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Welders have evolved over the years to make welding more straightforward and faster. As a result, these nifty tools come with different features and welding processes. For a beginner, it can be intimidating choosing the right welder. There are so many products from various brands on the market. To help you make the right choice, we have reviewed hundreds of welders and have come up with this review of the best welders for beginners. We have also provided a buyer’s guide that highlights the vital factors that should affect a beginner’s choice of welders.
Read on to find out more.
Best Beginner Welders
1. Forney Easy Weld MIG Welder Start-Up Kit – Top Pick
The Forney Easy Weld 29801 100ST Welder Start-Up Kit is the best MIG welder for beginners. It is from Forney, a respected brand that produces high-quality welders. This starter kit is excellent for beginners and folks without welding experience. Forney specially designs it with such people in mind.
The design is compact and portable. It has a small footprint that ensures it doesn’t get in the way when you work. As it weighs 7.5 pounds, it can be effortlessly carried anywhere desired. If you are into MIG welding, this is the best MIG welder for beginners.
The performance is decent. It can use 1/8″ electrodes. With a power rating of 120 V and 90 Amps of output, you won’t find a beginner kit as good as it in this category. It is made to weld up to 16 gauges comfortably and can weld up to 1/8″ of metal.
The welder has a duty cycle of 30% at 80A. This implies that it is not for heavy-duty projects but for simple projects.
Another reason why it is great for beginners is that everything in the kit has already been installed. Hence, as a beginner, you don’t have to wonder which part fits where. Included in the package are:
- Welding helmet
- Welding gloves
- Driving gloves
- Welding stick rods
- Scratch brush
- Stick electrodes
It comes complete with all you need aside from a TI torch.
This kit is for beginners, folks who want a portable welder at a low price, and those who desire a simple home welding kit. Click here to see the best price.
- Arc and Stick welding processes
- 20% at 80A duty cycle
- Single voltage unit (120 V)
- 12 months warranty
2. Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV – Most Portable Welder
The Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV is the next best welder for beginners in this review, and for a good reason! Reviewers have commented about how they were able to use the welder with zero to little training. Set up is a breeze; take it out of the package and plug it in. When we tested it, we noticed the ease of use as well. It is a capable little welder that is great for hobby welders and DIY enthusiasts.
The design is compact and lightweight. It weighs 8 ounces; thus, it can be carried from one place to the other with incredible ease. The handle on the welder offers a good grip and is very comfortable for welding.
The rods that come with the Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV work really well. While using the welder, we particularly enjoyed the quality of jobs we got from using them. The welding kit comes with a helmet. Although it is cool, we couldn’t really get any welding done with them. Therefore, it would be smarter to invest in another helmet. We got an auto-darkening helmet, and the whole welding experience was enhanced.
The Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV draws just 15 Amps – 20 Amps, therefore, you can use it on a small power source. Furthermore, it has a 20% duty cycle at 50 Amps. While this isn’t groundbreaking, it is a nice feature for a welder at this price.
Another feature the Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV has is the dual heat setting. With this feature, you can use the welder for your small repairs and small projects.
To protect you and to enhance durability, this welder comes with a thermal overload protection system. Thus when it gets too hot, it cuts out the power. Click here to see the best price.
- 20% AT 50A duty cycle
- Runs on 115 V power
- Thermal overload protection
3. Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit – Best Value for Money
It is a relatively lightweight welder as it weighs 36.8 pounds. Furthermore, the design is compact. As a user, you can stow it away conveniently. It fits shelves, car floors, tool trolleys, and other spaces with ease. You can comfortably take it along to your next job. If your light-duty project requires repositioning, this welder is lightweight and compact enough to be adjusted even in tight spaces.
MIG welders are widely regarded as the best welders beginners can start with. MIG welding is clean, quick, and gives a pleasant finish. The Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit will deliver such results, even if you are a newbie.
It works with the common household current; hence, you do not have to make adjustments to your wiring just because you are using a welder.
The Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit is a great welder for light jobs and DIY projects. As an entry-level welder, it is not designed to weld heavy-duty materials or thickness. As a wire welding machine, it does much better than stick welders because it uses a low amount of current. During use, we observed that the equipment easily handles 16 gauge to sheet metal. Furthermore, while other welding labor to effectively weld aluminum, the Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit does so with aplomb.
