If you are planning to try your hand at welding, then all you want is an innovative idea and a wire feed welder. Everyone has a basic idea of welding and with minimal training just about anyone can join metal together. So regardless of the interests, needs or motivation, the welding novice needs a bit more than the basics to get started with the machinery and the specialized skills that will gradually come with years of practice.
There are various types of wire feed welders available in the market. Like for instance;
- MIG welding or Gas Metal Arc Welding
- Resistance Spot welding
- Flux Cored Arc welding
- Shielded Metal Arc welding
- TIG welding or Gas Tungsten Arc welding
Out of all these, only two of them have gained popularity, MIG, and TIG welding machines. The significant difference between TIG and MIG is that in one process a continuous feeding wire is used whereas, in the other long rods are used for welding. Both of them use inert gases such as tungsten and metal inert gas. These two wire feed welders have gained popularity because of their easy to use property. They make the best welder for the beginners.
Terms You Should Know First
Duty-Cycle: This is a welding equipment specification which defines the number of minutes, out of a 10 minute period, during which any particular welder can safely produce a particular welding current. For example, a 60% duty cycle at the rate of 300 amps means that the welder can be used for 60% of 10 minutes (i.e., for 6 minutes) and then it needs to cool off for the remaining time in one period before it can be used again.
Arc: This is the physical gap between the one end of the electrode and the junction where the arc makes contact with the base metal.
Flux: The coating on arc-welding rods and in flux-cored welding wire is called the flux. It is consumed in the arc to produce a shielding gas. This shielding gas displaces air and impurities from around the welding machinery.
Wire Feed Speed: This is a specification expressed as in/min. or mm/s. It refers to the speed and the amount of filler metal fed into a weld. In simple words, the higher the wire feed speed, the higher the amount of heat it can produce (amperage).
Overview of Two Popular Welding Process
1. TIG Welding:
This particular welding provides the highest quality of service by using an electrode made of non-consumable tungsten to produce the weld. Usually argon gas and filler metal protect the welding area from contamination caused by atmospheric air. This particular machine can be used on alloy steel, metals like Magnesium, copper, and aluminum. It is slower but complicated and challenging process in nature. Some of its features can be;
- welds precisely
- good quality
- Using foot control one can quickly adjust the heat input at the time of welding
2. MIG Welding:
In MIG welding wire is used as a welding electrode that is on the spool, which is fed at a constant speed. The speed is pre-selected and gets fed automatically. The electric currents between the wire and the base metal and in this way it melts the wire and helps it join to the base. So, MIG produces the result with less litter and durable. This welding machine is not only comfortable but also clean and can be used on thick and thin sheets.
It is a similar process to Flux-cored welding that is wire based. The only difference lies in the efficiency and effectiveness of the approach. This machine can be used outdoors as it is portable and provides high-speed welding with better quality. You can also use it on dirty surfaces and in stormy weather. Some of its features are;
- welding speed is very high
- process is straightforward to learn
- Provides excellent control of the thin surface
- Leaves no slag after welding is done
Buyers Guide for Buying Best Welders for Beginners
Here are a few things you need to consider for buying a welder for beginners:
Power: This is the most critical factor which determines the amount of current and thus the heat produced. So if you plan on cranking up the amps and welding continuously on a piece of thick metal without a break, then you want a welder with a high duty cycle. However, if you’re going to work on it for some time for fixing simple items, you can choose one with a lower duty cycle.
110 Volts or 220 Volts: This is a question most novice welders know nothing about. The 110 V welders can easily be plugged into any household outlet. However, it also limits the amperage produced by the welder, so it is not recommended if you are doing some severe welding with a lot of power. It should work fine for about 1/8” thick metal piece in a single pass. Anything more than that calls for 220 V welders.
Spool Gun Capability: If you have aluminum welding in mind, then this is a significant factor for you. With some welders, such as the Longevity MIG 140, all you have to do is buy the optional aluminum spool gun, hook it up, and you’re ready to weld aluminum. But this is not common with others, such as the Hobart 140 and it could be a potential problem if you are planning to weld aluminum.
Warranty: Most good welders offer a guarantee of five years, but they can work just as fine for long years if you take good care of them.
