Review: Amico MIG-130A, 130 Amp Flux Wire Welder, 110/230V Dual Voltage. $149 on Amazon.

lancem

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I bought 5 of the Amico MIG-140GS this year for my crew to use building steel structures. They have been used daily and put through a lot harder use than was probably expected when they were designed. I've had no failures and highly recommend the brand and this model in particular.

 
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So I just bought this... It's not dual voltage if it never uses the second leg. Am I wrong? This is just a 115 volt and not a true 240 welder. Sure you can plug it into a 240 outlet but it only uses one leg. Again, Am I missing something?

I plan to test it out tomorrow but it's NOT what it's advertised (IMHO).
 
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California

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So I just bought this... It's not dual voltage if it never uses the second leg. Am I wrong? This is just a 115 volt and not a true 230 welder. Sure you can plug it into a 230 outlet but it only uses one leg. Again, Am I missing something?

I plan to test it out tomorrow but it's NOT what it's advertised (IMHO).
Interesting.

Which Amico did you buy? My 130A Flux came with a 240 plug on its cord, and an adapter to plug that into 120. It welds a lot hotter plugged into 240.

I don't doubt the 130A claimed output however they attain it, because that welds the same as my HF MIG-180 turned down to an estimated 130A.

I wish there were a circuit diagram in the manual.

I'll be interested to hear what your test shows.
 
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Interesting.

Which Amico did you buy?
it has the 240 plug but in the manual, It states it's one phase. So, one leg is used and the other doesn't connect to any thing (???). Page 7 states the single phase. Same model, used your link to order... Now I'm sure you get the benefit of the larger breaker... but I do not know enough about 50 amp breaker (or 30 in some cases) if that 50 amp breaker is 25 for each leg / phase or combined regardless.
 

California

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I looked in my manual and see that.

I think that is just a distinction that it isn't 3-phase, like an industrial size welder.

But I expect it runs on the 240 volt difference between the two hot wires. (Each is 120 volts above neutral but opposite phase, so 240 volt difference between them).

I've always welded on twin 30 amp breakers feeding to a '50 amp welder' style outlet. I've never tripped those 30 amp breakers with my ancient buzzbox stick welder. It's rated 230 amp AC welding current, Wards PowerKraft, and specifies it wants 50 amp breakers for full output. That must be for repairing bulldozer treads or something. Even that heavy weld in my avatar photo, adding a trailer hitch, only needed that welder cranked up to 50% of full scale. My other welder, HF MIG-180, specifies it needs 30 amp breakers for full 180 amp output and that welder also has never tripped the 30 amp breakers.

I see the Amico calls for 30 amp breakers for 'maximum performance' or 20 amp slow-blow. For equipment this cheap I don't expect to weld at maximum output very much, so I expect 25 amp twin breakers or better feeding the two hots, is all it needs.

Post some photos of your first project! Photos are what make this site interesting.

I think you are going to like your new welder.
 
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Really hate that I can not retract those previous statements!?! 🥵 Burned through the metal pretty quickly🔥 Had it set pretty high and only had 240 to test it out with here.

I do not have a 115/30 amp breaker in the city and do not have a slow burn 20 amp either. But the 115 volt plug that I use my other 115 fluxcore (Titanium Easy-Flux 125 Amp Welder) would not even power up this unit without tripping the breaker. This is way hotter burn and I never got close to the max.

Most of my scrape metal and projects are up in the mountains... this will go up and the Titanium will come back to the city. I'll be re-skining my rough cut mower.
 
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Strange that it's shipped with 0.030 flux core wire but the die to drive was set to .035 (had to reverse the wheel). Was warned about the amount of smoke from this wire.... it lived up to that!!! Will get some Forney flux core wire soon.

The ground clamp is way over kill, (which is very nice, BTW).

I did not get the extended warranty, if it dies, it dies... Need a new target for practice anyway.

I need to burn a whole lot more to get used to the settings, that is for sure. Figure out "Current" and "Voltage" knobs...
 

California

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Strange that it's shipped with 0.030 flux core wire but the die to drive was set to .035 (had to reverse the wheel). Was warned about the amount of smoke from this wire.... it lived up to that!!! ...
...
I need to burn a whole lot more to get used to the settings, that is for sure. Figure out "Current" and "Voltage" knobs...
That smoky cheap wire apparently is included only to verify that the welder arrived in working condition. :) But actually, the welds looked ok after the smoke cleared. I set a desk fan on my work bench while using it.

.030 wire, .035 wheel, check the nozzle orifice. Mine was .040. (My guess was supply chain shortages a year ago.)

