If you are a do it yourself kind of person you will find welders, stick welders in particular to be handy tools. Stick welders are easier to use and more portable than some of the other types of welders out there. This is why they are loved by beginners and pros alike.
Also, stick welders can be used to weld both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. And also can be used outdoors without having to worry about wind interference. In a nutshell, stick welders have a lot to offer.
Choosing the best stick welder for beginners can be a difficult process. There are many different models, and it’s important to find one that will work with your budget and welding needs. We’ve compiled some information about what we believe are the top-rated models and discussed some pros and cons that might help make your decision easier.
A Comparison of Our Top Picks
7 Tips for Beginner Stick Welders
1) Practice on scrap metal first to get comfortable with your stick welder.
2) Clean off any dirt or grease from your work area before you start welding so it doesn’t interfere with the weld process.
3) Keep everything within easy reach but not too close; you don’t want anything falling into your workspace and catching on fire!
4) Give yourself plenty of time to plan out what you’re going to do next before actually doing it- don’t rush through things while taking shortcuts as they could cause you to make mistakes or miss important details.
5) Get a good helmet – You should always wear safety gear when welding. A quality helmet is crucial because it protects your eyes from spatter, sparks, and other dangers of the job. Even if you don’t weld often, invest in an excellent helmet that can last a long time and protect your head against injury or death.
6) Get Some Stick Welding Gloves – What’s worse than getting burned? Getting burned on both hands at once! The gloves aren’t just for hand protection either. They also help shield your fingers from the sparks that fly when you’re welding.
Without gloves, sparks will get into the folds of skin on your hand and cause serious burns or even blistering. Weaker types of glove material may melt to your skin if touched by hot metal so be sure to invest in a high-quality pair with thicker fabric for any prolonged use.
7)For beading and narrow welds for welding, invest in a good pair of protective sunglasses or welding glasses. Protective Clothing is also important to protect your skin from the sparks that fly out during the process. If you follow these simple tips, hopefully, stick welding will become easier than ever before! “Get A Good Helmet”, “Stick Welding Gloves”, “Welding Sunglasses”, “Protective Clothing”.
Stick Welding Benefits: The Industry’s Secret Weapon
– Stick welding is quicker and more efficient than automatic.
– It’s cheaper to teach someone to use a stick welder because it only takes one day where an automatic would take up to three days or more.
– You can get better welds with a ground clamp that automatically clamps the electrode into place when you strike the arc on your workpiece. This leaves both hands free for holding onto the torch so there are no slip-ups!
– The amount of spatter created by sticking is less than what occurs in other types of welding like TIG or MIG. That means fewer cleanup costs and time spent cleaning equipment afterward – another benefit over using manual methods as cleaning rods.
– The equipment is more affordable, even if you have to buy it yourself and take on a little debt – the net result will still be less than for other types of welding because you’ll get better welds at significantly lower costs per hour.
– Stick welding also has fewer risks associated with hazardous fumes or gasses that could lead to injury such as exposure to asbestos during MIG or solvents which can affect your health when working in TIG. This means there are more safety precautions involved but you won’t need pricey ventilation systems either!
– You don’t need any special training like with other methods (like using gas) so newcomers feel confident about learning stick welding without fear of getting into trouble by doing something wrong
– Stick welding is a more efficient process. It takes less time to set up and strike the weld, then break down again – saving you both money and space.
– The arc of stick welding can reach deeper into thinner materials than other types of automatic welding processes. This means that it’s perfect for structural work or any project where
Reviews Of The Best Beginners Stick Welder
DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A: Best Arc Welding Machine
- IGBT Inverter Technology
- Steel frame with a plastic handle
- 71.6 inch power cord
- 60% duty cycle at 160 amps
- 10 to 160 amps amperage range
- 110v/220v input voltage
The DEKOPro MMA welder falls within the same 160 amps max output category as some of its other competitors. So does it deliver anything different from the competition?