The kit comes with the following:
- Spool wire
- Two Extra tips
- Wire brush
- A 2.5 M torch
- Face mask, and so on
The safety features also make this welding kit excellent for beginners. It comes with an ON/OFF safety control for the torch, and overheating protection.
It should be noted that this device isn’t built for serious projects, but is ideal for small projects and light metals. Click here to see the best price.
- Automatic control panel
- Copper tip
- Thermal overload protection
- 110 V voltage
- 35% at 60 Amp duty cycle
4. Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Beginner Welder – Best Multipurpose Welder
Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Beginner Welder presents an impressive option for beginners. Lincoln is known for the high quality of its products, and this welder is no exception. If you are a beginner or you have a small welding project, this welder is a good fit. It comes with features that make it an ideal welder.
It comes in a portable, lightweight, and appealing design. It weighs 46 pounds, which isn’t the lightest on this list, but you can still carry it around on jobs. It even has a handle on the top that aids you with lift and transportation.
The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Beginner Welder is a versatile welder that can be used for different welding processes. You can choose to use it as a MIG welder or weld flex-cored. During testing, we switched from one mode to another as soon as the job demanded it. We like the ease and the speed of transition.
The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Beginner Welder provides a maximum power of 88 amps. Therefore, it isn’t a powerful welder. With that in mind, it is not a welder designed for heavy-duty jobs. However, the 88 amps maximum power is still enough power to weld efficiently on a light-duty project. It is easy to use, and the 115 V inlet is compatible with most outlets in the home.
It comes with different accessories in the package, including a mask. During our test, we changed the mask provided to another because it wasn’t good enough to use. Nevertheless, the other accessories are quite useful.
It comes with safety features. A fan-cooled design serves as the means of preventing the welder from overheating. It also has a cold contractor that keeps the welder wire electrically cold while the trigger is inert. Click here to see the best price.
- 8 feet long clamp cable
- 115 V – 20 amp input
- 20% at 70 Amps duty cycle
5. SUNGOLDPOWER TIG Welder Complete Package – Best TIG Welder
It is a lightweight welder that features a compact, durable design. Weighing a mere 22.1 pounds, this welder can be moved around without any hassles. It features a ceramic material that might look fragile but is very durable.
The SUNGOLDPOWER TIG Welder Complete Package welder features an LED that shows you what is going on with the welder. The display shows a digital voltage Amp readout. Thus, whenever you need such information, it is readily available.
It is a versatile welder that can weld various materials. Such materials include stainless steel, nickel, copper brass, and so on.
It comes at a low price, but do not think the low price means the performance is sub-par. The welder delivers excellent performance, even more so than its competitors at this price point. Some of the features found on this welder are found only on more expensive models. For example, the onboard fan, system protections, and HF start are usually absent from welders at this price.
As an entry-level welder, it lacks the power required for heavy-duty projects. However, the power is adequate for light-duty projects. Click here to see the best price.
- Over-voltage protection
- Start-easy arc
- TIG-200G inverter welder
- Dual voltage welder (110 V / 220 V)
- 60% at 180 Amp duty cycle
How To Find The Best Entry-Level Welder
As a newbie, it can be challenging finding the right entry-level welder. To help you, we have compiled some of the vital factors that will affect your choice.
Factors to Consider
Know your skill level
When you know your limits and your skill level, it will be easier to choose a welder that will be comfortable and easy to use. Welders have different welding processes, and some processes are harder than others. These processes will be discussed in detail later in this article.
While choosing an entry-level welder, you have to consider the power rating of the welder. The purpose of the welder will determine the power rating your welder will have. If the welder is for small projects, you should be searching for a welder with a power input from 115 V and 40 V. If the project is a heavy-duty project, you will require a more powerful welder with a higher power input rating.
You must know your power and adapt accordingly. If the welder has a low amperage value, for example, 135A or less, it is often compatible with most household power outlets. However, once the amperage is higher, you might require a 220 V power outlet. If your home doesn’t have this, you might have to get an adapter or consult an electrician.
This is an essential factor, especially if the welder is going to be carried around frequently. As a beginner, you should buy a welder that allows you to carry it from job to job with ease. However, if your project doesn’t involve moving from place to place, you might be content buying an entry-level welder that is relatively heavy.
Material to be welded
Welders have different abilities. Some are designed to weld materials that are heavy and thick, while others are solely meant for light metals. You must consider the type of material and the thickness of the material before choosing an entry-level welder.
