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120V Multi Process Welder: Miller, ESAB, Lincoln, ?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Birken Vogt, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I have started researching multiprocess 120V welders. I'm using an old, junky, heavy, finicky, suitcase wire feed now and I need something better.

    Primary application will be field welding exhaust tubing with .030 flux core.

    Secondarily will be 1/8 or 3/32 6010 or 6011 for schedule 40 and the like from around 2" to 4".

    If needed I can drag out a big machine, but a welder friend said these new inverter machines can cover all the lower end of this stuff. Being a generator power guy I can get any power I need on the job site but he said 120V is adequate most of the time and so convenient.

    So the machines that fit the bill seem to be:

    Multimatic 215
    ESAB Rebel
    Lincoln 210 MP

    I am leaning towards the blue one at this point but want to get some more opinions.
     
  2. MinnesotaDave

    MinnesotaDave Member

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    Personal opinion, I can't see where you'll be disappointed with any of those three machines.
    Tough to choose between them.
     
  3. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Which one has the best and longest warranty, start there, then who is going to fix it in your area, ask about a loaner welder while yours in for repairs when that time comes. Then ask to see all those welders they have in the shop being worked on now, compared to the number of units they have out and ask how long they have to wait on parts, as in months your without your welder. Of those mentioned, coming from a Miller dealer and repair center, they told me to put the blue on at the bottom of the buy it list, so take that for what its worth.
     
  4. ol'stonebreaker

    ol'stonebreaker Senior Member

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    If you have the gennie power available I'd go with a 240v machine regardless of brand. Better to have too many amps available than wishing you had more.
    Mike
     
  5. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    The nice thing about all these machines is they can also run on 240V if available. But I just finished a job with my old suitcase where I was running 120V plugged into a wall (right next to the main panel though) through a 50' 14 ga extension cord and I was on voltage setting 3 out of 4, and 4 was too hot, so I figure most jobs, 120V is good enough.
     
  6. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I have a Hobart Handler I've used for years running 024 hard wire and have always been surprised how well it has worked and how long it has lasted. It's only 110 but that has never stopped me on any of the small stuff. I love it for exhaust work and small fab. Since this machine is over twenty years old and with the state of new technology now days I can't see how you could go wrong with any of your potentials. Maybe check duty cycle and total cost along with what is mentioned above. There is a bunch of welding stuff on YouTube that also might help you make a choice.
     
  7. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

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    One issue with the smaller invertor machines is they won't run 6010 very well. they will run good quality 6011 well. 6011C is the key "C" denotes that is meant for low voltage buzzbox welders, and the stuff runs very well on low amperage DC welding. I can run 1/8" rod in the low 60 amp range doing repairs on really thin irrigation pipe. The arc is focused well and the slag stays out of the puddle. Lincoln/Murex brand is the only one I will buy. Lincoln "Fleetweld"... No. It works on thicker steels when you can crank 110-120 anps, but mot the thinner stuff.
     
  8. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Zucker, if you would not mind elaborating on the 6010 thing. My welder friend was telling me about these new machines and he specifically mentioned that they like to run 1/8" 6010 in them. Or 3/32 7018 but I have no need for 7018, or rather I would rather not deal with ovens and trying to keep it dry.

    I do not mind using 6011 instead, that is what I always used when I was a kid on AC. But all my welding experience thus far is from the previous century.

    I get the impression that these $1400 120/240 multi process machines are a new thing within the last 2 years or so, am I right? The Multimatic 200 may be older but quite a bit more expensive and I will only be using this occasionally so I feel OK going cheaper, especially with what I run at the present.
     
  9. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

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    My experience was with the smaller Miller Maxstar machines, 160 amps? They just didn't seem to have the voltage to run 5P 6010 without losing the arc, the XMT 304 machines on the other hand could really burn it well, I may just be spoiled, I ran Lincoln SA200's for most of my welding work, doing heavy pipe in the field.
     