The inside components of the unit such as motors and control circuits are housed within a steel casing. This steel casing has a nice metallic silver spray finish with yellow highlights. Overall, it looks very premium.
Nobody wants a machine that is prone to overheating. To prevent this Dekopro unit has a fan that cools it and keeps air contaminants away. In addition to a fan, it is also equipped with side vents that help keep it cool and ventilated.
Ease of use
Ease of use is another thing you get from this stick welder. There is a single current adjustment knob for adjusting the machine’s output. There is also a digital current meter that shows you the output of your welding gun at any given time.
- This unit can be used to weld a variety of metals including mild steel, stainless steel, and even aluminum
- The 10-160 amps range offers more flexibility for welding thinner sheets of metal
- Works with most popular welding rods including the 6013, 6011, and the 7018
- Compared to other welders it is priced at an affordable price tag
- Weighing 12 pounds it is lightweight and compact
- The default ground clamp it comes with is not of the best quality and may need replacing
- The electrode holder is pretty small
This is a welding machine that offers great value for money. It is priced at below $150 and offers all the features you would need.
Lotos LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter/Tig/Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
- Non-touch plasma cutter
- 15-200 amp DC electric current output
- Papst advanced cooling system for the cutter
- Dual 110 v and 220 v voltage
- 60% at 50 amp duty cycle
One of the most complete packages you can get to suit your welding needs is this one right here. The LOTOS LTPDC2000D non-touch pilot arc plasma cutter/tig/stick welder. A three-in-one welding machine, it truly deserves the number one spot on our list.
This machine has a dual voltage capability of 110v and 220v stick welding. Thus it can be used with standard power outlets you have in your home. As well as with more high power outlets. For both tig and stick welding it requires a 50 to 200 amp DC output.
A three-in-one machine
It can be used for tig and stick welding. Also, it comes with a plasma cutter, which can be used to cut through metal. This 50 amp plasma cutter is quite effective at cutting painted, rough or rusty surfaces.
Compact and portable
Normally, you would expect such a machine as this to be bulky, cumbersome and a nightmare to use. However, it is pretty compact and light. Also, given that it is a stick welder it is easy to use. The plasma cutter has a non-touch pilot arc, meaning you don’t have to touch it to use it.
- It is a multipurpose welding machine that comes complete with a plasma cutter
- Being a tig/stick welding machine it is easy to use even for Do-It-Yourselfers
- With the plasma cutter, you can cut through different kinds of metal
- With its features, it is rather compact and lightweight
- The cutter does not cut deep and is only capable of ½ inch deep max
- The instructions manual is not so detailed which can be problematic when setting up
This is one of the most advanced welding machines out there. Indeed not many stick welders come with a plasms cutter included. Furthermore, it is easy to use for both professionals and beginners alike. Indeed this welding machine is one of the best arc welder for beginners in our entire list.
Best Cheap Stick Welder: AUTOOL EWM-508 ARC-200 DC Inverter Welder
- 1.6 to 3.2mm welding rod
- 20 to 160 amps output current
- 56-volt no-load voltage
- 60% at 160 amps duty cycle
- 110v and 220 v input voltage
The title of the best cheap stick welder yet powerful goes to the AUTOOL EWM-508 ARC-200 DC inverter welder. Costing slightly over $120 it is a decent welding machine to have at home. Its list of features is what you would expect from such a machine.
This welder comes equipped with an IGBT control. What this smart control does is regulate the current. This translates to a smooth joint weld with a low splash. This helps make a better weld, especially on joints.
In case of overheating, the welder comes with an automatic power-off feature. This helps prevent overheating of the machine when in use. It also comes with a fan with a rotation of 4100 turns per minutes which helps deal with the heat.
Pure copper cable
The pure copper cable that is included with this welder is awesome. It helps in regulating the amount of power used by the welder. This it can do even over long distances. This helps improve efficiency by up to 70%.