Amperage: This varies with each model and must be chosen carefully. Low amperage units often only come with the ability to weld using flux core wire. Most of those cannot hook up a gas cylinder.
Portability: portability is another factor that attracts some customers. The big ones come with extended chords, but a portable one is easy to carry from one place to another. For beginners, the portable ones are better than those bulky ones.
9 Best Welders For Beginners Are Given Below:
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V:
The Hobart Handler (500559) 140 MIG Welder is a powerful machine that can be used for flux core welding as well as MIG purposes. With this product, one can weld both thin and thick materials with astonishingly professional results compared to the welder’s power and size. Its main features include its exceptional versatility and quality and a portable machine which can run on ordinary household current.
Its power requirement is 155V. Its wire drive system is constructed from cast aluminum. weighs 26 kg and its duty cycle is 20% @ 90A. It has five position voltage control and a sloped control panel. Also, it features ten feet MIG gun, a five feet gas hose and two gauge regulators.
- Wire feed speed can be controlled easily.
- It has a superior build up quality and is very strong made of steel.
- Cables and gun are lightweight and thus does not tire the users.
- It comes with five-position control for the smooth arc on a variety of thicknesses.
- Has a built-in safety feature that ensures the safety of the user.
- It comes with the thermal overload system that protects the user in case of overflow of current.
- A power cord is only 5 foot and for moving to places longer than that user have to buy a wheeled cart.
- The product cannot be used with generators.
- Needs extra gas cylinders which have an additional cost.
- Establishing a smooth wire feed is difficult.
- Can be only used for DIY projects and not for industrial purposes.
On the whole, the product is very impressive and ideal for beginners. The weld produced by the product is of good quality and lasts long. Some large projects can also be done with the machine. It’s not high powered but given its power and size it is versatile, and results are of high quality.
2.Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire:
GoPlus Flux MIG 130 Automatic feed welding machine is one of the best MIG welders that a material requiring metal welding needs. Its setup is very easy, and it contains all the essential parts that are necessary for early-stage welding. It’s an excellent choice for both beginners as well as experienced welders. It is an exclusive household welder who has a robust and exquisite gas welder. Made up of stainless steel, it is painted with yellow paints which are durable and ensures a long last lifespan. It is featured with a long handle, circuit breakers, excellent voltage, long cords and other accessories.
- Get a free mask with its purchase
- Has a good range voltage
- Handling easy and comfortable
- Using for both, beginners and professionals are effortless.
- It comes with a long cord that is needed for all kinds of welding needs.
- Have two circuit breakers to avoid risk.
- Control weld feed with four settings and wire feed speed controller.
- Has a long-lasting steel frame.
- Warranty period is short.
- Battery power option is not available.
- Not for heavy-duty purposes as the welder is not very powerful
- The mask that comes along is made from cheap plastic
This product is very suitable for beginners due to its simple setup and features. The affordable price makes it the apt choice for beginners. The 110V input can be used with household supply.
3. Amico Power – DC Inverter Welder:
Amico Power Dual Voltage can be used in 115V AC and 230V without the need of any help. It is a powerful welder and both professionals, as well as beginners, can use it. It works well on steel and is capable of working on a dense and hard surface like trailers. As it is a stick welder, it reduces the need for using gas from any other source. It has a 60 % duty cycle. It is featured with a LED display which indicates power being used and power needed. Many home projects, moderate metal fabrications. Car repairs, etc. can be done quickly.
- Its dimensions and lightweight makes it portable.
- It contains 10 feet electrode holder cable and adapter. A welding electrode and work clamp cable.
- It is perfect for both thin and thick surfaces.
- As it is listed in ETL, it is highly accepted in American nations.
- Its inverter helps to change AC to DC as and when required
- Cannot be used in 220V supply
- Heats fast.
- A stand or a rack is to be purchased as it is unbalanced.
- Low-quality electrode holder.
Amico is not a big brand, but the proof of buying a welder from a company like this is that it gives value for money. The Inverter system makes it very much impressive and also it’s very affordable stick welder. So beginners can go for it.
4. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp:
Forney Easy Weld 298 is a stick welder with an inverter power system; It has a 90A output and 120V input. It has a corded power electric source. The product is not only lightweight but easy to use wherever welding is needed. It weighs around 7.5 pounds, and its cord is 6 feet long. It’s durable and safe to use due to its variety of settings. It has a compact green metal exterior and is TIG capable. Also, it has a fan built into the machine which automatically gets on when welding starts.
- It does not need batteries
- Can be used for TIG
- Its built-in handle makes transportation easy
- A wide variety of filler metals can be used with t product
- Only a switch needs to be flipped to change from TIG to stick mode.
- No compressed gas is required.
- The product does not have any gas hookup
- A TIG torch needs to be purchased separately
- Overpriced as per best welder for beginners reviews
- Works with AC only
This product is an excellent option for any welder to have as far as arc welders are concerned. It’s very affordable and also durable and reliable. It has a variety of settings for safety, and this versatility makes unique. It’s highly portable and a perfect welding machine for its price.
5. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder:
Lincoln Electic K2185-1 MIG Welder comes with basically everything that is needed to start any welding job: It includes the base unit, the cable, and a welding gun. Also, cable and work clamps, a spool of flux-cored wire, a brush, a chipping hammer and contact tips are also included. Its duty cycle is 20% @ 70A. Its input voltage is 110/120V and output current range is 35-88 A. It weighs 46 lbs and cab weld from 24 gauge to 1/8 inches steel.
- The product is best for all kinds of light welding
- Can be used by hobbyists
- Contains fan cooling to stop overheating
- Its safety features help to ensure that welding wire is kept cold until welding starts.
- It is portable.
- Its setup is quick and easy.
- It is not supplied with a gas gauge
- Some buyers complain that torch to ground clamp length is less than 8 feet
- Not suitable for professional and heavy-duty projects as power and duty cycle is not high.
- Aluminum cannot be welded using it
- Cannot weld metal which is thicker than 7/8 inches
- Lack of feed fire well may lead to the lengthening of time.
- It does not come with a shedding gas.
With its price around the middle of the market for MIG welders, the product with its red and shiny Lincoln Electric covering has been around for a long time. It has an excellent reputation and users love it for its durability. It is one of the best Wire Feed Welders for farming and home use. It is an ideal machine for beginners at an affordable price.
6. Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder:
Lotos MIG140 Wire Welder Flux Core Welder is a wire welder designed to provide its user with better welding experience. It is featured with faster connections, cleaner appearance, and smoother work among others. It has a capacity of 140 A which means that it can be used for commercial projects for stainless steel and mild steel materials. It can weld 24 gauges on 0.25-inch stainless steel, steel and even on aluminum. It also comes with a ground clamp cable, welding mask, and wire, MIG torch and gas hose. It has the mechanism to protect from thermal overload.
- Its price is affordable and
- Has a flux core.
- Protects from thermal overload.
- It is also a spool gun capable for welding aluminum.
- Excellent portability and can be stored anywhere.
- Multiple uses gases.
- Multiple feed wire support.
- Has some wire feeder issues.
- The cylinder is not included.
- No generators are attached.
Overall, the product is very impressive and ideal for beginners. The weld produced by the product is of good quality and lasts long. Also, it can be used for some large projects. It’s not high powered but given its power and size it is versatile, and results are of high quality.
7. 2018 AHP Alpha TIG 200 X 200 Amp:
The product is a powerful 200A AC/DC TIG welder who has stick function that allows both the professional and hobbyists a wide range of welding options with the TIG welder. The product offers professional quality welding at affordable pricing. Also, it allows the part-time users the chance to have a quality welder at a reasonable budget. Power width modulation gives the product the most reliable and long lasting power source, with high performance on both110-Volt and on 220-volt.
With these features, the TIG allows the great versatility in a welder at this price range. High-quality foot pedal made of metal control is supplied for usage with ease. The product can handle heavy jobs like those that other welders cannot do including ¼ inch aluminum and 3/8 mild steel. Significantly, the machine can use up to 110/220V, and that’s the reason why it can weld different kinds of materials with perfection.
- It has three years warranty which means that the buyers will have a value for their money.
- The product has an upgraded flow metal regulator to monitor the performance for easy control.
- The product is versatile which means that one can use it for different projects.
- It is filled with many features and is very easy to use.
