Aluminum brazing rods allows non-professional user to make cheap repairs in aluminum alloys and other non-ferrous metals, using just handyman gas torch. Even for those experienced in welding steels, welding aluminum can hard and need expensive welder machine (more hear). You can use any heat source that will heat the metal to about 730 °F , and base metal will not disfigure. Aluminum welding rod is stronger than base aluminum alloy.
Zn-Al welding rods will work with butane oxyacetylene or any heat source as long as the material is brought up to 732 Farenheit. You need to preheat the components, to test the correct temperature, rub the end of a rod onto the work, if the rod will flow when working temperature is reached. In any case don’t place the rod onto the flame, or the weld won’t be strong enough.
The main advantage of using Zn-Al welding rods is a low temperature. With it you don’t need expensive equipment, just MAPP torch. TIG machine could burn through if your base metal is thin, make sluggish weld and ruin the surface details, aluminum welding rods make clean and precise repairs. Aluminum-zink brasing rods can be used with Oxyacetylene, Propane hand torch and works with almost all non-ferrous metals.
You will not get appropriate results on stainless steel, also they are not intended to use with zamac or mazac. Base area of the joint needs to be thoroughly cleaned from surface oxides and oil. Heat the area to be weld evenly, and just after it, rub the rod vigorously against the heated piece until the rod flows and wet the base metal.
And some final tips. Pre-tinning helps to achieve best results. Heat and cover with aluminum welding rod both surfaces Remove pores and bubbles with brush, in this case you can use direct flame on alloy. With sides thoroughly tinned, assemble the details and flow in enough rod to fill the vee. The use of appropriate flux paste will make your results better, but you should choose the right one which corresponds to the working temperature (aluminum welding rods).
Pancake is attributed to the shape of the hood, its front is fairly thin and oval (https://wendyspancakes.net/). Relying upon whether the welder is right or left-handed, helmet would come with a shield on one side. The pancake welding hood are extremely thin to reduce their weight and build with light balsa wood. There are many variations of the welding masks in the shops, and they can be used for various types of welding processes.
Sarge, Original Pancake and Wendy are the most recognizable and popular brands of the pancake hoods. Wendy’s welding hoods are one of the best in the market from a pool of varieties of diffident kinds of helmet. The Original Pancake brand hood is more flexible and less likely to break than the other brands that use balsa gusset pieces to secure the ear guard
It is great if you work when the sun is beaming in the sky, the sealed balsa block provides the best glare-free vision possible. The hood has a very good airflow which is very important when you work in the summer on the south. Thanks to the lightweight design pancake welding hood is really easy to wear and work in awkward positions for hours. Last, for most masks it is possible to use an electronic darkening lens or flip-up lens, which makes the hood even better.
In regard to materials the helmet made out of balsa wood, pine and from carbon fiber. The balsa block makes a box around the eyes to convenient fixation of the hood and seal-out all the light which may be reflecting from the lens. Without reflections from the electric arc, sun, or another welder you can avoid glares and work without any issues.
The most pancakes are used by pipeline welders, they make long welds and don’t distract to cleaning, grinding, etc. But for example, welders that deal mostly with automobile fixes make short joints and then readjust parts, measure distances, hammering, etc. In that case pancake is not so convenient. Auto-darkening lens save the situation and you can even work with pancake everywhere.
Ending For an outdoor welder who needs to weld for long hours pancakes are the best: not feel heavy on the head, minimize the amount of light that reflects from the lenses, and protect from dust and dirt (pancake welding hood). The balsa block also stabilizes the lens of your helmet perfectly and since you adjust it yourself, there is nothing like comfort. Pancake hoods should be OSHA-approved, but not all are, make sure you purchase a hood from a reputable source, such as Sarge’s, Wendy’s or Original pancake.
The Hobart 500536 IronMan 210 Welder is built for power, versatility and portability, a combination that makes it a good choice at home, in the shop, or in the back of the truck as you head to the job site. It’s got the heavy-duty guts to handle major construction welds but is light enough to take wherever the work needs to be done.
This 230 volt solid wire / flux cored wire welder is noted for performance with outstanding short arc operation to the total control it gives you over the weld puddle. For steel, it has a range of 22 gauge to 3/16″ and for aluminum the range is 14 gauge to ¼”. The optional Hobart spool gun adds ease and convenience to aluminum welding on every job.
