If you have ever dealt with a sub-par welder, you'll know exactly how frustrating it is. Besides, trying to find the right welder can be equally frustrating. You are probably better off with buying a welder and doing the job yourself. But finding the right welder may not be easy. Looking for information on the internet will, however, lead to various websites providing contradictory information, making the process even more confusing.
That's why we're here for you, and come up with this list of the best welder for home use along with a buying guide to help you figure out which welder is ideal for your requirements.
Our Top 7 Picks Compared
Weight - 19 lbs
Weight - 13 lbs
MIG / TIG
Weight - 24 lbs
Weight - 24 lbs
Weight - 16 lbs
Weight - 10 lbs
Weight - 12 lbs
MIG Vs. TIG Vs. Stick - Which One Should You Choose?
There are three main types of welders. There is no best welding, and it all boils down to what you need. Here is an outline of the three main types of welders.
1. MIG Welding
For beginners, MIG welding is very easy to learn. In this welding, you'll have to utilize a MIG gun, which feeds a wire electrode through the welding unit when you press its trigger.
- Gas MIG (GMAW)
In gas MIG welding, the arc can become contaminated through the atmosphere. As such, you'll have to use gas to guard the arc. The gas runs from the gun and encircles the wire electrode. It produces less splatter, but the steel has to be clean for welding, and welds aren't as good as TIG welds.
- Gasless MIG
MIG welder can also be utilized for flux-core welding. For this, you don’t have to use gas but instead a flux-cored wire that contains a core for preventing contamination of the weld pool. It has deep penetration and is easy to set up. However, it causes splatter.
2. TIG Welding
In this form of welding, you'll have to use a torch and make an arc between the non-consumable tungsten electrode and the base metal. This type of welding is very challenging, and you'll have to utilize both your hands as well as a foot pedal. However, the quality of the welds is very precise.
3. Stick Welding (Arc)
This form of welding is more inexpensive and easier to learn. Its primarily used for welding steel and thick cast iron. In comparison to MIG welding, it requires a lot more skill as you need to keep the arc at the ideal distance from your workpiece as the rod burns down. However, it does produce splatter and slag.
Top 7 Best Welders For Home Use
Through intensive research, personal use, and customer review, we've come up with our list of the best welders in the market. I hope it will be easy for you to pick one once you are through.
MIG welding is often the first choice when it comes to welding. Forney is a brand that's known for manufacturing great welders, and with the Easy Weld 261, the brand has produced a powerful yet easy to use a welder. It's great for professionals as well as intermediates and comes with an output of 140 amp, which is fairly decent, along with various accessories. This unit utilizes a flux core wire off with a size range of 0.30-0.35 inches. The smooth wire welding, along with the infinite voltage control, makes it an excellent option for professionals.
Most affordable and easy to use welders don't offer a high amp. However, this is not the case with Forney. With a max amp output of 140, this unit is suitable for most operations. At just 19lbs, this unit is also very portable. If you need to constantly carry your unit around, this welder will be very suitable. What makes it even more amazing is that it comes in a full metal case. The delicate electronics and inside components are perfectly safe from hazards. It also comes with various accessories, which makes it a great value for money.
However, if you're a complete beginner, this unit might not be suitable. With its rugged construction, efficiency, and affordable price tag, this welder from Forney is a great selection.
If you want a portable yet powerful device, then the 200 AMP Inverter Welder from S7 will make an excellent choice. Thanks to its inverter frequency of 100KHZ, this unit is incredibly fast at doing its job. This welder has also been specially optimized for a seamless weld, so you don't have to worry about spatter and post-weld clean-up. With an impressive input frequency of 50/60Hz and a duty cycle of 80%, performance will certainly not be a problem with this unit.
Whether you're a professional or beginner, this unit will be suitable for your needs. This is also a versatile unit. You can use it for both TIG/ARC, preventing you from purchasing multiple devices. It's great for welding various metals like copper alloy, copper, steel, carbon, alloy steel, stainless steel, and another non-ferrous metal welding. The welds from this unit are smooth and of high-quality.
Weighing just 9kgs, it's certainly a portable unit. The welders handle it even easier to carry it around. It's easy to use and comes with lots of accessories. However, it's highly recommended that you use protective gear with this unit due to the emission of gases and radiation.