- It is available at an affordable price
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- It comes in a compact and lightweight size
- It’s a very easy to use stick welding machine
- An excellent option for joint welding
- The stinger lead is a rather short
- The mask it comes with is of low quality
This welding machine is loved by many due to its ease of use and compact design. Also, it is pocket-friendly and is ideal for do-it-yourself projects. It does not have any complex features which are an added benefit.
HZXVOGEN 110/220V Welder Dual Volt Arc Stick Welding Machine
- 110v/220v dual voltage
- 60% Duty cycle
- 1.6 to 3.2 mm electrode diameter
- 20 to 140 amp output current range
- IP23 protection class
Another great contender for the title of cheap stick welder yet powerful, the HZXVOGEN is a portable welding machine with a reasonable price tag. It goes for about $100, which makes it one of the most affordable out there.
The first thing you notice about this machine upon purchase is how compact and lightweight it is. It weighs 1.95 kg, which is pretty light for a welding machine. Atop the welder is a nice handle that makes it easy to carry.
Surprisingly, this budget welder is a dual voltage machine. It can work with both the 110v input current as well as the higher 220 v input current. This is pretty impressive as most of the welders with this feature cost way much more.
This welding machine comes with several useful accessories. For starters, you get an electrode holder and an earth clamp. Also included in the package is a 30Amp adapter cord.
- It is one of the most lightweight stick welders on the market
- Comes with a one year warranty
- The dual voltage allows it to be used on either the standard 110 power input or the higher 220 v
- Considering its features it is a very affordable welding machine
- Comes with a nice handle that makes it easy to carry
- The cables especially the power cable are short
- It needs to be put on the max 168 amps for maximum performance
Many who use this welder have praised it for being lightweight and compact without compromising on performance. It does what it is built for exceptionally well, and is a machine you would be happy to have at home.
Best Stick Welder Under $500: Forney Easy Weld 180 ST Welder
- 14 pounds weight
- 8-inch electrode holder and clamp
- 230 v and 120 volt DC power adapter
- 6-inch power cord
- 20v to 90 amp range
- Duty cycle: 80 amps at 30% for 120 volts and 180 amps for 25% for 230 volt
One of the best stick welders for beginners and powerful welding machines is the Forney Easy Weld. Its bestselling point is how easy it is to use. And with a name like Forney Easy Weld, it should be expected.
Similar to the other welding machines already reviewed this is a dual voltage machine. However, it uses either a 120 v power input or a 230v power input. This makes it one of the more powerful offerings in the under $500 price tag.
When it comes to welding, this welder does not disappoint. At 180 amps it is capable of welding steel of up to ½ inch in thickness. Overall, it has an all-metal external casing, which improves its durability and toughness.
While you will mostly power it using your shop’s or garage’s electrical power supply it can also be powered by a generator. The good thing is that the quality of the weld does not become bad when attached to a generator.
- Weighing 14 pounds it is lightweighton the market
- It can be used with a generator as well
- It is a dual voltage capable of working with either a 120 v or 230-volt power input
- Has an all-metal exterior casing that helps deal with wear and tear
- Comes with an 8-inch ground clamp and 8-inch electrode holderto carry
- Comes with a 150 amp TIG torch
- Does not come with any rods included
- It is best suited for small light projects and not for heavy-duty work
While it is not suited to heavy-duty tasks, it is more than capable of handling small and light projects. Beginners will find it a nice welding machine as it is easy to use. Also, it can be used for both stick and TIG welding. Hence why it is a value for money stick welder for beginners.
HITBOX ARC Welder 200A Stick DC 220V Inverter Welding Machine MMA200 ZX7 Rod Stick Portable Welder
- 60% at 10-120 amps duty cycle
- 16.9 amps rated input current
- 20.4 to 24.8 rated output current
- 2.5mm electrode diameter
- Fan cooler
- 5.6 pounds in weight
For larger welding jobs, the HITBOX ARC welder 200 A stick DC 220V inverter welding machine will come in handy. While it is one of the more affordable offerings on the market, it is quite powerful.
