It is true that welding is no child’s play but it isn’t a Herculean task either. In fact, many people consider it a pastime and engage with it on a regular basis.
If you too wish to get started with stick welding and happen to be on the look-out for the best stick welder in the market, then congratulation! You have landed on the right page!
Through the course of this article, we will explore the top stick welders for the money and tell you why you should buy yourself one without wasting any more time!
In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top Rated Stick Welders
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Our 7 Best Stick Welding Machine Reviews
Well, you must be raring to find more about the best stick welder in the world available. So without any further ado, let us go about them one by one!
1. Amico Power – DC Inverter Welder
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At number one, this DC Welder by Amico Power is what we call the best inverter stick welder with good reason! Packing a powerful punch, the welder is equipped with a 115v input and 230v output and a 60% duty cycle, which is quite impressive for a stick welder.
This welder is quite powerful, even when run on a 110v, 20amp circuit, and lets you switch between AC and DC with ease. Both come with individual cooling fans that prevent the machine from heating up too much.
Since the welder is lightweight, it can be easily carried around the work-space. Accessories supplied include electrode holder, a 10 feet cable along with an input adapter and plug that can be plugged into a 110v socket.
With a high safety rating, this welder is highly recommended and ideal for novice welders and professionals alike! So, whether it is for home use or to work on an ambitious project, the Amico Power welder will make for the perfect choice!
- Innovative inverter technology
- Portable and compact size
- Flexible power input-outputs
- Comes with accessories
- 60% duty cycle
2. Forney Easy Weld 100 ST ARC Welder
Next up is the Forney Easy Weld, a perfect stick welder for beginners! It is a powerful welder capable of catering to basic welding needs. The machine runs on a 120v input and 90amp output.
It can easily weld a 16 gauge up to 5/16 inches. With easy maintenance and easier repair, the welder is ideal for everyday use. Since there is no need to supply shielding gas, the welder can be plugged in and welding can be initiated, immediately!
The accessories provided and the machine in itself are of a simplistic design and easy to operate. What’s more, it is TIG capable, so you have the choice to switch over whenever you like!
Although the TIG is sold separately, you will feel it well worth investing in! With its good enough build quality, the welder is a good fit for those looking for maximum value.
- Easy to use, ideal for outdoors
- Portability at its best
- Inverter power system
- Doesn’t need shielding gas
- Inexpensive price point
3. PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC TIG/Stick Welder
For those of you, who are after a handy and new age stick welder, need to look no further than the Primewild TIG 225X Amp TIG Stick Welder!
This great looking welder is powered by a 225amps AC/DC motor that makes both stick and TIG welding easy. Whether you are looking for a lightweight welder to match your everyday welding needs or one that can serve you on a large-scale project, the AC to DC feature is sure to come in handy.
This machine is reliable and portable, plus it can be carried around the workspace effortlessly. Being a powerful performer, this welder works efficiently on both 110v and 220v. Versatility comes naturally to this welder along with full-fledged features that are ideal for a host welding purpose.
The welder is provided with a torch and CK flex tubing and a convenient foot pedal to make welding easier! This compact yet powerful welder can be used to weld a whole host of metals, without much hassle!
- Works on a range of metals
- Advanced inverter technology
- Precise heat control
- Great TIG for DIYers
- Better power and control
4. LOTOS TIG200 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig/Stick Welder
For novices looking to get started with stick welding, LOTOS has come up with an excellent welder complete with multiple features and a TIG option.
This welder makes for a great starter and delivers amazing quality at low price. Professionals too can have a great time using the welder, as it conveniently welds through a variety of metals with much ease.
Hobbyists can work on indoor projects such as building utensils, fixing lawn mowers and professionals can use it to weld vehicles.
LOTOS is a reputed brand and produces welding machines known for their high quality and reliability. It can easily weld an array or metals up to ¼ inches making it versatile and handy.
It might not be suitable for heavy duty work, as it is a basic model. But compared to other models within the same range, this particular one will prove to be a great investment.
In fact, you will be amazed at the quality output and how well this small machine can weld. So, if you are looking for a small, good quality, high value machine then this the one for you!
- 80% power efficiency
- Automatic dual voltage
- Comes with square-wave inverter
- Welds a range of metals & steel
- Great machine for affordable price
5. 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC TIG/Stick Welder
An alpha in all respects, the AHP Alpha TIG 200 AMP TIG/Stick welder combines utility with functionality. The powerful AC/DC welder will suit professionals and hobbyists alike. As a budget friendly welder, this small machine offers multiple features and can double up as a TIG welder.
