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Welding generators are a great way to get the welding power you need on the go. Most are easy to set up and use, and they provide consistent power that is perfect for welding jobs of all kinds. However, choosing the right generator for welding can be a daunting task.
There are many different types of welding generators on the market, so it is important to compare their size, features, and price. You must choose one that will handle your jobs as well as fit into what you can afford. By keeping these things in mind, you can find the best welding generator to match your needs.
Asking the question: which generator is best for welding is the first step. You will find tons of literature on the topic, and most of it is filled with technical jargon.
This guide will cut through that and help you make an informed choice. I have also included some FAQs about the topic so you know what exactly you ought to look for in a generator for welding.
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator: Best Welder Generator for 220 Welding Machines
The DuroMax XP 13000EH flexible generator runs on gas or propane. It provides a peak power of 13000 Watts with 10,500 running Watts. This is adequate to help you run most 220 V welders all day without any issues.
The DuroMax XP 13000 EH can be plugged into different outlets such as heavy-duty outlets, household outlets, and 120V/240V 30 A twist locks. You can also use it to power medical appliances, lights, etc. The generator for welding also comes with a large fuel tank of 8.3 gallons and features a powerful 500 cc engine.
DuroMax is sturdily made of all-metal construction, and its compact size makes it easy to store. Features like a low-oil sensor, push-button start, and 2 household outlets make it one of the bestselling generators on the market.
- Offers flexibility of fuel choice
- Powerful engine
- Compatible with various outlets
- ES compliant; EPA and CARB approved
- Push button start
- The unit is very heavy and the wheels provided don’t roll well. You’d also need help to unbox it.
- When using it for welders like Hobart Stickmate 235AC/160DC Stick welder, you might have to change the plug on the welder to fit the 50 amp receptacle.
- Invest in pneumatic flats to roll the generator.
- The battery might be dead upon arrival, so you must charge it overnight.
TOMAHAWK Portable 2,000 Watt Generator Stick and TIG Welder with Kit
Some welders and generators come in a single unit, making it convenient for remote welding jobs. The TOMAHAWK portable 2000 W generator is one such unit, and it is the best generator for the money.
It provides clean, uninterrupted 7 HP power with stable amperage required for welding. TOMAHAWK features a magnetized generator for a reliable power supply and also comes with two outlets so you can run several tools at the same time.
The inverter engine provides stable waves for steady welding. It also comes with rugged wheels to help you perform welding wherever and whenever. The in-built welding kit comes with everything you need to start welding right away, including a stick welder, power leads, grounding clamps, etc.
TOMAHAWK welder generator combo can easily weld ⅓, ¼, and ⅜ inch. It is designed for power, versatility, and durability.
- Versatile, powerful, and durable
- Built to fit your needs
- Easy transport
- Ready to weld
- Value for money
- Only DC and for 120 V
- Use the low amp setting and a thicker rod-like 1/8” if you are welding some thin low gauge tube steal like 1/2”x1/2”
- If you have a problem arcing, use a smaller rod-like 5/32 and weld fast.
Lincoln Ranger 330MPX Engine Welder Generator K3459-1: Best Engine Driven Welder
The Lincoln Ranger 330 MPX welder generator is for serious or professional welders who need a reliable power source. It is great for farm and construction sites and for any jobs that need remote welding.
Lincoln is a trusted name in the welding industry, they make reliable products and provide outstanding customer service, but their quality comes with a high price tag. But, it is a multiprocess welder, so you can weld MIG, flux-cored, stick & AC/DC TIG. it supplies 10KW continuous power and has a 100% duty cycle at 250 A.
You can also add a foot pedal and finger trigger for TIG. The powerful generator can be used to run a blower, plasma cutter, and other tools. With the Lincoln, you get a large gas tank, so there will be minimum refueling.
- Can handle various welding tasks
- Versatile and flexible
- Continuous power due to large engine
- A large gas tank size of 12 gallons helps avoid refills
- Electric start
- Fuel gauge control panel for visual checks
- Very heavy – weighs over 600 lb.
- Customize the unit with accessories bought separately. Can add foot pedal and finger trigger for TIG welding, AC/DC welding
- You will need a trailer/truck to haul it around.
Westinghouse WGen12000 Ultra Duty Portable Generator
I haven’t used the Westinghouse WGen 12000 for welding, but it has all the features you need in a generator to operate a welding machine. It is very powerful and comes with 12KW running power and 15KW peak power.
