Welding equipment comparison 2021
On the test and comparison portal of COMPUTER BILD, we present you with the best welding machines.
Inert-gas welders are suitable for all applications and also for beginners among do-it-yourself. Anyone who frequently carries out welding work cannot do without a good welding device. Simple in
Tests show the differences between the devices: While some are equipped with a 230-volt connection, more powerful welders require 400 volts of voltage. Another important aspects are the switching levels. For optimal work, the welder should have at least 10 switching levels. Read our buying guide to find the best welding machine.
Buyer’s guide to the welding machine test or comparison:
Find your personal welding machine test winner with our help!
– Welding is the most important process for permanently joining metals. The workpieces are melted at the contact surfaces and then joined. After cooling down, a stable weld seam is formed at the joint.
– For beginners, we recommend a gas-shielded welder. Gas-shielded welding is an ideal process for beginners because it is quite simple and produces good results immediately.
– For beginners, it may be worthwhile to reach for an inexpensive welder that costs around 200dollars. For more ambitious do-it-yourself who weld more frequently, we recommend a device in the 500 euro and up price range.
There are a variety of ways to join workpieces together. These include soldering, which is familiar from the plumbing and electronics sectors, and gluing and gluing, which is familiar from carpentry work. Another option, which is particularly suitable for materials such as sheet metal and stainless steel (for example in the automotive sector), is welding.
In welding, in turn, a distinction can be made between different processes. Gas-shielded welding is recommended for do-it-yourself.
If you too would like to take up welding equipment, we will tell you what you need to look out for when buying and using a welding machine. We have studied some welding equipment tests and present you here a selection of suitable welding equipment for your DIY basement.
With a gas shielded welder you connect almost all metals:
The process of gas shielded welding begins with an arc that creates the temperature necessary to melt the material. This arc is created by electrical voltage. This, in turn, is generated between the work piece and the torch of the welder.
The high temperature causes the materials to melt at the contact surfaces where they are then joined. When the material cools, a permanent joint is formed between two pieces. To prevent the weld from deteriorating due to oxidation of the molten metal, shielding gas welders emit a gas that shields the molten material from oxygen in the air.
There are different types of welding processes and correspondingly different types of welding equipment. MIG welding, or metal inert gas welding, uses inert gases.
The inert gases used, argon or helium, are particularly suitable because they hardly react with other substances. MIG welding is optimal when joining non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum.
MAG welding (metal active gas welding), on the other hand, uses reactive gases, such as carbon dioxide in special CO2 welding equipment. The MAG process is used primarily to weld steels.
MIG and MAG welders can be used for both processes. They simply need to be equipped with the appropriate gas.
As the most frequently used equipment in the private as well as in the commercial sector, gas-shielded welding equipment has the following advantages and disadvantages:
- easy to use
- fast working
- can only be used outdoors to a limited extent (shielding gas can be blown away by the wind)
Buying guide: how to find the best welding machine for your next DIY project:
Even if you want to buy a good shielding gas or electric welder, you don’t necessarily have to dig deep into your pockets. Inexpensive welders are especially worthwhile for beginners. Often there are even brand-name welders on offer from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. You can also find them in their online stores.
Tip: Inverter welding units use a different welding power source. Inverter welding units are available for all common welding processes.
2.1 The mains connection
When buying, first pay attention to the mains connection of the welding unit. Many units require a conventional 230-volt outlet, while others have a 400-volt connection. A few units have connections for both voltages.
2.2 The maximum welding current
The amperage is a central aspect of gas-shielded welding. The higher the amperage, the hotter the arc generated. If you want to weld stainless steel with your welder, you need about 30 amps (amps) per millimeter of material thickness. For unalloyed steels it is 40 amperes.
2.3 The duty cycle
As you probably already guessed, not only the work pieces are strongly heated during welding. The welding machine components also get very hot. For this reason, welding units switch off automatically as soon as a certain period of use has been reached. Otherwise, there is a risk of damage to the device.
The duty cycle provides information on how long a welding device can be used at a stretch. Duty cycle is expressed as a percentage per ampere. At 60% / 40 A, you can weld for 6 minutes at a time if you need 30 amps. After that, you must take a break.
2.4 Through thick and thin: control range and switching steps
The control range of the amperage shows with which amperage the device works. Different materials and work piece thicknesses require different amperage. The larger the control range, the more different work pieces you can weld with it.
The switching steps within the control range allow you to precisely set the required amperage. The more switching steps there are, the more precise the setting options. Standard are 4 switching steps, but there are also welders with 10 switching steps.
2.5 The wire thickness
The welding wire is an important welding accessory. It is burned continuously during gas-shielded welding to join the work pieces together. It is therefore obvious that the welding wire must fit the work pieces perfectly. The wider the gap, the thicker the wire must be. Welding wires for DIY applications are between 0.6 and 1.2 mm thick. The most common are wires with 0.8 mm. Therefore, we recommend that you choose a device that can handle this wire thickness.
2.6 The length of hose package and ground wire
The length of the hose package and ground cable determines the maximum distance you can have from the welder when welding. This information is important, for example, when you are working on the underbody of a car on a lifting platform.
A hose package that is too short can throw a spanner in the works. We recommend a length of at least 2 m, which is achieved by many devices in welding machine tests.
Detachable hose packages are particularly practical. The following overview provides you with information about fixed and detachable hose packages.
Detachable hose package fixed hose package:
- also for entry-level models
- longer hose assemblies can be retrofitted
- defective hose packages can be replaced – the rule with particularly low-priced welding units
- length not variable
- no exchange possible in case of defect
The best welders have a wide control range and many switching levels:
A welder with a wide control range allows you to weld many different materials. Particularly good welders have a control range of 30 – 250 amps. The number of switching levels also indicates how precisely you can adjust the amperage. Devices that have 10 and more switching stages perform particularly well here.
Welding equipment in the test: The longer the cable, the more leeway.
Pay attention to the possible duty cycle of your welding device.
The length of the hose package as well as the ground cable is the limiting factor in the spatial distance from the device that you can maximize. The longer the hose and cable, the farther you can move away from the unit while welding.
Take the length into account when purchasing. Lengths around 4 m are optimal if you need to bridge larger distances.
