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My neighbor recently retired and wants to start welding as a hobby, but he’s never welded before. He asked me what type of machine would be best for beginners like himself- there are many factors that go into choosing a welder; however, there are some basic features all beginner welders should have.
The best beginner welder should be easy to set up and use, that’s why I typically recommend a MIG welder for beginners. The Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder is a great starter machine, it runs off 110 or 220 power and not only has MIG capability but also TIG and stick.
Welders have evolved over the years to make welding more accessible, affordable, and easier to perform. 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 a lot of the popular welders and have come up with this review of the best welders for beginners. I also provide a buyer’s guide that highlights the vital factors that play a role in making some welders better than others for beginners.
Read on to find out more.
Best Beginner Welders
1. Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder – Top Pick
The Weldpro 200 is a light and compact multi-process welder that offers the performance of larger models for less money. I like this machine because it gives you the ability to grow without having to upgrade and buy a different machine.
It weighs just 30 pounds, which makes it easy to transport around your shop or work area. With its small size, this welder can be tucked away when not in use. The bright yellow color helps it stand out on your workbench.
This is an entry-level model but still packs features that make it as good or better than some more expensive welders on the market today.
For those who are just getting into fabrication work, this welder is perfect. With its ability to weld up ¼” of mild steel and the wide range of amperage settings, it’s ideal for your first welding project or an advanced beginner looking at some more intense projects with heavier materials.
The Weldpro 200 is a versatile piece of equipment that offers different options to the user. It can be used for TIG welding, MIG, stick, and flux core welds but it should be noted not all aluminum processes are supported by this welder so if you’re looking specifically to work with aluminum then another model may be better for you.
With the Weldpro 200, you get a welder that can be used by beginners and professionals alike. It has an easy-to-read display with responsive controls for firm yet quick response time when setting up welding jobs.
I like this machine for beginners because you don’t need to buy different machines because this one does them all – it truly is Multi-Purpose Welder. If you want a MIG-only welder there is a lot of helpful information in my article on the best MIG welders.
The Weldpro 200 is the best option for beginners who want to grow their welding skills and those who need a portable welder without breaking their budget. Click here to see the best price.
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, so you can carry it easily from one place to another. 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 get any welding done with them. With this in mind, I suggest you invest in a different helmet. We got an auto-darkening helmet, and it enhanced the entire welding experience.
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 minor 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
This welder from Super Deal is an excellent choice for folks looking for a good welder from a known and beloved brand. It gets your welding off to a great start.
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 standard household current, so you don’t have to modify your home’s wiring if it doesn’t have 220.
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 and uses low electrical current.
During use, we observed that the equipment easily handles 16 gauge to sheet metal. Furthermore, while other welders labor to weld aluminum effectively, 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 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 you can use 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. We changed the mask provided to another during our test because it wasn’t good enough to use. Nevertheless, the other accessories are of pretty good quality.
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.
If you’re interested in higher-end MIG welders I wrote an article with my top five MIG welders with a good review of each. You may find it helpful to compare those to the beginner models.
- 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
The SUNGOLDPOWER TIG Welder Complete Package welder system is an ideal TIG welder for beginners. It comes loaded with several features that make it the best TIG welder at this price point.
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 including stainless steel, nickel, copper brass, and so on. TIG welding is not recommended for beginners, I go into this more below. However, if you’re looking for a TIG machine you find some helpful information in my article on the Best TIG welders currently on the market.
It comes at a low price, but I don’t 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 tasks. 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 to find 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 methods are more challenging 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 heavy-duty, 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, 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.
The ability to move your welder to where you need it is essential, especially if you intend to transport the welder 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 a relatively heavy entry-level welder.
Material to be welded.
Welders have different abilities. Some are designed for welding heavy and thick materials, 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.
Choosing a welder from a reliable brand is a form of insurance. That way, if any parts need replacing, you can easily find them on the market. Furthermore, traditional manufacturers of welders brands typically offer better customer service and technical support.
Additionally, since welders use consumables, it’s usually easier to find their products, and many work with third-party consumables, unlike welders from new or unknown brands.
As a beginner, you need all the help you can get. Therefore, check out the features of the welder. An essential element that helps beginners is the addition of dial-in settings.
This feature makes your welding easier. A good welder for beginners will allow you to input parameters like metal thickness, type, etc. 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. They often jump right in and 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, I’ll highlight which ones you should avoid as a newbie and those easy to start with.
- MIG/Flux-Cored Welding
MIG welding involves using a spool gun to feed a line of electrodes. As electrodes feed 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.
Because 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. This is why MIG welding involves a protective coat that repels air and contaminants.
MIG welding is an excellent welding method because it is pretty 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. My son started welding with a MIG machine and was surprised to learn how much more difficult the other types of welding could be.
TIG welding involves using a tungsten electrode to heat the metal, melt it, and form a molten puddle. Just as MIG welding, the process is susceptible to contamination and has a protective bubble.
TIG welding can be used to weld various 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 more complex to master than MIG welding.
Other disadvantages are: TIG welding is a slow process, complicated, and TIG welders are expensive.
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, 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
Welding involves more equipment than just a welder, I wrote a helpful article for beginner welders on the tools and equipment one needs to get started, I suggest you check it out.
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 methods like TIG welding 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 can weld thick metal materials, including cast iron.
What is a good cheap welder?
The Super Deal MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit is the cheapest welder we reviewed for beginners. Despite the low price, it still comes with features that make it an excellent choice.
Is being a welder dangerous?
Like almost every other thing, welding 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!