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Thread: I might be overthinking it, could use some help choosing a welder

  1. Default I might be overthinking it, could use some help choosing a welder

    Hello everyone and thanks for allowing me into the forum,
    I am in the market for a new welding setup. I currently have a small hobart handler 140 that i share with my dad which recently has proven to be lacking in features and power. Currently i am building a shop and would like to have something more capable and versatile. There are several units around that tick almost all the boxes but nothing i have found that ticks them all and i'm starting to feel like i'm looking for a bigfoot welder. i am looking for a welder capable of building an aluminum boat. but i also want to be able to do other projects (steel and possibly stainless) welding machines have changed alot in the last 10 years since i bought my last one and i am overwhelmed by all the features they offer especially with all the multi process welders. some help sorting things out would be much appreciated

    for me the perfect welder would be the following:

    pulse mig
    push pul capable
    ac/dc tig preferably with pulse functionality
    either stick or plasma would be fine but neither that important
    high output for the days i want to put in long hours
    synergic capabilities

    let me know if i somehow just overlooked the right unit or if possibly i am better off purchasing 2 more focused welders to achieve the same. do i even need pulse? Im not doing this to make a living so i am not looking to spend a fortune

    so far i have looked at the following:
    Miller Multimatic 255
    esab rebel 205ic

    everlast models

    lightning mts 275
    power i-mig 253 dpi
    power i-mig 275p

    Please any help is appreciated!

  2. #2


    What are you going to be doing exactly?

  3. Default

    my hope is that i will be able to use it for fabrication of a all aluminum boat that comes as a CNC kit as well as any other projects that come up

  4. #4


    You are going to have to decide how important pulse MIG is to you, or whether you really need pulse TIG if you have pulse MIG (in most cases, you can do without the TIG if you have pulse MIG and can operate it properly). Pulse MIG requires less skill to use, but requires the equivalent knowledge and understanding of the pulse process. And no, on the 275P Power i MIG, since you have to set it manually, which compounds the difficulty and is for really experienced users if you want to take advantage of the pusle MIG aspect.

  5. Default

    I suppose the pulse on the TIG portion is more of a want to try and not a need to have, although it would be nice to have the option of aluminum TIG. I am not against purchasing a more purpose built machine for TIG down the road if it makes more sense. my guess is that 80 to 90% of the time i will be using MIG with or without pulse. i will admit i have never actually used pulse but i am very intrigued by the process and its application for building an aluminum boat

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