Check out the best welders for beginners. No matter if you are a novice or an expert, this will introduce to you with the bests out of the market.
What is a Welder?
As glue stick glues two sheets of paper, so does a welder helps to join metal pieces together. In a way, you may call it a metal sticking machine.
It is a device that uses the heating process to melt down some joining material. The melted filler materials then join the metal portions into a single piece of material.
The welding process has got three basic parts: The arc of welding, the filler material and the shielding of the weld.
Aren’t we all acquainted with electric sparks? Sure we are. Welding arcs are nothing but those sparks. It is generated by the welder machine completing a close electric path by applying sufficient voltage. The path is created between the machine and the metal to be welded.
There are two types of filler metals: stick electrodes and welding wires. You will find welding wires of two varieties available in the market named as flux cored or tubular wires and solid or bare wires. While buying, you will get the welding wires packaged in the form of spools.
The shielding is done with the help of shielding gas deliberately produced from the fillers when heated. It helps the weld prevent contaminating and gives it time to settle down.
A welder or welding machine often, morphologically, consists of a gas cylinder.
Guide to Buy the Best Welders for Beginners
Buying the best product that suits your requirements perfectly requires experience. But in order to grow that experience, one needs to start off. Same goes for welders.
It is hard to specify the needs just at the beginning of your learning. But taking the following parameters into considerations may drag you towards the best product you need for the kickoff.
Redefine Your Needs
Why do you need to buy a welder? You have metal portions to be joined or something similar. Check the needs you have by bringing the following aspects up.
Metals to Be Weld
Note that steel and stainless steel are in the domain of almost all the welders. No need to worry. MIG is specialized for chrome-moly and aluminum while cast iron can be better welded by stick welders (DC). DC TIG welders can cover most of the metals.
The Thickness of the Metal
Flux cored and stick welders can moderately weld metal workpieces of a thickness not less than 1/8 inch. TIG can deal with the thinnest metals.
Speed of Welding
MIG and FCAW are the fastest welders. Arc welders are slower and TIG is the slowest.
Aesthetics of Beads
The beauty of the beads is stunning with TIG and next with MIG.
As flux coated ones do not require external gas, they are the most portable among the welders.
Control of Heat
TIG and MIG again pair in ensuring top heat control.
Before buying a welder check out the spec sheet and verify whether your working place has the required compatibility. You may require an electrician to help you out.
Some Tips on Choosing Circuit Breaker
Welders that run on 208 to 230 volts would require installing a circuit breaker of 30 to 50 amps rating. While those running on 115 volts primary would ask for 20 to 30 amps rated circuit breaker. Some may have welding output of 200 amps. For those welders, put a 50 amps rated circuit breaker.
The Right Duty Cycle
Duty cycle refers to a time period. It is the amount of time through which a certain welder is capable of operating within some temperature limits. The time is considered for a particular output. Duty cycle varies for different output.
Duty cycle is an important specification and to be understood well to buy the best welder you need. It is given in percentage and is determined by a cycle of 10 min continuous operation.
Just for an instance, let the duty cycle of a welder be given 30 % for MIG welding at 23 volts, 180 amps. Then it directs the operator to perform welding for 3 minutes with that output. The rest of the 7 minutes out of 10 minutes is there to cool the welder down.
Another important fact is that duty cycle recedes as the output gets higher and vice versa. So consider the output you would have from the device.
The Correct Amperage
As welding is done with the help of arcs and arcs are the pathways of electric current, amperage is a crucial factor. Moreover, the metal thickness is also a matter to be taken into account while picking up the amperage of the welder.
For a quick idea about the amperage, you require the thickness of the metal you want to weld, keep the information that follows in your mind. It is about 1 amp of current that you require for each .001 inch thick metal. So, to weld quarter inch thick steel you would need 140 amps, for 3/8 inch to 5/16 inch you need180 amps, for 5/16 inch you need 200 amps, for half an inch thick steel you need 250 amps and so on.
