welding machines

Welding inverter types and selection

Which welding inverter choose
Which welding inverter choose

Which welding inverter choose

Welding is probably the most effective way to connect metal parts. For its implementation, welding machines of various types are used, among which inverter-type devices have recently become widespread.

In fact, the welding inverter is a modified device for welding metals, since its appearance, almost completely replaced the usual bulky devices of the transformer and rectifier type.

Content of the article:

1. Purpose and principle of operation

2. Device, characteristics and properties

3. The principle of operation of the welding inverter

3.1 Material

3.2 Dimensions and weight

3.3 Accessories

4. GOST, certification and marking

5. Types of welding inverters and their price

6. Which welding inverter should I choose?

6.1 Features of welding inverters

6.2 Additional functions

7. What do you need to know about welding inverters?

8. Welding Inverter Manufacturers

The reasons lie in its compact size, low weight, as well as a sufficiently high quality of the weld, which led to its mass use by home craftsmen.

Purpose and principle of operation: There are several welding methods, each of which requires its own inverter:

Manual Metal Arc (MMA) – manual mode of electrode welding using coated electrodes. We are talking about models for manual arc welding of metals that have a low weight and size.

They allow you to perform accurate high-quality welding joints, and their capabilities (from a technical point of view) are more than enough for welding in a small production site or workshop.

MMA Welding Machine :  The MMA method is the simplest of the listed methods and provides the lowest welding quality when compared with the options described below.

But this statement does not mean that it is bad, but indicates that the following are better. The inverter for welding by this method makes it possible to work with various types of steel, including cast iron.

Tungsten Inert Gas – TIG):  In most cases, the work is performed with a non-consumable electrode made of tungsten. This method is also called argon-arc welding, and its field of application is the connection of workpieces with walls up to 6 mm thick.

When working in the welding zone, the filler material is fed automatically or manually.TIG Welding Machine

The arc itself is designed for melting metal. The TIG welding machine is suitable for welding low-carbon and stainless steels, titanium and magnesium alloys, as well as non-ferrous metals.

Among the advantages is the absence of splashes and slags in the process of work, extremely high quality of the seam. Along with them, there is also a minus, which is the low speed of seam formation.

Metal Inert / Active Gas (MIG-MAG) – welding in the environment of protective gases (MIG – inert, MAG – active), and in semi-automatic mode.

The wire (both the electrode and the additive) is fed into the working area without human intervention, and is melted by the heat of the arc.

The quality of the latter is determined by the competence of the inverter settings, that is, the wire feed speed, current, flow rate and the choice of the gas itself. Application-welding of parts with thin walls. A striking example is the car body.

There are universal versions of devices that involve the use of one of the above technologies by changing the operating mode via a switch.That is, one model is able to perform all these types of welding.

Device, characteristics and properties

A modern mid-range inverter device consists of a housing with support legs for stability, inside which all its main components are mounted, and on the front wall there is a panel with various indicators (malfunction, ready for operation), a switch for welding technology (type) and a welding current adjustment knob.

Also in the front there are connectors for connecting the electric holder and the mass clamp, and in the back there is a network cable with a plug for connecting to the network.

On the back wall there is a grid (ventilation slots) that provides high-quality cooling of the “filling” of the inverter, which is based on the following elements:

  • The rectifier of the current coming from the supply network.
  • The inverter unit itself, which generates high-frequency pulses.
  • A transformer responsible for increasing the current along with lowering the voltage.
  • Another straightener.
  • A working shunt.

Controls enclosed in an individual unit with an external display, switches and controls.Externally, the welding inverter looks like a relatively small metal box with a handle or belt for carrying.

The principle of operation of the welding inverter

The electric current from the power source is fed to the rectifier, where the alternating current is converted to direct current, after which the inverter is again converted to alternating current, but with a very high frequency.

Next, the transformer lowers the voltage, as a result of which the current strength increases significantly.

At the final stage, another rectifier comes into operation, which converts high-frequency alternating current with high power and low voltage back to direct current, which is already used for welding work.


