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  • MM 350P or MM 252

    I am looking into getting a new welder. I would like one a little bigger than my PM215 and I was intending on getting a MM 350P. I have read all the threads (on here and three other sites) about the 350 and 252 and It seen that most people like them both.

    Has anyone ran both so they have something to compare to?
    So my question is the 350P worth the extra money. The only advantage I can really see is the pulse option so is the pulse worth 2 grand more.I wont be using it every day so I dont think I will really be needing the 350P.

    Dan do you have Any input.
    -Ryan
    Last edited by ace4059; 11-15-2007, 06:38 PM. Reason: removed a few questions
    PowerMig 215
    Precision Tig 225
    Old Buzz Box

    Hypertherm 600
    HH 125 EZ
    MM 350P
    TB 302 w/ 12RC


    Originally posted by scab
    If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.

  • #2
    Ryan,

    If I was mostly welding mild steel, in a home hobbyist type enviroment, I'd have a hard time justifying the 350P over a 250+ amp MIG unit. Matter of fact, I mostly weld mild steel at home, and over the past 20 years, a standard MIG unit has took care of all my needs, which has ranged from 16 ga - 1 1/2" thick material. For the average hobbyist, I'd have to state the 350P would more than likely be major over kill. Honestly, how many hobbyist welders need anything beyond short arc, high energry globular transfers, spray arc, and a gas or self shielded fluxcore. All of these being possible with a MM 252 or my ESAB Migmaster 250.

    From what i 've heard, the 252 has the same short arc characteristics as the 251, which as you've read is a unit I use to own. Yes I sold it; however, the reality is the 251 was/is a real nice unit. When dialed in properly the unit produced a real smooth arc with very little spatter, even with load voltages that fall in the upper end of of the short arc range. With 98/2 or 90/10 the 251 is a real nice spray arc unit.

    Based on the new added features that the 252 has, if I'd had a 252 instead of a 251, I never would have gotten rid of a 252 for the Migmaster 250.

    I will admit the inductance control on the 350 is an appealing feature to me; however, I 'm not willing to spend an extra $1000 just for it.
    MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
    Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


    PM 180C



    HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

    Comment


    • #3
      Was the reason most people did not like the MM251 (and now 252) because of the soft arc. Does the arc just wet out to much. Sometimes I like a soft smooth arc. My PM215 has a nice clean crisp arc so I dont think the 252 will be bad just because of the different arc characteristics. I would like a unti to spray arc with and I saw a pic that you posted and the spray action looks very nice.

      If Miller still had the 251 (and did noty upgrade to the 252) than I wouldnt even consider that unit. I would have just got a Lincoln Pm255c. But the MM252 has many changes that make me like it over the Lincoln. It looks like Miller upgraded to a heavy duty drive roller system on the 252. Before I hated that crappy drive rollers miller had. I also like the benard guns and you can switch them if need be to a different gun when you get it. So since I am planning to keep my Pm215 then MM 252 may be a good addition to my collection of welders.

      I just did not want to get a machine that I use maybe one weekend a month (atmost) and it be overkill. I could take the money that I would save buying the 252 vs. the 350P and put it towards another tool.

      Is the pulse for the 350P only for out of position in the spray transfer mode. The pulse is the ONLY reason I could think I would ever need the 350P, but I really dont think I would use it that much.
      Does anyone else have anyinput.

      Dan, Thanks for your input.
      -Ryan

      Edit: Does anyone know If the 350P has a better arc than the 252, is it crisp or a soft arc.
      Last edited by ace4059; 11-15-2007, 10:21 PM.
      PowerMig 215
      Precision Tig 225
      Old Buzz Box

      Hypertherm 600
      HH 125 EZ
      MM 350P
      TB 302 w/ 12RC


      Originally posted by scab
      If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ryan,

        I've really never heard or read about anyone mentioning they do not like the mm251. The 251 is a very good unit. Yes, the arc is a little softer then I like, but still it is very smooth , and the weld puddle wets out very well. The arc starts on the 251 are excellent too. Please don't interpet my selling my 251 to mean that I do not like the unit. I strictly sold the 251 because I was looking for certain short arc characteristics that the Migmaster 250 come closer to meeting. Ideally i would have went with a unit that has an inductance control, so I could produce the arc characteristics I'm looking for; however, the price tag on this type of unit is a little beyond what I can justify my budget being. Realistically though, for the material thickness range of steel that I weld on, I have a very solid performing unit with the ESAB 250. For that matter I had a solid unit too, with the MM 251.

        Based on what I've seen in person, the wire drive on the 252 is a modified version of the dual driven system that is used on the 251, which the same system that is used on my 210 and the 250 at work. To date i have experience zero feeding issues from this sytem when everything is adjusted properly.

