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  • Writer's pictureCaleb T. Hayes

I Tested And Ranked The Best Mig Welders In 2024

Whether you’re working in the shop or at home, a MIG welder is a go-to crucial for precision and efficiency. These top-selling options are designed for both newbies and seasoned pros alike. Here are hands-on reviews.

best mig welders

FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. ToolIom - 200Amp 3-in-1 MIG Welder


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Can weld mild up to 5/32 inch (4.0mm) plate.

Helpful review: "I bought this machine as a pure novelty. I personally own and use several top flight Miller, Htp, Lincoln and Everlast welders. I've worked with some of the best welding equipment available. Most of that equipment is in the multi-thousand dollar range. Lately, I've been on a mission to see how good some budget equipment will do the job. This is the second machine I purchased on that quest. The first being a sub $300 plasma cutter (Aimco power cut-50). I was shocked how well that worked and I was surprised to see over 250 reviews on that product and having a 4.5 average star review.
Now I must qualify this review before I detail my experience. I have welded for more than 20 years, I know a good deal about welding and many of the variables that challenge the novice or beginner. Welding is a detail oriented task that can challenge the best of all of us at times. Most times things work as they should, but sometimes when they don't the problem can be frustrating to figure out.
Now straight to my experience this machine is very capable for what it costs, I will only be reviewing mig functions. If you're looking to weld up to 1\4" in a single pass it'll do it easily. All my welds were done with c-25 shielding gas which will require the purchase of a regulator and a tank of shielding gas. This machine only comes with a gas hose and out of the box will only weld in flux core mode without purchasing anything else. No welding wire is included either.
Setup of the machine is simple but yet complicated. For a novice there may be some frustration in understanding how to work this. Mine came setup in 4t mode. In 4t mode the first time you pull the trigger it starts feeding wire, it will continue to feed wire until you release the trigger and press and release it again. This is useful for long welds but is not a feature found commonly on most small welders. Great to have if you know what you're doing though.
Most people are used to 2t mode, as long as you hold the trigger it'll feed wire as soon as you release the trigger it stops. You need to know what a good welding condition feels like to dial in any welder. For my project, I was welding 3"x3" 1\4" thick angle iron doing mostly filet welds and it took about a minute to get the gas, voltage and wire speed settings really close.
The machine had a very stable arc and I was able to lay down a bead that was nearly textbook perfect. I was shocked to be honest. I had my coworker try it as well, he laughed and said this thing welds better than the lincoln welder we have in our shop. While it will not match the thickness capabilities of that machine I believe the arc is better and more stable thanks to the inverter technology.
For the beginner I can see this machine being frustrating at times. It's not as simple as a Miller or Everlast with pro set type functions. Pro set functions allow for fast acquisition of settings based on thickness of material to be welded and wire diameter with specific gas being used. For a novice it gets you in the ballpark of your initial setup faster. However those machines cost at least 5 times what this one does.
PROS:
Cost, lightweight, multi-voltage (at 110v capacity will be reduced), good stable arc, decent mig gun.
CONS:
Tricky setup for the novice, also be careful with the drive roll knob, I dropped mine and it rolled inside the machine behind the drive motor side. I had to disassemble the front of the machine to get it back, no regulator (not a deal breaker), ground clamp is pretty cheap, the cable is adequate but do yourself a favor and spend $10 on a better one.
WARRANTY:
Not sure how long the warranty is but the gold standard is 5 years for top flight welding equipment. I certainly don't expect that for the price point on this product.
SUMMARY:
It's a decent little welder. If you need something cheap to do some garage repair type work I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. I can't speak to how long it'll last but for under $300 you really can't go wrong. My goal in this little experiment was to test the capabilities of an inexpensive machine and I was able to produce similar results that I normally achieve with much pricier equipment. As always results will vary with experience and I fully expect some people will get a machine that may have an issue. We are dealing with electronics. I got a good one, someone else may not. For me this machine will be a machine I use for lighter duty on site work and for that I believe it'll do just fine." — Robby Weller

Get it from Amazon now: $299.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. ArcCaptain - 200Amp 3-in-1 MIG Welder

Top-rated: 676 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Cooling fan runs only when needed so no constant buzzing sounds..

