Types of welders
we take an inexpensive, but a productive one
Need a reliable welding machine for the cottage? We will tell you what welding machines are, what to pay attention to before buying and give examples of the best models in their categories.
The connection of fittings for the foundation frame, welding of fence posts, installation of floor slabs by connecting embedded parts, welding of the car body-all this is impossible without a good welding machine.
How to choose a welding machine for home and country, so that it is inexpensive and copes with the tasks? In this article, we will not talk in detail about the differences between transformers and inverters, as this can be found in another article.
Here we will talk about what type of welding is best suited for what works, and give examples of the best models in their categories.
Manual welding or semi-automatic welding?
Manual arc welding (MMA) is performed using electrodes that can be fused or non-fused. The seam is formed by melting the metal of the workpiece and the electrode using an electric arc.
The quality of the seam will depend on the chemical composition of the electrode and the workpiece, the current strength and the actual skills of the welder.
What types of welding machines for manual welding are there? Note that both transformer and inverter type devices can be equipped with manual arc welding.
Choosing a welding machine for the country: we take an inexpensive, but productive manual welding pluses:
Quickly learn the basics of welding. Learning to cook for a novice welder is best done with this type of welding.
You can cook in any position. The electrode can be cooked from the top or bottom, from the side or at an angle.
Cooking of metal of different thicknesses. Thanks to the electrodes of different cross-sections, it is possible to cook metal structures of different thicknesses.
Disadvantages of manual welding:
The quality of the seams is lower than with other types of welding. Although of course there is a lot that depends on the skills of the welder.
It is difficult to cook metal thinner than 0.5 mm, for example, a drainpipe.
Semi-automatic welding is also manual in the sense that it is performed by the operator’s hands.
However, for the connection of metal products, a powder wire is used here, which is fed through the nozzle. Inert (MIG) and active (MAG) gases are used to protect the joint from oxygen exposure.
Advantages of semi-automatic machines:
- You can cook thin sheets. It is convenient to connect metal sheets up to 0.5 mm thick with a semi-automatic welding machine. To perform bodywork is the most important thing.
- With proper skills, the cooking speed is faster than that of manual cooking.
- The quality of the joint is higher since no oxide and slag are formed.
Cons of semi-automatic machines:
- Heavy metal splashing.
Harder to master than manual welding. Here you will need to learn how to find the correct ratio of current / wire feed rate, since at high-speed large baths will be obtained, and at low feed rate, the wire will burn through and the metal will be sprayed. It is quite difficult for beginners to find a balance.
All other things being equal, the MIG/MAG device is more expensive.Bulkier due to gas cylinders.
If you have never cooked with a welder and you need a device exclusively for small work in the country, then take a transformer unit with MMA. It is easier to learn on it-personally, we learned just on the transformer model (only ours was assembled back in the USSR).
If you do not have a car, but you plan to perform “sabbaths” from time to time, then it is better to take a 140 — 160 A inverter with manual arc welding, since it is light in weight and can be easily transported.
For the dacha of semi-automatic machines, it is better to take an inverter welding machine. How do I choose a model from these? Here you need to find the best ratio of the maximum current/price of the device.
On average, conventional semi-automatic machines with a maximum current of 140-160 A
It is also important to pay attention to the gas supply to the weld. Some models continue to supply protective gas for a few more seconds after the arc disappears — this improves the quality of the seam since the metal cools down for a couple of seconds and the gas protects it from oxygen.
How to choose a welding machine of these or other domestic brands? See which company has a service center in your city, and take that unit-it will be easier to find spare parts.
Do I need an argon-arc and spot welding machine?
Argon-arc also uses gas for protection, as well as a semi-automatic welding machine, but the seam is made directly from the metal of the two parts to be welded.
Thanks to this, the seam is smooth and without humps. However, this type of welding does not allow working with thin metal up to 0.5 — 0.8 mm. Most often, the argon-arc connection is used to work with non-ferrous metals.
Spot welding connects metals point-by-point, as if by rivets. It is relevant for the welding of the car body, so spot welding units (SPOT) are usually purchased by repair shops. Sometimes spot is used by craftsmen in the manufacture of decorative metal products.
For the majority of owners of cottages and country houses devices with argon-arc or spot welding are out of date. Therefore, it makes sense to buy them if you are going to earn money on car repairs or regularly cook non-ferrous metal.
Best models for manual welding
This low-cost welding transformer uses manual MMA arc welding. It is quite heavy (19.3 kg), so it is suitable for regular stationary use in the garage — it is unlikely that anyone will want to pull it on “sabbaths”.
