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The best MIG welder for a beginner

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  • The best MIG welder for a beginner

    Whats the best Mig welder for a car restorer,that don't have very much experience?I know the argon keeps the metal cooled to help prevent warpage.But maybe something that could weld a trailer to in the future.I guess I would want between a 22 ga. to 10 ga. not real sure what gauge metal trailers are made from.Any help or ideas? Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    argon is an inert gas that shields the weld from the atmosphere. Not to cool the weld. Most trailers are going to be 1/4"+


    • #3
      Thanks for that advice on a mig welder

      Proberly what I need most is a mig welder for sheet metal on a cars with 16 ga. metal.Whats the best mig welder for a beginner,for doing body work?
      Last edited by patroll; 03-01-2010, 08:10 AM.


      • #4
        if portability and cost is not an issue then the bigger the better. you can always turn your voltage down to suit your needs for thinner material and if you ever need to melt something thick then your all set.


        • #5
          A top rated sheet metal machine is the HH140. Its also a 110 volt machine. There are plenty of others that do very well on sheet metal, but this puts you in the game for under $500.00.

          Tool king reconditioned units have had good comments on this forum...

          ...and for about $60.00 more Northern has the unit new...and you may beat that by shopping the net. Be sure to figure shipping into your price. I know Indiana Oxygen Supply ships free (I bought a Plasma Cutter and a MIG from them..incredible shipping speed). Shop around! Check Craigslist in nearby towns.

          If you want a unit that's going to do thicker steel as well, then a 220 volt setup (be sure to figure wiring the shop in addition to the machine) is going to be needed...(Look at the HH187 and the HH210...both will do your sheet metal as well as the heavier stuff)....or...

          Buy a used "Buzz Box" Stick Welder (will be 220 volt) for about $100.00. Use the HH140 for everything up to 3/16", and the stick welder for the thicker stuff.
          Last edited by Hotfoot; 03-01-2010, 09:06 AM.
          "Good Enough Never Is"


          • #6
            Since you didn't mention any budget constraints, the Miller MM350P would cover all your bases pretty well.

            That way, you'll have plenty of machine for when you start building trailers.

            Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
            MM 251 w/30 A SG
            HH 187 Mig
            XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
            Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
            Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
            Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
            PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
            Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
            More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
            Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
            Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
            Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
            Miller BWE and BWE Dig


            • #7
              The best machine is the one which you might (as a tax payer) already own. Does you local community college have a welding program? If so, I would recommend investing a few $ and a few hours to take a course there. Especially if they have a "continuing education" course. You will get to try a number of different machines and get a feel for what capabilities they have.

              I purchased a Hobart Handler 180 several years ago BEFORE taking the MIG course. While I have not regretted the purchase I might have done things a little differently such as not wasting money on a too small tank of shielding gas.



              • #8
                Getting the largest gas bottle you can is sound advise for sure, so is getting enough machine. I always go for something that runs from 240.


                • #9
                  I've got the HH210 and have been welding patch panels on my 68 Chevy truck with no problem, plus I can weld thicker metal when I need to with no problem.
                  When funds allow I'm going to buy the optional spoolgun so I can do a little aluminum welding.



                  • #10
                    First, I'd second Taylorkh's advice. Take an adult ed, or similar,
                    course. You'll get a chance to work with different machines and
                    processes and you'll have someone right there saying "no, don't
                    do that, do this".

                    That said, if you want portability, plus a bit more oomph, you
                    could try the MillerMatic 211. It can run off of both
                    120vac and 240vac. It's got some decent reviews on
                    the MIller board. The downside is that it costs more
                    and is heavier than a HH140 (or MM140) class machine.