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Old 12-31-2014, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Whats a good mig for cheap

The Chinese have cloned everything, I know there are die hard Miller,Lincoln,Hobart guys on here but i'm looking for a good clone. I have used the Eastwood and really like it but i'm wondering if there is anything better for the money? I have 220v so i'm looking for 175 amp or larger. Has anyone heard of Norstar? They say some of there parts are interchangeable with miller but i cant find any reviews online. There m200 is dual voltage so if i needed to bring the welder somewhere other then my garage i would have that option. My budget is 400-500.

thanks
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:48 AM   #2
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I don't know what your intended use is, but I would save a little longer and get a Lincoln Weld-Pak. Name brand, 3 year warranty... $669 @ Home Depot

Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 180 HD Wire Feed Welder-K2515-1 - The Home Depot

I have a similar Lincoln that's going on 18 years old, still runs like a champ, and has done everything I've asked of it, from sheet metal repair, to building bumpers for my Bronco project.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:54 AM   #3
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i have a hobart 145 its got miller guts.. they dont make this model anymore tractor supply store has them for like 400 bucks get a gas tank and have fun!

but look at this ... a 130 and comes with a cart and some other stuff 399.
AutoArc 130 MIG Welder Value Package - Tractor Supply Co.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #4
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Check with your local Praxair dealer. I think its their Avenger series that are Lincoln clones, and will even take Lincoln consumables and replacement parts. If you can wait it out, there's no reason not to buy a Lincoln MP210 as soon as you can find one in stock, though.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:23 PM   #5
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I've been looking at this recently also. On the low end of the "home shop" spectrum there is the Harbor Freight 170 Amp unit which is well reviewed:

170 Amp-DC, 240 Volt, MIG/Flux Cored Welder

it is definitely a Chinese unit and much less than your 4-500 budget. The plus side is if/when it breaks down you can likely swap it locally with a warranty.

I've heard that Eastwood has great customer service... they may have to to overcome the branding stigma.

On the higher end of the chinese welder spectrum there is also the AHP 200x:

It is TIG not MIG so it may not be what you are looking for but it is well reviewed.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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I was just about to pull the trigger on Eastwood's 200A Tig (which is on sale @$699), but that Alpha Tig looks like it has some additional features for around the same money. More research to do...
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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I'll be curious which one you end up going with - the Eastwood seems to be on sale but normally is more than the AHP.

(By the way I see the AHP listed for 650 on ebay: Ahp Alphatig 200x 200 Amp IGBT Pulse AC DC TIG Stick Welder 110V 200V 2014 | eBay)
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Looking for a mig at the moment. Still not sure I've been combing ebay and craigslist for a good second hand deal but nothing has peaked my interest. I'm afraid buying second hand I may get stuck with someone's problems and me being a noob I won't know If it's the welder or me.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
That's the 2014 version. The 2015, which goes for ~$750 has adjustable AC frequency, which is worth the upgrade, IMHO.