Helpful review: "I have been really impressed with the ArcCaptain MIG200 multiprocess welder. I bought this welder as an upgrade and replacement for my old Millermatic 140 welder. This ArcCaptain welder has so much more versatility, adjustment, and power compared to the old basic transformer MIG welder I'm coming from. The build quality is excellent, although it may not be as durable as a big name brand, but for DIY hobby use in the garage it will be more than tough enough.
The welder comes with almost everything you need to MIG or stick weld out of the box. The only items you'll need to pick up are your MIG wire, shielding gas (unless you run flux-core wire), a gas regulator, or your stick welding electrodes.
The welder comes with extra MIG consumables and uses standard tweco style contact tips readily available. 3 different styles of wire drive rolls are provided; V-groove for solid wire, knurled groove for flux wire, and U-groove for aluminum wire. Unfortunately ArcCaptain appears to have a packaging issue though because even with 7 drive rolls included in the kit none of them have a groove sized for running 0.035" (0.9mm) wire of any type. Hopefully they correct this issue in the future.
This welder welds nicely and creates an easy to control weld bead. I'm a little rusty with my handwork so the inconsistencies in my test welds were the result of my own travel speed issues and not the welder. The Synergistic MIG functionality is really nice and provides a really good starting point for MIG weld settings. The one thing that ArcCaptain completely fails to mention in their user manual though is that when your in Synergistic mode you MUST set the AMPERAGE level appropriate for the material thickness being welded and then the machine will adjust the voltage and wire feed speed accordingly. For any beginner, just follow this rule of thumb and use 1 Amp for ever 0.001" of material thickness (ex. for welding 1/8" thick steel start with the welder set to 125A in synergistic mode and adjust the voltage from there if the weld is too hot/cold for your liking).
My only minor complaints about the welder, aside from the missing 0.035" drive rolls, are that ArcCaptain didn't include a MIG setup chart sticker inside the door cover (which is standard practice on all MIG machines), and that the unit comes wired for 110V input and they provide a 110V to 220V adapter cable. I think this practice of passing 220V through a 110V plug is poor design and may even be a violation of certain electrical safety codes. The better design would've been to have a 220V cable wired to the unit and adapt down to a 110V plug when needed.
Overall, this ArcCaptain MIG200 welder is a great value for all of the functionality it provides. It provides many more advanced features typically reserved for welders 2-3X the price of this unit. ArcCaptains support team has also been very helpful and responsive to my emails and the customer support is excellent for an international company. I'd highly recommend this welder to anyone looking for an excellent value multi-process MIG welder." — Kevin Kirson

Get it from Amazon now: $499.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. YesWelder - 135Amp 3-in-1 MIG Welder

Top-rated: 2,351 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Automatic change of the voltage & wire feeding speed by adjusting the amperage.

