Having a welder in your shop can be extremely beneficial, and choosing one that is easy to use, flexible, and durable is essential. A high-quality MIG welder like the Miller CP 302 can be a great starting welder and has the power and flexibility to weld many different materials while not being too large to move around your shop. 

Power Source

When you are considering welders for your shop or business, you must think about the power source required to run the machine you are considering. A three-phase, 220-volt welder offers far more welding performance than a smaller 110-volt system. 

A welder like the Miller CP 302 runs off a three-phase power source and has options for many different wire types and accessories so that you can use it to weld sheet metal, mild steel, and alloys with precision. The welds you can produce with a welder of this size and flexibility could be the difference between a good solid repair or one that doesn't last long.

Gas Or No Gas

Selecting a welder that uses argon gas to shield the weld often means better welds and less clean-up after the welding process. A welder like the Miller CP 302 offers this option or can use a flux core filler wire that lets you skip the gas but will produce more slag on the surface.

Argon, helium, and many mixed gases are used in welding, but you need to have the suitable gas for your machine, or it may not work the way you expect it. Most shielding gas mixes are entirely inert and designed to remove oxygen from around the weld to ensure a clean weld every time. If you are concerned about using the gas in your shop, talk with a welding supplier in your area about the different gas options for your make and model of the welder and if they are safe to store. 

The gas mix is often directly related to the wire type you are using and the material you are welding. Steel and steel alloys often do well with an Argon mix, while aluminum is usually better with a helium-based mix. The welding supplier can help you if you are unsure what to buy. 

Welding Supplies

Welding wire, tools, hoods, and gloves are all supplies you will need when you are ready to fire up your welder for the first time. If you are buying a welder from a manufacturer like the Miller CP 302, you may be able to find a kit that offers you some of the essential supplies to get started. 

It is good to get familiar with your area's local welding supply shop, even if your machine comes with a starter set. Eventually, you will need more wire, contact tips, and gas for your welder, and knowing where to get them can save a lot of time when you are in the middle of a welding project.