So you have succumbed to the welding bug. Good for you. Not only will you save yourself some money by doing your own welding repairs, but you will get that added bonus few people get in life – the satisfaction of creating (or mostly repairing) something great. If ever there is one reward that can be considered as the best reward for a DIYer, it is that satisfaction of creating something that will make life easier for the family.
But the leap into the world of welding can also be daunting and confusing, what with all the welders out there. And most of them are touted as being the best, so how do you really separate the wheat from the chaff? Well, that is the reason I am here – to help point you in the right direction by introducing you to one of the best (and most affordable) welding machines for both beginners and veterans.
It’s called the Forney Easy Weld 299. And you’ll definitely thank me for the introduction after the review.
But before I get into the meat of our Forney welder, I think it’s just great that we run through some safety tips for welders. After all, safety always comes first.
Important Safety Tips Every Welder Must Remember
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Just as it is extremely important for a newbie welder to know and practice safety while welding, it is also critical that a welder at any stage of their welding career know and practice safety every time they take their welder out for a project. Failure to do so can turn a rather fun and interesting hobby or job into one of the most dangerous. This is why safety should always come first. So here are a few tips to get you started on your path to welding – the safe way.
Gear Up – Always
Safety gear is the first step toward a safe welding session. The welding process and the machine are very dangerous and can cause serious damage to your body if you don’t take care to wear protective clothing such as:
- A welding helmet
- An apron
- A welding jacket and long pants
These will protect you from UV rays, spatter, and many other hazards you may encounter as you weld. Many welders have despised the value of protective clothing (most thought they were professionals and could do without) only to regret later. No matter how well you understand your welding machine and the welding process, never take protective clothing for granted, you never know when they will save you from injury.
Ensure Your Work Space is Well Ventilated
Because of all the gases and fumes involved and produced when welding, it is extremely important that you keep your workspace well ventilated. If you are working indoors, keep the windows and doors open as much as possible so as to allow adequate circulation of fresh air. If it’s not possible to open the windows and doors, or if the ventilation in the room is not adequate, it is advisable that you use a respirator.
A workspace that has inadequate ventilation could easily lead to respiratory problems in the future. This is why when you work with your welding machine, take extra care to ensure that you are getting enough fresh air.
Keep your Welding Machine Grounded – Properly
An improperly grounded welding machine is the main reason many welders experience electrical shocks while working. This is not only dangerous to you as the welder, but improperly grounding your machine can lead to the machine itself being damaged, or worse still, someone near you getting hurt. Electricity is no joke, no matter the voltage, and it is wise to take all the necessary precautions to prevent an accident.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
It is very important that before you start welding, you get to know the materials, chemicals, and equipment in your environment so that you can take proper precautions in the case of harmful substances and highly reactive chemicals. And if you are working in a place that has a lot of foot traffic, you can also take the necessary precautions of putting up screens and ensuring that all your electrical connections are safe. This is especially important in damp situations where any naked point along the wire or on your welder can lead to an electrical shock. As mentioned earlier, your workspace needs to be well ventilated, this is something else you need to take into cognizance before you start working in a new environment.
Great, now that you are a safe welder, let’s get you that welding machine you are looking for. I definitely am no psychic, but I do know you’ll love the Forney welder. So let’s take a look at it, shall we?
The Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder – Built for You
If you are a beginner looking for a cheap but effective welder to help you break into the world of welding, this Forney welder is just what you need. Especially since you can get it for only $175.00. This means even if for some strange reason you decide welding is not for you, you can cut your losses without feeling like you’ve thrown your money down the drain. And if you are still learning how to weld, a Forney welder is one of the best ways to do so as it is a small investment but with everything necessary for you to grasp basic welding concepts.
But the Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder is not just for beginner welders. even as a veteran, you can add it to your collection for small jobs and jobs that are in those hard to reach tight spots as it is very portable and can help you to reach those otherwise hard to reach places.
The Forney Welder – Why You Need to Get It
What? You’ve never heard of Forney and aren’t fully convinced? No problem, by the end of this review you’ll know all you need to know about this plus 80-year-old welding company and its best entry-level welder. You can usually tell the reliability of a company by the length of time they have been in the game, after all, if they were not trusted by many, they would last long in the business.
That being said let me show you why you need to add this particular welder to your line-up of equipment.
Overview of Specs
Just so you get a feel of the Forney welder before I go deeper into the review, let’s just take a glance at the specifications of your soon to be welder.
- Gasless/flux-core welding only
- 120-volt input with 125 amp output
- Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4″
- Handles .030″ wire and accepts both 2# & 10# wire spools
- Super light at 14lbs
I know that doesn’t look like much, but this little welder will definitely blow your socks off when you put it to use. Let’s dive deeper, shall we?
Design and Build
When it comes to design, the Forney Easy Weld 299 was designed with you in mind. What do I mean? Forney designed this welder to be a hassle-free, lightweight welder that you can use anywhere, even at home since it has a power rating of 120v. This means there’ll be no need for special cables and adaptors for you to use it. You can use your domestic power supply without overloading it.
As for build quality, you can trust this Forney welder to take you through many numerous projects and years as it is well built, and that from quality materials.
Easy to Use
The Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder is a true “plug and play” welder – plug it in and you’re good to go, and that straight out of the box. You don’t need to know anything much about welding in order for you to use this Forney welder, that’s just how easy it is to use. True, as with most things in life, there will be a learning curve, but with the Forney, that curve is so simple it will probably only take you less than an hour to get a hang of it.
As for speed settings, the Forney welder has a 10-speed Wire Speed Control Knob. You can control your wire speed from 1 (slowest) to 10 (fastest), enabling you to have total control of your wire speed and the kind of weld you want to create.
If ever there is a lightweight welding machine that can pack as much of a punch as some of the heavyweights, it is the Forney Easy Weld 299. Weighing a mere 14 pounds, you won’t be having any problems when it comes to moving it around your project.
And because it is so light, it’s easy for you to use it in tight spots where you might not be able to bring in some of the heavier welding machines like the Lincolns or Millers. And because it’s a flux core welder, you won’t have to worry about lugging a gas canister around with you. It is truly a self-contained and self-reliant welder.
Performance and Functionality
Although the Forney welder won’t be able to match high-end welders in other aspects pertaining to performance, it will definitely serve you well for all your domestic, farming, and any hobby welding you may need to do.
As for material, the Forney Easy Weld 299 is capable of welding 24 gauge up to ¼ inch steel and is also able to weld stainless steel (which can be quite tricky). The duty cycle for this Forney welder is 20% at 125 amps, which is common and adequate for many semi-professional MIG welders.
In a nutshell, you definitely can’t build a bridge with this welder and you shouldn’t even think about it, but for the types of projects it was meant to do, it does them well. And you will find it a pleasure to work with this welder as well as it has great ergonomics that make it easy for you to use the welder even in tricky positions.
Is the Forney Welder Worth It?
Let me be honest with you here, after all, this is an honest review. If you want a heavy duty welder, this is not the welder for you. But if you are an artist, hobbyist, or a handyman, then definitely the $175.00 investment you will make will definitely be worth it. For the ease of use, portability, and a reputable name to back it up, the Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder is a wise choice that you will in no way regret. So if you are looking for a reason to start welding, the Forney welder is one such reason – it’s affordable and easy to use.
So what are you waiting for? You’ve decided to join the welding bandwagon, it’s time to get yourself a more than decent welder – a Forney welder.
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