7 Best Welder For Pipeline – Review Of Best Pipeline Welding Machines

Best Welder For Pipeline

Compared to pipeline welding, conventional metal welding is a child’s play. For starters, pipes are of varying thicknesses. Moreover, pipes tend to be thicker than conventional welding materials. There is also the issue of the welding environment.

As a pipeline welder, you are effectively a welding nomad. You never know where the job may take you, from the deserts of Arizona to the Alaskan cold. On the plus side, pipeline welding gigs attract a handsome paycheck.

Due to pipeline welding being challenging and demanding, not every welding machine is suited for this. To get started on pipeline welding you will need the best welder For Pipeline. Ideally, you will require a welder that is more powerful than your ordinary welder.

Here are seven welding machines the offer power in plenty. Apart from being powerful, though these seven can also be used outside.

The best pipeline welding machine Reviews

Engine Driven Welder, Ranger

The Engine Driven Welder, Ranger from Lincoln Electric is a marvel of engineering. It is ranked the best engine-driven welder on the market and for good reasons. The technical aspects, as well as its build quality, are exceptional.

The Engine Driven Welder, Ranger from Lincoln Electric is a marvel of engineering. It is ranked the best engine-driven welder on the market and for good reasons. The technical aspects, as well as its build quality, are exceptional.

This unit can handle virtually anything you throw at it. Capable of both AC and DC welding, it is a versatile machine that excels when it comes to pipeline welding. But not only that, but it is also capable of stick, TIG and MIG welding. You can also use flux-cored electrodes with this machine.

In terms of amperage, it is one of the more powerful offerings from Lincoln. It puts out an amperage range of between 50 and 250 amps. This is more than sufficient to handle the welding of thick pipes.

A stainless steel casing houses the machines engine. Speaking of the engine, it is a 23 horsepower air-cooled powerhouse that powers the machine for a whole day.

Specifications

  • 23 Horsepower air-cooled Engine
  • 50 to 250 amps amperage range
  • 100% at 250 amps duty cycle
  • 12-gallon tank
  • Gasoline-powered

why we like this model

  • Features a high amperage for welding thick metals
  • Is capable of both AC and DC welding
  • Can be used as a stick, MIG, TIG or flux-cored welder
  • Has a powerful engine that can power it for hours
  • The machine’s generator has a high continuous wattage of about 10,000 watts

drawbacks

  • Weighing about 600 pounds, it is a heavy machine
  • The unit does not feature a tube frame

This is by far the best engine driven welding machine on the market. It has all the features you would need from such a tool. Also, thanks to its stainless steel outer construction, it is one of the more rugged and durable machines out there.

Lotos LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Tig Welder and Stick Welder

The Lotos LTPDC2000 was among the first multi-purpose welders to be introduced into the market. Needless to say, it has faired very well since its introduction. While it is relatively small, it is very rigid and efficient.

Primarily a TIG and stick welder, it can also be used as a plasma cutter. Thus you get more from this small package. Being a TIG and stick welder it can be used in a wide variety of projects both indoors and outdoors.

The TIG welder has an amperage range of 15 to 200 amps DC electric current. With this range, it can weld a wide array of metals. With it, you can weld stainless steel, steel and thin sheets of steel.

This welder is a three-in-one combo that is both compact and affordable. Thus it is easy to transport to different job sites.

Specifications

  • 50 amps pilot-arc plasma cutter
  • 200 amps stick and tig welder
  • 15 to 200 amps amperage range
  • 10 to 50 amps plasma cutter current output

why we like this model

  • Is a three in one machine offering a TIG, stick welder and a plasma cutter
  • Compared to other tools on the list it is quite lightweight and affordable
  • Can be plugged into either a 110v or a 220v power outlet
  • With an amperage range of 15 to 200 amps, it can weld thin sheets of metal as well as thicker sheets of metal
  • The pilot touch arc technology allows you to cut metals without the torch being in contact with the metal surface

drawbacks

  • Is a DC only welding machine thus is not ideal for welding aluminum
  • The plasma cutter doesn’t do well on thicker metal such as 3/8 inch thick

If you are looking for an inexpensive machine that can handle pipeline welding, this is it. It handles really well and can weld thin as well as thick sheets of metal. And while it has some cons, it is still worth it considering its price. At its price point its arguably the best welder for pipeline welding.

