Best Welders For Beginners In 2020 – Hobby Welder Reviews
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When we started to talking about welding machines and processes we focused most of our energy and attention on people who already knew how to weld. Then one of our experts enlisted some new to welding individuals to help them decide if a particular welding machine was easy to setup and understand.
Our eyes opened and we realized that we needed to review the top welder for beginners in order to educate and inform the newbies on what to look for, and what to avoid.
Our experts chose several welders to evaluate, and they gathered a group of beginning welders with various levels of experience and asked them to help us find the best welder according to ease of use, ease of transport, and general features.
The following list is what we enthusiastically refer to as our welding equipment for beginners that even pros would like to own.
Best Welders for Beginners 2020 Reviews
1. Everlast PowerMIG - Version 2019
The 2019 Everlast Power MIG is a great beginner welder. It is designed to operate on 110 volt electrical currents. Those are the standard electrical outlets in your home or business. You will get the maximum 140 amp output with this electrical current.
This is another top-rated Everlast welding machine which is lightweight and easy to pick up and transport. You can take this with you anywhere you go. It weighs only 42 pounds so most people will be able to carry the machine without any assistance.
You can weld stainless steel, mild steel and aluminum that is up to 3/16” thick in a single pass. The aluminum welding does require that you use a spool gun that you purchase separately. In two passes you are going to be able to weld metals up to 3/8” thick.
It can feed .023” wire and .030” diameter wire. It can be used with wire spools that are 4” and wire spools that are 8”.
With your purchase you will receive a MIG gun on a 10 foot lead, a work clamp on a 10 foot lead, an Ar/CO@ regulator, a consumable start kit. The machine is housed in stainless steel so it is durable and weather resistant.
2. PrimeWeld Multi-Process Welder
This is a welding machine for beginners that will allow you to explore more than one welding process, and will allow you to grow in skill and technique without buying another machine.
This is a combination welder that can be used in TIG welding processes (200 AMPs) and Stick welding processes (200 AMPs). It can also be used as a plasma cutter (50 AMPs) so you can cut your metals and fabricate metal things.
The plasma cutter is suitable for cutting metals that are up to ½” thick. The TIG and stick welding processes will create welds on the majority of metal surfaces like pot metal, aluminum, copper, brass, steel, stainless steel, steel alloy, pipe, sheet metal and many more.
The unit weighs only 32 pounds so it is a perfect hobbyist machine, or homeowner machine. It is small, does not take up much storage space, and can be lifted and moved by most adults.
It has an amazing duty cycle of 60% at maximum amps for all processes. It easily switches from a DC TIG welder to a DC stick welder with one simple control. You can use this machine to learn the basics of welding, and then use this machine for many years as you perfect your technique.
3. Forney Easy Weld 298 - Best Starter Welder
This is a great beginning welder that has enough power to impress any welder, no matter what their experience level is. It is powered by the normal 120 volt household circuit and it creates a 90 amp consistent output.
This is a stick welder that can handle welding rods up to a 1/8”. You can also buy accessories and use this machine as a TIG welder. As your skills increase, and your confidence increases you can learn other welding processes using the same machine.
It comes with an 8’ electrode holder and an 8’ ground clamp. It does not come with a foot pedal so if you want to use a foot pedal when you operate the TIG capabilities you will need to buy one separately. It does have easy arc start technology so you will have less sticking.
This machine is perfect for the beginner. The controls are easy to set and easy to understand. The instruction manual is detailed and will help you learn what settings to use with different metals and processes. It is a great machine for maintenance around the farm, home, or shop, and for hobbyist and craft workers.
4. Super Deal PRO Commercial Welding Machine
If you are a beginning welder then you want to get a welding machine that is powerful, easy to operate, and capable of creating precision welds. This is a welding machine that is an excellent choice for any beginner, or expert.
This is the best MIG welder for the beginner designed to be used with flux-cored wire. That allows the metal inert gas to be self-released so you have less possibilities of oxidation on your welds. You can use this flux core welder to weld sheet metal in a scratch.
