View Full Version : Esab welders
01-17-2008, 09:40 PM
How do the Esab 173 & 203 mig welders compare to the Miller 180/210, and the Hobart HH210? From what I've noticed, all the major brands have a following, and for the average user, you couldn't go too wrong in the 180-200ish amp range, but I don't hear much about the yellow guys...
01-18-2008, 01:22 AM
That is a good question. I too am a bit curious. Just keep in mind, the name at the top of the screen. Replies may be a bit biased. At the same time, I think most everyone of the members here are good folks. There are some die-hard Esab fans among this board as well. Just, fewer, and farther between. Most I have heard about are bigger machines, in the 225 amp+ range.
I myself have a 1970"s vintage pre-Esab wire feeder that I've made work with my lincoln power supply. It is quite, er, basic lets say. But I can replace every stinkin part on it, and it's harder then heck to kill. Oh, except finding the cross reference for new drive rolls is a problem. I just used washers for spacing, and put several different sized additional grooves in the original roller. Worked really really well too! Good luck! Brian Lee Sparkeee29
01-18-2008, 07:41 AM
I bought a used Esab plasma ( 60 amp unit ). No complaints.
There really hasn't been much feed back on the ESAB 173 or 203. The only I can think of right now is from the board member who goes by the name of Brand X, and even then his useage has just been a few short test drives. The few of use on here that have advertised we own ESAB, have the Migmaster 250, Migmaster 250 Plus or Multimaster 260. All three seem to be real good units. I can state that for what I do, which is mostly 1/8" - 1/4" mild steel, the Migmaster 250 is real good. Of course this doesn't translate into meaning that the 173 or 203 are good units too.
Honestly at this point, if I were choosing a unit in the 180 - 210 amp range, I 'd go with either a Hh 187, HH 210, or MM 210/212. All three have a solid track record.
01-18-2008, 09:10 PM
If the 173 was priced right it would be a decent option for larger spools of wire.
The 203 falls somewhat in a range where there is much better options available.
I know the little 173 has a whole lot of voltage for such a small machine. It will break into a spray type arc with .030 and C-25 gas.
02-11-2008, 09:54 AM
Info from 20 years in the welding business.
I started my biz with a Lincoln crackerbox. As soon as I got some business I talked to others and my closest Welding Supply. The consensus was the major manufacturers are all good.
I lucked out and bought Linde 3 in 1's from the Supply down the street. My biz grew like crazy and I soon realized, when I needed help, they were there. I always bought Machines and equipment that had local, fast service available. I had 600A Lincolns + Motor Generators with Automated Welding and lots of Lindes larger machines. The 3 in 1's lasted for at least 10 years & it simply outgrew them.
The main point is: Buy a machine that has local service & parts. Downtime is a bummer. The LWS is a real resource when you need help.