How to Decide Which Welder You Require?
What is Welding?
Welding is a sculptural or fabrication process that is used to join materials such as thermoplastics or metals. They use high amounts of heat to melt the parts that join together on cooling. This is called fusion where the two pieces become one.
Besides melting the base material like the metal or thermoplastic a filler material is also added to the joint. This molten pool or weld pool then cools and weld configuration or a butt, fillet or full penetration is achieved.
This is usually stronger than the base metal or the parent metal. Pressure is also used along with heat to produce a weld. Welding requires a shield to protect the materials such as the parent material and the filler from being oxidized or contaminated.
There are many welding processes such as friction welding. In this solid-state welding, process heat is generated through mechanical friction between the workpieces. These pieces move in relative motion to each other and where the lateral force or the “upset” plastically displaces the fused materials.
Best Welders in 2022
- Lightweight and portable–just 40 lbs.
- Dual Voltage Inputs (120V or 230V) means you can plug into any common power supply
- Intuitive push-and-turn digital controls make setup a breeze
- Large color display guides you through the setup process. Advanced options and settings are simple to access
- Includes Magnum PRO 100SG Spool Gun (K3269-1)
Design and Build
TheLincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP K4195-2 is lightweight and portable as itweighs only 40 pounds. The dual voltage inputs at 120 volts and 230 volts, thismeans it will work in any power supply. (we have written extensively for the best generators brands)
There are in tuitive push and turn digital controls that make it easy to set up thewelder. There are advanced options and settings that are easy to access. It ismultipurpose this can be used for welding using MIG, Flux-cored, DC stick and TIG processes.There is a large colour display that guides the user through the setup. You get a manual card with tabular data that helps you use this welderfor various processes.
The POWER MIG 210 MP K4195-2 is a multipurpose welder. It is ideal for educators, small welders and hobbyists who want to try out various types of welding. This welder can be used for flux-cored welding, TIG, stick, etc. The push and turn digital controls have a colour display that helps set up the welder for these various modes.
There is a chart that helps you set up the parameters along with the machine. It is easy and intuitive to operate it. It has an all-metal wire drive with sheet metal moulded into this case. This casing makes it study and rugged so that it can be taken to any job site or kept in a workshop. The Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP K4195-2 is an ideal MIG machine for novices that lets you grow and learn more about the skill of welding and its types.
The Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP K4195-2 weighs 40 pounds has a dual input at 120 and 230 volts.
The POWER MIG 210 MP comes with PTA – 17V Ultra-Flex TIG torch and a foot amptrol.
Why Is It the Best of The Lot?
The POWER MIG 210 MP K4195-2 is the perfect machine for the learner, educators and hobbyists doing a project around their home and workshops.It is a versatile tool. At 210 amperes and MIG mode, it welds up to 3/16 inches of aluminium or 5/16 inches of mild or stainless steel. The flux-core is gas-shielded or self-shielded thus can tackle the largest jobs. The DC stick can handle 5/32-inch stick electrodes. The DC TIG has a Touch Start technology.
Everlast Power Products Inc. is an e-based generator and welder company. The company was founded in 2004 from its base in San Francisco, California.
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Design and Build
The POWERTIG PT-250EX IGBT power module increases the reliability and performance. The low 5 amperes start for TIG in DC and AC modes. There are 2T and 4T ampere/slope parameters of welding using a torch switch. There is a pre and post flow control of maximum shielding during welding.
The improved High Frequency (HF) circuit is to reduce the maintenance issues. Do not use the Lift Start function with the HF function. The expanded AC cleaning range is for maximum adjustability in the class of aluminium welding performance. The variable welding functions can be used using colour coded controls. The arc force control of the stick welding reduces spatter and improves the arc performance in short arc conditions. The welder can pulse up to 500 Hz in AC and DC mode. There is a built-in receptacle for a water cooler, the PowerCool 300. The welder is accompanied by a starter kit but the tungsten has to be bought separately.
The POWERTIG 250EX is suitable for professionals and welding enthusiasts who need a well-equipped TIG welder that works on AC and DC current. The welder is not only a performer it is versatile.
