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Miller Maxstar 161 Review - Which Maxstar is the right one for you?

Maxstar 161 Banner

In this review, we'll be taking a closer look at the Miller Maxstar 161 lineup, a family of compact and versatile welders designed to cover a wide range of applications. Read below to learn all about this lineup of Miller welders, or watch the video.

Compact Design and Portability

The inverter technology in the Maxstar welders allows for these machines to have such a compact size. In addition to that the inverter technology ensures better arc control, enhanced energy efficiency, and reduced power consumption.

The Maxstar's have a very small form factor, similar to the size of the toaster in your kitchen. 

H: 10.3 in.   W: 5.6 in.   L: 13.5 in.

Maxstar 161 application image

Power, Processes and Capabilities

Although in a small package, the Maxstar 161 series packs a punch. Take a look at the weld output rating below. Since the machine is dual voltage you can plug into 120V or 240V outlets for maximum versatility. The Maxstar 161 can also do Stick or TIG welding depending on the model.

Miller Maxtar 161 output

The Maxstar 161 has three different packages available from Miller. They are the Maxstar 161 S, STL, and STH. Each of these machines have distinct differences, highlighted in the chart below.

Maxstar 161 Comparison

There are some noteable takeaways from the graph above. The largest being that the Maxstar 161 S cannot TIG weld. The Maxstar 161 STL is the first one that is capable of doing TIG. It is just scratch start TIG so you will have to touch the electrode to the work piece to initiate the arc. The Maxstar 161 STH is capable of High-Frequency TIG as well as pulsed TIG. If you are looking for a serious portable TIG welder, the STH model is the one for you.

Maxstar 161 Front Control panel


The Maxstar 161 comes with a host of features that make your welding experience much smoother and easier. 

Fan-On-Demand - power source cooling system operates only when needed, reducing noise.

Thermal overload protection - helps prevent machine damage if the duty cycle is exceeded or airflow is blocked.

Pro-Set - eliminates the guesswork when setting weld parameters. Use Pro-Set when you want the speed, convenience and confidence of preset controls.

High-frequency - for non-contact arc initiation that reduces tungsten and material contamination. (STH Model Only)

Pulse - Pulsing can increase puddle agitation, arc stability and travel speeds while reducing heat input and distortion. (STH Model Only)

Superior stick arc performance - even on the difficult-to-run electrodes like E6010!

Those are some of the more notable of the Maxstar lineup. There are many more features not listed, checkout the spec sheet for all the details.

Overall the Maxstar 161 is one of the best compact Stick/TIG welders on the market. The Maxstar is so versatile because it can run difficult stick electrodes like 6010, high frequency and pulsed TIG, and dual volatge capability all while staying in a very small and portable package. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about getting a Maxstar, reach out to our support team. Our support team can be reached at 877-930-5690 or email at support@bakersgas.com.

Evan H.


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