What Welding Equipment Is Right for You?

December 13, 2017 3:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Finding the right welding equipment means you can take on a number of new projects, including repair projects that would otherwise have to be contracted out to a third party. The right equipment will last years, and will be able to handle a variety of projects.

When you’re deciding on the right welding equipment in Phoenix, AZ for you, you need to ask yourself the following questions: What sorts of projects do you plan to take on now, and what sorts of projects would you like to be able to handle in the future? Which is more important, ease of use, or the number of projects your welder can tackle? What price range are you considering?

  • MIG welders: These offer a good power/cost ratio. They’re as powerful and as easy to learn as TIG or stick welders, but are far less expensive. MIG welders offer very accurate welds, as you’re able to hold the torch steady with both hands while the welding filler rod is fed out in front of the flame. Once you become adept at using your MIG welder, it’s an extremely fast and accurate way to weld.
  • TIG welders: TIG welds are generally accepted as the cleanest, highest quality welds. These are commercial-quality welds. Whereas the MIG welder is great for home projects and repairs, TIG welders are a much better choice when the appearance of the weld and the metal afterward matter. The TIG welder creates the least amount of heat distortion in addition to its accurate welds. The process is more difficult than MIG welding, as you control the rate at which your filler rod is dispensed with a foot petal. Once you’ve learned, though, this means you have even more control over the appearance of your weld.
  • Stick welders: Stick welding is an affordable though somewhat inefficient way of welding. A stick welder uses a “consumable stick electrode” which is coated with flux as it welds. Stick welding is a slightly more labor intensive, as the flux forms a layer over the weld that has to be chipped away afterwards. If you’re working with a variety of metals, the stick welder might be easier than other welders, as it’s easy to switch from one type of filler rod to another to make sure you’re matching each metal.

Power

If you plan to weld seriously, you’re going to need to install a 220V power outlet in your workshop. Any welder that’s going to give you the long-term flexibility you require is going to need more than the 115V of a standard outlet.

You’re better off erring on the side of “too powerful” rather than risking getting a welder that isn’t powerful enough. A 110V welder is extremely limited in the number of jobs it can actually handle. In real-world applications, you’re going to need to weld thick pieces of metal snugly to each other, and 110V welders really cannot handle that. 175V to 251V MIG welders and 220V stick welders offer you far more flexibility. You’ll make better welds that hold longer, and you’ll be able to weld a wider variety of metals. The additional flexibility you get with the more powerful welders is likely to save you money, if you get into welding seriously. If you buy a less powerful welder now, you’ll inevitably need to buy a more powerful welder somewhere down the line.

Duty cycle

One final note: You’ll want welding equipment with a fairly long duty cycle. A duty cycle is how long the welder can run before it is necessary to let it cool. There are welders out there that can run continuously, and a number of welders with long enough duty cycles that you should be able to perform most practical jobs without needing to let your welder cool down—but a longer duty cycle does represent an additional expense.

Find welding equipment in Phoenix, AZ

Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc., has been the premier provider of welding equipment in Phoenix, AZ since 1969. We pride ourselves on employing some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the business, which has always allowed us to provide excellent customer service. We find our customers generally want to learn to do things on their own, to be more proficient. We’ve always seen sharing our expertise as an integral part of our service, as integral as providing the best welding equipment in Phoenix, AZ. Give us a call today!

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