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Is Stick Welding a Good Process? Plus Best Stick Welders

Recently, my daughter noticed me using a stick welder to work on an outside trailer. After I finished, she asked why I chose the stick welder instead of the MIG welder I taught her to use?

Stick welding is a versatile process that you can set up quickly. This type of welding uses a consumable electrode to create the weld and performs well outdoors or when working with different metals. However, it’s challenging to master and creates lots of sparks and smoke.

Many welding processes fall under the broad categorization of electric arc welding. Stick welding (also called Shielded Metal Arc Welding or SMAW) is one of them.

In this post, we cover:

  • What is stick welding best for?
  • Best stick welders to select in 2022
  • And more…
Picture of a person stick welding.

Stick Welding

Stick welding is a type of welding that uses an electrode, or “stick,” to create an electrical arc. The arc is used to melt the metals being joined together. Stick welding is considered the best type of welding for several reasons.

First, it is very versatile and can be used on various metals. Second, it produces strong welds on less than perfect metal surfaces. Finally, stick welding can be used outdoors in windy conditions. If you’re thinking about learning how to weld, stick welding is the best place to start.

However, there are a few things to consider before you start stick welding. First, this process is not recommended for thin metals. The heat from the welding process can cause these metals to warp and distort.

Second, stick welding produces a lot of smoke and fumes, so be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Finally, this process can be tricky to learn, so it’s essential to practice on some scrap metal before you start working on your project.

Stick welding was developed in the early 90s and is one of the oldest electric arc welding processes. It is very versatile and therefore used extensively in the industry. One of the main benefits of stick welding is that it creates its own shield to protect the weld deposit from atmospheric contamination.

What is Stick Welding Best For?

There are numerous uses of SMAW or stick welding. The process uses intense heat produced by an electric arc created between a base metal workpiece and the tip of a filler metal electrode.

The simplicity of stick welding makes it one of the most widely used forms of arc welding. Its equipment is readily available, reasonably simple to use, and relatively inexpensive. Stick welding is ideal for welding many common metals and alloys. 

Also, the filler metal electrodes used in SMAW are easy to find. They have a flux coating that protects the electrode against oxidation. So, you don’t need any additional flux or gas shielding.

Most stick welding units are portable, making them an excellent choice for outdoor applications and limited access areas. You can easily perform stick welding under harsh weather conditions like snow, wind, or rain.

Best Stick Welders 2022 – Top 7 Picks

#1. Winner: DEKO-PRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder Machine

DEKO is a reliable global producer of household tools, having sold over 200 million products in 200 countries.

The 160A MMA Arc Welder will give you professional results, but it is also beginner-friendly. You can efficiently use the 160 MMA for auto bodywork and other thin steel welding jobs.

This portable stick welder comes with a sturdy design that makes it ideal for outdoor use. It is also equipped with a high-efficiency fan that ensures uniform heat dissipation without making too much noise.

DEKO stick welder also adjusts to the current to ensure stable current output. You can use this versatile welder for a wide range of jobs like automotive, manufacturing, plumbing, construction, site work, etc.


  • Sturdy steel construction with durable plastic handle and non-slip base
  • 12 lb. lightweight and portable unit
  • Long power cord of over 70 inches
  • Sticks of 1/8 and 3/32 to be purchased separately
  • Current 110 A and dual voltage 110/220V
  • ETL certified for added safety
  • IGBT/(Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) power device comes with controls for improving efficiency.


  • Portable design
  • Lightweight yet durable and sturdy
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Easy to use
  • Value for money


  • Does not come with any manual/documentation.

How it compares

Whether you are a beginner or pro at stick welding and need a welder for artistic, furniture, or sculpting accessories, this is a great choice. You can use it at 120 V or 220V. It is portable, comes with easy strikes, and is sure to help you produce welds that you’re proud of. DEKO Pro is also reasonably priced.

#2. Best Overall: YESWELDER ARC-205DS 110V/220V Stick MMA Welder

Those in the welding industry will know all about YESWELDER products. The brand is well known for its state-of-the-art welding machines, welding helmets, and other accessories. You’re sure to find YesWelder products in the hands of creative people in the industries and the DIY hobbyists as well.