The POWERTIG 250EX puts out 250 amperes of TIG welding on a single phase 240 volts with a 60% duty cycle. The unit is equipped with a fully adjustable pulse, AC frequency, stick function with arc control and AC balance control. There is a 2T and 4T remote control function too. It includes spot welding timer that delivers perfectly times spot welds on the sheet you are working on. The IGBT inverter reduces the weight and size of the unit keeping it portable. The welder operates on 240-volt single phase and 240-volt three phase power. You can even work on a thin gauge material as the unit has low ampere start capability at 5 amperes in AC and DC modes.
The POWERTIG 250EX comes with a starters kit. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Low 5 amp start
- In AC and DC mode
- Arc force control
- Starter kit
- High-frequency circuit
- Variable welding functions
- Issues with the customer service
ESAB produce welding and cutting equipment and their consumables. They are world leaders in innovative solutions that use customer inputs to advance their product line.
Design and Build
ESAB EMP215ic is a versatile and smart machine. It has a weld parameter storage, a trigger-hold function that works for 2T and 4T modes. There is an adjustable burn-back control and ARC force control. You can adjust the pre- and post-flow timing. Besides, there is an adjustable hot start control.
This welder delivers a professional grade MIG performance even while using the flux-core. The stick performance includes 6010/6011 cellulosic and 308L electrodes. It does exceptional Lift TIG welding range down to 5 amperes – even compatible with spool guns for aluminium welding and runs on single phase input of 120 volts and 230 volts. The autodetect feature adjusts to the type of input power. It can run on a 3.7 KW or 7.5 KW generator. There is an intuitive TFT display. It has front handles and a composite bezel to protect the sensitive electronics.
ESAB EMP215ic has an easy to use panel lets you switch from one function to another. There is a built-in on-screen manual that lists spare parts and welding parameters required for each mode of welding. The welder has a five-handle roll cage for easy handling and transport. The dynamic arc control constantly monitors the arc characteristics that help you adapt your technique for a smooth repeatable weld. There are basic and advanced. The basic mode reduces the MIG learning curve all you have to do is set wire diameter and thickness of the material and you are ready to weld. While in the advanced mode the gives you full control over the arc characteristics.
ESAB EMP215ic has a maximum welding output is 240 amperes. The setting range for MAG and MIG is 10 – 26 volts.
ESAB EMP215ic comes with a Tweco gun and 10 feet cable, spare parts, electrode holder and other accessories. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Multilingual capacity
- Portable steel unibody
- Top performer even at 120 volts
- Repeatable welding minus splatters
- Not enough service centres
4. Forney 190 MP
Forney Industries make tools, equipment and accessories. Their mission is to add value to the product backed with a service-oriented distributorship.
Design and Build
Forney 190 MP Welder has an improved design with integrated feet. The torch wrap is included for better cable organization. The torch comes with a built-in strain relief this extends cable life. It is a versatile welding machine that handles stick, MIG and TIG processes. It is easy to switch between processes. There is an optional spool gun capability for welding aluminium. The enhanced technology uses an inverter that saves power and allows multiple operations. The adapter plug uses 120 volts and 230 volts. There are synergic controls for high-quality welding without splatters. The panel gives digital readouts and has multiple trigger modes. The wire feed is better along with an upgraded cast aluminium wire drive. There is a dual geared idler with a drive roll enhanced with a better de-spooler.
Forney 190 MP Welder comes with synergistic welding capabilities that allow the machine to optimize the arc and improve the quality of the weld while minimizing the splatter.
There is a chart inside the machine that displays the manual and synergistic parameters. This machine can be used in the range of 115 – 220 volts or 15 – 50 amperes. It can be used for MIG welding and can be switched to run mild steel with the gas set-up. The Stick welding is easy to set up using the stinger and ground clamp. The TIG welding set up is sold separately. The welder is useful for general fabrication, auto body, maintenance, repair, farm, ranch and contractors use.