Selecting Shielding Gas
Though it is not a part of the welder itself, the shielding gas is the part and parcel of the whole welding process. Also, note that there are welders that do not require any gas to be applied at all.
MIG welding of steel and stainless steel is better when treated with a tri-mix of helium, argon and carbon dioxide of 90%, 7.5%, and 2.5% respectively by volume. Using greater amount of CO2 creates more spatters. TIG welding is out of handling all these combinations. Fully argon operated welding is done using TIG welders and also while welding aluminum using MIG ones.
Best Mig Welders for Beginners
1. Goplus MIG 130 Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
Sturdy stainless steel structure
Ensuring a long lifespan, Goplus offers this compact welding machine with some heavy duty in its pocket. The body, as well as the paint, is much durable.
Flux cored wire MIG welder
The great thing about this welder is that it would not require any additional gas cylinder. The metal inert gas releasing from the wire electrode itself will be enough to prevent any contamination.
Steel welding expert
This MIG gas welder will be the best you are intending to weld some steel workpiece.
The current flow can be set to 4 different levels. This will help you control the heat that generates at the welding spot.
Adjustable wire feeding speed
There are 10 levels of speed of feeding the wire. This is totally under your control. Just rotate the rotary knob to adjust it.
Air vents available
Air vents make the welding process way too convenient. Releasing the heat that is produced this welding machine increases its duty cycle to some extent.
Thermal safety ensured
You have the control of switching the gun on and off. The standard triangle ground cord that comes up with it and the automatic heat protection ensure safety.
The package provides almost all your complimentary necessities. It comes up with a spool of 0.9 mm welding wire weighing 0.55 lb. A protection musk, brush and chipping hammer are the other components that you will get with it.
Compared to the capability of the welder, the beads are not that nice and lack quality. The feeding rate is a bit more than what required.
2. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
It is fun, even for a novice, to set this welder of Lincoln up. So don’t hesitate if you are kicking off your welding work.
Compact steel body
The welder body is a sturdy one. Just give it some place to fit in.
Flux cored wire welder
The Handy Core welder is an FCAW welder. No tension of lifting a gas cylinder.
Lightweight and portable
This electric welder is light in weight. In addition to the flux cored wire welding facility, its body is feathery, yet strong.
The Lincoln Electric welder uses metal inert gas welding process. The welding will be clean leaving some nice welding beads and strong metal joints behind.
12 months warranty
What do you need else when you find someone year warranty with electric rigs. And note, the warranty is not only on the parts and components but also on the labor.
Specs for nerds
This MIG welder has the capability of welding 1/8th of an inch of mild steel. Well, for drawing power you just need to plug it into a 115 volts outlet. It’ll draw a decent 20 amps of current to run itself.
This welding machine may be a good option for a beginner or an artist. It can handle well with thin gauge ones and Not for thicker gauge materials.
It’s not much hot at the welding spot as it runs on 115 volts. So you need to weld as if you were there to blow a hole.
Best for the Money/Best Cheap Welder
3. Super Deal Commercial MIG 130 Welder
Grip, operation, and precision up to the mark
The MIG welder of SUPER DEAL is welding machine of perfection. Its application delicacy has combined with its PVC built anatomy.
Flux cored MIG welding
The FCAW welding wires produce the shielding effect while welding. So the metal inert gas is released by the filler itself.
There’s no gas cylinder in the whole welding process. No gas means refers to portability. So the welder is only 38 lbs when you weigh.
Easy dealing interface
The interface of the welding rig is so communicative that you can deal with the advanced levels too even if you are a beginner.
Variable thermal control
The heating of the welding area is in your hand. There are two switches in this regard. The max-min switch will allow you t take that control broadly. While the 1-2 switches let you adjust the temperature quite precisely.
Adjustable wire feeding speed
The welding wires are fed into the welding gun through the machine. Here you will have good control (10 levels) of the rate at which the feeding is done.