Lightweight and compact
Weighing 2.9 kgs, it is a lightweight and compact welding machine. This makes it ideal for handling various projects. You can easily carry it around to make repairs around your yard or use it in your garage.
This is isn’t a dual voltage welder and only works with the 220 v circuit. Nonetheless, it offers excellent performance. When set at 145 amps it can handle welding metals of up to ¼ inches using a 3/16″ 6013.
Included in the package is a heavy-duty bag for carrying the welding machine. We found the bag to be of good quality. This bag blends perfectly with the overall quality of the welding machine carried inside it.
- The machine comes ready to use
- Is a lightweight and compact machine
- Despite its weight and size, it is surprisingly powerful
- It is easy to start the arc and produces welds of decent quality
- Does not get warm or heat up quickly when in use
- While it can be powered by a generator it struggles with small generators
- It uses the 220 v circuit only
This is a powerful welding machine. It uses the 220 v circuit which is a bit of a disappointment. Nevertheless, it can be a great companion to have for farm, yard or garage work. Its portability and power make it an ideal unit for homeowners and pros alike.
SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder 110/220V
- 110V and 220V dual voltage
- 0.6-1.0mm flux-cored wired for flux-cored welding
- 1.5 to 1.6m per minute wire feed speed range
- 60% duty cycle
- 48 pounds weight
This welding machine is the complete package. It can be used for MMA stick, gas-shielded, and gasless flux-cored welding. It can also weld non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, which adds to its value.
A highly rated welding machine it can use both the 110 v and the 220 v power inputs. With its dual voltage capabilities, it is capable of welding mild steel. Also, it can be used to weld stainless steel.
Adjustable wire feed speed
Another great feature of this welding machine is the adjustable wire feed. Any experienced welder knows how important this is. You can control the rate at which the wire is fed through the welding gun.
It is capable of welding aluminum using a spool gun. However, a spool gun is not included in the package. What is available is a selector switch that makes it easy to swap the welding guns for welding different metals.
- Can be used to weld aluminum, stainless steel as well as mild steel
- Has adjustable wire feed speed as well as welding current
- The welding machine can be used outside and one rusty and dirty metals
- This welding machine can be used for stick, flux-cored and aluminum welding
- Included is a handle that makes carrying it easy
- Does not come with a spool gun included for aluminum welding
- The included manual gives very little information on its set up
When you think about the best inverter stick welder, this welding machine is one that should come to mind. It is an absolute beauty and has a lot to offer. Also, it is not an expensive unit and goes for less than $500.
Best Stick Welder Under $200: HITBOX ARC160 Stick MMA Welding Machine 220V
- 60% duty cycle at 160 amp
- 3.2mm welding rods
- 8.68 pounds weight
- Electrode holder and earth clamp included Digital control
It is difficult to imagine that the HITBOX ARC160 stick MMA welding machine costs less than $200. A powerful option for home use, it is by far the best stick welder under $200 on our list. But this is not the only thing that earned a spot on our list.
This welder uses the same 220v power plug found on most large air conditioners. This gives it an output current range of between 30 and 160 amps. This is pretty powerful for a welding machine at its price point.
A reliable performer
With its 30 to 160 amps output current range it can handle a lot of welding tasks. It is common for its owners to weld for 6 hours without experiencing problems. There is no overheating with this unit.
Light and compact
While it is built for power, it is surprisingly compact and lightweight. It is thus easy to use and carry around especially thanks to the handle it comes with. It weighs about 8 pounds which is lighter than most similar products.
