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Welding machines

Things will break, and it is up to you to repair them to prolong their life. This is where portable welding equipment comes in. Whether you are a homeowner, a house remodeler, or a repair and maintenance specialist, it is critical for you to own a portable welding machine. For the homeowner, it doesn’t make sense to wait a day or two for a professional to repair something you could have done yourself. With the best portable welding machine, you can handle most basic repairs and save a lot of money and inconvenience.

How to choose a welder

A welder is a long-term investment where many find that they get what they pay for. While it is sometimes advisable to test the water with a used model, choosing the right machine the first time can save a lot of headaches and money in the long run. Nobody wants a used welder to fail in the middle of a big job or discover that the price of a used welder can help them make ends meet, but the welder himself cannot put two metal parts together.

The best welder will complete any project that comes down the pike and minimizes the restrictions. This means that the most expensive welder is not always the best for every situation. However, the cheapest welding machine that cannot handle every job a welder hopes to do does not pay off.

Work determines the welder

One of the most important questions when choosing a welder is not for which projects it will be used in the next week, month or even year. If you are interested in buying a welder, you have to ask yourself whether you will be using it more frequently for many different types of projects in the future.

As you go through your options, ask yourself, “Am I the kind of person who learns how to use a tool on as many projects as possible, or am I just interested in using tools on a limited number of projects? In other words, using a welder on many other projects in the future means you have to deal with buying a welder that works with more power and has a longer life – both of which are explained below.

In addition, every type of welding machine has its limits and advantages. For example, a MIG welder is extremely easy to use and very versatile, but some welders find TIG welders even more versatile and useful for a wider range of applications, even if they are more difficult to learn. MIG, TIG, and stick welders are compared below. If you are completely new to buying a welder, it is best to consult a professional to make sure it meets your specific needs.

Which welder size should you consider?

There is no universal welding power source. Each unit has an effective working range. Here is a general summary of which welder sizes best fit a particular application.

For light repair work on steel, stainless steel, and aluminum_from sheet metal to 3/16 inch material thickness, a 130 amp MIG or TIG unit with 20 or 30 percent duty cycle can perform many of the necessary welding operations.

For heavier repair or manufacturing work, a MIG or TIG unit with at least 200 amps and a duty cycle of 40 percent or more should be considered. Remember that you must have sufficient current to ensure correct penetration of the root (first) pass. You cannot compensate for a poor root pass with subsequent passages.

By properly considering the many factors of your application and examining the benefits of each welding process, choosing the right welding power source can be a simplified and profitable decision.

Best welding machines

Best choice

Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Operating on standard 115V household current, the Handler 140 is extremely versatile and perfect for the welder that wants to work on auto body, household repairs, farm projects or yard art projects. A 5-position tapped voltage control selector gives you the ability to fine tune your arc offering a smooth stable arc on all thicknesses.

  • 4,9 Rating
  • Welds 24 ga up to 1/4 in mild steel
  • 5-position voltage control selector

Top reated welding machines

Top choice

Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST

  • 4,8 Rating
  • 120 volt input and 90 amp output
  • Stick welder / Lift arc TIG capable

Best choice

Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

  • 4, 9 Rating
  • Welds 24 ga up to 1/4 in mild steel
  • 5-position voltage control selector


DEKOPRO MMA Welder 160A ARC Welder Machine

  • 4,7 Rating
  • Advanced IGBT Inverter Technology
  • Multi Use

Welding machine

How to choose the right welding machine for you

Best reated welding machines

1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Forney Easy Weld 29801 100ST Welder Start-Up Kit

2. Forney Easy Weld 29801 100ST Welder Start-Up Kit

3. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/Free Mask

4. Weldpro Digital TIG200GD ACDC 200 Amp Tig/Stick Welder

HITBOX TIG Welder 200Amp, HF 110V 220V

5. HITBOX TIG Welder 200Amp, HF 110V/220V

6. DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder Machine

7. YESWELDER TIG-205DS HF TIG 110 & 220V Dual Voltage

8. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST

HZXVOGEN 110 220V MMA Welder Dual Volt Arc Stick Welding Machine

9. HZXVOGEN 110/220V MMA Welder Dual Volt Arc Stick Welding Machine

10. Hobart 500572 Handler 100

Choosing a welder

On the other hand, if you are a professional in repair and maintenance, home remodeling or construction, owning a portable welding machine is also of paramount importance. Remember that you need to move, so portability is important. On our website you can read, how to choose the best fog lamps.

