Welding machine: How to choose the best one in 2021?
Today’s topic is welding machine. Needing to buy one for personal or professional reasons? Then we will explain everything that is necessary to understand how these tools work!
In addition to welders, who work daily with welding machines, other professionals may need this equipment. Artisans, jewelry makers and engineers are some examples. Or, eventually, some daily repair may need to be done with it.
But what are the particularities of each model? How to choose the one that really meets your needs? That is what we will bring in the next lines of this article. Stay with us and answer all your questions!
First, the most important
- Welding machines are necessary equipment to connect one metal to another. These connections need to be very durable and reliable, since on most occasions they cannot be separated at all.
- There are several different technologies in welding machines: Inversion and Transformation, MIG and TIG are the most common. They all have their peculiarities and will be better explained in the course of the text.
- It is very important that you never operate a welding machine without the necessary protection. Avoid accidents and follow all safety guidelines!
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Ranking: The 5 best welding machine models
There are soldering machines sold entirely for professional use, others that are easier to understand. There are also different technologies, varying price ranges and specific recommendations.
Therefore, we have separated great models to show here and count the specifications of each one. Follow the list:
How to understand what are all the technologies that involve a welding machine? The technical specifications, the best way to use, the differences between each model? We will explain now!
You will feel much safer to make your purchase and use a welding machine after reading our Buying Guide.
What is a welding machine?
Welding is the process that securely and permanently joins two pieces of metal together.
The weld joins two pieces of metal in a safe and durable way.
It is not only used with iron, steel, aluminum and other more industrial metals, but even with gold and silver in the process of making jewelry, for example.
The welding machine, therefore, is the tool that can carry out this process with precision. Since most of the things that need metals to be put together to work cannot break at any time, welding must be done very well, without future risks.
How to use the welding machine?
In order to use a welding machine efficiently, a few steps are necessary. Check out:
- The first step is to clean both parts thoroughly. Any type of dirt can impair the quality of the welding. Therefore, machines usually come with a brush or special sandpaper.
- Then, it is necessary to heat the soldering iron until it reaches the temperature necessary to melt the solder.
- When this happens, spread the solder over the surfaces and use the machine until it is melted.
- Finally, join the desired parts. We have a solder!
Don’t forget that, as it deals with high temperatures, gas emissions and sparks, the welding process can be quite dangerous. You must wear all protective equipment, which includes an apron, glasses, mask, hearing protectors and more.
Welding inverter or transformer?
There are two main technologies applied to welding machines: inversion and transformation. The first is much more modern and technological than the second.
Transformation welding machines are made with a core coated with copper coils. They work by alternating current. Due to the type of electrodes, there are several limitations in the efficiency of operation.
More recently invented, inversion machines have electronic circuits that adjust current and voltage as needed. They work faster and use less electricity.
In addition, it is also more intuitive to use a soldering inverter than a transformer. The information is clearer during use and the weight of the equipment is much less.
Welding machine: MIG or TIG?
Other technologies present in welding machines are MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas). Despite being older, the first has its advantages – and disadvantages – over the second.
- MIG : As its name says, it uses inert gas as a protection. It is usually argon. It is between the iron and the part and is supplied by a continuous feeder. It is from there that the fusion takes place more easily. The advantages of MIG welding are speed, the possibility of welding in several positions and less distortion of parts.
- TIG : It happens due to the release of tungsten between the electrodes and the part. Another protective metal can also be added. TIG welding has greater precision and a better finish.
Check out a table of advantages and disadvantages of MIG and TIG welds:
What is duty cycle?
You must have noticed the part of the product description that we always talk about “duty cycle”. Together, we put some strange notations like “ 140A @ 60 %”. But after all, what is this?
The duty cycle is nothing more than the amount of time that a welding machine can be used without rest in a given electrical current.
In other words, a machine with a current range between 50A and 150A can be adjusted to apply these electrical quantities to the parts. The bigger, the more powerful and faster the welding will be. Only she will need a break.
When reading “ 140A @ 60 %”, what is understood is that, with a current of 140 amps, a given machine can run 60% of the time. That is, every ten minutes, there are six hours of work and four hours of rest.
The first number, therefore, is the chain, and the second is the percentage of the time the machine can be up and running. The higher the first number, the smaller the second.
You may not realize it, but your daily life wouldn’t be the same without the solder. Virtually everything you use has gone through this process at some point: car, home, computer, cell phone, televisions … not even the smallest objects escape!
Do you know your watch? He probably went through a welding process. And if you have a jewel made of precious metal, you can be sure that the shape of the jewel was achieved by very detailed welding.
How much does a welding machine cost?
There is a wide variation in the price of welding machines. Most models will be found in the range between R $ 400 and R $ 500, however, there are many that far exceed these values.
Some machines, especially with TIG technology, can reach four digits. The more professional, the higher the price, of course. The cheapest models available usually cost around R $ 250.
Where to buy a welding machine?
The best place to buy welding machines is at stores specializing in tools and electrical products. It will also be possible to find them on a smaller scale in department stores and building materials.
On the Internet, we recommend Amazon. There are also specialized store.
Purchasing criteria: What to consider when buying a welding machine
We have already talked about the many technologies used in welding machines. But that is not all! There are a few more factors that need to be taken into account in order to know which model is ideal. We list some of these criteria below:
- Size and Weight
- Ease of Use
- Extra equipment
We will explain each one in more detail, that way you will be ready to make the best purchase.
There is a good part of the welding machines that have a bivolt system. However, when this is not the case, pay attention if the operation is 110 or 220 volts. This can prevent a lot of headaches.
A 220 volt machine will not work in a location that is predominantly 110. And a 110 volt machine will burn in a 220 location. Never forget to note the voltage in your city and the machine you want to purchase!
Dimensions and weight
Some welding machines can be very heavy, even over 30 kg. If you need to transport it frequently, this can be a prominent factor. Remember that there are even portable, much lighter options.
The same goes for size. Storing very large machines can be tricky. If the idea is to use it in a company, there are no problems, but for personal repairs, the smaller the model, the better the fit with the home environment.
Ease of use
If you are a beginner in the welding world, choose a simple and intuitive model. It has buttons and levers for choosing the chain, clear instructions and a smooth application of the soldering iron on the desired surfaces.
More professional models may require more experienced welders. If that’s your characteristic, no problem. Check out this soldering tutorial for beginners from the Leandro Torneiro channel:
As we have already pointed out, welding machines need extra equipment. In addition to several items needed for protection, such as glasses, aprons and masks, there are also others such as cleaning pads and special electrodes.
Check everything that comes with the welding machine of your choice. If it has a lower price, but does not come with necessary equipment, it may not pay off. A complete model, with all the protection and cleaning items, can be more practical and economical.