If you’re a professional welder or work in an industry where welding is often required as part of your job – like construction – you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to rent welding equipment instead of buying it.
Or, if you’re new to welding and are looking to handle a basic welding project, renting may be an appealing alternative to investing in your own welding equipment, since you’ll save money and you won’t be stuck with expensive welding gear if it turns out that it’s not your cup of tea.
So, what should you consider when renting welding equipment? Great question. At Vern Lewis Welding Supply, we have a lot of experience renting out welding equipment. So we’ve put together a quick guide about the topic. Read on to learn more!
1. Decide Between MIG, TIG, and Stick Welding
TIG, MIG, and stick welding are all suitable for different applications, and you should choose the right welding process for your project. For example, MIG welding is usually preferred for high production volume, while TIG welding may be better if precision is very important for your project. MIG welders are usually the cheapest to rent.
Since MIG welding is faster, more capable of a wide variety of metal thicknesses, and cheaper than renting a TIG machine, it’s usually the best “jack of all trades” choice unless you need to use TIG or stick welding for a specific purpose.
2. Consider Your Power Situation
If you have access to electricity, this is not a big hurdle. However, you’ll need to choose between 120V power or 220V power. 120V units plug into standard wall outlets, and usually put out between 100 and 140 amps of power, and are able to weld material up to ¼” in thickness. 220V outlets are also called “appliance outlets.” Welders using this outlet can usually deliver up to 200 amps and can weld material up to ½” in thickness.
If you don’t have easy access to power, you may need to rent a welding unit that’s self-powered, or a generator that can be used to run the welder and its associated equipment. For example, if you’re working in a remote area, this will definitely need to be taken into consideration.
3. Make Sure You Buy or Rent Additional Welding Essentials, Tools and Supplies
Depending on the welding rental company, you may be able to buy or rent other essential tools and supplies for your welding job. Make sure you’re fully equipped with tools like:
- A plasma cutter, chop saw, circular saw, oxyacetylene torch, or other tools to cut and shape metal
- A grinder with a cutting and buffing wheel
- Cleaning products like acetone to clean welding metals
- Wire brushes
- Electrodes and shielding gas
- Protective equipment, including eye and ear protection, a respirator, a welding helmet, safety boots, welding aprons and sleeves, and other such PPE
4. Consider Whether or Not Renting Is Cost-Effective
Wondering whether it’s a good idea to buy or rent a welder? The general “rule of thumb” for welding professionals is that you should rent a welder if you’re going to have a “utilization rate” of 50-60%.
In other words, if you plan on using the welder and related tools for a short-term project and will be using it 20 hours out of a 40-hour work week, this is a 50% utilization rate. At this rate of usage, it usually makes sense to rent a welder instead of buying one.
But if you’re using the welder for more than 60% or 70% of your working time, or you anticipate that you’ll need to rent it for a very long period of time, it may be a better idea to buy your own unit and supplies. In the long run, this will probably save you money.
Need to Rent a Welder and Supplies? Vern Lewis Welding Supply Is Here for You!
With our wide range of welding technology, equipment, supplies, and accessories, Vern Lewis Welding Supply is always here to help you get what you need for your next welding job. Don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at 602-633-7481 to learn more about our welding equipment rental services in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas.