Best Stick Welders (Arc Welders) – Reviews and Top Picks
Among all welding skills, stick welding is the most important.
The basics are so important, you need to be able to do them well.However, a true arc welder needs a great stick welding machine.It’s got to have deep penetration, controllable arc characteristics, and an easy touch.Check out these old school arc welders and burn some metal.
1. Forney Easy Weld 180 ST Arc Welder
This lightweight DC stick welder also offers DC TIG welding capabilities. It is powered by an inverter. This machine is designed to withstand the dirty power fluctuations that are common to generators. It can be connected to either 120 or 240 volt sources.
In order to reduce consumable costs, Forney designed its Easy Weld 180 ST arc welder with a high frequency lift-type TIG torch start. You must buy the TIG torch and gas regulator separately if you want to do TIG welding. This machine does not have a foot control pedal.
A wide range of 10 to 180 amp current output is available on this arc welder/TIG. Its weight of only 14 pounds allows it to weld up to 1/2-inch thick steel even though it can weld up to 1/2-inch thick steel. As thin as 18-gauge sheet metal can be welded with the fine 10 amp minimum limit. Forney Easy Weld 180 ST comes with a 5-year warranty.
2. PrimeWeld TIG225X Welding Machine
TIG welders are very well regarded in the welding community, especially those that can run as DC stick welders, like the Primeweld TIG225X TIG welder. Powered by either 120 or 240 volts, this welder is dual voltage. MMA welding, also called manual metal arc welding or stick welding, is performed with a 12.5-foot electrode clamp. The ground lead is also 12.5 feet long.
The PrimeWeld TIG225X delivers 120 amps on 12 volts when used in the stick setting. You have 180 amps on tap when it runs on 240 volts. A juice of that kind can weld up to 3/8-inch plate at 180 amps, and 1/4-inch at 140 amps. With a thin stick and the right settings, you can weld 24-gauge sheet metal at the lower limit of 10 amps on either source.
It’s no secret that TIG is the king of sheet metal and PrimeWeld’s TIG225X is ideal for this task. Welders like this one come with advanced AC TIG features such as pulse width modulation, CK17 torch, and an AC balance feature to adjust how much time is spent on each side of the AC cycle to clean the weld puddle of impurities.
3. Lotos LTPDC2000D Multiprocess Stick Welder
With the LOTOS LTPDC2000D, you get more than just a 200A stick arc welder. The plasma cutter can cut through 1/2 inch steel and has a 50 amp power supply that can do 15-200 amp TIG work. You can plug it in at home or in a commercial setting with either 120 volts or 240 volts input power.
High frequency arc starting makes it easy to get the arc going with this multi-process triple threat. Stick welders are easy to start with “soft arc” technology. In addition to high frequency arc starting, the TIG welder and plasma cutter have a pilot arc feature.
Having no touch arc starts saves on consumables, as the TIG torch never touches the surface, therefore eliminating the main cause of tungsten electrode contamination. There is one drawback to this welder: It does not come with a TIG heat control pedal.
Welding 1/2 inch of steel can be done in either the stick or TIG modes, both of which can push 200 amps. The Lotos LTPDC2000D is backed by a 1-year warranty by company.