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Best mig welders 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated October 1, 2022
Best mig welders of 2018
We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs. I review the three best mig welders on the market at the moment. I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best mig welders that you can buy this year. If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best mig welders.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – MIG Welder
Why did this mig welders win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable.
№2 – Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch
Why did this mig welders come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
№3 – Welder
Why did this mig welders take third place?
We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
mig welders Buyer’s Guide
The Welder Chassis
The chassis isn’t a major consideration as making a welder trolly can be a great first welding project.
Gas vs Gas less
MIG needs some sort of shielding gas to keep oxygen away from the weld. The choices are gas shielded (oxygen is displaced by an inert or semi-inert (active) gas mix contained in a bottle), and flux cored wire (where a protective covering is produced by a compound included in the wire itself). There are advantages and disadvantages for each type of welding, but gas shielded is by far the nicer method to use, so unless you know you’ll only want to weld with flux cored wire it makes sense to go for a welder that can do both, or a gas shielded only welder.
OK once you get the hang of it.
Things become easier with gas shielding. You can see the weld pool, the welds are neater, there is less spatter. The disadvantages are the cost of gas for occasional users, and the need for wind shielding if welding outside.
Molten metal is hot, and the UV light produced by welding is a lot stronger and nastier than sunlight. Cotton overalls and welding gauntlets (thick heat resistant gloves) are a must.
Synergic and Inverter MIGs
Inverters are finding their way into MIG welders, and they can offer a lot of features at a lower cost to the traditional transformer based welders.
The inverter technology started off in high end sets aimed at increasing the deposition rate (and speed of welding) in high amp spray transfer, and avoiding the transitional globular transfer phase.
Special features of the Lotus Pro
MIG 140 Welder include a thermal overload protection system, which can help prolong the life of the tool over the long-term by ensuring it never overheats.
It’s also dual function – it can be used for flux cored welding as well as gas-shielding MIG welding.
Power requirements for welding machines
We could have placed power requirements in to the previous point about your working environment, but paying attention of power specifications on welding machines is so important that it is deserving of its own section. Some machines will be capable of working from a typical household mains socket, while others have more specific requirements.
This will simply mean the power required to operate the welding machine. Some machines will be fine to run from a normal 240 volt mains supply, although many will have more detailed requirements. It is worth knowing what you have available in your work area, and also what additional costs may result from additional power requirements.
There is such a thing as a welding generator which is required to power some more heavy duty welding machines, and these generators themselves can cost many hundreds of pounds. Other machines may not require this, but will require more than your average mains supply, so do your homework in this area prior to buying.
As the name suggests, power output is the amount of power that your welding machine will generate itself during operation. This is very important to be aware of as it can impact the types of welding jobs you can do with the machine, such as the thickness of the metal it can weld. A weaker power output may not reach the heat required for certain metals, with 180-200 amps of output required for thick metals and perhaps only 100 amps needed for thinner metals. It’s vital to know this information ahead of buying.
If you’re a hobbyist welder, or you have been welding for many years, it’s likely that stick welding will be the process you are most familiar with. It’s more formally known as arc welding and involves a consumable electrode covered with a flux that lays the weld. An electric current flows from a gap between the metal and the welding stick itself, creating the arc-welding electrode.
There are some distinct disadvantages as well however, which is probably to be expected from such a cheap and versatile welding process. Firstly, the welding rods will need regularly changing, while the welds themselves will likely need cleaning or neatening up once completed. It’s also only able to be used on metals that are at least 1/16-inch or more.
Stick welding is also typically difficult to master, and the learning curve can be a frustrating one. However, with its portability, relative versatility and capabilities of operating both inside, outside and in slightly windy/breezy conditions, it’s certainly a process that can work for many people.
More popular with professionals, MIG welding is also commonly referred to as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The concept is simple, as a wire welding electrode is emitted from the welding stick/spool at a constant pace which can be pre-selected on the unit prior to beginning. The arc is created by an electric current that runs between the metal that is being welded, and the wire itself. The wire melts, joining with the work piece metal and forming a strong join.
Welds performed by the MIG welding process are incredibly favourable, with a high-quality and neat finish that usually requires no post-welding clean-up. The welds are strong and have great structural integrity between the metals and can be used in many scenarios.
There are disadvantages to this form of welding as well though, not least the gas tanks themselves. Due to these tanks often being incredibly large and heavy, it is not a very portable form of welding and so will often be done in some sort of workshop or factory, rather than those who have a mobile working setup.
MIG welding is generally used on thin-to-medium thickness metals.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding
To use the acronym FCAW for short, flux-cored arc welding is a slight variation on MIG welding. It also uses a wire-fed process; however, no shielding gases are needed. This means that flux-cored welding is more portable than MIG welding due to there being no requirement for gas tanks.
It’s especially useful when welding outdoors, able to operate in adverse weather and still produce a neat and efficient weld. For this reason, it’s particularly popular in the construction industry.
TIG welding is especially useful for welds that are trickier than standard, such as on round items or s-curves, and is most commonly used for welding copper and titanium. It’s easily applied to thin metals and the welds produced through the TIG welding process are recognised as being very high-quality, and superior to those produced by most other types of welding.
Using the TIG welding process is also perhaps the cleanest and neatest, with no slag or splatter left behind, meaning the surrounding work area is left clear.
However, there are other things to keep in mind with TIG welding. It’s very much considered to be a process reserved for professionals, with it requiring a high skill level to perform successfully. It’s also more costly than other forms of welding, initially at least, due to the machinery costs, while the welding tasks themselves generally take longer than with MIG welding.
How to Select an MIG Welder
Anybody can go out and buy an MIG welder, but not anyone can buy a good MIG welder. This is because selecting an MIG welder can be a very confusing task. To help eliminate some of the confusion, I will discuss the important components of an MIG welder. I will also tell you what to consider when buying a welder and some of the best welders on the market today.
When selecting top rated MIG welders, there are five important factors to consider.
Input and Output Power
The amount of power that you require will be dependent on the type of project that you will be working on. If you plan on working on smaller, DIY, home-based projects, then I recommend that you select a 115V welder with an output of 140A. But, if you are planning on working with larger, more complex projects, then a 220V welder with an output of 180A would be better suited for your project.
Consider the amount of power that you would need on the thickness of the materials that you use. If you plan on welding material that is 1.0 mm thick, then I recommend that you select an MIG welder with a minimum of 30 amps. Go for less than 30 amps if you plan on working with thinner sheets. Or, go for more than 30 amps if you work with thicker sheets. Remember the thirty rule in this case.
Every MIG welder works at a different wire-feed speed. Every different material requires a different wire-feed speed in order to ensure an accurate welding. This is why every MIG welder comes with various speeds in order to accommodate various materials.
Spool guns are often used with aluminum materials. If you decide to go with a spool gun, then I recommend that you select one that has special features for better welding. One important feature on spool guns is the euro-connect. Now that you know five of the most important characteristics involved in choosing an MIG welder, I will now discuss some of the best MIG welders on the market.
Shielding gas is something that a wire-feed welder will use up as you weld. The same goes for wire, contact tips, and torch nozzles. Just like the family dog, your new welder will require care and feeding, so you’ll want to factor in the cost and availability of these consumables before making a welder purchase. An Internet search for local welding supply stores such as Airgas and Praxair should be a vital part of the process, especially if you buy your welder online. You’ll want to make sure that good-quality consumables for your particular welder are readily available nearby.