Components you long for
The package appears with a spool of 0.9 mm weld wire weighing 0.55 lbs. Musk, a torch, chipping hammer, a brush and ground cord; what else do you want?
As soon as you turn the power switch on, the wire is live hot. Not good for safety reasons, not at least for a novice! The trigger has the sole function of pulling the welding wires out. The wire lining material is prone to snapping.
4. Forney 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
Not just another welder
Forney welder is not merely the name of a welder; rather it is a kit to kick off a welding carrier. This package is about to give you a welder, a spool of MIG welding wire, a great helmet and a pair of quality welding gloves.
Flux cored GMAW welding experience
Mild steel metal is about to have good welding when Forney Easy Weld is on your hands. No gas required. The welding wires will have argon and CO2 mixture ready to prevent any contamination.
Speed welding with low spatter
The welding speed will suffice your welding speed need and spatter amount will remain low. Well, the amount of CO2 determines the spatter. The elder is great while dealing with thick mild steel.
The helmet given along with this welder is a gadget itself. It is light in weight, resistant to impact and fireproof. It’s adjustable headband with some 5 points gear and all kinds of strain-free. Endowed with auto darkening features (ADF), this helmet helps the welder weld with much sensitivity and comfort.
Burns through thinner tubing
Though it is advertised to work well for 24 gauge, customers find it hard for even 20 gauge tubing.
Not for skyscrapers
This rig with 20% duty cycle is right on the money for DIYers. It won’t keep its promise in a heavy use.
5. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
MIG or Flux Core
Choose between MIG and FCAW welding. Can’t decide? Well, Hobart Handler 140 is here to handle that for you. It comes up with MIG ready. No extra components required but the cylinder.
Otherwise, take the flux-cored welding wire spool and get rid of all cylinders and gases. The wire itself would produce enough inert gas to prevent any contamination.
Wide Amperage with a Satisfactory Duty Cycle
This rig has an amperage range from 25 to 140 amps operating at 115 volts. The duty cycle is 20 % at 90 amps, 19 volts. So, you can work continuous 2 minutes with 90 amps current without interruption.
Absolute Voltage and Wire Feed Control
Unlike other traditional welders, the Handler of Hobart has 5 levels of adjustable settings. Most other welding machines have 4 levels instead. In the same way, you can control the rate at which your welding wire will be fed into the gun and eventually to the joining spot.
A Wide Range of Thickness to Deal With
It is about 24 gauges to 1/4th of an inch thick metal the welder can weld. And mild steel is something on which this powerful device works better.
All Thickness Stable Arcs
The voltage control will let one control the arc. As the thickness ranges, wide values so does the stability of the welding arc on them. All you are left with is a nice MIG welded workpiece.
The drive roll lever release welding wires quick enough to shape a nice welding. Moreover, the feed head is durable. With 200 amps work clamp that ensures heavy duty and dual groove this welder touches another dimension of this field.
The level of vibration of the cooling fan is annoying! A good welder may also provide a bad finishing due to such high decibel environment.
You need to be ready to get surprised seeing filler metals piling up right in the middle of your welding. The knob rotates itself! Not anything spooky, most probably the vibration causes it.
Best Tig Welders for Beginners
6. 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder Dual Voltage IGBT Welding
Dual Voltage Input
This will give you a relief! Any common power supply would power the device up to the requirement.
Welds Every Metal You Need
Stainless to allow and mild steel, all kinds of steel do it well. Nor does it leave copper chrome or cast iron. In a word, you will call this welder powerful.
Tig and Stick Platform
It has TIG and Stick of full size in work. Thus there is a confirmation of high arc quality.
Low Splatter and High Duty Cycle
There is no irritating cleanup routine after the welding is done. The welding lacks flaw as well as spatter. In addition to that, it has a comparatively high duty cycle. So you can have more time to concentrate on your unceasing welding.
Torch Welding Availed
The welding is done with torch i.e. oxy-acetylene gas used while welding. The TIG technology blends with it. Plus, you have IGBT, a semiconductor device to avail fast switching. The electrode holder along with its 300 amps 10 ft cable is a fabulous combination for welding.
