Under $400 MIG welders

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I'm currently taking welding classes at night. Stick, brazing, Mig, Tig, all types. Even using a torch. Want to buy a starter MIG welder so I can do mid-range welding things like rocker panels, sheet metal, etc. I see a couple that are under $400 and I'm wondering what people think. Every time I look this Eastwood is getting more expensive. https://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html Then there is the Harbor Freight titanium. It's a new product line. Cheaper than the HF Vulcan that increased to $600 over time. https://www.harborfreight.com/MIG-140-Professional-Welder-with-120-Volt-Input-64804.html I'm open to any other suggestions under $400 if they exist. Because I still have to buy the cart, helmet, supplies, gas tank, ETC
 
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Buy used!!! Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, Century, SnapOn I met someone in the parking lot of Harbor Freight, on his fourth HF MIG under the 90 day warranty.
 
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Not many available under $400 that use shielding gas and I could recommend. Miller/Lincoln/Hobart are the brands to use. Infinitely variable controls. 115v for up to 3/16" and 230v for up to 5/16"-single pass of course.
 
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If you want new then save up an extra 100 bux and get the Hobart 140 from Tractor supply. Comes with the gas regulator and uses miller consumables and gun. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/hobart-handler-140-mig-wire-welder?cm_vc=-10005 Mine is about 15 years old and has done alot for me. It NEEDS a real 15-20amp circuit. 12gauge wiring the whole way. Also don't forget to switch the polarity when going between MIG and flux core. It really matters. You can find the little inverter migs for cheaper but I doubt they will last more then 5 or 10 years with all the capacitors and electronics in them. My HH140 and linc AC225 tombstone are both crude machines but will most likely outlive me.
 
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The nice thing anout HF Tools is that you can buy'em cheap. The sad thing about HF Tools is their 90 day warranty unless you opt for the extended warranty at extra cost.
 
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Save up buy used. There all over the place! My dad always said buy a good American air compressor and welder and the grand kids will sell it at their fathers auction. Oh how true.
 
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Buy used if you can. Many folks buy one, use it for one project, then let it sit and collect dust for 15 years. If you JUST HAVE TO open a new box, Then bump your budget up to $500 and get one of these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-SP...0-Amp-Reconditioned-U2688-3/232604498858 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-Electric-U2688-3-SP-140T-MIG-Welder/401576668289 If you think that's still too much for your needs.... well then you are probably wrong. Almost NO ONE "wishes they had bought a smaller welder" Lastly, these will probably "get you by": https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-K2185-1-Handy-MIG-110V-MIG-Welder-NEW/401576667647 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-K2185-1-Handy-MIG-110V-MIG-Welder-NEW/283485172522
 
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I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work. Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$. 2cents Edit: I like this..
Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!
 
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LeakySeals

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Originally Posted by Trav
I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work. Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$. 2cents Edit: I like this..
Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!
The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.
 

LeakySeals

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Thanks for the suggestions to look for used. I found used Lincoln, Hobart, snap on, Miller, in my area and I'm a little hesitant to go that route because I'm going to pay around $500 for a machine that I don't even know if it works. And no guarantees. And if it's not in my area it's around 50 to ship it because of the weight. I guess I'm feeling a little reluctant to trust used. If it is broke are they expensive to fix. The names listed above?
 
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Originally Posted by LeakySeals
The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.
I wouldn't hesitate as far as the plastic parts. We have a couple large 480V Miller units at work and the mig unit has plastic parts for the feeder. While I usually use the stick attachment, the feeder seems to put up with the abuse of 25 other guys. For something smaller that wouldn't get used alot I bet it would last a lifetime.
 
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Originally Posted by LeakySeals
Originally Posted by Trav
I see Eastwood has it on sale for $299, what wrong with that? Get a small-mid size bottle from Airgas and you are good to go. For what you want to do, rocker panels, sheet metal, etc this will be fine, use 0.23 tips and wire for thin automotive sheet metal. You don't need a lot of power or long duty cycles for this work. Most cars today you can only weld sheet metal in short spurts or you distort the panel badly. If that's all you are going to do with it, don't have 220v and only occasional use then there is no need to spend the long $$. 2cents Edit: I like this..
Quote
Each welder is backed by Eastwood's no-hassle return policy and 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Try it out for 60 days and if you don't like it, return it for a full refund!
The price fluctuates weekly. It was $344 yesterday. Now it's $299. Nice! Only question with this unit is the feeder. (If that's what it's called). The part that pushes the wire. Looks like it's plastic. And most are metal or aluminum. Not sure if that matters. I think this is the one to buy.
All the ones I have seen in this price class has plastic parts, metal roller even the made in Italy Lincoln and low end Hobart. You have to move up in price quite a bit to get an all metal drive. The plastic parts are no problem on a light duty machine.
 
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I just bought a lightly used Lincoln 140HD Weldpak. My part time neighbor bought it and run a couple of practice welds and never picked it up. $175. I bought it from pictures. Even if I have to fix or replace something I'll be Ok. They are over $500 at Home Depot. Look around they're out there.
 
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lots of options as i look for my first Mig + a lot to learn before buying. many are actually made overseas regardless of the brand name. i seen the Everlast brand on home depot + start searching + learning. though more complicated internally the inverter style like some generators are looks to be a good move as they are said to run smoother + are surely lighter than transformer models. the smaller unit is sold out but can be bought directly from Everlast .com + at a better price + their 200E that is 110 or 220 looks to be the one. looking on their web will inform you, + their long warranty is a plus as they are built in China as many are, even some or all Lincolns are made overseas, black friday deals are surely coming for anyone still looking like me!!
 
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Originally Posted by benjy
even some or all Lincolns are made overseas,
Most Lincoln MIGs are assembled in Mexico with major components such as the transformer and control boards coming from Ohio. Lincoln has a few products that are made overseas such as some small Mig/Flux core welders (Poland), some inverter welders(Italy), the Tomahawk Plasma cutters (Poland) and fume extractors (Norway). Nearly all Lincolns built since 1993 have a Serial number that lists the COO as the first letter of the SN. U=USA, P=Poland, M=Mexico, ect. Lincoln Serial number info
 

LeakySeals

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Thanks for making me more comfortable with the plastic feeder. The price went back down on the Eastwood so I bought it. And a harbor freight cart. Going to air gas next week for a bottle. I just picked up a $500 06 Altima that has the floorboard rust issue I'm hoping I can use this to fix that as well [Linked Image]
 
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Originally Posted by CrAlt
If you want new then save up an extra 100 bux and get the Hobart 140 from Tractor supply. Comes with the gas regulator and uses miller consumables and gun. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/hobart-handler-140-mig-wire-welder?cm_vc=-10005 Mine is about 15 years old and has done alot for me. It NEEDS a real 15-20amp circuit. 12gauge wiring the whole way. Also don't forget to switch the polarity when going between MIG and flux core. It really matters. You can find the little inverter migs for cheaper but I doubt they will last more then 5 or 10 years with all the capacitors and electronics in them. My HH140 and linc AC225 tombstone are both crude machines but will most likely outlive me.
I'm right there with you. I have the Hobart 140 setup for MIG and a AC/DC 225 Lincoln I bought used. Great welders - never had a problem with them and after a lot of practice my welds look pretty good and hold up even better. Nuff said, xtell
 
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I got the Metal Man mig/tig/arc welder from Tractor Supply. Has worked great for me. I just needed to do some repairs around the house and on my truck. Served its purpose well every time.
 
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