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Recommend a Welder for Home Exhaust Repairs?

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
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Disclaimer: I'm not big into welding but I'm looking for a solid machine that can perform quick beads for mainly DIY exhaust repairs--mild and stainless steel.

Of course the machine will only be as good as I can weld but I don't really need anything that I can use to create those gorgeous tight welds, so think function over appearance. I also don't really need the ability to weld aluminum but I may need to weld aluminized steel at some point, which I realize requires a few extra steps. I can upgrade my electrical panel with 230V if absolutely necessary but again, I'm not welding thicker stuff. I'm also not willing to go out and buy a $700 Hobart or LE just so I can section out some pipe or weld a new flange.

I was looking at this unit from Klutch: MIG 140i which is set up for both MIG and flux core (gas-less) welding. It's also relatively small so I can just shelf it out of the way until I have more space.

Anyway, does anyone have suggestions? My first thought was to just hit Harbor Freight and buy the cheap Flux Core welder for like $100 but I'd like to have a unit that can add shielding gas. Also seems like a gamble with build quality.
 
Last edited:

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
7,882
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I have the Hobart handler 140 and its been a solid machine. Have used it for a bunch of small projects and have been very happy with it.

Brother in law is a certified welder and he borrows it for small stuff sometimes when he does not want to have to bring his big gas powered Lincoln. he likes it as well.
 
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WackyDan

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2004
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I have the Hobart handler 140 and its been a solid machine. Have used it for a bunch of small projects and have been very happy with it.

Brother in law is a certified welder and he borrows it for small stuff sometimes when he does not want to have to bring his big gas powered Lincoln. he likes it as well.
I'll second this machine. Also have one and I never use flux core anymore -always weld with gas now. It has done all I have asked it too and has paid for itself a couple times over so far. I will get a larger unit when I get the new house and have a garage with dedicated 220v circuits in it. It is overkill for exhaust work, but I've owned it now several years and likely own it far longer... You do get what you pay for.
 
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EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
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That's what I was sort of thinking too... no doubt that it's a great machine to own but it's a bit more than I want to spend for occasional exhaust or sub frame work. I don't think I'll ever have the need to weld something more than 3/16" tops; if I do then that's not something I'd likely tackle myself anyway. I could probably get away with one of those cheap Chinese mini stick welders but from reading and watching reviews online they are basically novelty items or conversation pieces--might as well spend more and get a machine that is more capable and has the option of gas.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,510
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I have a buddy who used my Harbor Freight welder and he said his Hobart was a Cadillac in comparison. If you're going to be using it with any frequency, I'd spring for the better one.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,868
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I was given an older craftsman unit. The feed is inconsistent, I can do better work with my Miller AC/DC unit.
 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,131
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91
Just for exhaust, the little Lincoln 110v units they sell at Lowes/Home Depot will do fine. I have one and it works great.
I also have a Millermatic 200 for bigger jobs, but I find myself using the little Lincoln more often, simply because it's easier to move around and use.
 

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