The purchase of a welder is an important long-term decision that can bring you additional income, save repair costs and allow you to fulfill a variety of hobbies. The possibilities can be overwhelming and that is why we have compiled this Welders’ Buyer’s Guide. You will find important details to keep in mind. About the best mig welders 2019 you can read on our website.

How to use welding machine


You may not have too much information when buying a welder, but let’s start with some of the questions you need to ask before buying a welder.

  • What kind of welding do you have in mind?
  • Could you imagine that in 6-12 months you will be doing other projects?
  • Do you have the patience, desire and ability to learn a complicated welding process?
  • Are you looking for a quick and easy welding technique?
  • What price range can you afford?
  • Do you plan to weld only in the garage or will you work outdoors? Will you travel with it?
  • Are you able to support 220V electricity?
  • How often will you use your welder?
  • What types of materials are you planning to use for welding?

Welding machine types

In general, there are two types of people who weld. Some welders have a very narrow range of goals – namely thin, simple welding of metals quickly and without spending too much time learning welding techniques. They will read the manual and look at a few tutorials, but then they are ready to do their little tasks. In these cases, a MIG welder in the 110 to 115 V range is typically sufficient.

However, there are other welders who find that once they take a 110V welder home or into their workshop, they will soon find thick metal to weld and a 110V will not connect effectively. In addition, some welders find the low voltage equipment more difficult to handle and feel limited by the lack of versatility.

Welders who want to work with a wider range of materials over a longer period of time need a more powerful unit, such as a 175V to 251V MIG welder or a 220V stick welder. However, the higher power models also require an appropriate power supply that can handle the higher voltage, which can contribute to the overall cost.

Welding machine price

Cost, portability and materials will all be important factors in deciding when and what to buy for a welder. Nevertheless, do not forget that a welder offers comfort, satisfaction and new opportunities. There is much more to consider when looking at a welder than the price tag.

A welder is a lifelong investment that can pay off with careful selection for your specific needs.

Selecting the right welder

Many machine shops occasionally have a need for welding work. This can be for maintenance, repair or to fulfil the odd contract. This story is a welding process primer for those workshops whose main business is not welding but must know some basics.

Given the variety of welding methods available, choosing the right welding method for your workshop could be a confusing and difficult decision. In any manufacturing process, matching the best process to the application can be the difference between winning and losing a job.

Similarly, welding has many variables related to the matching of processes and materials. Choosing the right welding process can save many hours in production, repairs, polishing and grinding, or rejection of welds.

The purpose of welding, whether production-related or occasional, is the same: to produce a quality weld in the shortest possible time. Welding quality is determined by the success achieved in producing a weld that penetrates sufficiently without pores, pockets or gaps. Good surface quality is also a factor.

In this article we will look at the four most common welding processes. We will briefly discuss what each of them has to offer in terms of performance characteristics so that you can better determine which welding process best suits your application.

No universal welds – all

Unfortunately, there is not a single welding process that is suitable for all welding situations. For this reason, it is necessary to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the individual welding processes.

The most common welding processes for metal production are gas-metal arc welding (MIG), flux-cored wire welding, gas-tungsten arc welding (TIG) and gas-shielded metal arc welding (rod electrode). In order to evaluate the most suitable welding process for the task, the following factors should be considered:

  • Type of material to be welded,
  • Thickness of the material,
  • The welding position,
  • Type of welding current source and the amount of current available
  • Time required.
  • Figure 1 gives an overview of the four common welding processes and their applicability to the welding work normally carried out in the workshop. Next, we will take a close look at each welding process.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG). This process consists of passing a bare metal filler wire of the same material being welded through a portable torch unit in combination with a shielding gas. The welding wire takes up the current supplied by a standard power source. The contact creates an arc, which takes over the welding.

Since the wire is fed from the machine to the workpiece, it acts as a continuous consumable electrode and therefore requires fewer starts and stops.

For routine joining applications, a MIG welder is likely to offer more advantages than any other welding process. Here are some of the advantages of MIG welding:

  • It is the easiest to learn welding process. With a little practice, even a first-time MIG user can achieve a good-looking weld.
  • Weld light gauge material or thick plate (with multiple passes).
  • Welds all common metals_carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
  • Welding can be performed in all positions, even overhead.
  • A removal of the flux is not necessary, because the shielding is done by a gas.
  • High welding speeds can be achieved, up to four times faster than with stick welding, which shortens the repair or construction time.

