Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:04 pm

http://mkrd.info/reviews/harbor-freight ... eview.html

No I didn't buy it. Looking for unbiased reviews, opinions, observations on the welder.

Re: Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:30 pm

I had a Chicago Electric welder from Harbor Freight. The welder portion worked great. The problem was the feed rollers were either plastic or rubber I can't remember. They did not feed the wire very well. I gave it away and bought a Lincoln. Cost a little more but it had steel feed wheels that work great. Open it and check the feed rollers.

Re: Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:55 pm

I don't know anything about HF welders. I have a Hobart 140 it works great. It all depends on what thickness of metal you are going to weld.

Re: Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:58 pm

I'm always skeptical of buying something that is named after an American city, unless it's an old proven name like "Milwaukee" or "Dayton", etc.

In my opinion some Marketing Consultant thinks that you can take the lowest quality junk and put it together 10-12,000 miles away, ship it to the U.S., and the American consumer assumes that because there's an American city in the name, it must be quality.

I have a list of items I commonly pick up at HF, but I would not buy a welder or a power tool from them.

Re: Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Lyle,

Don't have any experience with the Chicago, however, I've got a Lincoln and am very pleased with it.

Bill

Re: Chicago Electric 180 Amp Wire Welder

Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:52 pm

First let me say, I don't have experience with the Chicago Electric MIG welder. I do have some experience however with some other Chicago Electric power tools mainly a 4" angle grinder and 1/2 drive electric impact wrench. Although they function, they are very cheaply made. The grinder was so gutless that I had to replace it with a much better Craftsman unit that I bought on sale. I still use the CE grinder but only with a thin cut-off wheel for cutting bolts, etc. while real grinding duties go to the Craftsman. The impact wrench seems to work okay but the electric cord is only about the size of a pencil, not nearly as heavy as you'd expect.

I have a Lincoln MIG welder that I purchased new probably 15 years ago. It's a 220 volt unit and handles .025"-.035" solid wire easily and should handle .035"-.045" cored wire however, I've never used cored wire. My welder came with gas regulator and gauges and I use a Argon/CO2 mix in my tank. The welder works great and should I have a problem with it service is available. It also uses Tweeco gun so consumables are available everywhere. I don't know what service you'd get for the CE unit and don't know where you'd buy consumables except for HF. You might find a good quality used unit, Lincoln, Miller or Hobart on Craigslist for a good price and it may be set up for shielding gas.

Anyway, what ever you buy I suggest buying copper clad weld wire. Weld wire left in a shop (unless it's heated all the time) tends to rust a bit and trust me, even slight surface rust on wire will keep it from feeding.