Helpful review: "I am no professional welder, but I am an experienced engineer. Some decades ago I used a cheap stick welder on cars. Now with the 135 amp FCAW or "MIG" welder it is much easier on thin metal. The machine is much smaller and not as heavy, which I do also appreciate. I checked the output voltage and all looked fine. Then I tried it on a small piece of a metal stand for a fan - see picture after I painted it. It worked pretty good. Now it is stable to carry the fan. So the machine paid itself already half off because we do not need to buy a new fan.
Here's a trick for thin metal sheets less than 1 mm: To only do sort of a spot weld and not burn holes into the thin metal the wire feed is way too fast. So to spot weld just leave the wire hanging out of the nozzle long enough for a few spots and disengage the wire feeder by pulling off the wheel on top of the feeder. That way it won't feed when you press the gun button but it will weld when you hit the workpiece with the wire hanging out of the gun. If you need more wire you can either engage the feed again or do it by hand until you get more wire out of the nozzle.
Another option is to clamp a piece of wire with the stick welding clamp and use that instead of a welding stick. Just make sure it has the right polarity for MIG welding. Or you could even try to reverse polarity if that works better.
The welding machine works fine and I do also like that it has a protection cover over the display and control knobs. Because sooner or later some sparks will hit the machine. What I usually do before I put it back to storage is to pull the wire back by hand into the machine. That way I have no loss of wire and I can disconnect the MIG gun and store it safely.
The manual is pretty good, too. Not always the case with those cheap Eastern tools.
What I did not test yet is the stick welding and the TIG welding. Stick welding should be fine though. It's much more simple than the FCAW welding and needs no feed. I am not sure if I will ever use TIG welding. I do only small DIY jobs around our home, nothing fancy or huge. A broken leg here and there or a frame part of a generator, swing, etc.
Time will tell if the machine is reliable and should I run into problems I'll update my review.
UPDATE:
Now I welded a broken frame part of a canopy of a swing. It came apart after wind damage. First kinda "spot" welded then doing the "mig" flux core with the feed over it. Worked out just fine again. Although it was difficult to weld around the holes where the screw goes through. It's also very thin metal. A little less than 1 mm. When using the MIG with about 40 amps and feed there was a lot of build up of metal, so I had to grind that off. Still stable and sturdy, so it has penetrated the frame enough.
No issues with the welding machine so far. Did not check the higher amps over 90 yet, but I will probably not need it anyway. Those higher amps are for thicker material like 1/4 an inch or so. I have not many things here which are that thick and need to be welded. It would probably trip my 20 amp breaker anyways after some time. It says on the machine it needs 54 amps for that high of a setting.
What I checked was the stick welding, just with the flux wire clamped in and two wires in parallel. That worked as well for the "spot" welding and clamping those 2 pieces of the frame together.
In regards to suggesting what welder to buy for just DIY small projects people: Forget the higher amps welders. They are more expensive, but not necessarily better for tiny jobs. Higher amps are for very thick metal. Good for pipeline welders or other professional jobs with HD jobs. But for tiny projects it's overkill. All you probably need is 100 amps max and for the most part with thin sheet metal 30-60 amps. Even then it needs some tricks to not burn holes into it. You can also try to use the mig wire to cut off a piece and hold it over small gaps and then weld it with the mig mode. That way you've got a thicker piece together to weld and the gap may be welded over easier. It's no rocket science, it's just hot metal melting and trying to get it back melted together. Whatever works, works!" — Justin Roberts

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns

 

4. Simder - 140Amp 2-in-1 MIG Welder

Top-rated: 477 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Ideal for beginners who are looking for an easy-to-use welding machine.

Helpful review: "I'm not a professional welder, and I hadn't welded in 30 years since high school, when I did use my father's Sears brand arc welder. I just don't do enough welding to warrant the hassle of getting gas bottles, so I decided on something that could do at least flux core and stick.
I was looking at some of the other brands in the same <$200 USD range before deciding on the Simder MIG-140M. M-model is VERY compact. Only slightly larger than some of the small stick-only arc welders. Included ground clamp has the braided copper connection, so slightly better than the cheaper toothed clamps. Otherwise, I wasn't expecting much from this model.
The initial unboxing was good. Fit and finish were good. Instructions showed pictures for the older MIG-140G model, but since the M-model is supposed to be the same thing in a smaller case, this isn't a problem. One minor issue is the pictures show the ground clamp in the wrong socket for MIG. You'll figure this out when you get no arc. :)
But otherwise, the instructions are very sparse. Like with many other brands at this price range, there is no chart to help you set the dials. I ended up spending about an hour testing settings on some scrap metal. In general, for 1/8" steel on 120v, I had the dials about halfway for both. So that should be a good starting point for most things.
One minor build quality complaint was the wire guide going into the torch cable was not adjusted properly. (The blue thing to the right of the roller in the picture.) They had so much of the guide sticking out that I couldn't remove the feed roller. A quick fix to adjust the guide, but indicative of lower QA. But again, I wasn't expecting much at this price point.
The unit only comes with one roller for 0.8mm & 1.0mm. Included was a spool of 1.0mm wire. They included tips for 0.8mm, 0.9mm, and 1.0mm. But no additional roller for 0.9mm. So if you plan to use 0.9mm (0.035in) then you'll need to get another roller.
Regarding the length of the cables. They are short. Again, I wasn't much at this price, but it's still a bit of a surprise how short the 6' torch cable actually is. And 3' for the power cord. 240vac adapter is less than a foot. I fortunately have a dedicated 120v 20a outlet right next to my bench, but I'll be looking for a good extension cord for the future.
Last thing is circuit breakers. In many of the reviews of various models online, some people keep tripping their breakers and I notice that some brands require 50a breakers on their 120vac outlet. I don't know many people with dedicated 50a circuits. The 50a circuits at my home are for whole rooms. (i.e.: living room and front restroom.)
One of the reasons I chose the Simder M-140M was that from what I could tell, it seemed like it was going to work on a 15-20a circuit. I happened to have a dedicated 20a circuit for the spare bedroom's AC, so I retasked that for the welder. I also have a dedicated 240v 50a outlet in the garage, so if I ever have to weld thicker steel, I at least have the option.
But overall, this is a nice and compact welder. Other than the guide adjustment and the short cords, I'm quite satisfied." — Randall T. Asato

Get it from Amazon now: $95.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. S7 - 200Amp 4-in-1 MIG Welder

Top-rated: 409 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Lift TIG is available with a TIG Torch that fits WP17V (not included in the package).

Helpful review: "Great little welder. Before this one, I had an 800 dollar Lincoln welder in my shop. I don't weld for a living, but I have been around it all my life. I have built race car roll cages etc...
So, I definitely have plenty of experience, and let me tell ya, this little inverter welder is impressive. It welds every bit as good as the expensive Lincoln welder, and it's much more versatile. I have also used it on about a 70ft run of light 12 gauge extension cord, which is unheard of with conventional transformer welders. It runs on both 110 an 220v, which drastically increases versatility... Not to mention the fact that it is a stick welder, and for less than 50 dollars, it can run a tig which I haven't bought yet but plan to.
I don't run this welder every day, so I can't say how it would be for someone who welds for a living in a commercial environment. But for me, I who enjoys building an fixing things, you can't go wrong with this welder.
It should also be fairly easy-to-use for someone who needs basic welding. This kind of tools typically don't come with some big book to school you on a new hobby. However, this machine is very easy to setup and understand. It welds as good as any high dollar machine I've ever used (and I've used about every big name brand out there!)
It's also very compact and light, so between that and the fact that it can run on lower 110v on a long cord, it's really great for farmers or people that need to fix equipment in remote areas.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
I took a couple weeks doing my shopping for this because it's something I've wanted and needed for a very very long time but was always afraid to buy one of these "all in one" hobby welders. The reviews were accurate. It's been some years since I've welded but this thing pretty much did it all for me. I've just played around with some practice welds but am confident enough now to move on to fixing my 20+ year old smoker grill. Maybe I'll post some pics of that when done, because seeing pics of real people using it really did help me make the decision. The only downside was I would have liked a bit more literature on this machine and how it all works but other than that it's a really nice sturdy body , cables and connectors. Hope that helps someone else trying to decide if it's worth it.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
Hooked this welder up and did some flux testing. I also connected it to a load bank and tried various resistance settings to maximize power output. Here is what I learned. The various weld settings are as follows. flux .8, flux 1.0, mig .8 seemed to all function the same. Voltage output stayed the same, along with maximum power output. The stick also has the same maximum output but the output stays hot. Once the output has a load on it, the welder will not switch away until the load is disconnected. I didn't test the lift arc. The leftmost dial controls the voltage slightly with a +3 to -3 adjustment. I turned it to +3 to get the maximum power. OK, the maximum power I was able to get with 233 VAC to the machine was a measured 174 amps of welding current at 16.5 VDC. I was unable to get 200 amps of current, suggesting this machine be renamed the MIG-175.
The welder is light, versatile and works well on both 120 and 240 VAC circuits. I didn't test maximum output with 120 VAC but assume it would trip the breaker as others reported, so it depends on your circuit breaker to some extent. Feeder works well but the ground cable is way too short so will be replaced soon. The Arc stinger arrived with a broken piece although it didn't affect its operation. I didn't test as I have better stingers available." — Christopher Rauschenberg

Get it from Amazon now: $149.99 & FREE Returns

 

6. HZXVoGen - 250Amp 6-in-1 Aluminum MIG Welder

Top-rated: 123 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: This mig welder came with high-quality accessories: MB15 Mig Gun, graphite wire feed tube, earth clamp, electrode holder, welding brush- hammer combo, hose clamps, gas tube, and US plug.