YESWELDER ARC-205DS 110V/220V Welder features the easy arc start technology that makes things easy and convenient by producing easy strikes.

 Here are some of its other top features:


  • Hot start arc force inbuilt
  • Weighs just 10 lb.
  • Auto compensation for voltage fluctuation
  • Generator-friendly auto fan dormancy steeples amperage control
  • Auto temperature control
  • Dual voltage 110/220V
  • Compatible with most 6010, 6011, 6013, and 7018 rods
  • IGBT soft switch technology


  • Great tech support
  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Poor instructions

How it compares

This is a great little welder that is powerful enough to give you clean welds even on 2 3/8″ pipe bull in the middle of summer. It can run all day and is lightweight enough to be taken outdoors. All in all, this is an inexpensive welder you can rely upon for small to medium welding projects around the house or outdoors.

#3. Best Budget: S SIMDER Mini Arc Welder 

SIMDER Mini welder costs less than $75 and has a dual voltage of 110-220V. This work of art produces minimal splatter and comes with a clear LCD display. The compact machine is ideal for making repairs around the house.


  • Steel welder weighing just 8.3 lb.
  • Overheat, overcurrent, insulation, and overload protections
  • Suggested use with welding rods 3/32″ 1/8″ 7018 rods and 1/8″
  • Controlled by IGBT that ensures exact current
  • Fits below 3.2mm rods and is suitable for various metals like iron, carbon steel, etc.


  • Advanced control mode
  • Suitable for all-day welding
  • Easy to operate and carry
  • 1-year warranty
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Leads are short
  • On/off switch is difficult to change 

How it compares

Don’t let the SIMDER Mini arc welder’s size fool you: it can weld an I/8 7018 welding rod just like a big machine. Its small size keeps it portable and makes it easy to store. SIMDER Mini welder costs less than $75 and comes with a clear LCD display. Even beginners to welding find the Simder Mini arc welder easy and intuitive to use.

#4. Best for Beginners: HONE Stick Welder

The HONE brand made its foray into welding products in 2005 and today, almost two decades later, stays committed to delivering world-class welding machines for DIY and industrial use.

HONE stick welder has several features that make it beginner-friendly. It comes with a hot arc start that makes startup easy. The welder’s arc has considerable power for smoother and deeper penetration; at the same time, its design ensures spatter-less and no-mess operation. HONE stick welder also has an anti-stick feature which makes it easy to remove the electrode. 


  • Works with rods of  1/32 in (0.8mm) and 1/16 in 
  • Built-in overload and overheat protection
  • MCU smart control
  • 5.3-ft power cord with Velcro for ease of storage
  • Compatible with AWS E6011 E7018 E6013 E308 
  • Long-length welding cable  measuring 9.5 ft + 9.5 ft


  • Lightweight
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting


  • Some units are reported to have incorrect polarity labeling

How it compares

The HONE arc welder is an excellent choice if you know nothing of welding but want to get started; it starts easily and runs smoothly. Anyone can figure out its functioning. Being small-sized, it takes up very little space. Despite its small size, it has enough power to do basic welds in and around the house making it our top choice for beginner welders.

#5. Best Energy-Efficient: WEGOODLDER Stick Welder

If you want an energy-efficient machine without any compromise on the welding results, then the WEGOODLDER stick welder is what you need.

It uses IGBT inverter technology to realize the lowest energy consumption. 

Here are its other great features:


  • A dual voltage of 110-220V accurately matches current for a stable output
  • Non-slip handle design, non-slip base
  • Multi-processing protection 
  • 10.96 lb.
  • Clear LCD display
  • Multi-air duct to quickly dissipate heat
  • 5-8 ft cable length


  • Energy-efficient IGBT technology
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Beginner-friendly


  • 220V adapter is not included with the unit.

How it compares

Small enough to carry everywhere and powerful enough to get most jobs done; you will love the WEGOODLDER stick welder. It is highly energy-efficient, and we’re sure that most people won’t mind its price either.