Easy Weld 140 MP from Forney is a versatile welder that comes with a lot of features. You can conveniently use this unit for DC TIG/MIG/Stick welding. You don’t have to purchase various welders; this unit is all it takes. The quality of welds is also smooth and high-quality. Its also super easy to use thanks to the three-position switch allowing you to change processes swiftly.
The wire feed speed controls and infinite voltage makes it a perfect fit for professionals. Whether you’re a professional or beginner, you can make the most out of this unit. This welder also comes in a rugged all-metal frame. If durability and longevity is something you're looking for, this unit won't disappoint you. It weighs just 24.8lbs, which is relatively lightweight, so if you're constantly working in different locations, you won't have a problem carrying this unit.
The addition of a handle makes it even more portable. It can weld various metals up to ¼ inches, making it suitable for most welding projects. However, if you want to use it for DC TIG welding, you'll have to buy the accessories separately.
The PowerARC 140STi from Everlast provides both performance and flexibility. It is also a versatile unit that supports both SC Lift TIG as well as Stick welding capabilities. It's easy to use and also comes with an adjustable hot start and force control. If you're a professional, this unit can be very suitable for various welding projects. The quality of the welds is also impressive. One of the best features of this unit is that it supports a dual voltage of 120V/240V. This means that you can use this product virtually anywhere.
It has a very compact design and weighs 24.8lbs making it easy for you to carry it around. However, the compact design hasn't sacrificed welding arc stability. We were impressed to see that the arc quality is comparable to a more expensive unit. It also comes with a duty cycle of 140, allowing you to weld continuously for a long time. Thanks to the digital display, you can easily monitor current settings.
The Lift Start feature makes it very ideal for steel. A disadvantage of this unit is that it's not compatible with aluminum welding, but if you're looking for an affordable, lightweight, and versatile unit, this PowerARC 140STi from Everlast will not disappoint you.
The Power ATIG1852018 TIG welder from Amico is a heavy-duty unit that comes loaded with various features. It's a multi-function welder that supports TIG/Stick/ARC welding, so you don't have to spend money on various units. With a duty cycle of 60% at 180 amps, this welder is very suitable for heavy-duty projects. All these features, along with the inverter mechanism, make it a very powerful unit for welding both thin and thick metals. This unit comes with an instruction manual, cable, hose, clamp, electrode holder, and a TIG torch.
It's a little bit heavier and costlier than ordinary stick welders. Despite it being heavy-duty, it's fairly easy for beginners to use as well. The instruction manual is also simple and easy to understand. For extra protection, this unit also comes with a voltage control function that effectively guards against under or Undervoltage. This increases the durability of the unit, and you'll be using it for many years to come.
The Power ATIG1852018 TIG Welder from Amico also features amp and temperature control features. It's an efficient and highly reliable machine that you can use for various applications. However, if you're looking for a portable unit, this might not be for you.
Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder is an entry-level welder that's a perfect combination of functionality and affordability. The first thing you'll notice about this unit is its compact design. Weighing just over 10 pounds, you'll have no trouble carrying this unit around. It's easily one of the most lightweight units we've come across. Despite its compact size, it's great at welding various types of carbon steel. It provides precise, smooth, and high-quality welds on particular types of steel.
This unit is also packed with various extras like brush hammer, face shield, spool of flux-cored wire, welding gun, and ground cable with clamp. What makes this unit even more impressive is that the tips are replaceable, comes with a 9-foot long ground wire, and the speed of the wire is also adjustable, which is something most customers don't consider.
It's also a versatile unit and supports dual voltage settings allowing you to use this welder for various projects. With a decent duty cycle of 10% at 80A, you'll be able to use this unit continuously for two minutes before shutting down to cool off. This unit is effective for small or medium projects; however, for bigger projects, you should consider other options.
The 110/220V MMA Welder from DEKOPRO is an affordable IGBT inverter welder. This unit features an IGBT technology-enabled control panel, which is comprehensive enough for even beginners to understand what this unit is capable of. It's a versatile unit and is excellent at welding various metals like cast iron, stainless steel, mild steel, and steel. One thing we love about this welder is that despite its various features, it has a very compact design.