Tips for working with a welder:
Welding is dangerous and should therefore be carried out with the appropriate caution and care. To ensure that you weld safely, you should observe a few points:
- Wear protective work clothing: closed-toe shoes and clothing that covers the body.
- Protect your hands with tight leather gloves.
- Be sure to protect your eyes. For this purpose, a welding helmet or a hand shield are considerably better than welding goggles.
- Due to the harmful gases produced, you should only weld in well-ventilated environments.
6 Frequently asked questions about welding and welding equipment
6.1 What is a TIG welder?
The acronym TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding. This refers to a specific form of gas-shielded welding.
Electric and TIG welders use an arc through which the required temperature for the welding process is achieved. In MAG and MIG welding, the weld is protected by a gas mixture that is non-flammable.
TIG welders have a tungsten electrode in the torch head. Since tungsten has a very high melting point, the electrodes remain intact during welding.
During welding, the filler metal, which is shaped like a wire, is held close to the electrode of the welder. The advantage of TIG welding is the much higher quality of the weld.
However, the process of welding takes more time. In addition, TIG welding requires more skill. Therefore, it is not necessarily suitable for beginners.
6.2 What is a flux-cored welder?
Unlike a MAG welder, a flux-cored welder does not use gas cylinders. This is because MAG welding uses a special welding wire. This has a special mixture of substances inside it that releases gas (known as shielding gas) when it burns, which shields the liquid metal from oxygen.
High amperage are required for flux-cored welding. Therefore, this method is not suitable for thin sheets. Since flux cored wires are significantly more expensive than conventional wires due to their special composition, flux cored welding involves higher long-term costs than MAG and MIG welding.
6.3 What is the difference between cutting torches, welding torches and welding equipment?
First of all, about the similarities of the equipment: welding equipment, welding torches and cutting torches need gas for operation.
The difference is the way this gas is used: in shielding gas welders, the gas acts as a barrier, shielding the liquid metal from the surrounding air and, more importantly, the oxygen it contains.
In welding torches or cutting torches, on the other hand, the gas is burned. This produces a flame with a particularly high temperature. This can also cut through thick metals. Unlike welding equipment, cutting torches do not join work pieces together, but separate them from one another.
Welding torches or oxyacetylene welders can also join work pieces together. For this purpose, a welding rod is melted, which joins work pieces together in a similar way to solder.
6.4 What are the brands and manufacturers of welding equipment?
Gas-shielded welding equipment is easy to use, but can rarely be used outdoors.
There are numerous welding equipment of different categories and designations in the market: MAG welders, MIG welders, inert gas welders or inverter welders.
The main manufacturers of (professional) welding equipment and welding accessories include the following:
- Iskra Mig Mag
6.5 How does Stiftung Warentest rate welding equipment?
Unfortunately, you won’t find any references to a welding machine test at Stiftung Warentest yet. Even the editors of the DIY magazine “Selbst ist der Mann” have not yet chosen a welding machine test winner. So we have no choice but to refer you to our 2020 welding equipment comparison – specifically the comparison winner and the price-performance winner.
Welding equipment test – info, news & recommendation
Looking for a welding machine ? Then you are exactly right on Welder Test ! We give you all the information you need and help you choose.
Our goal : Eliminate all ambiguities.
We want you to know exactly which welder fits your needs and have the best offers right in front of you.
Your first welding machine? The crash course as an introduction starts at the bottom of the page.
O welding equipment test waiting for you….
…Orientation guide and classification of welding equipment
Which welder for what ? After your visit on welding equipment test you will know for sure which welding equipment fits best to which activity. We have classified all welding machines in detail, so that you know right away which welding machine is suitable for your project.
…adviser, tips and further useful references before the purchase
No more “bad” surprise before buying ! On Welder Test you will find helpful tips and hints that will help you to make the right decision. We want you to know about all the important information and no longer have to search for the right content on countless pages.
…Welder Tests and Recommendations 2020
We are always looking for the best ! Use our favorites to make a good choice. You will find detailed test reports with final evaluation. In particular, we have highlighted the special features and points of criticism. There is something for every welder “type”:
– Shielding gas, electrode, flux cored and specific welding equipment in the test.
According to the following criteria was evaluated :
Price and performance. Here we take a closer look at the data and key figures. The scope of delivery also plays a role. The performance and scope of delivery in relation to the price, is then compared with numerous other offers.
Features and extras. In this aspect, the given functions and features play a role. Everything that is positive about the welder is noted here, compared and then evaluated.
Quality and practical experience. The numerous customer opinions play a major role here. We analyze and read through the sometimes vast numbers of reviews. We record the most important and also repeatedly mentioned aspects and points of criticism. In this way, you can get a good impression of exactly what to expect.
All welding equipment has been selected with care and we continue to strive to filter out the best welding equipment for you.
Before you rush off to the recommendations, guides and welding machine tests, we have prepared here again a small crash course by going into more detail on how the individual welding machines work. A little introduction for newcomers.
Crash course : All welding machines briefly explained !
Shielding gas welder:
There are two things added to the weld in the shielding gas welder. One is the steel wire and the other is the shielding gas.
The shielding gas has the task of protecting the arc, including the seam and joint, from the surrounding atmosphere, thus protecting it from oxidation.
The steel wire is fed through a hose package to the welding point by means of a feed device. The shielding gas also emerges through the same hose package during welding.
With the help of the continuously fed steel wire and the simultaneously exiting shielding gas, which usually consists of CO2 and argon, the materials can be neatly brought together without pores and with a beautiful weld seam.
What speaks for and against a shielding gas welder and when it is the right choice, you will learn on shielding gas welder test.
Flux-cored wire welder:
The flux-cored wire welder is often referred to as the little brother of the shielding gas welder. It is smaller and can do without a gas cylinder.
With the flux-cored wire welder, too, the arc is protected from the atmosphere with the aid of a shielding gas. However, the shielding gas is not supplied externally via a gas cylinder, but is contained in the so-called flux cored wire.
This cored wire consists of a sheet metal sheath and a powder core. The shielding gas is then produced from this powder during welding. The shielding gas is generated in the arc.
On cored wire welder test you will learn when such a model makes sense. You will find the advantages and disadvantages, a comparison and much more.
With the electrode welder, neither a gas cylinder nor a welding rod is needed for welding. Here, a rod electrode is used for welding, which consists of a steel core and is coated with some substances.
The coating burns off during welding and spreads over the weld seam to protect it from oxidation and maintain the existing proportion of carbon in the weld metal.
With each welding process, the stick electrode becomes a little shorter and must therefore be replaced after a certain time, as with the welding wire.
When an electrode welder is useful and what advantages and disadvantages it has, you can learn on electrode welder test.
The TIG welder is similar to the shielding gas welder. Instead of the protective wire or the flux cored wire, a tungsten electrode is used here.
In contrast to the welding wire and flux cored wire, this tungsten electrode does not melt during the welding process and does not mix with the weld metal.
So here you can add the filler metal separately and manually. The welding torch is navigated with one hand and the filler metal is added with the other.
What is a lot more cumbersome for beginners, is for the professionals a way to optimize the weld.
Again, you can find more information on TIG welder test. There we explain the good and bad aspects and clarify the question for whom a TIG welder is worthwhile.
An inverter welder does not reflect a welding process in its own right and should not be considered a new welding model in its own right. Rather, it is a separate or different design of the existing welding equipment.
Instead of a transformer, an inverter is used as the welding power source. This is smaller, lighter and offers an electronically controlled welding current. The question remains…
…is an inverter welding machine to be preferred? You can find more information about this on Inverter Welder Test, where we go into more detail about the positive and negative aspects, among other things.
Here my has a device only with welding torch and two gas cylinders. These are usually an oxygen and acetylene cylinder. The acetylene-oxygen gas mixture is used to create a flame. It does not require mains power.
You can find the exact operation on oxyacetylene welder. There we also go into great detail about the components, special features and points of criticism.
Now you can get started! We wish you a lot of fun on welder test and good success in welding.
Ipotools NTF SUPERTIG 200DI TIG welder – storage of ten working settings
- Ipotools NTF SUPERTIG 200DI TIG welder is a fully digital 200 amp welder with a 32-bit microprocessor and high frequency ignition. You can use this unit with RF ignition for the following welding processes:
- AC / DC TIG
- PULSE TIG
- MMA E-Hand
In addition to the pulse function, the TIG welder has the options of direct current and alternating current, which is why it can weld metals such as steel, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and copper alloys without any problems.
Through the rod electrode, you can achieve almost perfect welding results, which makes the device interesting for both amateur home craftsmen and professionals. The 32-bit processor in the TIG welder allows you to save ten work settings. The device displays these via a digital display.
The Ipotools NTF SUPERTIG 200DI TIG welder ensures sufficient mobility with the 3-meter welding cable, so you are not limited in your work. Also, the low weight of 15.5 kilograms facilitates the way of working and the shoulder strap allows you to carry the device practically and easily. The job memory gives you the option of recalling your user-defined settings at any time.
What does TIG stand for? TIG means tungsten inert gas and refers to an electric welding process in which the shielding gas welder does not consume the electrode due to its high melting point and by feeding the welding wire externally.
Can the unit do two-stroke and four-stroke?
Yes, the Ipotools NTF SUPERTIG 200DI TIG welder can do both.
Can I connect a foot control to the welder?
The control cable connection is five-pole, so you can use a foot pedal as well. The manufacturer offers extra foot controllers for this purpose.
Is the instruction manual of the Ipotools NTF SUPERTIG 200DI TIG welder in German?
No, the manual is in English.
Is it possible to use the machine as a plasma cutter?
You cannot use the TIG welder as a plasma cutter.
Can I set the times only by full seconds? Or also by tenths of seconds?
You can also set the times in tenths of seconds.
STAHLWERK WIG 200ST IGBT – TIG welder with high-performance cooling and overheating protection:
The STAHLWERK TIG 200ST IGBT is a TIG welder with MMA-E-hand function. Together with the professional WP-26 hose package, the unit provides a solid foundation for amateur, as well as advanced welders. The TIG welder is equipped with high-performance cooling and overheating protection to give you long and durable welding. The manufacturer uses Modern IGBT technology here, as well as a power of 200 amps.
STAHLWERK TIG 200ST IGBT TIG welder is suitable for welding non-alloy or low-alloy steels as well as stainless steels, copper and brass. It is suitable for thin sheet metal, but welding of aluminum is not possible. With a weight of 7.2 kilograms, the device is very handy and can be easily transported. The manufacturer gives a five-year warranty and also offers telephone advice, technical support and service outside the warranty period.
The product features at a glance:
- DC direct current for non-alloy and low-alloy steels, stainless steel, copper and brass
- Suitable for thin sheet
- MMA/ARC electrodes
- No aluminum welding possible
- High frequency arc ignition – HF
- Anti-Stick, ARC Force, Hotstart
- IGBT technology
- High performance cooling by two high speed fans
- Overheating protection – O.C. – Overheating Control
- Ergonomic and robust ST-Guard housing
- 5 meter hose package
- 5 meter ground and electrode cable
What is overheating protection on the TIG welder? The overheating protection ensures safety and kicks in as soon as the unit is overloaded.
In this case, a yellow control light is illuminated. The light goes out as soon as the unit has cooled down again. We will go into this topic in more detail in our guide following the product comparison.
What current is possible at 100 percent continuous operation?
This means that you can weld continuously for 10 minutes at 100 percent ED and then have to give the unit a break of 10 minutes. Accordingly, continuous operation is unfortunately not possible.
Does this unit have a gas pre- and post-flow?
Yes, the STAHLWERK TIG 200ST IGBT TIG welder has a gas pre- and after flow.
Can I also weld titanium with the STAHLWERK TIG 200ST IGBT TIG welder?
With this DC unit you can only process steel and stainless steel. You need an AC/DC unit like the AC/DC TIG 200 ST IGBT to be able to process steel, stainless steel, aluminum and also titanium.
Does the machine have two- or four-stroke and can I connect other hose assemblies such as gooseneck?
The TIG welder does not have a switch between two-stroke and four-stroke. Therefore, you can only use it in two-stroke mode. You can also operate other torches on the DIN connections.
Tig Mig TM 200 DIGITAL ALU TIG welder for welding work on all metals and alloys:
With TigMig TM 200 DIGITAL ALU TIG welder you can easily weld all metals and alloys. The red device allows you to weld in TIG AC and DC possible.
