What to Look for in a High Quality Cheap Welder
Several welder options should be decided on before you make a decision on purchasing your cheap welder. You need to know if you have the correct voltage and amperage available, if the welder capabilities meet the type of work you do, and what type of welder that will perform best for your welding needs.
Choosing Cheap Welder Options
When using a portable generator or grounded outlet, make sure the fuses and breakers protecting the unit are the correct amperage for your welder. Breakers and fuses are installed to keep you from overloading the wiring and to protect from fires and damaging your property. The welder’s amperage will be listed and available so before plugging it in double check your fuse or breaker amperage.
The type of welder you have will dictate the thickness and type of metal you will be able to weld. Thicker metals will need a hotter arc and thinner metals will need lower temperature to keep from burning through.
Less expensive lower amperage welders have a tendency to heat up in use. The smaller the welding cables the more they will heat up also. Welding cables can be upgraded for heavier cables later on if this turns out to be a problem. If you are welding for longer periods of time make sure to get a self cooling welder with a built in cooling system.
Benefits of Cheap Welders
Many cheap welders will perform just as well as the more expensive brand name welders. Cheap welder manufacturers will keep a good reputation by producing high quality welders at low prices. These non-brand name welders can save money both short term and long term by saving money on the initial purchase and cheaper replacement parts. Standard sized welding supplies can be found for these welders at the same places you would buy your brand name welding supplies.
Prices of Cheap Welders
Arc welders are the least expensive of the welders. Arc welders can be found starting in the $50 range and going up. MIG welders can be found starting in the $115 and up price range. Choosing the welder that fits your needs best can be done by knowing the type of metal, hardness, and its thickness that you will mostly be welding. The harder the metal the more amps will be required to weld. The thicker metal also requires more amps to be able to weld.
If you weld various types and thicknesses of metal make sure that you will have the individual setting you need in the amperage and wire feeding speeds. Some adaptation may be required in your welding styles to compensate for the lack of settings if you end up with a unit that does not fit your exact welding needs. Cheap welders will usually not have dial adjustments on wire feeding speed. They may have preset wire feed speeds that are not adjustable.
Cheap Welder Safety
When working with any electric powered welder you are working with direct electricity. Leather gloves are not insulated against electric shock and if you touch the electrode or any part of the welding gun that is in contact with it you will be exposed to a dangerous amount of electricity. Also avoid contact with the metal being welded and the ground leads. Ground the item being welding on to a clean area that makes good contact. This will help prevent electric shock and also give you a better weld.
When working on automotive applications, disconnect the battery cables. A power surge to a battery, ignition system, or a computer will do serious damage to your vehicle and could cause expensive repairs. This goes for any equipment. Never weld around flammable chemicals. No matter how good of a welder you are all it takes is one spark to start a dangerous fire.