Which is the best inverter stick welder and how to use it.Now we will discuss about it.
- Best Universal Welding Inverters
- Best Inverters for manual arc welding
- Best welding inverters-semi-automatic
Buy a good welding inverter, so that it can be used at work, at home, and in the country, where 220V is not always the case — a difficult task. We will try to help you with this.
Thanks to the development of inverter technology, welding machines have become compact, economical and easy to use even for beginners.
Thanks to this, you can find a device for manual arc welding or a semi-automatic machine in many garages and private workshops.
Stable and high demand for welding inverters makes competing manufacturers constantly improve their product range, reduce prices and develop branded services.
It is quite difficult to choose the best welding inverter – there is such a variety on the market that it takes your breath away.
But experienced welders do not try to experiment, referring to the products of already familiar manufacturers.
They choose only brands that are proven by time and their own work. After all, if the manufacturer is serious, then the quality is always kept at a high level – both in semi-professional and professional devices.
Therefore, before buying a new inverter, look through the products of those manufacturers that were already in operation.
Even if you did not work yourself, your colleagues will advise you. Based on many years of experience, a list of leading manufacturers of welding inverters has been formed, which we offer to your attention, taking for comparison devices “for work and home”.
That is, with which you can earn money and cope with household chores. Depending on the operating mode, inverters are divided into three categories::
- Manual arc welding machines (MMA)
- Semi-automatic machines (MIG/MAG)
- Argon welding machines (TIG).
Since several devices in our rating are multi-functional, the comparison was carried out not only by the main function but also in the category “Best universal device“.
Best Universal Welding Inverters
TIG 200 AC/DC Pulse
Marking this welding machine unwittingly will attract not only professional agonists but also fans of the work of Malcolm Young associates.
And in terms of the number of buttons, sockets and “twirlers”, the front panel of the device looks like a guitar amp.
So, here is a very functional device, proudly bearing the mark of the NAKS certification. The operation of piece electrodes and welding in a protective gas environment is supported, the maximum current output by the inverter converter in both modes is 200 amps.
In Pulse mode, the welder can adjust both the frequency, balance, and lower level of the ripple current, in TIG mode, as you have already understood, both AC and DC welding is available.
At the same time, you can adjust the starting current separately from the working current, adjust the balance in the TIG AC mode, switch between two-stroke and four-stroke modes, and in the latter you can also adjust the crater welding.
In short, it is an excellent welding machine for versatility, capable of working in a variety of conditions-from jewelry welding of thin-walled parts with argon to cutting metal with an electrode.
- The richness of the settings
- Solid dimensions and weight
- The price is not from the budget
Torus 200c Super
The Torus brand is well-known among professional welders – inverters of this Moscow company easily survive the warranty period even with the most severe operation, without presenting unpleasant “surprises”even after the end of the warranty.
The MMA / TIG inverter “200 c Super” will allow the owner to work at a current of up to 200 A at a PV of 100 – and this means the possibility of full-fledged long-term work with electrodes up to 5 mm in diameter.
It is important that this inverter can have the NAKS certification (this option will be more expensive than the non-certified one by an average of 2 thousand), which is the best proof of the high quality of the welding seams created by the device.
The merit of this is in the microprocessor scheme for forming the current curve – this ensures not only its optimal shape, but also the stability of the characteristics in case of a strong voltage drop.
The inverter will be equally convenient for both a welder with many years of experience and a beginner – it is extremely easy to ignite and hold the arc on it, and in TIG mode in the same way as when welding with a piece electrode.
The minimum current is 20A, which makes it possible to use the “200c Super” inverter for argon welding of the thinnest parts.
- Extreme ease of use.
- Unlimited duration of permanent work.
- Operation with voltage drawdowns up to 165 V.
- As with other devices, NAKS certification requires an additional fee.
ARC 205 B (Z203)
This inverter in the MMA and TIG modes, it allows you to use a welding current of up to 200 A, while the PV reaches 80%.
At currents of less than 160 A, the efficient cooling system allows the use of the inverter without the obligatory cooling pauses.
When working with the Tech Arc 205 B device, it is worth considering that the power consumed by it in the MMA mode reaches 9 kW, and large drawdowns of the supply voltage are possible.
However, thanks to the built-in digital indicator of the welding current, they can be compensated to a certain extent – on devices where the current is set on the scale of the controller, the current adjustment to the desired value has to be carried out”by eye”.
To facilitate welding, the manufacturer provides not only “anti-sticking” and “hot start” modes, but also an adjustable level of arc afterburner during ignition. Welding safety provides the ability to enable VRD (No-load Voltage Reduction) mode to avoid electric shock when welding in high humidity conditions.
