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Miller 252 vs Hobart Ironman 230 vs Ironman 240


chevenstein
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I'm in the market for a real welder after using various brands of $50 and $75 buzz boxes bought at auctions and on craigslist for the last ~25 years. I've used a MIG a hand full of times: both a cheapy Lincoln to do some exhaust work and a very heavy duty 3 phase unit with all sorts of knobs and dials briefly at a friend's machine shop when he tried to convince me to dump the stick welders and go MIG. I am essentially starting from 0.

I do a surprising amount of fabrication work for a hobby farmer as well as the occasional equipment repair. I'd like to be able to do sheetmetal repairs and to more easily lay down heavy beads on 1/4 - 3/8" plate steel as well as light and heavier thicknesses of angle and channel iron.

You guys recommended the Miller 252 to me a few months back but I about fell out of my seat when I saw the price tag. I know Miller makes the lower cost Hobart products and see that they're retiring the Ironman 230 with the 240 model. Are either of these Hobart machines worth having at half the price of the Miller 252 and if so, should I try and get a closeout deal on a 230 and go with a 240? If I buy any of these I assume I want to use CO2 for shielding gas, what type of wire should I get? Will I need different types of wire to weld different thicknesses of steel? I know that with the spool gun accessory all of these machines will weld aluminum, that kind of blows my mind so let's stick to getting me started with MIG on steel for now.

Thanks!

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Those are just dedicated mig machines, maybe you want a multi process?

I had about 5 different machines now down to 2, one that can cover stick, mig, tig and spot, the spot is just a timed function of the mig  and an old ideal arc when you need big amps or gouging 

.023 for bodywork or light gauge, .035 for heavier work, a spoolgun would be better for aluminum 

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I would recommend the Lincoln 210mp.  It is a multi process machine that will allow you to single pass mig weld thin materials and multi pass welds on thicker material with mig/flux core or stick.  It also has the capability to do dc tig as well.  What is most handy is that it is lightweight and runs on both 120 or 240 volt power so I can move it around easily.  It spends most of its life on 240 but do use it for lightweight welding on 120 occasionally.

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If you're going to do a lot of 3/8ths you may find a 110 machine duty limited. I know this doesn't really answer your question but I have NO regrets springing for the 252. My experience with a 110 machine was that it was fine for body work type stuff but for fabrication it just couldn't cut it.

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I dont think you want a CO2 shield gas. A 75%/25% argon mix is typical for mig applications.  
I’ve wanted a Miller for years. I’ve used a 250 and 251 (I think it was) which are both predecessors and they were great machines. I have no experience with the Hobart welders. My welder came to me used and is a Century 225. The price was much better than a new Miller. I got lucky and knew the guy who had it and he had just upgraded machines. If I was going to buy new, it would be a Miller.  That multi-process machine linked above kinda made me drool a little bit ?

 

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I have a Tweeco 220 volt stick/mig/tig that I like pretty well. Better after discovering the local/remote setting for tig! Ran a Lincoln square wave at Maytag that I really liked. Where I work now we have a Miller pipeworx, not sure the model number, it's NICE! A 440 machine but I'd like to have it at home none the less!

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Don't be afraid of the older Miller welders. 

I myself don't need the glitz and bling of the new welders, well other than my Miller Bobcat 225, that thing is perty cool?

I will stand by my Miller 250. We have melted miles of wire over the years and I would not trade it even up for a new one. 

I also have a HObart Ironman 250 (made by Miller). It sure seems a lot like my old Miller. I was told some of the internals are maybe not quite as good as a Miller to cheapen the price targeting the consumer market. It is a good welder. Not using it right now so letting a neighbor use it cuz he can't afford a wire machine. 

Take the money you save on a good older machine and spend it on a quality auto darkening helmet. 

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2 year old 252 at work.  22 year old 250X at work.  Don’t know how many year old 250.  All work well would not hesitate to buy another one.  Those two old ones get used on a regular basis still in a busy farm shop setting.  Bitty has the Hobart one your talking about and we all know how much he does.  An option I would look at to help your budget is our welding supply sells rental welders after renting them.  Usually they have gone through / checked them over.  They are usually fairly new machines.  Those Miller welders I mentioned will run .023, .035, .045.  You want argon/ CO2 for shield gas.  You can use CO2 but your weld quality will be poor.  

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4 hours ago, 5488ih said:

Skip the 252 & get a multimatic 255. MIG, Arc &  DC lift arc TIG. Love mine. ?https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/multiprocess/multimatic-255-multiprocess-welder-m30175

 

 

I was just checking out that welder .  Do you have the mig  gun with the Bernard consumables?  If so how do you like it?  That looks like a nice unit. 

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I have a Miller 210, wouldn't trade it for anything else, other than a bigger Miller  (that I don't need right now for what I do).

Big Blue!

