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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since I'm finally moving out of apartment living and into a house with a garage, I'm thinking about getting back into welding. I don't need much of a welder. Just enough to do some small things, so I'm looking for something cheap but usable. And since I'm renting, I'm working with a 115V limit with no chance of bumping that up. And since I'm cheap, a flux core welder would be ideal. Its also been about 10 years since I've worked with welders, so what's new in the welding world?

What would ya'll recommend?
 

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Eric
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To keep it super simple I would say the Home Depot Lincoln welders. They carry many of the consumables in-store so you wouldn't have to worry about finding a weld shop if you were ever in a bind for wire, tips, nozzles, etc. Those welders used to carry a 3 year factory warranty. I've had my 140 for ~15 years. It's still going strong, fires up and pumps wire every time with no hiccups. Uses gas or flux core and stated capacity is 5/16". Runs off a 15/20A, 115v house circuit.

Personally, I'm a Miller man and that's what I use at the shop, but for around-the-house buzz boxes, the Lincoln stuff at Home Depot is just convenient. I can take the welder to other people's houses for projects and never have to worry about having a hard time finding consumables.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Ford Hoarder
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Agree with the above
Although I went with a Hobart, Rural King and TSC in this area has a good selection of repair parts.
The newer Harbor freight ones seem to be decent-er today too, I would very likely buy the protection plan if you go that route. They do have parts in store now too, surprisingly.

Also very similar thread, cept Pepe' has bigger power in his garage.
https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/15-general-discussion-bronco-wheeling-related/503952-advice-cheap-welder-shopping.html

While not cheap per say, I think a welder on which you can run it on both 110 and 220/240 would be a good option, that way you have the extra power if you need it, or eventually move to somewhere that does have... I made a cord for mine that works off the oven outlet, as I once also rented house with no real power in garage. The few times I actually needed it, worked just fine even though kind of PITA.
Most of what I do the Hobart works just fine on 110v.

I have dreams of one day having a generator that has the big plug on it, so I can be 100% portable and weld anything.
 

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Addicted to Junk
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My Miller will run gas shielding or flux core and on 110v or 220v. It's a millermatic 211 or something. It is more expensive, but a really nice welder. It takes the standard tips and wire that can be bought about anywhere.

Also had a Hobart that was similar, though only 220v that was good too. Just not as expensive or quite as nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice and the links. The other thread helped me out a lot. I actually do wish I had a dedicated 220 outlet available so I could get a stick welder. (The laundry room dryer plug is just inside the garage door to the house, but my wife might have something to say about me using it.) I haven't welded in a long time, but my grandfather was an excellent teacher. I would be nice to know I can do heavier steel if I needed to, but that can come later once I have an actual shop built

I'm actually looking at the Hobart Handler 100 now. Its sold at Tractor Supply Co. which is nice since they have a store a block from the house I'm moving into so parts are easily available. Its small, light weight and easy to use, according to every review I've seen. Since Farmhand is meant to be an all around farm rig, it makes sense to stay semi-portable. Plus I had to promise to do all welding outside so I don't burn down the house, so being able to lug it outside will be nice. I was honestly already planning on that, for the same reasons. I already have a heavy duty extension cord, courtesy of my father in law who gave it to me when he was cleaning out his garage so getting it outside won't be a problem. Plus its cheap.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/hobart-auto-arc-toolmate-100?cm_vc=-10005
Anybody here use it before?
 

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ate lug
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Hobart is owned by Miller, which is owned by ITW. Cant go wrong with Hobart or Miller.

Lincoln does make good stick welders, and their rod for them is good stuff too.




As long as you dont plan on welding 1/4" a lot, that welder will work just fine.
 

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Addicted to Junk
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My Hobart was from TSC and was the handler 140 or 160 and was great. It was the 220v though. Their spool gun for aluminum isn't as nice as the Miller version I have. But that's not what your are asking about lol.
 

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To keep it super simple I would say the Home Depot Lincoln welders. They carry many of the consumables in-store so you wouldn't have to worry about finding a weld shop if you were ever in a bind for wire, tips, nozzles, etc. Those welders used to carry a 3 year factory warranty. I've had my 140 for ~15 years. It's still going strong, fires up and pumps wire every time with no hiccups. Uses gas or flux core and stated capacity is 5/16". Runs off a 15/20A, 115v house circuit.

Personally, I'm a Miller man and that's what I use at the shop, but for around-the-house buzz boxes, the Lincoln stuff at Home Depot is just convenient. I can take the welder to other people's houses for projects and never have to worry about having a hard time finding consumables.

Just my $0.02.
I agree with silver70. I have a 10y/o Lincoln HD100 flux core (non gas) and I love this thing. It's been all over N.Y. from job sites to family and friends projects. I welded as thin as 20ga. and as thick 1/4" with good penetration. I've welded thicker but didn't penetrate well. Good luck
 

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I have an ESAB multi process machine. It does Mig, Tig, and stick. I have heli-arced wig it as well. I bought the optional foot control for use with Tig and the spool gun-for aluminum. The machine is 110/220V. I absolutely love it so far. I have not used the spool gun yet. it wasn't cheap. But for a home shop, it is awesome. The whole setup with bottles was bout $1,700.00.
 

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Had to go up to my shop and double check......been a long day. ESAB Rebel 215ic. I do recommend turning off the smart Mig feature when welding on body panels. It tends to confuse the machine when doing a bunch of spot welds with the smart Mig feature turned on.
 

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I have an old Hobart handler 120,awesome machine and have run probably a couple million miles of wire through since 1992
and picked up a dual voltage 120/240 180a Lincoln recently
it works great for heavier stuff that 120 just couldn't do on 240 v but on 120v doesn't hold a candle to the old 120v 120A Hobart

a buddy has a Lincoln 100a 120v welder I have borrowed a time or two over the years when mine was down for one reason or another and I can tell you even welding 2 pcs 18ga steel the difference was really noticeable and the 120 was far superior

as for size,i personally think a 100 is too small for anything over 1/8 and I recommend gas all the way,flux core may be is fine for patching a floor or such,(but only if metal is 1000 %clean) but anything you want a clean weld on you need shielding gas specially on not brand new steel
I hate flux core
it sucks to buy a cheaper smaller welder to only have to buy a better slightly larger welder shortly after to do what you want !

also a drier has the wrong plug for a welder but that can be adapted ,and welding extension cords are pretty expensive!
it may be easier just to run a 240v line to garage or at least back of house if detached garage
 
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