Engine Driven Welder, Bobcat 250

Miller is one of the most well-known names in the welding community. The company has a slew of fantastic welding machines. But how does its engine-driven line of machines compare? The Bobcat 250 is right up there with the best and is one of the company’s best sellers.

Like most other engine drive welders, this one can do it all. It can be used for MIG, Stick, TIG and even flux-cored welding. Its versatility is one of its bestselling features. But apart from its versatility, it is also available in gasoline, diesel and propane models.

Powering it is a 23 Horsepower Kohler CH 730 engine with a 12-gallon fuel tank. Thanks to its powerful engine it is capable of putting out an incredible 250 amps. As such, you can easily weld thick pipes with this model.

One of the things I love about the Bobcat is how quiet it is. For such a powerful machine, I was expecting to be quite the noisemaker. But to my surprise, it is relatively quieter than most other engine-driven models I have used.

Specifications

  • Kohler CH 730 23 Horsepower engine
  • 3600 RPM speed
  • 40 to 250 amps amperage range
  • 60% at 250 amps duty cycle
  • 12-gallon fuel tank
  • 501 pounds weight

why we like this model

  • Thanks to its incredible power output it is ideal for heavy-duty projects
  • A large fuel tank means it can run for up to 14 hours on a single full tank
  • Can be used with both AC and DC power outlets
  • Compared to other engine-driven models the Lincoln electric model included this one is quite lightweight
  • While it uses a Kohler engine, it can also use a Subaru 23 horsepower engine

drawbacks

  • It is slightly more expensive than some of its competitors
  • While it is lighter than its competitors weighing about 500 pounds, it is still quite heavy

Lincoln and Miller Electric have always been competitors with each trying to outdo the other. With the Bobcat 250, Miller Electric has done a fantastic job of keeping up with the competition. The only reason it ranks lower than the Lincoln Engine drive version is that it is slightly pricier than its competitor.

Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G Multiprocess DC Welder

All-round performance is what you get from the Ranger 305 G from Lincoln Electric. It is yet another engine driven machine. And like the other engine-driven machines on my list, it is quite the powerhouse.

Right of the box, this welding machine is designed to handle multiple welding processes. With it, you can perform stick, TIG, flux-cored and MIG welding. The machine excels when it comes to downhill pipe stick welding.

From its spec sheet, I found it’s not so different from the other engine drive welders. The same 23 Horsepower Kohler engine powers it. Additionally, it has a 12-gallon tank, similar to what you would find in the other machines. In terms of value for money, it is less pricey than some of its competitors.

Specifications

  • 23 Horsepower EFP Kohler engine
  • 120v and 240v dual voltage
  • Skewed rotor design
  • AC generator with a 104°F output
  • 100% at 305 amps duty cycle

why we like this model

  • Is a multi-process welding machine that can handle stick, MIG, flux-cored and TIG welding
  • In addition to being a multi-process machine, it is also compatible with both AC and DC power outlets
  • Comes with digital weld meters for easy monitoring of weld output
  • Has a skewed motor design that works well with Lincoln inverter power sources
  • The machine can be used in almost any environment including high altitude areas

drawbacks

  • Weighing 632 pounds, it is quite heavy compared to other similar products
  • A separate wire feeder is required for flux-cored welding

An impressive welding machine is how best I can describe this Lincoln product. It is a versatile machine that is ideal for pipe welding. Thanks to its power output of up to 305 amps it can weld thick sheets of metal with ease.

Multiprocess Welder XMT 304 CC/CV

Inverter based welding machines are famous for being lightweight. And Miller Electric has some of the best inverter-based tools on the market. One such machine is the XMT 304 CC/CV. A machine that I found to be a delight.

At first glance, everything about the XMT 304 screams high-end and so does its price. But does it deliver on its promises? Weighing at around 292 pounds, it is quite lightweight compared to what I am used in this segment.

Its weight is thanks to its aluminum housing that is both tough and lightweight. A look at its voltage demands and it’s clear this is not a welder for hobbyists. It can be plugged into either a 230v or a 460-volt power outlet.

This, of course, means it is as powerful as they come. And its max rated output of 300 amps is quite impressive. Not the most powerful machine I have used, but still, it ranks in the top ten, which is still remarkable.

