Millermatic 211 MIG Welder Review
If you are a welder by trade, then you know the importance of having a durable and dependable welder on site with you. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at one of the best all around versatile MIG welders, the Millermatic 211 welder. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at the details of what makes this one of the most popular MIG welders on the market. As part of our review, we are going to go over the design of this MIG welder as well as the performance and capabilities that it has to offer users. Our review will also include a quick snippet of its price point when compared to other MIG welders too. Before we get started, however, we need to learn a little bit about welders. We will start by taking a quick glance at the Miller Electric brand, the makers of the Millermatic 211. After this, we will take a quick runthrough of welders in general and the different options you have available to your.
Miller Electric: Behind the Brand
The Millermatic 211 is the brainchild of one of the most notable welding companies, the Miller Electric Company. The Miller Electric Company found its footing in 1929 by founder Niels Miller. Neil Miller revolutionized the world of welding by designing a small arc welder that was used for welding materials together. His welder was a significantly lighter and cheaper option than the current DC rotary unit options that were available at the time. After spending years enhancing his craft, Niels Mueller teamed up with Al Muddler, Miller’s primary engineer and the Miller Electric Manufacturing Company was on its way to crafting the world’s first high frequency stabilized AC welder that was designed for industrial use. This welder became the staple welder for factories and construction sites all over the country. In 1971, The Miller Electric Company went on to produce their now popular Millermatic unit. The Millermatic is a MIG welder. This welder then branched out to a wider market and has since sold countless units.
Today, the brand has become one of reputability, dependability, and absolute power. The Miller Electric brand has continued to astound the industry with their reliable welders and innovative technologies. The Millermatic 211 is another one that carries on the tradition of innovation.
The Different Types of Welder Processes
When you are purchasing a welder, you need to know the type of welder you are investing in. Typically, there are four common types of welders. The Millermatic 211 is what is considered to be a MIG welder. Let’s briefly go over the different types of welder options available. Knowing the different processes will allow you to make the best choice for your needs.
MIG Welder (Metal Inert Gas)
The MIG welder is one of the most popular processes you will find when you are shopping around for a welder. It is also often referred to as a gas metal arc welding or GMAW. This type of welding revolves around the idea that you take two pieces of metal along with the wire that is connected to an electric current. In this process, a shielding gas is used with the wire electrode. This then heats up the two metals so that they are joined. There’s a constant current of voltage from the power source that is needed in the MIG process. Typically, you will want to use a MIG welder if you are fusing together stainless steel, aluminum, as well as mild steel. The welding is not one that will be used for decorative use.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) or (GTAW) Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
The next type of welding you will find is a TIG Welder. This type of welding process is also called Heliarc welding. With a TIG, you will find that there is a tungsten electrode which is non-consumable and delivers the current to the welding arc. Much like a MIG, you will need to use an external gas supply. The gas supply can be either an argon gas or argon and helium mixture. For welding with TIG, you will typically be using a filler material that will be used or both reinforcement and build-up. This is another one of the most popular types of welding as it allows you to achieve a high degree of purity and a really clean weld. This is ideal if you are welding will be something that will be visible in your project. Typically, with a TIG, you will be welding stainless steel, aluminum and magnesium. It is also ideal for welding together copper and nickel.
STICK (Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
This next type of welding technique is commonly referred to as STICK welding. This is a process in which an electrode is used to carry the electric current that is then used to weld metal. The electricity melts both the electrode and the metal joint all at once in order to fuse different pieces together. Additionally, it is used to fill a filler metal as well. With a STICK welder, there are four components that you will use in your equipment. These components include a constant voltage power supply, or your main component of the STICK welder. There is also the electrode holder or the rod holder that you will use for your electrode. Next you will need a ground clamp, and of course STICK welding electrodes and other rods that you will weld with. The equipment used with a STICK welder is the simplest when it comes to the electric arc welding process. Depending on the electrode type you use, a STICK welder can be both AC and DC power.
Flux Cored Arc Welding FCAW
The next type of welding process you will commonly find is the flux cored arc welding or FCAW. This type of welding features either an automatic or a semi automatic arc welding process. You will need to use a continuously fed electrode that contains a constant supply of current. Sometimes, you can use an external shielding gas as well. What makes this one of the most popular types of welding processes is the fact that it allows you to have a high welding speed. The construction of a FCAW welder was designed as an alternative for shielded metal arc welding. The main advantage that an FCAW has over SMAW is that the use of stick electrodes are not necessary like they are with SMAW welding.