Hobart 500536 IronMan 230 Details
Hobart built into this versatile machine all the features you look for in a quality, durable and highly functional welder. You won’t find a welder that is easier to set up. It offers 6-tap voltage settings that allow you to control the arc for every job, from 30 amps to 210 maximum amps. The rated output at 40% duty cycle is 150 A at 23 VDC. The onboard thermal overload protects the equipment by shutting it down until it cools off and can be reset.
The variable speed wire feed control lets you determine the depth of penetration and the exact weld bead size and shape needed. This customized approach is enhanced by a quick-adjust wire speed feed that lets you select speeds from 90 to 750 IPM. The Hobart 500536 IronMan 230 can take spools up to 33 pounds and 12″. The reversible roll drives are designed with 2 grooves to handle up to 3 wire diameters and that means there less time wasted in switching out roll drivers. The hinged door offers convenient spool and drive roll changes.
This dynamic welder is equipped to make every job easier. It offers a 10′ MIG gun with a regulator equipped with a flow meter. The 7′ input cable with plug and the 5′ gas hose with fitting have you ready to go when you flip the switch. A 10′ work cable and ground clamp complete the set up. Extra contact tips are included along with a starter spool of wire. The weld set up chart will prove invaluable to novices and pros alike.
The Hobart 500536 IronMan 230 is covered by the Hobart 5/3/1 warranty that is among the best in the business for industrial welders.
WHO LIKES THE HOBART 500536 IRONMAN 230 MIG WELDER?
This unit is built to take on the tough jobs that the seasoned welder faces but its setup and use is suitable for beginning welders too. It’s got the power, durability and performance control that makes it a highly rated welder for many different settings. Medium to heavy duty jobs are within its capabilities on the construction site or in the maintenance garage. It’s a reliable asset in the auto body shop and muffler shop. Farmers and ranchers use the Hobart Ironman 230 for putting it together and keeping it together in many different ways. The DIY welder who handles home projects will also appreciate the performance of this machine and it has the durability to use as a rental welder too.
From light-duty welding in the shop at home, to heavy welds on job, this versatile welder is equipped for great performance in every situation.
Hobart 500304 IronMan 210 Welder
230V Flux core—MIG
210 AMP high capacity with 6 settings
Up to ¼” weld in one pass
Electric – corded: 7 foot
Warranty: Hobart’s best industrial 5/3/1 warranty that transformers and generators for 5 years, all electronics for 3 years and the torch/MIG for 1 year
If you are looking for a quality, affordable and complete MIG welding rig, the Hobart 140 MIG Welder Kit is an outstanding value. The welder has the power to handle a wide variety of welding tasks at home or on the job; the cart, helmet and regulator means it is ready to go out of the box. Hobart designed the tool as a good choice for your first welder, but it also has the capabilities that contractors and accomplished DIY buffs look for when welding is on their agenda. It’s a 110 volt unit that gives it flexibility to work just about anywhere, including with the assistance of a generator where there’s no available power. The 130 amp power provides enough strength to handle any light to medium duty work that comes your way.
There’s plenty to like in this quality MIG kit. The kit features a fixed flow or adjustable flow regulator and hose assembly in addition to the welding cart and a welding helmet that is adequate. The welder offers 4 voltage tap settings for versatility in your approach to any welding task. You’ll also receive a starter spool of Flux core wire. The functionality of this welder is excellent. It’s easy to fire up and will weld mild steels in the range of 24 gauge to 3/16 inches. You have the flexibility to use solid core and flux core MIG wires with a diameter range from .023 to .035.
The 8’ gun assembly is backed by a 7’ work lead with a 6’ power cord, all of which makes it easy to reach the task at hand, whether it’s under a vehicle, up a ladder or on top of a piece of equipment.
The Hobart is covered by a limited 5-year warranty on the transformer and rectifier with a 1-year warranty on all other functional parts. Hobart welders are an industry leader when it comes to performance and their durability means that warranty issues rarely arise.
WHO LIKES THE KIT?
This kit requires minimal skills so it is a good choice for new welders with little or no experience. On the other hand, it delivers the performance that seasoned welders look for in light and medium duty machines. This welder kit is popular for home use for those who prefer to tackle their own projects in the basement, garage, shop or barn. It’s light and portable enough – along with the 110Volt operation – to conveniently get to where the work is, making it a best seller among contractors with occasional welding needs. Farmers and ranchers will also find many jobs for the Hobart 140 MIG Welder Kit to make quick work of.
