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MIG Welders: What to buy?!

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So I've been seriously tempted in buying and try my hand at MIG welding for some time now. The problem is, I don't have the slightest idea on what welder to buy. My welder budget is about $350. I've read than getting anything below 20%-40% duty cycle is just useless. I'm not sure to take a risk and get a no name welder like this one, http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/tld/3525639560.html 

or get anything from CL at all. I've seen some pretty tempting welders like these


(Need to call to get specs)


May buy new instead since new goes for around $40(?) more if I do decide to go with this one.


This one...


Or just get the HB special... which I've heard terrible things about.



I will most likely use it for body work, but would probably end up doing something a bit more thicker than sheet metal in the long run.


So basically what I'm asking you welder folks is, what SHOULD I look for when purchasing/using a welder? Any other welder/welding tips & info. is greatly welcomed as well.
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I would buy a lincolin miller or hobart all 3 are very good brands and good quality a cheaper welder might do the trick but I own  a miiler 250 for heavy duty stuff all the way to the lightest stuff and a portable lincolin pro 135 for lighter duty it runs on 110 and can be used with a generator if needed 

both machines have worked flawless for many years 

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You're already on the right track looking to buy used. IMO, stay away from HF welders. Not that they're bad, but you can get so much more for the money buying used.


I used a really nice Miller 350P a few years back when my brother used to work for a metal fab shop. Sonovabitch would weld brake rotors together like it was gluing paper. Way out of anyone's budget here though.


I'd really consider a Miller if I was in the market though. Very nice stuff.

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My first mig was a HF 220V welder, it has worked great for over twenty years although I have not used it for a couple, the only big drawback to HF welders is that you have to buy everything from HF except for the wire itself, even the tips, any replacement parts, and if you don't have the part numbers, you are screwed.

I never in the 20 years have I ever had to replace a liner, or anything else for that matter except for tips.


I now own a miller passport plus(110/220) suit case mig, I have already had to change the liner, they just don't make things like they used to anymore.


One of the biggest issues I have with the HF welder is that the thing is heavy and the lead is to short, and since it is so heavy, I don't even use it anymore, BTW I only use flux core wire with it, even though it was capable of gas, I never bought the parts.


The miller is great for ease of use, it's easy to pick up and move closer to the work when using flux core wire, not so easy when using gas though with that big bottle to move, but the welds are prettier when gas is used, I have never had any of the welds fail with either welder, even though I am not that good of a welder per say.


The miller cost me over 6 times what the HF cost me, if I had all my welding to do over again, I would do it exactly the same way, the HF welder was a great first mig welder, I put my 521KC together with that HF welder.


Mine was a harbor freight "dual mig 151T/1"

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A good welder has good equipment. Buy the biggest and best Miller you can afford. That's about all their is to it especially if you have plans on using it a lot. If your doing body work with it, I suggest you find one with a spot timer their nice for body work.

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The budget is set at around $350 for a welder , I need some recommendations on specific models, and why if you can. FIY, the closest experience to welding I've had is soldering wire, so if any of you guys can give a guy some tips or info. on what to look out for or what to look for when purchasing and using a welder I'm all ears(eyes?). lol 

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