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Author: Subject: MIG welder for £350 - recommendations please
Steve Lovelock

posted on 6/4/13 at 09:33 PM Reply With Quote
MIG welder for £350 - recommendations please

Hello,

I am looking to buy a new MIG welder and have a budget of about £350. I have a refillable gas bottle but will need the gauges. I need to do the standard stuff associated with rebuilding a classic car. Any recommendations?

Steve

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imp paul

posted on 6/4/13 at 10:18 PM Reply With Quote
1 dont buy sip stay clear

2 you mite be best off getting a used mig like a esab or a murex or a Lincoln but Oxford or techarc are very good

3 if you could pay a little more i would buy a portamig there the mutz nuts and start as low as 15 amp all the way to 235 on a normal 240 volt supply with good back up and 5 year transformer warranty say no more also hand made in England at York

hope this mite help

cheers

paul

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Andybarbet

posted on 6/4/13 at 10:24 PM Reply With Quote
I may be able to get you a regulator to fit the bottle, let me have a look at work next week.

My parents live in Cheshunt so depending where you are i could drop it to them.& you could pick it up of its not too far ?

I will see what i can find.





Give a man a fish & it will feed him for a day, give him a fishing rod & you've saved a fish.

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skodaman

posted on 6/4/13 at 11:56 PM Reply With Quote
I'd second that about sip. I've got two of them. There's info info on google to get them working but still not great particularly on thin metal.





Skodaman

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spiderman

posted on 7/4/13 at 12:29 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by imp paul
1 dont buy sip stay clear

2 you mite be best off getting a used mig like a esab or a murex or a Lincoln but Oxford or techarc are very good

3 if you could pay a little more i would buy a portamig there the mutz nuts and start as low as 15 amp all the way to 235 on a normal 240 volt supply with good back up and 5 year transformer warranty say no more also hand made in England at York

hope this mite help

cheers

paul


Any of those available for £350?

I have a Clarke 151TE which has served me well, £312 inc VAT. Paid for itself many times over. The earth lead is a little on the short side but easily replaced with a longer one and easy to convert to use refillable bottles.

[Edited on 7/4/13 by spiderman]





Spider

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Litemoth

posted on 7/4/13 at 06:25 AM Reply With Quote
Clarke 160T Went through same exercise a few years ago and consensus was that it's a cracker. I've found it great.
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rusty nuts

posted on 7/4/13 at 07:23 AM Reply With Quote
My first MIG was an SIP Ideal 130 which was used and abused almost daily for ten years until the feed motor packed up . Brought a brand new Murex which was nothing but trouble,the company that I brought it off denied selling ever selling one even when I showed them the invoice.Have a look at Weldequip, they sell the Clarke machines but also recommend GYS Smartmig which they think will outsell the Clarke

[Edited on 7/4/13 by rusty nuts]

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imp paul

posted on 7/4/13 at 07:57 AM Reply With Quote
hi Steve at http://www.weldequip.com/ is the best place to get a good set up. but i know you have a budget ,but it would be worth saving a little more for a good bit of kit

best of luck

paul

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tompat3463

posted on 7/4/13 at 08:11 AM Reply With Quote
I've got a Clarke 110turbo and its decent. It's as old as the hills now and it's still going great. Easy to convert to refill gas bottles. I'm doing a mini and its works well for the thin material as long as u pulse weld and don't try a long weld.

Think the 110turbo goes down to 30amps so if u could get one that goes lower u will be laughing !

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sdh2903

posted on 7/4/13 at 08:26 AM Reply With Quote
again recommend weldequip. For 350 you could get either the Clarke 160 or a GYS smartmig 162, both will go down to 30A for thin stuff. The smartmig is apparently a cracking machine and has a smart setup panel where you dial in material and wire thickness and it does the rest. Both of these are designed for use with big bottles and the smartmig also has a gasless mode.

If you did want to splash a bit more cash the portamig machines are brilliant, much easier to work with compared to the lower budget machines.

[Edited on 7/4/13 by sdh2903]






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deezee

posted on 7/4/13 at 09:13 AM Reply With Quote
I have a Clarke 160TM which I find to be a great welder. Very flexible and very easy to get spare parts for. You can get them from Weldequip, but I got mine from Machine Mart on a VAT free day, so cost me around the £280 mark. Then I got my gas and 0.6 and 0.8 wires, plus some spares for the torch.

I do find the supplied cables a little too short so a Eurotorch model would be preferred, but I only use it in the garage, so its not the end of the world.






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Litemoth

posted on 7/4/13 at 09:27 AM Reply With Quote
I converted the 160T to Euro connector torch to make consumables easier and cheaper to get hold of as it's got a dedicated torch. Not a problem necessarily.

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=14323

I'd recommend getting one locally of you can. Pop in to your local welding supplies place and have a chat.
The problem with buying welders from afar is that you can't just put them in a jiffy bag and return them when they go wrong. These 'Domestic' welders are built to a price and you're dealing with the toy end of the market compared to the ESAB and MUREX machines that are engineered very differently and will run all day, every day, without fault....mostly.

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b14wrc

posted on 7/4/13 at 10:39 AM Reply With Quote
Hi, I have just bought a Parweld 170 from BOC, it was a bit more than £350 but well worth the investment, I am getting very good results from it. I changed from a SIP 105t. Figured if I got it from BOC they are on my door step if any thing goes wrong plus they supply my gas.

