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How the Millermatic 211 MIG Welder Measures Up



Kevin joins Doug at his home in Cave Creek, Arizona, to test Miller's Millermatic 211 with Auto-Set. Together, they are running the welder for the first time at Doug's home.

Kevin shows how easy it is to use the machine's Auto-Set feature. You just set it to your metal's thickness and the size of wire you're running - either .030 or .035 - and the machine does the rest for you. You also have the option to set your voltage and wirefeed manually if you want to adjust either higher or lower.

Inside the case, Miller has supplied a nice chart for setting your voltage and wirefeed manually. It helps you determine starting settings for wire feed, voltage and welding gas based on the type and thickness of metal you are welding. The chart provides specifications for not only the 120 volt setting, but for the 240 setting, too. That's right, this welder can be plugged into an everyday 110 outlet, although it will only provide about half the power as if it were plugged into 220.

Inside the welder has a 11 or 10 pound spool of welding wire, a metal drive roller assembly, and the contacts you switch based on whether you're using flux core wire or solid core wire. The machine is really basic and easy to set up. Now it's time to make some sparks!

Kevin suits up in his leather safety gear. He and Doug have ground the top of the metal sawhorse to get a good contact, prepared and clamped to the bench the two pieces of 1/8" plate they're going to weld, and set up the regulator. Kevin turns on the gas, and flips the switch.

First they test the Auto-Set feature. It's set on .030 wire (the green band) and a little high on the 1/8" voltage scale so it's a little warmer. Kevin tack welds the two pieces of metal in two places. Afterward, he suggests viewers turn back the video a bit and listen to sound of the weld. "Can you hear it skipping?" He asked. He decides to turn up the wirefeed a little to see if that goes away, although it also could have been caused by a little kink in the cable. He runs another bead that sounds a little better.

Next, they set the machine manually according to the chart inside the welder case. They're running solid core wire, mild steel, 240 volts, 1/8" plate, so they can see they need to set the machine to 4.5 volts and 65 wire speed - that's what Miller recommends as a starting point. Doug runs another bead to see if they need to adjust it again. Kevin said the machine looks like it's doing pretty well, although he recommends turning up the voltage a little to, say, 4.75. Then Doug runs another bead, which Kevin says looks better.

Then they flip over the metal and clamp it down again to run an outside bead. Kevin suggests adjusting the voltage and wirefeed again to address that skip Doug was getting, resetting the voltage to 4.5 and slowing the wirefeed to 55. Doug runs the bead on an outside corner of the scap metal, which looks pretty good. Next Kevin suggests Doug weld again, pushing the puddle this time instead of pulling it. Doug's last weld was nice and close and got decent penetration. Kevin says welder did well with both the Auto-Set and manual settings.

Next they really put the machine to work, welding a piece of 1/4" plate. First they use Auto-Set. Doug sets the machine for .030 wire and about the middle of the voltage scale for 1/4" plate metal.

Because of the gap between the two pieces of metal, Kevin is going to first push the puddle to fill the gap, then as the two pieces of metal get closer together, he'll slow down a bit and pull it the rest of the way. After he runs the first bead, he asks Doug to turn down the voltage to the bottom of the 1/4" scale so he can fill in the gap a little more easily. That worked a little better.

Now they set the welder manually, based on Miller's recommended settings, 6 and 90. Kevin says that looks pretty good - while welding, he could see it pentrating the metal. On the inside, you can see where both welds penetrated completely. "You've got yourself a little workhorse right there," Kevin tells Doug.

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