In TIG mode, the maximum power consumption of the inverter is 5 kW.
Although it can not be called a full-fledged device for argon arc welding (only current is regulated, there is no TIG AC mode for welding light alloys), Tech Arc 205 B can be successfully used for high-quality welding of carbon and stainless alloys, bronze and brass.
The TIG Lift mode (touch ignition) will greatly facilitate the development of work with a refractory electrode.
The main sign of the high quality of this inverter can be considered that it can pass the NAKS certification, that is, get access to responsible work on pipelines, in boiler rooms, on high-load bearing structures.
- possibility of long-term operation
- easy arc ignition in both welding modes
- convenient current setting
- The inability to weld aluminum.
Fast and Furious-161
The welding inverter produced by the Ryazan Instrument Plant, although it does not shock with the declared characteristics or ultra-modern design, will give the professional exactly what he needs-reliability and accuracy of forming the current-voltage characteristics of the welding current in MMA and TIG modes.
In both cases, the maximum welding current is 160A, but continuous operation is possible at a current of no more than 100A.
Therefore, this inverter is most suitable for working with a fairly thin metal that does not require deep welding at high current.
The advantages of the device include the ability to work with strong voltage drawdowns-the manufacturer’s declared performance at 140V in the socket is perfectly confirmed in practice.
The “soft” arc is easily ignited and burns without much metal splashing. The automatic fan control applied in the inverter by a signal from the temperature sensor significantly reduces the amount of dust sucked into the housing, respectively, making the need for cleaning the radiators of the output stage more rare.
- Stability of the characteristics in case of voltage drawdowns.
- High reliability.
- Automatic activation of “anti-sticking” is convenient for novice welders.
- There are no wires in the kit – you will have to assemble the kit yourself.
- On the other hand, it is even in the hands of a professional.
- The orientation of the device to work at low currents.
Quattro Elementi MultiPro 2100
This welding machine has almost the maximum possible versatility: the “Italian” is able to work both as a semi-automatic welding machine and cook in MMA and TIG modes.
Of course, with a maximum current of 160 A and a low PV, it is not considered professional, but in a personal workshop its capabilities will be sufficient.
Taking into account the fact that the afterburner of the arc, anti-sticking and “hot start” are introduced into the design of the device, it is difficult to demand anything else for the MMA mode if you work with electrodes with a diameter of 2-3 mm.
Need to cook thin iron? Well, put the coil with the wire and connect the burner. In MIG-mode, the device is able to work on a two-stroke or four-stroke circuit, although this is not attributed to such serious advantages – it would be better if the manufacturer expanded the TIG mode settings.
To him, the main complaint is, of course, working only on direct current. In the presence of TIG AC, of course, the inverter would be an ideal “universal” for a personal workshop.
- The combination of welding MMA, MIG and TIG DC
- Ease of operation
- Digital display
- Limited power
- Limited transportability (weight without coil – 16 kg)
The most versatile device in the review-it allows its owner to work with both welding wire in MIG/MAG mode, and with piece electrodes and an argon burner (although only in TIG DC mode – it will not be possible to use it for welding aluminum alloys).
This inverter belongs to the family of welding machines with microprocessor synergetic control:
It has only two controls – a touch-sensitive mode selection button and a multi-function controller. Consecutive clicks on the mode selector allow you to select one of the options:
- Stick-welding with short sections of the seam, while the inverter automatically extinguishes the arc at the end of the specified garage time;
- Lift TIG-argon welding with touch ignition
- MIG -semi-automatic welding in carbon dioxide
MIG MIX-semi-automatic welding in a mixture of gases (argon+carbon dioxide).
Most garage arc parameters are set automatically depending on the selected mode. This is convenient for beginners, but a professional welder is more likely to choose a device with a large number of manual settings.
In addition, full operation at high currents and low limit value PV: long cooking electrode is possible only when the diameter up to 3 mm, which given the high price of the inverter led to a noticeable downgrade in the rating of the best welding machines.
- Convenience for novice welders.
- Multi-functionality (although limited by the characteristics).
- Focus on low currents.
- Sensitivity to voltage drawdowns: lower threshold-185 V.
BLUE WELD Prestige 186 PRO
This “universal”, designed for MMA and TIG welding, is quite simple (but cheap for this class): primary it mode stick electrodes, working under argon due to the low settings is not always convenient.
