Shop Tool Review
With the power input of 115V, weighing in at only 52 pounds and a footprint of only 22″ x 13″, the MTN-MG132 Mountain is a truly portable MIG welder.
User Review( votes)
Splatter tacker! This is the affectionate “shop-name” that I was called after the first time I fired up a MIG welder. It’s many years and welds later now, but I can’t say that I’m anywhere near being a professional. I do know my way around a welder, be it MIG, TIG, or a stick, and I understand the processes. We have a project that requires some welding of sheet metal and small gauge tubing. Since we’ve yet to wire the 220V outlets in our new shop, we needed a box that would run on our 115V circuits. We settled on the MTN-MG132 Mountain portable MIG welder.
The MTN-MG132 Mountain comes as a kit, almost ready to weld. Add a bottle of your favorite gas (Argon 75/25 in our case), plug it in to your typical outlet, and you’re running beads. Ok, maybe not quite that simple, but it does come with most everything you need, including the wire. You don’t even need a big flat-bed diesel to haul this welder, you could even start welding out of the back of your Prius. No, don’t do that, you may be humiliated quickly. In all seriousness, the beginner or novice could start welding with this unit within minutes.
Mountain Portable MIG Welder
This MTN-MG132 Mountain portable MIG can weld with or without gas. Of course, welding without gas requires flux cored wire, which is not included. Also, if you are going to weld without gas, then you need to make sure that you reverse polarity. The MTN-MG132 Mountain makes this easy, all you have to do is open the side cover and reverse the ground and wire-feed leads by unscrewing the thumbscrews. I would recommend taking a visit to your local welding supply store and acquiring a small tank of gas (Argon is typical), so you can weld with the solid core mild steel wire that the Mountain portable MIG welder comes with.
On the front of the welder are two rocker switches that control the output power to your weld. In other words, how much arc you need for the material you are welding. There is a third rocker switch as well that controls the on/off power to the box. Back to the rockers that control the output power. With the two rockers, you control a four-step output, welding anything from 24 gauge to 3/16” plate, or up to ¼” if you use flux cored wire. The rocker switches are self-explanatory, Low 1, Low 2, High 1, High 2 in order of power.
An easy to read knob and pointer allow the welder to control the wire speed, from 50 to 300 IPM. The Mountain portable MIG welder will accept wire from .023” to .035” in diameter. Also included is an 8.5’ (feet) TW1-M torch and a work clamp (ground). The adjustable gas regulator included in the kit as well as a .030” mild steel roll of MIG wire, mitigates purchasing more accessories. Even a masquerade style welding mask was included; you have to hold it by a handle, with one hand. You probably want to upgrade this, hence you will have both hands available for welding.
MTN-MG132 Mountain Portable MIG At Work
The setup was very easy. I threaded-in the included regulator into my nearest available Argon bottle, then I attached the gas line leading to the welder with the included hose clamp. The .030” mild steel wire was simple to load, and I made sure there were no tight bends in the torch as I fed the wire out the torch tip. The next step, I verified that the polarity was correct for welding with gas (not flux core) and prepared my first pieces for welding.
I had some small pieces of 1/8” angle from a prior project that would be a great test candidate for the portable MIG. With a quick clean and grind, I fastened the work clamp and turn on the gas to the welder. I adorned my favorite welding helmet and plugged in the MTN-MG132 Mountain to the nearest 115V outlet. I set the output to High 1 (2nd highest setting) and set the wire feed somewhere near the middle. After spotting two places, I realized that I wanted to speed the wire up a little, so I dialed up the speed a few notches. I then made full pass across one side of the angle.
The outcome of the weld was pretty impressive. It definitely did the job. A little grinding on the weld confirmed penetration. Duty cycles on the Mountain portable MIG welder impressed us as well. Even as a 115V/120A welder, we completed welding runs across the 1 1/2″ angle. It’s not like this is a long run; however, this is not the welder for you if you are making long runs. On sheet metal, with the power turned back, the runs were even better and longer.
With the power input of 115V, weighing in at only 52 pounds and a footprint of only 22″ x 13″, the MTN-MG132 Mountain is a truly portable MIG welder. You can put this in your trunk, or easily place it in the bed or your pickup or van. The Mountain portable MIG welder is a perfect choice for the bodyshop engineer or mechanic that needs to weld body panels or sheet-metal. We would like to see a gauge on the regulator to read the pressure of the gas bottle, hence there is only a gauge reading the gas output to the torch.
The street price for the Mountain portable MIG hovers around the $500 range. This low cost option enables options for someone getting started, or someone welding on light-duty jobs. The contractor or fabricator that needs a portable welder to carry into locations to do onsite fixes may see a benefit in this as well.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these MTN-MG132 Mountain portable MIG welders, you can do so here.