Help choosing a budget MIG welder for infrequent use

  1. dobson156 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    uk
    Hi,

    I have a project which requires me to joined 2-5mm mild steel together (mostly the on the thinner side). However after this project my need to weld will probably be quite infrequent.

    I'll be honest I don't currently know how to weld, so a part of this project is going to be a huge (and hopefully exciting) learning experience.

    I've done some research and the conclusion I came to is that to weld on a tight budget that an Arc welder would be the most appropriate as the unit is basically 'just' a power supply and there is very little additional equipment.

    However I have also heard that for working with thinner sheet metal MIG is just better for the job and I'll be able to make a useable join quicker. Is that correct?

    If that is true, can anyone give me any recommendations on a dirt cheap MIG welder. I reckon on of the gasless core-flux models are probably going to be what my budget can handle.

    I've seen these:

    Mightymig90
    https://www.tradecounterdirect.com/...F8_Z11L1Wvk_W5RMj2WmmRj59v9h8FagaAq-jEALw_wcB

    Mightmig100
    https://www.tradecounterdirect.com/...-mig-welder-100amp-230v_mightymig-no-gas.html

    Clark MIG102
    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cla...Doh3K5_aH9UGFRyRT_wimx6yU7Ay_lOcaArIFEALw_wcB

    Are these all unusable junk, or will it do the job for a beginner and infrequent use.

    Is there a better cheap option?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,941
    Wiltshire, UK
    What is the project and how critical will the quality of the welds be?
    None of those will weld 5mm steel properly, they’ll just about cope with 2mm with decent prep.
    If you want to go down the mig route you’ll have to up your budget and get something significantly bigger or just get an arc welder.
     
  3. eddie49 Member

    Those two Sealey MIGs have a very limited choice of power settings. The "90" offers 40A or 90A, and the "100" only has two steps - 55A or 100A !
    The Clarke is a little better, starting at a minimum of 35 Amps. Welding thin metal, especially if it is weakened by grinding to remove rust, requires low settings.
    You may want to consider this welder, which, being an inverter rather than transformer-based, offers continuously variable power ranges:
    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum...igbt-160-amp-mig-welder-mma-euro-torch.88278/
    That machine can also do arc welding.
     
  4. dobson156 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    uk
    I am modify a smoker, ie a BBQ for slow cooking. The load bearing and asthetic qualities of the welds are not important in the slightest, they ideally need to create a good seal though.

    To be honest 5mm was just to give me some head room. I think 3mm is a more reasonable max.

    What would you recommend, do you think arc is better for my budget and application?

    What sort of price/ampage would I need to go to weld up to 5mm?
     
  5. dobson156 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    uk
  6. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    2,424
    Location:
    Cumbria
    you need a good 180 amps to weld 5mm properly. Sure you can glue things together with less power, but it will be asthetic welding only.

    a decent quality 160amp+ machine will do the 3mm that you need, but honestly I'd be looking for a 180amp machine - and not the cheapest on amazon, either! I'd budget £300-500.
     
  7. hunter27

    hunter27 Pete

    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    Lancashire UK
    Or look out for a good used welder of a well known brand.
    I prefer to buy used stuff in good condition from well known makes and for similar prices to brand new cheap tools.

    After struggling with my first new budget MIG for years I bought a used Cebora Boxer 175, It is massive in comparison but is so much nicer and easier to use and is still going strong after having it probably 20years+
    Pete
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  8. arther dailey

    arther dailey Member

    Messages:
    4,039
    Location:
    England
    clarke 151 used,anywhere between £175 and £225 depending on condition.
     
    fixerupper likes this.
  9. dobson156 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    uk
    Thanks Arther, I found 2nd hand (although in basically unused condition) 151en and offered 175 for it which the seller accepted :)
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  10. arther dailey

    arther dailey Member

    Messages:
    4,039
    Location:
    England
    Result ! good tool:)
     
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