Choosing A Welder
Chicken Rick - First MIG Welder - 115v Hobart Handler 140 MIG
My first welder ever was a good ol' fashioned Lincoln Tombstone arc welder that was purchased second hand for $100 bucks. This got my foot into the door of welding and gave me the confidence that welding was something that I could actually handle doing. After having this welder for a year, I did a lot of entry level MIG welder research and landed on a 115v Hobart Handler 140 Gas Mig. I have been using this welder in my garage on a weekly basis since 2014 and have had zero issues with it. I have welded everything from car frames to thin sheet metal and the welder has kept up with the learning curve the entire way. So far so good, I have little need for a TIG welder at this time and have found my MIG easy to use and adequate enough to handle everything I can throw at it!
Nick Ferro - Lincoln 115 Mig (Home) - Millermatic TIG (Work)
There are many schools of thought on this but I’ll give you mine as someone who TIG welds full time with millers and Lincoln’s and owns a Lincoln machine at home. All the screws on my Lincoln and Miller welders are in millimeters. Parts are never on hand for these “American” machines. I’ve had reps come into our office and talk out their ass about why a machine isn’t working then ship it off somewhere to be fixed just the same way an Everlast Welder would be shipped off. The next home use machine I will be purchasing will be an Everlast because at the end of the day, the guy welding on bikes at home doesn’t need a 100% duty cycle or an additional setting to change the wavelength pattern. You can pay less and get great welds WITH a 5 year warranty. There will always be Lincoln and Miller welders on job sites because the support system is there for those commercial applications, but in my opinion you don’t need to pay for it as a private consumer.