Buying a welder from a reputable brand is a safe choice. Although unknown brands might produce welders with decent performance, the parts might be hard to find. Buying from a renowned brand is a form of insurance. That way, if any parts need replacing, you can easily find it on the market. Furthermore, renowned brands usually offer better customer service and technical support when required. Additionally, since welders use consumables, a reputable brand is more likely to provide better access to these, and might even accept third-party consumables unlike welders from unknown brands.
As a beginner, you need all the help you can get. Therefore, check out the features of the welder. An important feature that helps beginners is the addition of dial-in settings.
This feature makes your welding easier. A good welder for beginners will allow you input parameters like metal thickness, type, and so on. The device then considers these parameters to provide you with the best arc or output.
Other welders are self-adjusting in terms of power. They change the output in response to the input they receive. Some come with displays that show the output and input values and notify you when adjustments need to be made.
To ensure safety, some welders come with in-built safety features. One example of these safety features is overheating protection. Overheating affects the speed of your project. If the welder overheats, you might have to wait for a while for it to cool down before commencing the project. Overheating protection prevents this problem.
One mistake that many beginners make while choosing an entry-level welder is not considering the welding process. Thus, they excitedly buy a “top-of-the-line” welder, start welding, and discover that the welder’s process is wrong for the material. Some welders have complicated processes that the newbie might not understand.
To assist you, we will consider the different processes and highlight which ones you should avoid as a newbie, and those are easy to do.
- MIG/Flux-Cored Welding
MIG welding involves using a spool gun to feed a line of electrodes. As the electrodes are fed through the gun, they form an arc with the metal. The heat generated is enough to melt the arc, and this, in turn, welds the metal material.
As this process is done in the open air, it is susceptible to impurities like dust and other minute contaminants. If these enter the arc, they will affect the strength of the weld. Hence, MIG welding involves a protective coat that repels air and the contaminants it carries.
MIG welding is a great method of welding because it is quite versatile and allows you to weld different types of metals together. It is also straightforward to master.
Other advantages of this method include:
- Easy to maneuver
- Produces a beautiful finish
- Can be used for sculpture
In the context of this article, MIG welding is the easiest for a beginner to master. Unlike other types of welding (which will be discussed), you just have to control the gun.
TIG welding involves the use of a tungsten electrode to heat the metal, melt it, and form a molten puddle. Just as MIG welding, the process is susceptible to contamination; hence, it has a protective bubble as well.
TIG welding can be used to weld a variety of materials; however, the metals to be welded are thinner than those welded with MIG welding.
The advantages of TIG welding include:
- Incredible finish
- Accurate welding
- Ideal for delicate jobs
Despite the benefits, TIG welding is not for beginners. It is harder to master than MIG welding.
Other disadvantages are:
Stick welding produces some of the strongest welds and is used for very thick weld materials. A consumable electrode is heated till it melts, the material is heated till it melts as well, and the two parts are welded together.
Stick welding is used for the thickest of materials, including cast iron.
Advantages of this system of welding are:
- It produces the most robust and most durable welds
- It is a weather-resistant process and can be done in whatever weather
- Works on thick materials like cast iron
Disadvantages of using this process are:
- Doesn’t produce a clean, neat finish
- It is far harder to master than any other process
- It cannot be used on thin materials
What is the easiest type of welding to learn?
The MIG welding process is the easiest type of welding to learn. It is easy because you just have to focus on the spool gun. Other processes like the TIG welding process and Stick welding have a steeper learning curve and are more complicated.
Is stick welding stronger than MIG?
Stick welding might be messy and require more cleaning touches than MIG welding, but it produces the strongest welds. It is able to weld thick metal materials including cast iron.
What is a good cheap welder?
For beginners, the Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit is the cheapest welder we reviewed. Despite the low price, it still comes with features that make it an excellent choice.
Is being a welder dangerous?
Yes. Welding, like almost every other thing, can be dangerous if not done safely and with the right tools. A welder must wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while welding. This equipment includes gloves, helmets, shoes, and so on.
The products in this review are the best welders for beginners. Choosing any of them is sure to provide you with an enjoyable and productive experience. If you do not fancy any of the products on the list, you should consider the vital points in the buyer’s guide and use the knowledge to make the right choice. Happy welding!