Welder purchase

Jareth

Well-Known Member
Men should have a welder, I don’t :(

I have never welded any thing befor, ok so maybe be once when I was careless installing a car battery once.

Would this be ok for my minimal welding needs that I may want to do, some diamond plate floorboards, seat supports, and maybe some mounting tabs for a few things?



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r3drckt

Well-Known Member
Should do just fine. I got the Titanium Easy Flux from HF during a sale around Christmas for $170. Between the 2, I liked the adjustability of wire feed settings and voltage for the Titanium that the Chicago Electric didn’t have. The Titanium also had a nice cheat sheet for settings based on the metal thickness you’re welding. Right under the lid where the wire is. Pretty convenience for us novice welders.
 

Brett

Well-Known Member
I've heard those base model Harbor Freight models are hit and miss.

I have a Hobart Handler 140 for the past 10 years and it will do what you have listed.

Harbor Freight now has some higher end welders that are supposedly much better but I have no experience with them.

I only fire up the Hobart about once every six weeks so take my input for what its worth ;-)
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
As long as your diamond plate is steel, it will work.
Aluminum welding is different. I bought a TIG welder so I could weld multiple metals, but still prefer MIG for steel and speed.
That will get you started in welding. Where it takes you, is up to you.
 

Towerdog

Goblin Guru
I would agree with Brett and go w a Hobart. Alot of the HF welders are flux core wire only and that stuff is a disaster to weld with. I've had a Hobart for over 30 years with no problems. Plus they hold their value better.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Goblin Guru
Jareth, if you need an inexpensive beginners welder to learn how to weld, the basic HF (Chicago) will get you there. I had one of those for 20 years to do small projects and it worked just fine. If after you get some skills at welding, with better understanding of wire feed speed and heat, although the Chicago has only Min and Max, you can always get a more expensive welder with more features. It all depends upon how many $$$ you want to spend versus the amount and type of usage will need it for. :)
 

CodyP

Active Member
Keep in mind that the Harbor Freight flux welders are made for simple repairs and never were intended for large projects. From what I've read and can remember, the problem is that the polarity is reversed because they lack certain parts(capacitors, inverter, larger ground/leads, etc). That being said, even though they splatter and make more of a messy weld than other branded machines using the same wire, with practice and a couple of upgrades they can be decent. You can Google upgrades for them. If you want an easy setup and good looking welds from the start and have a little higher budget, go with a Hobart or Lincoln mig welder. MIG incorporates a shield gas around the weld and keeps the spatter down. If you don't want to mess with gas and still want a low end machine, the Hobart and Lincoln flux core welders still make cleaner/easier welds than the Harbor Freight one. Save yourself a headache and spend a little more upfront for the Hobart. Then buy the accessories from HF like helmet, gloves, chipping hammer, wire brush, clamps, magnets, wire, gas, and you'll save money. Hope that helps.
 

Jareth

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, for my first welder I think I’ll need to get an inexpensive one.

And during some research today I found another option to consider instead of diamond plate?

 
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Lonny

Administrator
Staff member
You may be able to find a used welder on Facebook or Craigslist that somebody bought from HF.
Or a good deal on a used big machine. One of the Hobart's we use was a used machine and works great and was only a few hundred bucks.
 

Goblin Graber

Well-Known Member
Nothing wrong with a HF welder...just don’t get that one. Step up to a Titanium or a Vulcan with shielding gas. I have an Omnipro 220 and it’s nicer than any other MIG welder I’ve owned. Just dial in a material thickness abs go to town.
 

Towerdog

Goblin Guru
Thanks guys, for my first welder I think I’ll need to get an inexpensive one.

And during some research today I found another option to consider instead of diamond plate?

If you order them as rear mats they would only be $80.
 

ccannx

Goblin Guru
If you buy a cheap welder and learn how to weld with it you will be a pro when you decide to get a nice one... This Hobart is under 250$ and it will be easy to sell later if you want a bigger one. Plus you wont feel like you wasted 200 dollars on a piece of junk like I did off Amazon. Hobart
 

Jareth

Well-Known Member
If you buy a cheap welder and learn how to weld with it you will be a pro when you decide to get a nice one... This Hobart is under 250$ and it will be easy to sell later if you want a bigger one. Plus you wont feel like you wasted 200 dollars on a piece of junk like I did off Amazon. Hobart
I agree, it will unfortunately be months until I need one so I will keep my eyes out for a used one on CL & Facebook Marketplace.
 
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