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I've looked at Harbor freight (pretty much only has Chicago Electric welders) and Home Depot (doesn't have squat for a selection), but where else should I look? I want to have one and be practicing this weekend! I'm located in Sacramento, CA if that's any help.

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You'll always get what you've always got

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do you have a Grainger outlet by you? If so they have a good selection of Miller's and Lincoln's.

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A few years ago I wanted to buy one. Believe me, I looked at them all, Century, Lincoln, Harbour Freight, Sears, Marquet ect.. Then I got HTP's catalog. Their duty cycles flat out blew everyone away. They use more iron in the core and use copper wire instead of aluminum in the transformer like most of the rest do. I bought the 140 amp, 120 volt model. It's killer! I can spot weld, stitch weld, it has adjustable on and off timers for welding along with reversable polarity.

I can't say enough good about it, I never have been this pleased with any other piece of equipment that I've bought. I haven't had a lick of trouble in 8 years that I've owned it. You'd do yourself a big injustice if you don't at least look at their product before buying anything!

Tom
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Stay with a name brand that you can get parts and service for in the future,,I use exclusively Miller equipment now but I've had Hobart which is super as well and lincoln makes a good machine ,,Don't let low price be the only deciding factor

Robbie "It doesn't cost anymore to go first Class,,
You just can't stay as long"
 

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Whatever you buy, get something you can get parts for. Several years ago I bought an "El-Cheapo", wasn't long until the plastic wire tension bracket broke, couldn't find a replacement.... A $400.00 dust collector

I'd personally stay away from the H.F. welders, Daytona Mig, Sams W.C., etc. for the aforementioned reasons.

Buy a good name brand like Lincoln, Miller, etc.

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A couple years ago i was in the market for one, and looked at a lot of different brands. I ended up buying a 100 amp Lincoln (I have an arc welder, so I didn't need a large mig). Suprisingly, the best price I found was at a local welding supply store. My mig is great for sheetmetal work and thicknesses up to 3/16". After that, it doesn't penetrate enough.

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My brother-in-law works for BOC gas, a welding supply place here in Chattanooga, TN. He can drop ship you a unit if you desire, but that's not my point. He's been in welding supplies for about 15-20 years now. Miller is probably one of the better brands, but for a good general purpose machine, He himself uses (thus I use on loaner) a Hobart Handler 135. It's a really nice machine, comes with the gas hookup. I took 12 weeks of metal shop in high school, and learned to stick weld. My welds after a short few weeks with the Hobart are looking pretty well.

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Check with your local welding supply houses, they may sell used units. You can pick up a better unit for the same money that has already been broken in.

Jim Gates
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John,
I'd suggest buying your welder from a local welding supply...these days, pricing is very competetive and they can offer factory subsidized financing which isn't available from retailers.

I buy most of my equipment these days from Praxair or Airgas....

The neat thing is you can go into the store and demo most any model and have a salesperson (who only sells welding stuff) explain the details...

Of course, warranty and service and supplies are all under one roof as well...

Check it out before buying from a liquidator or box store...

Pat
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miller is great///others 2 im sure///i do suggest the 135-140 amp i bought a miller 90//it just wont do it all//may i strongly suggest gas also.again ive had both..u know how opinions are*** also a welding supply store to buy if possible as stated above/they sell the product u just bought and have access to acc. and parts for their products u just bought..

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I bought a Miller 250 from Texas Welder's Supply in Houston. One reason I bought it was the wire speed and voltage were infinitely adjustable. Some of the lower amperage welders had fixed settings on the voltage. I haven't done a lot of welding with it yet, but so far I am pretty pleased. One reason to buy from a welder's supply for me was they carry replacement parts and most of the sales reps. are pretty knowledgeable. I think their price was pretty competitive also.
Like Tangdar I took welding classes in high school using gas and stick welders. The MIG/Gas is really user friendly and not hard to weld with. I'd stay away from the flux core welders.
Oh, another thing I liked about the Miller 250 was it had metal drive wheels in the wire feed assembly, not plastic.

Jon Sherar/ 67 Fastback
 
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