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Whether it’s fixing a fence or a garden table, there is a wide variety of uses for welding equipment that can also be used at home.
Which model is best for everyday, simple tasks? Which welding machine is best for beginners?
How is a Welding Machine Built?
If you are just getting started in the world of welding or if you have no experience, it is a good idea to read up on the construction and methods of using welding equipment.
With the help of additional information, you can decide more quickly which type of device to buy to start with.
How is a welding machine built? The individual device types differ in the way they work, but they have a lot in common.
Also, you can find here best welder for beginners. A welding machine can consist of the following elements:
- Power supply unit – a key component responsible for the operation of the device,
- Control unit – as the name suggests, it is responsible for operational control
- Fixing cable for the electrode,
- Earthing cable with a clamp,
- Cooling system – overheating protection of the welding machine,
What is the Best Welding Machine for Beginners?
Which welding machine should you choose to start with? Here you have three options:
- MIG / MAG welding equipment – The welding is carried out using a consumable electrode shielded with inert or active gases.
- Inverter welding machines – whereby the coated electrode is consumed during the welding process,
- TIG welding devices – this type of device uses a non-consumable electrode with the use of protective gases.
But which welding machine is best for beginners? The most recommended types of equipment include MIG / MAG welding equipment.
When welding with such devices, an electrode in the form of a wire is used. During the heat treatment process, the wire electrode is connected to the metal parts to be welded. This creates a weld seam.
Shielding gas is used in MIG / MAG welding machines. Thanks to this, the weld pool is not oxidized, which greatly improves the quality, strength of the weld, as well as the corrosion resistance of the material.
Inert gases such as helium or argon are used in MIG welding machines. This allows you to work on elements made of aluminum, magnesium, copper, and other non-ferrous metals.
MAG welding takes place under the protection of active gases or gas mixtures such as carbon dioxide and argon.
This enables the welding of unalloyed, high-alloyed, and low-alloyed steels.
MIG / MAG welding machines are recommended for beginners because of their relatively simple operation.
The welding process is facilitated by the use of a consumable electrode that does not have to be supplied from the outside.
The versatility of a MIG / MAG welding device is also one of the pluses. Such devices are mostly used in industry but are also suitable for home applications.
They also allow you to join thicker metal elements. The benefits also include a low cost of consumables.
Electrode welding machines are also recommended for beginners. With this type of device, the weld seam is created when the core wire and the material to be welded are connected.
The welding arc is shielded by melting the electrode coating. The gas flows out of the flux.
As a result, no gas container is required (as is the case with a typical MIG welder).
After completing welding work, it may be necessary to remove the layer of slag that forms during welding.
Electrode welders are a better solution for beginners than MIG welders, where the wire feed speed is generally relatively high.
Welding work with an electrode welding device requires easy operation but is carried out relatively slowly.
Such a device enables the creation of more technical than precise welds (as in the case of the MIG / MAG method) and is well suited for learning the basics of welding.
TIG welding machines represent the third type of machine. How do TIG welding machines work? The welding takes place under the protection of inert gases by generating an electric arc with the help of an infusible electrode. Often an additional flux in the form of a stick is used.
With TIG welding equipment very thin elements can be joined together. The welds are usually very durable.
However, TIG welders are not recommended for beginners. How such devices work is quite difficult to master.
Before you start welding with the help of a TIG welding machine, you should have mastered the functional principles of inverter or MIG / MAG welding machines.
What Kind of Welding Machine Should You Buy for Home Use?
Check-in advance what electrical system is in your apartment or house. Welding machines are divided into single-phase for 230 V systems or three-phase for 400 V systems.
The three-phase power supply is used in homes where the need for electrical equipment is relatively large.
If your apartment has an induction hob or electric heater, it is very likely that it is also equipped with a 400 V system.
In the world of welding, there are different models of welding machines that can easily switch between 230 V and 400 V voltage phases.
But which welding machine should you buy for home use? A single-phase model that works with a 230 V power supply is completely sufficient here. You can easily plug it into any power outlet.
230 V welding machines usually have an amperage in the range of 150 to 250 A. What does this parameter mean? This is nothing more than the welding current value.
The higher this value, the more application possibilities the device offers. With higher welding current values, thicker elements can be welded together without any problems.
Home welders often have a welding current of up to 200A. For DIY enthusiasts, this is completely sufficient.
The duty cycle also plays an important role here. It represents the percentage of time that you can weld continuously.
If a welding machine has a duty cycle of 60 percent, this means that after 6 minutes of continuous operation, you must let the machine cool down for 4 minutes.
What kind of welding machine would you need for home use? Even at lower duty cycles of 15 to 40%, you can still perform basic repairs.
Beginners do not need welding machines that have a duty cycle of 60%. Such devices should be used in more professional applications.
When choosing a welding machine for beginners, the size of the machine should also be considered.
A portable welder is the best choice here. It is relatively small in size, which means it is easy to store. You don’t need a car to transport it.
Which MIG / MAG Welding Machine is Best for Beginners?
Which MIG / MAG welding machine should you purchase? In addition to the parameters mentioned above, such as the welding current value, the supply device, or the dimensions, other factors are also important.
The wire feeder is very important for MIG / MAG welding methods. If you are a beginner, choose a model with a built-in feeder, the price of which may be higher than the welder itself.
The internal wire feeder should preferably have an adjustable feed rate and a shielding gas connection.
You should also look for devices that have settings that you can easily change while wearing gloves.
These increases work safety. For similar reasons, it is a good idea to rely on a device with an overload indicator. This will let you know in advance when to let the welder cool down.
A good MIG / MAG welding machine for beginners also enables the flux-cored arc welding method. This welding method uses a special core wire, also known as a flux core wire.
The flux introduced into the wire releases the protective gas under the influence of high temperatures.
Why is this important when choosing a welding machine for home use? This way you can avoid storing gas cylinders.
Which Inverter Welding Machine to Choose by a Beginner?
Before choosing an inverter welding machine, you should take a closer look at the technical specifications of such a machine.
If the device has bipolar transistors with an isolated IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) switch, it is most likely a lightweight and short-circuit-proof device.
What else should you pay attention to when choosing an inverter welder? The hot start function is very helpful here.
The welding current is temporarily increased when the arc is ignited. This makes it easier to trigger the arc.
The arc force function will also be beneficial. This function controls the dynamics of the welding arc.
This leads to the avoidance of short circuits and the creation of better weld seams.
Which Welding Machine Should I Choose? Summary
Which welding machine is best for beginners? The most sensible solution for beginners is to choose an electrode welding machine.
Such a type of device does not require a shielding gas cylinder and allows you to work at a leisurely pace.
In addition, electrode welding machines are relatively cheap. If you are proficient in welding, consider purchasing a MIG / MAG welder that is more versatile and offers more metalworking options.