Almost every welder on the market either has a power cord that is too short to hit all the possible spots you need to tackle a project or it comes with no cord at all. An extension cord will be necessary to get the job done, unless you’ve got power outlets at every corner of the garage. When powering a welder, any old cord will not do. This chart gives the amperage rating for each gauge of wire found in extension cords up to 100 feet in length. The longer the cord, the lower the amperage rating. Conductivity overkill is perfect, so choose a wire gauge with an amperage rating that is higher than the current draw of your welder.
In a bid to save costs (as welders can get quite pricey), people often pick the cheapest option available. This isn’t a smart move by any means, as choosing a cheap MIG welder in a hurry would only mean troublesome consequences after the purchase. So, before you decide on a particular model, make sure you read the MIG welder reviews below.
Input power rating
Basic MIG welders that could be adjusted to 115v-140v are suitable for small scale home projects, mainly used for joining thin sheets of iron and aluminum. Power requirements are way higher for industry-level projects in which very thick materials need to be welded as quickly as possible to meet the customer demand. For this, you need to go for obdurate, powerful welders like Hobart Handler 190. Keeping in mind the different kind of specimen you’ve to work on for a commercial farm, it’s best to play safe by choosing welder with multi-voltage option. It allows you adjust the power setting from 120v-230v whenever the situation demands. Some advanced models can automatically set the appropriate level of voltage you need for the specimen.
Wire size and material thickness
The size and type of wire weld can be neatly divided into two categories namely, ER70S-and ER70S-The former is commonly used to work on rusty, untidy surfaces when more deoxidizers are required whereas the second one is perfect for all kinds of welding purposes. Being aware of the type of material to be welded will help you determine the configurations, wire diameter speed, voltage settings and other features essential for the target task. Products offering auto-set option come very handy for professional welding. Once the Auto-set mode is on, all you have to do is to dial the thickness of the specimen and the machine will fine-tune itself accordingly.
Welding Processes – Stick Welding
Stick welding is a process done using a welding rod that sends the electric current and makes most of the weld metal. The rod is made of a core wire that is coated in flux. An electric arc is made between the gaps of metal when the energized circuit and the welding rod tip touches. The heat melts the metal and the welding rod resulting in the weld. During all this, the melted metal is kept safe from the oxides and nitrides that are floating around in the air by the flux coating disappearing.
The Metal thickness and size of wire weld
To choose the portability, size, and weight, think about what you will be needing the welding machine for. If it will be moved around a lot then you need a welder that is not going to weigh that much. The size is typically the power of the welder, if you have a big job to do then the size will need to be big as well to do you project correctly. If you only want to use the machine for smaller jobs then you will not as much power so the size will be ok if you get something smaller.
Repair and Maintenance
The repair and maintenance are different for all welding machines. Most come with warranties so that will save you from taking money from your own pocket to replace anything that has messed up or needs to be fixed. If there is no warranty with your machine you choose then more than likely you will be coming out a lot of money on your own. If you have no option for a warranty, be sure to choose a welder that you can find parts for or someone to know how to repair it or else you will be buying a new machine if yours breaks down.
A few last things to keep in mind
Always remember to be careful and remember to practice safety techniques when using any type of welding machine. Wear a welding hood, gloves, safety glass, steel toe boots, and be considerate of others around you. If safety is not practiced you or someone around you could become seriously injured and you might be the cause of it by being careless and not following the proper guidelines. Safety should always come first before anything else. Remember the factors to consider before buying an MIG welder are all important and should be thought about very carefully. Always do a lot of research before buying one of the welding machines. Read reviews, testimonies, and plenty of articles about the product you are thinking about also. If you have to then make a pros and cons list of each product that you think is the best fit for yourself then, narrow it down by which product has the most functions which you will be needing. In my opinion, search out one of the brands discussed here if you want a long lasting product that will meet all your needs as well. They all have glowing reviews and people say each of these brands is better for anyone from beginning welders to the one with the most experience.
How to Weld
When ready to weld make sure nothing flammable is in the way. Have a good surface to weld on. Set up your machine. you will need to set the amperage to ninety to a hundred and twenty. Should be adjusted to the metal thickness and electrode diameter. Use correct electrode. Select the electrode appropriate for AC or DC welding. Make sure that you have dry electrodes. Make sure the metal is clean before welding it. Set your joints when you need them. Start welding after all this is ready. To start welding strike a welding arc. Build up your weld pool. Start moving the weld pool across the metal pieces. Then finish your job. Make sure you allow the metal to cool before touching bare handed.
How to Mig Weld
Mig welding is the easiest way to learn how to weld. Mig welding is when a wire is automatically fed into the weld puddle. In order o Mig weld you first need to install the wire. Then you need to set the power and wire speed calculator. Now you need to look at all the speeds you need to set, such as wire speed and power speed. Make sure you can develop neatness and techniques before attempting to join the two pieces together. It is a very tricky first weld. Always follow safety rules when welding so you or no one else gets hurt.
What is Welding
Welding is the joining of two parts of metal by heating the surfaces to the point that they meSomething can be welded together using a blowtorch, electric arc, or any other types of welds.Welding two piece of metal together to make high strength joints. You can weld different types of metal. Welding can be done using machinery or revolutionary technology. This includes electron beams, lasers, ultrasonic and friction stirs. Welding can be used in making cars and other vehicles, construction building, bridges. You can weld underwater which is very dangerous.
What is Mig Welding
Mig welding is a process of using electricity to melt down and join pieces of metal together. Some people refer to MIG welding as a hot glue gun. Taking one piece of metal and getting it so hot that it melts to another piece of metal. The melting of this two piece will join the metal together to make it a whole piece of metal. This is the easiest type of welding there is. This type of welding is a process in which electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the two pieces of metal are bound together.
What is A Mig Welder
How to Use A Mig Welder
In order to use a MIG welder You first must know what it is. Now if you know what it is you know it uses wire that is fed through the contact tip into the MIG gun. Feed the wire to the torch and then you must adjust the tension. Make sure you are using the proper shielding gas.
How to Mig Weld Steel
Determine the best joining method for your base metal. Secure the metals together with fixtures and jigs. Choose the best compatible shielding gas. Decide on the filler metal. Bring the stainless steel to room temperature. Then apply the welding torch to the metal. You ill need to apply post heat after welding stainless steel.
What is the Difference Between a Mig and Tig Welder
The difference between the two is that the MIG welder uses a continuously feeding wire? The tig welder uses long welding rods and slowly feeds them into the weld puddle. The proper name for an MIG welder is a metal inert gas and for tig, it is tungsten inert gas.
Which Gas For Mig Welding
The gas for a Mig welder is a combination of Argon Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen. If you are welding steel then you will use the combination of Cor 2% Carbon Dioxide and 98% Argon. With some cases, you have a tri-mix shielding gas containing 90% Helium, 7.5% Argon, and 2.5% Carbon Dioxide.
This current flows in one steady direction, which results in a constant electrical polarity. Direct current welding enables welders to start arcs more easily, as well as maintain a smoother arc during the weld.This current type can be broken down further, depending on the direction of the electron flow.
Straight Polarity: More accurately termed electrode-negative polarity, this current type works best on thinner metals at the expense of faster electrode burn-off.
Reverse Polarity: Also called electrode-positive polarity, this current type is best for thicker metals, as it results in deeper penetration of the base metal.
Like the name suggests, this current alternates direction, flowing one direction half the time and a different direction the other half. Because of this, it can be slightly less predictable than a DC welder, but its major advantage is that it can successfully weld metal that has become magnetized through friction. Alternating current welders, such as the Lincoln Electric AC 22Arc Welder above, are subsequently more versatile across the farm, as the frequent rubbing of hay, feed or water can magnetize some metals, including steel.