The functions in TIG AC are especially ideal for welding aluminum, magnesium and their alloys. In addition, the IPL generator with micro-inverter technology, also known as IGBT for short, ensures a better welding result. This creates arc ynamics and the better performance. The welder is subject to strict ecological conditions.
The small and compact design of the device simplifies transportation, however, at around 21.9 kilograms; it is relatively heavy compared to the other featured devices in our TIG welder comparison.
The housing of the Tig Mig TM 200 DIGITAL ALU TIG welder is made of impact-resistant plastic. It is self-extinguishing and corrosion resistant, which provides better durability. The welder is prepared for RC radio control. You can connect it to a motor generator.
What does welding in DC mean?
In DC, the electrode can be at minus, which causes the electrons to move from the electrode to the work piece. Heating of the work piece occurs, but the electrode remains relatively cool and is more resilient.
You should not use it on aluminum, brass, and magnesium. With DC, if the electrode is at plus, the electrode heats up, but there is hardly any penetration in the work piece and the load capacity is lower.
However, with this cleaning effect, the cations migrate to the work piece and can break the oxide layer on aluminum.
Is the TigMig TM 200 DIGITAL ALU TIG welder capable of two- and four-cycle welding?
Yes, you can weld with the unit in two-cycle and in four-cycle.
What is the diameter of the connector sockets?
There is a WP-26 torch installed in the TigMig TM 200 DIGITAL ALU TIG welder, unfortunately only with 9-millimeter plugs. It looks very small, but serves its purpose.
Does the unit have HF ignition?
Yes, it has HF and LIFT ignition.
Does the welder have a pulse function?
Yes, there is a pulse function
Einhell TC-IW 150 TIG welder – for clean and professional arc welding:
The Einhell TC-IW 150 TIG welder allows you to perform clean and professional arc welding, which is partly due to its high performance.
You can regulate the welding current continuously. Fan cooling ensures that you can work for a long time without interruption and the device does not overheat.
In the event of overheating, the thermal monitor intervenes and warns by means of an indicator light.
The welding current of the coated electrodes ranges from 20 to 130 amps. In TIG welding, the welding current is between 20 and 150 amperes. To prevent the electrodes from sticking during electrode welding, the manufacturer has installed an anti-stick function.
The welder is suitable for use with electrodes with a diameter of 1.6 millimeters to 3.2 millimeters.
You can choose between electrode or TIG welding, as you can use the Einhell TC-IW 150 TIG welder with a separately available TIG torch for gas shielded welding.
The device also has a ground clamp and an electrode holder, which you can in turn connect with a quick coupling. At 4.84 kilograms, the welder is very light and handy, which makes it easy to transport with the accompanying carrying strap. The sheet steel housing provides sufficient protection during transport.
What is AC welding?
AC is a compromise of both DC poles. Both effects are present, i.e. on the one hand the penetration half-wave at the work piece and the cooling half-wave at the electrode when the electrode is at the negative pole.
On the other hand, there is also the cleaning effect due to the positive pole. AC welding is also possible on aluminum, magnesium and brass. In some AC TIG equipment, the ratio of the two effects can be adjusted.
What is the maximum diameter of the electrode?
The maximum diameter of the electrode is 3.2 millimeters.
What are the dimensions of the Einhell TC-IW 150 TIG welder?
The device has the following dimensions: 27.8 x 11.3 x 19 centimeters.
What components are supplied?
You will receive the Einhell TC-IW 150 TIG welder with a carrying strap, ground clamp and electrode holder.
What is the maximum welding current?
The maximum is 150 amps.
Welding equipment: test & recommendations (10/20)
Welcome to our big welder test 2020, where we present you all the welders we tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
With this, we want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best welding machine for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, which you should definitely pay attention to, if you want to buy a welding machine.
The most important in a nutshell:
Welding equipment allows you to independently carry out repairs on various materials, realize projects that require the welding of work pieces and remove rust, for example, on the car.
Basically, there are five different welding processes, oxyacetylene, arc, shielding gas, TIG and ultrasonic welding. Depending on welding process, different types of material and work piece thickness can be processed with the welding machine.
It is important to note which welding power is suitable for beginners and which can only be handled as a professional and that you protect yourself, for example, with a suitable welding helmet.
Welding machine test:
- Favorites of the editors
- The best welding machine for beginners
- The best welding set
- The best welding machine with shielding gas
- The best lightweight welder
- The best oxyacetylene welder
Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying a welder
How much does a welder cost?
Welding equipment comes in all price ranges – whether it’s a cheap unit for home use or an expensive welding power for professional use, where the amount can even go over the 10,000€.
An electrode welder can be purchased for as little as €50, and an oxyacetylene welding torch is also available for less than €100.
TIG welding power one receives likewise favorably starting from 80 euro. This makes the purchase of a welding power quite inexpensive, even for do-it-yourselfers.
Overall, prices are quite justifiable, because certain standards have to be met depending on the use. Especially if you want to achieve a decent result and buy a long-lasting product, the prices are well worth it. (Photo: Christopher Burns / unsplash.com)
A gas shielded welder can also be purchased cheaply for as little as 140 dollars to 200. With a starting price of 170 dollars, the ultrasonic welding device is ometimes the most expensive. Who would like it self to put on however a professional variant of these welding procedures, must invest naturally more.
Type Price range
Electrode welder approx. 50-140 dollars
Oxyacetylene welder approx. 70-100 dollars
TIG welder approx. 80-3,200 dollars
Inert gas welder approx. 140-10,000 dollars
Ultrasonic welder approx. 170-3.000 dollars
Prices vary depending on the thickness of the material to be welded. The equipment is also an important pricing factor. For private use, therefore, the electrode welding machines and the oxyacetylene welding machines in particular, but also a TIG welding machine, represent an inexpensive option.
Where can I buy a welding machine?
There are several options available to you if you are thinking about buying a welding machine. You do not necessarily have to go to a specialized store.
You can buy welding equipment in a well-stocked specialty store as well as in many hardware stores and sometimes in supermarkets.
For home use in particular, supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi have been offering inexpensive welding equipment for some years now, especially in their online range.
