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Which welder should I buy??

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by padec21, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. padec21

    padec21 Member
    from ct
    Messages: 63

    Just a homeowner that uses my plow for my personal drive way and a few family and friends. I bought plow used with truck. It has a few rot holes in mold board. starting near the top underneath the foil. I would like to patch them myself. I know how to stick weld but would like to get into mig. I dont have either welder. I would also like to fab up my own back drag blade. Which welder would be better for me. Ac/dc? 110v or 220V? Mig or stick? brand? something like a small mig from home cheapo or an ac/dc stick. dont want to brake the bank. would prefer to spend under $500. Dont mind buying used. just dont knwo what to look for. I will probably never weld more than 1/4" thick. besides plow I am sure I can find other things laying around to stick together for fun.
    Please help.
  2. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I've got a Hobart 140 110v wire feed with provisions for gas, works well for me doing the same things you're talking about. I think it was ~$450 at Tractor Supply and came with an auto darkening helmet.
  3. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    Honestly, I've burned hundreds of lbs. of wire, and the best advice I can give is this, 220Volt. Check w/ the welding shop for enough amps to burn 1/2 " steel at the very least. Get a common/name brand like ESAB Miller Lincoln Hobart. I promise, you'll never regret getting a good one the first time. Make sure if you're welding w/ wire, you have to shiney the metal. NO RUST.
  4. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    By the way, i have a ESAB migmaster251 since '98 ...........2,4,6,8 time to go and fabricate
  5. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    I'd say miller or lincoln. Are you going to mig weld your plow or stick?
    We use all industrial welders both miller and lincoln. And don't forget to get that 300,000$ ventalation system (turn your garage or shop into a vaccum!)
  6. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    X2. Nuff Said.
  7. FLC2004

    FLC2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I have a lincoln electric weldpak 3200hd. Its just a little $500 home cheapo model but it does the trick for what we need to usually weld. Any real heavy welds i bring and have done by my landscape wholesale supplier by thier certified full time welder in thier shop.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  8. ddb maine

    ddb maine Senior Member
    Messages: 832

    I have a lincoln 140t. Lincoln was selling their floor models as reconditions. everything was still wrapped and nothing had been used. I think I paid 450.00 I will say that I think its the 140c that has a variable voltage, mine has individual settings, can be a pain. I would go with the c for fine tuning. but anything can be welded if you groove, preheat and multipass. The aluminum spool gun works great too.
    I have also used the miller 120 that was nice as well. both are 120v
  9. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I've had good luck with a 110v hobart 140. For a homeowner, I don't see a huge need to go 220v.

    That being said, my next welder will be 220 so i can go quicker with less passes and a better weld. But I haven't found anything yet that I can't weld, with enough correct preparation and keeping it clean. I've built a couple dump setups for a pickup, welded mounts for hydraulic cylinders on a tractor, hooked up a quick-tatch system on a skid, and haven't had a NEED for anything bigger than what I have. And you can get into that setup for 500. (get the gas, don't deal with flux core wire) A nice 250 amp 220v welder will run you 1500 or more.

    If you are doing this all the time with multiple machines, the 220v will pay for itself with time saved. but if all you are doing is welding sheet and minor projects, I don't see the need for the capability of welding 1/2" steel for the average homeowner.
  10. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    I just bought a Millermatic 252 and couldnt be happier... Most of the welding I've done so far we've pretty much had that thing tuned right out...
  11. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    just get the mig that will fit all your options, like steal thikness and get one you cn attach gas to and 110-220 if up to up that a personal option. just get name brand and you shouldnt have a problem!
  12. h8to wrk

    h8to wrk Member
    Messages: 37

    That is a great welder and I will be upgrading to one in the near future

    Ill agree with most here. Id opt for something from ESAB, Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart. NAd 220V for sure. Many people will say that they can weld anything just fine with a 110V unit but there is just no way they are getting a proper weld in heavier material IE 1/4 or larger. It might look OK but penetration is just not there
  13. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    If you bevel the parts correctly you can weld any thickness with a 110v. The thing is-it takes more time, more passes, more prep work, and it can burn out the machine if you try to exceed duty cycle too badly (let it cool down every few minutes and it will be fine).

    It will not get correct penetration on 1/4" or thicker steel if it is not beveled.

    Even a 220v machine-how would you suggest welding 1" thick steel? It can be done-but not in one pass, and not without the correct prep.

    For a homeowner that welds semi-regularly, I have found the 110 to be sufficient-though definitely slower than the 220's I have used. The welds are the same strength if done correctly.
  14. acornish

    acornish Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    ok my advice is just make sure u prep your work and go slow youd be ok -- ive been welding for over 20 years and have a miller 220 unit cats a** but i also have a small 110 unit frome harbor freight uses flux core and ive welded out in the field with welds fine as long as u dont over tax it ( by the way bolth welders are 10 yrs old- and still work fine )
  15. Effinay

    Effinay Member
    Messages: 35

    I've been using a Century (Miller knock off I think?) purchased from my local welding and gas supply house that runs on 110v and uses argon as a shielding gas. Has worked like a champ for 10-12 yrs now. Also have an old 220v Hobart buzz box for doing stick. The mig works great for tackin' stuff together, I think of it as a hot melt glue gun. I recently purchased one of those imported multi-function welders, (probably gonna get a lot of crap for that) I was looking for a plasma cutter and came across this machine on "Welding Tips and Tricks.com". This little beauty has a severance cut up to 1", does stick welding, and tig as well! And it was reasonably priced. Check out Everlast.com and visit "Welding Tips and Tricks.com" before you make your decision, you won't be disappointed. Didn't mean to get long winded, Thank you and Good Night.
  16. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    You should buy a miller! Although red is a better color but get the miller because it welds better IMO.
  17. JRS Landscaping

    JRS Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    deff get a 220v welder........bump for miller.......you get what you pay for with welders.....mig or stick....stick is usally cheaper and a bit more of a learning curve. might wanna look into a nice used unit if you wanna spend around 500 if you go for around 1k you can get a nice used welder generator like a miller bluestar . its nice if you dont got 220v in your garage
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  18. outlaw66

    outlaw66 Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    if you can buy it at a box store, steer clear, they're just glorified battery chargers!
    Go to a welding store, service and parts will sell itself. Miller 251 (220 volt machine) for me!
  19. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    Being a carpenter and woodworker most of,my life, I have managed to avoid welding and general metal work .
    Now, being the owner of a couple of pieces of "heavy" equipment, ,the need for metalworking has reared it's shiny/rusty head.
    A buddy long-term loaned me his 30 year old Merriam Graves MG Raider 220 volt arc welder. This rig is HD and welds as good as a new rig.
    As a newby to welding, I can appreciate the power and solidity of 220 volts
    Now I just have to learn what rod works on what metal at what amperage. I am having fun!
  20. dellwas

    dellwas Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Check out:


    Lots of good info. there, and I've got more if you need 'em.