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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Question 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!
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    141

    Default

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    1,788

    Default

    Hobart Handler 187 or Millermatic 210 (if I just needed to spend the extra money).
    Regards, George

    Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
    Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
    Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

    Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
    Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    upstate ny
    Posts
    4

    Default

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fallbrook CA
    Posts
    20

    Default 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
    Harold
    Craftsman Colormatic AC
    Victor Journyman Setup
    Syncrowave 180 SD
    MM210 With Spoolgun
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
    Miller HD Tape Measure

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote 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.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote 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.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bertram TX
    Posts
    157

    Default 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    1,788

    Default

    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.
    Regards, George

    Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
    Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
    Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

    Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
    Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote 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!
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS

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