For an initial consultation, going to a specialized store in the vicinity is quite reasonable, but bought the welding machine does not have to be on site, but can then be done online.
Because the selection of online equipment is considerably larger, and often cheaper, as the buyer is enabled to directly compare prices.
According to our research, most welding equipment in Germany is currently sold on the Internet via the following stores:
Can I rent a welding machine?
You need a welding machine for a specific project or for home once, but do not want to buy one? You don’t have to, because you can also rent a welding machine.
However, you should keep in mind that renting a welding machine is usually only possible in larger cities. This option is mainly suitable for professionals, and thus mainly for industrial use such as for construction sites or assembly.
For DIY use, this option is insofar only worthwhile if you need to perform a specific welding, for which an expensive device would be necessary. There, however, the prices should be weighed as well as the travel distance and the time required.
What types of welding equipment are there and which is the right one for you?
Basically, there are five different types of welding processes and the equipment required for them:
- Oxyacetylene welder
- Arc welder
- MSG welder
- TIG welder
- Ultrasonic welder
These types all have a different mode of operation, and therefore each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Depending on what material you want to process and what criteria are important to you, a different type of welder is best suited for you.
In the following section, we would like to help you choose the best welding machine for your needs. However, you should always protect yourself during any kind of procedure, among other things with a suitable welding helmet.
For this purpose, we will introduce you to all the above-mentioned types of welding machines and show you in an overview what the respective advantages and disadvantages are.
How does an oxyacetylene welder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
This welding machine is also known as acetyl welding or gas fusion welding. The particular advantage of oxyacetylene welding compared to other welding machines is that this welding process does not require feeding of electricity is needed and therefore you can use it not only indoors, but also outdoors.
The process is an oxyacetylene technique called gas welding and belongs to the group of fusion welding processes. With the help of a fuel gas and the supply of oxygen, a welding flame is created.
The work pieces are heated with a flame of oxygen and ethane and welded with a wire, which has a special alloy, or directly with each other.
- Without electric current
- Without cooling water
- Many processes can be implemented with only one burner and one fuel gas cylinder
- Without expensive equipment
- Pollutants (gases, dust/fumes, vapors)
- Special protective clothing
- Optical radiation
- Handling errors
Most techniques can be performed without expensive equipment for the unit. In addition, almost all techniques can only be implemented with the help of a burner and a fuel gas cylinder.
The flame cone is sharply defined, so that the adjustment of the flame is easy and well regulated. Due to the good gap bridging properties, very little or hardly any seam preparation is required.
Almost any material can be processed with an acetyl welder: metallic materials, ferrous materials, sheet metal surfaces, natural stone surfaces and even concrete.
Executable techniques are:
Such a device, which can be used to process anything, is therefore suitable not only for industrial use, but also for DIY households, such as for the prevention of wear on ironwork parts or for the removal of rust and scale layers.
How does an arc welder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
This way of welding is also called electric arc welding. This technique of welding is easy to learn and offers the possibility of implementing the project even outside, as you can use such a welder even in the rain.
The special advantage over oxyacetylene welding is that the use of shielding gas can not cause damage to health.
In this process, metal rods serve simultaneously as an arc carrier and also as a so-called welding filler. The electric arc is generated by electricity and thus heats the work pieces. With this method, it is possible to weld a wide variety of metal elements.
- No health hazards with shielding gas
- Assembly work outdoors
- Can be used even in the rain
- Easy to learn
- Private use
- Formation of gases with dangerous heavy metals (without protective gas)
- Temperature difficult to regulate
- Only applicable on certain materials
- Slag formation
- Welding spatter and welding fumes
Especially on the type of stick electrode:
This metal from the electrode then fits between the individual work pieces as an “adhesive”. A typical feature of arc welding is that it also produces a “weld bead” that sometimes resembles the “cream decoration” on a cake.
A welding machine using the arc welding process can be used for steel, iron, copper and many other metals. The use is mainly in the industrial sector
An arc or electrode welder is perfect for getting started in the world of welding. Especially because this type of welding process covers almost all areas of application.
How does an MSG welder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The acronym MSG stands for shielded metal arc welding, which is subdivided according to the type of shielding gas. As with the oxyacetylene welding process, special protective work clothing is recommended when using this welding power. With this one is to be considered additionally a special care with the cleaning.
This is an inert gas welding process that uses either metal inert gas (MIG) or metal active gas (MAG) welding. The difference between MAG welding and MIG welding is that a MIG welder uses inert shielding gases and primarily pulsed arc technology.
- No health hazards
- No formation of harmful substances
- Welding of different metal thicknesses is possible
- Cleaner than other processes
- No slag formation
- Burns with insufficient body coverage
- Blinding of the eyes
- Burns and severe sunburns due to UV radiation
- Expensive purchase and operating costs
An arc burns between the work piece and the wire electrode, during welding the coiled electrode melts and is automatically fed by a wire feeder.
The electrode is surrounded by a nozzle from which the shielding gas exits, protecting the arc and the molten pool from atmospheric influences.
MAG welding technology is used for low-alloy and high-alloy steel. MIG welding, on the other hand, can be used to weld aluminum, aluminum alloys, copper, titanium and other non-ferrous metals. The use of these welding machines is recommended mainly in clean and closed spaces.
How does a TIG welder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Tungsten inert gas welding, or TIG for short, was discovered in the USA under the name Argon arc welding and is a classic among welding machines. It is suitable for beginners due to its good handling and is one of the best welding processes available.
A certain heat of the welding zone is generated by an arc in the argon shielding gas and a non-melting tungsten electrode and the work piece.
This method is one of the best welding methods. During welding, an arc burns between the tungsten electrode and the work piece, which is surrounded by an inert gas (helium and argon) that protects the electrode from the air. Due to their properties, these gases do not form chemical compounds.
- Low health impact
- Hardly any welding spatter
- Universally applicable
- Narrow welding zone
- Minimal scaling on the work piece
- Very loud
- Sometimes high heat
- Deformations due to too high heat
- High initial and operating costs
- Practice necessary
There are also two types of arc that can affect the possible materials to be processed. If a direct current arc is chosen, all metals except aluminum can be welded with it. If an arc with alternating current is chosen, almost any material suitable for fusion welding can be joined.
