I have a Millermatic 140 with Auto-Set and absolutely love how easy it is. Look at the door guide for the wire size and thickness and set it and go. Is very nice for when I haven't turned the machine on in months and can't remember the settings.

Now I will be moving "my hobbies" into a 20ft x 20ft by (maybe 15ft high shop) and want something that I can finally arc weld with. I grew up arc welding since my parents ran a welding company for 27+ years.

Machines I have used:
*Big Lincoln floor unit that looks exactly like their IdealArc 250
*Big miller unit that easily went 300Adc (not sure the model)
Both these units were used when we moved to that shop in 1994 and they still weld great today. These units really packed a punch and we even used 3/16 jet rod many times when making cutting boxes (5/8" steel) for oil rigs.
*Also used the Lincoln Diesel truck welders many times and the miller bobcats.

One issue now is I see the new inverter style welders have features like hot start, and arc force controls (dig).

Can someone explain how these hot start and arc force controls are any different then just turning up your machine a little bit with a remote and then turning it down after you got the weld started with a remote?

I have tig welded all of about 30 minutes on a machine in my college machine shop just to try it out.

I am wanting a machine that I can learn to tig weld mild steel, possibly aluminum but not sacrifice Arc welding functions (my main use).

I have been looking at the
-Miller Dynasty 200
-Miller Maxstar 200
-Miller CST 280
-Lincoln Invertec V205T
-Lincoln Invertec® V275-S

Looked at these too
**Lincoln Square Wave™ TIG 175 TIG Welder
**Lincoln Precision TIG® 225 TIG Welder

But they have a fixed length (less than 50ft ground lead).
Also they do not have any arc force type adjustments (if these are in fact a benefit?)

I want to be able to have the room with the leads to add on to my shop someday and need the leads to reach to top of the shop easily.

Also plan on putting a fence around the lot, but don't want to be dragging a heavy machine on a cart with a 100ft 230V extension cord if the ground only reaches 10 ft.

For tig work I will only be working in the shop, but want the ability to reach out and do quality work with the Arc welder with 6010 and 7018 (1/8") rod.

Would like to be able to practice more on plate tests and 6G (6" sch 40) to keep in practice and don't want to feel like my new machine is lacking compared to what I used in the past. Also would like to be able to work on these same tests with the Tig once I get use to it.

Anyone have any suggestions as to which welders would have all the stick features and also be easy to setup for tig and produce quality welds like for testing. Not that I will be trying to test with tig, I just want it to be capable of that good of quality without having to spend everyday with the machine to remember every little quark about it.

Thanks,
Clint