In most cases, the main part of the welding inverter body is an aluminum U-shaped cover and an aluminum bottom.The front and back sides are made of impact-resistant plastic.

The switches and controls can also be plastic or metal, and the control panel is made of thin metal.

The straight, wide legs are equipped with rubber pads to increase the stability of the device.

Power supply, power and current of the welding inverter

The welding inverter is powered by a 220 V AC power source (380 V inclusive for professional models).For this purpose, in most cases, a connection to a household power outlet is used.

If the work needs to be performed away from the source of electricity, an ordinary generator is used, for example, a gasoline generator that corresponds to the device in terms of output power.

The main advantage of the welding inverter over the welding transformer, if we take into account only the technical characteristics-the efficiency, which is much more important (85-95%), as well as the power consumption.

So if the transformer needs up to 8 kW of electrical power when working with a 3 mm electrode, then about 3 kW will be enough for the inverter, even if a 4 mm electrode is used.

In addition, the inverters can be easily adjusted to certain operating modes thanks to a wide range of welding current adjustments.

As a rule, this is 30-200 A.


In most cases, the welding current of 160 A is sufficient to operate a 4-mm electrode, while even a small power reserve remains.

Dimensions and weight:

  • low weight and dimensions of welding inverters are one of its main features, which allows you to operate the devices with maximum convenience.
  • So the most compact models, the average dimensions of which are 300x130x300 mm, weigh from 3.5 kg.
  • At the same time, in reality, the dimensions can be 250-450 x 110-610 x 160-350 mm.
  • The average weight of household options is 5 – 7 kg, and in professional versions this figure can reach 13 kg.


Together with the inverter welding current source, various components are supplied in the kit, which after connection form a full-fledged welding machine, ready for operation.

Welding inverter with accessories

These include:

Wires: They act as connecting links between the electrode holder, the ground terminal and the central welding unit.

These are single-core thick cables with reliable insulation that can easily withstand high welding current.

As a rule, these cables are removable, that is, they are connected to the inverter unit by means of special inserts.The electric holder is actually the holder of the electrodes, which the welder uses.

Clamp on the mass. In most cases, this is a clothespin of the “crocodile ” type, which is fixed on one of the welded parts. Also called a ground terminal. There are also magnetic clamps and models made in the form of a clamp.

  1. A shield or mask to protect the eyes.
  2. Metal brush for cleaning seams, etc.
  3. The device with clamps

If the device is intended to perform TIG welding, instead of the classic electrode holder, use a special burner with a collet clip for a non-consumable electrode (tungsten) and a full set of related equipment and materials, such as a euro hose, a gas cylinder and a hose for its supply.

Inverter device with case:

For ease of transportation, many manufacturers include a case, which is made of plastic or metal, in the scope of delivery of the welding machine.

GOST, certification and labeling:

For semiconductor inverters, the technical specifications are fully contained in GOST 24376-91, and the regulatory and technical document TU 34-38-11274-88 is responsible for their compliance.

In addition, some of the manufactured devices, especially industrial ones, pass the NAKS certification.

Inverter unit in a box:

This is done to verify compliance with the specified technological characteristics of various welding methods that are used at hazardous facilities.

The certification process is carried out by comparing the parameters specified in the equipment documentation with the actual indicators.

The difference between certified and non-certified models, which are completely identical in design, is only in the presence of a document on the conduct of additional acceptance tests, which is the corresponding certificate of the National Welding Control Agency (NAKS).

Welding inverter with NAKS certificate

As for the marking, inverters are designated by the abbreviation of the welding method they support.

In addition, it should be noted that there is a CUT marking, which indicates that this model performs cutting of the material by the plasma method.

Types of welding inverters:

Conventionally, welding inverters, according to the duration of continuous operation, are divided into several types:

Household appliances – continuous operation for 5 to 10 minutes, followed by a long break. The welding current of such models is no more than 120-200 A. Purpose-a small amount of welding work.

