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I Need A New Mig Welder, Budget £600 Ish, Recommendations?


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I have the portamig 185. cracking machine, so would recommend portamig. Downside is made to order so can take a few weeks. They had shortage of staff to make the transformers when I ordered mine so it was closer to two months!

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I have an industrial ESAB machine. Might be a bit above budget but its bloody good. It will weld virtually anything and is so smooth and stable in operation. It has never once misfed either and will make you look good!

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as stradacab, I use esab and for £600 you can get a REALLY REALLY good used esab machine!!! I paid £900 for my ESAB 400 amp, water cooled, synergic, remote feed machine which would have been over £5000 new 10 years ago!!! (it was the highest spec MIG you could buy from them at the time)

At the other end of the scale, I also have a 10 year old (bought new by me) ERA mig which is basically a sealey machine without the stickers. It's nowhere near the quality of the esab (its a "bodyshop machine") but its 210amp, cost me £400 brand new and has never missed a beat. It's still in daily use at Retropower and has probably run 40 odd 15kg rolls of wire in its time.

The main difference in use between these is the main power output, the esab is DC, and thyristor driven so is dead smooth, strikes up so cleanly and despite being a 400amp machine will weld a continuous bead on 0.8mm steel with no hint of trying to burn through, whereas the much smaller, single phase machine is much less sensitive and its AC output is not all that smooth and requires a very delicate touch on thin steel!

Edited by Retro Power
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I have the portamig 185. cracking machine, so would recommend portamig. Downside is made to order so can take a few weeks. They had shortage of staff to make the transformers when I ordered mine so it was closer to two months!

Yea the Portamig has a great following but the lead time worries me

I'd say go to your nearest BOC shop and see what they have on special. I have a Murex plant from them aswell as a BOC unit. I also got a lovely Murex plams a cutter from them too.

Just looking at a Murex but the amps don't seem to go below 40A so tricky for thin bodywork, although I like more amps to get penetration by spotting the welds rather than beading

I have an industrial ESAB machine. Might be a bit above budget but its bloody good. It will weld virtually anything and is so smooth and stable in operation. It has never once misfed either and will make you look good!

ESAB, that's a strange one as they look small and not able to carry a size 'Y' bottle ?

as stradacab, I use esab and for £600 you can get a REALLY REALLY good used esab machine!!! I paid £900 for my ESAB 400 amp, water cooled, synergic, remote feed machine which would have been over £5000 new 10 years ago!!! (it was the highest spec MIG you could buy from them at the time)

At the other end of the scale, I also have a 10 year old (bought new by me) ERA mig which is basically a sealey machine without the stickers. It's nowhere near the quality of the esab (its a "bodyshop machine") but its 210amp, cost me £400 brand new and has never missed a beat. It's still in daily use at Retropower and has probably run 40 odd 15kg rolls of wire in its time.

The main difference in use between these is the main power output, the esab is DC, and thyristor driven so is dead smooth, strikes up so cleanly and despite being a 400amp machine will weld a continuous bead on 0.8mm steel with no hint of trying to burn through, whereas the much smaller, single phase machine is much less sensitive and its AC output is not all that smooth and requires a very delicate touch on thin steel!

Remote wire feed probably a bit big but nice to have :) It has to be an AC machine but I do have 16 A plugs to run the plasma cutter in the garage so drawing slightly bigger amps is OK. I've no 3 phase

Sealey, everyone seems to have put me off them due to wire feed problems. I like the look of the motor on the feeder wire type ones as the Oxford and Portamig have

I've always run 0.8 wire too but swapping over to .6 needs to be as easy as possible, also I hate machines with a 1m power and earth cord and 2m torch

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I've heard nothing but good reports about the Portamig, everyone who's used one loved it.

There's also the Tec-arc 211 (which is a portamig215 just re-badged) that someone might have in stock, but check what comes with it as some places don't include the eurotorch as standard.

WeldEquip through the Migwelding forum get a lot of good reviews for sales and aftersale tech services, they also include a selection of extras with the welders like new gauges etc

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was weldequip I got mine from. Before his online shop. Was about 570 I seem to recall for the 185, eurotorch, regulator, spare tips and shrouds and a roll of wire. Plus 2 year guarantee. Very helpful guy.

Few years ago now tho.

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Thanks for all the replys

Looks like I'll be ringing weldequip when I've called in a few debts.

Is the spot weld timer a good addition to it?

Do I really need a 215 that welds 8mm or go for the 185 that does 6mm. Hmmm 6mm seems a bit small and I like POWER :-)

That Parweld XTM 171C MIG Welder looks similar to the 185 but what makes it cheaper.

Better give weldequip a ring I suppose.

