Millermatic 211 MIG Welder Review
What makes the Millermatic 211 such a popular choice for welders? With so many people wanting to find out more about this MIG inverter welder, I thought it would be a good idea to do some digging and get to the bottom of this question.
It doesn’t take much to figure out why people rate the Millermatic 211 so highly. If we look at who uses a MIG welder of this size, we find that it’s mostly DIY enthusiasts, metal artists, farmers and small workshops. These are people who haven’t necessarily been trained and, therefore, don’t always understand all the settings perfectly.
Adjusting your voltage and wire speed for the metal type, thickness, and type of wire and wire thickness takes some practice. Not all of us have the necessary experience and end up experimenting with different settings. This can be a frustrating endeavor and you’ll probably end up burning through quite a bit of valuable material before you get it right.
VIDEO | Millermatic 211 MIG welder (Buy from Amazon)
The guys at Miller recognized the need for a powerful small to mid-sized MIG welder that can give the amateur welder professional results. What they came up with is the Millermatic 211 MIG welder. It’s an intelligent MIG welder that uses a computer to do all the calculations for you. No more guessing or trying to follow charts to figure out how to set up the welder for the job you’re doing. The Millermatic 211 will do all that for you.
So, if you’re one of the many people who want a MIG welder but has been put off by all the complicated settings, this machine is the best MIG welder for you. That’s why it’s so popular, it’s the easiest MIG welder to use. The Millermatic 211 automates everything for you and even first-time welders can get going with very little practice.
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Millermatic 211 | MIG Welder
- Quick Select drive roll makes setup quicker by offering three grooves—two for different size solid wire and a third for flux-cored wire.
- Auto Spool Gun Detect automatically detects when a MIG gun or spool gun is connected eliminating the need for a switch.
- Fan-On-Demand power source cooling system operates only when needed, reducing noise, energy use and the amount of contaminants pulled though the machine.
- Smooth-Start provides a smooth, spatter-free start. It’s the best-starting machine in the small MIG machine category.
- Angled cast-aluminum drive system with calibrated tension knob creates consistent feeding and easy setup for up to 15-foot MIG guns.
- Multi-voltage plug (MVP) allows connection to common 120 or 240 V power receptacles without the use of any tools— simply choose the plug that fits the receptacle and connect to the power cord.
✓ View or download the TECH SHEET for the Millermatic 211.
Overview | Millermatic 211
Let’s start out by looking at the automated features that make this versatile MIG welder such a favorite. The most obvious advantage of using the Millermatic 211 is its Auto-Set function. The wire feed dial and voltage dial can be used in two modes – automatic (Auto-Set) and manual, with the manual setting you can use it like any other MIG welder and set the output voltage and wire feed speed to suit you.
If you choose to use the Auto-Set function, there’s no thinking involved. The top dial that is usually used to set the wire feed in inches/min can be set to a wire thickness that matches the wire spool that you’re using. You can choose the material type with a selector switch with options for steel (C25 or C100), stainless steel, Aluminum or flux cored welding.
The voltage dial can be set for material thickness instead of the usual 1-10 infinite voltage settings. The built-in computer will calculate the correct wire speed and voltage for the type of material, wire diameter and material thickness that you’ve selected. All the Auto-Set functions are marked in blue, so it’s easy for you to determine whether you’re choosing to make the settings yourself or let the welder’s onboard computer do it for you. If you prefer to make your own settings, there’s a fully comprehensive table inside the wire spool compartment to help you choose the correct settings for the best results.
The Auto-Set function is not the only automated feature on the Millermatic 211. Yes, there’s more. It also has an Auto Spool Gun Detect which will automatically select the spool feed when you connect a MIG gun or spool gun. There’s no switch for this, so there’s one less thing to worry about. The spool drive roll is made for simple operation. It has three grooves one for thicker diameter wire, one for thinner wire and one for flux cored wire. The cast aluminum drive system is of the highest quality and it has a calibrated tensioning knob to ensure that you get a perfect wire feed with the least amount of hassle when setting it up.
