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Old 05-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #21
GeorgiaHybrid
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

I'm with sk on this one as I have not regretted getting the 211 that I have now. You can weld just about anything a 252 will (duty cycle is shorter) as well as having the ability to go on the road and plug into 120 volt and still do a decent job on the smaller stuff.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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I'm with sk on this one as I have not regretted getting the 211 that I have now. You can weld just about anything a 252 will (duty cycle is shorter) as well as having the ability to go on the road and plug into 120 volt and still do a decent job on the smaller stuff.
thanks hybrid. i went back and looked at the op's needs. sometimes bigger is better, but really in this case? the op needs it for light frame, rollcage work and i am assuming sheet metal. the 211 is rated for up to 3/8 single pass. it will weld 1/4 and smaller all day long without missing a beat. most guys in a home shop will never see anything over 1/4 and 3/8 will be top end. i work with some fairly large stuff and i rarely see anything over 3/8. find a piece of 3/8 plate sometime and then show me something that big on a car. when i do anything bigger i can alway pull out the stick. guess how many times in the last year 1/2 i have used my stick. yup, zero. if you want something bigger then fine but a 211 will do the job. if you are set against miller, hobart has a comparable 115/230 unit that is new but the model escaped me.
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I have seen first hand so called mechanics using said ratchet as a hammer. These are the same people who are waiting for the (insert tool maker here) for a warranty claim, because they were too stupid & lazy to get up and retrieve a hammer or what ever impact tool they required for said job . . .
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #23
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

I think the 250 amp units are beyond what I realistically need.

I think i'm down to a lincoln 180 if I stay <200 as I like what I see in the drive mechanism better than miller and it looks to represent a substantial upgrade in drive technology over my current 175.

>200 i am between the lincoln 216 and miller 212, but leaning to the miller 212 for infinite voltage and just to try out a blue box.

Guess the decision comes down to ~$800 or ~$1700 and a no-BS assessment of use. Don't they all.

edit: probably also worth noting that while i said my use was automotive fab, what i really meant was offroad automotive fab - 1/4" is the bread and butter, 3/8" is not unusual when working with axle tubes and heavier axle trusses and steering components. this represents a small but still realistic portion of the possible ultimate use.

Last edited by zj96sc; 05-05-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #24
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

No matter what you use, a 5/16 fillet weld is about the max you can run without special gear. I have welded up backhoes, dozer's, dump trucks and crawlers with that little 211 this past year. Like any welder, multiple passes are required on thicker material and if done right (back gouging the root pass on a full pen, keeping everything clean, etc), the duty cycle will not slow you down any.

A 212 would be my choice between the two you have noted but then again, I'm a blue guy on a single phase machine. In a structural fab shop with 440 3 phase? Most guys like a big Lincoln and Lincoln flux core wire plus gas for the welding we have (think about making a splice on 5 or 6 inch thick material....
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:05 AM   #25
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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thanks hybrid. i went back and looked at the op's needs. sometimes bigger is better, but really in this case? the op needs it for light frame, rollcage work and i am assuming sheet metal. the 211 is rated for up to 3/8 single pass. it will weld 1/4 and smaller all day long without missing a beat. most guys in a home shop will never see anything over 1/4 and 3/8 will be top end. i work with some fairly large stuff and i rarely see anything over 3/8. find a piece of 3/8 plate sometime and then show me something that big on a car. when i do anything bigger i can alway pull out the stick. guess how many times in the last year 1/2 i have used my stick. yup, zero. if you want something bigger then fine but a 211 will do the job. if you are set against miller, hobart has a comparable 115/230 unit that is new but the model escaped me.
I'm with you on bigger is not always better. I would not trade my 140 110v mig for any 180 level unit. The portability is great to have and for a hobby guy as he describes, duty cycle will not be a real issue and it welds pretty much just as deep so I see more disadvantage for many guys here that dont weld nearly every day. I also kept an ac/dc for years "just in case". Like you never used it....well...too rarely to justify keeping it anyhow. I never need more power here, even on farm stuff. On rare occasions a second pass or grind a bevel....but the ability to do cast iron or hard surfacing was nice with the arc...but again but not something a bigger mig would do.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:32 AM   #26
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

Another vote for the miller 211. Very high quality stuff.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #27
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

Lincoln 180 is the way to go for my needs in the shop.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #28
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