Sheet metal, steel, stainless steel and aluminum can all be welded successfully and easily with this handy, flexible welder. It will be a valuable addition to your home workshop or garage. Throw it in the truck and take it to the job site or take it on adventures for quick repairs to your off-road equipment so you can get back into the action. You’ll love the combination of portability, versatility and hard-charging power.
110 Volt Flux core / MIG
140 amp high capacity with 5 settings
Wire diameter .023 to .035 inches
Electric – corded, 6’ with total work reach of 15’
Warranty: 5 years on transformer, 3 years on electronics, 1 year on MIG gun
The Clarke WE6441 MIG Welder offers outstanding versatility in any environment you put it to use. It’s a 120v welder so the places it can be put to work are endless – including running it off a generator where there’s no power available. Work up to 20 feet away from the unit for maximum convenience with a welder that’s light enough to take with you to where the work needs to be done. It has MIG and Flux core capabilities for all the welding tasks you come across.
Clarke WE6441 Details With this powerful unit you can tackle tough welds on steel, stainless steel and aluminum up to ¼”. Add the optional regulator and gas hose and easily turn the Clarke WE6441 into a dynamic MIG welder. Its compact design and light weight makes it a good option for work under vehicles, on ladders, equipment or scaffolding, or in other tough to get to spots. It works just as well out on the job site as it does in the garage or shop.
This spool gun welder offers excellent wire speed control for precision welding with little mess or splatter. The 4 heat settings deliver the right temp for each and every job on your list. When you want to change from Fluxcore welding to gas shielded welding just switch two wires, add the hookups and hose for gas and go. It couldn’t be more convenient. This welder uses the Hot-Shot style spool gun from Clarke that handles a maximum solid wire of .023 inches and a maximum cored wire of .035 inches. Minimum output is 60 amps while the maximum is 85 amps. Total amps is 130 and the duty cycle is 40% at 60 amps.
The Clarke WE6441 gas/no-gas welder is backed by a 10-year limited warranty on the transformer and a 2-year limited warranty on all other parts. That’s one of the top warranties currently offered on welders in this class.
WHO USES THE CLARKE WE6441 MIG WELDER? This is a light to medium duty welder that is right at home in a wide variety of settings. Its portability and 120 volt operation make it a popular choice for homeowners and contractors. You’ll find it tackles most home/garage repairs with ease, from work on trailers to exhaust pipes and more. On the ranch or farm it will go to work on all kinds of equipment, gates, trailers and more. The body shop owner will discover it has the guts to get body work done while being controlled enough to not risk doing damage to thin sheet metal parts. It’s this kind of utility that has made the Clarke WE6441 a best seller.
When you’re looking for power and portability combined in a quality welder that won’t back down, the Clarke WE6441 is a unit worth a serious look.
Clarke WE6441 MIG Welder
120 Volt Fluxcore with gas/no-gas capability
130 amp high capacity with 4 settings
200 Amp ground clamp
Hot Shot spool gun from Clarke
Wire diameters: .023 and .035 maximums
Electric – corded, 20 foot
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty on rectifier and transformer; 2 years on all other parts
Enjoy of a compact, portable and lightweight wire feed welder that is user friendly | Shielding gas sold separately Welder dimensions – 12.8” H x 8.8” W x 18” D | Welds up to – 1/8 in. mild steel | Power cord length – 6ft. | Cored Wire Size Range – .... read more
Clarke has a reputation for making solid, reliable equipment with a proven track record of performance and ease of use!
The Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder is a 240 volt Fluxcore – MIG welding kit that finds its way into all kinds of shops and garages. It’s a MIG Welder that has the power to tackle industrial welding jobs, and many automotive/body shops wouldn’t be without this diverse welding kit. DIY enthusiasts find the MIG Welder to be an asset in a wide variety of projects around the house, farm, garage, ranch, tool shed or shop. It demonstrates superior design and construction which makes it easy to use and incredibly safe for almost any application.
In this MIG welder review, we take a closer look at the Clarke WE6524. Please share your own opinions at the bottom.