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Cory Hershberger is a contributing editor for Hobby Farms and Chickens magazines. An avid reader and homebrewer, he is also the editor of Brew It! (I-Press, 2015) and currently resides in Lexington, Ky., with his tubby ginger cat, Seymour.
The thicker the material you’re planning to weld the more power you’ll require. Someone who will be working exclusively with auto bodies won’t need nearly as much power as someone working on heavy structural components.
Typically the more power a unit offers the higher it’s price. You’ll want to give careful consideration to how much power you currently need and whether or not this might change in the future. If you can afford to buy a machine with power beyond your current requirements you can save yourself from purchasing a larger machine at a later date.
Metal Inert Gas Welding
Of all the types of welding MIG is generally considered to be the easiest to learn.
So where does the gas come into play? Great question.
Inert gases such as helium and argon are fed through the gun and are used to protect the weld from contaminants in the atmosphere. The need for uncontaminated air around the weld generally necessitates that MIG welds are performed indoors (or at the very least in calm conditions).
Here’s a quick video demonstrating a basic MIG Weld.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding Flux-core arc welding is similar to MIG but doesn’t require any shielding gas. This type of welding is ideal for outdoor or windy conditions where the gas from a MIG welder would become too dissipated to properly protect the metal. It’s also very effective when working with dirty materials. This coupled with it’s speed and portability makes flux-core popular in construction projects.
Both MIG and Flux-Cored are very easy to learn and can create extremely clean welds on steel, aluminum and stainless. Both types have the capability to weld materials as thin as 26-gauge.
Setup and Performance
Setup and use are simple even for those that are new to MIG welding. Hobart includes a handy chart that helps you match the wire type to the material thickness you’ll be welding.
All connections are quick, easy, and sturdy. You can literally go from un-boxing the unit to welding in minutes.
We were able to weld 5/16″ material with a bit of grinding and joint prep. This will DEFINITELY require multiple passes.
While the Handler 140 is undeniably very versatile, it’s not intended for heavy fabrication work. If this is what you need take a look at our Hobart Handler 190 review. It’s better suited to materials above 1/4″.
If you’re looking for a reliable and portable welder for fences, auto body work, thinner structural materials and a variety of other tasks, the 140 is the ideal machine for you. The transformer-based power source may not be as advanced or as efficient as the newer inverter-based models, but transformers are solid, powerful, and reliable. The Handler 140 MIG welder is a solid investment.
MIG & Flux Cored capable
Shielding gases, A.K.A, inert gases, are utilized during the gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process. The reason welders use gases is to ensure that oxygen or vapor does permeate the work area. Although the gases inhibit the presence of oxygen, it can also create a poor weld if not used correctly. The key is to choose the right type and amount of gas for the work you are doing. Shielding gas can also be expensive. Before you purchase shielding gas, make sure to do your homework in order to find a type of gas that is both highly-effective, weed-friendly, and cost-effective.
To use MIG welders for Flux Cored Arc Welding (gasless welding), it requires changing the polarity switch near the drive to alternate from a solid wire to flux cored wire. In the case of gasless MIG welder, the flux core wire separates the weld pool from oxygen. A self-shielding tubular flux-cored wire can be utilized to remove oxygen by eliminating the weld pools reliance on atmospheric gas.
There are several benefits to gasless welding. First, the MIG can be used in any position or in any environment since there is protection from the gas built into the MIG. Second, since no gas is needed, then it is a more cost-effective and efficient means of welding. Third, it is perfect for beginners since it requires less skill to operate the machinery. Last, flux cored arc welding produces welds with little to no porosity. It creates a solid mass form throughout the weld.
The Hobart 50055Handler Wire Welder
The Hobart 50055Handler Wire Welder, also known as the Hobart handler 140, is a MIG welder with high task yield and incredible power. It is compact and portable. It operates on 115V household power and delivers 140 amps output power. The Hobart Handler 140 does not need additional setup and is ideal for steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Forney 29125FC Flux Core Welder
There is no need to use a cylinder filled with argon or an argon C0mix, which can be costly. This welder will save you money, and you can weld a quarter of an inch. It requires 120v for input and gives 12amp out. It is suitable for home and garage welding.
The Forney 29125FC Flux Core Welder comes with handles and allows for and lb. wire spools. It can be used anywhere. It is packed in torch wrap – making it easy to take off and on. It is perfect as a starter welder. It works without having to use a gas set up.
Hobart 50055Handler 2MVP
With the 2MVP, you can use either the 115V or 230V power input. It does not require additional tools to connect to the power receptacles. It has a multi-voltage plug that makes it easy to connect and use the welder anywhere. Using with an instruction guide is easy. It is perfect for beginners or professionals.
The optional plugin SpoolRunner 100 is great for welding aluminum. It has a built-in wire feeder with adjustable tension.
Hobart 30079SpoolRunner 100 Spool Gun
Input Power Requirements
Before buying a welder, you need to determine if the primary power you have available (or can have an electrician install) is compatible with the unit. Consult the operating manual or spec sheet and look at requirements for primary voltage (range, phase, frequency), minimum primary circuit size and recommended circuit size (required to achieve maximum output).
Amperage and Metal Thickness
When someone asks, “What thickness of metal can that unit weld,” they are really referring to metal thickness that can be welded in a single pass while achieving full penetration.
Broadly speaking, you need amp of power for every.001” of steel thickness. Stainless steel and welding out-of-position require to 15% less heat input, while aluminum requires about 25% more. Here are some common metal thicknesses in gauges/fractions, decimals and metric equivalents.
2. An old trick for increasing penetration on thicker metal is to heat it with a torch until it reaches about 250o F (which you may want to do anyway to drive off moisture).
3. In many applications, using a smaller diameter electrode increases control over travel speed, the weld puddle, weld bead placement and heat input. When welding on thinner metal (auto body work is a good example), good arc characteristics at low outputs (e.g., good arc stability, positive arc starts, low spatter) are far more important than total power.
Notes on Selecting a Stick Welder
Stick inverters make it much easier to learn to weld because they have a “hot start” function. During Stick arc initiation, the rod is prone to sticking because the voltage drops to zero when the rod touches the work piece. Hot start helps to free the rod and establish the arc by automatically boosting the welding current for a fraction of a second during arc starts. Once the arc is established, the hot start function shuts off.
Stick inverters also have the ability to adjust arc force or “dig” characteristics. Increasing dig creates a stiffer, more driving arc that helps prevent the rod from sticking when welding overhead or welding in tight fit-up situations. 701electrodes especially tend to run better with a little more arc force added, while 601and 601electrodes favor less or neutral arc force settings.
Note that some conventional Stick welders are built specifically to excel at welding with one type of electrode or in one particular application (it has to do with their volt/amp curve, which is an advanced topic). Because Stick inverters with arc force adjustment enable you to adjust the arc characteristics from soft to stiff, you always get the best performance in any situation.
People who grew up welding with a classic Stick buzz box and its AC output might be concerned about switching to a DC output. However, if you imagine an electric current flowing only in one direction, it’s easy to picture how a DC output creates more positive arc starts, helps keep the arc established and makes the rod less prone to sticking. These benefits make Stick welding a lot easier to learn! Other benefits of a DC output include reduced spatter, easier out-of-position welding and better weld bead aesthetics.
Notes on Selecting a TIG Welder
Choose the TIG weldingprocess when you want the best weld bead appearance possible—that classic “stack of dimes” look—or need more precision and control, such as for chrome-moly tubing in motorsports applications.
What type of remote amperage controls are available? Some people feel more comfortable with an optional foot control, others prefer the amperage control integrated into the torch while those who are cost-conscious are fine with controlling amperage at the power source.