This results in application areas such as boiler, power plant and pipeline construction. But TIG welding is also used in the field of aircraft and spacecraft construction.
Other areas of application include micro joining technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and food technology, but also in tank and apparatus construction and likewise for tool and machine molds.
How does an ultrasonic welder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Ultrasonic welding is a form of friction welding that is mainly used to join thermoplastic materials (thermoplastics). A special feature of this welding process is the absence of electrodes and gas. Instead, it relies on the vibration mechanism.
One of the parts to be joined is clamped firmly in place, while the other part is vibrated by an ultrasonic resonator and simultaneously pressed onto the stationary part. At the point of contact, the molecules of the materials are set in vibration, resulting in a material-to-material bond between the materials.
- No health hazards
- Compact size
- Multifunctional use
- Selective energy supply
- Environmentally friendly technology
- Many accessories required
When welding metals, ultrasonic welding is used, for example, in the production of microelectronics chips.
For environmental friends:
This welding process is especially excellent for use on PP, PVC, PE, PET, ABS, composites, fabrics, nonwovens or films, and with the right accessories, it can also be used to process metal.
Buying criteria: Based on these factors, you can compare and evaluate devices for welding.
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate welding machines. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.
In summary, these are:
- The method of welding
- The place where the welding work is carried out
- Material of the project
- Duty cycle, open circuit voltage and amperes
- Required and enriching features and functions
Tips for TIG welding:
In the following paragraphs you can read the necessary information about each of the purchase criteria, as well as their classification.
The method of welding:
The type of welding process, i.e. with the help of electrode, shielding gas, ultrasonic, tungsten inert gas, or the oxyacetylene welding, we have already gone into detail above.
Nevertheless, we would like to point out once again that the type of mechanism of a welding machine is probably the most important criterion when buying a welding power, because it significantly affects not only the final result, but also the degree of difficulty of operation.
Professional welders naturally ask themselves different questions than beginners, who should make sure when selecting a suitable welding machine that it is suitable for handling by beginners. After all, you don’t want to make things harder for yourself than they are.
A beginner should therefore ask himself whether he is prepared to take a welding test in order to be able to operate all welding machines, or whether a limited selection is sufficient for the intended welding project.
As a beginner, the focus should be on ease of operation and learnability. For this purpose, a gas-shielded welding machine is ideally suited. Many mistakes can be avoided because, for example, welding thinner sheets does not require as much precision and experience as an electrode welder.
In addition, it finds versatile applications and covers a large part of the areas of activity in welding. Thus, nothing stands in the way of practicing in a wide variety of welding areas.
A shielding gas torch is also very suitable for occasional welders. However, an experienced welder, especially someone who regularly completes welding projects, will find purchasing criteria such as the location, type of material, as well as the technical data more important than ease of use of the device.
Place of performing welding work:
Will you be welding outdoors, in an enclosed space, or alternating between indoors and outdoors? Not every welding machine is suitable for outdoor use, you should always keep that in mind. You should also consider whether the work will be done in confined or poorly ventilated spaces.
A TIG welder is not suitable for outdoor use, as no wind is a prerequisite for its use, but it is possible to work with such a torch in confined and poorly ventilated spaces.
Unlike an oxyacetylene torch, TIG welding does not produce exhaust gases or fumes that are harmful to health. For outdoor work, an electrode welding machine should be purchased, because this can be used even in the rain.
At the same time, one should still be clear that who wants to do welding work outside, it must be clear that either a source of electricity should be nearby, or choose a welding power that does not require electricity for use, such as the oxyacetylene welder.
Material of the project:
Before you choose a welder, you should think about what materials and what thickness of material you want to weld. This is because not every welder is suitable for welding metal or aluminum, for example.
There are guidelines for the power needed and the diameter that an electrode must have in order to work on certain materials. We remind you again that the stick electrode must match the material to be welded.
Here we have a little guide for you:
- 6 mm to 2 mm electrode thickness.
These dimensions are suitable for thinner materials and offer optimal chances of success with smaller and finer sheets.
2.4 mm electrode diameter
A 2.4 mm electrode is suitable for thicker sheets. With this you can weld material thicknesses up to around 9 mm. With a thicker 2.4 mm electrode you also have some other advantages. When used, you have a more stable arc, which also burns more quietly. In addition, you can grind them better.
Duty cycle, open circuit voltage and amps:
A good welder will have at least a power range of up to 80 amps and an open circuit voltage of 48 volts or more. With this, you can make smaller repairs. Values below this should be viewed with skepticism.
The duty cycle should be above 30% at normal power demand. At maximum power consumption, the value may be lower.
Protective clothing should not be forgotten when using a welder. No matter for how long and where you weld, be sure to wear the appropriate protection
The duty cycle percentage indicates how long you can weld within a 10-minute interval. In this case, 30% would mean that you can weld for 3 minutes and then take a 7-minute break.
Inverter or transformer?
First, let’s explain what the difference between these two types is. The inverter welder is very similar to a switch mode power supply. First, the mains voltage is rectified. Then it is chopped with power semiconductors and brought to a lower voltage with the help of a small transformer.
The special features of an inverter welding power are, on the one hand, that due to the higher operating frequency, it is much easier to control the most varied and ever-changing welding processes. On the other hand, it is more efficient in energy conversion.
It is also possible to switch between direct and alternating current. In addition, an inverter torch has a good duty cycle. This means that you can usually complete longer welding jobs without a break or with fewer breaks.
Another positive feature is the relatively short cooling phase, which is made possible by the low mass. The following applies: The lower the mass, the faster a welder cools down.
An inverter welder is lighter and therefore more compact and easy to transport than conventional welding forces. However, these are not the only positive features that such a design has.
Depending on the model has different additional functions:
Here we present only the best-known extra functions to give you a brief overview, of course, each with a brief explanation:
This function prevents the sticking and annealing of the electrode by delivering a maximum current shortly before the short circuit.
This briefly exceeds the set welding current at the start to prevent the sticking of the rod electrode and to heat up the initial weld more quickly.
This is an electronic control of the arc. The current value is automatically increased as soon as the arc becomes a little shorter. In this way, the arc length remains almost always constant.
A “modern” variant of contact ignition and similar to brush ignition. Here the electrode is placed on the work piece. Only a small current then flows, which means that the electrode cannot be damaged.
