Best Portable Mig Welder – Guide and Review
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- Usually, mig welders for light industrial projects have a twenty percent duty cycle at two hundred and thirty amps or lower.
- For instance, if you are to weld steel that is a quarter of an inch thick, you would need one hundred and eighty amps in a single pass.
- Of course, you can always make multiple passes to weld thicker materials but that would also mean more time waiting especially if your machine has a low duty cycle.
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Input Power Rating If you're intent on using the mig welder for small scale projects such as joining thin seets of aluminum of iron, a basic unit that has can be adjusted to one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and forty volts should suffice. But if you're looking for industry-level tasks wherein thick materials have to be connected, then you will need a powerful welder that is rated 220volts. A safer choice would be a machine that is dual voltage. This means it can weld on both one hundred and ten volts and two hundred and twenty volts. This type of mig welder can let you take on small and industrial scale projects without changing wall outlets. Duty Cycle Duty cycle is the amount of time that the welder can operate out of a 10-minute period. To better illustrate this, say unit A can deliver three hundred amps of output at a sixty percent duty cycle. This means that the unit can weld consistently at three hundred amps for six minutes. But it must be cooled down in the remaining four minutes to avoid overheating. Usually, mig welders for light industrial projects have a twenty percent duty cycle at two hundred and thirty amps or lower. For more demanding industrial projects, you will need a unit with 40 to 60 percent duty cycle. Amperage The rule of thumb has always been, less amperage for thin metals and more amperage for thicker metals. Thus you should have at least an idea of the materials that you intend to weld before buying a portable mig welder. For instance, if you are to weld steel that is a quarter of an inch thick, you would need one hundred and eighty amps in a single pass. Of course, you can always make multiple passes to weld thicker materials but that would also mean more time waiting especially if your machine has a low duty cycle. Other Factors to Consider Ease of use - choose mig welders that are ready to operate right of out the box. Having a user-friendly operator interface also works, wherein you only need to power up, select material and thickness range before welding. Overheating protection - overheating can make even the most robust mig welder useless in no time. Thus you should buy one with thermal overload protection to protect your investment. Customer support - buy a welder from a brand with good customer support, and one where you can readily get replacement parts whenever you need them.Accessories- if you plan to weld aluminum, the mig welder should have a spool gun accessory for a smooth welding experience. How to Choose the Best Portable Mig Welder You can go online and realize that there are plenty of portable mig welders available on the market. With many of the manufacturers using high dollar marketing jargon, it can really get confusing to pick just one. Don't worry, as I have made a short list of portable mig welders you should consider purchasing: This is a compact and lightweight mig welder that's perfect for your home projects. It is one of the more lightweight mig welders around, checking in at just 49 pounds. It plugs into a one hundred and fifteen volt wall socket, and would let you weld metals up to 1/8 inch thick. Included in the package are gas nozzle wire plus gun assembly, gas hose and regulator work clamp and cable, and tactile hand shields with plate and lens. There's also a AC electricity and fan cooling to prevent overheating of this unit. Plus it is very maneuverable that you can take it outside the work shop. Just don't expect this mig welder to work well for heavy duty projects. Apart from that disadvantage, there's really nothing you can complain about this unit. This ninety amp wire feed mig welder is a versatile and portable unit. You can make good use of it for your home, garage, and DIY projects. It runs off of a standard electrical plug that you typically find in any home. And it comes with everything you need to start welding-- welding mask, ground clamp, gun, welding hammer, carry handle, and brush. Safety is assured as this unit has an overheat shutoff feature. Simply put the unit automatically shuts down when the duty cycle is exceeded. It comes with a one-year warranty. Just be careful when carrying the unit as there are reports that the handle isn't the sturdiest. Weighing fifty-four pounds, this isn't the lightest in this list. But is handle is sturdy enough that you should not worry about it breaking and the unit falling on your feet. It also doesn't take up a lot of space in the shop or garage, with dimensions of 16x14.5 x 9.6 inches. It can be used for welding a variety of materials, like stainless steel and mild steel.
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