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Portamig is the way to go defo.....its what i will be getting when my welder goes bang. Don't worry about the power the portamig has a 15% setting for body tin work. There british made using a high quality wire feed and the transformers have a 2 year warrenty with them. Also uses the Euro torch connnection, std is 3m but you can increse the length by just ordering a different umbilical if thats what you want.

Spoke to the guy at weldequip, top bloke, told me that the portamigs weremade to bridge the gap between the hobby welders and full pro.

Cheers

Chris

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Kev you only really need 0.8mm wire, we never use 0.6, you can happily weld 0.8mm steel with 0.8 wire, its all we use

I was worried about the wire feed in the ERP (i.e. sealey) machine too, but its never gone wrong in 10 years of very hard use. I think the smaller "hobby" machines up to 150 amp may use a smaller feed unit, though I'm not sure

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Hi Kev

If it helps any got myself a new mig from LTS in Blackburn for £250 complete with euro torch and is 200amp .I know its not any fancy name but does pulse ,spot and continuous and does a cracking weld . Does full tig kits as well for just over 300

Seriously worth a visit and local

Mick

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I have my new welder

It's an industrial SWP 220, according to weldequip its slightly better than the portamig.

Spot weld timer fitted as standard.

I like the fact it's got a metal wire feed mech and it's built like a tank

Had to get new 100% agron and argon/co2 bottles and that meant new regulators too.

Looks posh now though :-)

Needs a 16A supply but I put those in for the plasma cutter so happy days

It's a big boy, nearly as tall as a size Y bottle!

61C9E9D0-2946-4626-8840-5041D523D3DC-108

20D63D3A-6CA5-42AE-96A0-02521CB52BC2-108

EF4C3CB8-DBB2-4034-811D-EF598F8D02B0-108

Edited by Kevin Abbott
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How much did it cost you? I thought SWP didn't have a good rep but if weldequip are rating it above their own must be ok. Looked at one myself a couple of years ago but it wasn't that suitable for bodytin.

Have you got any of the specs on it?

Chris

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I didn't get mine from weldequip, I paid £450 for a six month old one as the bloke upgraded to the portable esab for site welding. He was told by him that it was better than the portamig.

I've not really looked at reviews. Hope I've not made a fubar

Some people say its a rebadged butters machine.

Weldequip bloke quote about them " if they were sh@te I wouldn't be selling them "

Hmmm. I'm at £450 for the welder. £200 for new argon and agron/co2 mix, £50 in new regulators and £25 in flowmeters

Seems I'm over budget!

The SWP is £639 new

Taken from weldequip site below

Specialised Welding Products Professional Line (orange casework) of European built MIGs have a proven track record for reliability and excellent weld performance throughout their voltage range, with a lovely smooth arc condition; weld from the thinnest materials like car bodywork up to more demanding tasks such as wrought iron work etc.

The 220 model is ideal for professional garage workshops, maintenance & light fabrication jobs, heavier home workshop use etc.

Features include:

Quality wire feed assembly - All metal, geared wire feed with a good sized motor for positive wire feeding and uniform welds.

Soft-Arc technology - Quad plate rectifier & smoothing capacitor bank give a lovely, smooth arc condition. Welds from just 15.5 Volts so performs brilliantly on very thin sheet metal.

12 Voltage settings for fine power control with a large, heavy duty selector switch fitted as standard.

Fully copper wound transformer & choke with twin-fan cooling system and 3 year warranty cover

Electronic spot-weld timer for consistent, repeat spot/plug weld results

Heavy duty (and we mean heavy!) rear wheels & front castors so the machine can be manoeuvred easily across uneven floors.

Supplied with:

3 Metre MB25 Type Euro-Torch Assembly

Twin Gauge Industrial Argon Gas Regulator

3 Metre quick-connect Earth Lead Assembly

Comprehensive 2 Year Warranty Cover

3 Year Main Transformer/Choke Warranty

Technical Specification:

Amps Range: 30A/15.5V 220A/25.0V

Supply Voltage: 230V Single Phase

Input Fuse: 25A @ Maximum 220 Amps (13/16A on lower ranges)

Duty Cycle @ 20%: 190 Amps

Duty Cycle @ 60%: 100 Amps

Duty Cycle @ 100%: 70 Amps

Voltage Steps: 12

Weldable Wire Sizes: 0.6mm 1.2mm

Wire Spool Sizes: 5kg (requires adaptor) - 15kg

Weight: 60kg

Dimensions: 830mmH x 302mmW x 780mmL

Protection: IP23S

Edited by Kevin Abbott
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Yeah get welding lets see what the results are!! Was looking at one from preston welding supplies, he said they were a made by someone else and rebadged. He had sold a few with no comebacks. They looked pretty good!! Reason i didnt buy was budget.

Cheers

Chris

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