Welder purchase advice?

ONE-EYE

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So I'd like to be able to make and fix my own frames and don't have the equipment. I don't really want to fill tanks all the time so would a flux core welder work? What amperage should I be looking at? Is there a good, cheap brand to go with? Will I be able to plug it in a normal wall outlet so I won't have to run a new line to the power box? Thanks for any advice. Just trying to teach myself something new.
 

JTSpeedDemon

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Look at the Century FC-90. It's a sub brand of Lincoln Electric, and it's a very nicely built little welder. It's what I use, and even with 90 amps I have legitimately blown holes in my metal while practicing! Needless to say it's got some nice power. It's about $200 MSRP, more than the Harbor Fright electrocution machine, but for that it's way better built , more compact, plus the wire speed and amperage are continuously variable, instead of preset settings. I highly recommend it to start off with.
 

Denny

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You don’t have to refill the bottles all that often if you buy big bottles. I like the cleaner weld with the gas. The Harbor Fright mugs have a good reputation around here.
 

JTSpeedDemon

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I would not have a Century if I had all the money in the world.
I honestly don't get why people don't like them. I have had zero issues with mine, it far overperforms what I expected for the price.
 

Flyinhillbilly

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I say get the nicest welder that you can afford. I recently upgraded my TIG because I decided that being able to weld aluminum was important to me. I’m glad I spent the money on it.
Welders are kind of like air compressors in the regard that you can’t have too good if one, but you can dang sure have not enough of one.
 

redflash

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I have an Harbor Freight titanium 125......love it, and it will do anything a go Kart needs....dumped my hb tig for this !

Da Flash
 

Denny

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A old welder I knew (mill rat) said something about with a Century and the way it pulses the electricity it does not weld smoothly or penetrate very well. I am with FHB you can never buy too big of a air compressor or too good of a welder. In 40 years I have worn out a 1/4 horse, 2 hp, two 5 hp compressors. I currently have a cast iron 7 hp. All name brand but not industrial units. My next one will be a Quincy industrial unit. My next welder will be a Miller.
 

OPmini

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So I'd like to be able to make and fix my own frames and don't have the equipment. I don't really want to fill tanks all the time so would a flux core welder work? What amperage should I be looking at? Is there a good, cheap brand to go with? Will I be able to plug it in a normal wall outlet so I won't have to run a new line to the power box? Thanks for any advice. Just trying to teach myself something new.

what is your definition of cheap? many welders cost thousands of dollars. I have an Everlast cyclone 200e for $750 its pretty good for the price but if your looking for something under $200 id recommend a harbor freight titanium welder. I would not recommend anything under 150 amps
 

madprofessor

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Will I be able to plug it in a normal wall outlet so I won't have to run a new line to the power box?
I had a readily available 240 volt power outlet in my shop when I bought my 120 volt 80 amp Klutch stick welder (TIG-capable if you buy all those expensive gas-welding components), and a 50' long 12 gauge extension cord. I wanted the portability of taking it anywhere to fix broken stuff.
However, if you don't plan on using a welder anywhere but around the house, you really should get a 240 volt unit. I started welding on a gas engine Lincoln, but got my original electric welder experiences on a 240 volt unit that was called a "buzz box" by most folks, don't really remember the brand name. The adjustability and the depth of penetration are well worth going with a 240 volt unit.
 

T.H.E Cat

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I'm looking to get a try out the Titanium 125 on Black Friday. I saw them at some of HF stores for around $179.00 last year.. They don't do any where near the most beautiful job but will hold a weld if your not trying to do to thick piece of metal. You can always use your Dremal to KIND of pretty it up like making Boris Karloff look like Frankstein or even making my 1st wife and 25 lbs of make -up look like a Human being...Take Your Choice....LOL... Good Luck...
 

Barîb

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I had a readily available 240 volt power outlet in my shop when I bought my 120 volt 80 amp Klutch stick welder (TIG-capable if you buy all those expensive gas-welding components), and a 50' long 12 gauge extension cord. I wanted the portability of taking it anywhere to fix broken stuff.
However, if you don't plan on using a welder anywhere but around the house, you really should get a 240 volt unit. I started welding on a gas engine Lincoln, but got my original electric welder experiences on a 240 volt unit that was called a "buzz box" by most folks, don't really remember the brand name. The adjustability and the depth of penetration are well worth going with a 240 volt unit.
Probably the Lincoln-Electric AC225 stick welder. They’re commonly called that.
 

Barîb

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A old welder I knew (mill rat) said something about with a Century and the way it pulses the electricity it does not weld smoothly or penetrate very well. I am with FHB you can never buy too big of a air compressor or too good of a welder. In 40 years I have worn out a 1/4 horse, 2 hp, two 5 hp compressors. I currently have a cast iron 7 hp. All name brand but not industrial units. My next one will be a Quincy industrial unit. My next welder will be a Miller.
Have to disagree with you here. I have the century fc-90, and I can tell you firsthand it is the best beginner machine you could buy (for FCAW). I wouldn’t go with mig for your first welder tbh. I recently bought a tig machine and while it’s fun it’s a pain in the rear to haul around all the bottles and cables. The fc-90 is like the best bang for your buck, I even custom made my go kart with it. Just get some wire and get welding don’t mess with gas… yet.
 
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madprofessor

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making my 1st wife and 25 lbs of make -up look like a Human being.
You were married to Tammie Faye Baker? The headache, the heartache, the pancake.
Probably the Lincoln-Electric AC225 stick welder.
That sounds exactly right, I think I remember seeing the Lincoln name in big letters on it, and pretty sure it was rated for 225 amps.
 

Denny

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I have had a few welders over the years. Started off at age 10 with a 110 Sears & Roebuck stick. Then next year 220 Sears stick. Then I got my used Lincoln Tombstone from a neighbor that is older than me. I have used Century, Snap On, Lincoln, Hobart and Miller migs along with some cheap Italian job mig. The Century and Snap On stunk when even compared to the Italian job. Always with gas. And that is over 40 years of experience talking. I still have my Tombstone and 220 Sears sticks. Got my Hobart 140 handler and Snap On migs too. Tried selling the Snappy a few times and no one was ever interested.
 

Barîb

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Didn’t even know snap-on made welders. That’s hilarious. Stick to tools snap-on 😆.
 

Denny

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Crack On doesn’t make welders. Century makes them. I have never been able to lay a decent looking bead with it. Nor has any of the many professional welders I know. They all say the machine is poop. But I will say I have never had a weld break with it. I have built or repaired many trailers with it. The times I tried to sell it when I told them it was made by Century they could not run away fast enough or tried to give me $100.00 for a machine I paid $2,200.00 for. It’s a 205 amp mig. I don’t think so.
 
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