This is a new article that will show you some of the best ways to select the best stick welder and its reviews.
Many beginners may find hard to select the best stick welder that is suitable for them. Now, in this article, we will show you some of the best tips that can help you choose the best stick welder for home use, and also reviews on top seven stick welders for the money.
Table of Contents
- How To Choose The Best Stick Welder And Reviews
- How To Choose Stick Welder ?
- Best Stick Welder Reviews 2019
- Best stick welder under $200
- Best stick welder under $300
- Best stick welder under $500
- Best stick welder under $1000
How To Choose The Best Stick Welder And Reviews
Stick welder is one of the most common welding processes for many farm based welding applications or home use. Nowadays, there are many different types of stick welders at the market. They have a variety of shapes, features, sizes, as well as price tags. Therefore, you may find it difficult to find the best stick welder that you should purchase.
A stick welder can be used by farmers, manufacturing workers, pipe welders, home welders, and infrastructure workers. Many infrastructure and industrial applications use stick welder because this machine is very portable. Besides, the welder only requires switching on its electrode to match the metal, position, and joint size of his weld.
Stick welder can be used when the appearance of welder is not important, and as a result, it will not be proper for automobile body work, metal and art for public spaces. Actually, stick welding is what you should choose if you want to weld a rusty metal that you find it difficult to clean off completely.
What is stick welding
Stick welder has the official name called Shielded Metal Arc Welding. This machine uses an electrode and can be utilized for welding most of the ferrous metals as well as other metal types. During stick welding, its electrode rod is utilized to carry the current and hence providing almost all the metal weld. Once the electrode tip can touch the metal surface, the energy from high heat will melt both the metal base and rod, hence creating the weld. Due to its portability, stick welder can be used in fields like construction, heavy equipment repair, pipeline welding, etc.
Some rods can penetrate into some metal, hence fusing the pool deeper into metals than other ones. This allows the welds to benefit from some specific advantages:
- Stick welding machines can go anywhere. The only thing you need to do is to carry the consumables and leads and then connect the tool with a power source.
- The equipment required for stick welders is affordable. It may be cheaper than MIG welder, TIG welding as well as multi-process welders.
- You can use stick welders in all positions, conditions, indoors or outdoors. However, the wind has to be blowing powerfully so that it can affect the weld pool formed during the process.
- Like other welding methods, stick welder has its advantages and disadvantages. Now, we will show you some of the cons and pros of this machine.
- It is effective even when it is rainy or windy
- It requires no external shielding gas, hence saving money
- Its equipment required is not very costly
- It is less sensitive to corrosion, paint as well as dirt, hence saving time on clean-up
- It is not difficult to change rods for other different metals
- It is slow if compared to other welding methods.
- It is difficult to process and it requires a welder with experience and skill
- It is hard to weld thinner metals
- It takes time to chip away the slag during the weld
- There can be excessive rough surfaces, spatter and porosity with stick welder
- The welding rods have to be replaced more regularly than those in other methods of welding.
How To Choose Stick Welder ?
When finding out the best stick welder for home use, you need to pay greater attention to some important factors. They include:
Input power requirement: Generally, welders are created to work on input power of 110V to 220V/240V. However, the stick welder that requires higher power will not be able to operate on normal household circuit, and it can need special power circuit. Therefore, it is very important for you to go for the machine that meets your affordability of power.
Installation and use: Many stick welding machines are easy to install and use. This factor is best for the beginners because it will help you save setup time. In case you are just an entry level user, you have to go for the machine that is easy to operate.
AC/DC operation: For almost all of the stick welding methods, DC reverse polarity welding can provide more benefits over AC. They include fewer arc outages, faster starts, less spatter, better welds on thin materials, and easier out-of-position welding. Therefore, selecting the stick welder machine that has both AC/DC options will be the best solution.
Duty cycle: This aspect is also necessary when selecting the best stick welder to buy. A low-end stick welder comes with nearly 10% duty cycle at about 70 amps. A high-quality stick welder will have duty cycle of 35-60% while the most expensive stick welding machines will have about 70- 80% duty cycle. As a result, you should opt for the stick welder according to your given work load.
Ease of transport: One of the most important features about the stick welding machine is its ease of transport. Many stick welders work depending on a unit they move from site to site. If you are looking for a stick welding machine that has ease of transport, an inverter welder may be your best option. Weighing about 9 kg, the inverter welder is a machine that may be easily portable.
Safety features: Safety rank is one of the most important aspects in most of the machines. With this feature, you do not need to worry about monitoring your stick welder because it can shut down on its own.
Cost: It may be easy to find a cheap machine, but you may not want to buy a low-quality machine. Consider how much you can spend buying the machine. It is advised to spend a bit more and buy a high-quality machine that can be uses for many years. If you do not have so much money, then you might do without all the special features.
Other factors: Apart from important aspects as we mentioned above, there are some other factors you should consider while selecting a stick welder, such as durability, current control options, multifunction features, etc.
