Choosing the right MIG welder for your home or business is not about taking home the most expensive item on the market.
Whether you are a beginner welder or a seasoned pro, your success depends upon purchasing the right welding equipment based on your needs.
Is the welding equipment for home DIY projects, hobbies or a source of income?
MIG welders are an investment. And, like any investment, you want to see a return on your money.
Before you make any purchase, take a serious look at the Millermatic MIG welders from Miller Welds. Based on the company history and philosophy, their continued effort towards innovation and improvement, the Millermatic MIG welders should be in anyone’s top list of reliable, quality welders.
Popular Mechanics writer Nicholas Wicks says this about the Millermatic line when reviewing to the best wire feed welders on the market:
“Great power and a well-earned reputation for top performance makes Miller a sure bet.”
Miller Welds is an Industry Leader
Miller is proud of their customer focused, solution-based engineering. The company is constantly improving their products and building on their successes.
Born out of their humble beginnings in a desperate time in American history, always working towards an unparalleled reputation among their customers is part of the Miller Welds company culture, and it shows.
Miller Welds was founded in 1929 as a one man shop in Appleton, Wisconsin. It was the year of The Great Stock Market Crash and Black Tuesday. From those humble beginnings and dark times, Miller has become a world leader in welding gear by maintaining a company philosophy that focuses on continued product innovation centered around the user’s experience in the field.
Miller Welds designs products with the user in mind. You may be working in manufacturing, fabrication, construction, aviation, motorsports, education, or agriculture. To them, it’s a partnership with the user.
It is a partnership between Miller Welds and the welder that is based trust from ongoing reliability, technological improvements and quality. As a direct result of the company’s focus on never ending improvement on processes, standards and consistency, in 1993, Miller Welds became the first U.S welding manufacturer to comply with the ISO 9001 standard.
This company has proved itself to be a name you can trust, year after year.
The Millermatic 130: All-in-One Champ
After all these years, the Millermatic 130 continues to be a standard item in the home shop. Now you can only find them used on sites like EBay when or if they come up for sale.
The Millertatic 130 is a popular topic for discussion on welding forums. Owners are consistently impressed with the product’s longevity and reliability.
There are several characteristics that contribute to this fan favorite, especially among beginning welders.
- All-in-One Design: Unit is very portable, and easy to move from project to project. Unit can plug into a standard 155v AC household outlet.
- Self-Contained Wire Feeder: Another reason this is a great product for the beginner.
- Price16 Gauge Outer Case: Heavy duty case prevents damage under a variety of circumstances and work environments.
- Easy to Operate Controls: Uncomplicated controls make it easier for you to get the most of your unit, rather than dealing with a prolonged learning curve.
- Thermal Overload Protection: This speaks to safety. And protection of your equipment. The system automatically shuts off if the duty cycle is exceeded, or airflow and cooling is restricted.
- Gas Solenoid Valve: This regulates the power flow, making for a smooth, consistent welding use.
- Accessories Included: Power cord, work goggle and MIG gun are in the box, so you can get started right away.
In the Miller Welds public forum on their website, Billybee50 has this to say about his Millermatic 130XP experience over the years:
“I bought the 130 XP more than five years ago, and it has been very reliable. Some friends went with the cheap offshore machines and were sorry.”
If you can get your hands on a Millermatic 130, do it. You’ll be glad you did. Especially if you are looking to purchase a MIG welder for the home shop. This proven product will not disappoint.
Benefits of a Millermatic MIG Welder
Before we feature some of the newer, more advanced Millermtic MIG welders that are currently available from the manufacturer, let us take a moment to define the characteristics of a Millermatic.
In the most general terms, a Millermatic is an all-in-one MIG welder that is designed to be easy to use.
They are engineered to be straightforward and uncomplicated. However, that does not in any way compromise the quality, safety or reliability of the product.
Choosing a MIG Welder: The Basics
We don’t want to get to far down in the weeds here. Let’s go over some basics, so you are better informed about MIG welders.
MIG welders break down into two, basic categories:
- The Gas Metal Arc Welder
- The Flux Cored Wire Welder
You can choose a Gas Metal Arc Welder, or you might be inclined to work with a Flux Cored Wire Welder. The latter is the most common among households and small shops. Flux Cored Wire Welders are more likely to be implemented on larger projects.
The Gas Metal Arc Welder takes advantage of an electric arc that forms between a wire electrode and the materials you are welding. This process was developed in the 1940s for working with aluminum, but GMAW quickly was applied to other materials.
The Flux Cored Wire Welder is characterized by the arc welding process being semi-automatic, or automatic.
The process involves a tubular electrode that is continuously fed to the weld. This process came along in the 1950s. It was well received by professional welders who have to deal with the environment, because FCAW made outdoor welding projects much easier. No longer were stick electrode necessary, allowing the flux to provide the needed shield for the elements encountered outdoors.
Let the Power of Blue Work for You
Let the Power of Blue Work for You is the company motto, and it is inspired by the blue color of their ultra-durable casing. It lets the buyer know that Miller Welds always has the customer in mind when developing equipment.
Why shop for a new Millermatic?