Forney 190 MP Welder is a three in one that can be used for MIG, TIG and Stick processes. The input power is 120 volts and 230 volts. The welding mode is DC cc/cv. This electrode range and wire diameter are between 0.35 – 0.15625 inches. The welder weighs 43 pounds.
Forney 190 MP Multi-Process 230V/120V Welder comes with accessories and a 5 years warranty.
- Three in one welder
- Used complained about quality control
Miller is a well-known brand in the welding industry that builds advanced products built on solutions that meet the needs of welding. This covers the health and safety of the welders too.
Design and Build
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder comes with an advanced auto-setting for different wire and gas combinations. The unit has a fan on-demand power source cooling system. The system runs on power-saving inverter technology that makes it efficient. The multi-voltage plug allows you to use the 120 volt and 240-volt receptacles without using tools. There is a quick select drive roll with grooves to fit different sizes of wire. The new die-cast aluminium drive system has a calibrated tension knob. The smooth start feature eliminates splatters.
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder comes with the Advanced Auto-Set that includes 5 different wire and gas settings at 0.24, 0.30, 0.35-inch wires. This the easiest welder to use as it comes with a Quick Select Drive Roll that makes setup easy. There are three grooves – two for different sized solid wires and the third for a flux-core wire.
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder weighs 49 pounds and has an output capacity of 150 amperes. The output range is 30 – 230 amperes of DC current. The duty cycle is 40% at 17 amperes of input. It works at 230 volts and comes with 10-foot cable.
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder comes with a 2m power cord, adaptor plug for 120 volts and 240 volts. There are a 3m cord MIG gun and cable assembly besides other accessories.
- Fan on-demand cooling system
- Inverter technology
- Best-in-class arc characteristics
- Multi-voltage plugs for 120 volts and 240 volts
- Angled drive system with a tension knob
- The auto-detect spool gun
- Customers received defective pieces
Mundaka Technologies is a US-based company founded 35 years ago. They make cutting and welding instruments and produce industrial gases.
Design and Build
The SÜA ionMig 200 Multiprocess Welder is a MIG, TIG and stick welder. This three in one multi-functional welder includes MIG, MAG, MMA and Lift TIG functions. It is spool gun ready and works in 2T and 4T modes. It works on a minimum current of 40 amperes for welding thin materials. There are 2 pound and 11-pound wire spool sizes to handle various welding jobs. The digital display shows the voltage and current. The user-friendly interface helps easy operation and adjustment for different wires. There is built-in protection against power surges and overheating to extend the product life.
The welder is a three in one model that is MMA, MAG, MIG and Lift TIG types of welding. It delivers in the two-touch (2T) and four-touch (4T) modes also functions at the minimum of 40 amperes to weld thin materials and has a 2 pound and 11-pound wire spool that helps extend it for various kinds of jobs. The digital interface is easy to read and there is a built-in protection for the circuit against overheating and rise in temperature.
SÜA ionMig 200 Multiprocess Welder works on the global voltage on PFC technology between 90-270 volts. IT takes the global input voltage with the power factor of more than 0.99 and saves energy and weighs 19 pounds and works on single phase 110 and 220 volts at 50 to 60 Hertz for TIG and MMA welding. There is a ready reckoner that helps you learn about the adjustments and power modulation in the user guide.
SÜA ionMig 200 comes with a power cord, a MIG torch and electrode holder with a 9 feet cable, a ground clamp with 9 feet cable and an argon regulator. The unit comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Three in one function
- Spoolgun ready
- Works between 90 – 270 volts
- Customer service did not respond
The motto of Lotos Technology is Cut it, weld it and Build it. The company headquarter is in Sunnyvale, California. They supply high-quality cutting and welding tools for DIYers and small businesses.
Design and Build
Lotos Technology MIG140 Welder brings you the versatility of the 2T and 4T switch. It has two digital displays that help adjust the welding voltage and wire feeder speed precisely. The new ground cable quick connector helps to switch between +/- easier. The Lotos MIG140 works at 140 amperes to deliver an industrial quality performance.