There are a lot of used MM 250 or similar machines out there that can be had for $1,000 or less. I bought mine for $800 in very good shape, then later bought a "Classic" (basically the same machine), with a spool gun and a load of wire for $1,000, in perfect shape. My machine needed a $200 module to use the spool gun, the Classic already had it built in. The moral of the this is that if you think you might ever want to run a spool gun, and you're willing to buy used, wait for someone selling a package with everything you need. That spool gun is over $1,300 new, and even used they sell for $600 plus. These are great welders, and the option to add a spool gun to weld aluminum is nice. It will never match a TIG for aluminum, but it will work.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #29
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+1 for the MM252. I'm not very experiences in welding but have repaired trailer frames, etc with the one at work and it is one awesome piece of equipment. You can't go wrong with one especially if you get a good buy.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #30
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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There are a lot of used MM 250 or similar machines out there that can be had for $1,000 or less. I bought mine for $800 in very good shape, then later bought a "Classic" (basically the same machine), with a spool gun and a load of wire for $1,000, in perfect shape. My machine needed a $200 module to use the spool gun, the Classic already had it built in. The moral of the this is that if you think you might ever want to run a spool gun, and you're willing to buy used, wait for someone selling a package with everything you need. That spool gun is over $1,300 new, and even used they sell for $600 plus. These are great welders, and the option to add a spool gun to weld aluminum is nice. It will never match a TIG for aluminum, but it will work.
a 211 is fully capable of running a spool gun and a new spool gun for it runs less than 600 dollars. seems to me about 400 rings a bell.

edit. it looks like a an ebay search shows prices in that 100-250 range for new and used model 100 spool guns for a miller 140,180 and 211.
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I have seen first hand so called mechanics using said ratchet as a hammer. These are the same people who are waiting for the (insert tool maker here) for a warranty claim, because they were too stupid & lazy to get up and retrieve a hammer or what ever impact tool they required for said job . . .

Last edited by sk farmer; 05-05-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #31
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

where are lincoln's welders made? miller is obviously built in the USA.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:07 AM   #32
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

If your willing to go outside of the blue or red boxes. I just bought a Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i they also have a new 252i, they are a mig tig and stick multi machine. I love it it welds great! and Since thermal arc is the parent company of Tweco and Victor you get all nice name brand accesorys . nice tweco gun and victor gauge came with mine shipped to my door it was $815 bucks. They are an all metal feed roll system

http://store.cyberweld.com/tharcfa18miw.html

Last edited by piston farmer; 05-05-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:08 AM   #33
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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I've run a lincoln sp-175t for about 8 years. It has done OK for me, but i frequently fought issues with feed speed problems in awkward gun positions, trigger not working right, clogged liners, etc. Some of this was due to improper storage of wire (surface rust clogging liners) but there were days at a time with a fresh liner, tip, and spool that I'd still get wire speed drops in convoluted gun orientations. Basically had to have the line run in a perfectly straight line away from the welder for it to come out right. I replaced drive rollers, adjusted rollers, adjusted tension, on and on.

My dad is getting to the point where he needs his own welder to take care of the lawn equipment and shop stuff he's doing, so I may have a bit of an opportunity to sell him my lincoln and use that to springboard myself into a new welder.

Ideally I'd want a MM252 but I just can't afford that. I'm realistically looking at the MM180, or alternatively the HH190.

I'm a pretty good welder (aren't we all?) and this box would probably be a ~10 year purchase, used for general automotive frame, suspension and cage fab, maybe a tube chassis in its lifetime plus hobby odds and ends BS.

I'm mostly interested in the full metal drive gear and tensioner setup in the miller because this is where I fought most of the issues in my lincoln. I believe the Hobart is NOT all metal here? I can't find any pictures of the inside of a HH190.

Has anyone made the switch from a lincoln to miller, or hobart? Thoughts/experience? Time to quit p-footing and just save up for the 252?

Any experience or input is appreciated...
Paul
I am in the same Boat, Lincoln SP175 Plus, feed issues, need more for current and future projects, and I want a Millermatic 212 with the spool feeder.

I am (as long as my finacial advisor approves) very close to purchasing one soon.

Thanks for starting this thread,

Joe Zeppe
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:33 AM   #34
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

I have a Hobart 187 and it has been really nice for what I've needed done. No issue's with it.

I have welded a fair bit of 1/8 square tubing w/ .030" wire, and it does nicely with it. With 1/4 steel, I have done some welding with it, but not a whole lot (I used .035" wire for that).

Fleet farm has the Hobart 190 on sale for 650$. I dont know if I'd ever need/use a spool gun but it would be nice to have the option.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:30 PM   #35
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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where are lincoln's welders made? miller is obviously built in the USA.
Lincolns are U.S. made as well. Lincoln and Miller are of the same quality in there professional line. The Lincolns sold through most big box stores are of the lesser quality that competes with the Hobart line....
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #36
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

I've had a Lincoln SP-170 for probably 15 yrs and have had no issues with it. I don't use it very often, homeowner use, but have ran more than one large spool of wire thru it. The one I have was made in Norway
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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Default Re: Debating move from Lincoln to Miller, maybe Hobart

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if you are set against miller, hobart has a comparable 115/230 unit that is new but the model escaped me.
It's the Hobart Handler 210MPV. From reading comparison between the 210MPV vs Miller 211MPV the specs are virtually the same. The difference is Miller offers infinite voltage control compared to the 7 tapped settings on the HH (which only has infinite WFS). After that (without having looked at them in detail to compare) the difference seems to be price and color.
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