The machine comes complete with 2 tips and a ground cord with clamp, 0.55 pounds of welding wire, a welding mask, a wire brush, a chipping hammer, a MIG torch that has the full on and off safety control built into it, and the main welding machine. You are ready to start welding as soon as you get everything out of the box.
The controls let you have four levels of flow current, and you will find the controls easy to understand so you will have no difficulties setting the machine up to do the work you need to do.
It works well on mild stainless, stainless, aluminum, copper, and most metals. It is a great machine for homeowners, hobbyist, repair and fabrication.
5. Goplus MIG 130 Welding Machine
One of the features that make this MIG welding machine perfect for the beginner is the fact that it uses flux core wire and does not require a separate metal inert gas for operations. This really does make the machine easier to use, and it enables the new welder to create smoother welds with less splatter and clean up.
You will get four levels of speed so you can weld a larger variety of metals. You get 10 levels of wire feed speed that is adjusted using a rotary knob. These adjustments will make your work smoother and stronger.
You get four heat settings so you can have the right temperature for each metal variety. You also get two air vents positioned on the side of the machine that will help to keep the temperatures from getting too high.
The body of the machine is stainless steel so there will be no worries with rust or corrosion.
This machine comes with a torch that has a switch that will allow you to turn the power off, or turn the power on. There is also an automatic thermal safety protection that prevents the machine from overheating. It also comes with a welding mask and everything needed so you can put it to work as soon as you get it out of the box.
6. Forney Easy Weld 261 FC-I Mig Machine Start up Kit
The Forney Easy Weld has the capability of welding materials that are as thick as 24 gauge, and ¼”. You have complete control of the wire feed so when you are welding thinner metals you can set the machine to a thin plate setting and set the wire feed at a higher rate.
If you want to weld thicker metals simply set it to a steel plate setting and lower that wire speed.It is powered by a common household 120 volt circuit. It produces a 125 amp output.
It uses flux core wire so you do not need metal inert gas to operate it. The flux core has self-release inert gas designed into it. You can use either the 2 pound spools of flux core or the 10 pound spools of flux core with this machine.
You can do a wide variety of welding jobs, like repairing lawnmower decks, and tractor parts, and fixing fences, and designing and fabricating crafts and works of art. This machine lets you work on almost every type of metal, so it is perfect for almost every welder. It is also light and portable so it is easy to handle.
Read Our Review On Forney Easy Weld 299 Review
7. Lotos TIG 200A AC/DC - Hobby ARC Welder
If you are a beginning welder then you may not realize that not every welding machine is capable of being used to weld aluminum. The majority of machines that do say they are able to weld aluminum require you to purchase accessories before you can weld aluminum.
It's the best TIG welder for the beginner welder comes with everything you need to weld aluminum. You also get the foot pedal that TIG welders love to use because the foot pedal gives you precise and accurate heat control without you having to move one of your busy hands.
This machine has a plasma cutter that provides stable and durable performance. It is also a dual power machine so you can flip one switch and plug it into either a 110/115 volt circuit or a 210/220volt circuit.
You get a stick welder that has an easy arc start, an adjustable hot striking arc, a deep weld pool, and it can be operated with wither acid based or basic electrodes.
This welding machine is ideal for a beginner, or for any welder. It weighs only 58 pounds, and you receive the power supply cord, the TIG torch, the MMA/stick clamp, the ground clamp, the Argon regulator, the 220v/110v power converter, a consumable starter set, and a detailed instruction manual.
8. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
This Hobart Handler 140 welding machine can be used on auto parts, home repairs, farm implements, lawn and garden items, and for craft projects. It is lightweight and easy to use. It is suitable for welding copper pipe, Titanium, Cast iron, aluminum, brass, mild steel, stainless steel, steel alloy, pipe, and most other metals.
It is powered by the standard 110 volt household current. This means that you will not need any special connections or plugs to operate the machine. You will need a 20 amp breaker on the circuit the machine is working from.
