There is an old adage that generally rings true: "Jack of all trades, master of none." Most products intended to do two or more different things aren't great at either task. It sure is nice when you find something that does what it's advertised to do.
Enthusiasts welding on their own 4x4s is more and more common today, and welding capably is hopefully something everyone who liquefies metal strives towards. Still, there are multiple methods for welding metals, including stick, MIG, and TIG. Those can be further broken down into different types of welding (AC/DC TIG for different metals, MIG with a spool gun, wire feed with flux cored wire, and so on). Fact is doing all these types of welding when the need arises used to mean having multiple machines.
We're guessing that you, like us, have at least entertained the idea of dabbling in more than one welding process while doing home fabrication on a 4x4 rig. Enter Miller, a company well known for supplying high-quality welders for all of the above processes. The new Multimatic 220 AC/DC welder offers the perfect solution for us, and many like us who use both MIG for mild steel (and rarely with a spool gun on aluminum) and also use TIG for aluminum, TIG brazing, TIG on cast steel, and occasionally on more intricate mild steel parts. Once we found out about the Multimatic 220 AC/DC we had to try one out and what we've found is a no-compromises MIG/TIG multiprocess machine. In fact we'd go so far as to say that the machine works better at these two processes than our two, individual, dedicated MIG and TIG machines. Check it out.
The Multimatic 220 AC/DC comes with two shielding gas regulators, one for MIG and one for TIG. We run C25 (25 percent CO2 and 75 percent Argon) in our MIG tank and 100 percent Argon in our TIG tank. The two tanks fit nicely on the Dual Cylinder Cart (Miller PN 951770). The machine has one ground for whatever process you are using. That's especially nice when you're switching between processes while working on one project on the vehicle or on the welding table. The unit is small and portable at about 56 pounds and can be used with 220- or 110-volt outlets thanks to the Multi-Voltage Plug.
We mainly use MIG with 0.030-inch solid wire for mild steel. This thickness wire is diverse and allows us to weld 18- to 20-gauge sheet metal, 1/4-inch plate, and everything in between with CO2/Argon mix. This machine can weld up to 3/8-inch plate (with MIG and stick), but we'd probably switch to 0.035-inch wire and tips before welding much 3/8-inch plate. This machine is rated to TIG weld up to 1/4-inch steel, which is everything we will ever need to weld with it. The TIG process also features Miller's high-frequency arc starting, and the unit comes with the AK2C TIG Accessory Kit with Nos. 4, 5, and 6 aluminum nozzles and one collet of each size (0.040, 1/16, and 3/32 inch) for different-sized tungsten electrodes.
Once you have the parameters set for your different types of welding, all you have to do is either push the TIG foot control pedal or squeeze the trigger on the MIG gun. As long as the shielding gas for each process is open and you don't need to adjust settings it's as easy as that. If you do need to change settings it's easy as pie using the buttons and info from the LCD screen. The Miller Multimatic 220 AC/DC also has Auto-Set Elite which seems to work just about flawlessly for our needs. And if you need a little more heat or other fine tuning on the settings it's easy with the corresponding plus and minus buttons.