I know everyone says that a 110 will do most of your jobs that need to be done. I have a 220v unit and am really pleased with it. I can pretty much weld whatever I need to do, or what I think I can anyway. They are not that much more and with less duty cycle and more amps, I think you would be happy to have the more powerful unit. If you do not have 220 at your shop, well, that's a good reason for the 110. I would stick with a Hobart, Miller style welder, I haven't seen the Eastwood one's work. I am sure someone will chime in though. My 2 pennies worth.
I really don't think a 110 welder is capable of doing a reliable penetration on 1/4. It may weld but not long and consistent like it would need. I have a Lincoln sp185 with variable controls on 110 volt and it does 3/16 with great penetration. 1/4 works but in shorter spurts. I was told my machine was an all around thin gauge to 1/4 steel welder and the dials make it versatile enough to do it all. It has served me very well and 110 made it a great tool all around the garage. Ive worked on 3 cars with it and I only changed the wire feed torch cable since 2003 or 4. I would recommend it in a heart beat. Before this lincoln I had one of those Marquette welders made in italy and it didn't last very long. Mig Gas of course. I don't use the flux core. Although I might try it on the 1/4 but it must be ugly.
I've welded thicker than 1/4" with my Miller 140 Autoset. But when I weld thicker metal, I also bevel my welds, and it can take multiple passes on metals of 3/8" or thicker. I've never regretted buying the Miller 140, but if I would have had a big shop, and bigger budget, I probably would have gone the next step up.
110v any thing wont do a proper single pass weld on 1/4" unless you pre-heat the metal and bevel it and then I would not trust it on some thing that is going to be really stressed...I have a Miller auto set 140 on a decaded 20 amp circuit on a short run to the fuse box, it will do a great job up to 1/8", and is what I use 95% of the time, most auto welding is 1/8" down, for heavy stuff i go to the Lincoln coffin 180 stick, be sure to get a welder that is gas ready, also buy good USA made wire unless you are doing decorating welds and need to file them down for looks, the china shit is way softer. when it comes to the welder you get what you pay for
I used to have a 110 Daytona Mig that I used for a lot of things I probably shouldn't have. I'm not making any recommendations, but I never had any failures. Now I have a 220 Lincoln and feel a lot better about what I do. I also have a Lincoln 225 stick welder I need to get running, by upsizing the wire to the plug and installing a bigger breaker.
Remember back in the 60's guys did things with gas. I think it was the 'Pure Hell' altered that ran an exhaust pipe straight axle after a qualifying crash. I remember NHRA tech wasn't to happy, but let him go anyway.
Like has been said before, if you can swing the cash buy a good name machine, Miller, Lincoln, ESAB etc. If your limited to 120 volt a good American welder will especially do better then a Chinese 120 just as the 240 volt units will. If your not in a hurry, keep an eye on Craigslist, local swap sites etc.. I've seen a few good name brand 120 volt welders quite often. Good luck!
There all chinese even the new millers some in mexico, as well as new lincolns.. there just made to a better spec, any 120 is going to need a 20 amp circuit to be able to really cook and sizzle with out kicking the circuit...they say a 15 amp is enough but I have found that a 20 amp is much better and a short run is best, if you have it at max...welder is just half the cost, gas ,cart ,helmet and supplies are also a big expense...shop Craigs list there seem to come up on a regular bases, if your not going to use it a lot you may be better off getting it set up and have a mobile welder come over and do it for you
Cart? If you have a welder you can make your own cart. Didn't look at my avatar. That's my car and the shop I work at. Welding at the shop is not a problem. The problem is welding at home. Cant tie up a bay for months with my shit.
Carts are so inexpensive now that I couldn't buy the metal to make one for what I bought one for. Plus rather spend my time doing welding on the cars. I paid $32 brand new for my cart, and it's worked great for me.
I went over to purchase a Wilton vise from a craigslist ad recently, and the seller had two wire feeds there for sale cheap. One was a fairly new Lincoln 130 MIG that was 120v., with cart, gauge, gas line, and everything but a tank. He was asking $350, and might have come down more, as he was moving out of state. I almost bought it, in case a friend needed one, but couldn't think of someone who I might pass it along to.