The 4 Best Beginner Welders –TIG, MIG, Arc Reviews 2018

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Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol / CC BY

Learning to weld correctly can be a most rewarding pastime. The satisfaction of having constructed something yourself or having performed a much-needed custom-modification is a reward that is to be experienced for full appreciation.

When wishing to go out and buy a new welder, the wide range of options available can be quite daunting. We have compiled an overview of the different welders, but since folks are busy, those explanations will follow our recommendations.

So, let’s see first our suggestions for the 4 best beginner welders!

LONGEVITY Stickweld 140 140-AMP Dual Voltage Stick Welder

The LONGEVITY 721405557523 Stickweld 140 140-AMP Dual Voltage Protable Stick Welder is one of the lightest welders that you can find, weighing roughly 13 pounds. It is extremely portable but extremely powerful as well. A digital display renders the amp setting and one is capable of switching between multiple power modes depending on your requirements. An adaptor is provided that allows one to use this welder on either 220V or 110V. It is powerful enough to be used with 6011 rods, handling the welding of thick mild steel and aluminum with ease. The power afforded allows one to use a wide range of rods, making this a very versatile stick welder.

Lift TIG functionality is provided allowing you to connect a TIG torch, purchasable separately. Overall, the LONGEVITY is a gem in its class and a worthy option for novices and experienced tradesmen alike. The visual digital readout is a great addition that you will soon be using to ascertain your output and the lightweight design will have this going with you everywhere.

Klutch ST80i Inverter-Powered DC Stick Welder with TIG Option

The Klutch ST80i Inverter-Powered DC Stick Welder with TIG Option – 115 Volt, 20-75 Amp DC, 90 Amp Peak is an outstanding welder for both beginners and experienced users alike. This welder is inverter-based and carries TIG support in addition to its basic use as a stick welder. It’s capable of welding up to 1/8-inch and allowing for the use of 1/16-inch, 5/64-inch and 3/32-inch. Klutch has supplied a welder that is extremely light, making it an excellent unit for those that work at remote sites. It even has a shoulder strap, suiting the design of this compact unit extremely well.

Crafted from the highest quality materials, this welder clearly exhibits its quality from the get-go. Mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron and hard surfacing are all managed perfectly by this affordable, yet durable, welder. In terms of a single-phase welder, giving a duty cycle of 20% at 75 amps, you do not get much better than Klutch ST80i. Bar none, it’s one of the best welders for beginners.

Forney 304 MIG Welder 95FI-A Flux Core Only, 120-Volt, 95-Amp

If you would prefer to start with MIG welding, then the Forney 304 MIG Welder 95FI-A Flux Core Only, 120-Volt, 95-Amp is one of your best options. It gives the capable to weld flux core straight out the box. It comes with a convenient carry handle to assist portability and weighs just 43 pounds. This great MIG welder from Forney is perfect for all forms of automotive work.

The duty cycle of this MIG welder (see full specs) is also very efficient, giving you 20% at 60 Amps. Thermal overload protection is featured so that your welder should down when a surge is detected. Both forms of flux cored wire are supported, allowing for both .030” and .035” diameter wire.

A one pound roll of MIG wire is fitted standard so that you have no delays when wanting to test your new welder. Forney is a reliable supplier of over 500 products covering the hardware, automotive, and mechanical market, and the Forney 304 MIG welder is a fantastic addition to their line-up. It features a “Tweco” styled welding torch, a face shield, ground clamping and a combination chipper hammer/brush.

One of the great benefits of MIG welding is that you do not need CO2 or Argon, and at the price this great offering from Forney should most definitely be considered as an alternative to standard stick welding. It’s without a doubt one of the best beginner welders on the market.

Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit, Black

An affordably priced MIG welder is often a better starting point than opting for a stick welder. The Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit, Black, is a highly affordable MIG welder that every beginner should definitely consider. This is a great welder for carbon steel, handling small to medium sized jobs with no problem at all. Capable of a duty cycle of 20% at 80 Amps gives you the ability to weld without stopping for two minutes at max amperage.

The Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit, Black, is best suited to carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel, silicon, bronze and other similar allows. It can weld 18 gauge / 3/16-inchmild steel in but one pass. Included is everything that you need to begin welding. One is supplied the Pro-series welder, with thermal overload protection, a ground cable, clamp, welding gun a face shield, brush hammer, and spool of flux cored wire. It should be on anyone’s list of the best beginner welder.

Different Types of Welders

OK, now for those explanations we were talking about. When selecting a starter welder, it’s often necessary to know the 3 basic types of welders:

Arc Welding

Arc welding is also known as stick welding, and it is the simplest form of welding to accomplish at home. It is suited to the welding of heavy metals, 4mm and upwards.

MIG Welding

MIG Welding is the most common form of welding that beginners are commonly familiar with. MIG welding, otherwise known as Gas Metal Arc Welding, is used to fuse stainless-steel, mild-steel, and aluminum.

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas welding, or TIG welding, is a process that takes a lot of expertise to accomplish. This form of welding is carried out when a superior finish is required, without the need for sanding or excessive clean-up of any sorts.

Buying Advice

When shopping for the so-called best beginner welder there are some handy factors to be aware of. Depending on the thickness of the steel that you intent to weld, one requires varying amperage. A 140 amp welder is suitable for 1/4-inch steel, 180 amps for 3/8-inch to 5/16-inch steel, 200 amps for 5/16-inch and a 250 amp welder for 1/2-inch thickness steel. Stick welders require one to stop often, while if you opt for a TIG welder then always be sure to consider the duty-cycle that the unit is capable of. Regardless of your choice of welder, it is always wise to purchase one that has a good warranty as a welder is seldom replaced anytime in the near future.

Essential Welding Safety

Before setting out to weld make certain that you are well protected. A welding helmet (see a ton here) and gloves (plenty here) are essential and one should never risk welding without the necessary safety equipment. Always ensure that no part of your skin is touching any metal that you are welding since the voltage is deadly! Lastly make certain that you weld where there is adequate ventilation, the fumes can be toxic. Good luck!

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