With a weight of just 12.1 lbs and a plastic handle, you can easily carry this machine with you. The DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder has a very simple yet detailed control mechanism. You can adjust the power of the welding gun just by turning the knob left or right. The 'current meter' displays the voltage count that you're currently working with. It also has an advantageous 'overheat protection system' which automatically shuts the unit down if anything goes wrong.
This prevents damage and ensures longevity and durability. Another impressive feature is the welding surface, which we found in our review to be better than most at this price bracket. However, for heavy-duty welding, this might not be an appropriate unit.
Buying Guide For Home Welder
Now that you know which welders for home use are worth your investment, there are certain factors you must be mindful of when you purchase a welder. In our review, these features were given heavy weightage.
Voltage and Amperage
Most of the welders in our list work perfectly with different voltage settings. If you want the best unit for home use, opt for one that has various voltage acceptability. Output amperage is also another factor. Make sure that the input volts and power supply match with the welder's output amperage.
The duty cycle of a welder is calculated in 10 minutes enhancement. Every machine needs to cool down, and the duty cycle displays how long you can use the unit before it has to cool down. For instance, if your unit's duty cycle is 40%, then you can weld for about 4 minutes before it'll need to rest. Higher the duty cycle, the higher the output range.
Whether you're a professional or a beginner, a portable and lightweight unit can be very advantageous. Particularly if you're a professional, you'll have to carry the unit from place to place, so portability is a must-have feature. Most of the units on our list are very lightweight and comes with a handle to make transportation easier. Generally, if the unit comes with a lot of features, it'll likely be on the heavier side. However, some units are a perfect combination of functionality and portability.
Along with the performance of the machine, durability is another important factor. Quality welders usually come with aluminum drive systems increasing longevity. The material used to construct your welder is also essential. Metal or steel construction offers excellent durability. Also, ensure that the unit follows quality control guidelines. You might have to spend a few dollars extra for a durable unit, but you'll end up saving more in the long run.
Ease Of Use
Make sure that the unit is also easy to understand and simple to use. Especially if you’re a beginner, this factor is very important. If it has too many buttons and switches, it can take some time to get used to the unit unless you’re a professional.
Warranty is also another important consideration. All the products on our list come with a decent amount of warranty. The longer the warranty, the better. It shows how much the manufacturer trusts the quality of the unit. If anything goes wrong, the manufacturer will take care of it.
In the end, the price might be the most significant consideration. If you want a welder for home or casual use, you can get decent welders at an affordable price tag. For more professional usage, you’ll have to shelve a little more. However, regardless of the price tag, make sure that the unit comes with proper safety features.
Basic Welding Safety Tips
If you’re not careful while welding, you can experience hazards that can lead to injuries and other unwanted incidents. Here are some basic tips on enhancing welding safety while you work:
Stick to the book
Your welder will come with a safety instruction manual. Make sure that you follow it perfectly. If you lose the safety instructions, contact the manufacturer, or you can also look it up online
As much as possible, make sure every part of your body is covered with the necessary gear. You must not wear short sleeve shirts or shorts. Make sure your clothing is flame resistant and never forget your helmet and gloves. You don't have to burden yourself with thick protective clothing. Many modern protective gears are lightweight and fire-resistant as well.
The smoke and fumes emitted during your welding can pose health hazards. If you’re working in small spaces, toxic fumes can accumulate. You must use exhaust hood to eliminate fumes from the space and ensure that sufficient breathing air is available.
Make sure that your welding area is clutter-free and organized. Don't keep anything that you don't require, especially on the floor. If it's messy, you might trip and fall and experience untoward incidents. Your welding space should only be filled with equipment that you need.
The above-reviewed units are excellent for home use. They are a perfect combination of affordability, durability, and functionality. You won’t be disappointed with any of them. However, on our list, the top plum is taken by Easy Weld 261 by Forney. We were impressed by its ease of use, efficiency, durability, and portability. It’ll be hard to find a unit as remarkable as this. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, then the MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder from Pro-Series is a must-have. Regardless of which unit you purchase, take maximum safety precautions.