So we have a welding machine rather for “garage craftsmen”, either only mastering argon in addition to working with the already familiar electrodes, or needing TIG welding on a case-by-case basis and without high requirements for the quality of the seam.
The inverter is compact and quite light, which is again a plus for the garage – there is usually no extra space.
It tolerates voltage draw downs quite well, although at low power this is not surprising: the welder consumes only 4 kW, developing an output current of up to 160 A at a PV of 60%.
The absence of any regulators other than the current regulator clearly indicates that the inverter operates independently of the DC welding mode.
For TIG, this is not always good: the same aluminum alloys already require alternating current.
So from the materials found in garage practice, the inverter is most likely to be used with stainless steel.
Argon burner, by the way, will have to buy more: the Italians did not add it to the delivery package, which once again hints at the primacy of the MMA mode.
There is a separate nuance when choosing: in fact, two models are produced under the same label: one has a two-position switch exclusively for setting the operating mode (MMA/TIG).
But the second switch has a three-position switch, and with it you can already have separate settings for ignition of rutile and alkaline electrodes, which is very convenient.
- Build Quality
- The convenience of ignition and operation
- Limited TIG welding capabilities
Best Inverters for manual arc welding
FUBAG IR 200
This welding inverter boasts not only a high maximum current of 200 amps, which allows it to be used for welding and cutting metal with all types of electrodes with a diameter of up to 5 millimetres, but also a wide range of operating voltages.
The efficiency of the welding machine is maintained when the voltage in the socket drops to 150 V, which will be appreciated by garage owners and residents of rural areas.
To facilitate the work, the functions of anti-sticking, arc afterburner and hot start are provided, so that even a beginner can work effectively with the IR 200.
The total score can reduce only for a low value of the PV coefficient (40%). Simply put, when operating at maximum current, there should be at least 6 minutes of cooling for every 4 minutes of operation.
- A decent current reserve
- Performance at high voltage draw downs
- To facilitate the ignition and maintaining arc modes.
- Insufficient duration of continuous operation.
Wester MMA-VRD 200
This compact welding inverter is very attractive in its characteristics: with a maximum welding current of 200 A.
Continuous operation is already possible at 126 A that is in most cases it will not require breaks for cooling.
You don’t constantly cook massive structures with five-millimeter electrodes, do you?
All the functions that a modern inverter should have for MMA welding are also present here – “anti-sticking”, “hot start”, and arc afterburner.
Since the no-load voltage here is 65 V, for the safety of operation in high humidity, the manufacturer has introduced a VRD circuit into the circuit, which automatically reduces the voltage at the terminals when welding is not carried out, but the device is not switched off.
In general, a good inexpensive welding inverter for home, cottage, garage, which has earned a lot of positive reviews on the forums.
Especially the inverter will be of interest to those who often have to work from the stairs.
when the welder is hanging on the shoulder with the “Wester” it is quite convenient. The only thing that would not prevent him is to increase the current regulator, it is not very convenient to turn it in the leggings.
- Possibility of continuous operation at currents up to 126 A
- Short standard wires
ELITECH AIS 200
Although the marking of this welding inverter leads to the idea that the maximum welding current here is 200 amps.
In fact, the reality is a little more modest, it can “squeeze” out of itself only 180 A, and at a PV of only 60%. Thus, the best choice for him is welding with 2-3 mm electrodes, with the “four” already planned smoke breaks will require, if you do not try to test the safety margin of the welder in practice.
As for the safety margin, here this term can understand almost literally: compared to many representatives of its class, Elitech will seem like a real “brick”, because it weighs 8 kg – one and a half times more than many inverters with the same maximum current.
The scheme in it quite satisfies modern ideas about the welding inverter: the afterburner of the arc can provide, the current consumption is quite acceptable.
So it can be safely used in garage arrays, where the wiring can brew even “under the king of Peas” without counting on serious loads, to take it to the dacha plot.
- Reliability, “omnivore” in terms of nutrition
- High-quality cables included
- The presence of the fast and the furious arc
- Dimensions and weight
- The relatively low value of the PV coefficient
Inverters under the brand name “Resanta” have become very popular due to decent quality at an affordable price.
The third-ranked model has the highest maximum current: 220 A. This allows the owner to work with electrodes with a diameter of up to 5 mm, cook massive metal structures and cut metal with an arc.
The device not only provides a large welding current, but can also work on it for a long time: its PV coefficient is 70%.
The design provides the functions of “hot start” and “anti-sticking”, but there is no arc afterburner (an increase in the current at the time of ignition).
