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Mig Welders - What Do Folks Recommend?


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#1 rally1380

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:57 AM

Hi All.

 

I'm fed up with my temperamental Clarke 150 amp MIG welder (I bought it cheap second hand so not crying about it) and want something decent to replace it. 

 

I have had in the past (my father nicked it off me!) an older (circa 2003) Sealey Supermig180 and that did work very nicely when looked after. 

 

I will be using it to fabricate stuff up to about 5mm thick in steel and will also be welding thin tin body panels too.

 

I liked the larger torch on the Sealey compared to the hobby feeling Clarke one.......so what do you guys own and recommend?

 

What brands are good, which are pants?  I will go and chat to my local welding supplier but wanted to seek knowledge from the horses mouth....the end user.

 

Budget - nothing too silly (so no industrial recommendations please as I'm limited to standard 13amp ring main - although I will install a 30 amp ring if required)

 

Many thanks in advance

 

 



#2 RooBoonix

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:52 AM

Lots of people on here like the Clarke 135TE welder, seems like a good choice. I've got a Sealey Mightymig 150 which does me well, Portamigs are good but very expensive.

 

Just make sure you get a fan cooled one as they have better duty cycles so you won't be waiting for it to cool down all the time! And if you can, one which can weld with or without gas is handy if you ever run out.

 

Not sure if the smaller hobby welders I've mentioned will be any good for welding 5mm thick steel though, I reckon something with 200+ amps will be more suited for that. I recommend checking out the Sealey Mightymig and Supermig ranges as they seem good.



#3 GraemeC

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:43 PM

I'd consider inverter MIG types - much lighter to heft around and more versatile.

Common very capable 'hobby' ones are as below.  There's quite a few you-tube reviews of each and with 2 year warranty they stand by them:

 

http://www.weldingdi...r-v2-9211-p.asp

http://www.r-techwel...-tech-i-mig180/



#4 slidehammer

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:45 PM

I have seen lots of really good work done on the Clarke range of welders and think for their price they are hard to beat in the smaller hobby sector. Whatever you buy you need to invest in a decent regulator and dump the disposable bottles and go for a BOC Argo Shield (light for thinner steel) or similar from Hobby Weld (Hobby Weld 5 I believe) I believe the maximum amperage you can get from a 13amp outlet before you blow fuses is 150amp welding current which would be too little for 5mm steel unless you v'd the joint. I would recommend speaking to Weldequip (their website is linked to the Mig Welding Forum - as great source of welding knowledge) I found them helpful and knowledgeable and their migs start at under £400.00

#5 wezg

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:54 PM

I have used the clarke range for the last 20 something years..90en and a 151te

great machines but they tend to give trouble when used constantly..

just called it a day on the clarke's myself

 

I can recommend these though http://www.r-techwel...-tech-i-mig180/

used one last year and was very impressed so bit the bullet and bought one..

160 amp from standard 13amp plug (how im using it ) or 180 amp from a larger supply

brilliant clean crisp welds due to the invertor  rather than coils

 great industrial style torch..easy for parts replacement to.

comes with new regulator and hose..

 

cost is a fair bit more than the clarke range but you get what you pay for

 

WEZG



#6 rally1380

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:28 PM

Many thanks for all the advice guys. 

 

I forgot to say, I know this subject has probably been covered before, so sorry for that, but i'm well aware that new products come out all the time, so wanted an up to date opinion (if that makes sense).

 

Yes, well aware that a reg and proper bottle is better than the crappy small bottles.  I've previously only ever used full size bottles (the tall bloody heavy ones) with proper regulator on....it was buying the secondhand Clarke 'toy' welder that got me into the bad habit of the disposable bottles....great for very occasional use, but i'm more than just a 'hobby' welder so find them a waste of time and money.

 

Certainly looking to buy a welder as an investment and something to have for the long term as I've got several projects starting that will require a fair amount of welding.....plus i'm always fabricating something or other so a good welder is always handy.

 

We have big Murex welders in work and they are a joy to use.....I suppose I want something along those lines but will work on single phase and ideally 13amp as it will save me having to rewire the garage (again!).

 

Thanks and keep the ideas / suggestions flowing.



#7 nickadees

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:04 PM

I suppose it fully depends on your budget, I have a gys smart mig 182 cost me £600 and that would do everything you want,I use it for my buisness (I make sculptures from scrap metal) and to be honest I cant fault it, in regards to gas depending on how much your using it may be worth buying a bottle rather than rental for my mig I bought the bottle from albee gas basically you pay somewhere between £150-200 i cant remember how much, the bottle is then yours and comes with a built in regulator when it runs out you take it back exchange it for a full one so works like a refill really and you pay about £45 for the refill they do a co2 argon mix which I use for the mig which is great, if you were to go into tig I would say stick with boc for the gas though.



#8 mini-geek

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:06 PM

I'd look at SIP stuff not only because they are good but they also sponsored Bad Obsession motorsport with the Binky build 😂

#9 RooBoonix

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:51 PM

I'd look at SIP stuff not only because they are good but they also sponsored Bad Obsession motorsport with the Binky build

 

The cheap SIP stuff is nasty, really nasty. Awful, inconsistent wire feed on the one I used. 



#10 venkman

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:23 PM

Interesting read! Hope you don't mind rally1380 for hijacking your thread, but could someone explain the difference between a "normal" mig and an inverter mig, looking at replacing mine as spares are a problem.

Thanks

#11 bartman

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:24 PM

I have just bought an Oxford Migmaker 180 to replace my dead Sealey supermig. I wish i had upgraded years ago, its a very smooth welder even on low amps 30A. Dont buy cheap it will just take longer and cost more in the long run



#12 megamini_jb

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:31 PM

As mentioned Clarke 135te are great, I'm still learning as I go along, but it puts up with me :P 



#13 rally1380

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:01 PM

Interesting read! Hope you don't mind rally1380 for hijacking your thread, but could someone explain the difference between a "normal" mig and an inverter mig, looking at replacing mine as spares are a problem.

Thanks


No problem on the hijack question.... It's a public forum and we are all here to learn.

At a guess, I reckon the "normal" mig and an inverter mig differ in the way they use the electricity that goes through them to make the stuff happen at the business end of the welders torch.

Any experts want to give a more educated and less child-like answer than mine please?

#14 nickadees

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:38 PM

 inverters will use less electricity and give you more control over what your doing and they are normally smaller lighter machines.



#15 Van13

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:15 PM

I use a Oxford bit more penny's but fantastic only made in York as well




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