Clarke WE6524 Details This dynamic Clarke welder has the capabilities to weld steel, stainless steel, cast iron and aluminum and can easily be converted to a gas welder with the addition of a gas regulator, which is available as an accessory. This versatile welder puts total control into your hands with 6 settings that give you from 30 to 180 peak amps of power. Every job gets the customized power needed to do it right without damaging vulnerable parts like thin sheet metal car panels. The easy to handle Tweco style torch is equipped with responsive on/off safety control, while the unit, you and your project are all safeguarded by the safety thermal overload protection. The unit is fan-cooled for best performance and longevity.
The nuts and bolts of the Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder include a full 20-foot power cord that lets you get to every job more easily. The sturdy unit is made with a heavy-gauge steel cabinet which protects it from the inevitable challenges of the shop or job site. Wheels and a cart handle add mobility when working around a vehicle or when the welder is needed at another work station or location. This Clarke welder comes complete with a MIG gun that easily handles materials with a diameter of .023 inches to .035 inches and can drop a bead up to ¼” per pass. Use what’s most convenient – mini-spools or the 11 lb. spools. You’ll appreciate the solid state electronic heat control that is driven by a PC board to offer you the greatest wire speed control on every job.
This gas/no gas welder is backed by a rock solid warranty. The transformer and rectifier of the Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder is covered for 10 years while everything else is backed for two years, coverage as good as most manufacturers of MIG welders offer.
WHO USES THE CLARKE WE6524 MIG WELDER? This MIG welder is a good choice for DIY welders looking for an affordable, versatile and portable welder that will handle a wide variety of applications. If you use equipment, trailers, stock fencing or gates that require periodic welding, if you do light body work or weld aluminum, this is an outstanding welder to consider. It’s ease of use also makes the Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder a good choice for new welders and experienced pros.
Put the Clarke reputation for quality and performance to work wherever you need things welded. This is a dynamic welder that offers you the power you need to handle tough welds and the portability required to get to them easily.
Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder
180 AMP high capacity with 6 settings
Wire diameter .023 to .035 inches
Up to ¼” weld in one pass
Electric – corded: 20 foot
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty on rectifier and transformer; 2 years on all other parts
One of the most common questions that come into our contact page are around the best MIG Welder for different things like Handyman, welding cars, sheet metal, fences, etc. In this article, we want to brief look at some of the best MIG Welders for a Handyman! If you already own one of the MIG Welders we refer to on this page, we encourage you to join in the discussion thread at the bottom of the page and share your experience with the welder also.
What needs to be welded?
In order to understand why the models below were chosen, we first want to look at the things a typical handyman is going to be doing with their mig or arc welder.
Items Often Welded by a Handyman. Lets face it… a handyman is not going to be building bridges… Most often, they will be welding:
Chain Link Fences or Metal Posts
Signs, or other Sheet Metal Items
Lawnmowers, Snowblowers, Tillers and other Yard Equipment
Metals up to 1/4 inch thick
Cars, Truck, Exhaust or Some Automotive Welding
Welding Skill level Needed
Just like the limited degree of items that a handyman is going to be welding, they really don’t want to have to school for 3 months to learn how to draw a nice pool of metal! Most handyman welders are going to be the same guy you see balancing his own lawnmower blades, painting his own home and building his own deck.
Mig or flux core?
If you are going to do a lot of outside welding on steel, then you’ll be using more flux-core wire. Inside, MIG welders may be better, and it’s the only choice on that machine for aluminum and stainless.
MIG welders are a lot cleaner than Flux-core. Flux core has a lot of splatter and you have to remove a layer of slag on the weld – kind of like stick.
The key to finding the right MIG welder for your needs is to have a good grasp of what you are going to be welding. Here’s a brief overview of the most commonly welded materials and basic information about what type of welder will best handle the tasks.
Sheet metal is a thinner metal so care must be exercised when welding it. Problems arise when too much heat is used – too many amps are employed – and the welder burns too far into the metal, weakening it. In some circumstances, burn through may be the result. This can also be caused by using welding wire that is too thick. For welding sheet metal, .023 to .030 diameter wire is best, along with a an amp setting in the 60 to 140 range. Good options for sheet metal welding include the Millermatic 140 and 180, the Clarke WE6523 and WE6441, the Lincoln K2185 Handy MIG, the Hobart 500550 130 and Hobart 500500 Handler 140.