Therefore, for a novice welder, the SAI-220 is less convenient than the leaders of the rating. It is also worth noting the wide range of operating voltages: 140-260 V.
Unfortunately, the overall score, despite the excellent technical characteristics, has to be reduced due to frequent complaints about breakdowns of the Resanta inverters.
The device requires more careful storage (the board is not covered with varnish) and handling.
- the possibility of use at high welding currents
- small size and weight
- affordable price.
- floating the build quality: many owners are experiencing frequent breakdowns.
- sensitivity to humidity and abrasive dust.
Despite the external clumsiness (it seems that the Russian-language markings can stock on hastily), the Eurolux IWM-190 may be of interest to many people who do not need intensive work with the welding machine, and it is most of the time gathering dust in the garage: in this case, it is logical to buy a good inexpensive entry-class inverter.
The inverter itself is compact, although there are complete cables and more genuine technical “stubs” that the manufacturer offers.
With a declared maximum current of 190 amps and a PV of 70% for a standard ” garage-household “electrode of 3 mm, the characteristics cover with a margin, if necessary, you can use a”four”.
Naturally, for this money, it is difficult to expect from the manufacturer the use of “anti-sticking” or arc afterburner modes in the inverter: its design is very simple, which, in principle, also has its advantages.
In the budget segment, you should strive to complicate the design, simplicity and reliability are a priority.
The scheme itself can already well know to both welders and repairers from the numerous “Resants” sold in our country – as is often the case with equipment with Asian roots.
So even in the event of problems during the warranty period, it will not be easy to “revive “the inverter – and in fact, in comparison with the “Resants” it is also cheaper.
- Low price
- Not an ultra-modern, but a time-tested scheme
- It is better to replace the complete cables immediately
BLUE WELD Starmig 210 Dual Synergic
If we abstract from the price, which will not exactly call democratic here, then this semi-automatic machine is very interesting.
Already purely externally, it stands out from a number of its own kind with a large liquid crystal screen, which is very, very informative. However, the main thing here is not the appearance, but the “filling”:
The brand term “synergetic control” means a completely software-based adjustment of the characteristics of the welding machine, selected for a specific function.
Even the welding current can calculate the machine itself, based on the thickness of the parts to weld and the type of wire.
If you are such a brutal welder that all these “whistles” can not need at all, then you can turn off the synergetic mode completely and turn the adjustments the old-fashion way.
So the impression of this semi-automatic, of course, is controversial. On the one hand, for a novice welder, it will be a real discovery, allowing you to master various methods of semi-automatic welding with maximum ease.
But, on the other hand, not every self-taught welder can afford to fork out a considerable amount, which is enough for two good welders.
- Ease of operation
Aurora OVER MAN 180
Welding semi-automatic machines “Aurora” can widely use in Russia. They can distinguish not only by the affordable price, but also by the flexibility of the characteristics combined with high reliability.
The Over man 180 is the most popular model in the Aurora amateur range.
The maximum current developed by this inverter is 175 A, which is more than enough when working with a wire with a diameter of up to 1 mm.
At the same time, the semi-automatic machine is very economical – its power is only 4.7 kW.
Unlike most models of inverters for semi-automatic welding, there is a manual adjustment of the rigidity of the volt-ampere characteristic (the “Inductance”knob).
Thanks to this, it is possible to make the work more convenient both for thin metal (preferably “soft” VAC) and for massive parts (on” hard ” VAC at high current, there is less sparks flying).
The semi-automatic has an unregulated post-gas time. After the welding can stop, carbon dioxide can feed into the sleeve for another 1 second to protect and cool the seam.
To facilitate the filling of the wire, the manufacturer has provided for accelerated broaching, which can activate a button near the wire feed mechanism.
- the flexibility of the welding arc
- the inability to manually adjust the wire feed speed.
The above rating of the best welding inverters takes into account not only the technical characteristics and reliability of welding machines, but also their prevalence.
Therefore, many models can not include in it: for example, it is difficult to recommend the Contact 200 MMA inverter, which, although it has excellent parameters (PV 90% at 200 A, power consumption no more than 4.5 kW) and price, but can extremely little use in retail chains and online stores.
Speaking about common models, you can rely on the experience of a large number of users with different experiences.
At the same time, cheaper inverters can subject to no less severe testing in the hands of inexperienced welders than more expensive constantly operated professional models.
I’m Sahadat Hossain. I am working as Assistant Professor at Joynagor Technical and BM College. Besides, I have one welding workshop business from 2013. And in 2018 I started blogging about welding accessories. I want to share my experience with using welding accessories. In this blog, all content is written by me.