Pro-Series MMIG1212Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit
Are you searching a MIG welder for small and medium working projects? Then MMIG12125amp Fluxcore Welder can be a good choice. The specially designed size of the welder allows it to work safely in small spaces.This welder machine is one the best 110v mig welder for home use.
This MIG welder allows to weld carbon metal, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, silicon bronze, nickel, magnesium and other alloys.
A duty cycle 20 percent at 80 amps defines that the welder can weld constantly for two minutes when cracked up to the maximum amperage prior to being cool down.
This welder machine can weld mild steel up to 1gauge to 3/1inches in one pass. MMIG12is equipped with a ground cable with clamp, welding gun, brush hammer, flux cored wire and face shield. You can start welding after getting the unit in your hand.
Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder
If you are searching for a best 110v flux core welder, then you may keep Lotos Mig140 in your choice. The new upgrade Lotos MIG 140 features with a power output of 30A-140A. The welder can weld at industrial quality at affordable price. 2T/4T switch and digital displays are now added on Lotos MIG140 welder. These feature helps to adjust wire feeder speed and welding speed accurately.
The machine is connected to 110V power source and capable of setting up within minutes or less time to use. The machine can weld stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel and other metals. The Lotos MIG 140 can weld stainless steel from 1gauge to 3/1inch, Mild steel from 1gauge to 3/1inch and aluminum metal can be weld up to 1/inch or less thin than 1/inch. The welding machine is secured with 4-inch or 8-inch wire spools.
You can use Lotos MIG 140 for DIY projects, Auto body welding, light professional project, small home projects etc. Oh yes, I just forget to mention that the Lotos MIG 140 is efficient to handle flux-cored weld. The new machine has a ground connector that makes it easily switch between “+” and “-”.
The machine is equipped with high quality aluminum wire feeder which makes it more stable and better user experience than other welders. This Welder is featured with transfer technology. Transfer technology offers more reliability and durability of the machine.
Forney Easy Weld 29125FC Flux Core Welder
Are you tired of searching a small but durable welder machine? Then the new Forney 29125FC Flux Core Welder is one of the best choices for your requirement.
Forney is an American largest metalworking product company. They have more than 80 years of experience in the metal industry, has introduced this Forney 29125FC Flux core welder. It is easy to use and affordable to buy. That’s why if you are beginner then choosing this welder is a wise decision.
The welder runs without gas settings. So, the machine is only suitable for gasless flux core welding projects. The machine comes with plug and play option. It allows welding quarter of an inch. Moreover, it has 10Ib capacity of spool which makes it a versatile welder.
You have to plug the machine into 120v input power connection. The welder machine will provide you 12amps output. So this welder is perfect for home and garage projects. The welder can weld from 2gauge to 1/4inch thick metal.
LOTOS MIG17175AMP Mig Welder
People who are seeking an affordable, industrial grade and quality welder, Lotos MIG17175Amp MIG welder is one of the best choices. This welder is a versatile welder which is featured with transfer technology. That technology made the welder reliable and durable.
You can connect this welder with our existing 220V power line. You can run the welding machine in minutes after getting the package from the manufacturer. Because you will get MIG spool gun, MIG Torch, ground cable with clamp, argon hose, Argon regulator, cleaning wire brush and hand shield with the package.
This welding machine allows to weld stainless steel, Mild steel, Aluminum and materials. The machine can weld Mild steel or stainless steel from 1gauge to ¼ inches. For aluminum materials welding capacity is up to 3/inch or thicker. Duty circle of the welder is 20% at 17amps and 30% at 13amps. You are capable of doing the job of maintenance, constructions, farm/ranch, rental, home, auto body with this welder easily.
It is equipped with high quality wire feeder which allows more stable and better user experience than other welders. Two automatic circuits are used to protect the wire feeder motor of the welder.
Hobart Handler 50055400190
The Hobart Handler 50055400190 is a robust and sturdy welding machine with a range of features. Hobart Hander is an excellent machine for them who are looking for a powerful and efficient MIG Welder.
As it is equipped with a lot of features it can handle different types of job easily. It is suitable for a professional or a beginner. It can handle small jobs or medium projects or heavy duty jobs.
This is a powerful wire-feed flux core and MIG welder that allows you to weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum and flux core. It can weld materials as thick as ranging from 2gauge to 5/1inch. No matter you are a hobbyist or a tradesman, you can deal your work with it.
The machine comes with voltage selections and infinitive wire speed control that make it control over output settings. This is a perfect versatile machine that can be used on auto body, light industrial work, household repairs, maintenance and construction work or even heavier farm and ranch projects that need more power. But you have to keep in mind that this welding machine is not designed for constant use or heavy duty industrial work.
A built in contractor system keep the welder cool until the welder go to start welding.
Input and Output Of A Welder
If you work in the home for small projects like joining thin iron or aluminum sheets with a MIG welder. That time you need a 115v welder with 140A power output. Well if you work with thick materials that time this 115V-140A is not sufficient. You may need 220V welder with an output of 180A.
If you work with different types of sample, it is best to choose a welder that allows multi-voltage option. It gives you the opportunity to adjust power level from 120v-230v. So choose it as your required demands. Technology has changed, you can also buy an advanced model. That allows to set the power automatically.
Unlike their gas counterpart, gasless MIG welders don’t require external shielding gas. This makes them a good choice for welding out of doors or on the move, as you don’t need an external gas tank. Also, gas MIG welders are not suitable for windy locations, as any loss of shielding gas will create porosity in the weld bead and impact its integrity. So if you’re welding out of doors, gasless MIG welding may be your better bet. You don’t need to set up any windshields as the shielding gas is conveniently generated from the burning flux.
Gas MIG welders are good to use in out-of-position applications. For example, when welding overhead or vertically upwards, the gas shielded flux cored wire has a flux coating that solidifies faster than the molten weld materials to create a shelf that holds the molten pool.
A gasless MIG welder provides excellent penetration and longitudinal strength. However the result will depend on the MIG machine you choose. Some go down low enough to weld very thin materials and some don’t.
Gasless MIG welders don’t have as a fast a deposition rate as those using a shielding gas. The welding speed is similar to that of arc welding.
Repair and maintenance chores
Even though the machine delivers such huge power, it can run at 11volts.
The machine is also extremely efficient, as it has a duty cycle of 60% while most other machines have a duty cycle of around to 30%. That means that you can weld for minutes, requiring only 4-minute rests between intervals.
Feed speed refers to the speed at which the machine feeds the welding wire to the gun.
The ideal feed speed is the one that has the wire going through just quickly enough to deliver a constant arc. In such a situation, a nice sizzling sound is made.
Cheap machines normally come with separate feed speed and power settings, meaning you will have to play around with the values to set the perfect speed. This is easy to do but it will definitely take some practice.
If you don’t want to take chances with the quality of your weld, it’d be better to go for higher quality MIG welders, as they come with automatic speed settings. The speed gets adjusted automatically based on the power.
Some machines will offer you both gas tank and flux options. That way, you can handle your projects confidently, as you have back up. If the gas is finished, the flux backs you up.
Remember, flux-cored welders do not require extra shielding gas as there’s already some gas in the welding wire.
Of course, the dual option will cost you more, but for flexibility, I’d say it’s worth it.
Short Circuit Transfer
This transfer happens when the welding wire comes into contact with the metals you’re welding. Electric current from the gun flows through the welding wire, creating a short circuit.
As a result, the wire heats up and dribbles onto the metals you’re welding. Multiple drops are released at a very fast pace, creating a crackling sound, more like frying broth in an extremely hot pan.
