Do you happen to have a sudden urge to try welding? Or are you a hobbyist by nature and want to look for some decent welders in the market?
Well, whether you are a hobbyist or a newbie, we have you all covered in our best welder for beginners series.
Get ready to scrutinize our top welder choices specifically done for you!
Overall Best Pick
The Budget Pick
- Durable metal welder with comfort fit handle for added convenience. Capable of welding 18ga up to 1/8” Material....
- Dual heat setting that runs great for both small repairs and hobby welding
- Runs on standard 115V power and a duty cycle: 20% @ 50A. Weld and ground cable length: 6 feet
- Thermal overload protection to prevent overheating, and transformer that provides an easy-starting, smooth arc
- Finish your projects faster and easier with Campbell Hausfeld.
1. ZENY Arc Welding Machine: The High Efficiency & Energy Saving
If portability has another name it would be ZENY 160 Amp stick. The compact and sleek design of this arc welder, allows you to carry it along where ever your workplace is. Instead of having a fixed workstation, you can freely move around with this feather-light welder in tow.
For complete newbies, this is a cool option due to its easy operation and you get options to choose from. You can try welding different metals with a varying thickness range with this welding stick.
Although not loaded with a lot of features but in the given value, it does make a decent welder for beginners. The multifunction capability allows you to fulfill most of your beginner welder fantasies by experimenting with different metals including, steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Step down transformer – The welder does most of the geeky stuff for you so that you don’t have to put much thought or additional accessories to make it operate. Being a DC welder requires a transition from the AC supply to DC. The in-built step-down transformer does that for you so that you don’t have to fiddle with a converter to do so.
Dual Voltage – The welder provides with dual voltage option. You can either operate it at 115V or have more power and amperage at 230V. Depending on your work requires you can shift between the two voltage levels with ease. Whether it’s vehicle repair, fence repair, or any other DIY home project, you can perform them with this cool stick welder.
3 Level Protection – Safety comes first with ZENY 160 Amps stick welder. Its three-level protection mechanism provides the machine protection against, overheat, over-current, and overpressure. Additionally, the machine features a heat dissipation design preventing the heat up and ensuring an uninterrupted weld.
Energy-efficient – The integrated IGBT technology in the welder ensures up to 85% efficiency, boastful! This means you can save up a lot of power. However, this also implies that you will not be able to get that much heat as a traditional welder, a compromise that you will have to make.
- Can weld 14 gauge to 5/16 inch
- Comes with power and ground cables
- Easy to start and operate
- DC only, not suitable for aluminum welding
- Need to buy a better quality electrode holder
2. Arc Stick Welder – Armed with Thermal Overload Protection
Designed for home and shop tasks, Campbell 70 Amp stick welder is another recommendation for you if you happen to be a hobbyist welder. We were amazed by the amount of power this small welder packed. It gave us a bunch of smooth welding arcs and we had a fine time welding steel of varying thicknesses using this welder.
Carrying it around wasn’t a hassle at all. Its 8 ounces of weight was literally nothing and made us capable to set it up and work from nearly anywhere we liked. So if you like something that is extremely convenient to operate and carry around, this is your top option in the market.
The welder for its given price does not amount to a lot of features it can brag about, but the purpose it serves is more than enough if you are some hobbyist or newbie to welding. It lets you work with a smooth arc, and there isn’t a lot of spatter. Plus its easy operation makes it user-friendly to a whole new level.
User-Friendly – You will find the simple and conventional control panel of the welder pretty simple to operate. The panel does not have a lot of knobs and buttons for you to figure out. A simple ON/OFF button allows you to start the welder. Apart from this, you will see an LED on the panel, which tends to blink when the duty cycle exceeds the limit.
Material and the thickness – You can try mild steel, stainless steel, and a couple of other materials with this welder. Although you will find that it will require you to do so in a number of passes, but the finish is something to brag about. Going from 18 gauge to 1/8 inch thick the welder is ideal when it comes to doing small home projects.
Power Specs – The machine requires you to plug it in the 115V single phase outlet at 20Amps. The output you get is 70 Amps at a 20% duty cycle, which is pretty decent for the newbies to play with.