Carbon Steel/Mild Steel
This is the most common type of steel and most MIG machines weld it very well. The key is the thickness of the material. Thicker materials require more heat/amps and also thicker diameter wire. For light and medium duty carbon steel welding, a portable 140 to 180 machine is a good choice; for larger steels a MIG welder with an amperage capacity between 230 and 320 or higher is a better bet. Look for outstanding welders, new or used, from Lincoln, Miller, Hobart and ESAB for welding steel. Here are some approximate amperages for various widths of steel: 18 gauge – 70 to 100 amps; 1/8” steel – 100 to 200 amps; 3/16” steel – 130 to 200 amps; 1/4” steel – 140 to 220 amps; 1/2” steel – 250 amps minimum. Use steel from .023” up to .045 depending on the thickness of what is being welded. Top welders with high amp capacity for mild steel welding include the Hobart 500304 IronMan 210, Hobart 500536 Ironman 230, Lincoln K2403-1 Power MIG 350, ESAB Multimaster 260, and the Clarke WE6524 MIG Welder. For thinner metals, the portable units from Miller, Hobart and Lincoln are all very good.
Occasional aluminum welds can be handled by most MIG welders. However, since aluminum melts so quickly, if you expect that most of your welds will involve aluminum, it may be a better choice to select a welder that is designed specifically for aluminum. Pulse welders are best for this application – units like the Millermatic Pulser, the Lincoln K2403-1 Power MIG Welder and the ESAB Multimaster 260 are all fantastic choices. You may also find it helpful to choose a special aluminum feed gun like the Spoolmatic 30A or Spoolmate spool guns.
What advantages do MIG welders offer?
Externally supplied gas or gas mixtures provide MIG welder shielding.
Metal is deposited only when the wire actually touches the work.
No metal is transferred across the arc during MIG welding.
Another method of MIG welding, spray transfer moves a stream of tiny molten droplets across the arc from the electrode to the weld puddle. Consumables: contact tips, shielding gas, welding wire.
A number of configurations
MIG welders utilize solid wire and require shielding
MIG welders use a solid wire and require an inert gas for shielding.
Flux-core welders use a hollow wire that has flux inside it. When heated, the flux forms a protective gas layer around the weld. The shielding is there to prevent air from getting to the weld and causing a variety of problems, such as oxidation to hydrogen embrittlement from oxygen and water vapor in the air.
Choosing best MIG welder for a handyman
We realize that different people may have different reasons for choosing the best mig welder for a handyman. There are many MIG welders models available on the market, but which is best for you?
Lots of Mig Welder choices
Externally supplied gas or gas mixtures provide MIG welder shielding. Common MIG welding is referred to as short circuit transfer. Metal is deposited only when the wire actually touches the work. No metal is transferred across the arc during MIG welding.
Another method of MIG welding, spray transfer moves a stream of tiny molten droplets across the arc from the electrode to the weld puddle.
How do you choose a Mig Welder?
Best MIG welder manufacturers include: Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, Century, Esab, Clarke, and others.
These MIG welder manufacturers offer a variety of MIG welders that can meet any welding need from industrial MIG welders to hobbyists to fabrication shops, ranches, aerospace welding, and more.
MIG wire comes in a wide variety of materials and diameters. Also known as an electrode, the wire you choose must be right for the job in order to ensure the strongest, tidiest weld you can produce.
Here are the key features of MIG wire. Keep them in mind as you shop for the brand and material that will make you the best welder you can be.
1. Metal Soundness: High-quality MIG welding electrode must be characterized by excellent fusion and a lack of porosity. Poorly made wire or that made from inferior materials is far more likely to cause carbon monoxide bubbles in the weld (porosity), decreasing strength as well as potentially marring the appearance.
2. Wire containing quality deoxidizers: A deoxidizer is an element that will combine with oxygen more readily than carbon so that harmless slag is formed instead of CO. The best deoxidizers are aluminum, zirconium and titanium, although silicon and manganese remain the most common deoxidizers in today’s wire options.
3. Puddle fluidity: The weld puddle needs to be fluid enough to create smooth edges in the bead shape but not so fluid that it causes control issues. This can be especially vital on fillet or multi-pass welds where fusion is essential. A smoother bead shape will reduce the need for post-weld grinding where appearance is important.
How to Choose Mig Welding Wire With these features in mind, here are tips for choosing the right wire for your job.
Tip #1: Familiarize yourself with the wire types available.
