Whether you’re looking for a budget friendly Miller MIG welder to use for small projects around the shop, or a heavy duty Lincoln generator welder that provides serious power and versatility .. Or maybe you’ve been eyeing that new affordable but powerful plasma cutter by Thermal Dynamics. No matter what your equipment needs are now, odds are, they’ll grow more than you would have initially guessed. That’s why Welding Machine Review is here to provide you with up to date specifications, opinions, and comparisons of all the latest welding equipment. Including, MIG welders, TIG welders, multi process welders, plasma cutters, and welding helmets. Or if your simply in the need for a very basic, entry level stick welder like the Hobart Stickmate product line, we’ve got you covered there as well. Maybe your a bit more advanced and your looking for a cnc plasma table like the Torchmate 2×2.
Long story short: If your’re looking to get into some new fabrication equipment, or even accessories and safety gear, such as a welding helmet.. You’ve come to the right place. Take the time to first figure which type of machine it is that your looking for. If your in the market for a plasma cutter, that’s pretty cut and dry. But if you need a new welder, well it gets a bit more complicated when trying to sort through all of the different offerings. A good starting point is too familiarize yourself with the different categories of welding machine. These categories are determined by the process used in metal fabrication. For example a MIG welder uses the process of MIG, which stands for metal inert gas. In the following paragraphs I’ll try to give a basic outline of the different processes, and go into enough detail to give you a basic understanding of each process. From there you can start to narrow down your choices a bit.
- MIG welding has already been touched on a bit, but there’s much more to know. For starters, there’s a bit of terminology that you should familiarize yourself with.. The MIG process is also referred to as GMAW, or gas metal arc welding. Yet another term it is called is MAG welding, which stands for (can you guess?) metal active gas. To avoid confusion, just know that the universally accepted term is MIG. That said, I have heard people refer to it using one of it’s alternative monikers. Developed in the nineteen forties, initially for welding aluminum, this process was soon used on other metals, steel being one of the first. Obviously, it was a big hit. MIG welding is a very efficient process. Also, it is an automated system that has been refined over the decades. Today’s MIG welders offer huge performance at increasingly more affordable prices. Definitely an option you want to look inot a bit more.
- The TIG process of welding has a bit more of a learning curve to it than the others. Often considered more of an art than the others, TIG welding is something you need to look into if you have specific needs to be met. With prices a more affordable, Tungsten Inert Gas welding is a solid option for the right person. If you find yourself welding thin pieces of steel or aluminum, this may be the category you need to look at.
- By far the cheapest route into welding is a stick welder. A decent option in this category of processes can run you as little as a couple hundred bucks without really skimping on the quality. Also known as shielded metal arc welding, stick welding can be surprisingly easy to learn. This ease of accessibility makes this process ideal for those who may be new to welding or possibly are looking for a small machine for a light, specific task in a shop of some kind.
That covers the basic processes of welding, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It might be a good idea to keep reading until you have a better understanding of what each process does, and which one will best fill your needs. Another thing to consider is which welding helmet to choose? You got to have one, of course.. but these things can range from $30.00 for your basic model, and up to $300.00 for a top of the line Miller Elite welding helmet. What’s the difference? How much should you spend? Check out our review to get the 411 on the latest hoods.
Lastly, if your looking for a plasma cutter or plasma cutting accessories, here’s a small bit of advice: Don’t cheap out! A lot of times, you can get away with budget shopping for welders but for whatever reason a plasma cutter isn’t the place to be cutting corners. It’s easy to somewhat predict what you’ll use a welder for but you never know how thick of metal you’ll need to cut someday. Get enough power to do the job the first go around.. Luck for you (and me), there are some really great machines being put out at some reasonable prices these days.
With all this great equipment to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start.. so do yourself a favor and read around a bit. Help add to the pool of information, if you see products that you have personal experience with, leave a comment.. or rate the machine, whether it be a MIG or a TIG welder, or plasma cutter.. drop a line or two and share your experiences.