Performing well on both a 110v and a 220v, the welder delivers reliable and accurate results every time you use it! It combines power width modulation and IGBT technology, that sets it apart from other welding machines in its range.
Versatility and high quality are its top most features, as you will find it easy to switch between AC and DC to suit both low intensity and high intensity welding projects. One noteworthy aspect is the company supplies a separate TIG torch control for those looking to use a trigger switch.
On the other hand, those accustomed to foot pedals will find the supplied attachment easy to use. This welder can weld through ¼ inch aluminium and 3/8th inch steel sheets.
More so, you can alter the Pulse frequency for better use. Quite a few updates were introduced to make the machine more reliable and worthy of every penny you invest!
- Best stick mode ever used
- Does great quality TIG operation
- Advanced inverted technology
- Unbeatable for the price range
- PWM with IGBT technology
6. 2017 EVERLAST PowerARC 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder
If stick welder reviews are to go by, then this is easily one of the most popular of the lot! The PowerARC 160STH brings together the IGBT design and a powerful DC motor that can weld through 1/8 inches metal.
A TIG attachment is provided that allows you to switch between stick and TIG welding. The 160amp stick is ideal for everyday use and also heavy-duty, outdoor use. This machine features a gas solenoid for automated gas in-flow. It is capable of providing a high frequency start, as also an arc.
If you wish to plug it indoors then you can switch to the AC adapter, or go for the DC adapter for an outdoor project.
One thing to bear in mind is that the foot pedal is supplied as an option and should be separately ordered in case you want it. If not, you may opt for the remote control for the TIG switch.
The welder can be conveniently used for big welding projects such as motorcycles and cars.
- Inverter technology
- Portable and lightweight
- Great welder for its price
- Will last a long lifetime
- Automatic dual voltage
7. ARC Welder ARC160A Stick Welding Machine
Last but not the least, the ARC Welder ARC160A stick welding machine is our pick to round off the best stick welders in the 110v category. With a sleek and smart design, the welder features easy controls and multi-purpose lift switch.
It can be plugged into a 220-240v socket. The welder is easy to move around and uses very less electricity making it a small and economical option. Apart from inhouse projects, it can also be used for outdoor ones such as windows, fences, sheet welding etc.
This machine comes with automatic cut off in case the stick gets too hot. It has a TIG function and an automatic lift to prevent metal contamination. Lightweight and portable, this welder is ideal for beginners and old hands. It’s great for indoor projects and hobbies, and also garage projects such as car bumpers, motorcycles, bicycles etc.
Since the welder is resistant to wind and other factors, it can be taken to places where regular welding machines cannot be taken.
- Easy to start and use
- Top quality item at low price
- Compact and portable in size
- Hardly gets overheated
- Comes with dual voltage
What Is Stick Welding?
Stick welding is a process that uses a stick electrode and electricity to join together with various types of metals. The structure of a stick welder is made up of metallic rod covered by mineral-based compounds along with a blend of metallic powders used to coat the surface of the electrodes.
A long metallic rod is responsible for powering the arc that melts metal at an angle in order to join two surfaces.
Stick welders can use both AC and DC based on the electrode being used. The voltage for the rods can vary between 16 to 40 volts and 20 to 550 amperes.
The welder is alternately known as Inverter stick welder or arc welder, as the process involves heating up metals and materials such that they coalesce.
Different types of materials can be used during the welding process based on their electricity conducting capacities.
Why Should You Consider Stick Welding?
Stick welding can be used for a variety of purposes to weld a host of metals. It can be used in welding projects both indoors and outdoors. This welding is ideal for heavy-duty work such as building bridges, pipelines, and similar construction projects.
At the same time, it can also be used for small scale projects such as welding utensils, gardening equipment, etc. Thus, stick welding is a versatile technique that can suit a variety of needs.
What Are the Benefits of Stick Welding?
If you still need convincing then here are some benefits associated with stick welding.
Stick welding is a reliable process that will not let you down regardless of the size of your project! Right from heavy-duty welding to small scale welding, it is easy to weld metals of varying thickness.
If you like to move equipment around while working on your welds then stick welding is ideal for you! Not only is it easy to move the equipment around but also convenient to work with different angles.