Knowing what materials are available will help you select the right one for your task. A brief overview of types includes aluminum, bronze alloy, carbon steel, copper alloy, hard facing, low alloy steel, magnesium, maintenance alloy, nickel alloy and stainless steel. Each has unique weld characteristics and they contain varying amounts of deoxidizer.
Tip #2: Select wire with the proper amount of deoxidizer.
Manganese and silicon are the most common deoxidizers and you’ll need to select a wire with the correct levels for the welding jobs you have. The more deoxidizer, the greater the fluidity tends to be. Adding titanium, zirconium or aluminum to the electrode tends to lower fluidity and creates a puddle that is better for applications such as welding pipe where the molten metal is likely to run off the job if too fluid.
Tip #3: Choose wire compatible with the metals you are welding.
It is always best to use wire made of the same material as the metal you are welding for greatest fusion. For carbon steel your options include solid wire or flux-cored wire depending upon your preference and the availability of shielding gas.
Tip #4: Use a MIG wire diameter rated for the amps required on the weld.
For example, .023” wire is suitable for use between 30 and 90 amps, .030” wire works well between 40 and 150 amps, and .035” wire is right for amp settings between 55 and 180 amps. Larger diameter .045” wire can be used on jobs that require up to about 260 amps. Most wire packaging will offer a chart that shows acceptable use for the diameter of the wire contained.
Tip #5: Use your welder’s set up chart to determine wire diameter
Most welders from Hobart, ESAB, Miller, Lincoln and other leading brands come equipped with a set-up chart that spells out clearly what diameter wire should be used, given the amps required.
Tip #6: For all-purpose DIY welding on aluminum use medium to large diameter wire.
Most welder manufacturers suggest that if you want one wire that will work well on the widest variety of tasks that you select either .030” or .035” aluminum wire. You’ll enjoy good weld puddle control and a solid, durable weld for most tasks.
Once you get comfortable with your welder and the wire choices available you’ll find it easy to match the right wire with each task. Your welds will show quality and will prove themselves in the long-run with greater durability and strength. Follow these guidelines and you’ll soon know how to choose the right MIG wire for the job.
The MIG / GMAW gun you choose will go a long way towards the performance you achieve as well as the ease with which you get work done. Think about it: the gun delivers all the dynamics that make for a good weld – or a failed weld. It provides the consistent current, the electrode and the shielding gas to the work zone, all critical factors. Therefore, it must be tailored to the kind of work that is being done. Guns are also an important factor in being as efficient as possible with the amount of consumables you go through. In this guide we’ll offer tips for selecting the right gun for the way you typically weld.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Sized Gun
Many welders think that the more gun they have the better, but this isn’t always the case. The larger the gun the heavier it usually is and that will make a difference during an 8-10 hour shift or even over the course of a single 20-30 minute job. Plus, larger guns tend to go through more wire, often producing more weld than you need. In many cases, it’s overkill and a waste of material.
For example, if a job requires 380 amps, is it essential that you use a gun rated to 380 or 400 amps? The answer is no! If you’re going to weld constantly for hours on end, then you’d need the higher rated gun. But in reality, a 260-300 amp, 100% duty cycle gun would most likely meet your needs because you’re probably only welding for 15-20 minutes tops per hour, in starts and stops while you move the piece or your position and make adjustments. You’ll pay less for that gun and use your consumables with less waste. Plus, the slightly lighter weight will ease hand and wrist fatigue and reduce repetitive task stress.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Length Cable
It’s true that where versatility is essential, the longer the reach the better – for getting under equipment or up a ladder for example. But if your welding station is pretty fixed and you work on smaller parts that can be lifted onto your station, it actually makes more sense to choose shorter cables. They cost less, for starters. Secondly, having 6-10 feet of cable on the ground beneath you can lead to problems or be a general nuisance. There are fewer wire-feeding problems with shorter cables. Again, knowing what types of welding and the typical circumstances you’ll encounter is the key to choosing the right gun/cable setting for best performance and economy.
Tip #3: Choose a Gun with Top Performance Features
Not all guns are created equal. It’s best to choose the highest quality gun you can afford (at the right size and cable length as mentioned). It begins with a rigid strain relief connection where the wire feeder and the cable connect. This will ensure better wire feeding, non-kinking operation, and overall better welds that will maximize your welding output.
