It is no wonder that MIG welders have become the most popular class of welding machines in recent years. MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welding.
They are easy to use and leave clean welds due to replacing solid flux with an inert gas to shield the weld pool from contaminants. And, the welds are smooth and very nice looking.
The continuous wire feed is faster than stick welding and there is no need to worry about keeping your welding rods dry. Furthermore, beginners typically learn to MIG weld faster than stick or TIG welding. I sure have enjoyed mine!
Why buy Lincoln Electric Products?
Founded by John C. Lincoln, Lincoln Electric has been instrumental in the research and development of electrical products since their beginning in 1895. In 1909 Lincoln Electric added its first welding machine to its line.
Then in 1911, Lincoln Electric introduced the first variable voltage, single operator, portable welding machine in the world!
The Lincoln Electric Welding School was later founded in 1917. Consequently, the school has trained more than 100,000 welders to date.
Euclid, Ohio is where they call home with their Corporate Headquarters and main manufacturing facility situated there on St. Claire Street.
Having grown into a worldwide network of over 8500 employees in more than 160 countries and 42 manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, you know Lincoln Electric knows its business.
Why buy the Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180?
When I began the process of looking to add a MIG welder to my shop it was only natural for me to look at what Lincoln Electric had to offer.
Especially, since I have owned a Lincoln Electric 225 amp AC/DC stick welder for the last 30 years and have never had a single issue with it. In addition to that, I have owned a Lincoln Electric, “Ranger,” engine driven welder for the past fourteen years.
The Ranger now belongs to my son who needs it more than I do out on his ranch. It’s nice when equipment lasts so long that you can pass it down to your kids!
How thick of metal can I weld with the Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180?
Learning that I could weld up to 3/16″ steel with gas shielding and 1/2″ steel with flux-core wire with the 180, I knew I had found the correct sized machine for my purposes.
Most of the projects I had in mind for the machine had to do with building and repairing race truck cages and peripheral equipment for the racing team.
I had researched and found where a gentleman had used the Pro MIG 180 exclusively to build his entire off-road truck cage out of 2″ .120 wall DOM tubing. That was good enough for me.
I immediately set my new Power MIG 180 on a cart designed for MIG machines. The cart comes in handy rolling the machine from bay to bay. To read a review on the Klutch brand welding cart, go here.
I already had a 230-volt outlet and extension cord for my stick welder so I just moved in the Pro MIG 180 and parked it right there beside it. Being lightweight, compact and portable, it moves around the work areas easily and doesn’t take up much space.
The 10′ Magnum Pro 100L Gun lead is plenty long enough to get the job done and yet not so long that it can’t be spooled up easily on the cart. This keeps everything tidy and compact when moving the machine around the garage and when stored.
The biggest job I have tackled to date with the Power MIG 180 was building a complete roll cage on a Ford Ranger pickup chassis.
Once I had the tubes all tacked together, the many hours of welding them together commenced. Not once did I ever reach the duty cycle limit of the machine which is 30% at 130 amps/20v.
So what is the definition of, “Duty Cycle,” as it pertains to the Pro MIG 180?
The duty cycle of the machine running off a 230v plug is rated for, 130A/20V/30%.
This equates to the machine being capable of running for 3 continuous minutes at 130 amps. Then, needing to remain idle for 7 minutes to cool down.
The duty cycle is based on a 10 minute period. (30% of 10 minutes is 3 minutes) Since most of the time I am welding on a setting well below 130 amps, the machine does not heat up as fast and will weld longer than the duty cycle rating before needing to cool down.
Unless you are welding two pieces of metal together that are several feet long and never stop to reposition, you will probably never reach the maximum duty cycle of the machine.
Can the Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180 weld aluminum?
To date, I have never welded aluminum but I have had the need to do so in the past. At the time, I didn’t have the proper equipment for it.
I suspected that in the future I would have the need to again weld aluminum so, I knew I wanted a machine that could handle it when that time came.
When the time does come I will only need to purchase the economically priced, Magnum Pro 100SG Spool Gun to instantly be ready to weld aluminum with this same machine.
Since the wire spools and leads are so easy to switch out on the Power MIG 180, I estimate it will take between 10 and 15 minutes at most to be ready to weld aluminum.
