How to Choose a Welder

Since there are many different types of the welding process, it is pretty clear each has its own type of welder to be used as well. You might have heard of a TIG or a MIG welder if you aren’t a fresher. However, how to choose a welder is an important point that determines the efficiency of work as well as the safety of users. In this post you will be figuring out what matters in choosing the right welder for you and if there are multiple types out there. Find out!

Types of Welders

  • Metal inert gas (MIG)
  • Tungsten inert gas (TIG)
  • Shielded metal arc welding (“SMAW” or Stick)
  • Oxy-acetylene welders (“gas” or “oxy-fuel”)

So what are the factors that affect the buying?

Like anything, welding machines also have types. And when it comes to choosing the most ideal solution for your work there are certain factors that are acting at the same point. Below we are shedding light on these parameters you should be careful about while selecting the welder.

Check out the material type

When you choose the welder you need to be clear about what welding material is to be welded. As a rule of thumb, welding works on three materials namely aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Moreover, stainless steel mainly works best with both MIG and TIG welders. However, carbon steelworks with the waste range of welding machines by handling excess heat. For aluminum, you will need a MIG welder for best performance or a dedicated high-end MIG welder.

Opt for Ideal Welding Location

The next important thing that matters for welding choice is the approach to its location. For instance, if you are welding indoors, the machine should be 115 Volt AC, a 220-240 volts supply. Moreover, 115 volt supply goes well for both residential and domestic welding!

Opt For the Precise Amperage Range

Another important point in welder choice is the right amperage settlement. The cost of the welding machine readily depends on how much electric power capacity it has. It’s pretty clear that if you are to join thick metal it will require more current and vice versa. So opt for the welder that offers the power which you need in particular.

Examine the Compressed Gas

Since each welder machine has its dedicated performance and process to join materials, it becomes important to analyze the compressed gas type of each welder. The welder you choose must be working on some gas such as argon, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. Therefore, you need to make sure what compressed-gas requirement you specifically have, so that things become professionally favorable.

The material you want to weld

Welder has to deal with materials such as aluminum; Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, etc. so cannot just pick any welder randomly. Make sure the machine you pick shows positive performance with the material as well.

MIG welder is the best welder at low skill level for:

  • Steel
  • Steel stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper brass
  • Plasma

Stick is the best welder at moderate skill level for:

  • Steel
  • Cast iron
  • Steel stainless steel
  • Plasma

AC-TIG is the best welder at a high skill level for:

  • Aluminum
  • Magnesium alloys
  • Plasma

DC-TIG is the best welder at a high skill level for:

  • Steel
  • Steel stainless steel
  • Titanium
  •  Copper Brass
  • Plasma

CAC-ADC is best for welders with moderate skills in (the cutting process):

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Cast iron
  • Steel stainless steel
  • Plasma

Set the Current Range

Dealing with electric welding and not knowing about the current settlement sounds ridiculous, if you are dealing with the thicker material, you will certainly need more current so that it gets well-penetrated. However, while choosing the welder, another important thing to be taken in mind is where you are welding in the first place. The power supply of the welder should be chosen as per the material choice. For instance,

  • The 110/120 volt AC is the most common and standard power supply that exhibits the best results for commercial welding. Some welding machines have been rated for 115 volts of input power.
  • The 220/240 volts AC is another bracket of high-power 30 amp electric current the welding machines use. However, to use this, you may need a licensed electrician to wire a circuit from the control panel
  • Another thing that is important for welder selection is the phase of current i.e Single-Phase vs. Three-Phase. Although many welders have a single-phase (220-240 voltage line), other welders come with three-phase. With energy efficiency, you will get things done in a different manner hence, pick the welder keeping its phase in mind. Beware of using a three-phase welder at home!

Conclusion

How to choose a welder mainly depends on your requirement regarding material joining, its thickness, and more. If you are a fresher, taking supervision from a professional or consulting the welder’s type’s guild will help you through and through. In this post, we have made sure to include each type of welder, material, and its performance. Hopefully, that will be helpful.

 

About Samantha Joel

Meet Samantha, a Certified Welding Educator (CWE) and Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT) from the American Welding Institute. She loves Welding Stuff, and apart from being a professional in welding jobs, it's her hobby too. She's working part-time blogger and reviews welding equipment here.