The controlling knob for gas flow just rotates itself, there’s no real adjustment at all! Moreover, the gas turns full from no flow just for a small turn angle. Weirdo!
If you are just starting, this kit would bother you. You will need to hanker after simple installation steps. The additional components you see are an advertisement and nothing more than that.
7. TIG Welder, DC, Maxstar 150 STL, 115/230VAC
Lightweight and Portable
Miller’s TIG Maxstar is a light friend.
The DC TIG welding machine works on both 115 and 230 volts connection. So any wall outlet is there to such power.
Steel to Be Welded
It can weld 3/8th of an inch thick steel with ease using 220 volts power. You may try thicker but 0.5 inches of thickness may ultimately disappoint you.
STL TIG Welding
Touch the tungsten and welding will start. This is lifted start. The machine can be, then, controlled on the basis of its extent of current conduction with the help of the dial or foot pedal.
Good Duty Cycle
For a wide range of 5 to 150 amps current flow the duty cycle of this TIG welder remains about 30%. Well, it increases to 35% for 115 volts and 20 to 100 amps power.
Built-In Gas Valve
No manual gas valve is required for it. So do not think that the package is incomplete. Touching the tungsten kicks off the process.
It’s a Package
All components for regulating gas flow, plugs for required specification along with remote control on fingertip and torch makes it a user satisfying rig. What else can it be called except for a package?
Steel is the only domain of the welder. You have to sit back when you are given some other metals to deal with.
Combined welder TIG, Stick or TIg stick, and MIG
8. AHP AlphaTIG 200X Tig/Stick Welder
The Wider Domain of Metals for Welding
AHP is specialized for the thinner gauged metals to weld. The metals include a variety of steel and aluminum. Quality is its promise.
A Healthy Range of Thickness
1/4th inch of aluminum to 3/8th inch of mild steel, all are equally treated with 110 as well as 220 volts power. Strong welding of 7018 and 6013 rods is also within its capability.
PWM and IGBT Installed
The welder is embedded with some advanced inverter technology. The IGBT controls faster switching and modulation of the pulse width establishes pulse of 10 to 200 amps on welding.
The welding unit has a mighty feature of High frequency start TIG. It has a foot pedal in order to surrender the control of the whole operation at your hand. The square wave inverter also has a noteworthy function.
There are complaints about the company’s service. They resent the same item unrepaired or repaired badly. The torch is not up to the mark and the provided flow meter won’t last long. You would need to replace it.
9. EVERLAST PowerARC 140 TIG / Stick IGBT Welder
The stick welder will work on both the 120 and 240 volts power supply. Any outlet would fit in for some 85 amps maximum output at 120 volts.
Gas Valve on Torch Handle
The gas valve is built into the torch handle itself. It’s manual and positioned for effective use.
Dc Lift Start
The lifting up of the tungsten causes an increase in output. Though DC lift start may prove to contaminate the filler, EVERLAST rightly integrated it for steel and stainless welding.
SMAW and GTAW
Both the processed of shielded metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc welding are within the reach of this welder. So the nice beads of GTAW and strong joint of SMAW make this PowerARC welder a strength provider.
The meter just lets you know the position you set the knob at. If you are hoping for the actual current magnitude to appear, it’s a cheap rig buddy!
Inverter vs Transformer Welder?
Inverters are generally humongous. Their basic function is to take up AC power and convert into DC power. They may take 208, 230 or even 460 volts, of course in single phase 60 Hz, and give you DC power. Actually, that’s the power you get from an inverter welder output.
Interestingly, the inverters have a capability to reconvert the power into AC after rectification but in a range of different frequencies. The frequency may vary from 20 to 200 Hz. In many cases, they step the frequency up to a much higher level. But eventually, it retains the voltage to a lower value.
