How To Choose a Welder? The Ultimate Guide

How to Choose a Welder

Today, not only professionals but also amateur “welders” buy themselves a welding machine to serve different purposes.

The welding machine is widely available with many types. Hence, you will have more choices but it will more difficult if you do not have a certain knowledge of these machines.

This article will guide you on how to choose a welder for your purposes.

Characteristics of Popular Types of Welder

To choose an appropriate welder, the first factor we should consider is the welding method. Any buyers should be aware of the working mechanism of welders.

Flux-Cored Welders

  • Works as well as Stick on dirty or rusty material
  • Out-of-position welding
  • Deep penetration for welding thick sections
  • Has high metal deposition rate
  • Easier to clean when welding on dirty or rusty metalwork

TIG Welders

  • Provides the highest quality, precise welds
  • Highly aesthetic weld beads
  • Allows adjustment of heat input and torch while welding by use of a foot control
  • Has shielding gas
  • Uses both AC and DC

MIG Welders

  • The easiest  to learn
  • High welding speeds
  • Better control on thinner metals
  • Cleaner welds possible with no slag to clean
  • The same equipment can be used for Flux-Cored Welding
  • Has shielding gas
  • Using filler metal

Stick Welders

  • Better suited for windy, outdoor conditions
  • More forgiving when welding on dirty or rusty metal
  • Use a huge power supply to work well on thicker materials

Types of Projects and Corresponded Metal Thickness

Next, identify the types of welding projects and materials you will weld most of the time.

Are you a professional welder or just a hobbyist? Do you want to create metal works or simply fix broken metal materials or attach metal pieces to each other?

Based on the types of work you want to do with welders, refer to the  information below to know what kind of welding machine you should choose.

Possible Projects Average Material Thickness
Auto body 3/16-inch or less
Trailer frames and fencing 1/4-inch to 5/16-inch
Farm, ranch, and landscape 5/16-inch to 3/8-inch
Thick structural components Over 3/8-inch
Bicycles, lawnmowers or tube frames 1/16-inch
Boats, cars, and motorcycles 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch
Hunting stands and utility trailers 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch
General to heavy repair 3/16-inch to 1/4-inch

After looking at the type of project and the thickness of the metal, another factor you need to keep in mind is the type of metal you usually have to handle in your work.

Here, I will give you one more table indicating the compatibility of the welding process and types of metal.

Metal

Welding Process

MIG Welding

Stick Welding

TIG Welding

Steel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Stainless Steel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Aluminum Alloys

Yes

No

Yes

Cast Iron

No

Yes

No

Chromoly

No

No

Yes

Copper

No

No

Yes

Brass

No

No

Yes

Exotic Metals (Magnesium, Titanium, etc.)

No

No

Yes

How To Choose a Welder Brand?

When you buy something, a brand is a very important factor that ensures the quality of the product.

When it comes to welders, the top brands in this market are Lincoln, Miller, and ESAB. Besides, Thermal Arc, Hobart, Kempii, and Fronius, which receive many positive reviews from users.

Some of them may get a few negative feedback but it is normal. Every brand may have those problems, but it is still better for you to choose big brands with an excellent warranty.

For your own convenience, feel free to pick the best brand in your region.

Final Words

Finally, I have provided you with the most basic and necessary information about welders.

I believe that with this useful information, you now know how to choose a welder that suits your needs, goals, and usability.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

Thanks for reading!

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