Best welder for the $$$ - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best welder for the $$$

Done some searches and there seems to be a consensus that one should pony up and buy the biggest welder the bank 'll finance.
Well, since my bank ain't got much backing, Can I expect to find a unit that will allow me to get some experience stickin' together body metel and then on up to building bumpers and such for under 5C?
or should I just wait until the banker can float a few more duckies?

What's the best welder for the buck?
RocknCJ is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 169
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I read the same research you did and on top of that, my personality wants to buy the biggest and best anytime I buy anything.

Unfortunately my bank and the voltage available in my garage both kept me from buying anything more than a Lincoln SP135 (110v, 135amp, MIG).

Since I bought it, I've been extremely happy with it and really don't regret it. I'm sure I'll buy something bigger in the future, but I've saved myself hundreds of dollars doing my own welding with this machine.

I did pay a professional to weld repair my frame because I wanted to make sure I had good penetration there, but I did everything else during my Jeep build myself. I've welded sheetmetal, my cage, many little projects, friends exhaust, etc.

I'll let others give you advice on which machine to buy. I taught myself to weld with this machine and don't feel qualified to give that kind of advice, but I think you can be happy with a smaller machine than what you would buy if you have unlimited funds.

CJclay is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Best welder for the $$$

you want to weld sheet metal or heavy stuff. what would be your primary use of the welder. if your primary will be light duty stuff like sheet metal then go with a wirefeeder and buy the mig kit if it doesn't come with it. fluxcore wire sucks! no nice way to say it. If your going to use it more to fab heaver stuff like bumpers. buy a good ac/DC stick welder just compare prices on the name brands like miller hobart lincoln century etc... buy the best price remeber you have to be happy with it so if the bank needs to freeze your account for a latter date let em.
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:36 PM
Keyboard Implanted
TOM85CJ7's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I don't think it is the biggest, or the best, but I sure like my Hobart Handler 175. I got mine at Tractor Supply Co., but I see them on eBay and other places every once in a while for less. I think it was wround $600+ and I had to get a CO2/ARGON bottle. I have had mine for about three years and It has worked well. I have made bumpers/brackets/tire carriers and welded all kinds of things. It can handle 1/4" in one pass and I have welded 1/2" with it. I have also used it to weld body panels and sheet metal. Right now I am using it to make outboard spring hangers and SOA my D44. There have been a couple of times I wished I had bought the Millermatic 185, but it is closer to $1200. I think that the Miller would be a must for a professional, or for frequent use. The Hobart has a lot of plastic parts that are metal on the Miller model. By the way, Miller and Hobart are owned and built by the same company.

TOM85CJ7 is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:39 PM
Keyboard Implanted
Rio_Grande's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Southeastern Indiana
Posts: 4,767
Thanks: 3
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I say go for the Hobart 175 I love mine, and have just over 600 in it. Uses Miller parts and welds better than I do.
Rio_Grande is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I found this at TRS...

"230 Volt Power & 30-175 Amp Welds 22 Ga. Up To 1/4 In. With Gas Kit & Cart Included Make this line bold: BONUS KIT INCLUDES: Auto-Darkening Helmet With 9-13 Shade Lens, C-25 Gas Cylinder, .030 In. Flux Cored Wire, .030 In. Solid Wire, Welders Gloves, Scraper Brush, Chipping Hammer & .030 In. Contact Tips"

...right at the 700.00 mark. Is this what you bought? Are all of the thrown in goodies worth the price?
I guess what I'm looking for here is... is this going to be about the best bang for the buck as they say? [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

RocknCJ is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

Sorry, I thought that included the unit. [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Yea, it's the Hobart 175
RocknCJ is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 10:09 PM
Can't Get Enough
z50k2's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 1,483
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I bought a Miller 210 about 4 months ago. While not a experienced welder, I am learning, and now have a machine that won't need to be upgraded ANY time soon...
If you wait until a Miller special, you can get an awesome deal. Mine came with a free "stars and stripes" helmet,and I sold that helmet to a buddy. I then bought a 4 sensor Jackson helmet.
I got this machine with the same notion of my dirt bike, If you buy small you will eventually need/want to buy bigger. Save your money for the machine that's just more than you will actually use and need. Then you shouldn't be sorry, or have to upgrade in the near future...
z50k2 is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 371
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I just bought a welder as well. I bought the Lincoln SP135plus. This is a great MIG welder for a beginner welder and is powerful enough to do just about anything you want to do with a Jeep. I am very happy with my purchase.
itsaposcj5 is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 524
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Best welder for the $$$

I bought a Lincoln 135 this summer as well. I got it on the internet, (welder, regulator, gas solenoid, all the goodies you need to weld out of the box except gas for 499 bucks)

I had to pay another 23 dollars and some change for the barge freight to alaska, but for the price I thought I would give it a try.

So far I have used it weld lots of stuff on the jeep. It is my first mig machine, and I have been completely happy. It was cheap (relative I guess), it works great, I would buy it again, and it has "stick on amperage" worth at least 500 amps.... (theres a nascar sticker on the side, but I can't remeber if the blue sticker or the red sticker gives you more amps....) so all you guys that have those 220v machines, you aint got nothing on me! [img]images/graemlins/AR15firing.gif[/img]

For a first welder, a 110v machine is probably an excellent choice. I will hang on to mine as long I can weld...
irjpr is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome