Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best welder 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2019
Best welder of 2018
The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good. Welcome to my website! If you plan to buy welder and looking for some recommendations, you have come to the right place. I make the search easier for you, by reviewing the best welder on the market.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this welder win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this welder come in second place?
I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
№3 – Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch
Why did this welder take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
welder Buyer’s Guide
The Welder Chassis
The chassis isn’t a major consideration as making a welder trolly can be a great first welding project.
Gas vs Gas less
MIG needs some sort of shielding gas to keep oxygen away from the weld. The choices are gas shielded (oxygen is displaced by an inert or semi-inert (active) gas mix contained in a bottle), and flux cored wire (where a protective covering is produced by a compound included in the wire itself). There are advantages and disadvantages for each type of welding, but gas shielded is by far the nicer method to use, so unless you know you’ll only want to weld with flux cored wire it makes sense to go for a welder that can do both, or a gas shielded only welder.
OK once you get the hang of it.
Things become easier with gas shielding. You can see the weld pool, the welds are neater, there is less spatter. The disadvantages are the cost of gas for occasional users, and the need for wind shielding if welding outside.
Molten metal is hot, and the UV light produced by welding is a lot stronger and nastier than sunlight. Cotton overalls and welding gauntlets (thick heat resistant gloves) are a must.
Synergic and Inverter MIGs
Inverters are finding their way into MIG welders, and they can offer a lot of features at a lower cost to the traditional transformer based welders.
The inverter technology started off in high end sets aimed at increasing the deposition rate (and speed of welding) in high amp spray transfer, and avoiding the transitional globular transfer phase.
Special features of the Lotus Pro
MIG 140 Welder include a thermal overload protection system, which can help prolong the life of the tool over the long-term by ensuring it never overheats.
It’s also dual function – it can be used for flux cored welding as well as gas-shielding MIG welding.
Power requirements for welding machines
We could have placed power requirements in to the previous point about your working environment, but paying attention of power specifications on welding machines is so important that it is deserving of its own section. Some machines will be capable of working from a typical household mains socket, while others have more specific requirements.
This will simply mean the power required to operate the welding machine. Some machines will be fine to run from a normal 240 volt mains supply, although many will have more detailed requirements. It is worth knowing what you have available in your work area, and also what additional costs may result from additional power requirements.
There is such a thing as a welding generator which is required to power some more heavy duty welding machines, and these generators themselves can cost many hundreds of pounds. Other machines may not require this, but will require more than your average mains supply, so do your homework in this area prior to buying.
As the name suggests, power output is the amount of power that your welding machine will generate itself during operation. This is very important to be aware of as it can impact the types of welding jobs you can do with the machine, such as the thickness of the metal it can weld. A weaker power output may not reach the heat required for certain metals, with 180-200 amps of output required for thick metals and perhaps only 100 amps needed for thinner metals. It’s vital to know this information ahead of buying.
If you’re a hobbyist welder, or you have been welding for many years, it’s likely that stick welding will be the process you are most familiar with. It’s more formally known as arc welding and involves a consumable electrode covered with a flux that lays the weld. An electric current flows from a gap between the metal and the welding stick itself, creating the arc-welding electrode.
There are some distinct disadvantages as well however, which is probably to be expected from such a cheap and versatile welding process. Firstly, the welding rods will need regularly changing, while the welds themselves will likely need cleaning or neatening up once completed. It’s also only able to be used on metals that are at least 1/16-inch or more.
Stick welding is also typically difficult to master, and the learning curve can be a frustrating one. However, with its portability, relative versatility and capabilities of operating both inside, outside and in slightly windy/breezy conditions, it’s certainly a process that can work for many people.
More popular with professionals, MIG welding is also commonly referred to as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The concept is simple, as a wire welding electrode is emitted from the welding stick/spool at a constant pace which can be pre-selected on the unit prior to beginning. The arc is created by an electric current that runs between the metal that is being welded, and the wire itself. The wire melts, joining with the work piece metal and forming a strong join.
There are disadvantages to this form of welding as well though, not least the gas tanks themselves. Due to these tanks often being incredibly large and heavy, it is not a very portable form of welding and so will often be done in some sort of workshop or factory, rather than those who have a mobile working setup.
MIG welding is generally used on thin-to-medium thickness metals.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding
To use the acronym FCAW for short, flux-cored arc welding is a slight variation on MIG welding. It also uses a wire-fed process; however, no shielding gases are needed. This means that flux-cored welding is more portable than MIG welding due to there being no requirement for gas tanks.
It’s especially useful when welding outdoors, able to operate in adverse weather and still produce a neat and efficient weld. For this reason, it’s particularly popular in the construction industry.
Another form of arc welding, TIG welding involves the use of a non-consumable tungsten electrode to form a weld. The heat produced by a TIG welder melts a filler rod on to the two pieces of metal that are to be joined, forming a weld. This process is also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).
TIG welding is especially useful for welds that are trickier than standard, such as on round items or s-curves, and is most commonly used for welding copper and titanium. It’s easily applied to thin metals and the welds produced through the TIG welding process are recognised as being very high-quality, and superior to those produced by most other types of welding.
Using the TIG welding process is also perhaps the cleanest and neatest, with no slag or splatter left behind, meaning the surrounding work area is left clear.
How to Select an MIG Welder
Anybody can go out and buy an MIG welder, but not anyone can buy a good MIG welder. This is because selecting an MIG welder can be a very confusing task. To help eliminate some of the confusion, I will discuss the important components of an MIG welder. I will also tell you what to consider when buying a welder and some of the best welders on the market today.
When selecting top rated MIG welders, there are five important factors to consider.
Input and Output Power
The amount of power that you require will be dependent on the type of project that you will be working on. If you plan on working on smaller, DIY, home-based projects, then I recommend that you select a 115V welder with an output of 140A. But, if you are planning on working with larger, more complex projects, then a 220V welder with an output of 180A would be better suited for your project.
Consider the amount of power that you would need on the thickness of the materials that you use. If you plan on welding material that is 1.0 mm thick, then I recommend that you select an MIG welder with a minimum of 30 amps. Go for less than 30 amps if you plan on working with thinner sheets. Or, go for more than 30 amps if you work with thicker sheets. Remember the thirty rule in this case.
Every MIG welder works at a different wire-feed speed. Every different material requires a different wire-feed speed in order to ensure an accurate welding. This is why every MIG welder comes with various speeds in order to accommodate various materials.
Spool guns are often used with aluminum materials. If you decide to go with a spool gun, then I recommend that you select one that has special features for better welding. One important feature on spool guns is the euro-connect. Now that you know five of the most important characteristics involved in choosing an MIG welder, I will now discuss some of the best MIG welders on the market.
Input Power Requirements
Before buying a welder, you need to determine if the primary power you have available (or can have an electrician install) is compatible with the unit. Consult the operating manual or spec sheet and look at requirements for primary voltage (range, phase, frequency), minimum primary circuit size and recommended circuit size (required to achieve maximum output).
Amperage and Metal Thickness
When someone asks, “What thickness of metal can that unit weld,” they are really referring to metal thickness that can be welded in a single pass while achieving full penetration.
Broadly speaking, you need amp of power for every.001” of steel thickness. Stainless steel and welding out-of-position require to 15% less heat input, while aluminum requires about 25% more. Here are some common metal thicknesses in gauges/fractions, decimals and metric equivalents.
2. An old trick for increasing penetration on thicker metal is to heat it with a torch until it reaches about 250o F (which you may want to do anyway to drive off moisture).
3. In many applications, using a smaller diameter electrode increases control over travel speed, the weld puddle, weld bead placement and heat input. When welding on thinner metal (auto body work is a good example), good arc characteristics at low outputs (e.g., good arc stability, positive arc starts, low spatter) are far more important than total power.
Notes on Selecting a Stick Welder
Stick inverters make it much easier to learn to weld because they have a “hot start” function. During Stick arc initiation, the rod is prone to sticking because the voltage drops to zero when the rod touches the work piece. Hot start helps to free the rod and establish the arc by automatically boosting the welding current for a fraction of a second during arc starts. Once the arc is established, the hot start function shuts off.
Stick inverters also have the ability to adjust arc force or “dig” characteristics. Increasing dig creates a stiffer, more driving arc that helps prevent the rod from sticking when welding overhead or welding in tight fit-up situations. 701electrodes especially tend to run better with a little more arc force added, while 601and 601electrodes favor less or neutral arc force settings.
Note that some conventional Stick welders are built specifically to excel at welding with one type of electrode or in one particular application (it has to do with their volt/amp curve, which is an advanced topic). Because Stick inverters with arc force adjustment enable you to adjust the arc characteristics from soft to stiff, you always get the best performance in any situation.
People who grew up welding with a classic Stick buzz box and its AC output might be concerned about switching to a DC output. However, if you imagine an electric current flowing only in one direction, it’s easy to picture how a DC output creates more positive arc starts, helps keep the arc established and makes the rod less prone to sticking. These benefits make Stick welding a lot easier to learn! Other benefits of a DC output include reduced spatter, easier out-of-position welding and better weld bead aesthetics.
Notes on Selecting a TIG Welder
Choose the TIG weldingprocess when you want the best weld bead appearance possible—that classic “stack of dimes” look—or need more precision and control, such as for chrome-moly tubing in motorsports applications.
Pro-Series MMIG1212Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit
Are you searching a MIG welder for small and medium working projects? Then MMIG12125amp Fluxcore Welder can be a good choice. The specially designed size of the welder allows it to work safely in small spaces.This welder machine is one the best 110v mig welder for home use.
This MIG welder allows to weld carbon metal, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, silicon bronze, nickel, magnesium and other alloys.
A duty cycle 20 percent at 80 amps defines that the welder can weld constantly for two minutes when cracked up to the maximum amperage prior to being cool down.
This welder machine can weld mild steel up to 1gauge to 3/1inches in one pass. MMIG12is equipped with a ground cable with clamp, welding gun, brush hammer, flux cored wire and face shield. You can start welding after getting the unit in your hand.
Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder
If you are searching for a best 110v flux core welder, then you may keep Lotos Mig140 in your choice. The new upgrade Lotos MIG 140 features with a power output of 30A-140A. The welder can weld at industrial quality at affordable price. 2T/4T switch and digital displays are now added on Lotos MIG140 welder. These feature helps to adjust wire feeder speed and welding speed accurately.
The machine is connected to 110V power source and capable of setting up within minutes or less time to use. The machine can weld stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel and other metals. The Lotos MIG 140 can weld stainless steel from 1gauge to 3/1inch, Mild steel from 1gauge to 3/1inch and aluminum metal can be weld up to 1/inch or less thin than 1/inch. The welding machine is secured with 4-inch or 8-inch wire spools.
You can use Lotos MIG 140 for DIY projects, Auto body welding, light professional project, small home projects etc. Oh yes, I just forget to mention that the Lotos MIG 140 is efficient to handle flux-cored weld. The new machine has a ground connector that makes it easily switch between “+” and “-”.
The machine is equipped with high quality aluminum wire feeder which makes it more stable and better user experience than other welders. This Welder is featured with transfer technology. Transfer technology offers more reliability and durability of the machine.
Forney Easy Weld 29125FC Flux Core Welder
Are you tired of searching a small but durable welder machine? Then the new Forney 29125FC Flux Core Welder is one of the best choices for your requirement.
Forney is an American largest metalworking product company. They have more than 80 years of experience in the metal industry, has introduced this Forney 29125FC Flux core welder. It is easy to use and affordable to buy. That’s why if you are beginner then choosing this welder is a wise decision.
The welder runs without gas settings. So, the machine is only suitable for gasless flux core welding projects. The machine comes with plug and play option. It allows welding quarter of an inch. Moreover, it has 10Ib capacity of spool which makes it a versatile welder.
You have to plug the machine into 120v input power connection. The welder machine will provide you 12amps output. So this welder is perfect for home and garage projects. The welder can weld from 2gauge to 1/4inch thick metal.
LOTOS MIG17175AMP Mig Welder
You can connect this welder with our existing 220V power line. You can run the welding machine in minutes after getting the package from the manufacturer. Because you will get MIG spool gun, MIG Torch, ground cable with clamp, argon hose, Argon regulator, cleaning wire brush and hand shield with the package.
This welding machine allows to weld stainless steel, Mild steel, Aluminum and materials. The machine can weld Mild steel or stainless steel from 1gauge to ¼ inches. For aluminum materials welding capacity is up to 3/inch or thicker. Duty circle of the welder is 20% at 17amps and 30% at 13amps. You are capable of doing the job of maintenance, constructions, farm/ranch, rental, home, auto body with this welder easily.
It is equipped with high quality wire feeder which allows more stable and better user experience than other welders. Two automatic circuits are used to protect the wire feeder motor of the welder.
Hobart Handler 50055400190
The Hobart Handler 50055400190 is a robust and sturdy welding machine with a range of features. Hobart Hander is an excellent machine for them who are looking for a powerful and efficient MIG Welder.
As it is equipped with a lot of features it can handle different types of job easily. It is suitable for a professional or a beginner. It can handle small jobs or medium projects or heavy duty jobs.
This is a powerful wire-feed flux core and MIG welder that allows you to weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum and flux core. It can weld materials as thick as ranging from 2gauge to 5/1inch. No matter you are a hobbyist or a tradesman, you can deal your work with it.
The machine comes with voltage selections and infinitive wire speed control that make it control over output settings. This is a perfect versatile machine that can be used on auto body, light industrial work, household repairs, maintenance and construction work or even heavier farm and ranch projects that need more power. But you have to keep in mind that this welding machine is not designed for constant use or heavy duty industrial work.
A built in contractor system keep the welder cool until the welder go to start welding.
Input and Output Of A Welder
If you work in the home for small projects like joining thin iron or aluminum sheets with a MIG welder. That time you need a 115v welder with 140A power output. Well if you work with thick materials that time this 115V-140A is not sufficient. You may need 220V welder with an output of 180A.
If you work with different types of sample, it is best to choose a welder that allows multi-voltage option. It gives you the opportunity to adjust power level from 120v-230v. So choose it as your required demands. Technology has changed, you can also buy an advanced model. That allows to set the power automatically.
Establish the ideal amperage
The cost of a welding machine is partly dependent on the amount of current it can generate; thicker metals usually require more current in order for them to be welded properly. It is thus best that you pay ample attention to the thickness of the fixtures as well as the base metals you’d be required to work with for a project.
Take, for instance, thick structural steel and a pipe having a thickness greater than half an inch; you would require either a stick welding machine or a high-end MIG welding machine to weld these effectively.
To weld thin metals, on the contrary, you would require more sensitive welding machines which would provide just the right amount of heat to form the weld. In this respect, welding aluminium becomes almost the same as does welding a relatively thinner metal.
Choose an ideal site for welding
The site where you’d be performing the welding also helps in arriving at a suitable welding machine. When welding indoors you could plug in your machine to 11volt AC machine, a 220-240 volts AC supply. A 11volt supply is the regular supply that any commercial or domestic facility receives. Most elementary welding machines operate at this voltage. The machine could work in single phase or work as a three-phase device.
Refer to the specs sheet
Referring to the specs sheet can help you understand several things critical to differentiating a good welding machine from another. For instance, a specs sheet can help you gauge how much of continuous welding a machine can perform in a span of ten minutes. Duty cycle is representative of the number of minutes that you can weld per a standard interval of ten minutes. Exceeding the duty cycle may heat up the machine, damaging its internal circuitry.
Arc welders join two metals by generating an electric arc (spark) between a covered sacrificial metal electrode and the metals to be joined using high voltage. Think of it as hand-held lightning and you will have an idea of the process.
The heat produced by the arc between positive and negative electrical charge melts the parent metal, which mixes with the molten deposits of the coated electrode or the wire and gas shield.
The most common arc welder is the good old ‘stick’ welder: the electrodes – the sticks – are about 250mm long and look like stout bits of wire that were dipped in cement.
More correctly called ‘shielded metal arc’ welding, stick welding works better than most other methods on dirty or rusty materials and in less than perfect conditions.
Depending on the metals to be joined, there are many types and diameters of welding electrodes, but with age, the flux (the ‘cement’) can absorb moisture or crumble off, making fresh rods desirable.
As for technique, if you’re learning to weld using the stick process, remembering these five points will improve your technique. Think CLAMS: Current, Length of arc, Angle, Manipulation and Speed.
Arc welding current
Stick welders can be of AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) types.
DC welding offers advantages such as easier starts, fewer arc outages, less sticking, less spatter, better-looking welds, and easier vertical up and overhead welding. Plus, with DC, it’s easier to learn how to weld and you get a smoother arc.
DC reverse polarity (electrode positive) provides about percent more penetration at any given amperage than AC, while DC straight polarity (electrode negative) welds thinner metals better.
AC has advantages if welding on material that has become magnetised from friction, such as when hay, feed, grain, or water constantly rub against a steel part.
In that case, a DC output doesn’t work well because of ‘arc blow’, where the magnetic field blows the molten filler metal out of the weld puddle.
The AC succeeds because AC output alternates between polarities, thus enabling welding of magnetised parts.
A machine rated at between 22and 300 amps will be capable of handling most jobs that a decent mechanic will need to weld. Beyond that, you might be in for a trip to a specialist.
In fact, most stick welding procedures require less than 200 amps. To weld material thicker than about 10mm, simply make multiple passes – this is what the pros do, even when welding on one inch (25mm) structural steel. When buying a machine, the welder’s ‘duty cycle’ is important. This refers to the number of minutes out of a 10-minute cycle a welder can operate.
For example, Miller’s Thunderbolt XL creates a 200 amp DC output at 20 percent duty cycle. It can weld continuously at 200 amps for two minutes, and then must cool for eight minutes to avoid overheating.
Duty cycle and amperage are inversely proportional. Operating at only 90 amps, the Thunderbolt has a 100 percent duty cycle, meaning you can weld without stopping. Exceeding the rated duty cycle can damage the machine or cause it to overload and trip out.
Arc welding rods
The details for welding rods are printed on the end of the stick if you no longer have the packet. These designations were standardised in the United States by ASTM and WIA, with the first two digits representing the metal’s tensile strength.
For example, 60 series rods have a maximum tensile of 60,000psi (415MPa) and the 70 series 70,000psi (485MPa).
Common electrodes used for general work include 6010, 6011, 6013, 7018, and 7024, each of which has specific properties: 60electrodes penetrate deeply, while 601electrodes penetrate less.
For much better bead appearance and work on higher strength steels – say for an implement hitch – use a 701rod. For better penetration on thick material, grind open the joint to a 30-degree bevel (leave a 2mm width vertical land on the bottom of the groove) and make multiple passes.
Alternatively, make the first pass with a 60rod and then make a ‘cap’ with a 7018.
The 702rod is perhaps the easiest to use. This is also known as a ‘drag rod’, meaning the electrode’s thick flux automatically maintains the correct arc length, which allows you to drag the rod directly along the work piece. That’s pretty handy for better-looking welds.
Hard-facing rods can provide impact resistant or abrasion resistant welds or both depending on the application. Because the type of rod required depends on the type of environment the tool will expose to, it’s probably better to ask the local welding supplier for advice.
Inverter welders have some advantages over traditional welders. Both require a transformer to convert incoming current to suitable welding current, but an inverter welder does it more efficiently and is much smaller and lighter and uses less power too.
Because they’re more efficient, their duty cycle is also higher. Using modern solid-state electronics, inverter welders lose little heat in comparison to traditional machines, giving the smaller inverter machine the ability to use nearly all of its input current where an older-style transformer could lose up to 20 percent efficiency to heat loss.
The electronics make it possible to maintain an arc where a conventional transformer welder would allow the electrode stick to the work: big 5mm diameter rods can be run on an inverter machine, and it’s practically impossible to make them stick to the job.
The higher frequency of the output current and computer software to monitor and adjust current and voltage while welding, produces a consistent, smooth arc that’s easier to strike and to maintain.
When running on domestic single-phase power most inverter machines do need a 15-amp power outlet.
Welding supplies such as electrodes, welding wire, and shielding gas typically last longer than when using a traditional welding power supply.
Adjustments to current and voltage can be made for different materials and thicknesses, giving the operator tighter control over the welding process.
The small size and weight of these welders make them popular where a traditional transformer welder is too bulky or uses too much power, so they are popular in maintenance facilities, general fabrication shops, construction sites, and farms as portable, lightweight units for on-site repairs.
MIG stands for metal inert gas, and this process is also known as gas (shielded) metal arc welding (GMAW).
This process has a continuously fed wire electrode that melts in the arc to form a weldbead. Like TIG, the weld is protected from surrounding air by a shielding mixture of gases, usually including argon.
Alternatively, tubular flux-cored ‘self-shielding’ wires are available, which need no external gas. Ventilation is needed because of fumes, and the slag formed on the weld has to be removed between passes or before painting.
MIG welders with solid wire are more commonly used with industrial robots and on heavy, thicker work because the continuously fed electrode wire and arc length are automatically controlled.
MIG weld joints are stronger, more ductile, and have less distortion than other welding processes and are ideal for thin metal work, alloys, and aluminium.
However, welding wire isn’t cheap, and there’s a bit more to consider with MIG such as welding meter amps and volts, wire speed and position.
There’s a gasless wire option with MIG that’s a lot cheaper than bottle rental but it isn’t as nice as running a MIG on gas, and the power supply must be considered – ideally a consistent current with very little drop in voltage is needed.
Duty cycle is also a consideration: the machine will need to be watched to avoid overheating. For example, a 200-amp welder with 30 percent duty cycle should be operated for no more than three minutes in 10, allowing seven minutes for cooling.
More often than not, gas welding uses a combination of (usually) oxygen and acetylene as the heat source, which is why it’s also called oxy welding or oxyacetylene welding.
No electricity is involved, so as a result, it’s the most versatile system because it doesn’t require mains power.
If you’re likely to be welding out in the paddock or even on a site where power is yet to be connected, a pair of gas bottles, some appropriate hoses, and a gas ‘torch’ are in your future.
A neutral (one-to-one acetylene/oxygen) flame – the inner cone – reaches 3,17degrees C. This primary flame creates a molten weld pool that is protected by the outer flame.
The pool is filled with a welding/filler rod, usually made of the same material as the component(s) being welded. Mild steel melts at 1,48degrees C.
While it’s certainly versatile, a disadvantage of oxy welding compared with arc welding is that a large amount of heat is absorbed by the part being welded and that causes distortion. Excess heat may also weaken the area due to changes in the crystal structure of the base metal.
Usually known simply as ‘the oxy set’, it might also be called ‘the gas axe’ because the same equipment can be used for many things, including demolition and preparing large metal items for recycling.
An oxy set lends itself to many applications, including brazing, hard surfacing, tempering, soldering, heating, and bending jobs.
A welder with to 230 amps offers maximum flexibility for welding on a variety of metals as well as thicknesses. This is because aluminum needs higher amperage than stainless or steel. Anything lower than 200 amps restricts the maximum thickness of aluminium. The wider the amperage range, the more projects you can finish without buying different welders.
This is a critical factor responsible for successful welding. In case of thinner materials, heat input control alleviates metal warpage, which is done through pulse welding without losing weld penetration. In pulse TIG welding, the tool swaps between a lower background and higher peak currents for maintaining the arc as well as cooling the welded joint.
A few welders have a built-in TIG pulse regulator for the desired heat input control. Such a welder allows dipping the filler metal into the puddle of weld while at the peak amperage as well as taking out the same during background amperage. This ensures a consistent stacked bead appearance, which is an indicator of good TIG weld.
AHP Alpha TIG 200X IGBT Welder with PULSE
This affordable model is ideal for quality TIG welding onstainless steel, aluminum, and thinner-gauge materials by both hobbyists and professionals alike who wish to perform a variety of tasks.
Welding is a fabrication process that joins separate pieces of metals. This is accomplished by partially melting the juncture of the work pieces while adding metal to form a pool of molten material, which then cools and solidifies to become a very strong joint. In the types of welding we are interested in, electricity is used to create the heat. Other welding methods, such as brazing or soldering, use heat obtained from an external source such as a torch flame or an independently heated soldering gun tip. Brazing or soldering creates a joint where the bond is, to some extent, external to the pieces being joined and the joint is usually not as strong as the material being used. This is because during brazing or soldering the materials are not completely melted and mixed together. The three types of arc welding we are going to look at create a bond that is as strong as the material being joined. All three types of welders have a principal function in common. They transform high voltage, low amperage primary power into low voltage, high amperage secondary or welding power. They do this through two sets of windings or coils of copper wire inside the machine that are wrapped around steel plates.
On any type of arc welding, the molten joint must be protected from atmospheric contamination and this is accomplished either by a coating of flux contained on or in the electrode or by an inert gas such as Argon that is applied to the surface of the weld while it is being created. In stick and flux-cored wire, welding the flux leaves a coating of slag, which must be chipped off once the weld has cooled. All arc welding processes involve a welding power source and some means of completing an electric circuit between the electrode and the part being welded. While different welding processes share some things in common, each process creates the finished product in a unique manner.
Before you purchase a welder it’s important to consider the thickness of the metal you’ll be welding on because the amperage required to successfully accomplish the weld varies. The thicker the metal you intend to weld, the greater the amount of amperage required. The material thickness and the current carrying capacity of the electrode determine the amperage at which you weld. As a general rule of thumb, you need one amp of power for every 0.001-inch of mild steel. For example, to weld 1/8-inch (0.125-inch) mild steel in a single pass, you need approximately 12amps.
The type of metal you’ll be welding will also change your equipment needs. For example if you’re going to be welding steel some of the time and aluminum at other times, you may wish to add a spool gun for the aluminum welding. More precise control is the result and it eliminates having to unload the wire used with steel welding from the machine when running a second type of wire. What upgrades and accessories are available for the machine you selected? Are the machine’s size, weight, and portability important to you? These are all things you’ll need to consider. Inverter-based welders are also available. They require much less primary power than conventional welders because they feature special circuitry. While an inverter welder will cost more, you could actually save money if you avoid the need to rewire your garage, barn, or shop. Besides amperage capability range, the machine’s performance is also evaluated for continuous rated output, which is expressed in terms of its “duty cycle.” The duty cycle is the number of minutes out of a 10-minute period that a welding machine can operate at the rated output. This standard helps buyers make a direct comparison between welders. To better understand how duty cycle ratings are applied specifically let’s look at two different sizes of welders. A typical machine for home or shop use might have a total output range of 30 to 140 amps. If it were rated for an output of 90 amps at a 20 percent duty cycle that would mean that it can weld continuously at 90 amps for two minutes and then must cool down during the remaining eight minutes to prevent overheating. A second example might be a heavier semi-industrial-type unit that’s also popular for more serious personal users. If it has 30 to 300 amp welding range and duty cycle of 40 percent at 250 amps it can weld continuously at 250 amps for four minutes and then must cool down during the remaining six minutes to prevent overheating. As welding output decreases, duty cycle increases. For example the 40 percent duty rating at 250 amps would increase to a 60 percent duty cycle when welding at 200 amps. Ambient temperature also impacts duty cycle. For example, if a machine achieves its rating at 10degrees Fahrenheit then the machine becomes de-rated to some extent when welding at ambient temperatures of greater than 10degrees.
View Photo Gallery
MIG welding using flux-core wire works as well as stick welding on dirty or rusty material. In addition, self-shielding gasless wire can be used for welding outdoors. The use of self-shielding wire increases portability as there is no gas cylinder to haul around. MIG welding using flux-core wire offers deeper penetration when welding thick sections and a high rate of metal deposition allows the job to be completed faster.
Sometimes before you can weld you need to be able to remove other material before you can begin. For doing this it’s hard to beat plasma cutting. Plasma is an ionized gas that conducts electricity. Plasma is created by adding energy to an electrically neutral gas. In this application the gas is compressed air and the energy is electricity. The more electrical energy added, the hotter the plasma arc becomes. Plasma-arc cutting machines control this powerful energy by constricting the arc and forcing it through a concentrated area called the nozzle. By increasing air pressure and intensifying the arc with higher amperage, the arc becomes hotter and more capable of blasting through thicker metals.
As you can see from this photo, a plasma cutter makes short work of the 1/4-inch thick steel framerail. Plasma provides numerous advantages over other common cutting processes. The plasma process cuts any type of electrically conductive metal including aluminum, copper, brass, and stainless steel. Plasma cutting produces a narrow and more precise cut while sawing or chopping takes a long time and will typically leave a rough edge. Plasma cutting is fast, clean, and leaves a nice straight edge. It also offers gouging and piercing capabilities.
The Amico Power IGBT Inverter is one of the lightest yet most powerful welding machines you can get. Though it has a weight of just 1pounds, it gives you a maximum power output of 160 amps. The output range is 5A to 160 A, making the machine incredibly versatile.
Even though the machine delivers such huge power, it can run at 11volts.
The machine is also extremely efficient, as it has a duty cycle of 60% while most other machines have a duty cycle of around to 30%. That means that you can weld for minutes, requiring only 4-minute rests between intervals.
Feed speed refers to the speed at which the machine feeds the welding wire to the gun.
The ideal feed speed is the one that has the wire going through just quickly enough to deliver a constant arc. In such a situation, a nice sizzling sound is made.
Cheap machines normally come with separate feed speed and power settings, meaning you will have to play around with the values to set the perfect speed. This is easy to do but it will definitely take some practice.
If you don’t want to take chances with the quality of your weld, it’d be better to go for higher quality MIG welders, as they come with automatic speed settings. The speed gets adjusted automatically based on the power.
Some machines will offer you both gas tank and flux options. That way, you can handle your projects confidently, as you have back up. If the gas is finished, the flux backs you up.
Remember, flux-cored welders do not require extra shielding gas as there’s already some gas in the welding wire.
Of course, the dual option will cost you more, but for flexibility, I’d say it’s worth it.
Short Circuit Transfer
This transfer happens when the welding wire comes into contact with the metals you’re welding. Electric current from the gun flows through the welding wire, creating a short circuit.
As a result, the wire heats up and dribbles onto the metals you’re welding. Multiple drops are released at a very fast pace, creating a crackling sound, more like frying broth in an extremely hot pan.
To achieve a short circuit transfer, what you have to do is set the machine to low voltage and use CO2(carbon dioxide) gas (pure or in mixture form).
One obvious advantage of using short circuit transfer is that the needed shielding gas is relatively inexpensive. However, you can’t use this transfer type to weld thick metals.
Short circuit transfer can only handle thin/sheet metals with a thickness of not more than an inch.
Use it on a metal that’s thicker than an inch and the weld will not penetrate the joint properly.
This one is a lot like the short circuit transfer, only that the intensity and speed of the drops of molten wire are different. With globular transfer, the welding wire will melt and collect into a glob at the tip of the wire. Therefore, the molten wire drips onto the joint at a slower pace.
In the process, globular transfer pops are produced, rather than fast crackling sounds.
To achieve this type of transfer, all you have to do is set the machine to high voltage and use argon (pure or in a mixture) as shielding gas.
The good thing about globular transfer is that it can weld thicker metals.
However, it’s not easy to control the drops, and thus spatters can result.
Neat and efficient
The purpose of the shielding gas in MIG welding is to protect the arc. For that, alloying elements are rarely lost during the metal transfer process. Therefore, as opposed to other welding methods, especially stick welding, there is no slag to remove.
Furthermore, only minimal amounts of spatter are produced. This means that you only have to do a little clean up and get back to the job.
High electrode efficiency
With MIG, there’s a high electrode efficiency – 9to 9percent normally. Therefore, when you purchase a 100-pound MIG welding wire, you’re able to deposit 9to 9pounds.
A process like stick welding has just around 6percent efficiency.
Looking to achieve a nice-looking weld? Then you’ve to consider using MIG welding. This method gives you a finer visibility of the weld pool and with an auto-feed wire, you have better control.
Consequently, there are also minimal spatters, and thus the results are great.
Wondering how to do proper welds for great results? This is what the next section is about.
Get a good MIG gun.
Some are shaped like acetylene torches while others appear like pistols. Also, some are cooled with water while for others, air is enough.
Usually, air-cooled MIG guns are used with machines delivering not more 200 amps. Such guns are easier to control. If you’re doing small welding projects at home, I recommend you go for an air-cooled gun.
Prepare the welding area
Get rid of any flammables and find a good surface on which to do the job.
I suggest putting a ground connecting on the material you’re welding to steady it.
Are there people present in the area? If so, use welding curtains to protect them from the UV rays.
A horizontal weld
Lower the gun angle a little to prevent sagging of the filler. The amperage for this weld is the same as that of the flat weld.
Here, you can also use the back-forth movement to fill big gaps.
Is the weld pool getting too large? No worries. Just use a somewhat thinner welding wire.
A vertical weld
If you’re welding thin metals, begin from the top, moving the weld pool down with the gravity. That way, the arc will not penetrate the metals you’re welding.
If, on the other hand, you’re welding thick metals, begin at the base, going upward. This technique helps to boost penetration.
In this case, you might want to reduce the amperage by about to 1percent to battle gravity.
Some of their products are
Normally, they produce their MIG welders with flux-cored wires to help you weld even when you don’t have shielding gas.
A most unique feature about their MIG welders is that they require low power input. For instance, the Lincoln K2185-requires only 11volts to run. For that, you can plug their welders into your regular wall outlet.
Hobart happens to be one of the oldest brands in the market. Can you believe they’ve been around for over 80 years? That means over decades of experience in making welders.