This welder can connect to the existing 110-volt wall outlet and can be set up quickly. It can handle the 4 inch and 8-inch industrial standard wire spools. The model also incorporates the thermal overload protection that extends the life of the welder. It is a versatile welder ideal for professionals and do-it-yourselfers. It can not only do MIG welding but also spool gun for welding aluminium.
Lotos Technology MIG140 Welder is suitable for welding mild steel, stainless steel aluminium and other metals. The Superior quality aluminium feeder is stable thus it delivers a better user experience. The Transformer technology is durable and reliable. The unit connects to an existing power supply of 110 volts and is set up quickly. The 2T/4T switch is convenient for long welding sessions. The ground cable connector helps an easy switch between +/-. The precise full-adjustment drive has a digital wire speed display that reduces the tangling and crushing of wires.
Lotos Technology MIG140 Welder has a 140-ampere welding output. The welding capacity for stainless steel is 3/16 inches, mild steel is 3/16 inches and aluminium are 1/8 inches or thinner.
Lotos Technology MIG140 Welder comes with a plasma cutter, plasma, TIG, Stick combination and consumables. The model comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- 140-ampere welding output
- Welds wide range of materials
- 2T/4T switch
- Did not get penetration on a 3/16-inch sheet
Hobart welding products have been in the market since 1917. They have designed, tested and manufactured complete lines of welding and cutting tools that have carried the best 5/3/1 industrial warranty. You can back you up in all your projects be it the repair of farming implements, auto repair, or a DIY project.
Design and Build
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder gets you the best of both the worlds through the multi-voltage plug that works on 115 or 230 volts. Simply twist in the receptacles. It welds 24 gauge and up to 0.375-inch mild steel. The 7 voltage settings at 230 volts and 4 settings at 115 volts that help finetune for precise welding. At 115 volts the output amperage is between 25 to 140 and at 230 volts it is between 25 to 210. There are a cast aluminium drive system and a quick-change drive roll system that does not require tools. There is a dual groove that allows a quick change. The duty cycle at 115 volts is 20% at 90 amperes and at 230 volts it is 30% at 150 amperes.
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder can be used on aluminium, stainless steel and mild steel. The welder switches between 115 volts to 230 volts input at a switch of the receptacle -simply twist and fit. The welder will automatically adjust and correct the input power. This provides a superior arc performance. The unit is rugged and portable with 210 amperes of welding power.
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder works on 115 volts between 25 – 140 amperes. At 230 volts between 25 – 210 amperes.
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder comes welding gun, 10 feet gas hose and dual gauge regulator, etc that total up to 10 accessories. The model comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- Small portable case
- 7 settings at 230 V and 4 at 115V
- Infinite wire feed speed
- Quality control issues
- Return cost very high
Hitbox is a well-known brand of welders and cutters that sells online. They make a range of welders, cutter and their accessories.
Design and Build
Hitbox MIG – 200 Welder comes equipped with inverter technology that powers the Lift TIG, ARC and MIG welding functions. The welding machine weighs 8 kgs and is highly portable. The flux core is smartly designed. The clear large digital display and 3-dimensional plastic panel facilitate reading and tuning the welder. There is an inbuilt circuit breaker for overload protection and over-heating protection.
Hitbox MIG – 200 Welder is a multipurpose welder as it can be used for Lift TIG, MIG and ARC welding.
It is ideal for DIY-ers and beginners and can serve as a handy tool around the house and farm to repair tanks, trailers, automobiles, etc also can weld any type of metal such as steel, aluminium, etc. The unit displays the MIG, MMA, Lift TIG and ARC processes on the panel that can be modified using the knobs and other controls and the optimum voltage is 220 volts and uses a flux core and gas cylinder. The unit has a MIG stick but the TIG needs to be bought separately. If you use a TIG welding then get a large torch with an argon tank.
Hitbox MIG – 200 Welder has an input voltage of 150 – 270 volts the output current range is 30 – 220 amperes. The duty cycle for 200 amperes at 40% and for 126 amperes is 100%. The OCV is 60 volts.