If the electrode is lifted off, the arc ignites and the current increases to the welding current set at the beginning. The advantage with Lift Arc ignition is that you can avoid electromagnetic interference.
An inverter has few disadvantages:
One of the disadvantages includes the susceptibility to interference with electronics, which is low with a transformer. Another is the initial cost, which is higher for an inverter torch than a conventional welder. This also includes potential repair costs.
Required and Enriching Features and Functions:
Once you have decided on a welder based on the criteria explained above, you should think about which features you can do without and which functions you insist on.
With the following list we want to help you with your decision:
With this you can adjust the welding current without much effort. A stepless adjustability would be best here.
Long ground cable and sufficiently long electrode or torch cable.
Clarify in advance whether the supplied cable length is okay for you or you would have to replace it. Cable lengths vary from less than 2 m to more than 2 m. If the cable length is too short, you may have to move the welder.
S-mark or special protection class:
If there is an S-mark, you have the safety and the certainty that you are allowed to weld in confined welding areas.
For a better ignition behavior, an electronic control is of great advantage, because it supports a faster ignition of the arc.
A long hose package with standard glands:
The hose assembly should not be too thin. Standard nozzles save the search for the right nozzle.
Fan cooling and thermal protection with indicator light:
These two extras ensure that your welder remains cool and ready for work even during longer welding sessions. With the help of an integrated fan cooling, the heat generated during welding can be dissipated efficiently and quickly. If the welder should ever reach its pain threshold, this should be recognizable by the indicator light.
In addition, the thermal monitor ensures that the welding machine automatically switches off at a certain temperature. In addition to this list, we recommend that you invest in further safety measures, such as a suitable welding helmet.
Tips for TIG welding:
If you want to do TIG welding, there are some important features that the welder should have. This will guarantee an optimal work result.
Integrated HF ignition:
With HF ignition, the arc is ignited by means of a high-frequency unit already above the work piece. Integrated HF ignition thus prevents wear on the electrode.
Adjustable gas after flow time, as well as current sink and rise time.
These features are very well suited for thinner sheets and tubes. This prevents the sheet metal from burning away at the seam at the start of the weld and at the end of the weld.
Two-stroke and four-stroke welding:
If you want to weld very long seams as evenly as possible, you should focus on welding machines that can be switched between two-stroke and four-stroke.
Trivia: Interesting facts about welding
The history of welding power
Modern welding techniques work with electricity and have been on the market since about the 2nd half of the 20th century. But the knowledge and technology of welding is already thousands of years old. Because to connect materials, electricity is not essential, as already the autogenous welding machine has proven to us.
As early as the 6th millennium BC, the ancient Sumerians in the Orient knew how to weld their gold. Archaeological findings also lead to the assumption that the first techniques of brazing were used in Egypt and Mesopotamia (today’s Syria & Iraq) in 2700 BC.
Indeed, the Egyptians not only built pyramids, but also created extensive systems of pipes made of copper, which were connected to each other.
In order to be able to join them together, they developed the fire welding technique. A testimony of the Indians of welded cast iron, is the 16 meter high obelisk “Iron Column” in Delhi, which can still be admired today.
An important observation here is that before the 19th century, fire welding was predominant. The Parisian French used the welding technique to repair armor, weapons and horse harnesses. It was not until the invention of the Voltaic column that welding processes were further developed. Thus, at the beginning of the 19th century, studies of electric arcs began.
The technique of arc welding, however, was not developed until almost 100 years later by Slavyanov. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that the next scientific development concerning welding equipment took place when MIG welding was discovered in the USA.
Smaller workshops in particular benefited from this evolution, as the equipment became not only smaller, but also lighter and cheaper. By making it possible for craftsmen and industry to work together, this accelerated the reconstruction of many war-damaged cities. Today, welding machines are also popular with hobby home craftsmen for private use.
Einhell BT-IW 100 Inverter Welder Test:
If you want to buy a cheap inverter welder for small welding jobs, this device with advanced technology is exactly what you need.
With this Einhell BT-IW 100 inverter welder you can achieve a good result without much experience.
The housing is made of durable sheet steel and reliably protects the welding technology.
The welder has a separate TIG torch, so it can be used for gas shielded welding. It weighs only 5 kilograms and its size is 27 x 18 x 22, so this device is very compact and handy. In addition, it has a carrying strap, therefore it is suitable for mobile use.
The included accessories include an electrode holder and a ground clamp. They can be connected to the welder by quick coupling.
The Einhell BT-IW 100 is equipped with important extras:
- A modern inverter technology ensures low weight and compact design. It makes it possible to weld thin materials. In addition, a stable arc is available thanks to the inverter technology.
- An integrated cooling function prevents overheating and ensures longer welding.
- An overheating protection automatically shuts down the device when overheated.
- It is easily transportable and user-friendly.
- The operation is very simple.
- The device offers a good price-performance ratio.
- It has a long service life.
- The welding current can be continuously adjusted from 10-80 amps.
- The welding cables are flexible and robust.
- The ignition works very well.
- With an integrated cooling function, you can easily weld for a long time.
- It is suitable for stainless steel welding.
- There is no separate on and off switch.
- The range of use is very limited because the output power is maximum 80 A.
- The cables from the ground clamp as well as the electrode holder are too short.
Tube MIG-250MI inverter welder:
If you are looking for a stable, solid and powerful inverter welder, the Röhr MIG-250MI inverter welder is a good option.
With this device, beginners and professionals can perform various repair works. The place of repair does not matter, as the inverter is lightweight and portable, and it can be used in various conditions. In addition, this 200 amp welding machine has a carrying handle. However, some buyers say that it is not of very good quality.
With this welding machine, you can weld various metals from 1 mm to 4.5 mm. These include steel, stainless steel, and aluminum, copper.
The dimensions are 27 cm x 21 cm x 12 cm and its weight is 3.5 kg.
The package includes electrode cable (2 meters), ground cable (2 meters), power cable (2 meters) and detailed instruction manual.
Features of this device are as follows:
- IGBT technology provides stable work, high duty cycle and good welding results.
- An anti stick function prevents the electrode from sticking because it provides easy ignition of the electrode.
- The overheating protection is realized with a powerful fan.
- It is small in size but very powerful.