To achieve a short circuit transfer, what you have to do is set the machine to low voltage and use CO2(carbon dioxide) gas (pure or in mixture form).
One obvious advantage of using short circuit transfer is that the needed shielding gas is relatively inexpensive. However, you can’t use this transfer type to weld thick metals.
Short circuit transfer can only handle thin/sheet metals with a thickness of not more than an inch.
Use it on a metal that’s thicker than an inch and the weld will not penetrate the joint properly.
This one is a lot like the short circuit transfer, only that the intensity and speed of the drops of molten wire are different. With globular transfer, the welding wire will melt and collect into a glob at the tip of the wire. Therefore, the molten wire drips onto the joint at a slower pace.
In the process, globular transfer pops are produced, rather than fast crackling sounds.
To achieve this type of transfer, all you have to do is set the machine to high voltage and use argon (pure or in a mixture) as shielding gas.
The good thing about globular transfer is that it can weld thicker metals.
However, it’s not easy to control the drops, and thus spatters can result.
Neat and efficient
The purpose of the shielding gas in MIG welding is to protect the arc. For that, alloying elements are rarely lost during the metal transfer process. Therefore, as opposed to other welding methods, especially stick welding, there is no slag to remove.
Furthermore, only minimal amounts of spatter are produced. This means that you only have to do a little clean up and get back to the job.
High electrode efficiency
With MIG, there’s a high electrode efficiency – 9to 9percent normally. Therefore, when you purchase a 100-pound MIG welding wire, you’re able to deposit 9to 9pounds.
A process like stick welding has just around 6percent efficiency.
Looking to achieve a nice-looking weld? Then you’ve to consider using MIG welding. This method gives you a finer visibility of the weld pool and with an auto-feed wire, you have better control.
Consequently, there are also minimal spatters, and thus the results are great.
Wondering how to do proper welds for great results? This is what the next section is about.
Get a good MIG gun.
Some are shaped like acetylene torches while others appear like pistols. Also, some are cooled with water while for others, air is enough.
Usually, air-cooled MIG guns are used with machines delivering not more 200 amps. Such guns are easier to control. If you’re doing small welding projects at home, I recommend you go for an air-cooled gun.
Prepare the welding area
Get rid of any flammables and find a good surface on which to do the job.
I suggest putting a ground connecting on the material you’re welding to steady it.
Are there people present in the area? If so, use welding curtains to protect them from the UV rays.
A horizontal weld
Lower the gun angle a little to prevent sagging of the filler. The amperage for this weld is the same as that of the flat weld.
Here, you can also use the back-forth movement to fill big gaps.
Is the weld pool getting too large? No worries. Just use a somewhat thinner welding wire.
A vertical weld
If you’re welding thin metals, begin from the top, moving the weld pool down with the gravity. That way, the arc will not penetrate the metals you’re welding.
If, on the other hand, you’re welding thick metals, begin at the base, going upward. This technique helps to boost penetration.
In this case, you might want to reduce the amperage by about to 1percent to battle gravity.
Some of their products are
Normally, they produce their MIG welders with flux-cored wires to help you weld even when you don’t have shielding gas.
A most unique feature about their MIG welders is that they require low power input. For instance, the Lincoln K2185-requires only 11volts to run. For that, you can plug their welders into your regular wall outlet.
Hobart happens to be one of the oldest brands in the market. Can you believe they’ve been around for over 80 years? That means over decades of experience in making welders.
Therefore, you can count on them to offer you the best with regard to quality.
All their machines normally have to pass a strict reliability check. Furthermore, the company is dedicated to giving back to the welding industry with the unique 5/3/warranty.
Therefore, in the unlikely event that there’s something wrong with the welder, you can rest assured that you’ll have another or get your money back.
Apart from that, Hobart is one of the few brands that gives you access to a web welding forum. By joining the community, you can always get answers for your welding questions, especially those about Hobart products and how to use them.
If you’re looking to get the most up-to-date MIG welders, then Forney is a brand you can’t ignore. The entire company regularly goes through rigorous checks to make sure that their welders meet the newest standards.
Furthermore, their welders carry a standard warranty to protect you against defects. Also, they come with all the accessories and consumables. That’s why Forney products are called MIG-ready. You can get the machine and start welding immediately.
Forney Industries is very keen on giving you value for your hard-earned cash. Apart from offering you excellent quality, the company has a program – the Greenback rebates. With the program, you get to save lots of money when you make purchases.
The company mostly deals in refurbished welders but that doesn’t mean compromised quality. They undergo strict standards checks to ensure that the machines are as good as new.
One of the most unique features of Forney Industries welders is that even though they’re mostly lightweight, they deliver high power output.
For instance, although the Forney 29125FC Welder weighs only 32.pounds, it offers you 12amps.
Since its founding in 1995, this brand has been known to provide quality through continuous improvements in their products.
If you’re looking for the best MIG welder with the lowest price in the market, Amico Power is the brand to consider.
The company specializes in designing and manufacturing durable and affordable welders, such as the Amico Power IGBT Inverter Welding Machine.
Their welders are some of the most unique in the market with regard to user-friendliness. For instance, the Amico Power IGBT Inverter Welding Machine comes with an LED meter to help you set your parameters effortlessly and do your weld just the way you want it.
Amico Power welders are, also, some of the most lightweight in the industry. Can you believe that some are as light as 1pounds? That means that if you seek a welder that you can easily transport fromplace to place, an Amico Power welder would be the ideal choice.
MIG Welder Vs TIG Welder
When welding, the method you choose is as important as the equipment you use. Using the wrong method can be like trying to saw a log of wood using a kitchen knife. Can that work? Yep, I don’t think so.
If you’re a beginner, there’s something you should know. Different materials will need different welding techniques, and some techniques are a lot more suitable than others.
First, I know you may have heard that there are two main welding methods – TIG and MIG. Of course, there are others, like stick, but we shall center on those two for today.
To help you get a clearer picture of the more beneficial method for your task, I will elaborate each process.
How it Works
As opposed to MIG, TIG doesn’t use a metal electrode; it uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode instead.
The electrode normally needs extremely high temperatures to melt, and for that, extra filler is normally required. You normally have to feed the filler into the weld area using one hand as you operate the torch using the other hand.
Also, as you weld, you usually have to utilize one of your feet to operate a control pedal to determines the heat input.
Most Versatile MIG Welder
I picked up the MIG gun and didn’t realize I was pressing the trigger. I was looking at the machine, trying to figure out the settings, when something touched my leg. About feet of wire had run out of the gun! I madly tried to break it off by bending it back and forth. After about a hundred bends, I looked down at the table and saw a pair of wire cutters. “So that’s what they do, they cut it off,” I thought.
After wadding up the wire and hiding it under the machine, I decided to try and weld the tubing. As soon as I started the arc, POW! A big hole opened up in the tube. What the heck! I pulled the trigger again and immediately blew out another big hole in a second tube. I grabbed the other two tubes, tried welding them, and, you guessed it, more big holes.
The foreman told me to come back when I had learned MIG, and he’d give me another chance. What’s ironic is I could have learned MIG well enough to work at that job site in just a couple of days, had I know it wasn’t a stick welding job.
MIG at Home
What’s neat about MIG is that you can put a machine in your garage and weld up a storm. MIG welding is very popular, because it is easily learned and because you can do and make many things with it. In my adult community education classes, people learn MIG so they can do everything from making yard art to restoring 195Chevy pickups with Corvette engines.
