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Opinions on upgrading mig welder: Ironman 230 or one of the Millermatics??

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  • Opinions on upgrading mig welder: Ironman 230 or one of the Millermatics??

    Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here! I am in the market for a new mig welder(my 12 year old Hobart Handler 125 has been a workhorse but is starting to get tired!). I am considering the Ironman 230 and the Millermatic 212. The Ironman seems like a really nice machine and I like the sturdy tap settings. But then I also like some of the features the 212 has(not so much autoset but I like the short circuit tip saver). Anyone have an y opinions on these? Would it be worth the $700 more to step up to the MM 252? I figure once I buy it it is likely the last mig welder I will buy for many years so I want to make t he purchase count!

    Thanks!!

    Steve

  • #2
    I have the MM210, predecessor to the 212, and if I decided to change, it would be the IM230, hands down.

    Comment


    • #3
      Any particular reason? The IM230 looks to be the best value and I think I may be leaning towards it.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you want "infinite" adjustment, and the color blue, go with the mm 252, it also has a lot of built in features, check out the miller YouTube channel. The mm 252 also goes up to 300 amps, and has an ever so slightly better duty cycle.

        However, the ironman will weld 24 gauge, up to 1/2", the 252 will go down to 22 or 20 gauge, maybe.

        My vote goes for the ironman, with the extra $$ buy the spool gun and the argon tank, and upgrade your capabilities. Even then you might still pay less for all that then just getting the mm 252, if you get a discount maybe. I'm not sure what the spool guns run for the ironman.
        Last edited by Hobby welder; 04-25-2013, 06:10 PM.
        sigpic
        Eastwood MIG135, never fails to make me wonder.
        Lincoln idealarc 300/250: runs like it was made today. Looks like its seen some better days. Origin is Ashland lumber mill. Ready to go. Needs some new leads and a little specialty TLC.
        Harris oxyacetylene set, 20cf oxy and 10cf ace
        youtube channel :
        http://m.youtube.com/#/user/Hobbywelder617

        Comment


        • #5
          Steve,

          Truthfully, I don't see any real reason why the average home hobbyist or hobby farmer/rancher would need a machine any larger than an Ironman 230. On paper the Ironman 230 offers a significant increase in top end power over the Millermatic 212. On paper, top end power wise, the Millermatic 212 and a Hobart Handler 210 MVP are about equal.

          Alan, (Cope)

          For its time ERA, the MM 210 was a real good unit. However, when Hobart expert Darrell was doing his part of the designing of the Ironman 230 I feel he had the MM 210 in his head as one of the unit to beat.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by cope View Post
            I have the MM210, predecessor to the 212, and if I decided to change, it would be the IM230, hands down.
            The newer 212's are nice. The older tapped models I don't like, I've used one, and it was horrible, you couldn't get the wire feed to keep tension on the wire, gas occasionally didn't work etc. I have a feeling it's improper maintenance, it's down at the MHS land lab, center for all the AG classes.

            Dan, you sound like you know quite a bit of Hobart history, I'd like to hear more.
            Last edited by Hobby welder; 04-25-2013, 06:18 PM.
            sigpic
            Eastwood MIG135, never fails to make me wonder.
            Lincoln idealarc 300/250: runs like it was made today. Looks like its seen some better days. Origin is Ashland lumber mill. Ready to go. Needs some new leads and a little specialty TLC.
            Harris oxyacetylene set, 20cf oxy and 10cf ace
            youtube channel :
            http://m.youtube.com/#/user/Hobbywelder617

