Buying a welder, whether for the first time or the tenth time, can be daunting, especially if you’re new to welding.
There are so many welders out there on the market, and we’re sure you have a lot of questions. Which one should you purchase? Which options should you look for? But fear not! We are here to help you navigate how to find your first welder and recommend a few great products for beginners!
Editor’s Pick for the best welder for beginners: Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
If you are a beginner, searching for a durable, powerful yet easy to learn and use welder, this Lincolen welder will be the Ideal fit for you.
Best Welders for Beginners – Reviews
|Best Welders For Beginners||Rating||Price|
|Lotos LTPDC2000D Pilot Arc 50 A Plasma Cutter /200 A TIG/Stick Welder||4.5/5||$$$|
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder (Our Pick For Beginners)||4.9/5||$$|
|Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder, 120-Volt, 125-Amp||4.7/5||$|
|Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V||4.4/5||$$|
|2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder||4.6/5||$$$|
|Amico Power – DC Inverter Welder – 110/230V Dual Voltage IGBT||3.8/5||$|
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine||4.5/5||$|
Lotos LTPDC2000D Pilot Arc 50 A Plasma Cutter /200 A TIG/Stick Welder
Lotos Technology’s LOTOS LTPDC2000D is a multipurpose welder that allows you to both DC TIG and stick weld in addition to plasma cut all from one unit! Designed specifically for professionals and DIY enthusiasts both, this versatile machine also works for use in a professional environment. The welder offers dual voltage at 220V and 110V.
The LOTOS LTPDC2000D combines three welding functions into one machine:
- 200 DC TIG welder
- 200 A Stick welder
- 50 A Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
The maximum rated clean cut thickness is 1/2 in., and the maximum rated severance thickness is 3/4 in. The DC TIG output current is 10-200A at 220V and 10-150A at 110V. The DC Stick/MMA output current is 10-200A at 220V and 10-150A at 110V.
The Pilot Arc technology of the plasma cutter enables you to cut through metal, even if it’s rusted and rough, without touching the welder tip to the metal. This prolongs the consumable life and gives better cutting quality.
All you need to do is flip a switch to change between the three functions!
The welder measures 17 x 8 x 12.5 inches and weighs just around 42 lbs. Its size allows you to easily port it around wherever you see the need! An optional foot pedal is available for additional purchase.
The packaging includes the power supply, cutting torch, TIG torch, Stick/MMA welder torch, consumables, ground clamp, air filter and regulator, argon regulator, and connections. Your purchase also comes with a one-year limited warranty, and 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
The three-in-one functionality of this welder is one of the highlights of this product. Not many welders on the market offer the options to DC TIG weld, stick weld, and plasma cut all in the same machine.
Additionally, the plasma cutter works through metal without too much slag to chip or grind off once you’re done. Its portability becomes useful if you need to use this machine in the shop, at home, or on the go.
You won’t find this flexibility with all machines! Please note, however, this welder is not equipped to cut through aluminum. Overall, this powerful, affordable welder is perfect for beginners who’d like to try their hand at a few different types of welding.
- Versatile welder with three functions: DC TIG welding, stick welding, and plasma cutting
- Portable and light at 42 lbs
- Plasma cutting does not leave too much slag to remove
- Does not cut through aluminum
- The consumables are specific to the machine, are not universal
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
If you’re looking for a compact, lightweight, portable MIG welder, the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG welder might just be for you! The K2185-1 welder is perfect for small projects around the house like home repairs or hobby projects on light gauge mild steel. This tool is very user-friendly and comes with everything you need to use it immediately!
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 welds up to 1/8 in. Of mild steel and plugs into a household 115V, 20 amp outlet. Its input power is 115/1/60, and its rated output comes in at 70A/17V/20%. Its input current is 20 amps, and its output range is between 35 and 88 amps.
This welder’s dimensions come in at 12.8 x 8.8 x 18 in. It weighs about 26 lbs and 46 lbs with everything included.
A few other features offer some added value to this welder. For instance, the K2185-1 includes a cold contactor safety feature which keeps the welding wire electrically “cold” until someone presses the gun trigger.
Only then does it “heat up.” It also grants you more precise control through wire feed speed adjustment and selectable voltage ranges. Lastly, fan cooling prolongs the life of the welder so you can use it for years on end.
