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Hobart 180hd or bigger. Love it.
 

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Miller 251, love it. I need to buy a spool gun so I can have some fun with aluminum. I can burn through a frame.
Don't bother. The spool guns for these are marginal at best. If you want to truely weld aluminum get a TIG.

IMHO, the best bang for the buck in a garage type welder is the Miller 211 Autoset. Its dual voltage (110/220V) and is a little work horse. We weld with our all day everyday and it just keeps on going. It will weld 1/2" in a single pass too.

If you want a big boy welder and likely the last one you will ever need to buy the Miller 252 is where its at. I love mine.

I will only buy blue at this point. I have had fits with Lincoln welders over the years and refuse to give them anymore of my money. Miller has always been great.
 

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I just bought a factory reconditioned Hobart Handler 187 for $550 at Toolking. My coworker has had one for a while now and never had an issue so I got one too. They're always changing stock so it's best to go in and see what they have.
 

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I sell Hobart welders. If you're near Fort Collins, come on by Jax, and I can talk to you about a few options. Maybe PM me first though, because my coworkers don't seem to know much about them... I think that's the reason that I got hired.

Even if you don't buy from Jax, I think Hobart is a great balance of quality and economy. I've been super happy with mine.

Also, I have an "Intro to Welding" clinic coming up for customers if you're interested. I will be going through our product line, and making a few welding demonstrations. PM me for details
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks QD. I think the next thing for me is to decide on voltage and then Brand/model. Back in my younger years I did a fair amount of welding, so I think I'm already ahead of the curve.:)
 

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Thanks QD. I think the next thing for me is to decide on voltage and then Brand/model. Back in my younger years I did a fair amount of welding, so I think I'm already ahead of the curve.:)
Go 220. If you buy a 110 machine and need to weld something thick one day you will kick yourself. I use a miller 251 and love it.
 

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Wasn't it your welding that caused the hydro assist brackets to tear off your axle? That probably didn't come up in the job interview tho.

When is this clinic? I could use some pointers.
I'll show u a thing or two if u need. Let me know...
 

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Kyle, does JAX selling any other brand other than Hobart? IIRC its the only thing I have ever seen there. Kind of hard to get a good idea of what is good and what isn't when you only have one option.

FWIW, Hobart is made by Miller. Its their economy line of welders. They just use cheaper internals than Miller does. Still I would rather run a Hobart than a Lincoln. Just my $.02 though.

I despise Lincoln guns. They are Magnum Tool guns and they're made in Mexico. Pure crap IMO.

Hobart uses Miller guns. Quality gun.
 

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Go 220. If you buy a 110 machine and need to weld something thick one day you will kick yourself. I use a miller 251 and love it.
FWIW I run my 135 Miller on a 40 amp circuit and can stitch 1/4" all day. Please do not try to do heavy welding on a 20 amp household circuit... you'll pop the breaker in a second. I've done it and it sucks a lot.
 

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Kyle, does JAX selling any other brand other than Hobart? IIRC its the only thing I have ever seen there. Kind of hard to get a good idea of what is good and what isn't when you only have one option.

FWIW, Hobart is made by Miller. Its their economy line of welders. They just use cheaper internals than Miller does. Still I would rather run a Hobart than a Lincoln. Just my $.02 though.

I despise Lincoln guns. They are Magnum Tool guns and they're made in Mexico. Pure crap IMO.

Hobart uses Miller guns. Quality gun.
Nope, Hobart only. And you're right, they are made by Miller, just slightly cheaper. So I definitely wouldn't have great comparisons across brands.

It sounds as though the OP does have a pretty good idea of what he's looking for. But what I had in mind was that I have I could talk to him about MIG vs. flux core, 110 vs. 220, stick welding, gas welding/cutting, etc. And then he could get an idea of prices and material capacity for each type of welder, if he did happen to go with Hobart. Of course other brands offer similar products. But again, the OP is beyond that.
 

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I have a Lincoln and it sucks. Has broken twice and rarely gets used.
I've used Hobarts and they've done well.
Wakkjobb's Miller puts out some nice welds. I'm sure Wakkjobb's skill has a lot to do with it also.
 

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I weld pretty much all day every day, we run 2 lincoln 355's, 6 lincoln 255xp's, and we have 3 different millers (not 100% sure on the model numbers on the millers, but theyre all 3 220v) at work. 2 of the millers have Tweco leads on them, and 1 has just the standard setup.

I'm not a fan of the millers at all, we do a lot of industrial grade shit (3/8, 1/2, 5/8 materials) and the millers will not 1 pass any of it without overloading the machine. Miller's feed in kind of a weird manner too IMO, and they're a little harder to control your bead with than a lincoln (just my opinion there). The lincoln 355's are a bitch to get used to, but once you get them dialed in they're great welders, and will do anything you need them to do. My favorite though, is the Lincoln 255 (which i believe was replaced by the 256 this year, same thing, just newer and more fancy) for how smooth it runs, and how hard you can work it with no issue. IMO the 255's are reasonably priced a well if you do some looking around.
 
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