Current and Voltage labels don't make any sense. The right knob is current and wire speed, left knob 'Current' must be voltage because it ranges from tall-non-penetrating bead (low voltage) up to a broad thoroughly melted bead, to splatter (voltage too high) as you rotate it clockwise. I penciled numbers next to the unlabelled tics on each dial. But everything I've done so far runs in the middle third of each dial. YMMV ...

Enjoy!
 

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... And an accessory I like: Hard-rubber flux torch nozzle in place of the standard cylinder nozzle. Flux doesn't need the shield there so I prefer this tapered replacement from Harbor Freight. Now I can see the puddle better. Not essential, but convenient.
image_27958.jpg

 
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Might head to HF tomorrow to buy my Christmas gifts for myself (besides the welder!!) Will add that to the list...

So I can not get this chrome piece off... should it unscrew or pull / clip off?

Oh, and yes, the tip was 1.0 (0.04) vs the two that were in the bag 0.8 (0.03). I was worried since my box had been opened and re-sealed / stapled closed. Really worried it was a return... guess they just added the correct tips!
 

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Lowensenf

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Old Lincoln Stick
New toys!

I wanted a HF Titanium 125 Flux welder, for its portability. My larger HF MIG-180 is too heavy to carry around. (Yeah I'm that old). Then I discovered HF was taking orders on the Titanium for delivery next June. Forget that!

So I went to Amazon looking at comparables. One is 18 lbs and dual-voltage. Run it on 240 volts to get the the 130 amp output that is claimed for the 120 volt flux welders. (But only IF you have a 30 amp/120v wall socket, nobody does).

For $149, reliability is unproven so I also bought the separate three year warranty for $22 so I'll get use out of it (or its replacement) through 2024.

After trying it out, I like it. This is what Harbor Freight should be selling in the cheap under-$200 category. This isn't pro gear, just decent quality for the DIY market. Or in my case, minor farm repairs, - with three more welders here if this one isn't suitable for a project.

Here's a link to it. And a copy of the review I drafted for Amazon.

Amico MIG-130A, 130 Amp Flux Cored Wire Welder, 110/230V Dual Voltage.

First impression after a few minutes trial:

Seems to be excellent quality. Simply the best welder in this class and price category! I added the extended warranty so I expect several years service. It still cost less than others similar.

The dual voltage 120/240 v, is a worthwhile advantage over similar small welders that are 120 volt only. Nobody commonly has a 30 amp 120 volt outlet on the wall. While all the 120 volt welders specify 30 amp input to attain their claimed output of 100 to 130 amps welding current.

Pro:
* This 120/240 volt welder can also run from a dryer or welder 240 volt outlet, and actually provide the 130 amps of welding current that a 120 volt welder can't. That's a major advantage.
* Its cord has a 240 volt plug, then you add the 120/240 adapter to plug it into a common 120 volt outlet. This is day/night better that some dual voltage welders that have the opposite adapter where 240 volts is provided at what should be a 120 v receptacle - which is sure to smoke a grinder etc mistakenly plugged into that bogus adapter. Amico got it right.
*The ground cable has a real welder clamp, much better than the cheap 'battery charger' clamp provided on cheap welders.
* It's light! And very well designed for carrying around. The top handle has 'ears' to wrap the power cord around. The ground cable is detachable, and easier to carry that way. Only 18 lbs. Simple to take it along from one place to another.
* It welds great. I ran several test beads. First on 1/8 plate. With both knobs at 2/3 of max, it sounded great but that was too hot, one bead burned through. Then I moved to 3/8 steel plate. Penetration and bead quality looked great.
* Everything works as it should. A pleasure to use. Hard to describe but everything feels right.

Con:
There are a few oddities, none significant.
*I had to research quite a bit before I found this is a solid and ongoing company based in Southern California. Their big warehouse there has their logo on it. Amico needs to distinguish themselves from some of the welders listed on Amazon where those sellers seem to have brought in a single batch of items from Alibaba for resale. Amico should improve their public-facing image to improve customer confidence.
* The manual recommends .030 flux core wire and says .035 stresses the welder without improving bead quality. There was a .040 tip in the welder and two .035 spares included. Supply chain issues?
* No mention anywhere in the manual describing the LCD display. Turning the left knob up to show a little over 130 on the LCD seemed too hot for my trial welds.
* Left dial is labelled Current and the right dial, Voltage. The right dial is definitely wire speed and the left one increases intensity of the welding as it is turned up. Unfamiliar, but easy to get used to.
* Starting new wire, be sure to feed it past the mini-Dinse connector and well into the liner using the Wire Feed button, past the shoulder a couple of inches in, where the liner starts.
* The sample flux core wire that comes with it welds well, but its the most smoky wire I've used. I could hardly see the puddle. Verify the welder works as intended then put in some good flux core wire.

Overall - Recommended! I'm going to enjoy using this.

