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post #1 of 27 Old 12-29-2014, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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mig welders

Sears has a couple of smaller mig welders for sale I am interested in.
One is a Lincoln mig for $335.00 and the other a Hobart for $331.96

The Lincoln is 35 - 88 amps, welds from 24 gauge to 1/8".
The Hobart is 30 - 130 amps, welds from 22 to 3/16"

I only plan on using it occasionally and since I already have a stick welder for thicker metal I thought the Lincoln would be my better option for thinner metals?


Input would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-29-2014, 12:11 PM
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Both are well respected names in welding equipment. My MIG is an Eastwood rated at 135 amps...good for up to a quarter inch (as advertised.). I recommend buying the most amperage you can afford, especially if you will be welding outside. MH

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post #3 of 27 Old 12-29-2014, 01:28 PM
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I purchased one of those Harbor Freight 90 amp flux wire welders a few years ago and it has performed very well, especially for the $90 I paid. I use Lincoln .035 wire instead of the supplied wire to get neater and stronger welds. My machine is the old Blue case which has a "Hot Start" tip and it is a little awkward to use if you are accustomed to "Cold Start" migs and I believe the new black case units are now cold start. I have welded snow blower sheet metal and 1/4" wall pipe with no problems. It is definitely not the same quality as the units you are considering, but for the money, it gets the job done.

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post #4 of 27 Old 12-29-2014, 02:01 PM
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I have a Hobart 125 EZ mig welder that I'm happy with. I have always found that if I want good penetration ,stick is a sure bet, even though my mig looks better.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-30-2014, 10:04 AM
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Welders

If you go with a stick welder, best to have 220v available. Tried a 110v stick welder, it was a waste of money. Almost impossible to strike an arc with it and that's from someone that grew up using a Lincoln Tombstone alot.

I had a HF blue painted mig welder. When it worked it worked but developed feeding issues so finially junked it.
I only have 110v in the garage so I bought a Hobart 125 amp and it works well for me. If you have 220v available, I'd suggest getting a 220v welder. Same thing with gas, if it's set up for gas and comes with the valve and hose that's a plus. You may not use it immediately but it's something you may want to use some day.