Specifications

  • 300 amps max output power
  • 60% at 300 amps duty cycle
  • 230 and 460 input voltage
  • 22A wire feeder
  • Q400 MIG gun
  • Drive roll kit

why we like this model

  • The fan-on-demand feature is activated only when needed reducing power consumption
  • The lift-arc feature means the chances of contaminating the tungsten rod while TIG welding is significantly reduced
  • Comes with large dual digital meters that are easy to view
  • Has an auto-link feature that automatically matches the voltage of the power source to the primary voltage to be applied
  • Uses inverter arc control technology to provide improved puddle control especially when using the 6010 electrode

drawbacks

  • Requires high powered power outlets of either 240 or 460 volts

This is an industrial-grade welding machine. It is not the kind of machine you buy for home use. Especially since its input voltage is quite high. Being an industrial-grade machine means it handle a variety of welding tasks. It is the best pipeline welding machine in its segment.

Miller Trailblazer 302 Air Pak Engine-Driven Welder

Miller is a company whose products I love. And one of my favorite offerings from Miller Electric is the Trailblazer 302 engine driven welder. This is an all-in-one tool designed for heavy-duty welding projects.

The machine has a generator, an air compressor, and a welder. The generator is capable of pumping out 13,000 watts of power. With this kind of power, you can power an 875 plasma cutter capable of cutting 5/8 inch mild steel.

As with any other engine-driven welder, it is capable of all the conventional welding processes. This includes TIG, MIG, flux-cored and stick welding. Also, you can use it with both AC and DC power outlets.

So how does it fare in the power output department? Compared to some of the other engine-driven welders I have used, this isn’t the most powerful. With an output of up to 350 amps, it is still among the most powerful.

One thing I loved is the lift arc technology that minimizes the chances of the tungsten rod coming into contact with the weld metal when TIG welding. This feature is found on some other engine-driven models and makes a whole lot of difference for TIG welders.

Specifications

  • Kohler 27 horsepower engine
  • 12-gallon fuel tank
  • 13000 watts generator power output
  • 10 to 300 amps power output
  • 60% at 200 amps duty cycle

why we like this model

  • Is capable of all popular welding processes, stick, TIG, MIG and flux-cored welding
  • All the components, the air compressor, generator, and welder use the same engine which significantly reduces fuel consumption
  • Has side and top access doors built in to make accessing the air compressor and engine for maintenance easy
  • Is more compact than some of its competitors and takes up less space
  • Can be used with a plasma cutter

drawbacks

  • It is quite pricey compared to other such products
  • Weighing upwards of 700 pounds it is quite heavy

The trailblazer can do more than most conventional welding machines. Its power output both for the generator and welder are impressive. There is a lot to love about this welder, and it is ranked as one of the best engine-driven welder from Miller Electric.

2.48-7.87” Hand-push Pipe Welder PE PPR PB PVDF HDPE Fusion Welding Machine

Not every pipe welding machine costs thousands of dollars. Hand-push pipe welders require more manual work but are an inexpensive alternative. They may lack the sophistication of their pricey counterparts, but they get the job done.

The PE PPR PB PVDF HDPE Fusion Welding Machine is one of the best of its kind. This manually operated machine is ideal for PE and PP pipes. It can also be used for installing fittings.

Constructed from an aluminum alloy, the machine is both durable and tough. And given that it uses a 110v power input, it can be used at home as well. And with its working temperature of 300 degrees Celsius, it takes only 20 mins to get to soldering temperatures.

Specifications

  • 0.3 mm docking deviation
  • 300 degrees Celsius soldering temperature
  • 105-pound weight
  • 110v power input
  • Aluminum alloy construction

why we like this model

  • Constructed from aluminum alloy for durability and toughness
  • Can be plugged into a 110 v power plug for both home and Jobsite use
  • Quickly reaches its soldering temperatures within 20 minutes
  • Given its constructed from aluminum, it is also a lightweight machine
  • Can be used to weld PE and PP pipes

drawbacks

  • Requires manual operation
  • Is a bit limited in terms of the kind of pipes it can weld

This is a hand-operated welding machine. However, when you consider it costs almost three times less than the price of some other models, it is worth a try. It can weld the most common types of pipes. Also, it is considerably more lightweight than its pricier and more sophisticated competitors.

What is pipe welding

Pipelines are to modern cities what veins are to your body. Pipes are used the world over to transport all kinds of things from water, oil, gas and much more. Like most other man-made things pipelines are vulnerable to damage.

Furthermore, the installation of pipes typically involves joining sections of pipes. And here is where pipe welding becomes essential. Pipe welding is the art of fusing two pipe sections using a welding machine.

