Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Welder

Posted on: 19 June 2017


Some hobbyists may end up buying a welder that is ill-suited to their needs because they didn't know the factors that influence a buying decision as they compared different welders. This article discusses some of the considerations that one should have in mind when selecting a welder. Use this information to buy the welding machine that is the most appropriate for your needs.

Your Skill Level

The different types of welders, such as stick welders and TIG welders, require different levels of welding skills in order to produce satisfactory results. For instance, TIG welding is complex and takes time to master. Conversely, MIG welding is easy to learn and master. Your experience level should therefore guide you when you are selecting a welder to buy.

Material Thickness

Think about the thickness of the materials that you are likely to weld during your projects. Different welders produce good results depending on the thickness of the materials that they are required to weld. For example, GTAW welders are the equipment of choice for people who frequently weld thin materials. However, people who want to weld thicker materials often opt for stick welding equipment due to its ability to penetrate those thick materials. It is therefore wise to know the thickness of the materials that you will be routinely welding before you buy welding equipment. Study the data sheets that come with different welders and select the one that can be effective at welding the material thickness that you will be working with.


Someone who is welding auto parts may pay more attention to aesthetics than someone who is repairing farm equipment. Different welders produce varying levels of visually appealing weld seams. For example, MIG welders produce the most visually appealing welds when compared to stick welders. It is therefore advisable to investigate the appearance of the welds produced by different machines so that you buy the one that will meet your aesthetic needs.

Material Integrity

Some welding techniques, such as TIG welding, require the material to be clean and free from surface contaminants before one can start welding. Other techniques, such as flux-core welding and stick welding, can be used on rusty or dirty surfaces. Select a welder that is suitable to your welding needs. For instance, a stick welder may be a better choice if you intend to use it to repair farming equipment that is usually dirty or rusty.

As you can see from the discussion above, no universally good welder exists. The needs of the user often dictate the welder that will be the best for him or her. It is therefore imperative for you to understand your needs so that you avoid regretting why you invested money in buying a given welding machine.