        The 350 has a control on it that will allow you to adjust the arc between a crisp or soft arc. Or another way you could look at it too, would be a stiff weld puddle (crisp arc) or a more fluild wet puddle (soft arc).
        MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
        Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


        PM 180C



        HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

        Comment


        • #5
          Dan,
          I did remember you selling that machine but wasent really sure why you did. Thanks for clearing that up. I do hear people saying that they do not like the soft arc of the 252 (that what I was refering to when I said some people dont like the machine, some people sold it because of that). Is it harder to weld thin sheet metal with a soft arc?
          Can you tell me the max Volts you can turn the 252 up to. What about the duty cycle for spray arc, is it fairly high %. The only reason I am having a hard time justifiy the 252 is that it will only burn 50 amps hotter than the machine I have now, which for that money it doesnt seem like a reasonable upgrade (that's one reason I want the 350 because I will buy it and be done with it since you cant go any bigger). Will there be that much of a difference in the max output of the MM252 compared to my PM215 or will it only be slight.
          How big of a difference was there between your 251 and 210?
          PowerMig 215
          Precision Tig 225
          Old Buzz Box

          Hypertherm 600
          HH 125 EZ
          MM 350P
          TB 302 w/ 12RC


          Originally posted by scab
          If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ryan,

            For the extra $500 difference between a 212/215 and a 252/255 I feel what you get from the 250+ amp unit is a substantial upgrade. Lets compare the units at around 200 amps, which is about the max amperage needed to spray arc 1/4", and can be used for multiple pass work to easily handle 1/2". How much thicker then 1/2" will you realistically ever need to weld? Anyway, about the best your 215 will do from tap #7 is going to be around 24 volts @200 amps, which limits you to 98/2 as a spray arc gas. Miller's advertised 200 amp rating on the 252 is 28V @200 amps, and If I remember correctly,which I am, from my 240V input I was actually able to get 29.5 V at around 200+ amps from my 251. This 4 -5 volt increase is substantual. This extra voltage now allows you to use a higher energy spray arc gas mix, such as 90/10 CO², which translates into a deeper penetrating weld, especially in the leg region.

            Now, at this 28v @200 amp output rating, Miller gives the 252 a conservative 60% duty cycle. I didn't look it up, but I know Lincoln rates you 215 some where between 30% - 40% duty cycle at 22V and 215 amps. At this output power level, the duty cycle on the 252 is going to be even better yet then the conservative 60% it's given at 28V and 200 amps.

            BTW, Ive butt welded (spray arc .035, 98/2) together, with multiple passes, 2- 1 1/2" X 3" X 39" lengths of flat bar with my Migmaster 250, and could have done this with my 251 too.

            For the extra $500, with the 252 you also get an adjustable run-in, pre and post flow timers, burn back timer, and spot and stitch timers.

            Sorry, I just don't see the average hobbyist really ever needing the 350P.

            The best thing for you to do, is go give a 252 a test drive to see if will meet your standards that you are looking for from a unit.
            Last edited by Dan; 11-16-2007, 08:24 AM.
            MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
            Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


            PM 180C



            HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

            Comment


            • #7
              For myself the 215 would do what I needed to do unless I was going into heavier structural or some kind of production. One good thing about the machines in the 250A class is that they still run from 50A welder circuits.
              http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

              Comment


              • #8
                Based on what I am seeing out of the PM 180C, with the diamond core choke design in it, if I wanted a 250+ amp unit, and was considering a 252 or 255C, I definitely give the 255C some very serious consideration. Even though I like the unit, I doubt you'd like the Migmaster 250, due to its wire drive assembly, which is definitely a step below what Lincoln or Miller have on their units. I have no issues tuning in the wire drive assembly though, so I have no problem with the set up.

                Still though, if the 252 short arc characteristics are not an issue it seems to offer the most features.

                BTW, I 've come to the conclusion that part of my issue with the soft arc of the 251 was being created by the .030 and .035 Prostar wire I was running at the time. Just prior to getting rid of the 251 i tried a roll of .035 L-56 on the unit and it reduced the softeness of the arc. By that time though, I had it set in my mind, that i wanted to try a different unit. Admitted somewhat just to have experience with another 250+ amp unit. Anyway, I have since tried these same rolls of Prostar on my ESAB and it changes the short arc characteritic from an arc that is normally a good mixture of crisp and soft together, to a softer style arc.

                Just for the purpose of discusion, I'll throw into, if Hobart was ever to update the IM 250 to were it was truly a competive 250+ amp unit, and gave it a choke design that produced similar short arc characteristics to what the 187 produces, it be my definite #1 choice.
                Last edited by Dan; 11-16-2007, 10:34 AM.
                MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                PM 180C



                HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

                Comment


                • #9
                  I welded with the 252 AND 350P and there is no doubt the 350P is much nicer.
                  I also think the Esab Mutimaster 260 with pulse is a way better machine then a 252. The inductance control is the key difference and pulse is still nice for some things. Not a lot of cold lap with that process. Think of being in a spray mode without the warping and how it could speed up weld time over the short-arc.

