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What is the ideal starter welding rig? Cheapest entry. Just to try out for simple jobs. Mild backyard stuff.

asked Nov 26 '12 at 16:23

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly

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Miller 140. USED

Can be had for about $300 with a gas setup. Easy to understand, use, and repair. Special bonus, anyone tha actually knows how to weld won't laugh at you when you show them your rig and ask for some help. I'm a choir director and I learned how to weld on this unit and have made all necessary repairs and adjustments with a minimum of effort or instruction.


answered Nov 26 '12 at 19:03

Musicman's gravatar image


The new Thermal Arc inverter rigs win hands down for price/performance. See 161i, 181i, etc. Do you need a spoolgun compatible for Al?

BTW, from a pro fabricator for 20+ years.


answered Nov 26 '12 at 19:01

epistememe's gravatar image


A lot of people go with the Lincoln 110/220 because of the price point and because it is what a lot of places keep in stock. Having worked with several of them, I would never recommend them. They are too inconsistent and for anything more than a hobby, just not good enough quality.

Miller's buzz box on the other hand is a great machine, obviously more expensive and maybe out of the price range of a "starter" but if you are going to be doing any solid work. I have used it in professional settings on weight baring projects and was very pleased.


answered Nov 26 '12 at 18:35

sparkplug49's gravatar image



The Harbor Freight 90 amp flux core welder will meet many beginners' needs. It currently has a 4 out of 5 star review rating from 101 reviewers on HarborFreight.com


answered Nov 26 '12 at 17:03

David%20Holland's gravatar image

David Holland

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Asked: Nov 26 '12 at 16:23

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Last updated: Dec 02 '12 at 00:34

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