It produces between 25 and 140 amps of output. The machine has a 20% duty cycle at 90 amps. You have a five position tapped voltage control selector that will allow you to insure that you have the optimum arc no matter what thickness of metal you are working with. This will mean you will have a lot less splatter and after weld cleanup to do.
The wire feed is between 40 and 700 IPM when it is working under a load, and 50 and 740 IPM when it is working under no load.
You can have the machine set up and be welding in less than five minutes. The weld set up guide is positioned on the inside of the cover so you always have it with you to refer to.
9. AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp - Best Stick Welder for Beginners
This is a versatile welding machine that has the capabilities of welding ¼” thick aluminum and 3/8” mild steel with the same precision and accuracy.
This is a combination machine that can be used to do common stick welding jobs and more complicated TIG welding jobs. That makes the machine great for beginners, because as you grow in skills your machine still has the ability to let you learn new techniques, and work with a wider variety of metals.
It is a dual power machine that has high performance output when used with a 110 volt current or the higher 220 volt current. You can expect as much as 150 amp output when you are powering this machine with 110 volt circuit. It has a start amp range of 10-200, a pulse amp range of 10-200, and an end amp range of 10-200.
It comes with a standard WP17 flex hose TIG torch that uses the common TIG consumables, a foot pedal for heat control, and a separate TIG control switch for anyone who chooses to add a trigger switch to the torch. All of this power is packed into a unit that weighs less than 70 pounds.
10. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln welding machines are made in the USA. They are sturdy pieces of equipment that many welders trust and rely on. This machine is the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 MIG welder.
It is a fantastic beginner welder machine. The controls and settings are easy to operate, easy to read, and there are several extra safety features designed into the unit. It has a cold contactor safety feature that maintains the welding wire at a cool temperature until the trigger on the welding torch is depressed.
It is powered by a common household electric circuit of 115 volts. It has a 20% duty cycle at 70 amps, and creates an output between 35 amps and 88 amps. The machine measures 12 ¾” x 8 ¾” x 18”, and it only weighs 26 pounds. Unlike the Lincoln K2481-1 which is more powerful with 220v it is perfect for hobbyist and homeowners because it is lightweight, easy to move, and easy to store.
The machine comes ready to work with a welding gun and cable assembly, the work clamp and cable, the MIG welding hose, a spool of 0.025” solid MIG wire, three of the 0.035 contact tips, three of the 0.025” contact tips, every other little thing you need to make it work and an easy to read instruction manual and welding set up guide.
Best Beginner Welding Machine Buying Guide
Welding for beginners is challenging and the more challenge is buying your first welding machine which can be intimidating. The truth is, you are more than likely stressing yourself out way too much over this purchase. Let’s take a look at the things you need to consider so you can make an informed decision when you choose your welding machine.
The first thing you have to know is that there are three major welding techniques, and the majority of all welding machines are able to do one, or more, of these welding processes.
#) SMAW is shielded metal arc welding, and it is commonly referred to as “stick” welding
In this welding process you have a spring loaded handle clamp that grasps and holds the welding electrode, (welding rod). The welding rod has a core made of metal and is coated in a dry casing. When this casing is heated and melted it is the “shielding” for the weld puddle.
Thus the name shielded metal arc welding. The shielding lies on top of the weld puddle and after you are finished welding it is called slag, and you have to remove that slag with manual tools like a chipping hammer. This type of welding makes very strong welds and is used in construction to weld pipes, and I-beams.
#) GMAW is gas metal arc welding often called MIG or metal inert gas welding. A consumable wire is fed through the handle of a welding gun and the wire melts in the position you have placed it. This type of welding requires a shielding gas such as carbon dioxide, argon or helium.
#) GTAW is gas tungsten arc welding, or Tungsten inert gas welding, commonly called TIG. This type of welding can be performed with or without a filler rod.
You need to consider how and what you will be welding before you can decide which welding machine is best for you.
- If you will work outdoors a lot welding farm equipment and things of that nature you want a stick welder because the stick welder can be operated even with the wind blowing.