Hitbox MIG – 200 Welder comes with a MIG torch, a gas tube, an electrode and earth clamps. The unit is compatible with all types of welding due to these accessories. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Very light and portable
- Has a cooling fan
- Low power consumption due to an inverter
- Does not need a gas shield
- Does not weld aluminium
- Get the TIG torch & tank separately
10. HITBOX TIG 200A
This welder comes from a Chinese manufacturer situated in Shenzhen Guangdong China. They make all kinds of welders and cutters.
Design and Build
The Unitweld HITBOX TIG200A comes with the advanced IGBT inverter technology that ensures a superior TIG performance.The high-frequency TIG arc starting strikes an arc easily. The high-frequency arc establishes an arc in any condition. The unit is portable and compact. As it used inverter technology it consumes less electricity. There is a circuit breaker to protect against power surges and over-heating. The use of electricity is efficient up to 80%.
The Unitweld HITBOX TIG200A works on carbon and stainless steel delivering professional results. The welder is a 200-ampere stick welder that comes with an earth clamp, a TIG torch an electrode holder and a gas tube. This means this unit is a plug and play. As this unit employs IGBT inverter technology the unit does not heat up quickly. There is an easy arc ignition that eliminates splatter. The steady current lends to good shaping. The TIG welding thickness is 0.2 – 5 mm and electrode diameter is 2 – 3.2 mm.
The Unitweld HITBOX TIG200A the input voltage is 220 volts at 60 Hz. The output current range is 10 – 200 amperes. The rated input current is 43.6/28 amperes. The welder can tackle a plate thickness of 0.38 to 0.6 mm of steel.
The Unitweld HITBOX TIG200A comes with a clamp, a TIG torch, an electrode holder, an electrode, and a gas tube. There are a user manual and a one-year warranty.
- IGBT inverter technology
- Versatile Stick, TIG and MMA functions
- Energy saving
- Variable amperage for a wide range
- Materials used in unit Fe, Al and Cu
- Does not weld aluminium.
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. manufacture welding products such as arc welding equipment, plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment, robotic welding and their consumables.
Design and Build
The Lincoln Electric Handy Core K2278-1 has a 35 – 88-ampere output and welds up to 1/8-inch mild steel. It can be powered using a 115-volt 20-ampere outlet found in every household. The cold contractor safety feature is meant to keep the welding wire cold until the user is ready to weld. The welder is lightweight, compact, portable and easy to use. It is ideal for home repairs, hobbies and working on light gauge mild steel. There are four output ranges and the Handy Core is versatile. It is easy to set for proper welding procedures. The unit is cooled by a fan this extends the life of the welder.
The Lincoln Electric Handy Core K2278-1 uses flux core wire to weld steel. This MIG style welding installation can penetrate 1/20 – 1/8 inch of mild steel.
The welder works when plugged into a 115 volts outlet at 20 amperes. It is ideal for home repairs and hobby projects. It is easy to set up and use even for novices. There are four output ranges thus you can do a range of delicate work to heavy-duty welding jobs. The unit is compact and portable thus easy to take along to job sites or carry around the house. The cold contractor safety feature keeps the user safe as the wire remains cold until the user presses the trigger gun.
The Lincoln Electric Handy Core K2278-1 requires an input power of 115 volts at 60 Hertz. The rated output is 70A/17V/20%. The input current is 20 amperes and output range are 35 – 88 amperes.
The Lincoln Electric Handy Core K2278-1 comes with a welding gun, cable and various other accessories and a one-year warranty.
- 35-88 amps output
- Welds up to 1/20 – 1/8 inches of mild steel
- Works from household plugs
- Compact and portable
- Four output ranges
- Delivery arrived with missing parts
Methods of Welding
Oxy-fuel welding or oxy-acetylene welding where a mixture of oxygen and fuel gases is used to cut and weld metals.
Shielded metal arc welding(SMAW) also known as electric or stick weldinguses a discharge of electricity between the electrode stick and material. Theelectrode is held in the hand fitted in the electrode holder. At an electricaldischarge, the material melts and welds together. The slag on the weld and fluxon the electrode protect the puddle from any contamination.
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG)or Gas Tungsten arc welding (GTAW) uses atungsten electrode for welding. The weld area is protected from contaminationby using an inert gas like helium or argon as a shield.