You will not require a cart to move it around like in the case of MIG or TIG welders.
The overall cost involved during the welding process will be economical and not as expensive as some of the other methods. Equipment used is comparatively lesser and there is no need to invest in shielding gas.
The overall heat produced should be much lesser compared to other welding techniques, however, there is greater concentration of heat within the process which makes welding a lot easier.
Heavy duty Use
Stick welding is great for heavy duty use. It is used for big projects such as welding bridges, buildings and other such structures.
Pros of Stick Welding
- Stick welding is a multi-purpose welding technique that can be used in a variety of weather conditions including rainy and windy seasons
- Inexpensive process that will not burn a hole in your pocket
- Stick welding is simple and can be customized easily. All you have to do is change up the rods based on the metals to be welded
- Clamp can be placed away from the welding point
- Does not use any shielding gas, which means you get to save a few dollars
- Stick welding is preferred to other types of welding processes, as it does not create too much of a mess
Cons of Stick Welding
- One of the biggest cons associated with stick welding is that it is quite slow and not as fast as other welding techniques
- Slightly more complex compared to other welding processes. This means a regular welder might not be able to take up this process without proper training
- The end result might not be as smooth and instead have a few rough surfaces
- Cleaning-up can be a lengthy process as taking off the slag will take time
- Might not be ideal for metals that are thin or fragile
- The process of welding can get delayed as the rods must be changed frequently
How to Choose a Stick Welder?
For those who do not weld every day, it can be a little difficult to choose the right welder. For such people, here is a list of things to consider while choosing a stick welder.
It is obvious that performance should be the topmost priority to consider. The welder should perform well under pressure and in a host of weather conditions and have multiple settings that can be changed according to the metal being welded.
It will be best to choose one that welds thinner metals just as well as thicker ones.
AC & DC Capability
Next up, it is important to consider the welder’s AC and DC capabilities. Welders with AC power can be cheaper but not weld well enough. DC welders, on the other hand, do a better job and ideal for heavy work. it is best to opt for one that allows you to switch between the two.
Pick a welder that fits into your budget. If you have a limited amount, then go for a basic model that can last long. In case your budget is unlimited, go for a good model that has multiple features and can be used for heavy duty projects.
Most welders prefer to move around and carry their welding equipment with them. If you happen to be one such, then it will be important to consider the weight of the machine. Go for a lightweight one that can be easily carried around.
Welding machines are not cheap and require a sizeable investment. In such a case, it can be a bit nerve-racking to end up with a defective product, and the one thing that can come to your rescue is the warranty!
Make sure to check the warranty being provided so that your product can be replaced if it turns out to be defective.
Common Issues with Stick Welding and How to Solve Them
Below, you have some common issues and their possible solution in times of stick welding sessions.
Spatter refers to molten leftovers that are produced during the welding process. Stick welding can end up creating a lot of spatter. In order to combat this, it is best to reduce the welding current and lower the length of the arc.
Porosity can occur when oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen seep into the weld pool and then gets trapped in the metal after solidification. In order to prevent this, it is best to re-bake or inspect the torch to check for any leakages. It is also advisable to clean out the gas nozzle.
Undercuts are a result of the arc voltage being too high. It will thus be important to check the voltage and also the weave being used.
Cracks can become large over time and thus have to be fixed at the earliest. The correct process is to grind it out and then fill it in. Once done, re-heat it so that it is fixed in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of stick welding is versatile?
One that allows you to switch between AC and DC can be quite versatile. DC machines are easier to start up, have lesser outages and make lesser mess. They are smoother as well. AC machines can penetrate through thinner metals quite easily.
How big should the machine be?
You will be fine using a 225 to 300 ampere stick welder. It can weld metals that are 3/8 inches thick.
What does duty cycle stand for?
Duty cycle stands for the number of minutes or seconds the welder can run before a cool down. If a machine generates 200-amp DC at 20% then it can run for a couple of minutes non-stop before cooling down for eight minutes.
What rod is best to weld thin/thick metals?
Rods with 6010 or 7018 electrodes can go deep into the metals while 6013 penetrate lesser.
Is it important to scale or oil before welding?
Stick welding can be carried out even on unclean surfaces. Most welders come with brushes that can be used to gently brush away any rust to make welding easier.
Stick welding can be an enjoyable process and one that can develop into a hobby. We urge you to go through the article again just to make sure you have chosen the top rated stick welder to invest in!