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Under $400 MIG welders #5104981 05/14/19 08:56 AM
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LeakySeals Offline OP
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I'm currently taking welding classes at night. Stick, brazing, Mig, Tig, all types. Even using a torch. Want to buy a starter MIG welder so I can do mid-range welding things like rocker panels, sheet metal, etc. I see a couple that are under $400 and I'm wondering what people think.

Every time I look this Eastwood is getting more expensive.
https://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html

Then there is the Harbor Freight titanium. It's a new product line. Cheaper than the HF Vulcan that increased to $600 over time.

https://www.harborfreight.com/MIG-140-Professional-Welder-with-120-Volt-Input-64804.html

I'm open to any other suggestions under $400 if they exist. Because I still have to buy the cart, helmet, supplies, gas tank, ETC


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
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Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105025 05/14/19 09:54 AM
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joegreen Offline
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Buy used


1978 Chevrolet k20
Engine: Delo 10w30xle
Transmission: Castrol transmax dex/merc

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 turbo diesel
Engine: Delo 400 15w40le
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105105 05/14/19 11:08 AM
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JLawrence08648 Offline
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Buy used!!! Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, Century, SnapOn

I met someone in the parking lot of Harbor Freight, on his fourth HF MIG under the 90 day warranty.

Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105109 05/14/19 11:14 AM
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sloinker Offline
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Not many available under $400 that use shielding gas and I could recommend. Miller/Lincoln/Hobart are the brands to use. Infinitely variable controls. 115v for up to 3/16" and 230v for up to 5/16"-single pass of course.


'16 Tiguan TSI Ravenol VST 5W40
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'15 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI VMP 5W30
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Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105188 05/14/19 01:05 PM
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CrAlt Offline
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If you want new then save up an extra 100 bux and get the Hobart 140 from Tractor supply. Comes with the gas regulator and uses miller consumables and gun.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/hobart-handler-140-mig-wire-welder?cm_vc=-10005
Mine is about 15 years old and has done alot for me. It NEEDS a real 15-20amp circuit. 12gauge wiring the whole way. Also don't forget to switch the polarity when going between MIG and flux core. It really matters.

You can find the little inverter migs for cheaper but I doubt they will last more then 5 or 10 years with all the capacitors and electronics in them. My HH140 and linc AC225 tombstone are both crude machines but will most likely outlive me.

Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105298 05/14/19 02:52 PM
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Char Baby Offline
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The nice thing anout HF Tools is that you can buy'em cheap.
The sad thing about HF Tools is their 90 day warranty unless you opt for the extended warranty at extra cost.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105575 05/14/19 09:43 PM
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P10crew Online Content
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Save up buy used. There all over the place!

Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105578 05/14/19 09:46 PM
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P10crew Online Content
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Save up buy used. There all over the place!
My dad always said buy a good American air compressor and welder and the grand kids will sell it at their fathers auction. Oh how true.

Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105675 05/15/19 04:10 AM
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Linctex Offline
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Buy used if you can. Many folks buy one, use it for one project, then let it sit and collect dust for 15 years.

If you JUST HAVE TO open a new box, Then bump your budget up to $500 and get one of these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-SP...0-Amp-Reconditioned-U2688-3/232604498858
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-Electric-U2688-3-SP-140T-MIG-Welder/401576668289

If you think that's still too much for your needs.... well then you are probably wrong. Almost NO ONE "wishes they had bought a smaller welder"

Lastly, these will probably "get you by":

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-K2185-1-Handy-MIG-110V-MIG-Welder-NEW/401576667647
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-K2185-1-Handy-MIG-110V-MIG-Welder-NEW/283485172522


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105842 05/15/19 08:36 AM
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Trav Offline
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I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work.
Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$.

2cents

Edit: I like this..

Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!

Last edited by Trav; 05/15/19 08:41 AM.

ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: Trav] #5105858 05/15/19 08:58 AM
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LeakySeals Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Trav
I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work.
Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$.

2cents

Edit: I like this..

Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!


The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105863 05/15/19 09:03 AM
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LeakySeals Offline OP
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Thanks for the suggestions to look for used. I found used Lincoln, Hobart, snap on, Miller, in my area and I'm a little hesitant to go that route because I'm going to pay around $500 for a machine that I don't even know if it works. And no guarantees. And if it's not in my area it's around 50 to ship it because of the weight. I guess I'm feeling a little reluctant to trust used.

If it is broke are they expensive to fix. The names listed above?


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5105985 05/15/19 11:36 AM
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Delta Offline
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Originally Posted by LeakySeals
The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.


I wouldn't hesitate as far as the plastic parts. We have a couple large 480V Miller units at work and the mig unit has plastic parts for the feeder. While I usually use the stick attachment, the feeder seems to put up with the abuse of 25 other guys. For something smaller that wouldn't get used alot I bet it would last a lifetime.


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'15 Camry SE - 2.5 - 25K - PP 0w20
'09 Tacoma TRD Offroad 4x4 - 4.0 - 135K - Edge 0w40
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5106153 05/15/19 03:31 PM
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Trav Offline
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Originally Posted by LeakySeals
Originally Posted by Trav
I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work.
Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$.

2cents

Edit: I like this..

Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!


The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.


All the ones I have seen in this price class has plastic parts, metal roller even the made in Italy Lincoln and low end Hobart. You have to move up in price quite a bit to get an all metal drive. The plastic parts are no problem on a light duty machine.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Under $400 MIG welders [Re: LeakySeals] #5106360 05/15/19 08:16 PM
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I just bought a lightly used Lincoln 140HD Weldpak. My part time neighbor bought it and run a couple of practice welds and never picked it up. $175. I bought it from pictures. Even if I have to fix or replace something I’ll be Ok. They are over $500 at Home Depot.

Look around they’re out there.

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