Therefore, you can count on them to offer you the best with regard to quality.
All their machines normally have to pass a strict reliability check. Furthermore, the company is dedicated to giving back to the welding industry with the unique 5/3/warranty.
Therefore, in the unlikely event that there’s something wrong with the welder, you can rest assured that you’ll have another or get your money back.
Apart from that, Hobart is one of the few brands that gives you access to a web welding forum. By joining the community, you can always get answers for your welding questions, especially those about Hobart products and how to use them.
If you’re looking to get the most up-to-date MIG welders, then Forney is a brand you can’t ignore. The entire company regularly goes through rigorous checks to make sure that their welders meet the newest standards.
Furthermore, their welders carry a standard warranty to protect you against defects. Also, they come with all the accessories and consumables. That’s why Forney products are called MIG-ready. You can get the machine and start welding immediately.
The company mostly deals in refurbished welders but that doesn’t mean compromised quality. They undergo strict standards checks to ensure that the machines are as good as new.
One of the most unique features of Forney Industries welders is that even though they’re mostly lightweight, they deliver high power output.
For instance, although the Forney 29125FC Welder weighs only 32.pounds, it offers you 12amps.
Since its founding in 1995, this brand has been known to provide quality through continuous improvements in their products.
If you’re looking for the best MIG welder with the lowest price in the market, Amico Power is the brand to consider.
The company specializes in designing and manufacturing durable and affordable welders, such as the Amico Power IGBT Inverter Welding Machine.
Their welders are some of the most unique in the market with regard to user-friendliness. For instance, the Amico Power IGBT Inverter Welding Machine comes with an LED meter to help you set your parameters effortlessly and do your weld just the way you want it.
Amico Power welders are, also, some of the most lightweight in the industry. Can you believe that some are as light as 1pounds? That means that if you seek a welder that you can easily transport fromplace to place, an Amico Power welder would be the ideal choice.
MIG Welder Vs TIG Welder
When welding, the method you choose is as important as the equipment you use. Using the wrong method can be like trying to saw a log of wood using a kitchen knife. Can that work? Yep, I don’t think so.
If you’re a beginner, there’s something you should know. Different materials will need different welding techniques, and some techniques are a lot more suitable than others.
First, I know you may have heard that there are two main welding methods – TIG and MIG. Of course, there are others, like stick, but we shall center on those two for today.
To help you get a clearer picture of the more beneficial method for your task, I will elaborate each process.
How it Works
As opposed to MIG, TIG doesn’t use a metal electrode; it uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode instead.
The electrode normally needs extremely high temperatures to melt, and for that, extra filler is normally required. You normally have to feed the filler into the weld area using one hand as you operate the torch using the other hand.
Also, as you weld, you usually have to utilize one of your feet to operate a control pedal to determines the heat input.
Elk skin provides the best heat resistance out there. Surprisingly, it is even better at heat resistance than cow hide leather. Elk Skin is also much softer so it provides an extra amount of comfort as well. Elk Skin is mostly used in Stick Welding Gloves. However, elk skin might wear out quicker than other types of leather.
Deer Skin has the unique ability to adjust according to the shape of your hand. Deer skin gloves might be uncomfortable for the first week or so, but after that, they will start shaping according to your hand. When that process is complete, they will be the most comfortable gloves ever. Deer skin also offer better control than any other typical glove.
Goat Skin makes the thinnest and the lightest leather out there. Goat skin is extremely comfortable. Just like the pig skin, they are oil and weather resistant. But, they offer incredible dexterity and complete control of the welding torch.
Glove sizes are usually pretty easy to figure out. But, even if you get your size wrong, you can easily get the gloves exchanged, but that might cost you some money.
Welding Gloves usually come in three different sizes; Medium, Large and Extra Large. Some gloves might have two or more sizes available but most gloves come in only a single size.
You also need to consider the length of the glove. Different types of welding can require different glove lengths. For instance, stick welding requires a regular sized glove. A 1inch glove will do the job perfectly. However, for overhead welding, you need a pretty large glove size, like 18-2inches. So, you need to make sure that you think about the type of welding you usually do and purchase the gloves accordingly.
If you don’t have one specific type of welding, then just buy about 1inch gloves because they usually do the job no matter what.
Forney 32140-Amp Multi-Process Welder
It’s a multi-process welder so it can handle Stick, TIG (requires seperate parts), and MIG welds. This puts it leagues ahead of the Miller and the Hobart that came in number and respectively.
Great TIG Welder for Beginners
In the past few years more and more TIG welders are appearing on the scene from overseas. Some of these are quality products, while others are straight up junk. Here are the most important features, capabilities, and functions you should look for as well as what to avoid.
Simple Operation & Ergonomic Design
TIG welding in general requires a high degree of skill. But that doesn’t mean that your machine needs to be complicated. In fact it should be as user friendly as possible with controls that are well laid out and easy to learn.
If you’re planning on welding aluminum a amperage control foot pedal is a must-have. At the start of the weld the metal can be quite cool and require more power. By the time you reach the end of the weld the aluminum will have heated and your amperage will need to be lowered.
Hand controls are fine, but imagine trying to drive your car without the use of your foot accelerator. It would unnecissarily complicate things. If you’re serious about welding, invest in a unit that comes with a foot pedal, or buy one separately.
Common Mistakes When Purchasing TIG Welders
Improper input voltage: Make sure you understand what your power capabilities are. Some welders operate on both 110v and 220v. The power output at 110v will be significantly less than at 220v. Some machines also operate on single or phase power. Make sure to check the input voltage of the unit you want to ensure it matches up with what’s available where you’ll be using the unit.
Unnecessary functions: If you’re not going to be welding aluminum or magnesium, you don’t need a unit with AC capabilities. This can add significantly to the cost.