A warning about buying one of these small machines: Do notlet your neighbors see it. If they do, you will have everyone and their brothers coming by. “Hey, I’ll bring you some steel and you can make me a smoker! That way it’s practically free.” (Never mind that it’ll take you 20 hours of tedious labor to get it done.) You’ll be surprised how many new friends you’ll gain when you acquire a MIG welding machine. It’s kind of like owning a pickup truck when someone needs to move.
Practical Welding Today
The WELDER, formerly known as Practical Welding Today, is a showcase of the real people who make the products we use and work with every day. This magazine has served the welding community in North America well for more than 20 years, and we intend to continue providing hands-on information, real-world applications, and down-to-earth advice for welders.
Hobart 50055Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Is it delightful to say that you are searching for a minimized wired-bolster MIG welder? In that case, the response to this inquiry is yes, Hobart Handler 140 is an item that you should know. It is an extraordinary MIG welder for the Money because of its sturdiness and execution. It is a case of great workmanship for which the item is known for. It can be utilized to weld various metals including aluminum, steel, stainless and even thin gauge steel of around 1/4inch. The item also conveys industrial execution, because of its mechanical casted aluminum drive framework a role as well as it the best MIG Welder to do heavy duty industrial working clamp. Regardless of whether you are a do-it-your specialist or an expert, you will have the capacity to use this item to weld on the different condition of the overall environment of the workplace. You will have the capacity to do household welding repairing work with this Hobart 50055Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V and even weld on auto body. You can likewise finish heavier farm projects which require higher energy to be proficient. Given its amazing flexibility and numerous functionalities, it is a decent item for welders that need to execute a few winged creatures with one stone. With the utmost trust and reliability taking into account. So, you can rely upon this unit because of this Hobart 50055manufacturer Hobart electronics is a trusted brand celebrating almost 100 years of commitment to the welding apparatus industry! In the sense of marketing; it quite difficult for a company to hold customer satisfaction at the same level by providing product and service over 100 years.
Hobart 50055400Handler 190 with SpoolRunner 100
This uncommon esteem matches the Hobart Handler 190 Wire Feed Welder with a 10ft, 150 Amp Spool Gun, bringing about one capable welding bundle. The Hobart Handler 190 is an intense and convenient wire-feeder MIG and flux-cored welder intended to weld mellow steel, aluminum and stainless steel and flux core: titanium, bronze and so on. The liberal working parameters enable you to weld 2ga. to 5/1in. steel in a solitary pass. Also, it is ideal for the welder who needs to deal with the auto body, household repairing work, or considerably heavier farming project requiring additional power. With a weapons store of standard features, for example, yield voltage settings and a double section brisk change drive roll, the Handler 190 is as flexible as it is intense.
Hobart 50055Handler 2MVP MIG Welder
The Handler 2MVP is the one versatile MIG Welder that has 2amps of welding power pressed into a compact case. Effective yield to deal with 3/8″ thick gentle steel and enough control for 2gauge material.
How this Hobart 50055is the best MIG Welder? yes, this is the best 2MVP MIG welder is the best for its unique features, let’s have analytical look on the welder features that makes this welder more useful to get the best arc performance.
Max 2amps in little & portability issue: it’s little dimension all around 2X 18.X 13.inches and at the same time the overall lower weighted which around 87.raise your ability to transport your welder to the working sites easily. At the same time, it has the ability to weld 3/in. Mild steel with 2MVP power.
voltage determinations: Permit simpler fine control of the yield parameters for the enhanced circular arc, less scatter, better dot appearance, magnificent entrance, and insignificant post-weld cleanup.
Plugging spool gun directly: you can directly connect the optional SpoolRunner 100 spool gun to the Handler 2MVP, no need to add extra connectors or control boxes required! Simply expel the standard MIG Gun and supplant it with the discretionary SpoolRunner 100 spool firearm, flip the switch on the inside board from “MIG Gun” to “Spool Gun” and you’re prepared to do your welding jobs.
Demonstrated inherent wire feeder with fast discharge pressure lever: this feature provides positive bolster with movable strain. Simple access for threading wire.
Lotos Mig 140
In each and every day, individuals cherish the flexibility of their day by day life. The attempt to construct huge numbers of the things throughout their life. Which can make a metal craftsmanship or something molding upgrade of an auto or something different metal work requires is raise up that required a welder to unravel want metal work. in the meantime, they looking for moderate welder which is additionally meet the capacity of the cost of their pocket. For those individuals, we certainly prescribed you to purchase a LotosMig 140 welder, which is user-friendly for amateur individuals in the meantime who needs to begin their profession as a welder. This is the Best MIG Welders for Beginners also. this is additionally the best welder to guarantee the quality and expert execution from the world MIG welder advertise. It has the generation ability of an expansive size of range like 30 A to 140A output with the capacity of welding any metal as like as industrial execution. The manufacturer made this welder for family utilizes however they guarantee the industrial nature of execution at a most extreme great confidence level. it is welder that is ideal for individual DIY ventures and for field welding work. A fascinating thing we found by breaking down its adaptable element, this little MIG welder is to a great degree skilled to deal with the motion cored welding works.
Lotos MIG 175
If you look for an incredible, moderate, quality welder may appear to be perpetual until the point that you get the Lotos MIG 17175amp MIG welder machine. It is intended for aluminum and stainless steel and is utilized to deliver magnificent bed quality. It has the abilities that match and which regularly surpass the other contending welders in a similar class. It is ideal for either an expert welder or an end of the week enthusiast who is hoping to get mechanical quality components in a persevering, moderate welder. This welder can weld aluminum with the spool firearm. Its transformer innovation has been ended up being solid and strong. The Lotos MIG 17can without much of a stretch be associated with your current 240V divider outlet and can be set up rapidly inside minutes. For the welder who works usually from the home, this is an incredibly preferred standpoint. This is also the best cheap MIG Welder. Indeed, Buddy most of the lower price MIG welder does not have that welding capacity yet at the most noteworthy in genuine work. But manufacturer made this machine with some flawless element to guarantee the most elevated execution of any welding work. Basically, the most extreme shoddy welder isn’t competent to chip away at the thin aluminum pipe like the bike frame. However, this Lotos MIG 17has that steady element to weld like aluminum utilized for the bike frame.
Forney 30140 Amp MIG Welders
Many individuals say that the entire welder resembles same as their character. To help those individuals to locate the Best MIG Welder – Our Top Picks is Forney 30140 Amp MIG Welder which is made with the most recent innovation and with new featured included by the producer. This welder is perfect MIG welder for the newcomer into the welder world. Forney simple welder is worked with ordinary input control setting and the most extreme output control run is from 30 A to 140 A. This is the best MIG welder is accompanies MIG welding controller and hosepipe which permits beginning to bother free welding work. The special things of this welder are; Forney 30140 Amp MIG Welder is otherwise called Forney flux-core welder since it is skilled to weld flux-cored welding work. Which additionally increment the welder adaptability. It is less weighted and little size welder which raise the adaptability exchange as you need to change this machine into your working range wherever and whatever the spots are.
Forney 299012FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
When you have a tendency to do a great deal of DIY jobs and auto repairs around the house, at some point or another you will consider putting resources into a welder to accomplish more work. For amateurs to welding, running with a MIG welder is a famous choice, as it is a kind of welding that is anything but difficult to learn and that offers phenomenal outcomes with training. It likewise helps on the off chance that you help yourself out and get a decent MIG welder amateur’s bundle, for example, the Forney 299012FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit. While this is in no way, shape or form an excessively evaluated welder, it isn’t shoddy either.
