MIG90 or MIG180? Which is the better welder?

Honestly, it’s a close battle. Read on to find out who wins!

Here is some basic stats on both the welders to help you understand where I’m coming from here. See the end of the article for a full stat breakdown of both machines.

Differences:  

  • Price: The MIG180 costs double, but has double the capability.  
  • Input Voltage: The MIG180 can run on 120V/240V. MIG90 runs on only 120V 
  • Max Material Thickness (on 240V): MIG180, 5/16”. The MIG90 is stuck on 120V 
  • Size & Weight: The MIG90 is (nearly) half the size of the MIG180.  

Identicals:  

  • Warranty: 3-year warranty (Standard across all EW welders) 
  • Guarantee: 90-day satisfaction guarantee (Standard across all EW welders) 
  • Minimum Material Thickness: 24 ga. for both. 
  • Power: IGBT Inverter 
  • Torch Consumables: Tweco style nozzle and contact tips 

Similarities:

  • Duty cycle (on 120V): MIG90, 25% @ 90 Amps. MIG180, 30% @ 90 Amps. 
  • Maximum Material Thickness (on 120V): MIG90, 1/8”. MIG180 3/16”  

Alright, let’s get into the battle. 
You’re not really going to find anything thicker than ⅛” on most cars.
Look at the last “similarity” between these two welders. On a 120V outlet, you’re looking at a tiny difference in maximum material thickness, with both welders topping out at around ⅛”. The duty cycle is similar too. With the MIG180 handicapped to a 120V outlet, these welders are pretty much the same. ⅛” isn’t anything to scoff at either. If you’re doing automotive work, it’s rare that you’re going to find anything thicker than that; with the exception of some heavy-duty truck frames. Other than that, a welder that can work with ⅛” will have you covered 99% of the time. So let’s test it out. Does the MIG90 weld just as well as the MIG180 for automotive work? Let’s weld some ⅛” plate and find out. 

The Setup
All variables are under control.
First, let’s talk about the setup for the experiment, each machine is ran with brand new, fresh, .030 wire. (and yes, the MIG90 does include a contact tip for .030) I’m using the same gas bottle for both machines, a 25% CO2, 75% Ar mix. I have both machines grounded to the table. Both machines are plugged into a standard 120V wall outlet to even the playing field. I’ll be welding on some freshly cleaned ⅛” mild steel; shoutout to the Contour SCT. Everything for our experiment here is under control. Let’s see what happens.  

The Results
I’m not an artist, ok – I know that. After all, a grinder and paint will make a welder what he aint.  

MIG 90 Weld (Left) vs MIG 180 Weld (Right)

Well what do you know? Looks the same to me. That’s exactly what I was expecting. No porosity. Good discoloration. Good penetration. No undercut. There’s literally no difference between the MIG90 and the MIG180 up to ⅛”. Now, sure- I love power, just like anyone else. However, this goes to show that you really don’t need a powerful welder to get good welds for garage projects. 

TL;DR/my personal opinion
Look- here’s my personal opinion. If you’re working on regular car stuff and want a welder for the garage, the MIG90 is the pick for you. It’s budget friendly, and leaves tons of room in the budget for gear. It can weld up top ⅛”. It comes with a spool of .023 wire, a gas hose, and contact tips. It can do flux core when you’re outside of the garage. It’s also lighter, and easier to move around. Last but not least, it comes with a 3-year warranty.  

The MIG180 is still worth it, but only if you need the ability to weld up to 5/16” (you’ll need to spend extra money installing a 240V outlet to do so.) You’ll also want the MIG180 if you’re trying to weld aluminum with the spool gun. (Also consider the MIG140 if you’re looking for spool gun capability). I hope this helped you make your decision. Whatever you chose, congrats on your new Eastwood welder, you’re going to love it. 

As always, thank you for reading,
-JD
Media Host/Eastwood Content Creator/Honda Motorcycle Wrangler

 

Eastwood 180 Amp MIG Welder

Eastwood 90 Amp MIG Welder

Be sure to check out the video I made about this topic here: YouTube: Can the MIG 90 Keep Up with the MIG 180? Head to Head Weld Test! Eastwood

 

Here’s the full stats for both machines; back-to-back

MIG90

  • Processes: True MIG welding / Flux-Core
  • Price: <$300
    • Includes 5’ gas hose, regulator, .023 & .030 contact tips, 2lb. spool of .023 (0.6mm) solid wire.
  • Input Voltage: 1 Phase, 120VAC, 50/60 Hz (Standard wall outlet)
  • Maximum Material Thickness: 1/8″
  • Minimum Material Thickness: 24 ga.
  • Duty cycle: 25% @ 90 Amps, 60% @ 65 Amps, 100% @ 50 Amps
  • Weight: 14.52 lbs (6.59 kg)
  • Overall Dimensions: 10.75” X 5.50″ X 10.75”
  • Power: IGBT Inverter
  • Torch Consumables: Tweco style nozzle and contact tips
  • Aluminum Spool Gun: Not capable
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty (Standard across all EW welders)
  • Guarantee: 90-day satisfaction guarantee (Standard across all EW welders)

MIG180

  • Processes: True MIG welding / Flux-Core
  • Price: <$600
    • Includes 240V to 120V adapter cord, 5’ gas hose, regulator, .030 & .035 contact tips, 2lb. spool of .030” (0.8mm) solid wire.
  • Input Voltage: 1 Phase, 120VAC, 50/60 Hz (Standard wall outlet) OR 240VAC, 60 Hz
  • Maximum Material Thickness: 3/16″(120V input voltage), 5/16″ (240v input voltage)
  • Minimum Material Thickness: 24 ga.
  • Duty cycle (on 120V): 30% @ 90 Amps, 60% @ 65 Amps, 100% @ 50 Amps
  • Duty cycle (on 240V): 30% @ 180 Amps, 60% @ 130 Amps, 100% @ 100 Amps
  • Weight: 25.3 lbs (11.5 kg)
  • Overall Dimensions: 18” X 8.5″ X 13.25”
  • Power: IGBT Inverter
  • Torch Consumables: Tweco style nozzle and contact tips
  • Aluminum Spool Gun: Yes
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty (Standard across all EW welders)
  • Guarantee: 90-day satisfaction guarantee (Standard across all EW welders)

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