Cooling Units: Larger welders like the Everlast 256S will require separate cooling equipment to get the full power out of the machine. This adds significantly to the cost. Make sure you know if the unit you pick needs a cooling unit to maximize it’s duty cycle and output.
Understand Power Demands: If you think you might require more power from your unit at some point in the future make sure to build this into your decision. Spending a little bit more now is better than having to invest in a bigger machine down the road.
Finding the best TIG welder for your needs should be a balance of features and price. We hope you have found our reviews helpful.
Welding Processes – Stick Welding
Stick welding is a process done using a welding rod that sends the electric current and makes most of the weld metal. The rod is made of a core wire that is coated in flux. An electric arc is made between the gaps of metal when the energized circuit and the welding rod tip touches. The heat melts the metal and the welding rod resulting in the weld. During all this, the melted metal is kept safe from the oxides and nitrides that are floating around in the air by the flux coating disappearing.
The Metal thickness and size of wire weld
To choose the portability, size, and weight, think about what you will be needing the welding machine for. If it will be moved around a lot then you need a welder that is not going to weigh that much. The size is typically the power of the welder, if you have a big job to do then the size will need to be big as well to do you project correctly. If you only want to use the machine for smaller jobs then you will not as much power so the size will be ok if you get something smaller.
Repair and Maintenance
The repair and maintenance are different for all welding machines. Most come with warranties so that will save you from taking money from your own pocket to replace anything that has messed up or needs to be fixed. If there is no warranty with your machine you choose then more than likely you will be coming out a lot of money on your own. If you have no option for a warranty, be sure to choose a welder that you can find parts for or someone to know how to repair it or else you will be buying a new machine if yours breaks down.
A few last things to keep in mind
Always remember to be careful and remember to practice safety techniques when using any type of welding machine. Wear a welding hood, gloves, safety glass, steel toe boots, and be considerate of others around you. If safety is not practiced you or someone around you could become seriously injured and you might be the cause of it by being careless and not following the proper guidelines. Safety should always come first before anything else. Remember the factors to consider before buying an MIG welder are all important and should be thought about very carefully. Always do a lot of research before buying one of the welding machines. Read reviews, testimonies, and plenty of articles about the product you are thinking about also. If you have to then make a pros and cons list of each product that you think is the best fit for yourself then, narrow it down by which product has the most functions which you will be needing. In my opinion, search out one of the brands discussed here if you want a long lasting product that will meet all your needs as well. They all have glowing reviews and people say each of these brands is better for anyone from beginning welders to the one with the most experience.
How to Weld
When ready to weld make sure nothing flammable is in the way. Have a good surface to weld on. Set up your machine. you will need to set the amperage to ninety to a hundred and twenty. Should be adjusted to the metal thickness and electrode diameter. Use correct electrode. Select the electrode appropriate for AC or DC welding. Make sure that you have dry electrodes. Make sure the metal is clean before welding it. Set your joints when you need them. Start welding after all this is ready. To start welding strike a welding arc. Build up your weld pool. Start moving the weld pool across the metal pieces. Then finish your job. Make sure you allow the metal to cool before touching bare handed.
How to Mig Weld
Mig welding is the easiest way to learn how to weld. Mig welding is when a wire is automatically fed into the weld puddle. In order o Mig weld you first need to install the wire. Then you need to set the power and wire speed calculator. Now you need to look at all the speeds you need to set, such as wire speed and power speed. Make sure you can develop neatness and techniques before attempting to join the two pieces together. It is a very tricky first weld. Always follow safety rules when welding so you or no one else gets hurt.
What is Welding
Welding is the joining of two parts of metal by heating the surfaces to the point that they meSomething can be welded together using a blowtorch, electric arc, or any other types of welds.Welding two piece of metal together to make high strength joints. You can weld different types of metal. Welding can be done using machinery or revolutionary technology. This includes electron beams, lasers, ultrasonic and friction stirs. Welding can be used in making cars and other vehicles, construction building, bridges. You can weld underwater which is very dangerous.
What is Mig Welding
Mig welding is a process of using electricity to melt down and join pieces of metal together. Some people refer to MIG welding as a hot glue gun. Taking one piece of metal and getting it so hot that it melts to another piece of metal. The melting of this two piece will join the metal together to make it a whole piece of metal. This is the easiest type of welding there is. This type of welding is a process in which electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the two pieces of metal are bound together.
What is A Mig Welder
A MIG welder is a wire feed type welder. A spool inside the welder lets out wire so that you can melt it to the two pieces of metal and join them together. You can use different heat settings with a MIG welder. You have to make sure you get the heat and feed settings right to really get the hang of it.
How to Use A Mig Welder
In order to use a MIG welder You first must know what it is. Now if you know what it is you know it uses wire that is fed through the contact tip into the MIG gun. Feed the wire to the torch and then you must adjust the tension. Make sure you are using the proper shielding gas.
How to Mig Weld Steel
Determine the best joining method for your base metal. Secure the metals together with fixtures and jigs. Choose the best compatible shielding gas. Decide on the filler metal. Bring the stainless steel to room temperature. Then apply the welding torch to the metal. You ill need to apply post heat after welding stainless steel.
What is the Difference Between a Mig and Tig Welder
The difference between the two is that the MIG welder uses a continuously feeding wire? The tig welder uses long welding rods and slowly feeds them into the weld puddle. The proper name for an MIG welder is a metal inert gas and for tig, it is tungsten inert gas.
Which Gas For Mig Welding
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your welder wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of welder
- №1 — Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
- №2 — Ansen Portable IGBT Inverter Welder 115V/230V Dual Voltage TIG&STICK DC Welding Machine
- №3 — Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch