Welding: What type of wire?

What type of wire?

  • MIG

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • FCAW-G

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • FCAW-S

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters

Steel City 06

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Mar 12, 2019
Pittsburgh, PA
I may eventually be buying a welding setup for general work on the Jeep and some other similar projects. Use will be almost all steel anywhere from sheet to 1/4", probably mostly 3/16" and 1/8".

I will probably buy a 110/220 volt combination welder that does at least 200 amps. Primarily I'm considering the Lincoln 210 MP, with the Hobart 210MVP and Miller Multimatic 215 as alternatives.

I've used MIG, FCAW-G, and FCAW-S in the past, and probably have the most time on FCAW-G (gas shielded flux core). I've been leaning towards this for most work because it is stupid easy compared to MIG and self-shielded, and also quite strong. I would probably use C25 gas. Outershield 71M is pretty easy to come by.

What kind of weld wire does everyone use for general work, such as frame welding? Solid? Outershield? Innershield?
For all of my steel work I've used C25 gas and 0.035" er70s-6 wire. I have 220v outlets and don't plan on welding away from home so I didn't even look at 110v welders.

Buy as big of a bottle as you can move since paying for refilling twice as much gas tends to cost only a tiny bit more. And buy plenty of spare MIG tips since you'll be dipping the tip a lot as a beginner.
ALWAYS, use a shielding gas if in a shop/garage. Flux core is for field work.

It works. I’m no expert but I use shielding gas.

X2 on a good 220v machine, BUT, you can do plenty with a good 110v machine as well.

1/4” is a tall order for for a 120 though...jeez, what are doing with 1/4” material!?!
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solid wire and CO2/argon mix
or flux wire and straight CO2.
you can run flux wire without gas. but i don't, that's what a stick is for.

a 110/flux is a hobby welder good for small things, 1/8-3/16" max.
if your gonna weld brackets and do frame work have a gas shielded 220.
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The units I am looking at run both 110 and 220, and can switch between the two. I would mainly be using it on 220 but it would be nice to be able to use 110 for small jobs away from the garage. 110 limits the amperage and duty cycle. All three of the machines I'm looking at max out around 230 amps on 220.
Flux core is not as susceptible to problems when there is a breeze to blow the shield gas away.
I'm assuming you're talking about self-shielded flux core? Gas shielded flux cored electrodes (e.g., Lincoln Outershield) aren't very tolerant of a breeze from what I understand
GMAW gets my vote for small (under 1/2") steel. We use 035" 70s with 75/25 gas for anything under 1/2, .045" and .063" FCAW-G for thicker steel up to 3" thick. We only use FCAW-S on site, and even then we would prefer stick. FGAW-S is very dirty (spatter), -G not as much.

A 220 unit will be able to apply enough power to weld anything on a jeep, and do it well. Just keep in mind a pretty weld isn't necessary good, and a good weld may not be pretty.
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if there is enough breeze you can blow off your shielding gasses. i work at low pressure with my gas 15-20#, other guys in the shop run way over what they should be consuming 30-60#. at 15-20# single shop fan can blow enough gas off to create a porous crap weld, while the guy runnin 50# can stand in a wind tunnel and weld.

those small LE red tombstones are nice little back yard welders if you learn how to use 1.
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New to welding here...

Is there a reason to run .035 wire opposed to .030? Or is it all just personal preference?
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We use 035 because we very seldom weld steel under 3/16". 030 just doesn't cut it with the steel we use.

The rollers we use (internal, they guide and push the wire) are two sided - 035 on one side and 045 on the other. If we have to switch wire it's easier, and when one side is worn out we can still use the other. Liner stays the same, so we just have to change tips.
It's about the being able to put enough power to penetrate the thinker part without blowing up the thinner. 030 just can't take the heat needed for really over 3/16, while I can weld 18ga to 1/2" (conditions apply, see the WPS) with the 035.

Kind of like 1/8" 7018, good all around filler.
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only reason to run 30, is your machine is limited. or your working thin material.
I'm working on metal between 16ga and 1/4 with a 220 unit. I picked up a roll of .030 when I bought the welder since it seemed like a good middle ground. Maybe I'll pick up a small roll of .035 to see if I can feel any difference.
now i will mention that LE's are/can be a little on the lower end of the power spectrum when comparing the smaller machines.
not saying they are bad machines just a little less power than a Miller or Hobart of similar size.
I bought a miller 211. Figured it would be future proof.
I've been looking at the Multimatic 215 as an alternative to the Lincoln 210MP. Basically the 211 but stick and DC TIG capable, and 110/220 combo. How do you like the 211? I understand it's pretty powerful and portable
I've been looking at the Multimatic 215 as an alternative to the Lincoln 210MP. Basically the 211 but stick and DC TIG capable, and 110/220 combo. How do you like the 211? I understand it's pretty powerful and portable
I like that it is small and compact and that it looks to be made of quality materials. Before I bought the miller I actually ordered a Hobart 210mvp off amazon. The unit they sent me was missing a prong on the power cord so I sent it back. That unit was roughly 80lbs and a bear to move but from my understanding a great welder. With the 211, even though it lives on a cart, I could see taking it with me to a buddies house or on an extended wheeling trip if needed. The auto settings take some of the guesswork out but since I'm still learning I don't have much to say in regards to its accuracy in settings.
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