A DCRP power supply is recommended for use with the MIG welding process. In general, welders use a straight polarity current, i.e. the current flow moves from the torch to the workpiece. In reverse polarity welding, the current flows from the workpiece to the welding torch. In MIG welding, a DCRP current produces the best arc transmission and a smoother welding surface than other types of current.

Between its MIG and flux-cored capabilities, a wire welder can perform most of the tasks that a stick welder can do, often more efficiently. While a high quality wire welder costs $450 to $2,000 (depending on size), the cost of wire and gas is much lower than that of rod wire. Coupled with the ability to weld aluminum and sheet metal, a wire welder can pay for itself very quickly.

Gas Tungsten Welding (TIG). This process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode and shielding gas to protect the weld area from contamination. TIG welding can be performed in all positions, even overhead. Its concentrated heat and precise arc control make it possible to weld thin material (0.01 inch). The advantages of TIG welding are:

  • Precise welding on thin materials is easy to achieve and overall distortion is reduced.
  • Offers high quality work (X-ray quality) and highly aesthetic welding beads if required.
  • Allows the welder to adjust the heat input during welding using a foot or hand-amp control.
  • Fine build-up welding for tool and mould making can be carried out.
  • Weld steel, aluminium and other metals with a single gas, argon.
  • There are no splashes or fluxes to remove.

The power supply for TIG typically uses alternating current (AC) for aluminum and magnesium or direct current straight polarity (DCSP) for steel, stainless steel and various other alloys. AC/DC switching power supplies are available to accommodate a variety of workpiece materials.
Although TIG welding is a relatively slow process, it offers high weld quality compared to wire fed MIG or flux cored wire. It also requires a higher qualification of the operator than the other processes.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick). This process uses a consumable flux-coated electrode containing mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron or various other alloys. These electrodes are selected according to the base material to be welded.

Apart from the power source, the electrode holder and the working clamp, no other equipment is required. The advantages of stick welding are:

  • Can be performed in any position and in hard-to-reach places. However, it is less suitable for overhead welding.
  • Can be used outdoors as draughts do not affect the weld.
  • Most materials can be welded with a stick.
  • Least expensive to buy.
  • More forgiving than MIG when welding on dirty or rusty metal. However, it is always advisable to scrape or grind off paint, rust and other deposits; welding on the cleanest possible material will result in a stronger weld.

There are some limits to stick welding:

  • Welding thin materials (less than 18-gauge steel) can be difficult or impossible.
  • Marginal for welding aluminium. Welding aluminium using the stick process requires a high level of operator capability.
  • You need to clean the slag from the weld joint.
  • Stick is a slower process than MIG.

Welder Choices

MIG Welders

MIG welders are very popular because they usually cost less than TIG or stick welders with comparable performance and equipment, are extremely easy to learn and can handle a variety of projects. Since the filler metal is passed through the MIG torch, welders can hold the torch steady with both hands instead of adding it with one hand, as in TIG welding. The wire feed also makes MIG welding up to four times faster.

The MIG welding process uses a shielding gas to shield the weld and keep it free of impurities. This makes MIG welding very clean and easy to clean, as there is nothing to splinter as is typical of stick welding.

MIG welding can be used on a variety of materials such as aluminium and is also widely used in automotive applications. However, MIG also requires the purchase of shielding gas and usually requires materials that cost more than other processes.

TIG Welding

When it comes to appearance, TIG welding produces a high-quality, clean weld that deforms the metal far less by using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. You do not have to worry about spattering, because you only use the necessary amount of filler metal needed in the weld puddle, which ensures a high quality weld in every respect.

However, TIG is quite specialized and requires extensive training to master it – so make sure that any purchase of a TIG welder is accompanied by a plan to attend welding courses. Instead of the simplicity of spot and shot MIG welding, TIG requires the use of a foot pedal to control the welding process. A filling rod separated from the torch must be fed step by step.

Many professional welders prefer TIG because it can weld a variety of metals and because argon gas is versatile in TIG welding. There is no slag that blocks the view of the weld puddle. Argon gas can weld any metal of any thickness with TIG welding, so no gas change is required depending on the project.

Stick Welding

Stick welding is one of the most effective techniques for fusing alloys and joints, but also the least efficient. The process uses a consumable rod electrode that works anywhere, inside or out, and the welding process is simple. The weld seam is not protected by a shielding gas. Instead, the electrode is coated with a flux that covers and protects the weld. This layer must be removed after the weld is finished.