While there are other ways of joining sections of pipes, welding is the easiest. It removes the need for special threading tools. Also, welding is cheaper and offers fewer flow restrictions.

How to Select the Best Pipeline Welder

Pipeline welding is recognized as a specialized profession. Therefore anyone looking to venture into this industry will need to acquire a pipe welder. Not every welding machine out there can earn the title of the Best welder For Pipeline.

When shopping for the best pipeline welding machine, there are several things you need to keep in mind.

Power

Pipeline welding is unpredictable due to pipelines having varying thicknesses. As such, you will need a machine powerful enough for different tasks. A welder’s power is based on amps output. For domestic use and amps output of 120 to 140 amps will suffice.

However, for welding pipes, a higher amps output is needed. Ideally, go for machines that have an amp’s output of 180 amps and over.

Transportation

Pipeline welders are nomads who move from Jobsite to Jobsite. However, the machines used are usually powerful, large and bulky. To counter this, it is wise to get a welding machine that is easy to carry either in a truck or has a cart.

Versatility

Pipes are made from different metals. Thus, a MIG, stick or TIG only welder will not do. For professional pipeline welding, you will need a machine that can do it all. This is to ensure you are not restricted regarding the type of metals you can weld.

Power source

The power source is another thing that you cannot be sure of. The power source you have at your disposal will depend on the job site. However, most industrial job sites usually have a 230v or 240-volt power outlet.

Nonetheless, you can never be too sure. A welder than can use both a 110v and 230 v power source will be an ideal option. This way you can plug it in almost any power outlet.

Common mistakes to avoid in pipe welding

  • Not preparing the weld surface which can lead to slag entrapment, lack of fusion which results in weaker welds and defects
  • Misalignment of the weld surfaces where the pipes aren’t joint in the right alignment leading to a structurally weaker and poor looking weld finish
  • Poor joint preparation especially in line with the welding process being used, since different welding processes have different joint preparation procedures
  • Using too much shielding gas in the hopes of creating better welds.

Tools you need

To get started as a pipeline welder you will obviously need a pipeline welding machine. But that’s not the only thing you will need to get. There are a couple of things other than the welder that you need to have before embarking on a pipeline welding project. These are.

A welding mask

As you probably have already noticed pipeline welding machines have a higher heat output than your average home welder. As such, you need something to protect your face from flying sparks and the intense heat.

A welding mask will help protect your face and in particular eyes. The intense heat can damage your eyes, especially when welding in an overhead position. Thus, a welding mask is another tool you will need.

Gloves

Your eyes aren’t the only body part that needs protection from the intense heat produced when welding pipes. Your hands also need protection, especially since they are in close proximity to the welding torch.

Heavy-duty welding gloves will protect your hands from intense heat as well as any hot splash from the weld pool. Again gloves are particularly important when welding in an overhead position.

Brush

Metallic brushes are used to clean a metal surface before welding commences. Cleaning is essential for removing rust, dirt and trapped air. These things can result in a structurally and unpleasing weld.

While it is not always necessary, cleaning a metal surface before welding is always recommended. Thus, you may need a metal brush to clean the pipe surfaces before welding.

A pair of welding goggles

Welding goggles have a special tint that protects our eyes from the extreme heat produced when welding. Given the high temperatures produced when pipeline welding having a pair of welding glasses will be helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best pipeline for beginners?

For a beginner I recommend the Multiprocess Welder XMT 304 CC/CV, it is relatively affordable and is also lightweight. With its included cart it’s also easy to transport from location to location. Lastly, it’s easier to use than some of the other options on the list.

Which welding process is used in pipeline welding?

There is no one particular welding process used and it all depends on the task at hand. You can use stick, MIG, flux-cored and TIG welding to weld pipes. And in fact, as is clear from the list most pipeline welders can handle all the above-stated welding techniques.

What do I need to get started as a pipeline welder?

Pipeline welders are technicians who are normally hired to perform pipe welding tasks. As such to get started as a pipeline welder you need training. In some cases, you will need a license and certification. You can join vocational training to get started.

Conclusion

Pipeline welding is not the same as other types of welding. Therefore, just because you can weld two sheets of metal doesn’t mean you can weld pipes. It is an art that requires practice. Also, you will need to have the Best welder For Pipeline.

Also, different welders are suited to various welding applications. As such, the Best welder for exhaust pipe will not necessarily be a good match for welding oil pipes.