4 Best 120v Stick Welder: 2020 Best 120v Arc Welder Review

best 120v stick welder

Stick welding is one of those welding processes that is not restricted to one particular group of people. Whether it’s home or industrial welding applications, a stick welder will come in handy. For home use, in particular, you will be best served by the best 120v stick welder.

Due to the popularity and versatility of this welding process, stick welders are in plenty in the market. And they come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. The question is, which one is best suited to your welding needs and applications.

As with any other appliance, different stick welders will appeal to different people. Nonetheless, there are those that can be considered ideal for a variety of welding applications. So which is the best 120v welder for stick welding?

After analyzing many different models we have narrowed down to four. These four offered great value for money and came highly recommended by users.

A Quick Comparison Of Our Top 120v Stick Welder

ImageMODELPriceWeight (lbs)MaterialWelding CapacityOutput AMPs
Forney Easy 180Check Latest Price23.3metal, steelup to 1/2"10 to 90
Forney Easy 298Check Latest Price13.74Metal up to 5/16"90
Thunderbolt 160Check Latest Price22Metalup to 1/8''10 to 80
Metal Man Check Latest Price13.18steelup to 3/32"80

Best 120v Stick Welder

Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp- Best Budget Welder

Forney was the first company to produce a welder for hobbyists and farmers. Thus, there is a lot to expect from the Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc welder. Built with the inverter power system, it is a lightweight and compact machine for farm and home use. 

Portable and flexible
Weighing 7.5 pounds, it is one of the most lightweight stick welders out there. But that’s not all as this electric welder comes with a long 6 ft electric cord. Thus, it offers you the flexibility to weld in almost any location within your home.

TIG capable welder
In terms of versatility, this stick welder is also capable of TIG welding. This gives it versatility in terms of what you can weld and the thickness of the welding materials.

Uses both AC and DC
On its description, this is described as an AC welder. However, the output is actually DC-based and pugs into AC power plugs. This makes it an easy machine to use as you can plug it into a regular 120v power outlet.


  • Inverter power system
  • 120v power input
  • 90 amps output
  • 6-foot power cord

why i like it

  • It can be used for TIG welding as well
  • Comes with a built-in handle for easy carrying
  • Can weld metals of up to 5/16 in thickness
  • Is able to weld both ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Switching from stick to TIG welding is easy


  • It does not have a gas hookup
  • The TIG torch is sold separately

Given that it is an inverter-based welding machine, it is very lightweight and compact. Besides, its build quality is also very good. Overall, it is a great machine that can perform a variety of welding tasks.

Forney Easy Weld 180 ST 120V/230 V Welder
Overall Best Welder

Perfect for beginners, the Forney Easy Welder 180 ST is a powerful stick and TIG welder. While it isn’t as affordable as other beginner-friendly welders it is well worth the cost. And here is what you get with this welder.

Dual voltage capabilities
One of the features that are used to identify the best 120v arc welder is dual voltage. Capable of using a 120V or a 230v power outlet, this is one of the welders. It thus can be used at home as well as in an industrial setting.

A powerful welder
Given its dual voltage capabilities, a lot is to be expected when it comes to power output. And it does not disappoint. It has an output of 10 to 90 amps using the 120v plug and an output of 10-180 amps when using the 230v plug. This makes it capable of welding ½ inch thick mild steel

Rugged construction
There are those units that feature a polycarbonate exterior. This is not one of them as it features an all-metal casing. This all-metal casing protects it from wear and tear as well as from harsh weather conditions.


  • 120v/230v input power and adapter
  • 8-inch electrode holder
  • 8-inch ground clamp
  • 690 amps power output for the 120v
  • 180 amps pour output for the 230v
  • 30% duty cycle

why I like it

  • Weighing about 14 pounds it is lightweight enough for carrying
  • It is capable of both stick and TIG welding
  • Runs on both the 120v and 230v power outlets
  • The all-metal casing makes it durable and protects it from wear and tear
  • Features a handle and cable wrap for easy storing


  • Does not come with welding rods included
  • It cannot weld aluminum and is a DC only welder

This unit costs slightly less than $400. So is it worth it considering some other units cost less than $200? Well for what you are getting it is worth it. Most of the cheaper welders lack some of the features you get with this welding machine from Forney.

Metal Man INVERTER 80 Amp Inverter DC Stick Welder- Premium Pick

When you are thinking of a small inverter stick welder that is enough for home use, the Metal Man INVERTER 80 Amp Inverter DC Stick Welder, is a perfect choice. It is the best 120v inverter welder in its category.

