While welding in different locations, you can’t always expect to get a power source to run your welder. When you work in remote areas, the chance of having a reliable power source is quite low.
So what can you do to solve this problem? Getting the best engine-driven welder generators will make you self-sufficient as they power themselves and run for a long time to help you to accomplish your welding project.
These devices are engineered in such a way that they not only can support TIG, MIC, and stick welds but also can provide power to angle grinder, overheat light, plasma cutter, etc.
However, it gets really confusing when you go out to buy them, so we have found out the top five engine-driven welder generators that need your attention.
1. Miller Bobcat 250 Engine Driven Welder: The TOP Notch Welder
Undoubtedly, Miller Bobcat 250 is the best generator for the money you will find in the market. It is one of those Miller generator welding machines that offer not only top-notch weld but also provide impressive portability and durability.
- 11000-watt peak output.
- 40-250amp range.
- Quiet and smooth operation.
- Electronic fuel injection option.
- Accu-Rated power.
Miller Bobcat 250 is a top-of-the-line welder generator combo that has the capacity to generate 11000 wattages of power to cater to most of the welders. However, for continuous operation, it puts out only 9500-watt, which is more than sufficient.
What makes it apart? The power generation comes with Accu-Rated certification that ensures real power and not inflated ones. Whatever type of welding you want to perform, you will always get smoother power delivery, and the credit goes to the ten-degree skewed rotor design.
With a 12-gallon fuel tank size and front fuel panel, you can easily use it for a long time for significant construction works.
Loaded with a front fuel gauge and Smart Fuel Tank, this Bobcat welder generator allows you to fill the tank without splash and also monitor the fuel level. However, the most highlighting factor of this device is the immense 40-250AMP welding range and 17-28V voltage range; it comfortably caters to Stick, MIG, DC TIG, Flux-cored, and air-carbon arc.
Plus, it also pampers you with a 100% duty cycle, which indicates you will always get a consistent performance while welding. Apart from welding, you can make it a generator that can help you with air plasma cutting and gouging tasks. Importantly, you can use this device not only for industrial purposes but also to do construction work in harsh weather conditions.
Miller Bobcat 250 is an extremely versatile machine that offers both AC and DC output so that you can achieve high-quality welds on all types of metals. The operation of this welder is straightforward, as you will get amperage and coarse range control.
Although it is based on a durable body design, this welder generator is quite compact and lightweight so that you can easily port it anywhere. The maintenance part is simple, and you will also have a maintenance display that will tell you when your device needs servicing.
- Highly efficient performance.
- Delivers both AC and DC output.
- Minimal power inflation.
- Large fuel tank for 14hr welding.
Want to add the finest engine-driven welder to your welding arsenal? Then there is no better option than Miller Bobcat 250.
2. Hobart Champion Elite Engine Driven Welder: The Heavy Duty Generator
The brand Hobart is a legendary manufacturer that has a massive lineup of some top-notch welders, and one of them is Champion Elite. It is a meticulously engineered product that gives you a portable and high-performance machine that you can take everywhere for welding tasks.
- 40-250AMP welding range.
- 11000-watt peak power generation.
- 23HP Kohler twin-cylinder engine.
- 100% duty cycle.
- Quick set amperage control.
Blending the power of an 11000-watt generator with a 225AMP, Hobart Champion Elite is genuinely an amazing portable welder generator that can cater to all sorts of applications. Although it can generate 11000-watts of power for continuous welding action, this device gets you 9500-watts of power.
This gas-powered welder runs on a 23HO Kohler twin-cylinder 4-cycle engine that not only ensures a long welding operation but also conserves fuel.
Welding different types of materials with thickness up to 1/2inch won’t be a problem, and the credit goes to 40-225 amperage range with quick-set current control.
Although this generator welding machine is dedicated to Stick welding with easy arc building, you can even utilize DC TIG from scratch.
With quick-set current, coarse range, and fine adjust control; this arc welder generator allows you to achieve precise welding arcs without any splatter. The incorporation of modern Hobart technology also assists this device in delivering a smooth arc with a low amount of sticking.