Helpful review: "Before I get started, keep in mind, price point is heavily factored into this review. This machine is not on the same level as Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, or ESAB. That said, it far, far exceeded my expectations of a 350 dollar welder. I have only used it thus far for flux core welding. (I have arc welding rods, and Mig wire on the way so I can try shielded Mig welding, and stick welding with it too).
However, with the flux core welding, it welds quite nicely. I have done a few projects with it. It's consistent, it's reliable, the settings took a moment to figure out, but made sense once I did. It's a machine worth far more than what I paid for it. It came with a Mig torch, and a stick welding stinger, and a graphite liner to run aluminum wire. If it Mig-welds, and stick-welds as well as it flux core welds, then I will say it's an absolutely fantastic machine at that price. It does have the capability to Tig-weld as well, but it did not come with the Tig torch. Many multi-process machines don't come with the Tig torch, to be fair. And the only welding gas I have is the 75/25 for Mig-welding mild steel anyway. I haven't Tig-welded in years, so, there's a fair chance I won't be reviewing its Tig capabilities. However, I will update this with the Arc and MIG reviews.
As it stands now though, 5 stars for its capabilities and consistency at a ridiculously low price. Very well done for a cheap Chinese made machine. Very well done indeed. Just remember, though, if you're not a good welder, your machine doesn't matter.
UPDATE 1:
I did some Mig welding with it today. Laid down some good Mig welds. I now know this machine mig-welds and flux core welds quite well. Will update again after stick-welding with it.
UPDATE 2:
I did some stick welding with it today. Does nicely with E6011 rods. It's safe to say that this machine can stick weld as well as mig weld and flux core welds. It makes a great all-around machine. It does advertise lift Tig capabilities (DC only) which I am not likely to test, as the next time I do any Tig welding, it will be on a different machine made for AC/DC Tig welding. This is my final update on this machine. Suffice it to say, it welds very well on Mig, stick, and flux core. It does good on a 110 circuit, but I find that 240 vac is where this bad boy really shines. Use a 240 circuit when possible, but know it is possible to make good welds on all processes with the 110 volt circuit as well.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
When the welder arrived I noticed it was dented in on the back at the gas inlet. The inlet sticks out quite far and there is no foam in the packaging on the backside to prevent this when it is dropped directly on the backside during transit. A quick check inside and nothing appears damaged. All electrical connectors were also secured with RTV to prevent them loosening during transit--a plus.
I plugged it in immediately on 110V with some 0.030" flux core and had trouble making any good beads. I got a 220V extension cord and worked quite a bit with it on both the manual and the synergic settings over the next day. It really spattered quite a bit and I was not yet happy with it. I was getting beads sitting too high, or else I would be burning too deep.
After checking and rechecking settings, I realized I was a dummy and had installed the wires with the wrong polarity for flux core wire. The front of the machine is very clearly labeled, so I completely messed up in my excitement to get it set up.
After getting the polarity set up correctly, it started off really sputtering the arc using the Synergic mode. I dialed the current way back and it started welding like a dream. I was using 1/8" steel and a current setting of about 75-80A made that nice sizzling sound. I finally laid down a great bead within just a few minutes of setting it up on the right polarity.
In the Synergic mode, you set your wire size and type and the voltage is automatically set. You can dial the voltage up or down + or - 3V to your liking. Your main adjustment in this mode is the current knob in the middle to adjust for your steel thickness. The default voltage will vary automatically as you adjust the current. I just left the voltage at the default and dialed the current until it hit the sweet sizzling sound. It was as simple as that. The third knob is to adjust impedance once you develop a feel for that.
In the manual mode, you set the voltage and the wire speed to your liking with the first two knobs. The current is dictated simply by wire speed. So you need to know a little more about your desired voltage for the thickness you're welding.
On the Synergic setting the penetration seemed really good, so I think I will be using that quite often. I'm moving up from an old 110V MIG/flux welder that only had 4 volt/amp settings using two switches. It just couldn't do much thicker than 1/8 to 3/16. This welder should make welding 1/4 inch very simple and easy even with a flux core. I haven't tried a stick yet, and I don't have a gas bottle to try the MIG option. But I plan to now with this welder. It definitely seems well suited to a beginner." — Chuck O'connor

Get it from Amazon now: $369.99 & FREE Returns

 

7. LDHthopi - 140Amp 4in-1 MIG Welder

Top-rated: 164 ratings


best mig welders

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Advanced IGBT technology.