Additional Information and Packaging:
Lincoln Electric manufactures this welder in the United States. Included in the package is a gun and cable assembly, work cable and clamp, gas nozzle, gas regulator and hose, a spool of solid wire, contact tips and hand-shield with filter plate and lens, a spool of self-shielded, flux-cored wire, contact tips, and chipping hammer/brush. All you should need to purchase is shielding gas. You can also purchase a separate cart to hold the welder.
This welder can be any DIYer’s best friend for small projects around the house such as body panel replacement, custom fabricating, and other projects.
It would most likely not be able to handle larger projects so keep in mind that it will not perform like other more expensive welders. The box the welder comes in includes almost everything you need to use it except a cylinder of shielding gas.
These great features make the welder affordable and a great value, especially if you’re purchasing your first one.
- Perfect for small DIY projects around the home
- Includes everything in the box except for a cylinder of shielding gas
- Includes a cold contractor safety feature to keep the wire cold until the gun trigger is pressed
- Does not perform like a more expensive welder
- Limited to the types of projects you can do
Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder, 120-Volt, 125-Amp
The Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC welder is a basic flux-core welding machine – though some consider it a MIG machine. The Easy Weld differs from traditional MIG machines because it does not require a shielding gas.
This welder makes basic metalsmithing projects such as creating metal art or fixing a broken lawnmower simple and fun for the DIYer or the beginner welder. The manufacturer estimates it will take you a half hour to learn the tool, and you’ll start to understand how to use it!
Measurements and Features:
The 299 125FC welder welds 24 gauge wire up to a 1/4 in, and it also has a 120-volt input and a 125 amp output. Lastly, it accepts 2 lb and 10 lb wire spools. The welder measures 23 x 11 x 18 In. It weighs about 42 pounds. The welder’s size makes it fairly portable to take around your house or workshop for various projects.
As mentioned above, beginner welders will find this product easy-to-learn and use! The manufacturer even offers a quick start guide on their website so you’ll be up and running in no time!
The packaging includes the following: 8′ MIG gun, 8′ ground clamp, one additional .030″ contact tip, chipping hammer and MIG wire .030″. It does not include accessories, but some recommended ones include more contact tips, welding nozzles, diffusers, anti-spatter spray, and nozzle gel.
Although this welder is not meant for heavy-duty projects, it performs admirably for smaller projects like metal fabrication. The welds tend to come clean without too much contamination.
Additionally, you do not need too many attachments for this welder. Unfortunately, the package does not come with a lot of wire so you’ll want to purchase more once you start using the welder.
This machine also gives off a lot of splatter. Overall, this welder is a great value for the price you pay and is perfect for beginners who’d like to start welding with small projects.
- Perfect for DIYers and beginners – does not take much time to learn
- Perfect for small projects
- Does not require shielding gas
- The wire that comes with package does not last and is not the highest quality
- Gives off a lot of splatter
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
The Hobart 500599 Handler 140 MIG welder is a durable, well-built machine which can handle some of the toughest projects. Do you want to perform auto body work? Would you like to do some heavy-duty house repairs? How about working on farm equipment? With the 500599 Handler, you can do all of this and more!
This machine runs on a 115V household current, and it can output anywhere from 25 to 140 amps. Its duty cycle is 20% at 90 amps. It welds up 24 gauge wire up to 1/4 in. In mild steel, much like the Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Welder. The manufacturer recommends the following processes for this welder: cast iron, copper, brass, titanium, and magnesium alleys for both MIG and flux-cored welding.
The welder measures 19 x 11 x 13 in. It weighs about 57 lbs. Made of steel, it also has an industrial cast aluminum drive system and a 200 amp heavy duty work clamp. Lastly, you can control the welding arc using a 5-position tapped voltage control selector.
Additional Features and Packaging:
Made in Troy, Ohio, the packaging comes with the following: Handler 140 with a built-in gas valve, 10 ft. MIG gun with liner, dual gauge regulator and gas hose, 10-ft work cable and clamp, 10-ft power cord, extra .030 contact tips, sample spool of .030 flux-cored wire, 8-inch spool adapter, owners manual, and set-up guide. It also comes with a manufacturer’s warranty in case something happens.
The solid construction of this welder means you’ll be able to complete plenty of projects with it over the years. It’s easy to pick up and use in a short time, and it can be used for a variety of different projects including auto and garden repair, ATVs, metalwork, and others.
We also commend the welder’s professional quality and durability over makers of similar types of MIG welders. If you’re looking for a reliable, durable MIG welder, this one is perfect if you’re new to welding.