- It is a lightweight and compact unit
- Does not overheat even after hours of continued welding
- The fan it comes equipped with is surprisingly quiet
- This welding machine is easy to use and easy to strike an arc
- It is quite powerful for its size and price
- The welding cables are too short
- It works only with the 220 input power circuit
When it comes to the best budget stick welder, this welding machine is a serious contender. Weighing only 8.68 pounds it is one of the most lightweight welding machines out there. More importantly, it is powerful and durable enough for multiple welding tasks.
Introduction to stick welding
Stick welding is a very common welding technique. In this technique, the electrode is covered in compounds and metal powder. A binding agent is used to bind these powders and compounds to the surface of the solid rod.
Similar to MIG welding, an electric current passes through the rod to establish an arc between the rod and the metal to be welded. The heat generated causes the covering of the rod to decompose, in turn creating a gas that shields the weld pool from atmospheric contaminants.
Equipment used In Stick welding
There is no need for an external gas tank in stick welding. All you need is a welding machine and the electrode. Stick electrodes come in different sizes. The size of the wire used determines the voltage and amperage to be used.
How it works
An electric current that can either be Alternating (AC) or Direct (DC) passes through the flux-coated electrode. At the point of contact with the base metal, it arcs. As the wire melts the flux coating creates a cloud of gases around it.
It is this cloud of gases that protects the weld pool from contaminants in the atmosphere. When the molten metal cools, the cloud of gases settles on the pool, forming slag. The slag has to be removed to reveal the finished weld.
How To Choose A Value For Money Stick Welders For Beginners
Like any other appliance, people have different preferences when it comes to stick welders. Also, different welder models are suited to different welding tasks. Let us now look at what makes a welding machine be suited for your specific welding task.
The Type Of stick Welder
Stick welders are categorized int two, inverters and transformers. Of the two, inverters are the more common. The reason being they are more compact and lighter, however, they are also pricier.
Inverters are best suited to multiple welding projects that require a lot of movement due to their portability. They are preferred by hobbyists and freelance welders. They generally weigh less than 20 pounds and are thus easy to carry from one task to another.
Transformers, on the other hand, are bulkier and cost more. But what they lack in compactness they more than make up for in their build quality. They are usually more robust and suited to more heavy-duty tasks.
Moreover, they consume more power compared to inverters and require more space. Nonetheless, they are the cheaper option and make great welders for the occasional welder.
The type of current use
Welders use either AC or DC current, with most welders using DC current. However, most homes use AC, which brings about compatibility issues. To avoid this we recommend going for a welder that uses both AC and DC currents.
This way you get the best of both worlds. Most welders use DC current because it produces smoother welds.
Welder power output has a direct impact on its performance. The higher the amperage the less time spent welding. A Top-notch beginner stick welder will have an amperage of 100 amps and above.
For most hobbyists, an input voltage of 115 volts is enough. However, for more demanding welding tasks an input voltage of 230 volts is better. The best stick welder for the money is usually dual voltage.
This means they are compatible with both the 115-volt input voltage and the 230 volts. Such welders offer more power and flexibility. Ideally, though the best beginner stick welder for home use will have an input voltage of 115 volts.
This refers to the amount of time a welding machine can weld before requiring to cool down. Based on a 10-minute session duty cycle is denoted in percentages. A 50% duty cycle means a welder can go for 5 minutes before requiring a cooldown.
Duty cycle ordinarily depends on the output power. The higher the output power the lower the duty cycle.
The reasons why the Lotos LTPDC2000D is top on our list is because it is the most versatile. Ideally, you will want a welding machine that can do more. The best tig stick welder will capable of both tig and stick welding.
How versatile a machine is will influence its value. Some machines are restricted to one type of welding. A Top-notch value-for-money stick welder can usually handle more than one type of welding.
In conclusion, stick welders seem best suited for beginner welders because they provide more control and can produce long strands which allow you to complete large tasks quickly. For people who need a quick turnaround on projects or repairs, this machine would be ideal.
Faqs About stick welder
Last update on 2022-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API