Miller Thunderbolt 210 Reviews

The Miller Thunderbolt 210 welding machine is a stick welder, the latter uses a flux coated electrode which is held by a clamp connected to an electric cable that will be used to pass the current through the coated electrode.

The electric current is used to melt the electrode and when you apply pressure, you will realize that there is some filler metal being released; during this process, a cloud of gas is created by the flux coating, whose purpose is to shield the molten metal and prevent it from oxidizing.

The slag that is achieved at the end of the process is because of the gas cloud that settled on the molten metal as it was cooling down and ended up creating a slag that is normally chipped and scraped off to reveal the weld.

The Miller Thunderbolt 210 is also a Direct Current (electric current that always flows in the same direction) Stick Welder. The benefits of using a direct current stick welder is that you will be able to get smooth and very stable arcs, achieving less spatter, and few arc outages. What’s more, is that the direct current enables a high level of penetration in the metal that you are working with.

What to expect from Miller Thunderbolt 210

The Miller Thunderbolt 210 comes equipped with the hot start technology; the latter is an inbuilt device that is meant to boost the output voltage on the welding start, which then eases the electric arc ignition. The benefits of the above are that it makes electrode priming easy and obliterates any chances of it sticking when it turns cold.

The welder also has amperage control, remember that during welding the more amps that you get from the welder the deeper you will penetrate. Users easily confuse the above with voltage, which is used to control the width and height of the weld deposit, therefore, if your welder can offer a high number of volts then you should expect to get flatter welds. To which case the Miller Thunderbolt 210 offers its users up to 85 amps.

What are the key features of the Miller Thunderbolt 210?

For starters, out of the box, the welder comes with a pouch necessary for the safe storage of the welder’s cables. You will then get a 10 feet, electrode cable with a heavy-duty electrode holder that is able to withstand the stress exerted by the electric current towards the flux coated electrode. Also incorporated is a 10ft work cable complete with a clamp and a 6.5 feet power cord, with an attached plug of up to 240v.

The welder weighs only 15.5lb thus portable and easy to carry around; you can, therefore, use it in different work sites. The high amperage capacity enables the machine to be used on thicker metal plates; the recommended metals to use with the Miller Thunderbolt 210 are the stainless steel and steel materials.

The input phase of the welder is one, meaning that there is only one neutral wire and one power wire and the current that flows in between them. The welding machine also comes with a 3-year warranty, which goes to show that the manufacturer has invested a lot of faith in the unit and it should, therefore, suffice for your stick welding needs.

Application of the Miller Thunderbolt 210

The Miller thunderbolt welder turns out to be very versatile when it comes to usage, for example, the welder could be adopted for use in the maintenance and repair of various stainless steel and steel equipment. They can be used on the farm or ranch types of equipment or by beginners who want to advance their careers in welding by learning how to weld.

The above is possible because the welder features an intuitive design; therefore using it even for the first-timers is quite easy.

Characteristics of a good welding machine

TIG vs. MIG Welding Strength

A good welding machine can only be good for the recommended type of metal, failure to which you will get disappointed and maybe think that the machine is not functional. So the first thing that you need to consider is whether the metal that you want to solder is recommended for the welding machine.

The thickness of the metal is also a determinant factor, and the manufacturer’s manual will, therefore, give you specifications on the level of thickness that the machine can handle for you to achieve a perfect weld.

We then have the operating factors and this mainly concerns the percentage of the given amperage, factors like the duty cycle are also vital because you will be able to know the time that you will take welding and the recommended cooling time. The above is not standard but varies in the different types of welders, some of which have automatic control features that will alert its users when the machine has gone past its working time.

An important point is that a welder with higher intensity will take longer to cool. There is also the quality of the weld, which is highly dependent on the performance of the welding unit, the quality of the electrodes that you plan on using, utilization of the relevant welding parameters, the quality of the filler metal and of course your expertise.

There are different types of welding machines out here, some are designed for industrial use, others for commercial, and there are those that can only handle small home and farm work repairs, lastly we have the commercial welders that are meant to run the whole day without giving in. You should, therefore, choose a welder with regard to the purpose to which you intend to use it and avoid unnecessary frustrations.

And still, on types of welding machines, we have those that can only be handled by experts and this is with regard to setting it up once out the box. Some feature complicated control components that beginners might not be able to comprehend.

You should, therefore, get a welder with regards to your operational ability, if you are a beginner there are some easy to use models available that are also fairly priced and will help you get accustomed to the welding machines before you transition to a more pricier and professional model.

Things to consider before welding

Did you know that for you to practice as a welder, you only need to be certified and licensed? Well, that is way shorter and less expensive than the four years of college, which you will finish and still not get a job. Not to say that college is not necessary but just in case you have a passion for welding then it is worth taking your time to learn the skill.

And since we need to make sure that you make it into the career safely there are some very important aspects that you need to observe each and every time you want to weld whether at home or in a workshop. The first one is to ensure that your workspace is as tidy as it can be, remember as you weld there are some stray sparks that tend to jump all over and you wouldn’t want them jumping onto something that is flammable.

Besides things lying around your welding area might be knocked over or interfere with the welding process, which is quite hazardous. So just make it a part of you to ensure that your working space is free and clean. The second and an extremely important point is staying dry, in welding the biggest risk is electrocution and the easiest way to get electrocuted is by using wet gloves, working on a wet surface, or wearing a wet apron while welding.

Also, handling electrodes could be a tricky situation for the newbie’s and most times than not you might be tempted to handle the electrodes with your bare hands or a wet cloth, which is the worst mistake that one could ever make, so for the sake of safety ensure that whatever you use to handle the electrodes is super dry and don’t do it with bare hands.

They say that work without play makes Jack a dull boy, well Jack better be dull in a welding workshop. People are always in the habit of incorporating some fun moments in the workplace to liven things up. But in a welding shop, things might go south so fast and before you realize it you have calamity on your hands, so pranks and unnecessary games should be preserved for later outside the workshop.

Safety precautions should also be directed towards combustibles, and this includes containers that might have contained the combustibles, because if they have not been properly cleaned prior to welding then that is just a disaster in waiting.

Pros 

  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Incorporated the hot start technology
  • The welder is lightweight thus portable
  • Offers up to 85 more amps

Cons

  • Is a DC only welder
  • Can only be used on steel and stainless steel

 

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Final thoughts

From the above review, Miller Thunderbolt 210 is a highly functional welding machine from the reputable Miller Company. Though not meant for industrial applications the welder can be quite handy for the simple tasks including farm and home repairs.

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