Forney 31– 190
Forney 31is outstanding amongst other welders in the 230V classification. Its output control ranges from 30A to 190A and offers duty cycle of 25% at 120A, very useful for ranches, vessels, car, general creation, and repair welding. This welding machine is prepared MIG and furthermore, fit for flux-cored welding. It can weld steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Forney 31can infiltrate materials up to 3/inch thick in a single stage, making it an effective device. Either you are a student or neither you are a specialist, it has been intended for the two sorts of clients. In the event that you manage light industrial welding and somewhat thick materials at that point, it’s the most reasonable device for you.
As a multi-process welder, you can either go for 220 or 120 volts at CV or DC with the greatest output of 190 amps. Its flexibility separates it from most welders so you can utilize it for an assortment of welding jobs like auto body, farms jobs, fabrication, industrial welding jobs, watercrafts and other repair purposes.
Forney 30MIG Welder
Forney 3095F120 welder is a machine that has the abilities to weld easily out of the case. It has a promptly inbuilt MIG wire that guides in welding. There is no restriction to which this machine can be depleted as it can wield a wide range of carbon steel. This is the reason car divisions lean toward it. It utilizes a voltage of 120V. In the event that it causes an overheat in your thing, there is a thermal overload system assurance that will close down the machine. Forney Industries Company was established in 193It is a built-up family-claimed metal item company. It is all around presumed with more than 5,000 items like car and equipment. The output current of the welder goes between 20 to 9amperes coordinate current. The heaviness of the gadget is 19.kilograms. Forney Industries gives guarantee once you purchase the thing. Nonetheless, the guarantee changes as taking after; years for full substitution of the transformer, three years for full substitution of segments and parts of the battery, one year for parts outside the battery, 90 days for different parts.
Campbell Hausfeld WF2150 Flux Core Wire Feed Welder
This isn’t a certified MIG welder since it simply upheld flux-cored wire welder without any gas. It can be a remarkable instrument for the learner and semi-experienced welder. This MIG/FLX100, 115V,70A, DC, CH — Best MIG welder is moreover a respectable thing for a home shop and light improvement. The Campbell WF2150 can weld steel up to 3/1inch thick. The Campbell Hausfeld welder can in like manner be a staggering asset on a property. It may not manage tremendous work and present-day welding. It has its place wherever light to medium welding work is required to finish your DIY and family welding venture in require. This Campbell Hausfeld wf2150 is utilized Power: 115v to begin and this adds an ultra lightweight machine general weight is al: 4pounds.
The control panel, which is located on the front panel, is extremely easy to understand and manipulate. The on and off switch is located on the top left side of the control panel, where it will always be within hand’s reach. This feature will prevent the need to unplug and plug the electrical capable, while taking a break.
The two red dials centered on the control panel are utilized to adjust the arc volts and wire feed. Everything is conveniently located on the front control panel, so you do not need to fumble around for specific controls. This design will ensure convenience and operational efficiency.
Welding is a fabrication process that joins separate pieces of metals. This is accomplished by partially melting the juncture of the work pieces while adding metal to form a pool of molten material, which then cools and solidifies to become a very strong joint. In the types of welding we are interested in, electricity is used to create the heat. Other welding methods, such as brazing or soldering, use heat obtained from an external source such as a torch flame or an independently heated soldering gun tip. Brazing or soldering creates a joint where the bond is, to some extent, external to the pieces being joined and the joint is usually not as strong as the material being used. This is because during brazing or soldering the materials are not completely melted and mixed together. The three types of arc welding we are going to look at create a bond that is as strong as the material being joined. All three types of welders have a principal function in common. They transform high voltage, low amperage primary power into low voltage, high amperage secondary or welding power. They do this through two sets of windings or coils of copper wire inside the machine that are wrapped around steel plates.
On any type of arc welding, the molten joint must be protected from atmospheric contamination and this is accomplished either by a coating of flux contained on or in the electrode or by an inert gas such as Argon that is applied to the surface of the weld while it is being created. In stick and flux-cored wire, welding the flux leaves a coating of slag, which must be chipped off once the weld has cooled. All arc welding processes involve a welding power source and some means of completing an electric circuit between the electrode and the part being welded. While different welding processes share some things in common, each process creates the finished product in a unique manner.
Before you purchase a welder it’s important to consider the thickness of the metal you’ll be welding on because the amperage required to successfully accomplish the weld varies. The thicker the metal you intend to weld, the greater the amount of amperage required. The material thickness and the current carrying capacity of the electrode determine the amperage at which you weld. As a general rule of thumb, you need one amp of power for every 0.001-inch of mild steel. For example, to weld 1/8-inch (0.125-inch) mild steel in a single pass, you need approximately 12amps.
The type of metal you’ll be welding will also change your equipment needs. For example if you’re going to be welding steel some of the time and aluminum at other times, you may wish to add a spool gun for the aluminum welding. More precise control is the result and it eliminates having to unload the wire used with steel welding from the machine when running a second type of wire. What upgrades and accessories are available for the machine you selected? Are the machine’s size, weight, and portability important to you? These are all things you’ll need to consider. Inverter-based welders are also available. They require much less primary power than conventional welders because they feature special circuitry. While an inverter welder will cost more, you could actually save money if you avoid the need to rewire your garage, barn, or shop. Besides amperage capability range, the machine’s performance is also evaluated for continuous rated output, which is expressed in terms of its “duty cycle.” The duty cycle is the number of minutes out of a 10-minute period that a welding machine can operate at the rated output. This standard helps buyers make a direct comparison between welders. To better understand how duty cycle ratings are applied specifically let’s look at two different sizes of welders. A typical machine for home or shop use might have a total output range of 30 to 140 amps. If it were rated for an output of 90 amps at a 20 percent duty cycle that would mean that it can weld continuously at 90 amps for two minutes and then must cool down during the remaining eight minutes to prevent overheating. A second example might be a heavier semi-industrial-type unit that’s also popular for more serious personal users. If it has 30 to 300 amp welding range and duty cycle of 40 percent at 250 amps it can weld continuously at 250 amps for four minutes and then must cool down during the remaining six minutes to prevent overheating. As welding output decreases, duty cycle increases. For example the 40 percent duty rating at 250 amps would increase to a 60 percent duty cycle when welding at 200 amps. Ambient temperature also impacts duty cycle. For example, if a machine achieves its rating at 10degrees Fahrenheit then the machine becomes de-rated to some extent when welding at ambient temperatures of greater than 10degrees.
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MIG welding using flux-core wire works as well as stick welding on dirty or rusty material. In addition, self-shielding gasless wire can be used for welding outdoors. The use of self-shielding wire increases portability as there is no gas cylinder to haul around. MIG welding using flux-core wire offers deeper penetration when welding thick sections and a high rate of metal deposition allows the job to be completed faster.
Sometimes before you can weld you need to be able to remove other material before you can begin. For doing this it’s hard to beat plasma cutting. Plasma is an ionized gas that conducts electricity. Plasma is created by adding energy to an electrically neutral gas. In this application the gas is compressed air and the energy is electricity. The more electrical energy added, the hotter the plasma arc becomes. Plasma-arc cutting machines control this powerful energy by constricting the arc and forcing it through a concentrated area called the nozzle. By increasing air pressure and intensifying the arc with higher amperage, the arc becomes hotter and more capable of blasting through thicker metals.
As you can see from this photo, a plasma cutter makes short work of the 1/4-inch thick steel framerail. Plasma provides numerous advantages over other common cutting processes. The plasma process cuts any type of electrically conductive metal including aluminum, copper, brass, and stainless steel. Plasma cutting produces a narrow and more precise cut while sawing or chopping takes a long time and will typically leave a rough edge. Plasma cutting is fast, clean, and leaves a nice straight edge. It also offers gouging and piercing capabilities.