Rob






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Steve Lovelock

posted on 8/4/13 at 06:39 AM Reply With Quote
Thanks for all the replies. I have just sold an old ESAB because it was tired and every time the welder jammed at the torch the feeder jammed too which meant a strip down. As a result I am reluctant to buy another old welder so the ESAB quality of machine is out of reach. I like the Clarke and the smartmig. I am a little worried that the set up panel on the smartmig is a bit gimmicky, what happens when it gets a bit dirty from general garage life, will it become difficult to use? If I was confident that this is something to ignore then that machine would be the winner as I don't always know the ideal settings. I presume that the machine sets the gas flow rate as well as that is one area I am conscious that I frequently get wrong?

I will talk to Weldequip again, although I didnít get a particularly positive response from my initial email.

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Litemoth

posted on 8/4/13 at 08:34 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Lovelock
Thanks for all the replies. I have just sold an old ESAB because it was tired and every time the welder jammed at the torch the feeder jammed too which meant a strip down. As a result I am reluctant to buy another old welder so the ESAB quality of machine is out of reach. I like the Clarke and the smartmig. I am a little worried that the set up panel on the smartmig is a bit gimmicky, what happens when it gets a bit dirty from general garage life, will it become difficult to use? If I was confident that this is something to ignore then that machine would be the winner as I don't always know the ideal settings. I presume that the machine sets the gas flow rate as well as that is one area I am conscious that I frequently get wrong?

I will talk to Weldequip again, although I didnít get a particularly positive response from my initial email.


I found the same thing with weldequip a couple of years ago when I was trying to sort out a torch for mine. A darling of the the mig welding forum but ......Machine Mart do Clarke and they've got a counter and a man you can bark at.

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Steve Lovelock

posted on 12/4/13 at 06:13 AM Reply With Quote
I had a further email conversation with Weldequip and he was more responsive so I was set on the GYS SmartMIG and had decided to order it the day before yesterday when a VAT free card came from Machine Mart. Now I like the GYS for two reasons:

1) Eurotorch (although I'm not sure why exactly)
2) Set-up panel (I have been welding for many years but am self taught and often clueless so the guidance appeals)

But, the GUS SmartMIG 162 when ordered with the regulators is £400 and for that on a VAT free day I could get a Clarke 175TECM. No Eurotorch and set-up panel but it seems more substantial. Hell, I've gone this far I could probably go for MIG205TE for £40 more.

Then I started thinking that this is ridiculous, I'm not the Bank of England so I could go for the MIG 165TEM at £330 and save some precious money for other tool based toys.

So the choice is:

GYS SmartMIG £400
Clarke 175TECM £400
Clarke 205TE £440
Clarke 165TEM £330

I now have a scrambled brain and would recommend some advice as I need to get this sorted. Recommendations please.

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cliftyhanger

posted on 12/4/13 at 07:00 AM Reply With Quote
Do a quick sanity check.

What is the thickest stuff you will be welding?
How often will it be used?

I went through all this and ended up with a clarke 150 off ebay for £200. Gasless as that is what I needed for outside use.

Will have a serious go at 6mm thick stuff if done with cars. And when we tacked some 8mm stuff together (engine mounts) my friend was impressed, but his work arc welder was rather better to be honest.

EDIT BNIB CLARKE 13AMP - 150AMP NO GAS - GAS MIG WELD WELDER &' KIT | eBay
That is the one I got. Been marvellous for the past 4 years. Done plenty of work on my old cars. And a few other jobs too.......

[Edited on 12/4/13 by cliftyhanger]

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Litemoth

posted on 12/4/13 at 08:32 AM Reply With Quote
My two penneth ...


I'm sure we've all been here.... for another £40 I can get this, but then for another £60 can get a professional version, but then for a £100 I can get one that does the lot and will re-sell better...and on it goes. Car buying is the worst example of this scenario.

My advice would be to get the one that will do the jobs you are likely to need it for and no more. (providing it's reliable and easily maintained).

If you are likely to be welding hours a day, day in day out, then spend more money on a 'better' welder but the reality is, most of us are just playing at it and don't need the heft.


I've got a Clarke 165 and a 180 Amp stick welder and I've welded lots and welded some really heavy stuff. The duty cycle on the stick welder could be better but otherwise I haven't felt that I've needed an upgrade.

Get the cheapest on your list and spend the difference on a welding course at your local college - you'll get more out of it.

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J666AYP

posted on 14/4/18 at 06:34 PM Reply With Quote
I'm using a R-tech unit as my clarke give up the ghost. Was about £350-400 IIRC.

Great bit of kit, even a muppet like me can weld with it.

Jay

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MikeR

posted on 14/4/18 at 07:24 PM Reply With Quote
What power supply do you have? Some of those are going to need more than 13amps. Have you factored in the electrics?

I've got a 151 from about 10 to 15 years ago. Works fine. Wouldn't like to body work as I'm not convinced it goes low enough (but I've never tried). If you're doing body work id focus on min amps. If it goes low enough then it probably also goes high enough.

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steve m

posted on 14/4/18 at 08:29 PM Reply With Quote
In the 5 years since this post, I think Tig is the way to go, not mig







Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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MikeR

posted on 14/4/18 at 10:05 PM Reply With Quote
I hadn't noticed dates when I replied on my phone!!!
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