Besides, it is also blessed with a 100% duty cycle, so you will always get the same welding performance throughout the process. Whether you want to use it as a standalone or backup powerup generator, the 12-gallon tank with a low oil pressure shutdown will allow you to work for a long hour without needing an external power source.
Surprisingly, it also features a “no tools” oil change and digital hour meter that tells you when you will have to refuel the tank and take other precautions. Rugged body construction with robust electric wires and an extensive battery, this is an ideal welding device for all kinds of heavy-duty tasks.
It may look slightly large, but surprisingly it is quite lightweight, and you won’t face much difficulty in moving it around. Backed by a 5 years of warranty coverage, you can freely use this device without thinking about damage.
- Top-notch welding performance
- Easy to start welding.
- Highly fuel-efficient.
- Long warranty coverage.
- Competitive pricing.
Hobart Champion Elite is a steal deal for users who want a complete welding and power backup solution in one device without compromising on performance.
3. Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 Engine Driven Welder Generator: GMAW, GTAW, FCAW Capable
When you look for a critically acclaimed engine-driven welder rather than popular models, one model that is recommended by everyone in the Lincoln Electric Ranger 225. Loaded with all the necessary features, this device proves itself as a potent welding machine in all types of welding works.
- 10500-watts peak power.
- Versatile DC welding.
- Enclosed engine case.
- 20-225AMP current range.
- 100% Duty cycle.
- 23HP Kohler engine.
With 10500 watts of maximum power generation and 9000-watts, Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 delivers enough power to help you accomplish your welding task in any area. Consistent performance is a key highlight of this arc welder generator, and it has been possible due to 210 AMPs/25V at a 100% duty cycle.
Backed by a power 23 HP Kohler 2-cylinder engineer with overhead valve air-cooled design, Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 ensures a smooth welding performance without any fluctuation.
You will never have to compromise on welding based on the thickness of the material because you can notch up the current range from 20 to 225 AMP with ease. Also, it gets a coarse range and a current range control that also plays a significant role in welding quality because it lets you achieve a smooth arc during welding.
You can consider the Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 as a versatile device that can help you to accomplish different welding tasks without requiring you to connect any external welder. In addition to smooth DC welding, this generator welding machine is the capability of doing MIG, TIG, and Flux-cored without compromising on the quality.
The best part is that you won’t have to put thick ear-plugs because it keeps the sound level at a minimal level. Whether you have to weld for one or five hours in a remote location, you can easily do it by using the sizeable 12-gallon oil tank.
While working in a remote location, you can carry extra oil because the oil drain extension facilitates easy oil change. While welding using the generator, you can also connect a grinder, light, or any power tool for simultaneous operation. It is built for heavy-duty service, and this is the reason it gets an enclosed engine case with steel body construction.
- Terrific power generation.
- Durable body construction.
- Suitable for different types of welding.
- Easy and smooth electric start.
- It only supports DC welding.
- It is not suitable for heavy welding.
Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 is a trusted and reliable product that won’t ever disappoint in your performance and weld quality if you decide you buy it.
4. Lincoln Electric Bulldog 5500 Engine Driven Welder: Ideal for Home Use
Lincoln Electric Bulldog 5500 is a widely popular diesel welder generator that is preferred by numerous professional agencies in the US. It is an industrial-level device that is more focused on power backup, weld quality, and durability rather than design.
- 5500-watt peak power generation.
- 8.9HP Kohler engine.
- 70-140AMP current range.
- 32mm diameter tube frame.
- Low-Lift grab bars.
Geared with an 8.9HP Kohler CH395 engine, Lincoln Electric Bulldog 5500 is all about delivering unparalleled power generation and welding performance when you take it to work. Its powerful motor is capable of producing 4000-watts of continuous AC power so that you can easily weld up to 1/8inch of materials.
While welding, if you need more power, it can reach up to 5500-watt to help you to accomplish welding on thick materials. Despite having a mid-range engine, this bulldog generator can treat you with an amperage range of 70-140AMP so that you won’t be limited to specific material types.