- Advanced Auto-Set
- Inverter based
- Multi-voltage plug
- Aluminum wire feed
- Quick select drive roll
- Auto gun detection
- Fan-on-demand cooling
- Smooth start technology
- Rebates available
- Quality issues affecting some
- Ground clamp needs improvement
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder Review
Now that you have a little bit of background information about the different types of welding processes, let’s take a closer look at the Millermatic 211 MIG welder.
The design of the Millermatic 211 MIG welder is one of dependability, sturdiness, and precision. The exterior features a durable construction that allows it to withstand a range of environments. Part of this durability includes the handles and running gear and cart options that allow you to tote it from one location to another. When it comes to the exact specifications, the Millermatic 211 measures out to 11.25 inches in width, 12.5 inches in height, and 20.5 inches in length. Overall, it is one of the most portable MIG welding machines as it only weighs 38 lbs. You can easily tote it from one location to another thanks to its portable design.
The advanced auto-set feature on the Millermatic 211 is a thing of technical beauty. It’s designed to take any guesswork out of your job so you can focus on what’s important and get the job done right. Long gone are the days of trying to figure out mental math in your head and trying to keep track of several different parameters at once.
With advanced auto-set all you have to know is the thickness of the material you’re welding and the wire diameter. The rig takes care of the rest. It automatically adjusts the feed speed and voltage to give you a silky smooth bead every time you lay it down.
This not only saves time trying to do the calculations in your head it also saves on material for when you eventually get the numbers wrong and have to start over. With the Millermatic 211, the Advanced Auto set comes with five different gas and wire combinations. The Advanced Auto set includes five different wire and gas combinations. You will also find the capabilities of .024, .030, .035 inch wires. This is allowed to Millermatic 211 2 bounce up a couple of points in terms of Versatility.
There are two types of welders – inverter and transformer. For the sake of portability, most welders these days are inverter based and if you’ll notice the size, the Millermatic 211 is no exception. There are several good reasons why inverter is superior to transformer:
Uses less power – Inverter based welders use significantly less power to do the job. Less power means a lower power bill at the end of the month and that’s always a good thing.
Weighs less – Portability is the name of the game with inverter machines. The Millermatic 211 is less than two-feet in length, weighs in around 38 lbs and still manages to output 230 amps of metal melting power. The inverter technology combined with this weight allows the Millermatic 211 to be excellent in performance.
Arc performance – The arc is incredibly forgiving to the different variations of material type and thickness, travel speed and distance from the metal.
Thanks to the inverter based technology the Millermatic 211 weighs a mere 38 lbs – that’s up to 40% lighter than any other welder in its class. The portability of the Millermatic 211 is absolutely paramount because it means you can work in a variety of settings, not just in a fixed location. This easy portability allows this welder to stand out amongst the competition. Combine that with the three conveniently located handles and you have a powerful MIG welder with the ability to pack up and go at a moments notice.
Despite it being so lightweight we still have to mention its additional portability options. If you want to make portability a thing of the past, then Miller makes a running gear / cylinder rack for exactly that purpose because no matter how much the welder itself weighs, if you’re MIG welding you’ll always have to carry a tank of gas with you. The rack just makes your life a little bit easier. Simply pack it up and you’re off!
The multi-voltage plug, or MVP as Miller likes to call, it is an adapter that lets you easily change from one voltage type to another depending on how much power you need.
The Millermatic 211 is a 230 amp welder so in order to output all 230 amps you need to switch to the 240-volt plug. But if you aren’t using it at full power the common 120-volt plug will usually suffice. This is what makes the Millermatic 211 so versatile. It’s ideal for home use on a standard 120V plug, but if necessary it can step up and take on some heavier-duty industrial tasks with the 240V plug.
No tools are required to change. Simply twist and pull to remove and vise-versa to attach. This ease of access is another reason why the Millermatic 211 is such an attractive piece of equipment.
Quick select drive roll
Speaking of easy access, the quick select a driver with something every user is sure to appreciate. This neat feature allows you to quickly change spools effortlessly so you can get back to what’s important. You will find that there are three grooves. There are two grooves for different sized solid wire as well as an additional groove for a flux cored wire. If you want to switch between the three, you will simply need to push in and rotate the drive roll to the desired setting. This ability to change different wires is absolutely awesome because setup time is quicker than ever.