- It contains instructional manuals which guide the users.
- The performance of the welder is high as it can cut different materials like aluminum and other metals.
- With its LGBT technology, it is energy efficient, and these features enhance its’ performance.
- Foot pedal slips away quickly.
- Creates spatter
- The regulator is not precisely calibrated
- The digital screen does not show the correct amperage.
The AHP Alpha TIG 200 x 200 is an excellent combination of TIG and stick welder. It’s a big, flexible ampere range, fantastic arc stability and the power to handle anything between ¼ inch aluminum to 3/8 inch steel make the product an apt welding machine.
See Also: TIG Welders Reviews With Pros & Cons
8. SUNGOLDPOWER 200A ARC MMA IGBT Digital:
Sungoldpower 200A is used for household repairs, little hustles ad other small and medium welding tasks. It has an advanced control module, IGBT dual 110V, and 220V which improves the performances of the welding machine. Its control module enables the machine to satisfy the different requirements of welding. It is solid, low consumption, energy saving, portable highly effective, robust compensation capability, resistant to voltage fluxion.
- It is Small size, energy saving, lightweight, and noise free.
- It has small splashing, easy and straightforward to operate and aesthetic appearance of weld seam excellent penetration power.
- Can be used for welding of all kinds of iron metals such as low and medium carbon steel, alloy steel, etc.
- Protected from Over-voltage and under-voltage
- Auto Hot-start and Anti-stick technology.
- Standard weld wire is not of good quality.
- Instruction manual provided is poor.
This welder is favorite as it’s so easy to use even for the inexperienced welder, so it’s an excellent choice for beginners and smaller metal projects. But professionals can also look out for this because it’s super reliable and produces quality welds.
9. MIG Welder, 120/240VAC, 1 Phase:
The MIG Welder 120/240V AC 1 phase is a perfect model of a complete, true heavy-duty, durable MIG welder. This product was built to last long and is made able to do any welding project with ease. The whole package gives the users everything they need like weld stainless-steel, mild steel, aluminum, and others.
- No noise and excellent spot performance
- Strong and smooth results
- Can be used by professionals
- Lightweight and portable
- Works well on 220V electricity
- Minimal splatter
- Wire-speed too fast for beginners
- Not recommended for inexperienced users
The product won’t be for everyone, but those who have experience and are looking to make welding their passion will love its performance.
10. Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI 90-Amp Inverter Style Stick:
This product is an inverter welder designed for Stick and TIG welding. It is highly lightweight because of its inverter-based system which uses a small transformer to create high power. The shoulder strap that comes with it enhances the portability and flexibility of the machine. The product can be used to weld on different kinds of metals like cast iron, stainless steel, steel, and others.
- It is a portable, lightweight and compact.
- It delivers good welding result.
- It can weld different kinds of metals.
- It can be plugged everywhere.
- Affordable and easy to use
- It does not have dual voltage capabilities.
- User manual not up to the mark.
This product is for those who want a superior quality machine at a low price. The reviews and comments from the previous buyers are tremendous and impressive. The portability and affordability make it one of the best products available on the market.
See Also: Best Wire Feed Welders with Reviews
Factors that Help You Determine Your Budget
While you are preparing an estimate to make sure you keep these points in mind so that you gain the utmost benefit from the welding machine you are going to purchase.
- Identify the Project: Understanding the project in hand and area where you will need to use the welding machine will help you determine the type of machine you need to purchase.
- Be More Specific About the Metal Type: You need to be more specific about the type of metal you are going to use the welding machine on. Metal type is a significant factor that determines the type of wire feed welder to be used.
There are some products of different brands available in the market. Make sure you do thorough research before you set out to get yourself a wire feed welder. Every wire feed welder has some or the other feature that makes them unique. So, be very specific about what you wish your welding machine to do. For professionals, this may seem to be an easy task, but for beginners, this may prove to be a bit tricky.
So, with patience, you can understand the workings of a welding machine and get yourself a video guide to help you through the task. Beginners may find it a bit complicated, but with time and practice, they may see this to be an exciting hobby. Reviews from other customers can be beneficial in determining the best welder for beginners. The more you research about the product, the better decision you will be able to make. So, start your research today and get the best welder for yourself.
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