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What to buy? MM135 or 140, maybe 175 or 180

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  • What to buy? MM135 or 140, maybe 175 or 180

    I'm brand new to the forum, and to "hobby" and Farm/Home welding. Have built a couple of things using a Thunderbolt XL 235 AC/DC I bought used (I do like that machine!) and an el-cheapo Campbell-Hausfeld MIG 80 that is going to be replaced soonest.

    First question is, given the Thunderbolt, would a better companion piece be the MM135/140 class or the MM175/180 class machine. I want something for thinner gauge stuff than I can handle with the TB. I think the 135/140 would cover the need, but I like the greater capacity overlap I (think I) see in the 175/180 machine. 240v supply power is not an obstacle.

    Money is not crucial, but I'd just as soon not throw any away unnecessarily. So, beyond the welder size question, are there enough differences between the 135 and 140 (likewise the 175 and 180) to warrant paying extra for the later model, or does it make sense to look for (hopefully) deeper discounts as the older model is flushed from the supply chain? In other words, are there enough extra features, convenience and/or performance, for the hobbyist/home owner/non-pro, to make it worth paying the extra tariff for the later 140 or 180 model.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Go with the larger one, you won't regret it.
    If you can stand it, seriously consider the MM210!

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    • #3
      Hobart Handler 187 or Millermatic 210 (if I just needed to spend the extra money).

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      • #4
        I have a hh175 and like it very much.

        one thing to thing about is input power. If you use the new mig near the thunderbolt, you may want to stick with the 220v machine . otherwise, you may need to run a new outlet with a bigger 120v breaker. the 135 may pop the 120v breaker you are using at the location (15a ??)

        or depending on the plug on the machine, you may need a new outlet. My milller plasma cutter caused me that problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          Mm210

          If your at all serious about welding and can afford the little extra go for the MM210; you will later on be glad you did. Better resale value, greater capability and a better value. Never saw a bad word on it and seldom if ever see a used one advertised. Do a search on this and the Hobart board to see what others have to say about it. Dan in particular has posted many times and in extensive detail on it's capability. It is worth your time to read them. I would not part with mine. Also check the Miller Motor Sports board. http://www.millerwelds.com/education...isplay.php?f=2
          Harold

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          • #6
            Originally posted by harold View Post
            If your at all serious about welding and can afford the little extra go for the MM210; you will later on be glad you did.
            ...
            Thanks, Harold. It sorta depends on what you mean by "serious". My intent is to be able to handle repairs as needed around the place and on my tractor and implements, build a few things now and then as the mood strikes, etc. I'm not looking to it as a profession, trade, or as any kind of income producer. Rather, along with my woodshop, I expect it to keep me off the street corners while I live off my pension and investments during my retirement.

            The MM210 does look like a very capable piece of equipment, and I appreciate your comments. I'd certainly like to have one, but, trying to be practical, it looks like it's a bit more welder than really needed. And, from a cost viewpoint, I do need to at least give the appearance of trying to keep SWMBO happy. If I didn't already have the Thunderbolt, the MM210 would be an obvious choice.

            As it is, I've about settled on something like a MM 175 or 180 or a Hobart 187 (with strong leanings toward the MM). Still more than I really need, but not quite as much overkill as a 210 would be. Really wondering about the differences between the 175 and 180 and whether, for my needs, those differences are worth the price differential - especially considering that the 180 is too new for there to be anything available in the "pre-owned" market.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by openboater View Post
              I have a hh175 and like it very much.

              one thing to thing about is input power. If you use the new mig near the thunderbolt, you may want to stick with the 220v machine . otherwise, you may need to run a new outlet with a bigger 120v breaker. the 135 may pop the 120v breaker you are using at the location (15a ??)

              or depending on the plug on the machine, you may need a new outlet. My milller plasma cutter caused me that problem.
              I recently ran a circuit for the Thunderbolt, 6 ga wire, 2 hots with ground, so it only has 240 available. I could add a neutral conductor to the circuit and get 120, but probably won't, especially since a 240v welder (MM175/180 or Hobart 187) is the leading contender. I'll either have to add a new receptacle to the circuit, replace the plug on the new machine, or build a pigtail adapter.

              Probably the simplest approach would be to make everything compatible with the 50 amp 120/240 volt outlet on my 11 KVA PTO generator. Then I could use either welder anywhere I could get the tractor.

