looking to buy my first welder

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  1. diymirage

    diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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    hey guys
    im looking to buy my first welder

    here is the thing, i know how to weld but i never owned one before
    i think there is a welder plug in the downstairs garage, but honestly, all the places where i expect to be welding only have 110

    at this moment there are 3 or 4 little projects around the house that need welding but nothing big, so im just looking for something affordable

    while were on the topic, how do you guys feel about flux core welding?
    does it make sense to go with fluxcore and not need tanks or does the wire cost more then the gas and tanks would?

    im hoping to keep this under 500 dollars, and im not opposed to harbor freight

    so, what can you guys suggest?
     
  2. grimreaper

    grimreaper Cross Member

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    My recommendation would be to save up and by a nice welder that will cover a broader application. There are several now that accept both 240 and 110. Get one with both wire speed and voltage continuosly variable. (not clicks) and get one that is at least ready to set up for gas. You will want that sooner than later. JMO.
     
  3. Evan Dutch

    Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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    Bought mine 1 year old used off Craigslist. Looked brand new. Lincoln 180 dual. Can use 110v or 240v. This welder retailed new for over $1000. I think I paid a little over $500 for it.

    68F69E5C-89C0-4706-B97E-8DAE355FD165.jpeg

    F50AFFED-0AD8-42BC-BCEC-823BB26D3E92.jpeg
     
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    • toolmanmike

      toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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      Miller, Lincoln, Hobart in that order. If you buy a cheapie no name you may not be able to get tips, gas shields and parts you may need down the road.
       
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      • SGBARRACUDA

        SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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        I bought a Lincoln 180 220 unit. I have used it with flux wire and is set up to run .035 with Argon. Flux wire is messier than gas welding.
         
      • toplscuda

        toplscuda Well-Known Member

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        Flux is great if you are traveling around doing odd jobs on pretty much anything except body panels. I have been repairing them for a bit more than 27 years now and the big names are the best to keep going. One to consider though is the Eastwood welder. One of they guys I know bought one and we drug it into the shop and tore it apart. It is pretty much an exact copy of the Lincoln 110v mig. He has had it about a year and a half now with great results.
         
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        • TheGrateRonzini

          TheGrateRonzini FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I just got my new one today. From Acme Tools. They had a 70th anniversary sale and anything over 750$ was 150$ off. It was 799$, compared to Tractor Supply at 899$. With the discount, shipped it was like 680$
          Been working 6x12’s so I won’t be able to play with it for another few weeks, or maybe Sunday... image.jpg
           
        • Tooljunkie

          Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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          I bought a clarke,its made in europe.
          Was a great little welder.
          Any sheet metal work needs weld with gas,flux core adds work to the job.
           
        • TheGrateRonzini

          TheGrateRonzini FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Also, I have never had great success with flux core for anything that needed to be pretty. If I can avoid it, I always will. I read somewhere on here gas for the shop, flux for the farm. I couldn’t agree more
           
        • diymirage

          diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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          thanks guys

          i havent seen anything on craigslist that fits the bill AND my budget

          this is the only one i guess i would consider
          Lincoln Electric Welder Handy Core

          and it looks like the same guy is also selling this
          Lincoln electric welder

          also, thanks for clarifying the difference between gas and fluxcore
          my welds are not always the best looking to begin with so perhaps gas would be the better choice
           
          Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
        • grimreaper

          grimreaper Cross Member

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          Evandutch scored an almost perfect selection. Maybe with some patience and searching you could too.
           
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          • sabre67

            sabre67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            One thing to watch out for on the budget welders is the (standard duty cycle percentage spec) a low duty cycle means you will spend more time waiting for welder to cool down than you will welding with it.
             
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            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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              I would not have anything that is not or can not be converted to gas. I'd encourage you to "save up." Advice above is spot on.
               
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              • MoparMike1974

                MoparMike1974 Well-Known Member

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                • GeorgeH

                  GeorgeH Well-Known Member

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                  All of the above. I would skip past anything less then 135/140A.
                   
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                  • GeorgeH

                    GeorgeH Well-Known Member

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                    Those are really nice machines.
                     
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                    • pishta

                      pishta I know I'm right....

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                      Id get a cheap ass flux first welder for $125 new. Get a 20% off coupon and score it for ~100. For what you are going to use it for, clean up of flux is just a wire wheel on a grinder. After your done with it and think youll need a better one, flip it to the next beginner for $80. Damn, it'll turn out to be a $20 rental fee after all said and done IF you decide to let it go. I reckon it may be a keeper for the little jobs that dont require the cart with the Miller and bottles on it. Stick flux welding has been done for 100 years.
                       
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                      • '63GT

                        '63GT Well-Known Member

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                        The Tweco Fabricator 141i is a 3 in 1. MIG, TIG, Stick. It's DC and can run rev polarity.
                        I'm on my 3rd 80lb bottle of 75/25 and 2nd 10lb spool of wire, and the only issue I had was when the pinch roller grabbed the wiper cloth and stopped feeding. Awesome unit.
                        The red blobs are the digital read-outs for wire speed and amps
                        IMAG0338.jpg
                         
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                        • mod5v

                          mod5v Well-Known Member

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                          Dont be afraid of the new Vulcan line at Harbor Frieght. really nice welders for the $ and there are 110/240 models avalable. As much as you will be useing it they will last a lifetime and I believe they use Lincolin consumables.
                           
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                          • mbaird

                            mbaird mbaird FABO Gold Member

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                            You can go cheap and flux only if you already know how to weld and are very patient.
                            I am using a friends HF right now and its not easy to get decent welds.
                            Around here on CL welders are priced at retail plus ! Idiots ! Monkey see monkey do...
                             
                          • pishta

                            pishta I know I'm right....

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                            with a flux wire feed, its all about heat and wire feed. Both cant be really controlled with a pair of hi-lo switches. Plus the consumables are hit and miss. If you got good penetration, a grinder can make most flux welds look OK.
                             
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                            • toplscuda

                              toplscuda Well-Known Member

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                              I would skip these and look for something better. You will not be happy with the performance of these
                               
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                              • Daves69

                                Daves69 Well-Known Member

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                              • rustyswinger

                                rustyswinger Well-Known Member

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                                I have this welder. It is not the best welder on the planet, and it has the click selection for amperage.
                                Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 140 HD Wire-Feed Welder K2514-1

                                I have abused the hell out of this welder, totally disrespected the duty cycle.

                                It keeps on chugging like a trooper. I can do a pretty nice job using 75/25 shielding gas. My buddy, who is a Journeyman welder has turned out some absolutely beautiful welds using my Lincoln "piece of crap"
                                Was worth my money several times over.

                                Rusty.
                                 
                              • diymirage

                                diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                                you guys are like a bunch of car sales people...i tell you my budget and you show me something 2 times as much


                                seriously though, thanks for all the input...keep me coming
                                 
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