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EJB 10-31-2011 09:24 AM

Have recently been contemplating the purchase of a generator/welder. Now that the recent snowstorm knocked out our power for a couple of days, the decision is a simple one. My local welding supply has Lincoln and Miller machines. Was wondering if anyone here had any experience or advice. Looking at getting something new from the factory like a Lincoln Ranger 250 that produces 11,000 watts/250 amps. Anyone used the newer Hobart machines? I welcome your input.

Ries 10-31-2011 12:01 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
Hobart is the discount line of Miller- and if you are going to spend that much money, you should buy a good one.
I have rented these machines numerous times.
I have rented Rangers, and they work fine, but I prefer the Miller Trailblazers.
I think they weld a bit better.
But Lincoln is good, reputable equipment that should last a long time.

I would be looking at used, and also at used rental units- my local welding supply occasionally sells off their well maintained rental units, at a discount. I have an inverter, not a generator, that I bought that way, and it has been a great machine for over ten years.

The Forge 10-31-2011 03:07 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
That must be quite a generator to put out 250 Amps. LOL Remember that you will not be able to weld and supply power at the same time. You manually switch between the two usages.
I can easily see the need of a gasoline powered generator in a blackout. The cost of the gas would be well worth it. To run a welder on gasoline is OK when you are out away from power; but, not for continuous usage. Especially when your actual 'weld time' is just a small percentage of the time that you are 'welding'. You can always get a generator that will power your house and will supply enough amps to allow you to run your welder at the same time. :cool:

thegnome 10-31-2011 03:25 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
I agree with Ries a Miller Trailblazer is a good rig. Lincoln makes a quality welder too but nothing can beat the quality and weld you get with the Miller.

Welded enough with the two different machines to know:o.

Ries 11-01-2011 11:28 AM

Re: Generator/Welder
you should also consider what you are going to use it for-
for instance, I know a guy who uses his to power his 3 phase equipment, as a 3phase generator welder was about 1/10 the cost of bringing 3 phase to his house- but most people dont need 3 phase.

if you are going to be stick welding pipe to certification quality all day, most guys prefer used, older Lincoln SA 200 rigs, which they claim are better than any new machine.

On the other hand, if you are like me, and mostly use either a tig torch or an XR push pull mig gun for jobsite repairs, you want a trailblazer that you can plug both into with no problems.
Tig welding like different power supply characteristics than stick.

how many amps of 110 volts do you need? 220?

diesel machines cost a lot more, but last longer, and, if you are going to be running one 8 hours a day, might be worth it.

I think the Ranger and Bobcat are both pretty good all around mid range machines, but if you are doing anything out of the ordinary, you need to think about it and factor that into your equation.

I have considered that many times, I could get by just fine with a Honda Generator, and a Maxstar 150, which is a lot cheaper...

EJB 11-01-2011 12:27 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
Thanks for the input. I've wrestled with many of the questions stated here. Nice to hear anothers perspective. I once owned a Miller Bobcat and really liked it. Not enough reasons to keep it back then. Now that my current situation involves more remote welding and power needs I'm ready to get another generator unit. Normally I'm the first in line for something used but have not found anything worth the trouble so far. Too big, too old, too many missing parts. Have been considering new since I seem to have lost patience lately with hunting for parts and jerry rigging. The newer models seem to be much quieter as well. All I know is that I need to take advantage of the recent power outage as an excuse to get something practical. In the middle of the black out, my wife got a bit panicked was all for spending $6000 for a back up home generator. The way I see it, we will probably be able to count the number of times we will need it on one hand before I die. Meanwhile, I could really use a welder for remote usage. In a pinch, it would help keep the heat on and the coffee maker going.

EJB 11-21-2011 12:24 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
1 Attachment(s)
Wanted to share the update with you since no one else around here will really care. The brand spankin new Miller Trailblazer 275DC just came off the truck. It is very shiny. You guys pushed me back into the Miller camp. I really do like their equipment. Found a place online with free shipping and no tax. Will need to fire it up to make a trailer for it now.

The Forge 11-21-2011 12:54 PM

Re: Generator/Welder

evaldart 11-21-2011 05:15 PM

Re: Generator/Welder
Awesome EJB.,

Me, I.m haulin in the old Ranger in for a tune-up presently. It just recently got me through a major power outage in my region from the October snow anomaly up here. It powered my house up fine (selected electrical needs) while other folks roughed it. I invited neighborhood strugglers over to my warm place and we all ate our meat voraciously for days (before it went bad). I have had my Ranger for 12 years...the Miller is probably better, but it has done just what is needed to do....and more.

General purpose stick/power source, the mid-range Millers and Lincolns are can earn a million bucks for the meager three thousand dollar investment in cost (if you care about such things).

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