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Checklist for buying a welder

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Checklist for Buying a Welder
Timothy Anderson

Purchasing a welder can be somewhat confusing if you don’t have all of the information that you need at your fingertips. Before you decide to buy a welder, consider the questions listed below. Only then will you be a well-informed consumer, who is able to answer, “Exactly what type of welder do I need?”

What size welder do you need to buy?

The size of a welder depends on how much amperage a welder can generate while it is being used. The number of minutes per ten minute cycle that a welder operates is called a duty cycle. Keep in mind that different types of metals require different types of amperage. The harder and thicker the material, the more amperage is needed.

That being said, it is obvious that the size welder you need depends on the type of work that you will be using the welder to do. For example, if you will only be performing light repair jobs on materials such as steel and aluminum, you would only need a 150-amp MIG welding unit. This welder would only require a 30 percent duty cycle. On the other hand, if you are using a welder for repair and fabrication work, you would be better off with at least at 200-amp MIG welder that has a minimum 40 percent duty cycle.

How much portability do you need your welder to have?

When buying a welder, you must ask yourself if you need the welder to be portable. If you do want a portable welder, you also must keep in mind that you will need to have the power available to use it wherever you decide to transport it. Most portable welders are small, and many can operate on 115V of power (which can be found in a home). Portable welders can be very nice to have, as you can bring your welder to the job, instead of always bringing the job to your welder.

What type of welder quality is important to you?

Have you ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for”? This holds true for welders. If you purchase a high-quality welder, chances are that it will last for years and years. Welders are designed to last and take a beating. If you want the best welders possible, your best bet is to shop in a welding supply store. In a welding supply store, you will be able to ask professionals their opinions and get the latest and greatest updates on welding.

Timothy Anderson writes for Before you spend any money, check out your next welder carefully using the free Welder Checklist at

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