#6. Best Design: WETOLS Stick Welder

The 160 MMA Arc welder is WETOL’s flagship stick welder. The brand itself was formed in 2008 with the intention of providing people who love welding with high-quality yet affordable welders.

The 160 MMA arc welder is designed for portability and ease of use, making it an eligible stick welder for indoor and outdoor use.

Its special welding dynamic characteristic controls the circuit to provide a reliable and stable welding arc. Moreover, it has a very low-noise output since its on-off frequency is outside the audible range. WETOLS stick welder produces minimum spatter for a clean weld. It also comes with overheating, overload, and over-current protection.


  • Welding voltage can be made to match the current
  • Steel frame with plastic handle
  • Lightweight – 9 lb.
  • 5.15 ft power cord


  • Stable current sturdy design
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Great for beginners
  • Good customer service


  • The cords are too short.

How it compares

You will love how simple-yet-efficient the WETOL’s 160 MMA arc welder is. It is ideal for garage welders and hobbyists. 160 A is more than enough for most household jobs. You will love how lightweight it is. Also, the well-designed welder is easy to learn.

#7. Best Value for Money: TOOLIOM 195 A Stick Welder 

Safe and convenient for beginners, the TOOLIOM 195 A stick welder features a hot start arc for a fast and easy start. Its smooth arc on cellulose ensures a smooth and clean weld devoid of messy spatter.

TOOLIOM can also go up to 195 A on 220 V for major applications. It is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. In short: the TOOLIOM 195A stick welder is a complete value for money.


  • Compatible with E6010 cellulose electrode and also great for  5/32 in.(4.0mm) rods.
  • Dual voltage
  • Thermal protection overload warning LED
  • Smart digital display


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Value for money


  • Amperage setting is hard to set and tends to jump

How it compares

TOOLIOM arc welder with hot arc start is great for beginners and home projects. Its auto-start arc is convenient, and many users could easily burn 7/32 as easily as 5/32 on 110V. For under $150, the TOOLIOM stick welder offers you complete value for money.

Picture of a person stick welding.

Why is Stick Welding The Best?

Stick welding remains the favorite of welders for simple to complicated welding jobs. It has been the choice of professional welders and DIY hobbyists for years.

Electricians and home repair enthusiasts use stick welding for small and large projects.

Stick welding is considered the best because you can use it indoors and outdoors. You can also use it for welding metals like stainless steel, alloy steel, carbon steel, copper, copper alloys, and non-ferrous metals.

Modern stick welders come with compact designs that enhance their portability and ease of storage. Being lightweight also means they can be used in hard-to-access areas and under adverse conditions like dampness, drafts, etc. The lightweight design and easy and intuitive controls make them easy for beginners.

A majority of the stick welders feature the hot arc start – which means you quickly get the strike and can begin working. Most come with a dual voltage that adjusts the current to give a stable current output.

Stick welders are also safe for beginners because most come with overload and overheat protection. This also improves welding efficiency as well.

Do You Need Shielding Gas for Stick Welding?

The simplicity and beauty of stick welding is that it does not need shield gas to protect the weld. The electrode is covered with a flux that covers the weld and protects it. 

The fact that no gas is required makes it inexpensive too. Moreover, it is convenient for welders who can switch from one metal workpiece to another easily by changing the filler metal rod.


Stick welding remains one of the most popular methods of welding. In addition to its flexibility, its main advantage is that it produces very high heat at the point of welding. This rapidly deposits the weld metal with minimum distortion. Also, with modern stick welders, you get several other benefits like portability, flexibility, and safety.

It is essential to use the correct rod when stick welding, for example, 6013 electrodes are best used for light to medium penetration on thin or sheet metal pieces while 7018 arc welding rod is most often used for general-purpose welding of carbon steel.

We recommend the DEKO 160A MMA Arc Welder for its beginner-friendly design to give professional results. It is also portable with an easy strike and can create welds you’re proud of. 

Do check out the other top-rated stick welders mentioned above.

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