Unfortunately, you can only use Stick welding with Lincoln Electric Bulldog 5500, and it could be a deal-breaker for some users who are looking for a versatile welder. Plus, you won’t get a 100% duty cycle in this cheap welder generator, so you shouldn’t expect much consistently like others.
But it has several benefits that compensate for all the cons it has on offer. While starting, you might face some recoil, but once the engine gets the flow, it performs smoothly. Furthermore, the engine is quite efficient when it comes to fuel consumption, and this is why you can do two-hours of welding with its 1.9-gallon fuel tank.
However, the feature that takes all the limelight is the 32mm diameter robust tube frame that offers not only a proper base but also top-notch protection. The patented Low-Lift grab bars notches up the protection by a large margin and ensures best-in-class protection against any damage.
Importantly, the main body is built using sturdy metal that makes sure the engine doesn’t get affected by rust, corrosion, or any weather damage. You won’t have any issue moving this device to different job sites, and the credit goes to the lightweight body with ergonomic handles.
- Highly durable body construction.
- Fuel efficient engine.
- Decent amperage range.
- You can attach a MIG welder.
If you are looking for a competitively priced small welder generator, then you can consider Lincoln Electric Bulldog 5500 as a plausible option.
5. Lincoln Electric Ranger 250 GXT Engine Driven Welder: Versatile AC/DC Welder
Last but not least, a gasoline welding generator that deserves a position in every list of top welder generators is Lincoln Electric Ranger 250 GXT. It is a combination of performance, durability, and portable design, and this is why it has become a handy item for many welders in the industry.
- 10000-watts of continuous power.
- Supports TIG, Flux-cored, and MIG.
- AC and DC welding output.
- 23HP Kohler engine.
- 50-250AMP current range.
- Rugged construction.
We can proudly say Lincoln Electric Ranger 250 GXT is one of the best welder generator combos you will encounter in this segment. Like its sibling, 250 GXT also makes use of a 23HP Kohler 2-cylinder 4-cycle overhead valve air-cooled design that is responsible for producing a vast amperage range of 50-250AMP.
Due to extensive current options, not only can you cater to different welding requirements, but you can weld different material thicknesses. Importantly, this device utilizes both AC and DC output so you can easily weld on thin sheet metal, aluminum, and magnetized metal.
Unlike Miller generator welder Bobcat 250, this unit has the prowess to produce 10000-watts of continuous power for welder, generator, and plasma cutter. Plus, it has a peak power generation of 11000-watt, which is more than sufficient for all types of power backup. It is an extremely versatile welding device that supports TIG, Stick, and MIG wire feed welding processes.
What makes it unique is the remote control operation through a 6-pin connector and remote switch, thus giving you complete freedom to work in risky areas. While welding, you can use the generator to power other tools, lights, and grinder without degrading the overall performance.
You can consider this gas-powered welder generator as a heavy-duty unit that comes with a 12-gallon fuel tank to offer welding for long hours. The oil drain extension with an electric fuel gauge makes it easier for you to refill the tank and monitor the fuel level. Since it is an electric fuel pump, so it prevents any vapor lock.
Whether you work in a typical construction site or in harsh outdoor job sites, the chance of damage to the engine is minimal as it is fully enclosed from all sides. The best part is it only weighs around 6.15lbs and gets compact body design so that portability won’t be a problem for you.
- Support for different welding processes.
- High ampere support for thick metals.
- Massive continuous power generation.
- Lightweight and durable.
If you want an all-round performance from a welder generator combo and aren’t worried about the price tag, then Lincoln Electric Ranger 250 GXT could be a good option.
Before we bid final goodbye, we urge you to go through the following FAQs that will clear a lot of your confusion.
1. Can you run a stick welder on a generator?
If you are using a generator as the primary power source and want to run a stick welder, you can easily do it without much issue. However, you can’t run a high power stick welder from a small generator, and it would be best to use a minimum 15000-watt generator as the main power source. Basically, the type of stick welder you want to use entirely depends upon the power of your generator.
