It is very useful to know how to weld. You will often need this skill to fix something in your home. That is especially case if you live in the house, where you often need to repair something related to the fence, garage door and many other things in your house and yard. Also, welding can be much more than just small DIY projects. It can also be a way to make money, for example to make repairs to others and the like. That is why many people decide to buy this machine in order to always have it available.
There are different types of welding and therefore many different machines. Choosing and buying one can be very tedious task, so we will do our best to help you with that. First of all we will recommend you to buy a MIG welder as it is the best option for general use. In addition to explaining what exactly a MIG welder is, we will tell you all the things you should consider before buying which will significantly facilitate this task for you.
What is MIG welding?
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas, and this process is also known as Gas metal arc welding or GMAW. It is very easy to learn, so it is the first choice for most people. It is a semi-automatic or automatic process. It appeared first during the 1940s and to this day it was improved many times, so it become much more versatile and for that reason you will often encounter GMAW.
Things you should consider before buying
Probably the first thing you are interested in is how much money you will have to spend to buy a MIG welder. You can find models on the market at various prices, and your choice will primarily be influenced by how much you plan to use it and what types of metal you will face. What is safe to say is that the more expensive it is, the better it is. So models of a thousand dollars and more are certainly the best, but the real question is whether you need a professional device. First of all, you need to think about what types of metals you will work with. If it’s stainless steel or aluminum, don’t try to buy cheaper one, because not a single cheaper model will be able to do the job. There is no option to buy cheaper, and that it can work with any type of metal.
If, on the other hand, you plan to work only with thin metals, then some from the price range of $ 300 to $ 600 will be more than enough. The only one that you should avoid is the one that costs a hundred dollars, for example, because it will be a waste of money. Such one is not functional at all.
2. Duty cycle
The duty cycle tells us how much we can use it without overheating. For example, for the automotive repair work, duty cycle it is not important, because even with models that are cheaper you will not reach the level of overheating. Although don’t forget to pay attention to whether it has fans, because if it’s one without fans, it can overheat even in the case of automotive repair. If you plan to do some other tasks and use it for a few hours a day, then you need to pay attention to the duty cycle when shopping otherwise it you may buy one which won’t satisfy your needs.
You probably know that houses in the United States are wired for both 110v and 220v use, but that 110v is mostly used. While in Europe it is common to use 220v and houses are generally not wired for 110v. In the USA you probably have a few outlets that are wired to 220v, so if you are from the USA it gives you more options when you buy a welder.
For beginners, MIG welders that run on 110v and you can plug them into a normal 3 pin household plug are a great option. Just buy them and you can work with them right away. However, if you are going to work for thicker metals as well, then you need those that work on 220v because they are significantly stronger. In that case you need to make sure you have a 220v outlet installed. If you don’t have one, you need to install one before start using 220v one.
Weight and size that directly affect portability are very important factors when choosing. If you plan to make minor repairs and thus earn extra money, you need a smaller welder that you can easily carry wherever you need it. Yet such one has significantly less power. So if you are planning large jobs, know that it must be large in size and very heavy, weighing even a few hundred kilograms. While portable ones usually weigh less than 20 kilograms, sometimes even less than 10 kilograms and they are ideal to be transported in a trunk, and you can even take them in your hand, if you are going somewhere near. At welding.com.au you can find more info on how different model sizes affect welder power and also what light models are used for and what industrial ones are for.
5. Repair and maintenance costs
Our advice is that once you narrow down your choice to a few models, check other people’s experiences online when it comes to repair and maintenance costs. This way you will also find out how often it breaks down, which is very important. Then compare maintenance and repair costs, as this can be very important. You don’t want to give money every couple of months to repair or replace a part. Of course, first of all pay attention to whether there is a warranty and how long the warranty lasts. Those who do not have a warranty you should avoid. Because the warranty is not only a guarantee that you will not have to pay anything extra for a couple of years, but also tells you how confident the manufacturer is in their product.
More and more MIG welders available on the market are made by manufacturers from China. Experience to date has shown that such devices are not of good quality at all and should be avoided. Of course, if it is “Made in China”, but because the factory of a well-known manufacturer is located there, then that is different situation.