                  The 210/ 215 machines are marginal spray units with C-10 and .035 wire. There is nothing Marginal about the 260 and 350 machines. If I was welding MS I would buy the Esab or buy the Miller if I was welding aluminum.

                  Dan the 250 + has a real nice drive that works as well as any unit out.
                  Last edited by Brand X; 11-16-2007, 10:45 AM.
                  Esab 2200 AC/DC
                  Thermal 211i
                  Thermal Pee-wee 85s
                  Smith O/A plus mini torch
                  Smith machine torch
                  LN-25 pro
                  LF-72 feeder
                  Edwards 65 ton
                  5X10 CNC table
                  Victor A-120
                  Miller Shopmate 300DX
                  S-74D feeder




                  Remember good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brand X View Post
                    I welded with the 252 AND 350P and there is no doubt the 350P is much nicer.
                    I also think the Esab Mutimaster 260 with pulse is a way better machine then a 252. The inductance control is the key difference and pulse is still nice for some things. Not a lot of cold lap with that process. Think of being in a spray mode without the warping and how it could speed up weld time over the short-arc.

                    The 210/ 215 machines are marginal spray units with C-10 and .035 wire. There is nothing Marginal about the 260 and 350 machines. If I was welding MS I would buy the Esab or buy the Miller if I was welding aluminum.

                    Dan the 250 + has a real nice drive that works as well as any unit out.
                    Scott, I have no doubts that the inductance control on the 350P or ESAB 260 is going to make them nicer short arc units in the hands of someone who understands how to operate the control properly. It just seems tough to justify having Ryan spend a $1000 more on the 350P over a 250 amp unit, when it seems like his usage is more recreational. I'm sensing he could get by just fine with with short arc, spray , and a gas shielded fluxcore.

                    I won't deny though, if I could sell the 210 and 250 without getting in trouble, I'd pick up the ESAB 260 that I really wanted after selling the 251.

                    Yeah, I am quite aware that the wire drive on the 250+ is better then what I have on the 250. I'll be honest with you, and let you know, at the time my wife was very upset with me for selling the MM 251, actually she still is, so since the ESAB 250 is a good unit I decided I better go with it instead of a more expensive unit.
                    MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                    Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                    PM 180C



                    HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dan View Post
                      I'll be honest with you, and let you know, at the time my wife was very upset with me for selling the MM 251, actually she still is, so since the ESAB 250 is a good unit I decided I better go with it instead of a more expensive unit.
                      Well she probably would not like the killer deal I could offer you on a fully equipped Mutimaster 260??? With every option other then the spool- gun. (it fits the 250 plus)

                      I am moving it down south and it would be just as easy to drop it off at your place. Right now I am keeping the HH-210 up and running just to have something to stick something together. I like it even without a inductance control. PS- the 260 mutimaster without a inductance control ,reminded me of a 255C with good wire in it. Similar in the crispness area. At least one of the 255 I used. That machine came from a shop that had a Migmaster 250 and a Lincoln 255C The boss liked the 255C and the welder liked the Migmaster 250 better. I like them both for different reasons but I feel the Esab wets out a bit better overall.
                      Esab 2200 AC/DC
                      Thermal 211i
                      Thermal Pee-wee 85s
                      Smith O/A plus mini torch
                      Smith machine torch
                      LN-25 pro
                      LF-72 feeder
                      Edwards 65 ton
                      5X10 CNC table
                      Victor A-120
                      Miller Shopmate 300DX
                      S-74D feeder




                      Remember good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most people that have used the 350P and the 252 all agree that the 350P is a much better machine. I have a few large projects comming up that will play for the 350P so I might way to get that and be done with it, since I am always the type of person that has to upgrade.

                        -Ryan
                        PowerMig 215
                        Precision Tig 225
                        Old Buzz Box

                        Hypertherm 600
                        HH 125 EZ
                        MM 350P
                        TB 302 w/ 12RC


                        Originally posted by scab
                        If you are the type of person who gets upset at things breaking brace yourself for possible dissappointment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                          For myself the 215 would do what I needed to do unless I was going into heavier structural or some kind of production. One good thing about the machines in the 250A class is that they still run from 50A welder circuits.

                          Cary, having read a few (but not all 8,500 ) of your posts over the years, I suspect if you were going to purchase a new unit today, it more then likely would be a MM 252 or PM 255C over a MM212 or PM 215.
                          MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                          Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                          PM 180C



                          HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ace4059 View Post
                            Most people that have used the 350P and the 252 all agree that the 350P is a much better machine. I have a few large projects comming up that will play for the 350P so I might way to get that and be done with it, since I am always the type of person that has to upgrade.

                            -Ryan

                            Ryan,

                            there's no doubt that the 350 is the nicer unit. If my Wife's darn horses didn't eat up so much money each month, I'd have a 350P or ESAB 260 myself.

                            I've read were you've mentioned there are times were you might only weld once during a month, so I guess you just need to decided whether the $1000 + extra is really worth it.
                            MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                            Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                            PM 180C



                            HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

                            Comment

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