Millermatic 211 MIG Welder Review
Miller continues to astound the industry with their reliable welders and innovative technologies. The Millermatic 211 is another one that carries on the tradition of innovation.
Featuring the much talked-about Advanced Auto-Set technology, it removes the guesswork from the equation and hones in on the exact settings you need for the perfect weld. Just input the material thickness and wire diameter and let the unit do the rest. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg for what the Millermatic 211 has in store. In addition it also boasts a quick select cast- aluminum drive system for easy changing, smooth start technology for (you guessed it!) smooth starts, fan-on-demand, thermal overload protection and, best of all, it weighs just 38 lbs.
If you’re looking for a super compact, highly-capable MIG welder then keep reading, the Millermatic 211 is a dream to weld with.
- 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
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, 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.
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.
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. 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 I still have to mention its additional portability options. If you need to ultimate in portability 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.
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.
Quick select drive roll
While we’re here, lets check out the quick select drive roll for a minute.
It’s designed to allow you to quickly change spools effortlessly so you can get back to what’s important. It offers three grooves – two for different size solid wire for MIG and one for flux-cored wire.
To switch between the three simply push in and rotate the drive roll to the desired setting.
Aluminum wire feed
These days plastic just wont 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 this and have listened to the people to give you a robust and reliable, angled cast-aluminum wire feed system
Featuring a fortified cast-aluminum drive system 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. One less thing you have to worry about.
Auto gun detection
The Millermatic 211 can use two different type 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.
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, you’ll take any quiet time you can.
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.
Smooth start technology
Millers patented smooth start technology ensures you 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.
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 might be surprised.
Yes it’s expensive but you’re also getting a whole lot of value for the 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. Second, the fact that it’s inverter based adds significantly to the price. Last, the quality of the brand name alone is enough to warrant an extra several hundred dollars.
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 I’ve heard reports that there are some quality issues affecting a certain number of 211s:
The grooves in the drive wheel did not line up with the center-line of the input spindle.
This is only affecting a small amount of welders and Miller is quick to offer a replacement. Just something to be aware of.
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 it were 5 feet longer and slightly thicker it’d be perfect.
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 @ 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