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v
If you’re looking for a solid TIG or stick welder, check out the AHP AlphaTIG 200x Welder. This welder is attractive to both professional welders but also beginners and hobbyists. It offers incredible versatility and value for this type of welder, and you’re sure not to be disappointed in its performance. The AHP AlphaTIG works with both aluminum and steel.
This welder works on both 110V with a 150 amp output and 220V and runs on AC/DC power. It welds up to 1/4 inch on aluminum and 3/8 In. On mild steel and will also work on thinner-gauge materials. This machine also features Advanced Inverter Technology with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) using IGBT technology.
Measurements, Additional Features, and Packaging:
Its dimensions measure 19 x 23 x 12 in. This welder weighs around 69 lbs. This unit also comes with an HF start TIG, and a foot pedal is included with the packaging for ease of use. Another benefit is that it comes with a three-year warranty so if you encounter any difficulties you’ll have the peace of mind to get another one if your welder has a defect.
We recommend the AlphaTIG 200X as a first TIG welder built with excellent and solid components. The welder offers users a lot of control over specific machine functions. Although it’s not as portable as other welders on its list, the welder really pulls its own weight in terms of functionality, durability, and versatility with various metals.
- Works with both TIG and stick welding
- Comes with a foot pedal
- Works with both aluminum and steel
- Some people don’t like the foot pedal
Amico Power – DC Inverter Welder – 110/230V Dual Voltage IGBT Welding Machine – 160 AMP Stick Arc
The Amico Power Stick Welder gives you power and precision to tackle a number of projects including light metal fabrication, maintenance and repair, farm and home projects, and light industrial work. The inverter welder switches from AC to DC power and then transforms the power to the appropriate voltage and current for your work. This technology is fairly innovative and makes this welder incredibly versatile.
The input power for the Amico Power Stick Welder is 115V/230V/60Hz, and the input current at rated output is 20 amps. The output range at DC is 5-160A 115V/230V. The rated output current, voltage, and the duty cycle is 160Amp/23V/60% Duty Cycle / ETL Listed. The machine even offers infinite amperage control with an LED meter so you can adjust your settings to whatever you need to complete your project.
The Power Stick Welder’s dimensions are 12.5 x 9 x 22 in., and it weighs about 18 lbs. Its portability ensures you can use this tool just about anywhere at home or in your shop!
The packaging includes the DC welder, an electrode holder, and a 10-ft cable, a work clamp and a 10-ft cable, and input power adapter cable and plug.
The welder is solidly built and is perfect for those who are trying stick welding for the first time. This small, lightweight machine is ideal for taking your equipment on the go. Another benefit is that it can be plugged into a 110V wall socket in a home instead of needing a high voltage current so you can use this pretty much anywhere. It’s a durable and affordable welder that will help you learn to become a great stick welder in no time!
- Portable, lightweight, compact
- Offers dual voltage at 115V and 230V
- Can plug into a 110V wall socket at home
- The stinger sometimes falls apart
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
The Goplus MIG 130 Welder is a great beginner MIG welder due to its versatility and professional finish in welding, auto bodywork, and other projects that involve processing thin steel. Its durable construction and plentiful features provide significant value in a small, compact, lightweight design. This machine is excellent for welding thin steel and iron for DIY projects at home and general repair work.
The Goplus MIG welder offers four adjustable levels of welding speed that allow you to work on various sorts of projects. There are also ten levels of wire feeding speed so you can adjust it to fit your needs. The flux-cored wire releases metal-inert gas while welding to prevent oxidation of the welded part – this will keep your project a little more durable.
The Goplus MIG welder measures 13.4 x 7.3 x 11.4 in., and it weighs about 35 lbs. Its voltage is 110V/60Hz. The max open voltage is 37V, and its max output current is 15% at 105 amps.
This welder includes a few safety features such as automatic thermal safety protection and a torch with full on/off safety control. It also has two air vents on the machine to help dissipate heat.
The package includes welding wire, protection mask, and a brush/chipping hammer.
This welder is perfect for beginners who might be new to MIG welding. The welder’s portability makes it great for any small job around the house. It’s affordable, durable, and a great bargain and works like a professional-grade tool. Something to keep in mind, however, is that the wire is always live and will be hot. Be careful handling the material. But other than that, its four heat settings, the infinite wire speed settings, and safety features make it perfect for anyone who’s new to MIG welding.