Since no shielding gas is required, stick welding remains popular and cost-effective. It is also most convenient because a welder can easily switch from one metalwork piece to another by changing the welding rod to match it to the metalwork piece.

Performance options for welders

Higher power welders can work with thicker metals, but higher voltage welders require special power supplies – either generators or equivalent sockets. A lower voltage welder in the 100s will not be able to perform heavy work, but it can be plugged in and operated from any socket. Any welder over 115V will not be able to operate from a typical socket and will of course cost more.

Welding machine brands

In addition, the welders operate either an alternating current (AC) that reverses at regular intervals or a direct current (DC) that flows in one direction and does not reverse. DC provides a constant amount of energy that leads to higher temperatures and deeper burn-in.

AC welders typically cost less than DC welders, but the available electrodes are far more limited with AC. In fact, DC welders are more expensive, but remain popular because their higher performance offers a wider range of electrodes and a number of working advantages, such as easy arcing, better penetration and improved control. Welders who want to work on a variety of projects can opt for an AC/DC combination welder

Selection of a welder with the right working cycle

A duty cycle is the amount of time a welder can run before it needs to be shut down to cool down. The cheaper welders have shorter duty cycles, while the more expensive welders have longer duty cycles – some can even work continuously with a 100% duty cycle.

Longer duty cycles are critical when welding thicker metals that require more time for machining. For home and hobby welders, a work cycle may not be as important as it is for professional welders in a workshop.

What factors should you consider when determining a budget?

You may already have an estimated budget in mind.

The type of welder you buy should be suitable for the specific features you need and the projects you will be working on the most. Think about your ultimate goal and consider ways to extend the benefits of your welder. Will you need more power or current in the future?

It is important to consider the different power and power requirements and the duty cycle required to achieve the most effective and economical operating results for the projects you want to complete.

In addition to the welder’s own costs, remember to include the cost of the accessories and consumables you will need to operate your new welder. This includes welding protection (helmet, gloves, jacket, etc.) as well as gas and consumables.

Do not feel rushed to make a purchase decision now. Take some time to define your needs.

Consideration in selecting the best portable welding equipment

If you are a homeowner or a repair, construction or maintenance specialist, you owe it to yourself to find the best portable welder. With this tool, you can get the most out of your problem. Below are some of the things to help you choose the best model to suit your needs.


It goes without saying that the best portable welding machine should offer you the level of performance you need. Remember that the performance level depends on the requirements you have.
In general, we have welders who perform basic repairs, while others are responsible for heavy applications. For example, if you are a homeowner looking for a base unit to help him with general repairs, a model with a capacity of 100 watts is sufficient.

However, if you are a professional tour guide or an enthusiastic homeowner who loves to handle most of the installation, repair and creation of components, you will need to purchase a model that is more powerful.

Size and design

When it comes to portability, design and core are critical. The best portable welding machine should be equipped with minimum weight and compact design while providing sufficient power to the user.

Fortunately, we have several models that make it easier for you to choose the model that combines lightweight construction with powerful performance. In addition, choosing a model with a compact design allows you to work in confined spaces where full-size models are not accessible.


First things first, the reason why you might be looking for the best portable welding machine is that you want something that is easy to control first and foremost. However, if you don’t put the ergonomics of the tool first, you can choose a machine that is difficult to use and limits your performance.

For best performance, choose a model that has an ergonomic handle and design that is easier to use. That’s not all; ergonomically designed models are easier to use and allow you to work fatigue-free for longer periods of time.


You also need to consider the cost of the welder before making a purchase. Today we have different models on the market that are offered with different prices.

The costs depend on the features included, the capacity, the building materials and other factors. While it is important to ensure that you have selected a model that fits your budget, it is also important to ensure that it delivers the performance you need.

How to choose the right welding machine for you Video

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.


  • sirgliofrei says:

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with almost all vital infos. I¦d like to peer more posts like this .

  • Rosen says:

    Can you please also provide each welder’s pros & cons which can more helpful to select the best one? Like with specification pros and cons. Thanks in Advance

  • Розен says:

    Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting info. Can you please help me to find the Best Tig Welder 2020 for the Thick metal?

  • Levi Armstrong says:

    You made a good point when you said that ergonomics is an important factor to consider when buying a welding machine. That’s because if you pick something that is difficult to control, your performance would be limited. My husband is thinking of buying a welding machine and supplies soon, so I’ll share this tip of yours with him. Thanks!

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