2. What is the best welder generator?
Which is the best welder generator is entirely a subjective question, and different individuals will have different opinions. While some experts might consider the Lincoln Ranger 250 GXT as the best welder generator, while others might feel the Hobart Champion Elite is the finest one. However, after thorough research and assessment, our team has found Miller Bobcat 250 as the most exceptional welder generator in the market.
3. What size generator do I need to run a welder?
Every welder comes with a specific generating power, and according to the requirement, you will have to decide the generator size. So if you are using a 160 AMP welder, then you will have to utilize a generator with a minimum of 7kVA, but going above 8kVA will be ideal for a continuous run. However, if you want to use a large size welder with 250AMP output, then you would have to go for at least 13kVA size.
4. Can you use a welder as a generator?
A significant highlight of a welder generator is that apart from welding purposes, you can even utilize it as a generator for powering other devices. While you are not using the welder, you use the equipment to power other tools, switch emergency lights, or charge any battery. Not only it saves you from investing separately on a generator but also relieves the hassle of utilizing two machines at a time.
5. Can you run a TIG welder off a generator?
Well, it might seem difficult in the first place to run a TIG welder with the help of a generator. But if the generator can handle the amp requirement, then you can smoothly run the TIG welder without facing any issue in the long run. You will have to take care of the load settings because, in full load, the TIG requires a huge amp that your generator might not be able to handle.
6. Will a 7000-watt generator run a welder?
With a 7000-watt capacity, a generator can comfortably run any kind of welder without causing instability. However, you should check the amp rating of the welder before hooking it to a generator as this kind of generator can’t handle a heavy load.
7. How do you connect a generator to a welder?
The process of connecting a generator to a welder is quite easy, and you just have to put the power cable to the power socket located in the generator. Or else you can use a twist-lock and use the welder’s wire to create a connection from the welder end. Then use another twist-lock and 10/3 flexible rubber cable to establish a connection from the generator ends. Finally, you are ready to make a connection between the generator and welder.
8. Will a 5000-watt generator run a welder?
Yes, it is possible to run a welder on a 5000-watt generator, but only if your welder doesn’t have a requirement of more than 21amp. A 5000-watt generator is suitable for running welders like HH180 as it consumes 20amp at full load. But if you want to run a 225/125 welder in full-load, then a 5000-watt won’t be able to handle it as it will require around 15000-watt.
9. What size generator do I need to run a 240v welder?
To run a 240V welder, you would need at least a generator with a size of 8kVA to support the continuous operation. However, to successfully run a 240V welder, it would be to get a generator that offers 15kVA or higher. A large size generator can maintain a stable connection when the welder runs at full load and doesn’t arc build process.
10. Can I run a plasma cutter off a generator?
Like any welder, you can comfortably run a plasma cutter on a generator, but while using it, you can’t plug any other device into the generator. Plus, you need to use a generator that offers minimal fluctuation and has low harmonic disturbance; otherwise, it would affect the performance.
11. Can I use a MIG welder with a generator?
Running a MIG welder with a generator is quite simple, but you need to use a unit that can handle high amp requirements. So if you’re MIG puts out a 160amp, then you need to go for a generator of a minimum of 15kVA to handle the welder when in a full load. Before connecting a welder to a generator, you should check the voltage and ampere rating of the welder as it will tell you which generator you should choose.
An engine-driven welder generator is an important device that allows you to weld in places where you don’t have provision for an external power source. Welder generators come with large engines and enormous tanks so that you can use them at any location without worrying about the power source. Besides the welder, you can hook numerous tools, lights, and other devices for powering them while using the welder.
We have added varied types of products so that you won’t be limited to certain choices based on your requirement. Power fluctuation is a big issue with a welder generator, but the products we have added are devoid of those issues. So you can completely rely on their performance even after a long period. For your convenience, we have put forward some commonly asked questions that we think would clear your doubts
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.