If you are considering a new TIG welding machine, the Miller Diversion 180 is a fantastic device worth your attention. TIG welding has long been considered a much more difficult process compared to MIG welding, but with the powerful and small Diversion 180, Miller has taken the need for elaborate technical knowledge out of the equation.
The Diversion 180 is compatible with both 115 and 230 volts of power thanks to its Multi-Voltage Plug system. Miller implements a no-guesswork setup for welding mild Chromoly, aluminum, and stainless metal in a simple three-step process. Just turn on the machine, input the material that you intend to weld, and then set the thickness of that material. The Diversion 180 also includes foot pedal and torch controls for both starting and adjusting amperage. This is an outstanding feature for welding in hard-to-reach areas.
Miller Diversion 180: Pros & Cons
Miller Diversion 180
For those who are not familiar with the welding trade, the Miller Diversion 180 is an arc welder, and it can perform tungsten inert gas, metal inert gas, and stick weldings. Often, you will see “tungsten inert gas” and “metal inert gas” welding referred to as TIG and MIG welding, respectively, but all of these processes are forms of arc welding.
They created joints in arc welding by melting filler materials into work materials with the use of an electrical arc. They created this by placing an electrode lead on the filler material and connecting a ground wire to the material to be welded. When lifted the lead from the welding material, it forms an arc and melted the pieces together during the process. Welders must be precise in order to feed the filler material into the joint with steady back-and-forth motions while keeping a constant pace and arc height. Welding too slowly or too quickly can lead to poor welds.
Benefits and Drawbacks
All three of these processes have drawback and benefits. For example, TIG welding without the Diversion 180 generally requires a more complex setup and tends to be more difficult for new welders to learn. However, they use TIG welding to create blue-ribbon welds that simply cannot be made using the other methods. Stick welding, on the other hand, is much easier for beginners to pick up, and it is cheaper as well, but stick welding is also less versatile than TIG welding is.
Safety Hazards of Welding
They should note that welding does come with certain inherent hazards that can be dangerous if you don't take precautions. However, modern advancements have significantly decreased the risks associated with welding.
In any situation, though, the use of an open electrical arc is a hazard in and of itself. This is why welders wear specialized clothing like heavy welding jackets and leather gloves when practicing their trade to avoid injuring themselves.
It is also necessary to use combustible gases while welding. These should always be kept away from open flames and sparks. Oxygen is sometimes limited to welding sites in order to decrease the likelihood that these gases have a violent reaction. You should keep all of your work materials away from these gases when welding.
Causes of Welding
Welding can additionally cause a serious injury to your eye and in some cases can even lead to blindness. Welders are susceptible to a condition called arc eye, or inflammation of the cornea caused by the brightness of the welding arc’s ultraviolet light. This light is so intense that it can actually burn their retinas, so welders protect their eyesight by wearing shaded welding masks and goggles. Advancements in technology have led to the invention of masks that now automatically and electronically darken. Welders will often hang polyvinyl chloride plastic curtains around their welding sites to protect nearby workers from exposure, as well.
Furthermore, the fumes that they associate with welding can be toxic, and flux-cored welding and shielded metal arc welding produce smoke with particulate matter that should not be inhaled. For this reason, proper ventilation for welding sites is extremely necessary.
Some welding systems are also known to produce high frequencies that can interfere with the operation of pacemakers within three feet of the weld site or six feet of the power unit.
What Is the Miller Diversion 180, and How Does It Work?
The Miller Diversion 180 is a small but powerful TIG welding machine that takes the guesswork and required technical knowledge out of the process, which makes it a great introduction to TIG welding for beginning welders. The system even includes a 20-minute DVD that contains a plethora of information regarding the practice of TIG welding. The Diversion 180 has an easy-to-understand interface that allows you to get to welding faster, and it is lightweight and portable at just 50 pounds.
How Does It Work
The Multi-Voltage Plug allows connections to both 120 and 240 volts of power; simply change the plug to fit the receptacle. Miller’s Diversion 180 also decreases noise and operating costs with Fan-On-Demand. This cooling system powers on only when needed to cut down on energy consumption and contamination of the machine.
With the Diversion 180, there is also no need for expensive shielding gas. Instead, the Auto-Postflow feature adjusts the time of the post-flow based on the amperage of the welding. This means they require no adjustment to properly shield the electrode and the weld end zone. The High-Frequency TIG Start also starts the arc without contact, preventing contamination by tungsten or other materials.