A portable welder
Being an inverter DC welder, it is a very lightweight and compact welding machine. It weighs about 13 pounds. This means it can be used on different welding projects that require a lot of movement.

Flexible welder
While it is a stick welder, it can also be used for TIG welding. The TIG torch is sold separately though. Nonetheless, for the price you are getting it at, it is understandable. With both stick and TIG welding, you can weld both mild and stainless steel.

Cooling features
To ensure it runs optimally, it is fitted with a cooling fan. This keeps it cooled while it’s being used. To prevent overheating it features a thermal overload protection feature.


  • 80 amps power output
  • 120v power input
  • Hot start feature
  • Cooling fan
  • Thermal protection feature

why I like it

  • Comes with a hot start feature for starting the stick electrodes quickly
  • It is a very portable welding machine
  • Is capable of both stick and tig welding
  • Can weld both stainless steel and mild steel
  • Is thermal overload protected to prevent overheating


  • The TIG torch is sold separately
  • Is a DC only welding machine

This little machine has delighted many welders and welding enthusiasts. It offers all the basic features you would want from a welder. And the best part is that it is offered at an affordable price tag. Also given it’s an inverter welder it is lightweight and compact.

Thunderbolt 160 DC Stick Welder

The Thunderbolt 160 DC Stick Welder is yet another popular welding machine for a variety of welding tasks. This stick welder is simple to use and portable, making it an ideal option for beginners and pro welders alike.

Simple to use
One of the reasons why it is loved by beginners is how simple it is to use. It comes with a simple user interface that makes it easy to set your amperage and heat output. Moreover, the hot start technology makes starting the rods quickly and easy.

A versatile welder
This welding machine comes fitted with the Miller multi-voltage plug. This means it is a dual voltage machine that can use either the 120v or 240 v power output. This DC stick welder can thus be used on a variety of welding projects.

This welding machine was built to be lighter than previous models. The result is a welding machine that weighs 15 pounds. This makes it easy to carry around from one welding project to another.


  • Miller’s hot start technology
  • 10 ft work cable with clamp
  • 6.5 ft power cord
  • Shoulder strap included
  • 15 pounds weight

why I like it

  • Portable DC electric welding machine
  • Comes with a carrying bag as well
  • Uses both a 120v and 240v power outlet
  • Has a long 6-foot power cable
  • Comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying


  • Cannot be used to weld aluminum
  • Is a DC and stick only welding machine

This little welding machine has plenty to offer. It is both portable and powerful. Also since it uses both the 120 and 240 power plugs can be used by beginners and pros alike. Overall, it is a great welding machine.

Why Choose a 120v Stick Welder

So should you buy a 120V stick welder? Compared to other welding machines a 120v stick welder can be a great purchase. For unlike an MIG welder you can use it outside and is also less costly compared to other welding processes.

Also, this is a welding process that is easier to learn than most other welding processes. Futhermore, you can use it on a wide variety of metals as it allows you to easily switch rods. Stick welders are also lightweight and do not require a gas cylinder, thus are more portable.

FAQs about 120v Stick Welder

What type of stick welder works best for general welding?

Ideally a machine with both AC and DC output will be great for all round welding. DC stick welding offers benefits such as less spatter, and better looking welds. AC stick welding on the other hand will do well when welding magnetized surfaces. So a machine with both outputs will be a better option.

What type of rod should i use for a 120v Stick welder?

With a 120v stick welder you can use some of the most common electrodes available. Including the 6013, 6010, 6011,7018 and 7024. These five offer different benefits so its up to you to opt for the one tha meets your needs.

Do i have to remove rust or oil before stick welding?

While stick welding can weld rusted or dirty metals, it is always a good idea to remove rust or oil using a wire brush. Rust and dirt can sometimes lead to poor penetration, cracking and slag inclusion.

Can I plug a 120v 20 amp arc welder into 250v 20 socket?

For safety reasons a 120v 20 amp arc welder should only be plugged into a 120 v power outlet. Plugging it into a 250v 20 socket will lead to a fiery disaster.

Stick Welding Thin Metal using 120v Stick Welder

This Video will help you to know how you weld thin metal using 120v Stick Welder….


Stick welding is one of the oldest welding processes. As such, most of the earlier stick welding machines were bulky and difficult to use. Hence, why only professional welders owned welding machines back in the day.

Thanks to advancements in technology, modern stick welders are lighter and easier to use. There are numerous welder models and brands out there. And new ones are being produced almost every day.

However, not all have what it takes to be crowned best 120v stick welder. The four reviewed above, do have what it takes though. Hence why we opted to review them.