Arc welders join two metals by generating an electric arc (spark) between a covered sacrificial metal electrode and the metals to be joined using high voltage. Think of it as hand-held lightning and you will have an idea of the process.
The heat produced by the arc between positive and negative electrical charge melts the parent metal, which mixes with the molten deposits of the coated electrode or the wire and gas shield.
The most common arc welder is the good old ‘stick’ welder: the electrodes – the sticks – are about 250mm long and look like stout bits of wire that were dipped in cement.
More correctly called ‘shielded metal arc’ welding, stick welding works better than most other methods on dirty or rusty materials and in less than perfect conditions.
Depending on the metals to be joined, there are many types and diameters of welding electrodes, but with age, the flux (the ‘cement’) can absorb moisture or crumble off, making fresh rods desirable.
On some big job sites, welding rods are kept in hot boxes to prevent moisture in the flux. For big welding jobs, stick welding is comparatively slow, since the consumable electrodes must be replaced every couple of minutes and because slag (the residue from the flux) must be chipped away after the weld is complete.
As for technique, if you’re learning to weld using the stick process, remembering these five points will improve your technique. Think CLAMS: Current, Length of arc, Angle, Manipulation and Speed.
Arc welding current
Stick welders can be of AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) types.
DC welding offers advantages such as easier starts, fewer arc outages, less sticking, less spatter, better-looking welds, and easier vertical up and overhead welding. Plus, with DC, it’s easier to learn how to weld and you get a smoother arc.
DC reverse polarity (electrode positive) provides about percent more penetration at any given amperage than AC, while DC straight polarity (electrode negative) welds thinner metals better.
AC has advantages if welding on material that has become magnetised from friction, such as when hay, feed, grain, or water constantly rub against a steel part.
In that case, a DC output doesn’t work well because of ‘arc blow’, where the magnetic field blows the molten filler metal out of the weld puddle.
The AC succeeds because AC output alternates between polarities, thus enabling welding of magnetised parts.
A machine rated at between 22and 300 amps will be capable of handling most jobs that a decent mechanic will need to weld. Beyond that, you might be in for a trip to a specialist.
In fact, most stick welding procedures require less than 200 amps. To weld material thicker than about 10mm, simply make multiple passes – this is what the pros do, even when welding on one inch (25mm) structural steel. When buying a machine, the welder’s ‘duty cycle’ is important. This refers to the number of minutes out of a 10-minute cycle a welder can operate.
For example, Miller’s Thunderbolt XL creates a 200 amp DC output at 20 percent duty cycle. It can weld continuously at 200 amps for two minutes, and then must cool for eight minutes to avoid overheating.
Duty cycle and amperage are inversely proportional. Operating at only 90 amps, the Thunderbolt has a 100 percent duty cycle, meaning you can weld without stopping. Exceeding the rated duty cycle can damage the machine or cause it to overload and trip out.
Arc welding rods
The details for welding rods are printed on the end of the stick if you no longer have the packet. These designations were standardised in the United States by ASTM and WIA, with the first two digits representing the metal’s tensile strength.
For example, 60 series rods have a maximum tensile of 60,000psi (415MPa) and the 70 series 70,000psi (485MPa).
Common electrodes used for general work include 6010, 6011, 6013, 7018, and 7024, each of which has specific properties: 60electrodes penetrate deeply, while 601electrodes penetrate less.
Alternatively, make the first pass with a 60rod and then make a ‘cap’ with a 7018.
The 702rod is perhaps the easiest to use. This is also known as a ‘drag rod’, meaning the electrode’s thick flux automatically maintains the correct arc length, which allows you to drag the rod directly along the work piece. That’s pretty handy for better-looking welds.
Hard-facing rods can provide impact resistant or abrasion resistant welds or both depending on the application. Because the type of rod required depends on the type of environment the tool will expose to, it’s probably better to ask the local welding supplier for advice.
Inverter welders have some advantages over traditional welders. Both require a transformer to convert incoming current to suitable welding current, but an inverter welder does it more efficiently and is much smaller and lighter and uses less power too.
Because they’re more efficient, their duty cycle is also higher. Using modern solid-state electronics, inverter welders lose little heat in comparison to traditional machines, giving the smaller inverter machine the ability to use nearly all of its input current where an older-style transformer could lose up to 20 percent efficiency to heat loss.
The electronics make it possible to maintain an arc where a conventional transformer welder would allow the electrode stick to the work: big 5mm diameter rods can be run on an inverter machine, and it’s practically impossible to make them stick to the job.
The higher frequency of the output current and computer software to monitor and adjust current and voltage while welding, produces a consistent, smooth arc that’s easier to strike and to maintain.
When running on domestic single-phase power most inverter machines do need a 15-amp power outlet.
Welding supplies such as electrodes, welding wire, and shielding gas typically last longer than when using a traditional welding power supply.
Adjustments to current and voltage can be made for different materials and thicknesses, giving the operator tighter control over the welding process.
The small size and weight of these welders make them popular where a traditional transformer welder is too bulky or uses too much power, so they are popular in maintenance facilities, general fabrication shops, construction sites, and farms as portable, lightweight units for on-site repairs.
MIG stands for metal inert gas, and this process is also known as gas (shielded) metal arc welding (GMAW).
This process has a continuously fed wire electrode that melts in the arc to form a weldbead. Like TIG, the weld is protected from surrounding air by a shielding mixture of gases, usually including argon.
Alternatively, tubular flux-cored ‘self-shielding’ wires are available, which need no external gas. Ventilation is needed because of fumes, and the slag formed on the weld has to be removed between passes or before painting.
MIG welders with solid wire are more commonly used with industrial robots and on heavy, thicker work because the continuously fed electrode wire and arc length are automatically controlled.
MIG weld joints are stronger, more ductile, and have less distortion than other welding processes and are ideal for thin metal work, alloys, and aluminium.
However, welding wire isn’t cheap, and there’s a bit more to consider with MIG such as welding meter amps and volts, wire speed and position.
There’s a gasless wire option with MIG that’s a lot cheaper than bottle rental but it isn’t as nice as running a MIG on gas, and the power supply must be considered – ideally a consistent current with very little drop in voltage is needed.
Duty cycle is also a consideration: the machine will need to be watched to avoid overheating. For example, a 200-amp welder with 30 percent duty cycle should be operated for no more than three minutes in 10, allowing seven minutes for cooling.
More often than not, gas welding uses a combination of (usually) oxygen and acetylene as the heat source, which is why it’s also called oxy welding or oxyacetylene welding.
No electricity is involved, so as a result, it’s the most versatile system because it doesn’t require mains power.
If you’re likely to be welding out in the paddock or even on a site where power is yet to be connected, a pair of gas bottles, some appropriate hoses, and a gas ‘torch’ are in your future.
A neutral (one-to-one acetylene/oxygen) flame – the inner cone – reaches 3,17degrees C. This primary flame creates a molten weld pool that is protected by the outer flame.
The pool is filled with a welding/filler rod, usually made of the same material as the component(s) being welded. Mild steel melts at 1,48degrees C.
While it’s certainly versatile, a disadvantage of oxy welding compared with arc welding is that a large amount of heat is absorbed by the part being welded and that causes distortion. Excess heat may also weaken the area due to changes in the crystal structure of the base metal.
Usually known simply as ‘the oxy set’, it might also be called ‘the gas axe’ because the same equipment can be used for many things, including demolition and preparing large metal items for recycling.
An oxy set lends itself to many applications, including brazing, hard surfacing, tempering, soldering, heating, and bending jobs.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your mig welders wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of mig welders
- №1 — MIG Welder
- №2 — Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch
- №3 — Welder