            Comment


            • #7
              go with the ironman

              I used the Miller 212 all day today. I do not care for its soft start. Basically this is a momentary speed reduction of the wire when starting. A little too much dance when starting. Also the tipsaver on this particular machine we have is a little too sensitive. The LWS doesn't sell Hobart 220volt machines. We wanted a Lincoln 216 but the salesman was pushing the miller. He even brought it out for us in his own truck. The miller 252 is a fine machine, but a lot of money. The Lincoln 216 (formerly a 215) is also good. The Lincoln 215 was formerly a 200. We have (3) 215's and (1) 200. It does very well on galvanized and downhill MIG. I don't have any experience with the ironman, but have looked at them several times. Well built and more output than the 212. The cord on the miller 212 is a lightweight 14g. Might even be the same as on the Hobart 190!
              Last edited by gatemaker1; 04-25-2013, 07:31 PM.
              hobart 210MVP (2011)
              homemade WINCO 6000watt generator

              Comment


              • #8
                I prefer the older model mig welders. Sometimes you can find a good used one locally much less than new. Many older model mics have heavier duty mechanical parts as opposed to electronic light duty parts the newer machines have. Another plus is repairs are usually cheaper.
                Miller dynasty 350
                Miller syncrowave 250
                Miller deltaweld 450
                Miller cp-300
                And one fancy microwelding setup

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gatemaker1 View Post
                  I used the Miller 212 all day today. I do not care for its soft start. Basically this is a momentary speed reduction of the wire when starting. A little too much dance when starting. Also the tipsaver on this particular machine we have is a little too sensitive. The LWS doesn't sell Hobart 220volt machines. We wanted a Lincoln 216 but the salesman was pushing the miller. He even brought it out for us in his own truck. The miller 252 is a fine machine, but a lot of money. The Lincoln 216 (formerly a 215) is also good. The Lincoln 215 was formerly a 200. We have (3) 215's and (1) 200. It does very well on galvanized and downhill MIG. I don't have any experience with the ironman, but have looked at them several times. Well built and more output than the 212. The cord on the miller 212 is a lightweight 14g. Might even be the same as on the Hobart 190!
                  The run-in (soft start) is adjustable on the MM 212. It sound like the run-in was more than likely set at to low of a percentage. The Ironman 230 arc start is pretty much identical to the quick responsive start you should be seeing from our 210 MVP. The Ironman 230 arc is similar to the 210 MVP arc, however, the Ironman 230 arc does have a touch more softness to it.

                  Does the 212 produce a real soft short circuit transfer arc like the 251 and 252 do?
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hobby welder View Post
                    The newer 212's are nice. The older tapped models I don't like, I've used one, and it was horrible, you couldn't get the wire feed to keep tension on the wire, gas occasionally didn't work etc. I have a feeling it's improper maintenance, it's down at the MHS land lab, center for all the AG classes.

                    Dan, you sound like you know quite a bit of Hobart history, I'd like to hear more.
                    Probably just something wrong with the set up of the machine you were running, because the 7 tap MM 212 and MM 210 were basically the same machine. I've owned my MM 210 for 12+ years and never had any feeding issues from it, and it currently is set up with a 15' gun lead.

                    I am definitely not a expert on Hobart history. In the some what recent past, since some folks at Hobart seem to find my sometimes brutally honest feed back beneficial, I was given the opportunity to field test the entire wire feed line-up that Hobart offers, this even included the Trek 180. So since they wanted my opinion of the unit, I've had several, behind the scenes, conversations by E mail with Hobart Expert Darrell.
                    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
                      I think I would like to get a new welder as opposed to used just for piece of mind of a warranty. Besides, it is pretty nice to take something new out of a box and use it for the first time!! I havent looked at the Lincolns too much. Mostly just Hobarts and Millers. I have an affinity for the Hobart since that is the brand I have done the majority of my welding with. I think all the features of the Millers are cool but I am concerned about having a problem with the display or the electrical components after it is out of warranty. It sounds like you guys think the Homart is the way to go.

                      Thanks for all the responses!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        212 arc

                        Originally posted by Dan View Post
                        The run-in (soft start) is adjustable on the MM 212. It sound like the run-in was more than likely set at to low of a percentage. The Ironman 230 arc start is pretty much identical to the quick responsive start you should be seeing from our 210 MVP. The Ironman 230 arc is similar to the 210 MVP arc, however, the Ironman 230 arc does have a touch more softness to it.