What is included with the Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180 welder?
You will need to purchase or rent your own shield gas bottle from your local welding shop before you can MIG weld. But, if you can’t wait to get started, simply spool up the .035 flux core wire, install the proper tip and start marrying metal together.
The wire speed and amperage control knobs are just large enough that they can be adjusted with a gloved hand.
This welder comes with everything you need, including:
- Magnum® PRO 100L gun, 10 ft. (3.0 m)
- Gas and Gasless Nozzles
- Cable Liner
- .025 in. (0.6 mm) and .035 in. (0.9 mm) Contact Tips
- Work Cable and Clamp
- Adjustable Gas Regulator and Hose
- Spindle Adapter
- Sample Spool of .025 in. (0.6 mm) SuperArc® L-56 Mild Steel MIG Wire
- Sample Spool of .035 in. (0.9 mm) Innershield® NR-211-MP Flux-Cored Wire
- Learn-To-Use DVD
- .035 in. (0.9 mm) and .025 – .030 in. (0.6 – 0.7 mm) Drive Rolls
- .030 – .045 in. (0.7 – 1.1 mm) Knurled Drive Roll
- .025 – .035 in. (0.6 – 0.9 mm) and .035 – .045 in. (0.9 – 1.1 mm) Wire Guides
The manual is full of good information, is easy to read and the illustrations are very high quality.
OK, so what do I not like about the Power MIG 180?
There is very little that I do not like about my Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180. The only two things that come to mind both have to do with the on/off switch.
My personal preference would be for the switch to be a little larger. And, the original switch went out after a year and a half.
However, I was able to find an exact replacement after just a couple of minutes online and easily replaced it myself.
What about the Warranty?
Here is the exact warranty for this machine!
WCTA LIMITED WARRANTY
STATEMENT OF LIMITED WARRANTY
Welding, Cutting Tools and Accessories (WCTA) a division of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. warrants to the end user (purchaser) of all new welding and cutting equipment, electrode and flux (collectively called the “Goods”) that it will be free of defects in workmanship and material.
This warranty is void if WCTA or its Authorized Service Facility finds that the equipment has been subjected to improper installation, improper care or abnormal operations.
WARRANTY PERIOD (1)
WCTA will assume both the parts and labor expense of correcting defects during the full warranty period. All warranty periods start from the date of purchase to the original end user or from the date of manufacture if the original invoice cannot be provided and are as follows:
- Easy MIG 180
CONDITIONS OF WARRANTY
TO OBTAIN WARRANTY COVERAGE:
All Service and Warranty on WCTA Products is handled by a Lincoln Authorized Service Facility (LASF). For assistance in locating a LASF go to www.lincolnelectric.com/locator
Final determination of warranty on welding and cutting equipment will be made by LASF.
If the LASF confirms the existence of a defect covered by this warranty, the defect will be corrected by repair or replacement at WCTA’s option.
At WCTA’s request, the purchaser must return to WCTA any “Goods” claimed defective under WCTA’s warranty.
The purchaser is responsible for shipment to and from the LASF.
WCTA WILL NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR REPAIRS MADE OUTSIDE OF A LASF.
WCTA’S LIABILITY UNDER THIS WARRANTY SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF CORRECTING THE DEFECT OF THE WCTA PRODUCT.
WCTA WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (SUCH AS LOSS OF BUSINESS, ETC.) CAUSED BY THE DEFECT OR THE TIME INVOLVED TO CORRECT THE DEFECT.
THIS WRITTEN WARRANTY IS THE ONLY EXPRESS WARRANTY PROVIDED BY WCTA WITH RESPECT TO ITS PRODUCTS. WARRANTIES IMPLIED BY LAW SUCH AS THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY ARE LIMITED TO THE DURATION OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY FOR THE EQUIPMENT INVOLVED.
THIS WARRANTY GIVES THE PURCHASER SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS. THE PURCHASER MAY ALSO HAVE OTHER RIGHTS WHICH VARY FROM STATE TO STAT
(1) Equipment manufactured for WCTA is subject to the warranty period of the original manufacturer.