Welding is a necessity for most small-scale farmers. They find a key role in repairing cracks in steel gates and fences, patching combines and other implements to extend their lifespan. The traditional stick arc welders, also known as buzz boxes, were the original welders of choice for most farmers. This is since they were inexpensive, portable, and could weld most farm metals. Then came wire welding which includes fluxed cored arc welding (FCAW) and Metal Inert Gas (MIG). It has made welding a whole lot easier, faster, and more versatile. This wire welder vs stick welder review will provide extensive insight and comparison between the two modes of welding which may be helpful to any prospects out there.
Our Favorite Wire Welder & Stick Welder
Top 4 Best Wire Welder Vs. Stick Welder Reviews- 2021
1. The Forney Easy Weld 261
The Forney Easy Weld is the ideal stick welder of choice for professional welders as well as DIY enthusiasts. It is an excellent welder for in-house use such as carrying out the occasional repairs on light gauge metal. Its lightweight design offers excellent portability. In addition, it comes with the Easy Star technology and an inverter power system which is quite easy to use. It requires an electric 120V power source supply with an output of 90A. It is perfect for carrying out welding projects, repairs, and maintenance. Moreover, it is highly suitable for beginners and works perfectly for small jobs.
- Rugged: It is built with an all-metal case that is able to take the day-to-day hits and falls. Also, it is big enough to handle 2-10 pound rolls of wire.
- Portable: Weighing at 19 pounds, it is easy to carry around when doing your repairs, maintenance, and metal fabrication projects.
- Easy-to-use: The MIG machine utilizes a 0.30 flux core wire along with an infinite voltage and wire feed speed control. You can thus dial in the perfect weld making it perfect for newbie welders.
- Dimensions: 16.75 x 8.125 x 12 inches
- Weight: 19 pounds
- 120-volt input and 140 AMP output.
- Welds up to ¼ inches.
- Extremely portable and easy-to-use.
- The ground and lead clamps and tight and well-made.
- Decent quality welder for the price.
- Little noise during operation
2. Display4top MIG 130 Welder
This brand new and top-notch MIG-130 by Display4top is a suitable welder for mild steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. It integrates a comfortable handgrip, high precision with easy operation. It uniquely has a variable Feed Speed Controlled with an optional 10 welding speed. This is meant to promote work efficiency to any user. The package comes with almost all the necessary accessories needed for smooth operation. These include a PC mask, PC brush, roll of welding wire and thermal safety protection suit for welding.
- Strong and Durable: This exquisite yet compact MIG welder, is made of a heavy-duty stainless body. It is painted with durable red paint to ensure an improved serving life span. These features contribute towards it being a strong and robust welding machine for long-term use.
- Overload Safety Protection: The MIG 130 plus comes with a safety feature that ensures the device turns off when too hot or when the current and voltage exceed their range. It also has an internal fan-cooling system that ensures the welder does not overheat.
- An Array of Application: Its portable and lightweight design makes it easy to transport and store. It comes with a comfy grip and is perfect for general repairing work and home DIY.
- Brand: DISPLAY4TOP
- Color: Red
- Material: Iron
- Size: MIG 130 Plus
- Overload safety precaution measures present.
- Portable and with a comfortable handgrip.
- Strong and durable for a long life span.
- The leads could be longer.
Wire Welder Vs. Stick Welder Differences
Welding is an important industrial technique that fusses different metal components together. The main forms of welders used are wire welders and stick welders. Each provides its own unique set of benefits, making welding such a versatile fabrication method. The traditional stick welder, also known as buzz buzzes, is ideal for most welders. They are portable, cheaper, and can weld almost any metal in any weather condition. Wire welders, on the other hand, have made welding much easier, faster, and more versatile. It replaced the use of a fixed-length electrode stick, replacing that with a continuously fed spool wire through a welding gun. Due to the continuous feeding, one doesn’t need to shift positions while welding as the stick burns off constantly.
After getting the basic concept concerning wire welders and stick welders, here are other key differences between the two.
A wire welder provides a more aesthetic finish when compared to a stick welder. However, to penetrate deeper into thicker metal, you have to turn up the amperage. Also, make sure the metal surface is completely free of firm paint or rust. These contaminants affect the weld penetration ability, thus compromising the weld quality.
Stick weld is messy since they leave behind slag and spatter. Therefore, you will need to do some chipping after welding to clean the mess made. However, contaminants such as paint or rust don’t seem to affect the weld penetration depth. When done correctly, it produces stronger welds than that of the wire weld.
Outdoor and Indoor Use
Wire welding needs a controlled indoor environment that prevents the blowing away of the shielding gas. The presence of rain or wind seems to affect the performance of the wire weld.