Semi-professional:  something in between the previous and the next option, that is, the duration of work is about 15-30 minutes, but with a break between cycles of about 1 hour.

Professional-operation with an 8-hour cycle and a welding current of 200-300 A. They are used in the manufacture of metal structures and frames, various repair works.

This already includes semi-automatic machines operating in MIG/MAG, TIG and MMA modes.Semi-automatic inverter unit

Industrial: able to work throughout the day at industrial facilities (in 3 shifts) with small technological breaks. Welding current is of the order of 200 – 500 A.

It should be noted that all the other characteristics of the above types of devices are practically no different.

There are also models with a starting and charging function, that is, the welding machine has a manual adjustment of the starting current and voltage, for example, 12, 24 and 36 V, which allows you to select the starting power required for starting any equipment (internal combustion engines, for example).


Semiconductor welding machines are suitable for charging lead-acid batteries used in transport.

What kind of welding inverter to choose?

The choice of a welding inverter begins with the definition of the tasks that it should solve.

  • The key factor here is the time of continuous operation.
  • For a home where infrequent short-term work is planned, a budget device that can withstand welding for at least 10 minutes is suitable.
  • At the same time, a beginner will only need an MMA-type device.

Professional Welding Inverter:

A professional, for whom welding is part of everyday tasks, will need a model that can also work in TIG and MIG-MAG modes, especially if it is intended to weld non-ferrous metals.

Well, now a little about the features of the devices.

Features of welding inverters:

Welding current and diameter of the electrodes. The latter is selected depending on the thickness of the metal to be welded and is described separately for each model of the device.

For example, working with metal with a thickness of up to 2 mm requires 1.6-2 mm electrodes, and for parts with a thickness of 15 mm, a 5 mm electrode is already needed.

A properly selected diameter will allow you to perform an accurate and clean seam. For different thickness of the electrodes and depending on the characteristics of the task, different rated welding current is required.Table of electrode diameter

In most cases, it is sufficient that a smooth regulator is installed on the device, allowing you to set the current value to 150-200 A.

Ease of operation: This item primarily includes the dimensions and dimensions of the device, since it will have to be delivered to the place of work somehow.

A significant role is played by the length of the power cord, which must withstand increased loads during the welding process together with the plug.

It should be remembered that connecting the inverter through extension cords, even specialized ones, will lead to a loss of its power in proportion to the total resistance of these extension cords.

In addition, you will have to constantly monitor the reliability of the contacts of the” garland ” of plugs and sockets. In reality, there are cases when even the maximum current is not enough for normal arc formation when connected via extension cords.

In addition, it is important to understand that household appliances are powered by a 220 V network, while some professional, as well as all industrial options require a three-phase source with a voltage of 380 V.Professional device with a description of the main functions

Guarantee: Whatever welding machine, according to the manufacturer or the users themselves, is reliable, it must necessarily come with a warranty card from the manufacturer.

Even famous brands have a marriage. In this case, the only salvation is the service center. You should make sure that there is one nearby in advance, so that the suddenly failed inverter does not have to be taken to another area for warranty service or repair.

A good welding inverter allows you to perform high-quality welding for both novice masters and professionals, for which it is equipped with optional additional functionality.

Additional features:

The presence of the following functions will increase the speed of welding with the inverter, the quality and safety of work:

Hot start (Hot-Start). The essence lies in the short-term supply of the highest current value at the initial stage of operation, which leads to instant ignition of the electrode at the moment when it performs the first touch. In fact, the system provides an effective ignition of the electrode.

Anti-Stick (Anti – Stick) – a function that ensures, first of all, the safety of the operator. It is designed to avoid” sticking ” of the electrode, reducing the arc at the moments when the latter approaches the metal.

So if you remove the electrode from the surface of the work piece, there is a decrease in the current strength, and with a sharp approach, its readings are reset, due to which the electrode is easily separated from the metal.

Arc afterburner (Arc-Force) – is used to provide increased stability in the short course of the arc.