Aluminum wire feed
These days plastic just won’t cut it any more. People, and especially tradesman, are sick of buying low-quality plastic crap only to have it break the day after the warranty expires. Thankfully Miller knows. They have listened to the complaints and have taken that into consideration when they were crafting this piece of equipment. In the name of durability and dependability, you will find a robust and reliable, angled cast-aluminum wire feed system. This system features a fortified cast-aluminum drive system that is rugged enough to withstand the rough conditions of a job site, the Millermatic 211 is a rig that can take some abuse. It’s been updated in recent years to support longer torch options (up to 15 feet) and delivers smoother, more reliable wire feeding.
Another thing to note is the position of the system. The feeder is positioned at an angle with calibrated tension knobs to provide consistent feeding and easy setup. This allows you to have one less thing you have to worry about.
Auto gun detection
The Millermatic 211 can use two different types of guns – spool or MIG. Miller uses auto spool gun detect technology to make switching between the two seem effortless. The gun is automatically detected and settings adjusted so you can get on with it.
MIG Gun – The most common gun type is MIG. It can be used in almost any situation that requires MIG welding. The wire is pushed from the welder itself to the gun.
Spool Gun – Used mainly for welding aluminum and other soft metals. The wire is pulled through rather than pushed to prevent kinks in the wire.
Another simple to use and easy feature that makes a world of a difference with this piece of machine is the on demand cooling fan. In order to save on electricity costs the Millermatic 211 employs their patented Fan-on-Demand technology. As the name implies, the fan sits idle until the rig warms up then the fan kicks in just enough to cool it down. In addition to cooling, the fan-on-demand system has several other benefits.
First, not having the fan constantly running reduces background noise and if you work in a construction zone. Even the smallest amount of noise reduction can make a huge difference in your overall work day.
Second, it reduces the amount of contaminants pulled through the machine. Unless regularly cleaned this can have a huge effect on the lifespan of the unit. As with any unit, proper upkeep will keep your appointment running longer than ever.
Smooth start technology
Another way Miller is able to outshine the rest is in their Smooth Start Technology. This patented technology allows you to lay down a nice bead from start to finish. Smooth start provides a clean, spatter-free start without all that popping and spray you sometimes get on other welders. While this may not sound like a huge deal breaker in terms of features, this level of perfection allows you to get on with your projects seamlessly and smoothly.
Miller is the reigning champion when it comes to rebates. Depending on where you buy your welder from you could get a sizable chunk of money back. If you buy from Amazon for example, they are supplied by Bakers Gas who offer $100 off the Millermatic 211 and up to $300 off related products.
If you want the quality of a Miller but can’t quite justify the cost, look up what rebates are available. You are sure to find that there is some sort of rebate you can take advantage of.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
As with any piece of machinery, you will find that there are comparable pros and cons. In this section, we will take a look at some of the main pros and cons of the Millermatic 211. Our insight will include some of the negative aspects you can expect to find as well as the positive aspects you can expect to find with this product. Knowing these details will allow you to make the best choice for your needs.
One of the biggest downsides of the Millermatic 211 is the fact that it is expensive. Although it is a little high on the price point, you do have to consider that you are getting a great buy as well as a whole lot of value for your money.
For starters, you get a powerful 230 amp welder including a spool of flux-cored wire and everything else you need to get started welding immediately. This level of equipment allows you to get started with your project without having to worry about any additional purchases. Second, the fact that it’s inverter based adds significantly to the price. This is the type of performance and power that allows you to have a great machine, so it is expected that you will have to pay a pretty penny. Lastly, the quality of the brand name alone is enough to warrant an extra several hundred dollars. When you purchase from a reputable brand such as Miller Electric, you have the peace of mind that you have a dependable and durable product on your side.
Cost could be an issue but if you’re a serious welder, investing in your equipment should be a priority.
Quality issues affecting some
I haven’t experienced this issue myself but according to some customer reviews, there is a murmur of complaint regarding the quality issues that affect some units of the Millermatic 211’s. The main complaint is that the grooves in the drive wheel did not line up with the center-line of the input spindle. While this is something that a couple of customers have complained about, it should be noted that the complaints are very few and far in between. In issues were customers have complained about the quality issue, the Miller Electric Company has been quick and their customer service with replacing defective models.