Warranty – The machine comes with a few accessories and let’s not forget the little storage space it has to keep the cables secure. Additionally, you can avail of a 5 years limited warranty on the product, which according to me is a lot at the given price.
- Simple to install and assemble
- Comes with a 5/3/1 warranty depending on the purchase
- Extremely portable
- Storage space to keep cables secure
- Does not give much output power
3. Goplus MIG 130: The Easy to Portable & Smart Household Welder
The last on the list of best welders for beginners is the GoPlus MIG 130 welder. If you are in for some automatic action in your DIY projects, GoPlus 130 will give you this and more. Although it does not pack a lot of power, in the given price range it is the best welder for beginners for the money.
You can carry the unit around with ease and try out welding with thin steel and metals. Additionally, it gives you control over the wire speed and the heat settings so that you can control and form an arc to suit your purpose.
If experimenting gives you a thrill, with this welder you are in for a lot of thrill. You will get to experiment with the multiple features it has to offer. Plus you will not need to worry regarding accidents due to its in-built safety features.
Quad heat setting – The welder gives you options to choose your heat levels. You can opt for a low level for thinner welds and gradually increase the level to the quad for intense heating at slightly thicker metals.
Wire-speed – Go for deep or shallow holes, you have the range to choose that too. Have deeper holes at high speed and wider holes at a lower speed. You can adjust it to the control panel using the knob provided.
Cooling mechanism – The two air vents in the machine ensure smooth cooling and temperature maintenance of the unit. This prevents the welder from breaking down during the weld. The unit also supports the thermal overload feature. In case you forgot to shut down the welder, this feature protects the unit and any associated haphazard from occurring.
- Comes with a free mask
- Supports long cords
- Multiple temperature settings
- Cannot be used at remote locations (no battery backup)
- Has no warranty
4. SUNGOLDPOWER ARC MMA 200A Welder: Our Top-pick for Beginner
We start with this nifty welder on our list by Sun Gold Power. Talking about a stick welder for beginners, this might be a good start that is light on your pocket too. With a number of features to help you get started, this multifunction welder is a must-try for newbies.
What is amazing about this welder is that you get a dual voltage option. This feature is cool in the sense that in your usual stick welders you do not get enough heat for the weld, however, by shifting this welder to 220V you get enough heat to get a smooth weld. Coupled with this we had a good experience trying out its other features in our testing.
Being a beginner, you might be not willing to spend a lot on your first welder, but at the same time, you would want to have an amazing experience with your first weld. Sun Gold Power, with its inverter technology and a very catchy price tag, promises to fulfill both your wishes.
It will not be a burden to your pocket and at the same time give you one of a kind welding experience owing to its amazing features.
Quick-Hot start – Having something that easy to operate is a cherry on the top. This welder will not give you a tough time with its HF start. This ensures you get a smooth arc to work with and at the same time, the in-built safety features of current and voltage overload protection guarantee a safe working experience to the user.
IGBT Inverter technology – If you are someone who likes to move around and work at different places rather than one fixed spot, MMA 200A is your best buddy. This little machine owing to the inverter technology is compact in size and weighs approximately 15 lbs! You can carry it around and weld it at any place you like.
Power Specs – In addition to the dual voltage feature, an amperage range of 20 to 200Amps is something to boast about in this welder. For its small size, the 200Amps is enough to create a good welding arc with enough heat to help you do your home projects.
- Light in weight makes it easy to carry around
- Wide amperage range
- Easy manoeuvring on the digital display
- Does not come with its own cables
- Can be tricky to deal with the pool
5. Hobart 500495 Handler: The Powerful Mig & Fluxcore Welder
If you are willing to spend a little more on the welder that ensures a robust power output and lets you handle a wide range of projects you should go for one of the best in the town; Hobart. Widely known for its powerful and robust welders, this entry-level 125 MIG by Hobart gives the right boost for the bucks spent.
A little on the expensive part of the spectrum, it nevertheless gave us the ultimate experience of some intense welding. The dual-mode option was simply a cherry on top. It gave us the option to use the welder either as a MIG or as a flux core. The cool thing about this handler is that despite the features and the functionality it offers, it is in every way suitable to be used by a beginner without fiddling through the controls or the settings.
