, which has served me well as a HSM & welder.