              Comment


              • #8
                MIG Welders

                The nice thing about the Miller 180 is that the voltage control is not restricted to 4 or 5 preset voltage choices. Also, they now have an automatic wire speed control so you can set the voltage and then let'er rip!
                You really get more for your money...if you really want to save a few dollars, the Miller 140 won't let you down.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you must have blue then the MM180 will be a good performer as you can now turn off the wire speed tracking (the fact that I couldn't turn it off was the reason sold my MM175 after only having it a few months). According to all reports on the HH187, it's a better performer (by a little at least), is cheaper, has the same great warrenty ... either one will last a lifetime doing around-the-house type stuff.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sundown View Post
                    If you must have blue then the MM180 will be a good performer as you can now turn off the wire speed tracking (the fact that I couldn't turn it off was the reason sold my MM175 after only having it a few months). According to all reports on the HH187, it's a better performer (by a little at least), is cheaper, has the same great warrenty ... either one will last a lifetime doing around-the-house type stuff.
                    I'm leaning toward, but not locked in on the blue box simply because I'm so very pleased with the Thunderbolt XL 225 AC/DC I picked up (from a pawn shop, no less). The previous owner had spliced in some additional length in the work cables, but I discarded those and had new cables made at an LWS (I've seen that term in several posts and am assuming it means "Local Weld Shop"). I don't trust electrical splices made with duct tape. Other than that, it appears to be in pretty good shape. At least it works better than I do.

                    Your comment about the wire speed tracking is very interesting. I've downloaded copies of the owner's manuals for the 175 and the 180 (probably should get one for the HH187 also) and haven't seen any mention in the 175 manual about wire speed tracking. The 180 manual goes into detail about how to operate with and without tracking mode set. But from the 175 manual I'd never suspect that it had that feature.

                    Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The strange thing is that it was not in the MM175 operators manual to my knowledge, it was however mentioned on the summary page on the Miller website while it was a current model. You need to be aware that the Hobart 175/180/187 models also have wire speed tracking, the difference is that on tapped models it seems to be a help, or at least it is not a problem IMHO. If you go used the only one to stay away from would be the Hobart 180 model as the top two taps produce a somewhat harsh arc, to be fair I have to say that the first two taps can produce a very nice arc. Best is to test out the models you are interested in buying so you can decide for yourself which you like.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Compared to the MM 175, the MM 180 is worth the small extra cost that may exist between the two units. The MM 180 is far better in the areas of arc starts and tuning in a quality metal transfer. The 180 also has a much better top end. I don't just mean the extra 5 amps. The 180 also outputs a higher top end voltage. More top end amperage and voltage translate into more top end power. I guess a simplier way to put this would be to state that the 180 is a better 1/4" unit.

                        I personally like the HH 187 a little better then the MM 180. Why? Mostly because the 187 wets the weld puddle out a little better. Especially on the top end. The 187 also produces a much lighter level of spatter at the top end too.

                        In the end, if you go with the MM 180 or the HH 187 you'll end up with a good unit. I definitely don't recommend the MM 175 or HH 180.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A few things I've learned about this crazy hobby we have. Once you buy GOOD welding equipment, you have it for life. Buy cheap cry three times, buy the best and cry once. Why 3 times? You cry when you realize it's inadequate and for a couple of hundred more you could'a had real tools, again when you have to pay again to replace it and the third time when you have to give the junker away to get rid of it.
                          If you can afford to buy a MM210, buy it. Once you have a welding shop put together, you'll find uses for it, I promise.
                          Ronnie

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                          • #14
                            "Cry once or cry thrice" - Yeah, BTDT in my woodshop.

                            Seems to be a fairly consistent thread of "bigger is better" in the responses. OK, you guys remind me a lot of a neighbor of mine - awfully free with spending my money - but you've got me looking at the next larger class.

                            There doesn't seem to be as big a percentage differential between street prices for the MM210 and the Hobart 210 as there is for the smaller machines. Is there any particular reason to consider the Hobart over the Millermatic? Or vice versa?

                            Now for the important question, which one of you is going to explain this to my wife???

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TomVeatch View Post
                              "Cry once or cry thrice" - Yeah, BTDT in my woodshop.

                              Seems to be a fairly consistent thread of "bigger is better" in the responses. OK, you guys remind me a lot of a neighbor of mine - awfully free with spending my money - but you've got me looking at the next larger class.

                              There doesn't seem to be as big a percentage differential between street prices for the MM210 and the Hobart 210 as there is for the smaller machines. Is there any particular reason to consider the Hobart over the Millermatic? Or vice versa?

                              Now for the important question, which one of you is going to explain this to my wife???
                              The IM210 is a nice machine I think, however the MM210 has a better duty cycle, better wire drive system, better gun, plug and play spoolgun setup, etc ... in other words it's worth the extra money to most who buy in this class.

                              About telling your wife, my dad told me to never interfear (fear, get it ) ...

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