  10. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I can definitely see some similarities between the Maxstar and the Multimatic. Kind of like they added MIG gear to it. But the Maxstar does have a little lower specs on output current.

    Did you have trouble holding the arc on 120V only or was it also on 240V?
     
  11. MinnesotaDave

    MinnesotaDave Member

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    In my experience it's machine specific.
    My ESAB 161 (only $500) and Thermal Arc 161 both run 6010 effectively.
    My Lincoln Invertec v250-s also runs 6010 very well - but that's an outstanding welder for all rods :)

    But the Miller maxstar 150s that I had specifically would not run it (purposely per miller). If a very tight arc was held at all times, it would often keep it lit though...but that's not really what that rod is for in my opinion.
     
  12. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I just can't get over how cool it is the idea of running full size stick rod on 120V, and until last week I was totally ignorant it was a thing.
     
  13. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Birken, the technology has been around for decades, maybe 40 years now,I can't give you a specific explanation of the difference between the older inverter technology compared to the newer units made today, I've been told, but can't replicate it so it makes sense to anyone but me. Powcon made a good unit, its still available today but sold under a different name and the welder was much larger than the newer 120 volt units of today. The same principle has been applied to plasma cutters for some time now, the inverter based units are much lighter and the units I've run, had great weld characteristics, but its more to model and brand than a flat out overall statement of every welder being equal.

    I've been told some years ago now, who's technology Milled used for their inverter welders, but like all merger mania's of today, I can't recall exactly who had what and got bought up by whom, then sold off what part of the line and kept other parts. My Miller fix it guy could tell me in seconds what model millers came from where, but he wasn't fond of those smaller units miller has their logo stamped on today. The explanation is in the technology and how it works exactly, and that is changing every day.

    Most good welder sales shops should let you weld with any of their units, if it were me, I'd go burn some sticks up and see how they weld, weld with flux cored wire and you can even tig with them if you'd like, basically do anything you want with any new welder there is for sale today, if they won't allow you to do this, find a different shop to deal with.

    The only thing I'd say about any inverter based welder is, don't plan on keeping it for 30 years or more, doubt you'll even get 10 years out of them, depending on how much you weld and how much luck you have, they are basically an electronic and computer based welder, think of them as a cell phone or computer, more so than a welder, some have great luck, others not so much, just depends on a lot of variables.

    Inverter based welders are also very forgiving on input voltage, so bear this in mind when your demoing units, weld with them plugged directly into a wall outlet, then hook up an extension cord and weld with them again, there should/might/could be a difference in the same setting from the inverter welders I've run, they will still weld, just not quite the same, not sure that makes sense or not, but try them and see for yourself.
     
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  14. MinnesotaDave

    MinnesotaDave Member

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    20170102_164609.jpg
    It's true that it works, but only to a point of course.
    My little thermal arc 161 will run 3/32" 7018 and 1/8" 6010 on 120v power - pretty darn nice in my book :)
     
  15. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I have a big welder I can lug if necessary. But if this thing lives up to expectations maybe I won't have to lug it except for very big jobs. Just a little while until some people pay up maybe. But by then maybe all the welding work will be dried up. We shall see.
     
  16. Labparamour

    Labparamour Well-Known Member

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    Dave,

    Is that a recent project?
    Snow? Still?

    Come on Spring!!

    Have a good weekend guys,
    Darryl
     
  17. MinnesotaDave

    MinnesotaDave Member

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    That one was actually 2 winters ago. -9degF and -17degF wind chill...brrrr...lol
    But it was a good pic of that cute little welder :D

    However, we do still have some snow - parts of MN got 12-20" of snow recently.
    I'm waiting for it to melt for a carpentry job I have waiting for me at a resort (only 2 days worth) but can't start until the road in melts.
    This week it finally warmed up. 2 weeks ago I woke up to -25 wind chill one morning.
    Ice still on the lakes too.