- Versatile, powerful
- Compact and easy to move around the home or shop
- Doesn’t require gas to operate
- The wire is always live and is hot – be careful when using
Which Welder Is the Best?
Probably the first question you have after viewing our list of favorite welders is: which welder is the best? Which one should I choose? Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of welding you’re looking to do. There are three types of welding:
1) MIG welding – best for steel, aluminum, and stainless welds; easy-to-learn; can also gauge thinner materials down to 26-gauge; easy-to-learn process
2) TIG welding – best for welding thin sections of alloy steel, stainless steel, and other metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys; perfect for stronger welds with thicker materials; a little more complex and challenging to master
3) Stick welding -one of the most popular methods for home-welding; most economical welding method; limited to metals less than 18-gauge, so it’s better for thicker materials; effective for most alloys or joints; also more challenging to learn and master
Determining which type of welding you’re doing will decide which welder to purchase.
Overall, we recommend purchasing a MIG welder if you’re new to welding and are looking for an easy method to learn that still offers you a variety of projects to try. The MIG welders included in our list are the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder, the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V and the Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine.
Miller Welds lists some additional benefits of MIG welding:
- Highest welding speeds possible
- Precise control over thinner metals
- Cleaner welds with little to no slag to clean up
On the whole, MIG welding is best for beginners who might not have done any welding in the past. As you gain proficiency with the welding process and what you can do, then you can translate your experience with MIG welding to other methods like TIG and stick.
Is Stick Welding Stronger Than MIG?
Yes, by far and large, stick welding is stronger than MIG welding. Although stick welding can weld some of the same materials such as steel and stainless steel, MIG welding is too weak for thicker materials such as cast iron. Stick welding, on the other hand, can accommodate heavier and thicker materials such as cast iron.
What Is the Strongest Type of Welding?
As stated above, stick welding is the strongest type of welding. TIG welding tends to be aesthetically pleasing and is more likely to be used for artistic projects such as sculptures or welds on motorcycles or the outside of cars. MIG welding is best for thinner metals and projects whereas stick welding is specifically suited for more heavy duty projects such as pipes or projects incorporating thick steel. No other welding process can be used on cast iron either. Thus, stick welding is best classified as the strongest type of welding.
6 Things to Consider When Buying a Welder
1) Which Process Best Fits Your Needs
If you’re looking for a welder that will help you fix your pipes, you’re most likely to choose a stick welder. If you’re looking for something to make a metal art sculpture for your business, you’ll choose a TIG welder. Make sure to align the type of welder you purchase to your welding objectives. If you don’t align these, then you might purchase something with either too little or too much power or something that doesn’t have the right type of accessories for what you’re trying to accomplish.
2) How Much Time You’re Willing to Devote to Learning
Some welding processes will take longer to learn than others. MIG welding is the easiest welding process to learn whereas TIG and stick welding take longer to learn. If you’re willing to devote more time to learning TIG or stick welding, you might consider buying a welder that serves those functions.
3) How Much You’re Looking to Spend
Establishing a budget will determine the brand and quality of welder you’ll buy. Our list features some excellent values that combine the best of functionality and features and value. But if you’re willing to spend more on a good machine, then it might be worth it to purchase a brand name machine.
4) How Often You’ll Use Your Welder
If you’re only looking to use your welder occasionally, it might be worth looking into something a little cheaper. However, if you’re interested in something that you’ll use everyday, make sure to purchase something durable that can stand the pressures of everyday use. Sometimes that means spending a bit more money to ensure that the welder’s capabilities, durability, and versatility are high. (Read more: Best Budget Welding Helmet Reviews)
5) Where You’ll Use Your Welder
Some welders should only be used indoors. But some welders, like stick welders, can be used in rain, snow, or other adverse weather conditions. Keep this in mind when looking to purchase a welder.
6) What Kinds of Materials You’re Looking to Weld
Almost all welders can only handle specific materials. For instance, MIG welding is primarily used for welding steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. TIG welders, however, cannot handle aluminum or heavy-duty metals such as cast iron. Stick welding is ideal for strongly welding metals like cast iron or alloys. The type of materials you’re looking to weld should ultimately determine which type of welder you buy.
In this guide, we provided a number of our favorite welders for beginners in addition to providing you a guide for things to consider when buying a welder. We hope you found this informative as you look to buy a welder. We wish you the best of luck in your search!
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