Duty Cycle


Old 12-28-04, 10:38 PM
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Duty Cycle

I was looking for a good welder to buy, I won't be welding a lot, just here and there, alot of exhaust, brackets, pipes, basic hobby stuff.. etc. Nothing extremely thick, or anything that will support my life.

I was looking at this welder..

Its a "Dual mig welder 151"


Input: 230V, 60 Hz, single phase; Welding current range: 30-120 amps; Duty cycle: 15% @ 115 amps; Draws 15 amps @ 230V; Max. open circuit voltage: 36V; Weldable wires: .023", .030", and .035 steel or stainless steel; .030" and .035" aluminum; .030" flux core

it seems like it should get the job done, and only costs 200 dollars on sale (400 MSRP)

However, someone told me the duty cycle was extremely low on this, and would be a crappy welder.

It would be nice to eventually weld up some motor mounts, but I'm still waiting to finish my welding classes. That would probably be as heavy as I would go.

Also, someone else said somewhere.. can't remember, but he was saying how he didnt like his duty cycle, and just put an extra cooling fan on his welder, and it helped it quite a lot.

Just wondering if anyone had an experience with that, and if that welder will be OK for what I want to do. They also have a 115Volt one with a bit less amps (87) for 20 dollars less, but I'd rather get the 230V one.
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Old 12-29-04, 02:35 AM
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You get what you pay for.

No matter what you buy, an inflated MSRP can be created. Then someone gives deep discounts on a meaningless number and the customer thinks they are getting a deal.

A more important piece of information would be the warranty and who honors it. Keep in mind that "Lifetime Warranty" is as meaningful as "MSRP".

A 15% duty cycle means you can weld for 1.5 minutes out of every 10. Is that a good enough duty cycle for you?

Additional fans may work, but that is only a crutch.

Regarding any warranty, do you think you will get one with an extra fan? How easy do you think it is for the service guy to say "Oops, you abused it, not covered. Next".
Old 12-29-04, 08:27 AM
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Depends on what you will be using the welder for frequantly and what you might need the welder for sometimes. For frequent use of thin material a MIG is fine but for that price you mentioned you might want to look at a Stick machine for thicker material. Again, depends on your use.

I use a HH 135 with Flux-cored wire at home which is good for 1/4" and thinner. It runs off 115/15 AMP fine, 115/20 AMP is better and recommended.

If I was to do it all over again: I'd get a Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC Stick machine (about the cost of a HH 140) and it has a much higher duty cycle and top-end thickness.

Last edited by metalfab; 12-29-04 at 09:04 AM.
Old 12-29-04, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the input, I would love to get a nice welder, don't get me wrong, but I don't have the money to put out for a 1-2K welder. Someday I will get one, but as for now, welding up exhaust and other thin stuff, the duty cycle and power should be OK. It would be nice to have a 30% or higher, but this will work. I also realize you get what you pay for, but I won't be welding alot, just here and there.

Warranty wise, I really don't know what they offer, if nothing I can always just modify it with an extra fan to give it a slighty better duty cycle. Has anyone done this?
Old 12-30-04, 05:16 AM
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A fan would do nothing to increase the duty cycle.
The center of the transformer coil would still overheat and cause its insulation to break down which will cause winding failure.

A small welder like what you are talking about is fine for small projects like sheet metal.
A motor mount in my opinion is one where strength is required. Superior skill and technique would be needed with a small welder to be able to do this type of welding.

I know all about budgets, but rather than 1-2k for a better unit than this one, maybe a 1k welder for half price might put you in a better catagory of machine.
Old 12-30-04, 07:10 AM
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I am not sure where you are located but for $599.00 Canadian you could get a HH 140. Canadian Tire and Home Depot have MIG capable Lincoln machines for under $500. Even a plain old AC Stick is $299.00.
Old 03-17-05, 06:14 PM
Paul Taylor
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buy the Dual Mig 151

I really think people forget what its like to be a beginner. As a beginner you really have no idea what your needs or wants are. As an example I have been flying model helicopters for over 15 years and I have been training pilots for 12 years. I am amazed and annoyed by the so called club pros who always recommend that beginners first helicopter should be some fancy expensive can do anything machine, when in reality they need something simple and inexpensive to cut their teeth on. It would be a shame to waste a bunch of money on a machine just to find out welding is not for you.

I say go ahead and buy the Dual Mig 151. I bought one a year or so back and I have to admit I am impressed with its ability. I do think that the manufacture underrated this machines capability. The duty cycle at full power is much higher then the 15% stated. Since I picked up this welder I have built 5 Texas style BBQ pits all constructed from ľ plate and pipe. I also built the trailers to mount these pits onto. Each pit weighs just over 2000 lbs. all of them built with a Duel Mig 151. I have never had this welder shut down do to thermal overload, in fact I jokingly say its duty cycle is higher then mine as I have to take a break before it does ď I canít stand the smell of flux core wireĒ Iím not using a stop watch but Iím sure that I run this welder at full power for at least 5 min at a time take a quick break and start it up again, to date I have put more then 200 lbs of wire through this welder and if it died tomorrow I would happily spend $200 on another.
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