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Its time to dump my ancient stick welder and get a new machine, and the Black Friday deals are luring me in. I've been eyeballing the Miller Multimatic 215 which does MIG, TIG, and stick. Its a hobbyist machine since it only does DC TIG and uses a lift start. With a spool gun you can MIG aluminum. Current deals will get you both torches, a spool gun and a descent helmet for around $1900 from Bakers Gas.
HOWEVER, Miller just introduced a new Multimatic called the 220. It is a definite step up from the 215. The 220 does AC and DC TIG so you can TIG aluminum and it has high frequency TIG start. It has a nifty little feature where you can take it off automatic and set it to pulse at .7 to 1 second so you can learn the rhythm to add the rod. This machine is available with both torches and a descent helmet for a little under $3k.

Neither one could be considered cheap. I'm concerned that I may have a tough time learning TIG, as it does take a lot of practice and a bit of coordination to use both hands and a foot pedal.

guess if you disregard brand and price there isn't much to talk about- just go with the 220. The brand is good and the price is high, but is it worth it? What would you TIG welders do?

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I bought the Miller 252 ,not my first choice though ,i originally had a Snap on that is actually a lincoln . It was actually the best welder i had for light gauge sheet metal with stitch weld and spot timer . It was quite a bit more than the miller to replace so i went with the miller . The miller isnt as easy to weld light gauge but if you ad a tweeco gun it does do better. I hated mine untill i changed to the tweeco gun . Once you get used to the miller it does a good job. They do like very clean metal ,no paint or primer or rust ,the cleaner the metal the nicer the weld. The 252 is also a stick welder with a spool gun available ,that will be my next purchase 

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A few years back I was looking into a multi process welder, until I checked with my welding instructor buddy and his Miller employee buddy. I was told to avoid the multi use welders as they are a compromise and don't do any one type of welding very well. 

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1 hour ago, RPM said:

A few years back I was looking into a multi process welder, until I checked with my welding instructor buddy and his Miller employee buddy. I was told to avoid the multi use welders as they are a compromise and don't do any one type of welding very well. 

Thanks RPM, I've gotten that exact response on another forum and now you just confirmed it for me.

Given that my current thinking is a Miller 211 MIG and a Alpha TIG 200x. The Alpha seems to be the most bang for the buck but it needs a different foot pedal and torch to make it shine. The Miller gets excellent reviews while the Alpha is rated good, and the package still comes in $500 less than the Multimatic after pedals torches and helmets are considered.

Comments anyone?

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I have the miller syncrowave 180 sd tig ,it i a light duty tig but i did build a aluminumbed for a 66 ford pre runner pick up with it . 

About a month after i bought it the circuit  board went out ,cost me $180 for the new upgraded board and later found out most of that was labor ...and the damn thing just plugs in !!. Been a good welder since but a lot of welding and you will need a water cooled gun . The little welding i do with it now i get away with

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Haven't you ever welded with oxy-acetylene torches?  Same or similar technique.  I've only TIG welded a couple of times and it was easier than welding with oxy-acetylene torches.  Here's a bit of a tip.  Those stack-of-dimes weld beads that so many fabricators strive for are not the strongest type of bead.  The valleys in those beads cause stress risers just like the sharp inside corner of a bracket or something else.  AWS has dimension limits on peaks and valleys in a weld bead.  Inspectors will make the welder grind off and reweld beads that look like a stack-of -dimes.

2 hours ago, RPM said:

A few years back I was looking into a multi process welder, until I checked with my welding instructor buddy and his Miller employee buddy. I was told to avoid the multi use welders as they are a compromise and don't do any one type of welding very well. 

That's too bad but it makes sense.

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I have MIG, TIG, stick, oxy, spot welder etc.

You can do almost everything you need with just MIG (using Al gun for Al) if you are only going to use the welder around the home and on your car projects.

My question is, do you really need a TIG? 

 

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Yes ,i dont know why ,but yes haha .with a spool gun you can weld almost anything though  ,the nice part is you can buy the small spools of what ever wire you may need at the time so if you have just a bit of aluminum to weld you dont have to buy a big roll and have it just laying around collecting dust

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5 hours ago, aslanefe said:

I have MIG, TIG, stick, oxy, spot welder etc.

You can do almost everything you need with just MIG (using Al gun for Al) if you are only going to use the welder around the home and on your car projects.

My question is, do you really need a TIG? 

 

I probably don't need TIG. I have some panel gaping to do and a repair on one door that needs cutting out and replaced. Then I was thinking of inner rockers and subframe connectors. There are some things I want to make for the house, but TIG probably isn't a necessity...I just want it.

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I have the Lincoln Weld Pak 155 that I purchased right after I acquired my 69 Coupe project back in 2001. Shortly after purchasing the welder I converted it to gas. I have been able to do all the welding needed on my 69 Coupe with this machine. I did have to run a 220V line for the welder but my compressor uses the same voltage so it was ok. 

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