Before you buy a welding machine, you should think about some basic things.
So that you do everything right from the start and are not annoyed afterwards about the welding equipment you have bought, we show you three steps with which you can choose the right welding equipment.
Success or failure already depends on the selection of the welding equipment
In the mission: Buying welding equipment you can do a lot of things wrong. Unfortunately, it often is and so some people spoil the fun of welding right at the beginning.
If you buy a welding machine that is not suitable for your field of activity, you make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself and the desired success is often not achieved.
So that you don’t spoil your chance of proper welding results right at the beginning, you should clarify a few things in advance and pay attention to some aspects when making your choice.
We have prepared a small guideline for you in which you can find out step by step what you should think about before you buy a welding machine.
Before you buy a welding machine, you should…
… make sure you have a suitable welding machine in your sights.
There is nothing worse than buying a welding machine and finding out in retrospect that it is not suitable for your own welding work.
It becomes even more annoying when you then find out that there is another possibly cheaper welding machine which is ideal for your field of activity and would therefore achieve better results.
Therefore this step is the most important one. The other two build on it. You should know exactly which welding equipment suits you and look for the right welding equipment from the beginning.
What needs to be clarified here…
…what exactly are you welding anyway?
On the one hand, there are welding machines that make it much easier to weld thin and fine sheets, and on the other hand, there are welding machines that are much more successful with thicker sheets.
Would you like to weld aluminium? Then some welding equipment is completely unnecessary because you simply cannot achieve good results.
Before you buy a welding machine, you should clarify what material thickness and which materials you want to weld.
…where will you weld?
This is also a very important question. If this is not clarified before the purchase, it can have fatal consequences. For example, if you want to weld outdoors, but you buy a gas shielded welding machine that is not suitable for outdoor use, you can immediately start looking again and buy another welding machine.
So answer the question: Will I weld outdoors or in a workshop or weatherproof environment? You can also clarify whether you will be welding in narrow and poorly ventilated rooms.
There are in fact welding machines that emit more toxic fumes and vapours and others that work much cleaner, such as the TIG welding machine.
… will they change the welding location more often?
Also remember that there are heavy and robust welding machines as well as very light and small ones. You should therefore also clarify whether you always stay in one place and do your work there, or whether you want to weld in different places.
With the latter, you should buy a welding machine that is designed for mobile use. Most of these models also have a practical carrying handle and can therefore be transported very easily from A to B.
… determine required power and enriching functions.
After you have clarified all points in step 1 and looked in the article: which welding equipment? what kind of welding equipment is best suited for your requirements, you can start with the next step.
Now you can determine what power you need to weld your materials properly and what functions and properties are important for your project. At the same time, you can determine a suitable electrode.
We can help you with that.
Required power and electrode: Guidelines
Depending on the thickness of the material you want to process, you will need a suitable electrode and also satisfactory performance. Here are some guidelines to follow.
- 1.6 mm to 2 mm Electrode
These dimensions are suitable for thinner materials and offer optimal chances of success with smaller and finer sheets.
- 2.4 mm electrodes
A 2.4 mm electrode is suitable for thicker sheets. With this electrode you can weld material thicknesses up to around 9 mm. With a thicker 2.4 mm electrode you also have some other advantages. During use you have a more stable arc, which also burns more quietly.
In addition, they can be sanded down better.
Required and enriching features and functions
If you know what power you need and which electrode is best suited for your tasks, you should now determine which functions you can do without and which features and characteristics are indispensable for you or a helpful supplement would be helpful
Attention should be paid to the following properties:
With a multi-scale you can adjust the welding current without much effort. The best thing here is that the welding current can be infinitely adjusted. This is the best way to direct the welding current to your weld metal.
- Long ground cable and sufficiently long electrode
You should by no means ignore this point or take it lightly. Clarify in advance whether the cable length is sufficient for you or not. There are cable lengths of under 2 m and over 2 m.
It can be quite annoying if you try to reach higher places and a too short cable disturbs you, then you have to move the whole welding machine.
Also pay attention to the quality of the cables. Sometimes they are very rigid and inflexible. Take a look at the customer opinions. If there is a defect, this is often mentioned
- Look for the S symbol or the special protection class.
So you also have the safety and the certainty that you can weld in narrow welding areas.
- It should be possible to operate the welding unit with 230 V.
Depending on the welding current required, a 400 V powered unit can also be selected.
- Electronic control
Welding technology should have an electronic control system for better ignition behaviour. This supports a faster ignition of the arc.
- A long hose package with standard glands
The hose package should not be too thin and with a standard gland you save yourself the trouble of finding the right nozzle, which can be quite time consuming and expensive.
What you should consider when using a gas-shielded welding machine for bodywork.
For bodywork it is important to have a welding machine with a hot starting arc. This should also be able to regulate the arc very quickly. Apart from that, there are other things to consider before you buy a gas shielded arc welder.
- Rollers and gas cylinder holder should be included.
