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I've always wanted to learn how to weld and get a welder. With me really starting to get into prop building, I think it is the next step. The problem is that I don't know much about welding and neither does any of my friends. I've been researching on the web but would like to get some real opinions from people who actually have used them. I know that you want to stick with a good name brand. I would need one that will run off of 115V, be gas/gasless capable, not too expensive, and be sold on Amazon. I get Amazon points on my credit card and am saving up. I don't want something that I will out grow in a year so I would rather save up for a better one than buy one right now. My price range will be around $600. I will probably be asking for the accessories for Christmas (mask, gloves, clamps, etc...) Thanks for any help/advice.
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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I have a Lincoln 135 amp 110 volt model and I am very pleased with it. It came with the gas kit and will weld 3/16" steel no problem on Argon. I believe using the flux core wire it will do 1/4", but using the gas yields much nicer welds.

If I was going to make any suggestion, it would be to get a model with the infinite heat range rather than the 4 settings like mine has. I get by ok with most materials, but it would be nice to have a little more control.

Get a cart too, it is a must. makes your life much easier. :)
 

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Look Lincoln / Miller is like the Nikon /Canon debate. Both are great welders and will serve you well as a beginner and when you master it. I own a lincoln 135 mig welder and a clarke 225 mig. I like my lincoln mucch better. But i did my research and am moving to tig (mainly for aluminum) and will be getting a Miller Dynasty 200. But tig its a much different animal.

Bottom line....you will never go wrong buying a welder from either manufacturer. Even if the price is more than harborfreight so is the resale value of the welder!
 

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To followup;

I use gas. I feel its much better than a flux core. Its not that costly to get gas nor is the cost of a cylinder and it will last a non commercial person a very loooong time.

As far as helmet is concerned if you choose and auto darkening helmet choose a really good one. It really makes a difference. DONT get one from Harborfreight. I chose a speedglas helmet (3M makes the unit) which is sold under many brands. I found it made a huge difference being able to look at the weld puddle.
 

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I agree with all the above. I too have the Lincoln 135 and am VERY pleased with it. My son is a welder for Toyota and helped me decide. The speedglass helmet makes a HUGE difference. It is more expensive but then again anything that is high quality is going to cost more. I got mine for about 100 or 150 bucks. I saw some cheaper ones out there but just make sure you compare the options on the helmet.
 
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