Stock photo
71uZ5SPY-oL._AC_UL480_QL65_.jpg

My photo
View attachment 1693

Sample beads on 3/8 material. As I noted in the review above, the sample wire is so smoky I couldn't see much. The rusted, straight beads below were done months ago with the MIG-180 and INE flux core wire where I could see what I was doing.
View attachment 1694
First off, thanks for sharing. I've an old Tombstone Stick Welder and a gas set (pony tanks) and wanted to try wire welding as I use mostly thinner material.

Did Amazon allow your review?

After some years in I went to review something we'd bought and was told I was blocked. I checked and every review I'd ever posted was gone! Not only can't I review items, I can't ask (or answer) questions about any item! We called and spoke to someone at Amazon and wrote emails to no avail. We have no idea what happened or why and absolutely no explanation from Amazon.

It made me suspect the reviews they do allow. I began noticing discrepancies between the reviewer's descriptions (and or images) and the product ostensibly reviewed.

Just sayin!
 

Lowensenf

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Old Lincoln Stick
One year update!
add the $29 four year warranty listed alongside the welder so you don't have to wonder about reliability or cost of repair.
How does that warranty work?
Do you have to ship it to California?
On your dime?
Do they pay return shipping?
Have you ever tried to use one of these Amazon warranties? (Anyone?)
 
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California

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Amazon printed my welder review complete. It's under a different offer from the one I linked in that post. For some reason there are offers for the Amico from several sellers but they all show the same shipped-from address - the Amico warehouse near Los Angeles.

I've reviewed maybe 30~50?? purchases and only two reviews deleted.

Most recent was I said Amazon notified me a rocking chair was now shipped, and that was the last I heard of it. A couple of weeks later the listing showed Out Of Stock. Describing all this in a review got an email from Amazon - review deleted because that's a review of the vendor not the product. I went to the vendor review page. Couldn't post, I think it said I had never done business with them.

And a couple of years ago I reviewed some diet supplement - Vitamin D or something - that I never purchased. I noted the potency of the product exceeded US maximum dosage and it might cause harm. Review never posted, no explanation. No other incidents. But I've read there are a lot of bogus positive reviews and there are websites that call out fraudulent authors who get paid for writing those, but I've never looked into it. Also there are 'special' customers who get stuff free for reviewing. Vine is one. I learn what I can from those reviews but don't trust them to be complete.

Ebay has a problem I haven't seen on Amazon. Vendor in China will mail unwanted free vinyl gloves (near zero weight) in order to post a legitimate tracking number. This triggers Ebay to forward your payment to them. Then the real item gets stuck in Covid quarantine or something and finally arrives 60~90 days later. But you can only give feedback on Ebay in the first 30 days. China has strict customer-protection rules, their government is serious about making overseas sales work properly. But this doesn't include concern about shipping time.

I phoned the welder warranty company and asked how it works. While the vendor warranty runs, they do nothing. After that they said they pay for shipping to/from the vendor, and the repair. Cash or Amazon-credit refund, if vendor won't fix it or replace with similar. I haven't seen anything negative about them online so I think its worth buying that warranty, considering the quality of the welder is probably comparable to HF stuff. Fine for DIY or farm (me) use. But I would spend more if I earned a living welding.

I think this little Amico makes a great combination, kept along with that Tombstone for heavy material. I've kept my first welder, a '60's Wards PowerKraft AC 230 stick welder, but rarely bring it out.
 
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lancem

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South West Texas
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Amico MIG-140GS, Hobart 140, Miller 225
Might head to HF tomorrow to buy my Christmas gifts for myself (besides the welder!!) Will add that to the list...

So I can not get this chrome piece off... should it unscrew or pull / clip off?

Oh, and yes, the tip was 1.0 (0.04) vs the two that were in the bag 0.8 (0.03). I was worried since my box had been opened and re-sealed / stapled closed. Really worried it was a return... guess they just added the correct tips!
The chrome piece should unscrew.
 

California

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Here' what holds the chrome nozzle, a spring around the gas diffuser. Tug with a twisting motion and it should come off.

(Wait for the photo to load).

11PCS-Set-MIG-Welding-Welder-Torch-Nozzles-Contact-Tip-0-04-Gas-Diffuser-For-Torches-Mayitr.jpg
 
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California

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Did Amazon allow your review?

...I began noticing discrepancies between the reviewer's descriptions (and or images) and the product ostensibly reviewed.
Here's that site that evaluates the truthfulness of Amazon reviews. I've never used it.


Update: Amazon has several listings for this Amico flux welder. I put the URL for the Amico listing that has the greatest number of reviews, into ReviewMeta's search box.
They conclude that the reviews for the Amico are credible.

 
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djg

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Have you ever used the HF shielded wire? Adequate?
 
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