In addition, if you typically use more than one brand or style of feeder, it is essential to choose a gun with a variety of plug options. One gun to fit them all will increase productivity and reduce the need and cost for additional guns.
Tip #4: Choose a Gun with a Reliable Trigger
Since the trigger is the only moving part of the gun, it needs to be reliable. A cheap trigger or one that cannot be easily serviced will lead to unexpected down-time and cost. Look for a gun with a firm, strong and reliable trigger that has the feel of quality.
Tip #5: Choose Versatility in the Neck
If every weld you do is exactly the same, a fixed-neck gun might be okay. But a rotatable, adjustable neck will maximize your ability to weld with comfort and success.
Tip #6: Choose a Light but Well-Made Handle
For the handle, first make sure it is rated for the duty cycle/amperage you’ll be working with. Beyond that, lightweight metal in an ergonomically-designed handle is a great choice. A smaller handle will generally be more comfortable and a vented handle will reduce heat.
Tip #7: Consider a Water-Cooled Gun
Welding professionals often choose a water-cooled gun because they are lighter, smaller and can operate longer without uncomfortable or unsafe heat build-up. They do cost more, but if welding is your profession, they may be a very worthwhile investment that will lower your fatigue, increase your comfort, and contribute to greater performance on the job.
Making an informed choice about the gun you use will pay dividends going forward. Don’t overdo the power capability of the gun, but buy the highest quality you can afford. You’ll get more work done, become a better welder, and do it all for less in terms of reduced power used and consumables wasted.
When you want a tough and dependable Flux core-MIG welder that won’t break the bank and won’t break down under a heavy work load, the Millermatic 180 MIG Welder might be your machine. There’s a lot to like in this 230 volt unit that offers excellent performance and versatility. At home or work, it has great capacity to handle various metals and a range of wire diameters.
Millermatic 180 Details
Miller built the Millermatic 180 MIG Welder with the guts of a professional machine and the built-in intelligence that makes it an asset to the DIY enthusiast or pro. It is the easiest small MIG welder to use because it takes the guesswork out of the set up and operates very smoothly once the job is underway.
Performance begins with the Auto-Set capability that gets you going quickly while eliminating the potential for error. Simply dial in the diameter of the wire and the thickness of the material and start welding. The onboard controls automatically adjust the power to be just right for the job. Control remains in your hands however, and when working with any mild steel, stainless steel or aluminum feel free to switch to Manual Mode and set it up just the way you want it for a custom job.
Enjoy a class-best 5/16 single pass weld capacity among other features that make the Millermatic 180 an impressive choice. The Smooth-Start design gets every weld started right with reduced popping and splattering. Thermal Overload protection keeps internal components safe by shutting down when air flow is blocked or the duty cycle is exceeded. The over temperature light lets you know it is resetting and cooling off.
You’ll appreciate the quality build of the Millermatic 180. It is manufactured to withstand the rugged use welders receive on a daily basis. The cast aluminum drive system is strong and durable, and it makes set up fast and easy. It includes spring-loaded tension arm with tension knob that is precisely calibrated for accuracy. The Tip Saver mode shuts down the welder when the tip shorts to the work. It will save your equipment and extend the life of the tip. Reset the unit at the torch, not the welder so you can get going again immediately.
The Millermatic 180 is compatible with the Spoolmate 100 Series spool gun that makes welding aluminum easier than ever. Added to the 180 it gives you the functionality to weld aluminum from 18 gauge to ¼” thick. For all jobs, wire diameter capacity is .024 to .030 for solid steel and stainless, and .030 to .035 for Flux cored. The welding range is 30 to 180 amps with variable settings to give you optimal power for each weld.
The Millermatic 180 is backed by Miller’s TrueBlue 3-year warranty that covers parts and labor for 3 years.
WHO USES THE MILLERMATIC 180 WELDER This versatile welder is making a name for itself in multiple settings. It’s all you’ll need at home to cover any repair that comes your way. It is employed in muffler shops, auto body shops, maintenance and repair garages, farms and ranches and where light metal fabrication is done. That takes in a lot of ground, and the Millermatic 180 covers it beautifully. At just 72 lbs it offers good portability for such a dynamic Flux Core – MIG welder.
Millermatic 180 / Millermatic 180 Auto-set / Miller 907312
230 Volt Flux core – MIG
Single phase 21.7 amp
Rated output: 135 Amps at 22.5 VDC, 30% duty cycle