                        Does the 212 produce a real soft short circuit transfer arc like the 251 and 252 do?
                        The arc is quite soft. A little too soft. Does not do very well on pregalvanized tube. Does not want to dig in. A little less spatter than a well-worn Lincoln 215 (216). I have not read the book for the 212. I don't own the machine so don't have time to take out a bunch of screws to get the cover off. I will glance over the owners manual and see if I can quickly adjust the start. It is at factory setting.
                        hobart 210MVP (2011)
                        homemade WINCO 6000watt generator

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dan View Post
                          Probably just something wrong with the set up of the machine you were running, because the 7 tap MM 212 and MM 210 were basically the same machine. I've owned my MM 210 for 12+ years and never had any feeding issues from it, and it currently is set up with a 15' gun lead.

                          I am definitely not a expert on Hobart history. In the some what recent past, since some folks at Hobart seem to find my sometimes brutally honest feed back beneficial, I was given the opportunity to field test the entire wire feed line-up that Hobart offers, this even included the Trek 180. So since they wanted my opinion of the unit, I've had several, behind the scenes, conversations by E mail with Hobart Expert Darrell.
                          Cool.

                          If your still looking for a new home for that mm 210, I might take it off your hands this summer. If I can get the job at my local ace hardware that is, along with a couple other on the side things like bucking bales of hay and some help with moving, my old employer is trying to sell their house, both in the their late 60's so.

                          How risky is it to buy a used bottles for O/A? I have the setup, just need bottles.
                          sigpic
                          Eastwood MIG135, never fails to make me wonder.
                          Lincoln idealarc 300/250: runs like it was made today. Looks like its seen some better days. Origin is Ashland lumber mill. Ready to go. Needs some new leads and a little specialty TLC.
                          Harris oxyacetylene set, 20cf oxy and 10cf ace
                          youtube channel :
                          http://m.youtube.com/#/user/Hobbywelder617

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            212 run-in

                            Originally posted by gatemaker1 View Post
                            The arc is quite soft. A little too soft. Does not do very well on pregalvanized tube. Does not want to dig in. A little less spatter than a well-worn Lincoln 215 (216). I have not read the book for the 212. I don't own the machine so don't have time to take out a bunch of screws to get the cover off. I will glance over the owners manual and see if I can quickly adjust the start. It is at factory setting.
                            No need to take off the cover to adjust run-in. Below is the procedure from the manual. The 50% factory setting definitely seem like it would produce a noticeable lag

                            5-3. Run-In Setting
                            Run-In is the speed of the wire prior to the welding arc being struck. This setting is a percentage of the wire feed speed the unit is set to for welding. Programming values range from 25 − 100%.

                            The standard MIG gun has a separate Run-In from the Spoolmatic 15/30A spool gun. Both Run-Ins are set to 50% from the factory for optimal arc starts.

                            To adjust run-in, first turn off the unit. While the unit is off, pull the trigger on the gun that is going to be adjusted, then turn on the unit. The yellow OVERTEMP light will flash once indicating a trigger error. Turn the wire speed control to minimum, then turn the wire speed control to maximum. The yellow light will turn off and the Auto-Set light will flash indicating that Run-In is now settable. Turn the wire speed control to the desired percentage. For example, setting the wire speed control to 60 will set the run-in percentage to 60%. Finally, release the trigger to save the run-in setting.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dan View Post
                              Steve,



                              Alan, (Cope)

                              For its time ERA, the MM 210 was a real good unit. However, when Hobart expert Darrell was doing his part of the designing of the Ironman 230 I feel he had the MM 210 in his head as one of the unit to beat.
                              What did I ever do to Darrell? The MM 210 is all I need, but I do like the specs on the IM 230.
                              Last edited by cope; 04-26-2013, 06:47 AM.

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