Helpful review: "First of all, I have never welded before. Upon receiving the welder, I put it together. I couldn't get the wire to feed. After several frustrating hours trying to figure out the rather worthless instructions, and wasting 1/4 spool of flux core wire, I finally figured out that the use selector was on stick welding. To determine what these indicators said I took a picture with my phone and zoomed in. If you are younger than I am, you might not need to do this.
Obviously, the stick doesn't feed the wire. In looking at the little option lights, which are difficult to decipher, I realized that the first light (on the left) says MMA, which evidently means stick welding. The second is 0.8mm solid wire, for gas. The third is 1.0 solid wire, also for gas. The fourth is for 0.8mm Flux, the fifth is 1.0 mm. The light above the fifth one designates TIG, and the one above that says you have the unit plugged in and turned on.
The two knobs are voltage (top) and wire feed rate (bottom). My instruction manual has these knobs reversed.
The little red button with the finger on it is how you select the correct selector above.
The next oddity is the little cable that comes out of the unit and is maybe 8 inches long. This is used to select the polarity of the electrode, which is the wire. After searching on the internet I determined that this cable goes in the negative position, and the ground clamp goes in the positive position for flux welding. For welding with gas, the short cable goes in the positive position, and the ground clamp goes in the negative position. For stick welding, the electrode (the stick) goes in the negative position and the ground clamp goes in the positive position. At least for 6011 rods. Your rods may vary.
I have been able to create a satisfactory bead with both flux core and stick. I am still working on my technique. I am satisfied that I can weld two pieces of metal together and they will stay together.
I hope this helps somebody. As of right now, I am in practice mode. After I get more practice in, I will update this review. Now that I have gotten this far, I love this little welder, especially at the price I paid.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
I saw this on amazon at a substantial discount and jumped. I liked that it would weld gas or gasless, and would have preferred one that would take a 10# spool. This won't. Does not come w a 220v plug adapter, so it's strictly 110v. Set it up in just a few minutes for flux core, with the wire roll that came with it. Produced a smooth arc, and sufficiently hot, with better than expected penetration. Easily hot enough to burn through 1/8' steel.
Bought a 2# roll of Lincoln solid mig wire and connected it up to gas (75/25). First I measured wire speed output in inches per minute, from 20-140 on the display. The mig wire output (.035) was consistently 10-15" greater than the digital display (which is ok, because that's supposed to signify amperage, not ipm). The weld was remarkably smooth and hot, and I was very pleased. Although I noticed that the voltage knob seemed to do nothing. So I left it turned all the way down and controlled just the wire speed and amperage. Found I could weld acceptably on 16ga, 1/8 and 3/16. As hot as it welds, I see no problem welding up to 1/4", or maybe a little better. Ran it quite a bit and really worked it, just laying beads on scrap.
That was last week. Today I broke it out again, to see how it held up, and had a hard time duplicating those results. A lot of popping and snapping. Changed setting to .030 wire, even though it's still running .035, and presto; ultra smooth and stable arc, which I could dial right in with the amp/wire speed setting. Still no change from the voltage knob, so kept it at 0. At an amp/wire setting of 68 (of 20-140), welded 1/8 really nicely, with good heat and penetration. Turn it up much higher than that, and it's melting 1/8" steel. Which is impressive, for this tiny little thing.
Will try again in a few days and see if it produces consistent results. Will edit, if it doesn't. Not sure how long it might live, but it's definitely putting out the advertised 140 amp." — Dale Prestwood

Get it from Amazon now: $119.99 & FREE Returns

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