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What welder for inexperienced hands?

Lizard77
New Contributor

What welder for inexperienced hands?

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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.

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

You've come to the right place @Lizard77

 

Let me tag some of our helpful members for you so they are alerted to your question about choosing a welder, including 

@r23on@Brad@Noyade@royq and @She_Skills.

 

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the Workshop community. We're pleased you could join us and look forward to reading all about your projects and plans. Please feel free to post whenever you have a new project to share or need a hand with anything. And please let me know if you need help getting the most from the site or have any feedback about how we can make Workshop even more useful to you. 

 

All the best,

 

Jason

 

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Brad
Valued Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

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.

 

JDE
Junior Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

Hi Lizzard 77
After not having touched a welder in years I recently bought a GIGWELD 180 inverter style stick welder. It is a 15amp plug and only has one adjustment (good in my opinion). Its very small allows and lot of flexibility in the size of rods used (thicknesses of steel you can weld). It was recommended to me by a couple of professionals. Came as a kit with an auto darkening helmet (worth weight in gold) I found it very forgiving in striking an ark and keeping it ( great when not welding regularly as I get out of practice). Just be careful buying a really cheap welder I bought a small one years ago that was a transformer type with no cooling fan and in summer could only get through one rod before it would overheat and shutdown for half an hour. I would suggest an inverter type and pay a little extra for one like the GIGWELD. I used mine to do the structural frame for a carport first time out of the box. JDE
Noyade
Junior Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

"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...

  • An inverter stick welder.
  • Something like Uni Mig or CIG brand possibly. Total Tools or Gasweld would advise you. Stay away from really cheap, unknown brands with a poor duty cycle.
  • 140 amps minimum - unless you have a dedicated 15 amp power supply.
  • At least 3 metre leads.

And from memory I found the CIG Satincraft 13 a brilliant rod for learning to weld.

 

Have fun!

 

 

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r23on
Experienced Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

Hi Lizard77

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

Noah
Budding Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

Hi Lizard77,
Getting into welding is super fun and a great learning curve! I started welding about two years ago. I went down to bunnings and purchased a BossWeld Gasless Mig Welder. A great starting welder as firstly it requires no gas, so you don't need to pay hefty deposits for gas bottles and painfull refills. Secondly its really hard to go wrong with a gasless MIG welder as you don't need to strike it like a Stick welder. So my tip for you is to go for a gasless mig welder, Bunnings have two options Ozito and Bossweld find some scrap metal and just practice trying to get your weld "bead" to a nice one.

With the welders in the aisle, Bunnings also sell an Anit-Splatter spray, this is great for new welders as it helps to get a more professional finish!

https://www.bunnings.com.au/ozito-90a-gasless-mig-welder_p0011881

https://www.bunnings.com.au/bossweld-500g-anti-spatter-spray_p6380073
Lizard77
New Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

Thanks for all your help!

I'm going welder shopping!

Really appreciate all the detailed responses. I'll be sure to post a pic of my first attempt so you can have a giggle.

Cheers
Shannon
Established Contributor

Re: What welder for inexperienced hands?

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