Just looking for some advice please!
I have been looking to purchase a welder so that I can build or repair dog runs as well as small odd jobs around the house. I have no experience but am pretty quick at picking things up. I just want something that is basic and not going to blow out my finances while I learn the basics and may then look at something bigger and better. Could anyone point me in the right direction please as there are so many welders I'm now mega confused which way to go! Thanks in advance.
You've come to the right place @Lizard77.
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I have a 1980 CIG stick welder with a transformer that is a 15amp plug. Technology has moved on since then.
Cheapest start is a stick only welder, there is a bit of a learning curve to get reasonable results.
Next would be dedicated MIG welder with or without gas. Once you have the settings right it is easier than stick welding.
If I was buying I would look at a 3 in 1 that is Stick, MIG and TIG. Not the cheapest option and TIG welding has a steep learning curve. Some models will allow TIG welding of aluminium (can change polarity) and others don't.
There are TIG welders that downgrade to stick welders is if your serious about aluminium or thin gauges neither of which are for the faint hearted but they give you great fine tuning of settings that is built into the price.
Duty cycle is something to look at if your going to weld thicker material, you would want 60% if you are running flat out on a big job but for tubing you are not putting as much load on and there is set up time that allows for it to cool down.
"I just want something that is basic and not going to blow out my finances while I learn the basics and may then look at something bigger and better."
This was my first welder - lotta cussing/cursing as I was trying to teach myself and I'm still not a very good welder but enough for a backyarder. I've since moved onto an inverter stick welder but if you can find a really cheap second-hand transformer based welder, I wouldn't disregard it.
I would suggest...
And from memory I found the CIG Satincraft 13 a brilliant rod for learning to weld.
I am with Brad on this I have a Uni Mig 3 in one but do not use the stick. now I only use the Mig much easer and cleaner. Not as cheap as a straight stick welder. you can get gasless wire to start, not a real good option but it gets you under way
hope this helps