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  • Hf Mig

    Has anyone out there ever tried a Harbor Freight mig/flux welder?And if so how did it work?

  • #2
    I would save my money. You only have to buy quality once.
    What do I know I am just an electronics technician.

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    • #3
      Hf Mig

      You misunderstood,i already have a mig.I was just wondering what they were like because i see them in the catalog often.

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      • #4
        I haven't tried one of the HF MIGs, and have no need to anymore, but I have talked to several beginner bicycle builders who use them successfully to stick 16 ga square tube together at light duty cycles. Here is one man's opinion of several welders, although he doesn't cover the cheap MIGs:

        http://www.buildyourowntrike.com/hig...igh_tools.html

        He likes the HF AC/DC stick welder, but for $150-$200 you can buy a good used Hobart, Miller, or Lincoln off Craigslist most days , so I opted to buy a used Miller Thunderbolt for $200, and could probably have talked the guy down, but it came with about 75 feet of finger thick copper leads.

        Here is a happy user review of a HF MIG. Interestingly, he also owns a Miller 210 - go figure. The picture of the wire feed mechanism scares me, but everyone has their own quality standards:

        http://www.valleymetal.org/MIG%20Welding/index.htm

        I have a tool box full of cheap Chinese tools and like most of them for what they are. When it came time to buy a welder, I decided that since I didn't know how to weld yet, I needed all the help I could get and didn't want to wonder if it was me or the welder, so I paid $377 on sale and with a 10% off coupon for my HH 140 from TSC in February. I could probably sell it for $300-$350 today or for years to come. I doubt the Harbor Freight MIGs will hold their value like that. I'm not sure what you do if one of the cheap MIGs needs a part, or how long the flimsy wire feeder mechanism will last if you use it a lot. I know for sure you won't get the kind of support we get from Hobart.
        Last edited by smyrna5; 10-07-2007, 07:22 AM.
        Lincoln 175HD
        Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
        Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brianstick View Post
          Has anyone out there ever tried a Harbor Freight mig/flux welder?And if so how did it work?
          I read a lot of posts from people about them. Some say they worked good for them ( the term good being relative)..others said they were junk..?? I go to HF all the time to buy their "junk tools" when they go on sale ( only) and looked at one. The insides DIDNT impress me one iota!


          I bought a HH140 for my starter instead.

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          • #6
            My first mig was a HF. Never liked it. Save your money and get a Hobart and you won't be sorry. The difference in weld quality is like night and day.

            556man

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            • #7
              Have one

              I have the Chicago Electric, dual mig 131, and so far have to had good experience with it. used gas and flux core. Just have to know it limitations. It's not a pro machine, but then I just paid $9.00 for it on Ebay. Yes I did pay $60.00 bucks for shipping, but still $69.00 for a mig welder?

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              • #8
                One of the Captains at the FD where I work bought one to stick some expanded metal on the sides of his landscaping trailer. He was working on the trailer at work on day (a sunday when we have some free time) and I was out there watching. I noticed that the wire feed was irratic at best, bad enough that you could hear the difference without even watching. The only other real problem was the duty cycle, 1 minute on, 9 minutes off seems a bit excessive to me...
                Contact me for any metal polishing needs you may have, my avatar is a pic of a standard, painted fire axe that I ground, sanded polished and buffed to a mirror finish.

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                • #9
                  I am a noob here but have been lurking for a awhile.

                  My first MIG was the HF 131. It worked OK but as some of you have already stated, the wire feed is not well made. On mine, the wire feed started to give me a lot of problems after less than two years of light use. It got to be such a pain, I said the heck with it and went ahead and bought a Lincoln 175. I couldn't be happier.

                  Oh well, a life lesson learned. Better to spend a little more in the begining. Although I must admit that some HF tools have worked out ok, but their welder is not one of them.

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