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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to get a home welder. I'm looking at "all in ones". So far I'm looking at these:

Esab Rebel

Miller Multimatic 215

I expect that most all of my work will be on mild steel. Any aluminum work could be handled with Mig since the Tig is DC, but I really don't see that as an issue.

For home fabrication and light duty use, which one of these welders would be better? Is there another option that I'm not thinking of?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forget about Lincoln for some reason. Thanks for the reminder. I'll add it to my feature spreadsheet. My gut feeling right now is the machines in this class are all almost the same and price will probably be a big factor. We'll see.

I worked in a welding shop in high school, but haven't welded much at all since. It'd be nice if there was a place to try these things out.
 

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Lincoln welders are good machines. :thumbup1gif:
 

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You can't go wrong the Miller 215. :thumbup1gif:

Go Blue through and through.
 

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As Dieselshadow said, you can't go wrong with the Lincoln 210MP. I have one and its served me well. My only downfall with is is the duty cycle when running it on 240V. 20% just isn't enough when you're welding up a big project. This would be an issue with any brand welder in this category.
 

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Bought an Everlast this spring.....NO I am not a welder......has been handy in putting my "rusty" implements back together. Plus it is capable of 240 or 120.
 

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I would stick with one of the big names, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart or Esab. I'm partial to Miller, but the last few times I've been in the welding shop Lincoln has had some pretty good promotions running. Miller does one every so often as well, if I were buying new that might be the deciding factor. The machines are very comparable between the two brands. Hobart is a solid brand, just not as many features as the other two. Esab is big in Europe and build good stuff, but find out where you can get consumables and where the nearest service center is if you have a problem. When I bought my big Miller a few years ago the shop was also an Esab dealer/ service center, but they didn't stock and machines and their guys had never worked on one.

I wouldn't bother with anything that can run on 120 volts. They're too limited in what they can do, and the 120/240 units usually have a much worse duty cycle than a similar 240 dedicated machine.
 

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I would stick with one of the big names, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart or Esab. I'm partial to Miller, but the last few times I've been in the welding shop Lincoln has had some pretty good promotions running. Miller does one every so often as well, if I were buying new that might be the deciding factor. The machines are very comparable between the two brands. Hobart is a solid brand, just not as many features as the other two. Esab is big in Europe and build good stuff, but find out where you can get consumables and where the nearest service center is if you have a problem. When I bought my big Miller a few years ago the shop was also an Esab dealer/ service center, but they didn't stock and machines and their guys had never worked on one.

I wouldn't bother with anything that can run on 120 volts. They're too limited in what they can do, and the 120/240 units usually have a much worse duty cycle than a similar 240 dedicated machine.
I really don't like the little "tight boxes" they put the newer machines in, think this worsens the duty cycle aspect a bunch.
Put the suckers in a big box with a decent size blower (squirrel cage) and I think you would help out the duty cycle a lot.

Kind of laugh when they try to sell one as "industrial rated" with only a 30% duty cycle.
 

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Didn't know these 120/240 do-anything boxes existed. Looks like a convenient "go anywhere" light duty field fix it unit that may do a patch job to get you able to move the piece to a real welder.

Would be interesting to see how well 120V TIG works out.

Thanks for posting.
 

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Welder

I brought the Millermatic 211 and love it. It has an auto set which is really close. You dial in th thickness of the metal and it sets the feed and voltage automatically. You start a bead than can adjust slightly but you are right their. You can also turn the auto set off and dial it up. It was recommended by a friend of mine who worked in the shipyards in NYC as a welder. He said for a guy like me that does occasion welding and fabrication this was the perfect welder. It also welds some pretty thick steel. Extremely happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm starting to lean to the Millermatic 211. I stopped by the welding shop and they were very helpful. The 211 is cheaper to start with and currently has a $100 rebate with an additional $50-$200 rebate on accessories depending on how much you spend. I think that Mig only will pretty much do what I will need. If I need stick, I can look for a Tombstone which pop up on Craigslist pretty regularly. The 211 has a 40% duty cycle vs the 215's 20% duty cycle, 40% will be good enough for me. I need to talk to them about price. They are $300 higher than Miller's site. I'm assuming they'll work with me, if not I can order it from Miller and pick it up at their store with free shipping. :thumbup1gif: I'm going to get the power run for it and the air compressor before I buy, or order. I do that kind of stuff with my FIL, so it'll get done when he is free. The rebate is good through the end of September, should be done well before then.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll update once I stick some metal together.
 

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The majority of $75-100 Lincoln Tombstone welders are AC output only. For a stick welder you get a much nicer arc, and wider variety of rods with DC output. Just something to look for of you go that route. I don't consider any AC output tombstone worth more than $100.
 

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for the money i vote for Hobart will have some of the same parts as the miller. i have a Hobart 187 220v paid 600$ new with cart. was about 7 yrs ago though
 

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A couple years ago I bought a Hobart stick unit for just that reason. Made a difference for a novice like me.
Hobart AC/DC Stickmate LX 235 Welder 500421 by Hobart Welding Products for $489.99 in Hobart - Brands : Rural King
I just bought one of these from TSC, mainly because of the DC. It's been too hot outside to use it yet but I decided to go ahead and get it while it was on sale and I had a coupon. If the temp ever drops below "sizzle" again I hope to try it out.
 

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The majority of $75-100 Lincoln Tombstone welders are AC output only. For a stick welder you get a much nicer arc, and wider variety of rods with DC output. Just something to look for of you go that route. I don't consider any AC output tombstone worth more than $100.
Glad I only paid $35 :thumbup1gif:

I just bought one of these from TSC, mainly because of the DC. It's been too hot outside to use it yet but I decided to go ahead and get it while it was on sale and I had a coupon. If the temp ever drops below "sizzle" again I hope to try it out.
Nothing like added a layer of heavy leather and a hood in temps like that!

With our current temperatures, I think I only need the rod. Maybe by September it will cool down enough for the weld to solidify.
 
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