As we me mentioned before, Miller continues to innovate and improve their products. If you’ve been a fan all these years of the Millermatic 130, you might be looking to take advantage of the latest innovations. Maybe you can’t seem to win that bid on a used one, so you need to explore a new model from the Millermatic product line.
Let’s take a look at a two of the new models currently available from the manufacturer. From the Millermatic 141, an obvious choice to replace your Millermatic 130, to the Millermatic 130P, a powerful resource for the professional welder.
Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
This is a great choice for the beginner and DIY enthusiast. As with the Millermatic 130, the Millermatic 141 comes with everything you need to get started on your home or hobby projects. It is easy to use, straight forward, and retails for 799.00.
Take a look at all the features and accessories included in this unit, and you will see that this unit gets you a pretty big bang for your buck.
- Included: 6.5 ft power cord, 10 ft M-100 MIG gun and assembly, 10 ft. work cable and clamp, Argon and AR/CO2 mix flow gauge regulator with hose, .030 in. Hobart spool of solid wire, Quick Select drive rolls for .024 or .030/.035 inch., contact tips, 0.8 / .035 in. Flux-cored wire, material thickness gauge, and hook-and-loop cord wraps
- Auto-Set: At 66 This feature takes out a lot of the guess work. Auto-Set automatically sets the parameters. All you have to do is input the diameter and material thickness. After that, you are ready to weld.
- Auto Spool Gun Detect: Automatically knows when a gun is hooked up.
- Angled All Aluminum Drive System: This is a bold wire drive system with Quick Start technology. The benefit is consistent feeding and easy set up for any project.
- Smooth Start Technology: If you are looking for a spatter free start, this is the breakthrough for you. This is why the Millermatic is known as the best starting machine in the 120v Category.
- Thermal Overload & Tip Saver: If you are looking for a spatter free start, this is the breakthrough for you. If the airflow becomes restricted or your duty cycle is exceeded, this system automatically shuts down. The Tip Saver feature discontinues the output when necessary which extends tip life and protects the overall system.
This is definitely the product to consider if you are looking forward to more challenging projects.
It works with steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. It is a very portable system and comes with the 3 Year True Blue Protection Warranty.
Millermatic 350P 200/230/460V 60Hz 1/3Ph
If saving the world from an alien invasion comes down to a single weld, this is the welding system to do the job, save the human race, and get you the leading lady.
Power meets portability.
The Millermatic 350P is known as the first single, or three phase, Millermatic that can weld 22-gauge to 1/2 thick in a single pass.
If you work in fabrication, manufacturing, and auto body repair, you do not need to look any further. This is an excellent system for the professional.
Let’s take a look at the advanced technology and features that separates this system from the pack.
- Included: Bernard q300 15 ft. MIG gin with Cenetrfire tips, 10 ft. work cable and clamp, 10 ft. Industrial power cord, factory installed gas solenoid, Argon mix flow gauge regulator, reversible V-groove drive rolls, and extra contact tips.
- Pulsed-MIG Advantage: This improves productivity and profitability for any professional who works with with aluminum, steel and stainless.
- Millermatic 350P Autobody Aluminum Package – In an attempt to improve fuel efficiency, the auto industry is moving towards lighter materials like aluminum. Working with thin materials can be problematic, but Millermatic has developed a package that addresses the specific problems associated with aluminum welding.
- Aluminum Pulse Hot Start: Eliminates the cold start associated with aluminum welding.
- Gun On-Demand: Feel free to use a standard MIG gun, a Spoolmatic 15/30A or any Miller push-pull without adjustments.
- Fan On-Demand: This cooling system is automatic and only works as necessary, so it reduces the use of power consumption and keeps in internal components cleaner.
- Line Voltage Compensation: No matter what the input power fluctuation might be in your situation, this maintains a consistent output for accuracy.
With a rated output of 300 amps, all the advanced features included, and the sturdy body on wheels, you can see why the Millermatic 300P is powerful, versatile and portable.
This is a must for any professional shop.
To Millermatic 130 or Not to Millermatic – That Is the Question
Getting your hand on a Miller magic isn’t as easy as heading down to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. You’ll need to find a local Miller distributer, but that’s easy enough with a Google search and shouldn’t slow you down.
No question about it, if you are a MIG welder, don’t make a purchase of used or new equipment without considering all of the benefits of owning a Miller Welds product. Truly, they are innovators and leaders, and the Millermatic line one of the reasons Miller Weld has experienced an impressive number of loyal customers and expert endorsements, professional and honest alike.
Miller Welds takes pride in their legacy and standing within the industry. Clearly, Miller Welds make every effort to understand the needs of their customers and follow industry trends. Consequently, there is Millermatic system designed for any situation.
Perhaps the larger work area of the Millermatic 212 Auto-Set MIG Welder is best suited for you projects, or the Millermatic 252 with the EZ-Access™ Consumable Compartment and Parameter Chart will do the trick. The point being that this all-in-one, user friendly, thoughtfully engineered welding system cannot be overlooked or underappreciated.
We encourage you to do your homework and take whatever time you need before making a purchase. There are a lot of systems out there, and whatever your choice may be, we want your money to be well spent.
The American Welding Society is an excellent resource for all things welding.The better your information, the better your decision will be.