It can cook with a current of 60 to 200 A. Note that the arc holds quite stable and allows you to work with electrodes with a thickness of 2 — 4 mm.
You can connect the device to both a single-phase and a three-phase network. The unit is equipped with overload and overheating protection, which will turn off the power so that it does not burn out.
BISON ZTS-200 is a stable job for little money. However, the welder does not have the NAKS (National Welding Control Agency) certification, so it cannot be used by state-owned enterprises.
ELITECH AC 160:
Another welding transformer that is best used permanently at home, as it weighs 19.5 kg. It allows you to cook metal with a current in the range from 55 to 160 A.
At a maximum current of 160 A, the switching frequency is 10 % — this is a common indicator for transformer units. At the same time, its power is 7.4 kW. Like the previous “heavyweight”, it can operate from 220 and 380 V mains.
Therefore, if you have carried out three phases in the country, you can safely connect the welder.
The manufacturer indicates that the device can cook as much as possible metal with a thickness of 4 mm, but in practice, with proper skill, the welder can cook thicker iron.
The body and winding’s are made perfectly, but the cables are somewhat stiff and oak in the cold, so that in winter it is difficult to cook in an unheated room.
Please note that this model does not come with transport wheels, but they can be installed optionally. The older brother of the ELITECH AC 160K already has wheels, so if this part is essential for you, you can buy it.
Svarog REAL ARC 200:
A good inverter for welding at home and on “sabbaths”. It can cook in the range of 15-200 A, and at the maximum current, the switching frequency is 60 %.
However, you can cook for a long time at a maximum current of 160 A. You can use electrodes with a thickness of 1.5 — 4 mm. According to the reviews of those who have already bought the welder, the device cooks with a 4 mm electrode quite confidently — you can freely work with metal up to 8 mm thick.
The weight of the entire unit is only 4.6 kg, which allows you to freely carry it on your shoulder-for” shabashek ” it is ideal. However, here the quality of the cables is slightly reduced: at the -10°C declared by the manufacturer, at which the welder should work, the cables are tanned and over time the insulation breaks on them. That is why we recommend using it at a positive temperature.
The best low-cost semi-automatic cars
RESANTA OF SAIPA-135:
If you need a relatively inexpensive domestic semi-automatic machine with the additional possibility of manual arc welding, then RESANTA SAIPA-135 is for you.
This device can cook wire with a thickness of 0.6-0.8 mm and electrodes with a diameter of up to 4 mm. Note that the device perfectly copes with sheet metal without burning and non-welding.
The maximum welding current on a semi-automatic machine is 110 A — 5 mm is enough for metal, but it will not take any thicker (more precisely, it will have to suffer a little).
Please note that as much as possible here you can insert a coil of wire for 1 kg, so for commercial cooking, the device is not suitable, only for home.
The unit copes quite well with voltage drops during manual welding and semi-automatic operation with a wire of 0.6 mm. But the 0.8 mm wire begins to “spit” a little when the voltage drops below 210 V.
However, all these minor disadvantages are covered by a fairly low price for the device.
Red Verg RD-MIG 150K Evolution:
This is a purebred semi-automatic cooking machine with a protective gas. It operates from a single-phase network of 220 V, and cooks with a direct current with a power of 30-140 A. As in the Resant, a kilogram coil with a wire with a diameter of 0.6 — 0.8 mm is loaded here as much as possible.
Welding of barrels, pipes, and car bodies is the main task of the RedVerg RD-MIG150K Evolution welder.
The RedVerg brand itself is Russian, but the unit is assembled on the Chinese site. However, despite its Asian origin, the build quality is excellent here.
The only thing that happens is that the cable length of 2 m is not enough, but you can adapt to this.
Solaris MULTI MIG-225:
This unit has MMA and MIG welding, that is, it can cook with both electrodes and wire. In this case, the diameter of the electrodes that can be used is 1.6 — 4 mm, and the wire is 0.6 — 1 mm.
The maximum current for manual arc welding is 200 A, and for semi-automatic arc welding is 220 A. Please note that you can adjust the wire feed speed from 1.5 to 9.1 m/min.
Solaris MULTI MIG-225 cooks with a wire of 0.6 — 0.8 mm perfectly, and you need to get used to 1 mm, since at first you can get a welding bath more than necessary.
Please note that the cable with the burner here has a length of 3 m, but the cables for the mass and for the electrode for some reason are 2 m — apparently the manufacturer decided to save a little. Despite this drawback, the device is good for its money.