Ground clamp needs improvement
I’m just being picky at this point but I did notice that the ground clamp was a bit on the short side and it isn’t as insulated as I would like. If you are anything like me, this might be an annoyance to you. However the annoyance is not a determining factor in the quality of the product and it is certainly not a deal breaker. If it were 5 feet longer and slightly thicker it’d be perfect.
When it comes to the overall energy efficiency of the Millermatic 211, the Miller Electric Company has nailed it. With neat features like the Fan on Demand and the angled cast aluminium drive system, you get a quality machine that is dependable, durable, and straightforward.
One of the standout features of the Millermatic 211 is the fact that it is incredibly portable. Because it weighs less than 40 lb, you can easily bring it along with you everywhere. This portability allows you to have the option of working from job site to job site. You are no longer restricted to one location due to a bulky and heavy welding machine. Additionally, if you find that it is still a little too heavy for you to move around, is compatible with many wheeling kits for you to wheel it around easier than ever.
Easy to Use
Because of its simplistic construction, operation, and design, it is one of the best MIG welders to get started on if you are an amateur. However, that does not mean experienced craftsman can’t take advantage of this powerful tool as well.
When you purchase a Millermatic 211 MIG welder, you do have the option of purchasing additional accessories. Let’s take a look at some of the accessories you have on hand.
MDX 100 MIG Welding Gun – The MDX 100 MIG Welding Gun comes with an easy to use handle that features rubber molding and a rear sway bar. It also features an optimized wire feed pack. This wire feed pad allows you to have reliable performance every time without the hassle of cumbersome maintenance.
Spoolmate 150 Spool Gun – There is also the Spoolmate 150 Spool Gun that offers you 20 feet of cable reach. This extra reach allows you accessibility on your project like no other. With this additional length, you can expect to find a smooth feeding of 4000 and 5000 series aluminum wire. Customers who have purchased the Spoolmate 150 Spool Gun cannot stop raving about how much easier projects become things to this ease of accessibility.
Millermatic Diversion Cart – We have talked about the portability that the Millermatic 211 offers. But what we have not talked about specifically is the carrying cart that makes toting your Millermatic 211 around easier than ever. This cart, designed by the Miller Electric brand is durable and sturdy and it’s perfect for welders who are always moving from site to site. The cart features rear wheels that are comprised of rubber that make movement smooth and hassle-free. The Millermatic diversion cart is compatible with a range of Millermatic models including the Millermatic 125 hobby, 141, 190, and of course the 211. It is also compatible with the multimatic 200, 215, and Diversion. Customers who have invested in this cart say it is an absolute game changer as well.
Millermatic Protective Cover – When you are not using you are Millermatic 211, it is common sense to want to protect it from the elements. When this is the case, investing in the protective cover is a great option. This woven nylon cover with pockets allows you to have a level of protection that will keep your Millermatic 211 in pristine condition all year round.
Warranty – With the purchase of a Millermatic 211 MIG Welder, You get the benefit of the True Blue Warranty that the Miller Electric Company provides. This warranty is considered to be the best coverage in the industry. With this warranty, you can expect to find a support system of over 800 authorized service distributors. This is not just nationwide, but it is worldwide. Each technician is trained, certified, and experienced with the Miller Electric brand. part of the luxury with the True Blue Warranty is the fact that the Miller’s signature service program ensures that warranty coverages will be handled within 24 hours of filing. With the Millermatic 211, the warranty coverage will cover you for three years. This is significantly more time than many of the other competitors who only offer one year of coverage.
Final Thoughts on the Millermatic 211 MIG Welder
Overall the Millermatic 211 is a surprisingly powerful inverter unit. It may be small, it may weigh less than 40 lbs but it certainly packs a punch. Complete with both 120V and 240V plugs the Millermatic manages to output a staggering 230 amps of steel destroying power. And with a 40% duty cycle at 150A chances are pretty good that you’ll get tired before it does. Its small compact size, convenient handles and use of inverter technology makes it the easiest welder in its class to carry around. If you can overlook the price, the Millermatic 211 has everything you need in a MIG welder: reliability, power and portability.
Specs and Features
Weight: 38 lbs
Size: L21″ x W11″ x H13″
Power Input: 240V
Power Output: 230A
Duty Cycle: 40% At 150A
Material Thickness: Up to 3/8″ mild steel
Warranty: 3 year