I'd recommend Hobart mig for a home shop though Lincoln and Miller have good reputations also.
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post #6 of 27 Old 12-30-2014, 10:21 AM
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I also have a Hobart EZ 125 that I use on most things. If I have thick things to do I also have a 20 year old Miller Thunderbolt stick welder. Roger
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post #7 of 27 Old 12-30-2014, 11:24 AM
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I'm a welder by trade, and I can tell you to skip the 88 amp Lincoln. If you can swing it go for the 140 amp Lincoln or Hobart. With 120 volts you are already severely limited due to the voltage, and the added headroom and duty cycle of the 140 will be significantly better than lower amp models, even when welding thin sheet metal. It's all about the duty cycle which is how many minutes you can weld in a 10 minute period. Forget about Eastwood/Harbor Freight or any Chinese welders, they are made of inferior parts and will not last or perform with consistency and uniformity. There's a reason the American brands weigh so much more: quality parts. The drive mechanisms on the Chinese welders also lead to feeding problems which contribute to the consistency issues. Buy Lincoln, Hobart or Miller only. Even if you need to pawn some items it will be worth it in the long run, trust me. I will say that even though it is only 125 amps, the Hobart EZ 125 is a really neat little welder for the beginner or infrequent home user. The wire feed mechanism is not good quality, but it is sufficient for its intended market. Regardless of advertising, all 120 volt welders using flux core will only pass ISO 3059 penetration tests up to 1/8". 1/4"-5/16" advertised maximum is a pipe dream, but with multipass you can get acceptable results. Tip: Do not use .035 flux core, use .030 as the voltage density is higher even though the deposition rate may be lower and you will get better penetration with a 120 volt welder.
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post #8 of 27 Old 12-30-2014, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AriensSnowman View Post
I'm a welder by trade, and I can tell you to skip the 88 amp Lincoln. If you can swing it go for the 140 amp Lincoln or Hobart. With 120 volts you are already severely limited due to the voltage, and the added headroom and duty cycle of the 140 will be significantly better than lower amp models, even when welding thin sheet metal. It's all about the duty cycle which is how many minutes you can weld in a 10 minute period. Forget about Eastwood/Harbor Freight or any Chinese welders, they are made of inferior parts and will not last or perform with consistency and uniformity. There's a reason the American brands weigh so much more: quality parts. The drive mechanisms on the Chinese welders also lead to feeding problems which contribute to the consistency issues. Buy Lincoln, Hobart or Miller only. Even if you need to pawn some items it will be worth it in the long run, trust me. I will say that even though it is only 125 amps, the Hobart EZ 125 is a really neat little welder for the beginner or infrequent home user. The wire feed mechanism is not good quality, but it is sufficient for its intended market. Regardless of advertising, all 120 volt welders using flux core will only pass ISO 3059 penetration tests up to 1/8". 1/4"-5/16" advertised maximum is a pipe dream, but with multipass you can get acceptable results. Tip: Do not use .035 flux core, use .030 as the voltage density is higher even though the deposition rate may be lower and you will get better penetration with a 120 volt welder.
Thanks and Yes I am going to skip 88 amp Lincoln. I already have two stick welders, a fairly new Miler and a quite old Century. The Century welds smoother than the Miller, I'm told smoother because the older machines had copper windings.
I can't justify buying the 140 as its almost twice the price, although its probably the best all around way to go, but then I already have the stick welders for thicker metal. With these I use mainly a 6011 rod which I find works best for penetration especially with rust.
The EZ 125 is actually less expensive than the Hobart AC 130 but the specs give the 125 only as 18 ga. to 3/16 whereas the 130 is 24 ga. to 3/16 so it seems the 130 is better for thinner metal. The Duty cycle for the 130 is 20% at 85 amps which is much better than the Lincoln which only has 88 amps maximum.
Are you familiar with the 130?

Last edited by AL-; 12-30-2014 at 02:27 PM.
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post #9 of 27 Old 12-30-2014, 02:07 PM
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I saw an AutoArc 130 once, made by Hobart that a neighbor bought. I doubt there is any difference between a 125 and 130 other than marketing. Take all ratings with a grain of salt (ie: 18 ga. to 3/16). Those rating are for marketing reasons only, and any machine within the same amperage class will weld within the same tolerances with a given wire. Your old Century welds smoothly because it was made by Lincoln (not sure on newer Century machines I've seen in retail), and yes the older stick welders had better copper windings in general. If you are only going to weld thin gauge metal (ie: auto body work) then do not get the EZ 125. Get a machine with separate voltage control (ideally continuous not tapped) and the ability to run gas. Even if you don't run gas now it will be nice to have that option in the future and it will do much better than flux core. A well set up Mig with a CO2/Argon blend can look as good as Tig. If you're just slapping together some random thin pieces here and there the EZ 125 will be fine.
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post #10 of 27 Old 12-31-2014, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AriensSnowman View Post
I saw an AutoArc 130 once, made by Hobart that a neighbor bought. I doubt there is any difference between a 125 and 130 other than marketing. Take all ratings with a grain of salt (ie: 18 ga. to 3/16). Those rating are for marketing reasons only, and any machine within the same amperage class will weld within the same tolerances with a given wire. Your old Century welds smoothly because it was made by Lincoln (not sure on newer Century machines I've seen in retail), and yes the older stick welders had better copper windings in general. If you are only going to weld thin gauge metal (ie: auto body work) then do not get the EZ 125. Get a machine with separate voltage control (ideally continuous not tapped) and the ability to run gas. Even if you don't run gas now it will be nice to have that option in the future and it will do much better than flux core. A well set up Mig with a CO2/Argon blend can look as good as Tig. If you're just slapping together some random thin pieces here and there the EZ 125 will be fine.
The 130 comes with gas valve whereas the EZ125 is only flux core. Pretty hard to beat a TiG weld . There is a welder in our area that is well know for good wells with stick welder, he has a very steady hands. Thanks for your input.
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