Apart from the dual mode of operation, the power output of the handler caught our attention. Not only could we adjust the output range using the knob at the panel, but could also easily shift between the two modes without much difficulty. The spatter wasn’t an issue at all with the gas welding mode and we were pretty satisfied with the fine finish we got at the end.
Dual Mode Operation – If you want versatility in your welder and are ready to pay some hefty cash for it, then try this MIG 125 by Hobart. It gives you the freedom to choose between MIG or flux core welding. And shifting between the two isn’t troublesome as in many cases. For normal steel, you can opt for the flux core and the special steel could be done using MIG.
Wire Thickness – Since this machine can take in wires of different sizes, it broadens your option of steel thickness range. A 0.023-inch wire can be used for low thickness steel at low power whereas the 0.035-inch wire can handle thicker steel at high power.
Safety Trigger – This safety feature in the welder ensures that the tip remains cold unless the trigger is pressed. If you are accident-prone, this feature is something that will protect you at all costs.
Control Panel — The panel has a power switch and two knobs allowing you to set up the machine for your required weld. It is pretty simple to configure the machine and literally takes a couple of minutes to set it up for your weld.
- A wide amperage range
- Can be used as both MIG and flux-cored
- Accessories for MIG
- welding need to be purchased separately
Now that you know of the best welders for beginners in the market, you might as well want to go through a couple of points mentioned below to know what things to look for when you are on a spree to buy your first welder. Tag along!
Things to consider when buying the best welder for beginners
The first thing that you need to get a hang of is the types of welding and their pros and cons. On your first visit to a welder market or an online platform, you will see yourself surrounded by different categories of welders, each with its own perks. The obvious question you may ask now is which one to choose? Continue reading below to discover the various types and to get an idea of what type you will need.
Types of welding
MIG (Read about a few top MIG, TIG, Stick welders) and flux-cored are the broad categories you will stumble across:
If you are looking for some eat and clean finishes; MIG welding will promise you that. Not only is it easy to perform but it makes use of a wire welding electrode on a spool. This ensures a smooth arc that melts and produces a strong weld.
Also known as Tungsten arc welding, this process makes use of a tungsten electrode. The process also makes use of shielding gas to protect from the outside environment. This process requires a little time to ace and is recommended for thin metal binding.
Been there for quite some time, Stick welders make use of high current flowing in the electrode. If you are looking to make joints on rusted materials, this is something that will help you out. Secondly, this technique is the most economical on the list, so you might want to give this a try.
However, with the low cost comes the baggage of spatter and rod changing. If you can deal with that, then this is the best option for you on the list.
Like MIG welding, flux-cored also depends on the wire feeding mechanism. However, what differs here is that the process does not make use of the shielding gas, but makes use of the flux-cored wire to prevent contamination. If you are a fan of working outdoors, flux-cored will give you a smooth uninterrupted welding experience.
Determine the nature of projects
The next step after choosing the type of welding is to determine what projects you need to get done using the welder. Depending on the intensity and the time required your choices of the welder will vary.
If you happen to have small projects that you take on as hobbies, then you will opt for a welder that is small in size and the power output is just enough to deal with metals of low thickness.
However, if you happen to have home projects that require frequent use of the welder, then you will have to go for more sturdy and robust options, both in terms of power and performance.
Finally, for heavy-duty projects, you will require an amperage above 170 Amps to get the heat and power for thicker welds.
What Price to pay?
Last but not least; the budget plays an integral role in narrowing down your choice for the welder. Having a set cost in mind will help you eliminate a lot of options that will confuse you. Start by setting out the need and the purpose of use, then continue with the power specification, portability, and features. Finally, try jotting this all down under your required cost.
Once you have this sheet ready, you can easily skim through the options and get your desired welder in your stated budget.
Now that you know of the factors to consider before purchasing the welder, we will recommend you to spend ample time defining your needs and the required parameters and never rush into making a decision. For you might end up regretting later.
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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.