- It is easy to operate.
- The price-performance ratio is good.
- It has a high duty cycle.
- It provides a stable arc.
- The instruction manual is very detailed.
- The welding current is variable.
- The output power can be varied between 60 and 200 A.
- With the help of the rotary knob, you can easily and accurately set the amperage.
- It is suitable for electrodes from 1 mm to 4.5 mm.
- You can remove and reverse the polarity of the current leads. Therefore, minus and plus weldable electrodes can be used.
- The cables could be longer.
- Some users say that thin materials are difficult to weld.
- The device has a more vulnerable housing processing.
Berlan TIG/TIG 180A Inverter Welder Test:
If you are looking for a welder with easy operation and good value for money, this welding machine will suit you. The Berlan TIG/TIG 180A has a very positive review.
The Berlan TIG/TIG 180A inverter welder is portable and mobile, but powerful. Its power (up to a maximum of 180 A) is good for home use and for more complex jobs. Therefore, it is suitable for amateurs and professionals.
The welder offers excellent safety because the housing is made of sturdy metal. In addition, it has rounded edges and corners.
The inverter shielding gas welder is portable, its weight is 10.5 kg and its dimensions are 371 x 155 x 295 mm.
The inverter offers several things in the accessories: a hose package, a welding shield and a slag brush.
The inverter shielded arc welder has several features that make it effective:
- An HF ignition function makes it easier to start the arc.
- An overheating protection function is implemented by the ventilation slots and a large fan.
- A gas run-on function contributes to the overall safety.
- The inverter is small and lightweight.
- The welding machine is very well made.
- The hose assembly and ground cable are sturdy.
- The welder has good safety and a long service life.
- The device runs quietly and reliably.
- Thin sheet metal can be welded well.
- The welding current can be continuously adjusted between 20 and 180 A.
- There is no digital amperage display.
- The supplied welding shield is not of good quality.
- The instructions are not very informative.
- The ground cable could be longer.
- The hose is prone to dirt because it is covered in cloth.
GYS 4000 Electrode Inverter Welder Test:
The GYS 4000 Electrode Inverter Welder with perfect handling is good for beginners and professionals because it is suitable for easy utilization and more intensive applications. With this inverter you can do repair and maintenance work and weld retile, stainless steel, cast iron.
The GYS 4000 has an output voltage between 10 and 160 amps and it has an open circuit voltage of 72 volts. The dimensions without packaging are 27 x 17 x 11 cm and the weight is 4.2 kg.
The scope of delivery is extensive and it has various components:
- A carrying strap.
- A ground clamp with 1.6 m cable with plug TEXAS 10/25 Ø16 mm².
- An electrode holder with 2 m cable with TEXAS 10/25 Ø16 mm² plug.
- A welding helmet LCD Master 11. This welding helmet deserves special attention, because based on user feedback it is an absolute hit. It blacks out immediately, it can be adjusted precisely; the side screws are properly adjusted.
The special features are as follows:
- PROTEC400 technology protects against overvoltage, under voltage and mains voltage fluctuations (+/-15%). Therefore, it ensures constant welding performance.
- A Hot Start function improves ignition.
- An Anti Stick function improves penetration and prevents electrode sticking.
- An Arc Force function maintains arc stability.
- The GYS 4000 is cooled by a fan.
- It has a good price/performance ratio.
- The build quality is good.
- It is generator capable 6 kW (7.5 kVA).
- This welder is suitable for material thickness from 1.5 to 10 mm.
- It is handy and it is perfect for mobile use.
- A welding helmet LCD Master 11 meets the expectations.
- The welding machine is equipped with TIG contact ignition.
- There is a potentiometer for welding current strength.
- There is no minus or plus sign on the outside of the housing.
- The cables supplied are relatively short.
- The maximum power is only 160 A, so the application range is limited.
ESAB Arc 180 electrode inverter welder tests:
- If you want to buy an electrode welder inverter, this mobile inverter welder with the power from 5 to 180 A is an option. This powerful device is easy to use, so both beginners and professionals can use it.
- Its weight is 6.7 kg and dimensions are 310 mm x 140 mm x 230 mm.
- The ESAB Arc 180 comes with 3 m long welding and grounding cables, a power cord, the solid extension cables and a carrying strap.
The welding inverter test shows that this welder is equipped with the following features:
- IGBT technology makes the welder very powerful.
- An anti-stick function allows the electrode to break away from the work piece when it sticks.
- A Hot Start function helps ignite bad electrodes, weld rusty metal and low voltage in the network.
- With an Arc Force function, the arc cannot go out.
- A large fan protects against overheating.
- The welder is powerful, handy and lightweight.
- The cables are long enough for comfortable work.
- The inverter welder is suitable for generators.
- The arc is very stable.
- The accessories include the extension cables.
- According to the inverter welder test, anti-stick, arc force and hot start functions make the work comfortable.
– There is no HF ignition.
– Some users say that the ignition is poor.
– The fan works a bit noisy.
TIG 200 Inverter Welder Test:
With this handy and lightweight S-TIG 200 IGBT inverter welder from Stamos Germany, professionals or novices in welding can perform various welding tasks.
The welding machine offers adjustable welding current from 20 to 200 A and the voltage of 230 V.
The weight of this welder is 6 kg and its dimensions is 41 x 14 x 29 cm.
The scope of delivery is extensive and it has a TIG torch (4 m), a welding cable with electrode holder (3 m), a ground cable with clamp (3 m), 2 clamping sleeves (2.4 mm, 3.2 mm), 2 clamping sleeves (2.4 mm, 3.2 mm), a torch cap, a clamping sleeve housing and an instruction manual.
The welder has all the necessary functions:
- Air cooling is realized by fans.
- An HF ignition function facilitates the ignition of the arc.
- A Hot Start function preheats the electrode.
- An Arc Force function means that the strength of the welding current increases when the arc weakens or goes out.
- An Anti Stick function prevents the electrode from sticking.
– The unit is compact and portable.
– The inverter is powerful.
– The quality is good.
– It is user friendly.
– It has TIG and E-hand (MMA) welding processes.
– Stamos S-TIG 200 is very functional due to many useful features.
– The protection class is IP21S.
– There is a 2T/4T switch.
– The accessories are extensive.
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