Video Review | Millermatic 211 | Buy from Amazon
One more advantage for less experienced and professional welders alike is the Smooth-Start action. This has become fairly common with the use of inverter technology. The Millermatic 211 has one of the best start-up current control mechanisms for a welder in this category. It controls the current when initiating the arc so that your weld starts easily without any splatter.
One may think that all these automated features come with some sort of compromise. However, this is not the case. You can choose not to use the Auto-Set function, in which case you’ll have the same control over your settings as with any other MIG welder and all the other automated functions just make things easier – whether you’re a seasoned professional or a complete novice.
The general specs of the Millermatic 211 are up there with the best of them and it offers all the power and functionality that you’d expect from an inverter MIG welder of this size. It can handle both solid and flux cored wire using an input voltage of either 110V, 115V, 120V, 220V, 230V, or 240V. The welder comes with Multi-Voltage Plug (MVP) so it adapts easily from using a standard household power outlet to a 240V outlet.
When using the welder on standard household (120V) power it has a rated output of 115A at 19.8VDC with a 20% duty cycle. If you increase the AC input voltage to 240V, you’ll get a rated output of 150A at 21.5VDC and a duty cycle of 40%. This allows for a good material thickness for steel and stainless steel and a reasonable power output for aluminum welding. Maximum open circuit voltage is 54VDC with a total amp range of 30A – 230A.
The spool roll can accommodate a spool size of 8” and it has a good range for wire diameter. If you’re using solid steel or stainless steel wire, it will handle 0.024” – 0.035” wire diameters. It will take flux cored wire from 0.03” – 0.045”
Apart from a very smooth welding action, inverter technology has another advantage. The Millermatic 211 weighs only 38 LBS and is very compact, measuring 11.25” in width, 12.5” high, with a length of 20.5”. It has excellently designed carry handles and can be held easily by one or two people. There’s an option of a transporting cart if you don’t want to lift it and carry it around.
When you buy the Millermatic 211, you get the full kit to get you started this includes:
- The Millermatic 211 inverter welder unit.
- The 120V/240V MPT adapter and a 6.5 Ft power cord.
- M-100 MIG gun with 10 Ft power cable.
- Heavy duty work clamp with 10 Ft power cable.
- Mix regulator for Argon and AR/CO² gas with gauges.
- A spool of Hobart 0.03” solid wire.
- 2 X contact tips for 0.03” wire.
- The Quick-Select drive roll which can hold 0.024” or 0.030”/0.035” solid wire and 0.03/0.035 flux cored wire
- A material thickness gauge.
- Convenient “hook and loop” cable straps for convenient transporting and storage.
You also have a range of optional extras like the Spoolmate 150 and Spoolmate 100 gun, a cart and a protective cover.
Miller equipment is built to the best industry specifications and they provide a fantastic warranty agreement. The Miller True Blue warranty offers a 5-year warranty for parts (3-years for labor) on the main power rectifiers, diodes, and Discrete Rectifier Modules. The inverter power source, process controllers, and automatic wire feeders are covered for 3-years. The other components like MIG gun and pipes are covered for 1-year. This is one of the best warranties that you’ll find for this type of equipment.
Video Review | Millermatic 211 | Buy from Amazon
Tech Specs: Millermatic 211 MIG Welder
- MIG (GMAW) : Flux Cored (FCAW)
- Industries Interests : DIY / Home Hobbyist / Farm and Ranch / Metal Art / Sculptures / Racing / Customizing / Restoring
Weldable Metals Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
- Input Voltage : 110/115/120V AND 220/230/240V
- Input Phase : 1-Phase
- Input Hz : 50 / 60 Hz
- Current Type : DC
- Rated Output
- 150 A at 21.5 VDC, 40% duty cycle (240V)
- 115 A at 19.8 VDC, 20% duty cycle (120V)
- Max Open Circuit Voltage : 54 VDC
- Amperage Range : 30 A – 230 A
- Wire Feed Speed :
- 60 IPM – 600 IPM
- 1.5 m/min – 15.2 m/min
- Wire Diameter :
- Solid Steel : 0.024 in 0.035 in
- Stainless : 0.024 in 0.035 in
- Flux Cored : 0.03 in 0.045 in
- Solid Steel : 0.6 mm 0.9 mm
- Stainless : 0.6 mm 0.9 mm
- Flux Cored : 0.8 mm 1.2 mm
- Spool Size : 8″ (203 mm)
- SIZE : Width 11.25″ / Height 12.5″ / Length 20.5″
- Net Weight : 38 lbs
- Warranty : Miller’s True Blue Warranty
Learn more about the Millermatic 211 on the Miller site.