- If you are going to be welding on fairly thick items you will want to consider a MIG welder or Stick welder. The TIG welder is better suited to thinner materials.
- If you will be mainly using the welder in hobby and craft work you want to get a welder with MIG process abilities. These machines can help you make aesthetically pleasing welds that need very little slag removal.
- A TIG welder is more of a professional welders tool, and it is a great tool if you will be welding exotic metals.
When you are considering a welding machine one of the things you need to really consider is how easy the machine is to use. You want a machine with easy to set dials and a display that shows you what each dial is set to.
If you do not have a welding mentor to advice you on this purchase then I recommend that you read reviews, and read the customer reviews, before you buy.
If you are uncertain about which welding process you want to use the most consider buying a combination machine that allows you to use two or more of the common processes.
Looking for more elaborated diagram and charts that show you the comparisons of different welding types? Our team found this awesome guide around the globe: Millerwelds Beginner's Guide.
Tips for First Time or Hobby Welders
If you have an interest in learning to weld the following tips should help you. The first thing you have to know about welding is what type of welding you plan to learn first.
1. TIG welding is best if you plan to work with brass, chromoly, copper or titanium. TIG is also better suited for thinner metals than MIG is.
2. MIG is a great choice if you plan to weld aluminum or thicker metals
3. Stick welding is the most common and you are going to need to know how to do this if you plan to weld cast iron
4. Find a mentor if you can. You want someone who does the type of welding that you want to do so they can critique your technique and give you pointers.
5. You need to know the basic welding terminology before you begin. The basic terminology will help you to understand your welding manuals and the instructions for your welding equipment.
6. Get the proper protective equipment before you begin. You must always protect your eyes, and wear protective gloves. Most welders also wear clothing that will protect their arms, and never weld without shoes, or while wearing open toed shoes.
7. Practice does make perfect. You are not going to make the perfect bead the first time you weld. You are going to need to practice and learn which heat settings work best for you, and how fast you can weld and still maintain a smooth bead.
Welding is one of those skills that you learn more about each time you do it. The different metals, and the different techniques will each teach you different skills. The most important thing is to remember that Rome was not built in a day, so do not rush yourself. Enjoy the learning process.
Frequently Asking Questions
Q. What does a beginner welder need?
The first thing that a beginning welder needs is the desire to learn. They will need a welding machine and the safety equipment of a welding hood, welding gloves, and a protective shirt to wear while welding.
MIG welding is the easiest to learn and requires the fewest accessories. If the beginner starts with stick welding they will need pliers to help remove the slag that the welding process creates, and possibly a grinder to smooth their welds.
Q. What is the best type of welder for a beginner?
MIG welding machines are the easiest machines to learn to use. A beginner would be able to quickly learn to use the controls and create welds that they were pleased with. A combination of MIG/TIG welder would also be good because when the beginner has accomplished the MIG process they can then start learning the TIG process and further their skills.
Q. What is the easiest type of welding to learn?
Gas metal arc welding, better known as MIG welding, is the easiest welding process to learn. The MIG welding process is cleaner and produces very little slag for the welder to have to clean away. It creates strong welds that look good without as much concern overheat control and puddle formation.
Q. Is stick welding hard for a beginner?
Stick welding is a more complicated process. The stick welding produces more slag that has to be cleaned up and if you do not know exactly how much heat to apply, how to hold your electrode, and more then you have even a greater amount of slag to contend with.
Stick welding usually requires that you have a 220 volt circuit to power the welder, and learning to control the heat and create the perfect weld puddle is hard to do. Not impossible, just hard.
Beginning to weld is like any other skill. You have to learn the terminology, you have to learn the materials involved, and then you begin to learn the techniques. Welders gain experience over time. You can go to school to become a certified welder, or you can learn on the job, and you can even learn this skill set at home with your own welding machine and accessories.
Hope, this best welding machine for beginners guide will help you to choose the right machine for your purpose.
Remember to always follow the safety guidelines that come with your welding machine. Keep practicing until you can create the welds that you want to weld.