It has a tough V-twin engine that has the strength to run continuously for nearly 16 hours on a 10.5-gallon tank. The WGen is capable of outputting 100 running amps at 120V and 50 running amps at 240V.
One of its best features is the electric button start – as easy as pushing a button. It also comes with a remote key fob to help you start the generator conveniently from 260 ft away.
WGen’s features, like automatic low oil protection and voltage regulation, make maintenance easy.
- Remote and electric start
- Easy maintenance
- Maneuverable due to lifting bracket
- 10+ hour running time at 50% load
- Intuitive control panel
- Heavy duty, never flat wheels
- Excellent tech support; reliable manufacturer
- A battery charging port is included
- Very heavy
- Limited availability
- Slightly noisy.
- Do not keep the battery plugged in while running the generator.
WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator
WEN DF is a dual fuel generator with starting power of 11KW and running power of 8300 W. Its powerful 457cc Air-cooled OHV Engine (running at 3600 rpm) and 6.6-gallon fuel tank give you a long running time of 8.5 hours at 50% load (on gasoline). The generator’s available voltages are 120/240 V and DC 12 V.
WEN DF also has an electric start, so there is no difficult pull-start to deal with. It comes with sturdy wheels and a fold-down handle that lets you store it easily.
- Maneuverable and portable
- Easy to set up
- Low noise
- Reasonably priced
- Excellent customer service
- Wheels could be better
- When buying the 50 amp cable, make sure you get the straight plug and not the right angle one.
- After you test it out for the first time, make sure to let the fuel run out from the carburetor and line. For this, let it run until it stalls. Then use the choke (bring it up slightly). The machine will run for a few seconds before sputtering and dying. This is an indication there is no fuel in the line.
What Size Generator Do I Need for Welding?
When you ask yourself what generator you need for welding, keep the following aspects in mind:
The kind of fuel the generator uses will decide your running costs, cleanliness, and even its run time. These days, most generators consist of dual fuel systems that can run on diesel, gasoline or propane, or LPG.
Gas-powered generators are cost-effective up front, but propane may be more money-saving in the longer run. Propane also burns more cleanly than gas. Propane generators also have a longer runtime. On the downside, propane generators may not be as efficient as gas generators.
These days, most generators run for 8-10 hours at half load on a full tank.
All generators mention a running wattage, start wattage, and peak wattage. For your welder, you need to calculate the wattage. For this, note the input current and input voltage.
Then multiply the two. This will give you running wattage. Add a 30% safety margin to the running wattage. Most welders of 220 V will need at least 8500 running Wattage and 11KW peak wattage.
Portability and durability
Many welders need a generator to take outdoors to power the welding machine for repairs on farms and other remote areas. For this purpose, it should be portable and also sturdily built to withstand harsh conditions. Most generators are very heavy (some are over 500 lb.), but they come with wheels for you to easily maneuver them around.
The last thing you want is a noisy generator that requires you to wear earplugs. Most generators above are not overly noisy.
Other nice-to-have features in generators should be a quick electric start, switchable voltage, handles for easy maneuverability, remote start, and switchable voltage to power 110V and 240V appliances.
As long as you consider these aspects, you will find a generator for welding.
Conclusion – What are the Best Welding Generators?
The best generator for welding should run on either LPG or petrol. It should be efficient, have a long running time, and also use clean fuel. It should also have a low noise operation.
Most importantly, it should come with a suitable running wattage and peak wattage (ideally 5000 W output at least). If you weld a lot or professionally, the Lincoln Ranger, 330 MPX welder generator is my top choice.
We hope the above list helps you select the right generator for your welding project.
Below is a helpful YouTube video about running a welder with a generator.
FAQs – Which Generator is Best for Welding?
How many watts do you need to run a welder?
A welder with a current of 160 A will need a generator of 8000+ Watts. For welders with a current of 210 to 250 A, go for generators with 15KW+.
Will a 2,000-watt generator work for a welder?
No. A welder with 220 V needs at least 8500 running Wattage and 11KW peak wattage.
What size generator do I need for a Lincoln 225 Welder?
To run a Lincoln 225 welder, you need a generator with 8000 to 11,000 Watts. It will need an output of at least 5000 watts.