The automatic system, if required, independently increases the current, the maximum value of which is set by the master. The function allows you to avoid ” sticking”, overheating of the device in case of a short circuit, and also ensures the correct welding depth.

Light indication-it is necessary to notify the master of the welding machine malfunctions. So, for example, one of the bulbs lights up when you connect it to the network, and the other-when it overheats.

The parameter display is another way to monitor the operation of the device. The display shows the current values of the current and its voltage. All this allows you to choose the appropriate mode of operation.

Automatic shutdown in case of overheating is perhaps one of the most important functional additions that should be present in inverters.

The fact is that during welding, you can miss the operation of the light indicator, which will lead to damage to the device if it does not have the automatic shutdown function installed.

For the convenience of carrying the device, it is usually equipped with a plastic handle. It is relevant if the block really weighs a little.

For those models whose weight reaches 7 kg or more, it makes sense to pay attention to the presence of a belt.

It will allow you to carry the welding machine by throwing this belt over your shoulder, which is much easier.

What do you need to know about welding inverters?

The welding inverter is extremely sensitive to dust and moisture.The reason for this is the presence of several printed circuit boards, the elements of which are oxidized over time, and clogged with small debris, which leads to a short circuit of the tracks.

You can also store the device in the garage, packing it in a box, however, you should avoid sudden temperature changes.

Inverter unit disassembled

Another nuance regarding inverters is the number of boards on which the radio components are soldered.The more of them – the better.

The reason is extremely simple: if one of them fails, it is enough to simply replace it, but in the case of a design with a single board, on which, let’s say, a short circuit occurred, the entire device will become unusable.

Welding Inverter Manufacturers

Welding inverters are produced by a really large number of manufacturers, most of whom are familiar with other tool products:

Foreign – Blue Weld, Aurora, Champion, Daewoo, QUATTRO ELEMENTI, Viking welding, Hitachi, GRAPHITE, Brima, Sturm, RedHotDot, Powerman, BestWeld, Elitech, Kemppi, Gigant, HELVI, FUBAG, Foxweld, HUTER, Inforce, FLAMA, Telwin, EWM, Kolner.

Welding Machine:

For welding of black or colored metal will fit any modern inverter welding machine, use for this purpose only the welding electrodes used for kinds of metal (Iron, copper, aluminum, etc.).

Welding work performed by the current up to 160A can be welded with electrodes up to 4 mm, will handle any domestic welding machine with MON 60%-(duration of load).

Such reliable and very popular welding machines include: GROVERS MMA-160G professional welding machine, ENERGY ARC 160 welding inverter in a case, NEON VD-163 Welding machine, NEON VD-183 Welding inverter.

If the voltage is very low, when there is less than 100 volts in the network (such a low voltage is usually found in rural areas, in remote areas from a transformer substation, the same situation is in suburban and garage cooperatives), In this case we recommend the GROVERS-160 PFC welding inverter, which operates from 100 volts.

Industrial use inverter-type welding machines that operate on a 220 volt network: ENERGY ARC 200 welding machine, GROVERS MMA-200G professional welding inverter, NEON VD-203 Welding machine, NEON VD-221 welding machine.

The lower operating mode of this group of welding inverters is from 160 volts. Welding is performed with electrodes up to 5 mm.

You can also buy welding machines running on a 380 V network, such machines are designed for welding thick-walled metal and welding is performed with electrodes from 5 mm and higher.

Heavy duty welding machines include: GROVERS ARC-250 welding inverter, GROVERS ARC-315 Welding machine, GROVERS ARC-400 Welding inverters, NEON VD-253 welding machine, NEON VD-315 Welding inverter, GROVERS ARC-250LT Welding inverter, GROVERS ARC-315LT Welding inverter.

All the presented welding equipment is tested and has good customer reviews.

In our product line, you will find the best offer. We provide free delivery to the terminal of transport companies. Consultants of LLC”WELDING CENTER” will help you to deal with any question regarding the product you are purchasing.

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