I have finally had time to play with my new toy and get an idea of how it works for the money.
I have a few sites bookmarked which relate to upgrading the little Dual Mig though some basic “hacks”.
If you are searching this welder I am sure you have already seen the article linked and articles like it. I have read a few posts and review on the welder from the standpoint of professionals. I have even seen a few people bitch about the power of the welder or other details of the unit. I have read a few posts that go something like “If you buy this welder you get what you pay for” and things like “A true welder would never be caught dead with one of these machines” and so on. What I have to say to these people is your right, you do get what you pay for and I hope you would never be caught dead with one of these and your right when you say this thing probably wouldn’t last a year in your shop, after all it was never designed to.
Let me elaborate, I am a Sys. Admin. / Net. Engineer, do you think I have a cheap e-machine laptop and the cheap-o network testers and other tools? Absolutely NOT, I use these tools quite often and expect them to last but thats not to say I wouldn’t recommend the $20 network tester to the person who needs to use it once in a great while or the cheap $400 laptop to a family member. In fact I would recommend the cheaper stuff over the high end because why would someone need a $300 network tester that they will use once and maybe loan out to friends and family once in a while? Your right, they wouldn’t, this welder is very much the same. I only need to use it once in a while, maybe once a week or month or maybe even heavy use for a month and then light use for the next few months. I don’t know how anyone who considers themselves a professional in their job field could even consider trying to buy the super cheap tool for their job, and yes I even mean the full time welder that only needs it for side jobs. Even that guy should pop for the better brand / model. That would be the equivalent to the mechanic who does side work out of his garage. Do you think he has Snap-On at work and K-Mart at home? Doubtful, chances are he has even nicer tools at home. Think about it.
With all that said I love this thing so far, one thing I can say for the user interested in a welder at home is to stay FAR FAR away from the 110 volt welders, ANY of them. It doesn’t take much at all to setup a 220 volt line, in fact its extremely easy. Before I got my new welder I installed a 220 volt welder and bought some power wire which was about 8 gauge and when I got the unit and seen the wire on it I realized how much I overshot the wire size needed for this thing. Its better to be safe than sorry but I will likely scale down the wire size so I can get more of it and reach further with the welder. The wire on the welder itself could also get upgraded along with the other upgrades floating around the net but right now I am happy with it just the way it is. This thing rocks, it puts my old Craftsman 110 volt which was double the price to shame. So far I have only done some light jobs with the thing but one of the jobs was welding some exhaust pipe in and I had to weld it to some old rusty pipe. Let me backtrack and tell you the welder has 4 heat settings if you didn’t already know that. The Heat settings are Low 1,2 & High 1,2. I haven’t had a need to leave heat setting Low 2. When welding the exhaust I was in Low 1 due to the rusty pipe and the ease of melting it away. I actually thought I would need more heat to get any penetration on that rusty pipe but to my surprise this thing worked like a charm.
Another piece I welded which can be seen in the Craftsman mower section was the brackets that hold the wheels on the blade housing for the mower. This metal was garbage but the welder didn’t care, it buzzed along with no problems. Oh and I forgot to mention when I sold my last welder I also sold my tank and gauges so I have been welding with Flux core wire and yes the welds are a little nasty looking but I haven’t even thought about getting another bottle yet for the little side projects I do here and there.
So there it is, my review of the Dual Mig 151 and I hope this helps in your decisions if you are looking into an inexpensive wire feed welder to have around the garage. They do come in handy and there are some jobs that just cant be done without one. After buying this welder I know now I will be buying a Chicago Plasma and Tig welder as well.
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