Metal Inter Gas (MIG) orGas metal arc welding (GMAW) uses a wire feedinggun to feed the wire. There is a constant flow of an argon-based gas shieldsuch as argon and carbon dioxide over the welding to protect it from any kindof atmospheric contamination. The Metal Active Gas (MAG) uses a 75% argon and25% carbon dioxide mixture to shield it.
The most popular methods of welding are…
Flux cored arc welding is very similar to MIG welding the only difference is that it uses a tubular wire filled with flux. Due to this, it can be used with or without a gas shielding depending upon the type of filler.
Submerged arc welding(SAW) uses a consumable electrode with a blanketof granular flux that fuses. The arc zone and the weld are submerged under aflux blanket to avoid atmospheric contamination.
Electroslag welding (ESW) is a single pass welding process that is highly productive. It canbe used on materials between the thickness of 1 – 12 inches (or 25 – 300 mm) ina vertical or near vertical position.
Electric resistancewelding (ERW) produces a coalescence of surfaceswhere heat is generated using electric resistance of the material being welded.It is an efficient method but limited to thin materials.
How to Decide Which Welder You Require?
Your project type and the material you are working with will help you decide your welder. You could use it to create a metal sculpture, or restore an old car or motorcycle. You could also do some fabrication work, do basic repairs and repair farm equipment.
Here is the summary of the welding processes, factors and conditions they can be used in. There are many multipurpose best welders in the market with do one or more types of welding.
MIG welding is better to use on thin metal sheets. This method helps you achieve higher welding speeds with cleaner results. There is no slag left to clean and the same equipment can be used for the flux core welding.
TIG welding is precise and high quality. It yields weld beads that are highly aesthetic. The heat input can be adjusted using a foot control.
Flux-cored welding is works as well as the stick works on rusty or dirty material. It achieves deep penetration thus used for thicker sections. This is due to the higher metal deposition rate. It is ideal for out of position or vertical welding jobs too.
Stick welding is better suited for outdoors especially windy conditions. It can be used on rusty or dirty metals. It also works well on thick materials.
If you are working on general repairs or auto body…
You may be working with 3/16-inch-thick material or less. A car, boat, hunting stand, utility trailer or motorcycle material may be 1/16 to 1/8-inch thick. If you are working with fencing or trailer fences the material will be 1/4 – 5/16th of an inch and working with structural components the thickness maybe over a 3/8th inch.
If you are working with steel or stainless steel you can use MIG, Stick and TIG method of welding and working aluminium alloys then MIG or TIG welding is recommended also working with cast iron then Stick welding is ideal. While working with copper, Chromoly, brass or exotic metals like titanium, magnesium, etc TIG welding is recommended.
Features on a welding machine
Consider the above-mentioned types of welding and the location they are used to pick your machine.
Input power is the operating power for an appliance which is usually between 115 – 230 volts. Pick a welder according to the range of your power supply.(we have written a guide for choosing the best dual fuel generators)
Output power – The higher the output power the better the arc performance and more powerful the weld. If you are going to use the welder on heavy materials it is best to get a welder with higher output power.
Duty cycle – Like all electrical or technical devices welders lose their duty cycles with use. If you are considering a refurbished or used welder then ensure it has more duty cycles on it.
Portability allows the user to move around with their tools of the trade with ease. The weight and design should be such that allows the users to move the machine around with ease.
But the general features to be noted would be as follows…
Compressed gas requirements – Different welding processes require compressed gases such as oxygen, argon, etc. They are used across various welding procedures thus take note if the welding machine requires a source of compressed gas to do its job.
Multipurpose – Nowadays most machines are multipurpose and switch between the various types of welding. This switch is done at the turn of a knob or through a control panel which may be digital or analogous.
A durable design lends a robust body that can be made light in weight for portability. The life of the welder may be prolong using an internal cooling system and heat sink as a thermal protection that prolongs the life of the product. The tough casing protects the internal components from harsh conditions. A handle at the top and a shoulder strap improve the dexterity of the user as it frees both the hands to do the job.