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Which engine driven welder?

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  • Which engine driven welder?

    I've been looking through the various engine driven welders available, and I'm lost! But, I keep on coming back to the Hobart page. My uses for my welder would be: small pipe welding(2" or there abouts) for livestock fences, and large haysheds. Once I become a little more established I may try my had at bigger buildings but right now I'm going to stick to fences and haysheds. Any ideas on what type of welder would best serve me?

    Thank you,


  • #2
    Look at the Bobcat 225g by Miller, hard to go wrong with this as a starter. A mig gun can be fitted at a later date, if you see a need for it.
    work safe, always wear your safety glasses.

    Edward Heimbach


    • #3
      Down in Texas, I see more Millers being hauled around. That is what I have and have been very pleased with it (NT 250). Don't know much about the Hobarts, but they seemed to be of good quality and never heard anything bad about them on this site. NO, I don't think the site is biased either,,,lol.. I think for what you are doing, price would be a bigger factor than anything else. The Miller NT250 is a 10,000 watt unit that can do most anything from tig,mig, AC/DC welding. The Hobart 10,000 watt unit I think is only DC, and not sure if it can do other things or not. But if you are not planning on doing anything but fencing and that sort of thing, you will do ok using any of the big three. Check into the bobcat from miller, when I bought my 250 they were saying that the bobcat was no longer made and the nt250 was the replacement. Several places still had the displays but could not get anymore stock models.


      • #4
        I have a Hobart Champion 16. I am happy with it, and have not had any trouble with it. It is about 3-4 years old. I don't think you will go wrong with either the Miller or Hobart.


        • #5

          If I understand you correctly, you are going to be hiring out and doing work for the public. In that case, a machine like the Bobcat is about the right calibre for you. Since you are starting out, you might want to look around for a good used machine. Your local dealers are a good place to start looking, as they often take trade-ins or might know of someone else around with one for sale. Get to know your dealer real well. Their success hinges on your success. The Lincoln equivalent of the Bobcat is the Ranger, and the Hobart Champion 10,000 is like the Bobcat, only a little lighter and without A/C. Above the Bobcat are the Trailblazer type machines; they are good for road construction companies and such. Below the Bobcat are the newer model BlueStars. I'm not sure what they're good for.

          Now, if you are just going to be building your own pipe fence and barn and doing the other typical projects that farmers/ranchers do, then it's no wonder you're confused. That's because Miller no longer makes a machine for your particular market. The Bobcat is probably much overkill as far as $$$ and the weight/lack of portability doesn't suit your application. Your best bet is to look around for something like a Miller Rougneck or one of the older model Miler BlueStars. They fall in the middle of that HUGE gap that exists today between the new Bluestars and the Bobcats. The Roughneck and Old Bluestar are about the same size and weight as the new model BlueStar, but are a much better place to put your money, IMHO. One of those will run you about $1000+/- if it's in real good shape. Run it for a year and it will still be worth $1000; that's because there's nothing new being sold today to replace them. I saw a Roughneck in our local dollarsavr classifieds flier awhile back asking $850. I called to inquire but was too late - the old man said he sold it the first day. Again, checking with your local dealer is a good move. Don't overlook renting a machine if you are able to budget your time well enough and have few and infrequent projects, it might make alot better sense $ wise. In our local market, one outfit has Bluestars for $65/day, and another has a Bobcat on a trailer for $45/day or $150/wk. Shop around.
          Good luck and let us know what you find.



          • #6
            Will,this is probally the wrong place to post this,but check out the lincoln ranger 250 or ranger 305G.They are the nicest welding engine drives going.The very best arc bar none.also a whole lot quieter.Do the homework before you buy,and I just don't see anything close.I did ,and bought a ranger 305G over a Miller Trailblazer 301g.I checked them out side by side.Do the same with the 250 bobcat vs 250 ranger.The miller has ac arc,but the lincoln got every thing else thats better like the dc welding arc.They both have the same onan 20.5 hp engine.This from welding with both of them.Atleast weld with each of them and make up your own mind.I did.