Forney 242 (Model : 327) | MIG Welder
- Euro connect for faster torch maintenance
- Digital meter providing easy set up
- Dual MIG setup
- 2 Euro connectors, one dedicated for a spool gun
- Integrated wheels and heavy duty casters
- Fold down door for easy access
- Torch with built in strain relief
- Welds aluminum and steel with the flip of a switch
- Larger cabinet for 4″ (1-2lbs), 8″ (10-11lbs), or 12″ (25-44lbs) spools
- Slope and burn back controls
- Ability to weld spray transfer with .035″” wire
- Upgraded cast aluminum wire drive system
- Dual geared idler and drive roll with better de-spooler
- 15′ power cord and torch
Overview | Forney 242 – 327
If you’re looking for a more industrial-type MIG welder and don’t see the need for all those automated features, you’ll find that the Forney 242 – 327 is more to your liking. It’s more expensive, much heavier and bigger than the Millermatic 211. I should point out from the beginning that this MIG welder is designed and built with a completely different user in mind. The Millermatic 211 is intended for people who want a machine that is portable and as easy to use as possible. The Forney 327 is designed for hard-working professional settings.
You just need to look at the 213 LBS weight of the machine to know that it’s a very different beast. This extra weight tells you immediately that there’s a lot of copper inside the Forney 242 – 327 . This means that it has a large, heavy-duty transformer instead of an inverter. Inverter welders have the advantage of being much lighter and they’re easier to use because the inverter will control the current for you and makes for a softer start. But if you want an industrial machine that’s going to work all day, every day for many years, the solid durability of a transformer will suit you better. The Forney 242 is also a large piece of equipment, measuring 38” X 14” X 34”.
The Forney 242 – 327 is the best choice for professionals who want to work faster and want to work efficiently for long hours. It has a much better duty cycle than the Millermatic 211, at 155A you have a duty cycle of 60% (the Millermatic 211 gives you 150A at a 40% duty cycle). The amp range is 240A. If time is money for you, then you’ll see the advantage of this. Because it uses a transformer, the Forney 242 – 327 will prove to be more reliable when working it continuously over a long period of time.
It’s able to accommodate a larger spool, so you can use a 4”; 8” or 12” spool. The cast aluminum wire drive system is top quality and utilizes a dual drive idler and drive roll. The wire drive will take wire up to 0.045”. Some of the features that make the Forney 242 – 327 very user-friendly are the Euro connect fittings, digital meter, dual MIG setup and a single switch control for aluminum welding. To make it easier to move the hefty machine about, it has durable castors. Though you won’t need to move it around the workshop too much because it has an excellent reach of 15 Ft for the ground clamp and MIG gun.
Because this is primarily an industrial machine, you don’t have the option of a 120V lower power input and output. The Forney 242 – 327 uses a 230V input power source. It has a very similar 5/3/1-year warranty to the Millermatic 211. So you are assured of quality, service, and reliability.
- Input Power : 230V
- Amperage Range : 240A
- Wire Diameter Range : Up to .045″
- Rated Output : 155 AMP @60% Duty Cycle
- Plate Thickness Range : 24 ga – 3/8″
- Dimensions : 38″ x 14″ x 34″
- Weight : 213 lbs.