What Makes the Diversion 180 Unique
The Diversion is a unique TIG welding machine because of its ease of use for even beginning welders. TIG welding has a reputation for being a difficult welding process to learn, but the technology of the Diversion 180, including the High-Frequency TIG start, opens up the world of TIG welding by breaking down these learning barriers. This is also an extremely lightweight machine compared to other TIG welding systems and offers rare portability.
What’s in the Box?
Once you open the box, you will find the Diversion 180 itself along with a regulator/flow gauge and gas hose as well as an RFCS-RJ45 remote foot controller. There will also be a 12.5-foot Weldcraft A-150 TIG torch, a 12-foot work cable with a clamp, and an 8-foot primary cord with multi-voltage plugs for 120 and 240 volts.
While it is not available on Miller’s own website, there is a link on the site that directs you to brick-and-mortar stores that carry the Miller Diversion 180. There are also listed websites that keep the Diversion 180 in stock, such as Airgas, Welder’s Supply Company, and Baker’s Gas.
Public Perception (Other Miller Diversion 180 Reviews)
The Miller Diversion 180 has been well received across the board since its launch. 4x4 Review spent some time with the device and highlighted the machine’s ease of use as well as its beginner-friendly setup and operation, stating that it lays down some great welds. 4x4 Review did mention that when the On-Demand-Fan was on, it created lots of unnecessary noise. The review also said that the grounding clamp could have had a slightly stronger spring; however, these gripes did not affect the usability or overall positive reception of the machine.
The system has received positive feedback on Amazon as well, with a rating of 4.2/5 stars. Customers have noted the system’s ease of use when making adjustments as well as the machine’s versatility when working with both steel and aluminum. Other customers even went as far as saying that Miller has set the standard for TIG welding with this machine, and most customers stated that they would recommend the machine to other welders.
Miller’s own website also has a section that highlights customer feedback, both positive and negative. But there aren’t many negative reviews to be found here. The machine scored a 4.6/5 with Miller’s customers. With 93% of respondents stating that they would recommend the machine to a friend. The harshest review, which Miller displays right beside the Most Liked Positive review, gives the system three stars. And it only mentions the device’s slow purge time as a shortcoming.
How Does It Compare?
Miller’s competitor Lincoln Electric also offers a lightweight TIG machine. In the style of the Diversion 180, it is what we call the Square Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder. While this device is about $500 less expensive than Miller’s welding machine is, the Square Wave was not received as well as the Diversion 180 was. However, unlike the Diversion 180, the Square Wave can also handle stick welding.
The Square Wave is aimed at beginners with its features such as Pulse. It emits a drumbeat-like rhythm for the welder to follow for filler metal deposition. The manufacturer claims this will make you a better welder faster.
While the Square Wave is also portable and is capable of adapting to 120 or 230 volts, Miller’s Diversion appears to be a better choice. For those who wish for more longevity from their welding machine. Although the Diversion is beginner-friendly, its features and benefits allow the welder to grow with the machine. Rather than outgrowing it.
What We Think
We believe that it is important to relay accurate and honest information when it comes to welding equipment. This is why we have reviewed countless customer testimonials and reviews of this product. As well as spec sheets for both this machine and its competitors to bring you the best information possible on the Diversion 180.
For those with an interest in TIG welding, the Miller Diversion 180 is a fantastic choice. No matter your experience in the trade. The lightweight design makes it easy for welders who need their system to be mobile. Or, who just want to move their machine around the shop when necessary. Features like arc start help new TIG welders become more comfortable with this process of arc welding. And the Diversion 180 makes the entire TIG welding process much less intimidating to newcomers. Veteran welders will enjoy the Diversion’s features and ease of use, making the machine a great addition to any shop. The Diversion 180 is also backed by customer reviews from trusted sources, including Miller’s own site.
If you are considering your first TIG welding machine or want to replace or back up a system that you already own, you can't go wrong with the Miller Diversion 180. However, we understand if you wish to do more research on their own. After all, a new TIG welding machine is a large investment. And you will want a system that you know will last you for years to come and that has all of the features that you will require during that time. If you have an interest in conducting further research on TIG welding systems, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Create a budget and stick to it. While extremely advanced and complicated TIG machines may be available that will catch some welders’ eyes, these machines may be out of the range. That they would like to spend on a new TIG machine. Make a budget before you even begin to look at machines, and do not go over the budget for any reason.
- Know which features you will use and those that you will not. Having a top-of-the-line machine with all of the bells and whistles may be great for showcasing. But if you are the type of welder who will not use frilly features, you shouldn’t pay for them. Finding a system without those extra features that will go unused in your shop can drastically cut the cost of your new machine.
Whether you purchase the Miller Diversion 180 or another TIG welding system that you have found through your own research, only you can decide which machine will best suit your needs.