Best Stick Welder Reviews 2019
|Images||Dimensions||Weight||Voltage||Amperage Range||Editor’s Rating|
|Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST||16.2 x 8 x 12.5||13.74 lbs||120V||90 A||4.5/5|
|Amico ARC-160D 160 Amp Stick Arc DC Welder||16.6 x 11.8 x 7.5||16 lbs||115V/230V||160 A||4.8/5|
|Amico Power - DC Inverter Welder||12.5 x 9 x 22||18 lbs||115V/230V||160 A||4.5/5|
|160 Amp Digital Display LCD Stick ARC Welder||17 x 8 x 12||15.4 lbs||115V/230V||160 A||4.3/5|
|200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder||16.6 x 7.5 x 11.8||25 lbs||110V/230V||200 A||4.2/5|
|Century Inverter Arc 120 Stick Welder||7.5 x 5.25 x 11.5||14 lbs||120V||90 A||4.6/5|
|EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder||20 x 12.5 x 13.5||36.9 lbs||110V/220V||160 A||4.6/5|
|Forney 314 Arc Welder 235FI AC DC||12 x 16.5 x 30.5||108 lbs||230V||235 A||4.1/5|
|Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder||17 x 8 x 12.5||41.9 lbs||110V/220V||200 A||4.0/5|
|ESAB 0558101694 MiniArc 161LTS Stick Package||15.8 x 5.8 x 10||28.8 lbs||110V/230V||160 A||4.9/5|
The best stick welder reviews may be helpful and help you improve your productivity. Read on the reviews and then select your stick welder today.
Best stick welder under $200
1 – Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST
The device is quite easy to handle, even for beginners. You can perform your works at ease as well as make the adjustments if needed.
However, this is not a remarkable benefit if you are a professional.
Not only easy to use, this stick welder is also portable so you can easily take it around to work. This is because it has a lightweight and compact design.
The welder can be used for the electrode with up to ⅛ inch in length. The performance, from the experience of many customers, is quite satisfying and reliable.
The device is suitable for both TIG and stick capability. This versatility is helpful because you can easily switch to another function if you want. But, the thing is that the kit doesn’t have the TIG torch.
The engine of this model is adequate for home uses but not enough for large projects such as the construction of high-rise buildings.
Here are some of its pros and cons:
- It has a reasonable price
- Simple to use
- Great portability and versatility
- Reliable performance
- Not powerful enough for large projects
- It doesn’t have TIG torch
2 – Amico ARC-160D 160 Amp Stick Arc DC Welder 110/230V Dual Input Voltage Welding
This welder is equipped with great features and modern technology called IGBT. This technology allows the engine to perform more effectively, then maximizing user experiences.
The engine of this model is upgraded from the previous models so that it can work more efficiently.
The model can also handle various types of electrodes such as acid and basic ones. The finish of the device is good and you feel quite comfortable to deal with the electrode.
From my own experience, I find the benefits of this model outweigh the price you have to pay. Of course, it is no match for the expensive welders but it is a superstar at its price range.
The product also provides the leads for electrodes with a length of 10 feet. Almost all the other ARC-160 models on the market have only six-foot leads.
Furthermore, it has a small and compact design, which is quite lightweight. Thus, I can bring it along to the workplace with no difficulty.
The package I received from the manufacturer is a bit heavier than I expected. It may be the cardboard inside that box and the cut foam for padding.
Here are some other pros and cons of this model:
- Resistance to temperature
- LCD display
- Not very durable
3 – Amico Power DC-160A 160 Amp Dual Voltage IGBT Inverter DC Welding Machine1
- 115V / 230V Input current at rated output 20A
- 60% Duty Cycle
- 35 pounds
- Work clamp with 10 ft. cable
- Electrode holder with 10 ft. cable
This stick welding machine also offers some advantages, including:
- Input power adapter plug and cable, making this tool very easy to install
- High-quality machine with the Duty Cycle of up to 60%
- Affordable price
- Small and light, yet with lots of power
However, apart from its advantages, this stick welder also offers some disadvantages. For example, a few users have reported that the rated output of this machine is not accurate and that its customer service is not good.
4 – 160 Amp Digital Display LCD Stick ARC Welder IGBT DC Inverter 115 & 230V Welding
- Rated duty cycle of 60% at 160A
- 115V/230V Input Voltage.
- 16 pounds
- Automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation
- Advanced control module IGBT
- Over-voltage protection
Like other stick welding machines, this stick welder also offers some advantages such as:
- Having advanced control module to improve its performance
- Working normally against input voltage fluctuation
- Easy to install and operate
- Small size, light weight
- Making no noise and energy saving
However, this product has also been reported to have few negative feedbacks about customer service and warranty. Therefore, you should consider carefully before selecting this product.
Best stick welder under $300
5 – 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder Dual Voltage IGBT Welding
TIG welding is made for welding thinner and smaller products that allow you to control the heat and work on without blowing all the material. Being ideal for smaller items such as welding appliances, kitchen sinks, and tool boxes, this welder is also suited for larger items.
