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

California

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Location
Sonoma County
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

My photo
20211202_161239.jpg

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.
20211205_161007.jpg
 

A-one

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Welder
Lincoln Pro Mig 180
I got an inverter stick welder made by them. It does pretty good on a 110V outlet with an 1/8" 6011 at about 95-100 amps. Not quite as hot as the Lincoln inverter I bought later, but will get the job done. It's great for portability.
 

Gary Fowler

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It certainly looks like more machine than the HF Titanium 125 and for $60 less PLUS it is in stock.
 

chiefcook

Member
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Location
Ashdown ar
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

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
Are you still happy with your machine?
 

chiefcook

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Location
Ashdown ar
Funny you should ask now. I finally wrapped up other responsibilities and I'm about to go out this afternoon to work with it. I haven't had time since my last post.
Keep us posted. I'm interested in one, but there aren't many reviews, except Amazon and I think a lot of them are bogus.
 

California

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305
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Location
Sonoma County
After playing with it for another hour -

My opinion is that it is everything that it should be. Likely HF quality in terms of reliability and repairability. That remains to be seen. Buy the 4 year warranty, $30!

Operation is excellent, no complaints.

I measured the cables for this post - real short:
Power cord 6 ' 10""
Ground 6' 6"
Gun 7' 5"

Summary I think this is a decent real cheap welder for the DIY and hobby market that will use it occasionally. Best value / price in the cheap end of the market, better than Harbor Freight. I wouldn't consider it a production shop tool with its unknown reliability.

For my use in occasional farm repairs and minor fabrication, and with other welders here in case it fails, It fills a my wish for a highly portable unit that works well.
 

California

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305
Good Post Points
73
Location
Sonoma County
Amico MIG-130A flux-core welder. Here are a couple of pictures from my tryout.

I made two bend tests by welding one side of 1/8" wall tubing then hammering it over. It needed some heavy pounding with a 4 lb sledge to bend the sample welds to 90 degrees. About the same force as if I had just sliced three sides of the tubing before hammering it over.

In the first picture, the far ends of the tubing show where my first weld broke. I hammered that weld to 180 degrees, back on itself. Then hammered sideways before it tore at the tubing, not at the weld.

Then I turned the pieces around and welded the other ends together. I stopped hammering at 90 degrees on the second weld. Both that first and the last picture show most of the bend was at the native metal not the weld.


I bought this for minor farm fabrication and repairs. This test convinced me it is suitable.

20220112_153059.jpg 20220112_154815.jpg 20220112_155716.jpg 20220112_155903.jpg
 
Last edited:

chiefcook

Member
Messages
5
Good Post Points
1
Location
Ashdown ar
Amico MIG-130A flux-core welder. Here are a couple of pictures from my tryout.

I made two bend tests by welding one side of 1/8" wall tubing then hammering it over. It needed some heavy pounding with a 4 lb sledge to bend the sample welds to 90 degrees. About the same force as if I had just sliced three sides of the tubing before hammering it over.

In the first picture, the far ends of the tubing show where my first weld broke. I hammered that weld to 180 degrees, back on itself. Then hammered sideways before it tore at the tubing, not at the weld.

Then I turned the pieces around and welded the other ends together. I stopped hammering at 90 degrees on the second weld. Both that first and the last picture show most of the bend was at the native metal not the weld.


I bought this for minor farm fabrication and repairs. This test convinced me it is suitable.

View attachment 1695 View attachment 1696 View attachment 1697 View attachment 1698
Are you still happy with the Amico? I've just about decided to take the plunge.
 
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