Welding is one of the most rewarding blue collar jobs, and if you thought that welding was no good yesterday, then today is the best time for you to try a hand in the business. When thinking of starting a welding garage but don’t have welding knowledge and experience, it is vital that you start by looking for an experienced welding technician to train or work for you. But if you are an experienced welder looking for the best mig welder, then a MIG welder is what you should consider getting.
MIG welding is one of the easiest ways of piecing together metal sheets, and even total newbies can learn how to use the machine in a couple of hours. When it comes to DIY or hobby welding, MIG welders are the most popular choice since they are easy to set up. You could also use a TIG welder or Plasma Cutters to get the job done, but these machines are not that easy to use.
MIG (short for Metal Inert Gas) welding was first used during World War II to join gauge metal sheets and large steel tubes.
The introduction of this invention eliminated the need to use heavy machinery to piece together metal. MIG welding utilises continuously fed solid electrodes that shield gas from externally supplied sources and electrical power which melts the electrode, depositing the molten material on weld joints.
- It is a low cost and high-productivity welding process.
- It can be utilised to weld up all types of available alloys and metals.
- Using continuously fed electrodes minimises the chances of defects occurring on starts and stops and maintains a higher operator duty cycle.
- Minimal clean-up is required post weld since there is no covering slag on weld beads
- Weld metal deposition rates and welding speeds are higher than those of Stick Welding
- It is perfect for multi-pass welding
- Users can achieve deep weld penetration, which permits the use of smaller weld sizes for corresponding weld strengths
- Users do not need a lot of skill to operate a MIG welder as is the case with Stick Welding
- This welding process is excellent for mechanised welding
- It produces X-ray quality welds
- MIG welding offers better electrode deposition efficiency than FCAW and Stick Welding
- A wider selection of diameters and filler metal compositions are available when welding thin or thick materials
- It has very low fume levels compared to Flux Cored Welding and Stick Welding
Having already seen the benefits a MIG welder has to offer, it is vital that you invest in a quality and reliable MIG welder if you want to create smooth and accurate welds. Using the right welder will save you both time and energy and will make it easier to weld thicker metals in a single pass uniformly. If you are looking to buy a MIG welder, then this handy buyer’s guide will be providing information on what to consider when buying a MIG welder. We hope this information will help you make an informed decision.
What To Consider When Buying A MIG Welder
Before going out to buy a MIG welder, it is vital that you start by thinking about how you will be using a MIG welder, we always advise on reading as many mig welder reviews as possible. Do you want one for domestic use or will you be using it professionally in a welding shop? If you want one for professional use, is for small repairs or heavy-duty repairs? Considering such factors will ensure that you don’t end up buying a welder that has more power or less power than you require.
MIG welders usually run on 110 V or 220 V; however, some manufacturers offer machines with dual voltage for improved flexibility. When looking for a MIG welder, consider investing in a machine that operates on a higher voltage if you plan on performing heavy-duty tasks. Lower voltage machines are a good option if you will be working small or personal projects using thin metals. Higher-powered 220 V machines are the best option if you plan on welding thicker sheets often. However, to play it safe, consider buying a multi-voltage welder as such a machine will allow you to adjust power settings to suit your project. The great thing is that there are higher-end models that can automatically alter voltage to suit your needs.
Increments of 10-minutes define a welding machine’s duty cycle. The amount of time you can run a welder during this period is what’s known as duty cycle. If a MIG welder has a 20% duty cycle, that means that you can only weld for 2-minutes out of the 10-minutes before the unit has to rest. Therefore, when shopping for a MIG welder, consider getting a machine with a higher duty cycle that way, you can get more work done within a short amount of time.
One of the factors that make MIG welders the best choice for welding is the fact that these machines are portable and make welding a stress-free process. Carrying around heavy machines isn’t always a practical option and often leads to storage problems in the long run. Even though most MIG welders are conveniently small and can easily be carried around, it is still vital that you consider the size and portability of a MIG welder before purchasing one. Novice welders have been known to have problems running beads on the appropriate welding zone if the welder is too heavy. So, consider something that is well-weighted. However, that does not mean that you compromise on the device’s performance since it’s one of the most important factors to consider when buying a MIG welder.
Heat Overload Protection
This is one thing you shouldn’t overlook when investing in a MIG welder since it guarantees the safety of your workplace and home. Heat Overload Protection will automatically shut off the machine when it starts overheating, reducing accident risks and ensuring the machine’s longevity. If you value your safety and that of people around you, then invest in a machine with a thermal overload shutoff button.
The material thickness and wire size are some of the most critical factors to think about when buying a MIG welder. The good thing is that material thickness isn’t that much of an issue since most welder will allow a user to regulate the amount of power they need thanks to digital displays found on most units. However, it is vital that you inspect the minimum and maximum thickness of metal to ensure that you do not overload your machine. If you’re an experienced welder, you should benefit from a machine that comes with an auto-set option. The auto-set feature allows users to dial in material thickness and the machine automatically alters the settings to suit their requirements.
Price and Warranty
As a buyer, you want to ensure that the MIG welder you get falls within your budget and that it comes with an impressive warranty. Guarantees depict how certain a brand or manufacturer is with their products and goes to show how committed the brand or manufacturer is to their customers.
Getting The Most Out Of Your MIG Welder
If you want your MIG welder to serve you for a long time, proper maintenance is essential. Regular maintenance can help keep the machine from overheating and breaking down, which is crucial when it comes to the longevity of your welder. Here is a look at some basic guidelines to follow once you’ve bought a MIG welder.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s specifications if you want to prolong your equipment’s life – that is, ensure that you use the machine for its intended purpose. Consider the machine’s duty cycle as it’ll keep you from overworking the machine. Also, consider the machine’s capability. You can avoid damaging your machine by choosing projects that it is meant to work on and which won’t push it beyond its limits and capabilities.
After a few weeks of use, clean your welding equipment and ensure that it is always clean and ready for use. When it comes to cleaning your MIG welder, make sure that you follow the cleaning guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
If you want your MIG welder to serve you for a long time, it is vital that you take off its covers from time to time and blow compressed air into the machine to remove debris and dirt from the machine’s mechanical parts, maintaining or improving its performance.
Replace Worn Parts
To make sure that your machine is in tip-top working condition, always replace worn parts immediately you suspect something is wrong. Certain MIG welder components like the brushes and wire feeders may require replacement from time to time – but that is dependent on how often you use the welder. Also, remember to replace the machine’s liners to ensure its wire feeding operates smoothly.
When planning on buying a MIG welder, the important thing is that you have a clear idea of how you want to use the machine. Remember to research your options before making any purchasing decisions – understand what you want from a MIG welder and choose a machine that suits your budget as well as your requirements.
We hope this article has helped you find the best mig welder for your needs, happy welding form YooCompare!