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Definitely go for the miller, about the only thing the same is the sheet metal,  cant blame them, they gotta cater to a lot of markets, my friend just bought the upgraded model to the 252, it is an inverter machine, lighter and more features, i have not tried it but he is tickled pink. We have a 252 and love it to death. Another friend has an iron man 2xx whatever, same size and age as the 252, he does nice work with it but says he dearly wished he had gone with the miller. 

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I have  a Hobart Ironman 210.  Decent machine, welds everything I need it to.  Hobart is a specced down Miller.  If you look at comparable Hobart/Miller models the first thing you will probably see is that the Hobart has fewer voltage selection choices.  The Miller M10 gun that came with mine is borderline garbage.  I did order the spool gun option for my Hobart for welding aluminum, works really good.  Kinda surprising how often I use it.  Seems the Hobart spool gun is one of the most reasonably priced spool guns on the market.  I use C25 gas for steel, Argon for aluminum, and Helistar/Trimix for stainless.

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They sure have gone up. A friend of ours was selling them for a while and gave us a good deal on a new one about 6 years ago. Brand new 252 for 1750 I think it was.  Could probably sell it for more then that now lol. 
 

No regrets with ours and it’s worked flawlessly. 

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On 1/31/2021 at 1:41 PM, 5488ih said:

Skip the 252 & get a multimatic 255. MIG, Arc &  DC lift arc TIG. Love mine. ?https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/multiprocess/multimatic-255-multiprocess-welder-m30175

 

 

I love mine as well. Only real complaint is the tack welds dont seem to hold unless I crank up welder then turn it back down to weld. It's probably something I'm doing wrong. 

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On 1/31/2021 at 11:53 AM, chevenstein said:

I'm in the market for a real welder after using various brands of $50 and $75 buzz boxes bought at auctions and on craigslist for the last ~25 years. I've used a MIG a hand full of times: both a cheapy Lincoln to do some exhaust work and a very heavy duty 3 phase unit with all sorts of knobs and dials briefly at a friend's machine shop when he tried to convince me to dump the stick welders and go MIG. I am essentially starting from 0.

I do a surprising amount of fabrication work for a hobby farmer as well as the occasional equipment repair. I'd like to be able to do sheetmetal repairs and to more easily lay down heavy beads on 1/4 - 3/8" plate steel as well as light and heavier thicknesses of angle and channel iron.

You guys recommended the Miller 252 to me a few months back but I about fell out of my seat when I saw the price tag. I know Miller makes the lower cost Hobart products and see that they're retiring the Ironman 230 with the 240 model. Are either of these Hobart machines worth having at half the price of the Miller 252 and if so, should I try and get a closeout deal on a 230 and go with a 240? If I buy any of these I assume I want to use CO2 for shielding gas, what type of wire should I get? Will I need different types of wire to weld different thicknesses of steel? I know that with the spool gun accessory all of these machines will weld aluminum, that kind of blows my mind so let's stick to getting me started with MIG on steel for now.

Thanks!

I think the iron man has good reviews for what we do. I researched them to death when I bought my multimatic miller. I didn't want any regrets so I held off and saved up a bit more for mine. I know right where your at. I then went out a week later and bought a little square wave 200 lincoln for the ac tig function. Miller makes one 220 I think it was that did both but I wanted more amperage than it offered. Now I have both. ?‍♂️

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20 hours ago, Mr. Plow said:

I have a Miller 210, wouldn't trade it for anything else, other than a bigger Miller  (that I don't need right now for what I do).

Big Blue!

Brand new Miller 210 was my first wire welder. 

You are right, it was a great little welder but i was always up against the duty cycle so traded it for a used 250 and never looked back. 

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2 minutes ago, sandhiller said:

Brand new Miller 210 was my first wire welder. 

You are right, it was a great little welder but i was always up against the duty cycle so traded it for a used 250 and never looked back. 

Yeah..my choice also....Miller    every time....

.Mike

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47 minutes ago, sandhiller said:

Brand new Miller 210 was my first wire welder. 

You are right, it was a great little welder but i was always up against the duty cycle so traded it for a used 250 and never looked back. 

The miller 210 replaced a Hobart 135 120v machine......wow, what a step up there!  HUGE difference in arc quality and overall performance going from the little 120v to the Miller 210.  For what I do the duty cycle never gets in the way.

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1 hour ago, Missouri Mule said:

I think the iron man has good reviews for what we do. I researched them to death when I bought my multimatic miller. I didn't want any regrets so I held off and saved up a bit more for mine. I know right where your at. I then went out a week later and bought a little square wave 200 lincoln for the ac tig function. Miller makes one 220 I think it was that did both but I wanted more amperage than it offered. Now I have both. ?‍♂️

I should add a good used 250 doesnt come available too often. And when they do youll be within 500 of a new one alot. From what I've read the iron man holds up great, but buy once. Keep an eye online, often Miller offers a deal once a year. Cyberweld is where I bought my 255 multimatic. Its an awesome welder. I love the fact I can stick weld too. If I have something outside my shop that wont fit in that's what i do. Migs just dont work outside without flux core. I've tried alot and never had much luck. 

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