My 2 cents, I have owned a Millermatic 200 since it was new in 1990 and never had a single issue with it. If you want a machine that will last a lifetime you might want to shop for a hardly used machine w/o circuit boards.
Add to that, I have a miller 252 at home. Its 5 years old now, and has been flawless since new. We have 11 millers ranging from 300 up to 652 at work. Aside from normal wear and tear, we have only had one with anything near what you would call an abnormal issue........and these machines are not well maintained.
Lincoln 216, then 256 and 350. I have a Power MIG 300 and it's far more welder than I generally use. Best bet is talk to your local welding shop/distributor and see who makes you warm and fuzzy about customer service. I've talked to both Miller and Lincoln on the phone and they've been great. S/F....Ken M
1Gary...i just purchased a new miller 211 and other than the short factory torch lead (10) ft, i really like the machine, the shop i use to work at has a few 252 millers and an ole 200 miller, other than the real heavy plate i can do anything with this one we did with the bigger ones, buy one...you wont be disappointed!
I bought a miller 212 six months ago to replace my 35 year old
find the auto set handy because I'm welding different thickness
material alot on Same job saves time
love the 15 foot lead on it
wish the ground was longer
THis pretty much comes without saying but...
I have a Lincoln Mig Pak 150. Its a 220 machine and served ok over the years.
Last year i had a chance to get a near brand new Millermatic 252. I find it a much better welder obviously. THe voltage adjustment on the Lincoln is set ABCDE. 5 settings. The Miller obviously doesnt have this.
I ran into a problem several times with the Lincoln where I wanted more heat on one setting and there was too much on another.
Hence the upgrade to the Miller.
Now in saying that, there is also a Lincoln Power Mig 255 here. It will weld much like the Miller.
I personally wouldn't hit a dog in the ass with a Lincoln welder. I know they probably make some decent stuff but I have had two bad experiences with them and it has left a sour taste in my mouth for the red welders. I really like the Hobart MIG welders as far as bang for your buck goes. I personally have the Hobart Handler 187 MIG and a Miller Syncrowave 250DX TIG at home. I've used Millers, Hobarts and Lincolns at various employers over the years and always had the most trouble with the red ones. JMO.
Going to call soon to the Miller store to see if they are selling off the machines from their welding classes.In the past they had 211's priced at $899. So it is alittle bit of a discount for basically a new machine.