They are masters of thin material welding. The lower voltage enables the gun at your hand to be smaller in size and significantly small enough to have pointier tip tungsten (in case of TIGs). You can even shape your arc cone by varying the frequency. Thus achieving smaller welds is another advantage inverters take home.
A transformer, unlike an inverter, runs unceasingly with the same frequency. It lowers the voltage down, called stepping down, and eventually boosts the current high. For typical mains, the voltage is lowered from 115 or 230 AC voltage to 17 and 45 (no load) volts and current as high as 500 amps or more. They work great for thicker and larger pieces.
Now stable frequency creates a stable arc. So no possibility of cracks or similar phenomenon arises. Besides, if you are not bothered with the aesthetic quality, then keep welding with your transformer welder.
Common Mistakes Beginners Make When Buying a Welder
Not Looking at the Specs
Studying the specifications is one of the best things to do before buying any machine. But for you, a beginner, that’s not the main focus.
Many novices put their prime focus on what specialization does the welding rig has. You need to get acquainted with welding first and for that, you need a device to kick off. And that’s it.
Defining “the Best”
Beginners define the best welder for them to be the one with as many features as possible is integrated. That’s not what you need. Rather you need such a welder which will present a blueprint of the components and construction of the machine.
Not Choosing the Process
There are a bunch of welding methods. Similarly, a number of welders are there to accomplish welding. At least choose the method that will allow you starting well.
Welding Machine Maintenance
Maintenance, for any machine, is the determiner of its longevity and performance. We know welders vary in type. In the same way, their maintenance also differs. Before any maintenance work does not forget to unplug the machine.
Stick or SMAW Welders
Stick welders require the least extent of maintenance since most of their parts reside inside the welder itself. Just take a good care of the electrode holder and the ground clamp. They are the only components on your hand.
Service the machine and check out the components at long intervals. A technician with good qualification is highly recommended.
The steel electrodes, after use, should be taken care of so that no moisture is collected. They love to get rusted. The rods must be stored in a container to avoid moisture. Containers and rod ovens are of great help in this regard.
The rods should not get rubbed by each other. If the coating is affected, the welding performance may greatly deteriorate.
MIG and TIG Welders
The GMAW / MIG or wire (FCAW), as well as TIG welder, demands much time in maintenance. It has got gun contact tips and liners and hoses for gas- a number of peripheral components.
Steel drive rolls collect enough dirt. Give a weekly blow of air to the feeder to get rid of grimes. Otherwise, take the wires out and clean through brushing.
The gun liners and contact tips are to be cleaned the same way on a weekly basis. Cut the liners up to an optimum length. Besides, driving or rolling heavier things over the gun cable would ruin the liner.
The nozzle of the gun should be kept free of spatter. Spatter is always there to irritate you. Getting a nozzle dip and dipping the tip of the nozzle may prove satisfying. Spatter may also accumulate on the diffuser cone. Use a brush to get rid of it.
Besides, taking care of the gas cylinder, hose, valve and all its components is as important as caring the welder. Any rupture or leakage may create a serious hazard. It is best to cover the welder with a simple cover.
What Is Dual Voltage, Welder?
The dual voltage welders are welding machines that operate at both the 115 and 230 volts. They consume power from both the wall outlets pretty much worth.
Though the 240 volts welders are good for big jobs done, dual voltage welders are a convenient option for versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Welder Will Provide the Strongest Welding?
The stick and arc welding provides the strongest welding. SMAW welding may, therefore, give you the absolute strength in joining metals. TIGs may serve the purpose well too!
Which Welder Generates the Most Aesthetic Welds?
The TIG welder produces the most aesthetic beads that will please you. They are the producers of beauty as well as strength.
Which Welding Shall I Learn First?
The MIG or GMAW welding is the easiest of the welding methods available. So go get a MIG welder and start welding today. Note that MIG welders are enough versatile to make you skillful.
You will also like to read about all welding tools and equipment.
Welding is fun when you make gradual progress. And the first thing you need is the correct knowledge and a versatile welder. With these two things in mind, you will find the best welder for beginners.