Comparing the Spoolmate 100 with the 3035, 150 and the 200

Spoolmate™100
Applications:
Light aluminum fabrication Home maintenance and repair Auto and marine repair
Processes:
MIG (GMAW) for aluminum, steel and stainless steel
Welding Current Rating:
135 A at 30% duty cycle
Wire Diameter:
.030–.035 in. (0.8–0.9 mm) 4043 series aluminum
.023–.035 in. (0.6–0.9 mm) steel and stainless steel
Cable Length:
12-foot (3.7 m) direct-connect cable with heavy-duty strain relief
General Specifications:
Spool Capacity: 4"
Net Weight: 2.7Kg
Hook Ups:
Millermatic® 140 and 140 Auto-Set™
Millermatic® 141
Millermatic® 180
Millermatic® 180 Auto-Set™
Millermatic® 190
Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ with MVP™
Millermatic® 211
Millermatic® Passport® Plus
Multimatic™ 200
Multimatic™ 215
Renegade™ 180
Syncrowave® 210 TIG Syncrowave®
210 TIG/MIG Complete
Spoolmate™150
Applications:
Light aluminum fabrication Home maintenance and repair Auto and marine repair
Processes:
MIG (GMAW) for aluminum, steel and stainless steel
Welding Current Rating:
150 A at 60% duty cycle
Wire Diameter:
.030–.035 in. (0.8–0.9 mm) 4000 and 5000 series aluminum, steel and stainless steel wires

Cable Length:
20-foot (6.1 m) direct-connect cable with heavy-duty strain relief
General Specifications:
Spool Capacity: 4"
Net Weight: 3.3Kg
Hook Ups:
Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ with MVP™
Millermatic® 211
Multimatic™ 200
Multimatic™ 215
Syncrowave® 210 TIG
Syncrowave® 210 TIG/MIG Complete







Spoolmate™200
Applications:
Light to medium aluminum fabrication Home maintenance and repair Auto and marine repair
Processes:
MIG (GMAW) for aluminum, steel and stainless steel
Welding Current Rating:
160 A at 60% duty cycle
Wire Diameter:
.030–.035 in. (0.8–0.9 mm) aluminum wire .023–.035 in. (0.6–0.9 mm) steel and stainless steel wire

Cable Length:
20-foot (6.0 m) direct-connect cable with heavy-duty strain relief
General Specifications:
Spool Capacity: 4"
Net Weight: 5.0Kg
Hook Ups:
Millermatic® 212 Auto-Set™, 251 and 252
Millermatic® 210 and 212
Miller CV power sources supplying 24 VAC and 14-pin recep tacles









Spoolmate™3035
Applications:
Light aluminum Fabrication Sign Manufacturing Trailer Fabrication Auto and Marine Repair
Processes:
MIG (GMAW) with aluminum and other wires
Welding Current Rating:
150 A at 60% Duty Cycle
Wire Diameter:
.023–.035 in (0.6–0.9 mm) aluminum, steel and stainless steel
Cable Length:
20-foot long (6.0 m) cable with heavy-duty strain relief which has
General Specifications:
Spool Capacity: 4"
Net Weight: 4.1Kg
Hook Ups:
Millermatic® 130 XP, 135, 140, 140 Auto-Set™
Millermatic® Challenger 172, 175, 180, 180 Auto-Set™
Millermatic® 185
Millermatic® 210, 212
Millermatic® Vintage, 250
Millermatic® 250X, 251, 252
Millermatic® 350, 350P
Millermatic® DVI™
Millermatic® DVI2 ™




Miller Spoolmate 100, 150, 200 and 3030

If you are going to GWAW weld aluminum then you are almost certainly going to have to use a spool gun if you want to have a consistent weld that is both kink and bind free. In essence a spool gun gives you far more control over your work which is particularly important when welding aluminum.
Miller Welding Machine Miller Spool Gun?

Let’s be straight, Miller are not the cheapest. Whilst you might have invested in a Miller machine you may think that you can save a little money buying non Miller tools. Whilst this is possible with certain ancillary tools  when it comes to spool guns it is more difficult. In reality, if you want a straight forward set up that is going to work “out of the box” then you are going to be restricted to the Miller range. That is not to say that there are not other available products that are or can be made compatible with Miller welders with “creative” hook ups. We will be looking at some of the better options in another article, . However, even within the Miller range, you have to make sure that the Miller gun that you buy is compatible with the miller welder that you own (see chart below)

The one thing you can be assured about is that in buying Miller you are buying quality! Miller is quite rightly regarded as being the producer of some of the best welding machines available to both the hobbyist and pro markets. They also offer a wide range of welders and welding tools and accessories and with spool guns they cover almost all requirements.

Two Ranges of Miller Welding Guns

When looking to buy a welding gun for welding aluminum there are two distinct ranges of gun that you can use, a spool system and a push pull gun. Here we are going to focus on spool guns which you would generally use in light to medium industrial welding. If you are looking for guns that have higher amperage for more heavy duty type work then you would probably need to go to a “push-pull gun.


When looking at Miller spool guns the available models are again split into two distinct ranges, the Spoolmate Range and the Spoolmatic Range which we will look at separately. As you will see as you continue reading, it is not possible to  the although, with creative hook up solutions, it is possible to you these guns over a wider range of machines.

Miller Spoolmate Range

The first range is the Spoolmate range. These range of spool guns is aimed primarily  at the home and DIY market. Currently, in this range there are four models, the Spoolmate 100, 150, 200 and 3035. The 100 and the 150 are intended for light applications such as aluminum fabrication

The Miller Spoolmate 100, despite being Miller’s entry model, still gives you great “bang for your buck“.  It can take .030 or .035 in aluminum wire and has a weld rating of 135 A at 30% duty cycle. In real terms what are you able to do with it?  It should allow you to weld aluminum up to 3⁄8 inch, although welding aluminum more than ¼ inch thick requires preheating. At the other end of the spectrum, you can probably weld aluminum as thin as 18-gauge, although it requires a lot of skill.

The Miller Spoolmate 150 is the next model up in the range. Its main benefit is the increase in amperage that you can use over the 100, 150 A at a 60% duty cycle as opposed to 135 A at 30% duty cycle. This should ensure better weld penetration on thicker materials. It has bigger tips and can run 5000 series wire. It is also able to use up to two pound spools of steel, silicon bronze and stainless steel wires. The material thickness it will weld are the same as the 100, with welds up to 3⁄8 inch aluminum. There is one additional benefit in that it comes with a 20ft as opposed to cable.

The Miller Spoolmate 200 is the third model in the range. It is a crossover model that can be used buy both hobbyist and a professional welding shop. It has a different design to the 100 and the 150 with wire feed speed being able to be adjusted on the gun handle so you no longer need to go back to the machine to change. The gun also provides various extended and curved barrel options, useful for welding in tight places, with a special heavy duty barrel for hig amperage aluminum welding. It has an 160 A at 60% duty cycle, an increase on both the 100 and the 150 models. A further benefit is that the gas lines re routed internally so that there is no longer any chance of it osstructing the work piece.

The final gun in the range is the Miller Spoolmate 3035. It has a similar set of specs to the Spoolmate 150 but has direct conncections to a different set of machines. As with the 150 it has a 150 A at a 60% duty cycle and can weld the same material thicknesses, up to 3⁄8 inch aluminum. It is slightly heavier than the 150 at 4.1kg.

The second range is the Spoolmatic range. This is a crossover range with models that are suitable for both the more serious hobbyist and  also for professional welding shops. We look at the options for this range here.

Why Weld Aluminum With a Mig With a Spool Gun Instead Use Tig?

This is because  aluminum has a much greater thermal conductivity than steel and with Mig you cannot adjust the heat in the way you can with a Tig welder using pedals to control the feed. To competently weld material this thin does require a great deal of skill and experience. However, welding aluminum this thin can mean burn-through. To competently weld material this thin does require a great deal of skill and experience.

Hook Up

If you are looking for a straight forward time the hook up between your welder and the spool gun is something you need to pay very close attention to. The first thing to remember is that not all Miller guns fit all Miller welders. The hook ups across the welder ranges are different, the best option is a direct connection although Miller do make a series of adapter and field installation switches that can be used to marry certain guns with certain welders but you need to check the specs. If you are using contemplating buying the spoolmatic range then you can also use a weld control unit. This will allow you to connect up to various different power sources.

Which Spool Gun Should You Buy?

To some extent this is going to dictated by the welder that you have or the welder that you are considering purchasing. Where you have a choice the obvious considerations are going what material and thickness you are welding and its application and what you can do to future proof your welding set up.  The first consideration is clear you need to make sure the gun you buy has the capacity to do the job that you intend. Beyond this though, you want to ensure that you are covered as best as possible for future welding projects. The reality here is that you should buy the best gun you can afford, even if a less expensive gun would actually do the job. The last thing you want is to find in six months that you actually need a more substantial gun for another project.

Miller Spool Guns Hook Up Chart