Chicago Electric 90 Amp MIG Welder Review

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In Brief: Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder Review

The Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder is a MIG (FCAW) machine that can weld up to 18 gauge to 3/16 in. mild steel. It is a safe, portable, and easy to use welder, making it a great choice for novices. DIY enthusiasts and small-scale businesses can make good use of it. For its low budget price, it makes for a good value for money.

Chicago Electric is a brand of welders marketed as high-quality discount tools.

The brand is exclusively supplied by Harbor Freight Tools, a company headquartered in Calabasas, California.

The company was established in 1977. 

The Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder is meant for flux wire MIG welding (FCAW). It is light in weight and comes with a carry handle on top. 

It has a welding capacity of 18 gauge to 3/16th of an inch. This power tool is only meant for welding mild steel.

Key Specifications of Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

The Chicago Electric 90 Amp welder does not require a gas regulator. It has self-regulating feed control and thermal protection with a warning light. 

This package includes a 4in. spool PF flux core wire, a welding face shield, a spare 0.9mm welding tip, and a wire/brush hammer combo. 

It needs an input of 120V, 24A, single-phase, and a frequency of 60Hz. Though it is ideal for home welders and DIY hobbyists, it can be used for small welding businesses as well.

You can see this FCAW machine being used in this video:

 

Key specifications of the Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

ParametersDetails
Electric Rating120V~ / 20A
Capacity18 gauge to 3/16 in. mild steel only
Dimensions19.8 in. L x 17.9 in. W x 11.5 in. H
Duty Cycle20% @ 90A
45% @ 60A
kVA2.38
Net weight32.8lbs
Open circuit voltage27V
Welder tips/wire size.030 in. to .035 in. flux core wire
Welding output60A - 120A AC
Wire spool capacity

4 in. diameter / 2 lbs spool

 

How to assemble / Install Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

Setup and assembly are quite simple and have been explained with labeled diagrams in the owner’s manual. 

You will need to set the cover and install the wire spool before you can start using the welder. Instructions are given in 20 easy steps. 

In case you need any further guidance, refer to this video here:

 

How to Use Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

The 27-paged owner’s manual gives clear instructions on basic welding, welding tips, and maintenance for using this product. 

It is of utmost importance that you follow the safety instructions given right at the beginning of the manual. Failure to follow them may cause damage to the machine, property, or even injury. 

You can watch this video as well to see how to use the Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder:

 

Warranty / Repairs 

This package comes with a limited 90-day warranty from the day of purchase. Read the last page of manual1 to see Harbor Freight’s warranty policy.

It doesn’t cover damage caused by misuse, abuse, negligence or accidents, repairs or alterations outside our facilities, criminal activity, improper installation, normal wear, and tear, or to lack of maintenance.

Customer Review Analysis

We went through several online portals and forums to understand what customers think of the Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder. 

Buyers seem happy with their product because of the low budget price and its durability. Since it doesn’t need a gas regulator, it eliminates the need to purchase one. 

The best thing about it is that it’s very difficult to damage this machine due to overheating. This is because it gives a warning light for a few seconds and then completely shuts off. This shutting off system prevents burning the unit. 

It does not give suitable results for welding thick materials. This is why this welder is ideal for small projects using low to mild alloy steel. 

 

Pros/Cons of Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

After reading up on consumer reports and expert comments, we drew the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • Light in weight and portable
  • Low budget price
  • Low power input
  • No requirement of gas regulator
  • Variable wire speed control
  • Thermal overload protection

Cons

  • Not suitable for big projects

 

Recommended accessories with Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder

Customers who bought the Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder also bought these:

Forney 42300 Flux Core Mig Wire, Mild Steel E71TGS.030-Diameter, 2-Pound Spool 

 

Forney 60171 Contact Tip For Mig Welding, Tweco Binzel or Clarke, .030, 4-Pack

 

 

FAQs

Can this welder use 0.023 wire for body panels?

No, it can only use 0.030 to 0.035. However, if you change the copper tip, it can use 0.023 wire as well.

Does it include any flux wire?

A wire is included in the purchase but with active use, it will run out quickly. We recommend you buy another spool if you intend to use it frequently.

Can I use this to weld ¼ inch and 3/16?

Yes, you can. Anything more than ½ is not recommended.

Does it weld aluminum?

It can weld very thin sheets of stainless steel and aluminum but does not perform well in thicker sheets. It is ideal for low to mild alloy steel.

Our Recommendation

The Chicago Electric 90 Amp Welder is a good welding machine for FCAW mild steel. It is an ideal choice for small-time welders, novices, and DIY hobbyists. 

It is not a good choice if you own a big business or for industrial-level welding. Though it is not meant for thicker materials, it can weld thin sheets excellently. 

Being lightweight and portable, it’s great for taking to job sites. Since it is very safe and easy to use, it’s a great tool for learning how to weld. 

About Chris Miller

Chris has been writing welding topics for over a decade now. A professional welder himself, he loves experimenting with the art of welding and checking out the latest welding tools and accessories. When he is not busy with his work, he enjoys spending time gardening and running marathons.

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