Stick welding was made to work in any environment. Conditions such as water and wind don’t phase, make the welder suitable for outdoor use. Additionally, it generates a lot of smoke and fumes that pose a health risk if they were to build up. Thus, an open place is ideal for letting the fumes dissipate.
Due to the clean and quick processing capabilities of wire welders, they are popular for an application that needs fine details with little margin of error. Applications that can benefit include metal sculpting, small structure fabrication, and garden projects.
Stick welders work well in extreme conditions that involve the use of thick metal parts. Therefore, it is ideal for projects such as welding tube frames, small-scale automotive repair, and assembling machinery in farms.
Metals Thickness to Use
A wire welder doesn’t do well when welding thick metals. It could even potentially damage your wire welder. Thin metals like brass, carbon steel, aluminum, and copper of 26 gauge are more preferred.
The stick welder, on the other hand, doesn’t have welding issues with thicker metals. A gauge of 1/16 or greater stands no chance to the fusing powers of the stick welder. However, a stick welder doesn’t perform well on thin metals. There is a risk of burning through the metal due to the high heat generated while welding. Therefore, don’t use a stick welder on metals thinner than 18 gauge.
3. The Simder Arc Welder 160 Amp
This DC welding machine is the ideal option for new users and those seeking to carry out minor home repairs. It is robustly built and offers high-performance for different uses. In addition, it comes with an array of safety measures that strive to ensure the entire welding experience is a safe one. The device’s power source requirement is a dual voltage 110V-220V and has a rated duty cycle of 60%. When used in its dual-voltage advanced mode, the mini electric welder boosts the welding process’s efficiency. Moreover, it has 3.2 mm rods present in the structure of the arc welder which is perfect for an entire day’s worth of welding. These rods are useful for welding all forms of ferrous metals such as carbon steels, medium carbon steel and alloy steel.
- Suitable for Whole Day Welding: It fits welding rods below 4.0mm that is suitable for whole-day welding. This is applicable to an array of metals falling under iron and ferrous variety like carbon steel and medium carbon steel.
- Easy to Operate: It comes with an LCD display that makes it easier to operate. Novices can thus practice using them in small-scale welding operations.
- Safety and Portable Design: The welder has protective features that are set internally to prevent overheating and short-circuiting due to excess current and voltage. It is also lightweight and compact in size and comes with an energy-saving feature.
- Dual voltage 90V-260V/110V-220V
- Brand: Simder
- Fits 2.5mm to 3.2 mm welding rods.
- It has a duty cycle of 60% for welding most metals.
- Implemented with an energy-saving feature.
- Thermal load protection safety.
- Cannot hold an arc for longer than 10 seconds.
4. TOOLIOM 195A
The Tooliom 195A stick welder is a powerful yet lightweight arc welder that offers both DC TIG features and arc welding. It uniquely features a dual voltage input that lets you plug in either to a home shop 120V power source or use heavier duty 230V outlets. It comes with a comfortable shoulder strap that is comfortable to move around with at the worksite. This leaves one hand free to handle cables and other accessories. It has a very wide amp output range of between 120A to 195A that makes it quite versatile. This it can weld thin sheet metal that is of 18 gauge, up to ½ inch thick steel plates. Moreover, there is a carrying case for the TIG torch and other accessories.
- Modern look: It is equipped with a smart digital display and alarm LED for reading the output welding current clearly.
- Lightweight and portable: It comes with an adjustable shoulder strap that makes it convenient for carrying to different work sites.
- Excellent Build and Design: It has an anti-stick, dig-arc force, hot start, and an array of other functions for easy, efficient, safe, and convenient operation for every beginner.
- Brand: Tooliom
- Power: 120V/ 230V and a current rated at 120A/ 195A.
- Electrode: Cellulose E6011/6013/7018 & 6010.
- It comes with a strap for easy portability.
- Dual-purpose arch welder.
- It doesn’t come with many accessories.
Comparison Specification Chart
|Specifications||Wire Weld||Stick Weld|
|Metal Thickness||Thin||Thick (min. gauge 18)|
|Ability to Handle Contaminants||Unforgiving||Forgiving|
- Easy to learn
- Can work with many applications
Should You Buy the Wire Welder Vs. Stick Welder?
Both the wire welder and the stick welder are great options to add to your welding shop. There is no best weld option since each offers a unique set of perks that work in different conditions and applications.
A stick welder works well with beginners since it is easy to learn and very affordable. However, you lose out on getting clean results while welding, but you get strong welds. Thus, for those who don’t care about aesthetics or plan to still sand bead the welded section later, the stick welder is best for you.
In contrast, a wire welder offers an efficient and faster welding experience. Also, the welds are much cleaner than that stick welds. Therefore, a wire welder will suit a welding hobbyist who often welds and has advanced technical skill.