As a gas shielded welding machine is often very robust and heavy, it is essential to have castors with you if the machine is too heavy, so that you can make minor adjustments without too much effort.
Before you buy a gas shielded welding machine, you should also make sure that a gas cylinder holder is included. This way you always have a suitable and safe place for the shielding gas.
- Wire feeder and wire guide
Make sure that the wire feed is infinitely adjustable. This would be optimal and you can adjust the welding wire feeder as precisely as possible if you wish.
The wire guide should be shear-proof and without delay. Check the existing assessment to see if you find any defects in this respect.
- Spot welding with selectable pulses
A very important point. If you want to buy a gas shielded welding machine, you should also make sure that it is suitable for spot welding.
Optimal would be a freely selectable pulsation, with which one can draw dotted lines without settling, so that this usually succeeds very evenly. A burn-back control would also be advantageous.
What you should pay attention to when TIG welding
- Integrated HF ignition
In HF ignition, the arc is ignited by means of a high-frequency unit already above the workpiece. Cheaper welding machines only have a contact-controlled ignition. Also known as Lift Arc.
In this procedure, you must first place the tungsten electrode on the workpiece and then lift it off to ignite the arc.
As a result, they have a much higher wear on the electrode. Before buying a TIG welding machine, please pay attention to the integrated HF ignition.
- Adjustable gas post-flow time, as well as current fall and rise time.
This comfort is very good for thinner sheets and tubes. This makes the debrater flow freely selectable. In other words: The sheet metal does not burn away at the beginning and end of the weld.
- 2 cycle and 4 cycle welding
If you want to weld very long seams as evenly as possible, then you should look for welding equipment that can be switched between two cycles and four cycles.
You should pay attention to this when using a welding machine for longer welding work
Does the welding work often drag on for you? Then you need a welding machine that does not overheat so quickly. Otherwise you will have to take unnecessary breaks more often. For longer welding work there are two versions that can help.
- Fan cooling and thermal protection with control lamp
These two features ensure that your welding equipment remains cool and ready to work even during longer welding jobs. With the help of an integrated fan cooling system, the heat generated during welding can be dissipated efficiently and quickly.
This allows you to carry out even very lengthy welding work without a break. Should the welding machine nevertheless reach its pain threshold, this should be indicated by the control lamp.
In addition, the thermal monitor would have to ensure that the welding device automatically switches off at a certain temperature.
You want to weld thinner sheets and still buy an electrode welding machine? Then you should pay attention to this!
In general, we recommend that you use a different welding machine for welding thinner sheets.
If you insist on an electrode welding machine, then it should at least be a model with a decent rectifier, which keeps the voltage and also the current well constant
To do this, make sure that you use a narrow electrode. A 1 mm electrode is rather rare, but should be found.
Step 3 :
…take a close look at the equipment and scope of delivery and replace if necessary.
Before you buy a welding machine, you should look at the scope of delivery and take a closer look at the equipment. It becomes very annoying if you receive a welding machine, but some important components are missing or even defective.
In fact, more often the welding accessories supplied are “toys”, which are rather minimal to unsuitable for welding.
So don’t just look at the welding equipment and its performance, but also critically consider the individual components supplied.
Sometimes the hose package is too narrow or the ground cable is too short and rigid. Other times the welding shield is uncomfortable and unusable.
Please read the existing customer opinions or, if you find your desired product on our site, the corresponding test report. There, most defects often become quickly apparent.
What should always be included as accessories.
Before you buy a welding machine, make sure you have the following welding accessories. A ground cable with integrated clamp should be included. An electrode welding machine should have an electrode cable and an electrode holder. Ideally also a slag hammer.
Otherwise you have to get it yourself. In the case of a shielding gas welding machine, a torch cable or torch hose and a pressure reducer should be available. If necessary also a torch spray and a wire brush.
- Do not forget your protective equipment
This is particularly important, and you should do it at the latest after you buy a welding machine. The first thing you should do is to find a suitable welding shield or welding helmet. An automatic helmet is best for this.
Afterwards you will need protective goggles. Some people make a big mistake in this respect and leave out the safety glasses. However, this should not be done at all, as they protect the eyes from the harsh light of the welding work.
Make sure that the helmets and goggles meet the European CE safety standards.
Afterwards you need proper gloves and safety shoes. The protective equipment should then be completed with a welding jacket or leather apron. Depending on what you are welding, sometimes a sleeve protector is sufficient instead.
Once you have bought a welding machine, you should pay attention to the equipment you need to weld properly. For example, with a TIG welding machine you still need a very extensive equipment, which you should also procure.
For example: A grinding block with stainless steel grinding wheel. You need this to sharpen your tungsten electrode. Then you need an argon gas bottle and possibly some welding rods in stainless steel etc
As you can see, there are a lot of things to keep in mind during the mission : buy welding equipment. We hope this information helped you. Now you can buy the best welding equipment.