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Still not sure I've been combing ebay and craigslist for a good second hand deal but nothing has peaked my interest. I'm afraid buying second hand I may get stuck with someone's problems and me being a noob I won't know If it's the welder or me.
A name brand welder that goes **** up outside warranty will cost $$ to repair if anything goes wrong with the electronics. It can be a crap shoot. I recently picked up an older Lincoln plasma cutter that needed some parts. I was able to source alternatives for cheap, but buying Lincoln parts would have been more than the value of the plasma. For example, the main power board was ~ $1200 on a cutter worth ~$500 used.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roda View Post
A name brand welder that goes **** up outside warranty will cost $$ to repair if anything goes wrong with the electronics. It can be a crap shoot. I recently picked up an older Lincoln plasma cutter that needed some parts. I was able to source alternatives for cheap, but buying Lincoln parts would have been more than the value of the plasma. For example, the main power board was ~ $1200 on a cutter worth ~$500 used.
Can you even get parts for the china ones? I've bought my fare share of china knock offs and they can be made completely different week to week. Some times you get xyz image processing chip on the board and a 700mAh battery and other weeks you get a qqq chip and 750mAh battery and if you needed to swap parts between the two the only things that the same is the outer plastic case. Or using proprietary threading for stuff that should be standard like metric tread pitch over a fractional diameter. Replacement parts would be useless even if they were available.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roda View Post
A name brand welder that goes **** up outside warranty will cost $$ to repair if anything goes wrong with the electronics. It can be a crap shoot. I recently picked up an older Lincoln plasma cutter that needed some parts. I was able to source alternatives for cheap, but buying Lincoln parts would have been more than the value of the plasma. For example, the main power board was ~ $1200 on a cutter worth ~$500 used.
Can you even get parts for the china ones? I've bought my fare share of china knock offs and they can be made completely different week to week. Some times you get xyz image processing chip on the board and a 700mAh battery and other weeks you get a qqq chip and 750mAh battery and if you needed to swap parts between the two the only things that the same is the outer plastic case. Or using proprietary threading for stuff that should be standard like metric tread pitch over a fractional diameter, but only on parts machines on tuesdays. Replacement parts would be useless even if they were available.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:05 PM   #12
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One thing about good used name brand welders is the amount of online resources available. I just built my manifold with my buddy's TIG. Its relatively old but he was able to buy it broken and fix it easily. I am now combing craigslist for a cheap name brand broken TIG and fix it up. Also harbor freight is awesome because they take broken **** back no questions asked. Try a couple out and if you don't like them being it back.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:37 PM   #13
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Why get a bulky machine, when you can get a handheld tig welder?
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:11 AM   #14
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the chinese welders im looking at you can get parts for due to they have USA support through Eastwood, Longevity, Everlast ect. I liked the Eastwood because it did come with aluminum spool gun so i could weld aluminum if needed. granted it wont be as clean as tig but for welds people wont see its all about function! That's the other reason i liked the Eastwood so i could at least tack my intercooler piping. My buddyer offered me a Lincoln Idealarc but it has a bad touch pad and you cant get a new touch pad. It looks like Lincoln doesnt even support some of there models. Its a shame because it was probalby a $2000 welder when new but worthless with out the touch pad. its a mp250 idealarc.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:17 AM   #15
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I've heard enough horror stories on Longevity and Everlast's support that I wouldn't count on it. Eastwood I haven't heard anything too bad as long as you're the original owner, but if you're not then you're going to be out of luck. Hence the reason that when I bought a welder I ended up with a Hobart 190 MIG. I'd rather have a TIG, but it wasn't in the budget, and I wasn't going off brand.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roda View Post
I don't know what your intended use is, but I would save a little longer and get a Lincoln Weld-Pak. Name brand, 3 year warranty... $669 @ Home Depot

Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 180 HD Wire Feed Welder-K2515-1 - The Home Depot

I have a similar Lincoln that's going on 18 years old, still runs like a champ, and has done everything I've asked of it, from sheet metal repair, to building bumpers for my Bronco project.
^ i have the Lincoln 140. I bought all the stuff for it to run mig. It's worked very well for the last 5 years and i use it often. i would recommend it for race car fabrication work.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:23 PM   #17
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go to a welding supply store.... they will be another $100 or so over home depot, but for MIG you will get metal supply wheels and gears vs some of the lower end stuff from a box store.

basically anything cheap is going to have a useful life... I bought a cheap everlast TIG to hold me off. it works, but you have to know its limitations. I have had to change the pedal because the one it came with stopped, the finger on/off switch broke, the torch it came with was total crap, the argon regulator leaked, the argon regulator hose is just a barbed fitting with a poorly sized hose so it leaked and it goes on. all said and done, I could have bought something like a Thermal Arc Tig that would have come with all higher grade parts.


Im actively putting some away for a Dynasty 280, watercool. 6k mrsp price tag, but it should be the last welder I need for what I do.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratosteve View Post


Why get a bulky machine, when you can get a handheld tig welder?
i use one of these at work and hate it because of lack of feed control. it can only be used for certain things. i have thought about modifying it to be variable.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:42 PM   #19
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So, in the furtherance of thread drift.... I pulled the trigger on the above AlphaTIG from AHP.

Eastwoods is back to $749 on theirs, and the AHP has some adjustability the Eastwood doesn't.

I'll post a report when it arrives.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roda View Post
So, in the furtherance of thread drift.... I pulled the trigger on the above AlphaTIG from AHP.

Eastwoods is back to $749 on theirs, and the AHP has some adjustability the Eastwood doesn't.

I'll post a report when it arrives.
Continuing drift.....cant wait for your review. I dont live too far from the east coast distributor of the ahp's. He has both the 2014's and 2015's.

Op, tractor supply has been running sales on the hobart migs. I bought mine online through blains and they went on sale later. It is the 210 mvp and it works great for a newbie like myself.
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