TIG Torch DC inverted welder is a high-quality machine. It has some specific features, such as:
- The full-size platform
- 25 pounds
- TIG torch and 13 ft. cable
- AC 110V/230V Dual input voltage
- Electrode holder and 10 ft. cable at 300A
- Work clamp & 10 ft. cable at 300A.
This TIG Stick DC welding machine offers lots of specific features if compared to other welding machines at the market:
- Welding up to 1/2″ alloy steel, stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron, copper and chrome.
- Delivering a flawless weld, hence saving the time of spatter and post-weld cleanup.
- Affordable price
- Duty cycle of 60% at 200A
- Light weight
- Easy to install and use
Aside from its advantages, this welding machine also offers a few disadvantages. They include:
- Its leads are quite short for anything over 15’ long
- Does not include regulator or shielding gas
6 – Century Inverter Arc 120 Stick Welder
The package includes some essential accessories such as the cables and the ground clamps.
One of the most noticeable features of the model is that it can help users to switch from metal and the electrode, thereby improving the quality of the projects done.
Generally speaking, this is quite a portable welder. It weighs only around 16 lbs. with a small size.
It can handle various types of electrodes from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. The output can vary from 10 to 90 amp depending on the scale of the work.
Also, the welder from Century can resist well to the temperature which can cause overheat for many other welder models. This is thanks to the energy processing and the cooling system built in the machine.
Some of its pros and cons include:
- Highly portable
- Support various types of welding stick
- Performs smoothly
- Resistance to temperature
- Cannot be used for large projects
Best stick welder under $500
7 – EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
The PowerARC 160STH provides a balanced package of welding, with both DC TIG and Stick capability. Working as a 160A stick welder, this machine is light and portable. As a result, it is ideal for doing daily welding chores and making repairs.
This EVERLAST stick welder offers lots of beneficial features and they include:
- Digital display to give users precise current setting
- Save energy
- Complete stick welding package with a carry case for easy of transport
- Auto-regulated arc force control
- Auto adaptive hot start to help improve arc striking
In terms of disadvantages, this stick welding machine does not have AC output. So, the DC welding aluminum has to work much harder. Besides, the gas regulator can leak. Its gas hose still works but it is cheap.
8 – Forney 314 Arc Welder 235FI AC DC
This is Forney 314 ARC Welder, a well-made and multi-functional stick welder. Its versatility allows you to switch from using 24-gauge electrodes for handling with up to half-inch ones easily.
This product can perform at various duty levels from 20% – 235A up to 35% – 125A DC. Also, it can run at up to over 200 amps. Overheat is not a problem because it is equipped with a cooling system.
Thus, although operating at a high level of productivity, the performance is still reliable.
Due to a quite heavy body, the device is not a good choice for you to carry it around. To make up for that, the stick welder has a holder that can contain 10 feet of electrodes and a seven-foot cable.
Thus, if you need to do your work far from the power source, feel free to go for this model.
It has the connectors with the smart design enabling you to change the cable or switch the polarity.
This stick welder is suitable for outdoor purposes such as the maintenance of traffic facilities. It can guarantee the working result regardless of unfavorable weather conditions.
Here are some of the pros and cons of this model:
- Reasonable price
- Great versatility
- Reliable performance
- Can be used with many types of electrodes
- A little heavy
Best stick welder under $1000
9 – Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
Lotos LTPDC2000D is known as an innovative machine. It is also known as one of the best stick welding machines at the market today. It is a multipurpose machine, and also makes Stick/DC TIG possible. Moreover, this Lotus stick welding machine makes plasma cut possible, making it a portable machine. This also means that no matter what metal you cut with this product, you can also weld it back together with ease. Therefore, you do not need to buy separate products and hence saving your money.
All of the stick welder machines have both advantages and disadvantages and this product is not an exception. This stick welder machine offers a few advantages, including:
- A multipurpose stick welding machine.
- Easy to use, so anyone can use it without difficulties
- Three-year warranty
- Have very interesting features
- Cut deep into many different types of metals
However, some users also complain that customer support is not efficient and that the product cannot cut deep up to ½ inch.
10 – ESAB 0558101694 MiniArc 161LTS Stick Package
Despite the limited number of TIG models in their range of products, the reputation of ESAB is what we can absolutely trust in.
The model ESAB 0558101694 I recommend today is my favorite one from this manufacturer. It is suitable for almost every user regardless of your experience.
Also, it is so powerful that you can use it for large projects. Besides serving as a great supporter for professionals, if you are just beginners in DIY projects, this is still a great choice for you.
TIG welders have changed a lot since the days when welders is a heavy machine that cannot be moved without special assistance. This model is a prime example of the transformation.
It weighs no more than 20 pounds and comes with a portable and compact design. So, it is a great choice if you often have to take the welder along when doing your projects.
Another feature of this model that I find interesting is it has a warning system when there may be a thermal overload.
Now are some of its pros and cons:
- Compact and lightweight
- Simple to use and make adjustments
- Perform reliably with little noise
- A little pricey
- Not have the TIG torch
It is not very difficult for you to select the best stick wilder to buy when you consider all of the factors wisely. Even in case you have high budget level, yet you require a less powerful unit, you should also go with your requirement.