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Old 11-18-2019, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Member # 171520
Location: Sticks of Whale's Vagina
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My Year With the Vulcan MigMax 215

Before I start this thread: I am not a professional. I generally use my welder at most once or twice a week (though for this last year I used it a couple of times a week building a desert chassis from scratch). Most of what I've learned has been through (painful) trial and error; watching the pros do it and attempting to copy their methods; or by reading what other idiots were doing on the Internet and copying or avoiding that technique based on how much I laughed at the results. In other words: if you buy one of these welders based on my experience and its ultimate shittyness causes untimely endings for you or others, property damage, or otherwise unwanted mayhem, that's your fault, not mine. You shouldn't have listened to me. I only have somewhat of a clue as to what I'm doing.

Now that you guys have nothing left to complain about...

So, bought a Vulcan MigMax 215 since it had a 1 year satisfaction guarantee on it and figured if I hated it, I'd return it. That year has lapsed, I haven't returned it, here's what I found:

1. Autoset settings are good enough up to 1/4", which ends up a little too slow feed wise (globular). Annoying that you can't slightly modify the auto settings like Red or Blue or Yellow.
2. Reliability has been perfect (so far).
3. The slow-feed until the arc starts works okay. Annoying at first, since you're usually holding shit together for a tack and it's craaaaaaawling out of the nozzle. Bonus is it tells you when it's time to clean that greasy excuse for a ground clamp since it'll start barely feeding.
4. Air system is pretty tight: will still have air in it for about a week with the tank closed (good, since I tend to forget to close that damned tank every time).
5. The damned fan sounds like a hurricane and runs continuously.
6. Welds 1/8" just fine on 110V outlets. No wire feed problems with the gun twisted all around.
7. The gun is shitty, but reasonably reliable and cheap/easy to replace.
8. Feed system seems just as good as Red or Blue or Yellow inverter welders.

All in all, it's not a bad welder for $600-ish. The arc is pretty stable and smooth, the synergic settings aren't terrible and pretty forgiving of wide variances in stickout, and I have yet to trip the thermal overload (or even get it hot), but I'm not building bridges, so don't expect to start a production shop based on my experience. I've burned through 5 12.5lb spools building the aforementioned buggy, 3 bumpers, a third of a trailer (my original reason for buying since my previous welder shit the bed in the middle of it), half a dozen exhaust systems and intercooler setups, skid plates, tire carriers, some clothing racks and some other shit. I'd buy it again.

Last edited by rockwood; 11-18-2019 at 04:02 PM.
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