Buying a Stick Welder

Factors to consider when buying a stick welder

-Input Voltage: Is the available power 110, 240 or 415 volts? Determine the amperage input of voltage, 16 or 32 amps.

-Power Output; What amperage machine is required to weld the job. Work on 40 amps, per mm to be welded.

-Portability & Weight; All new stick welders are now inverter based, so should be portable. Ensure it has a carry strap & check the weight.

-Welding arc features; Hot start, Soft start, Anti stick, MMA Pulse & tracking arc are all features to check for.

-User interface: How easy is the machine to set up, is it intuitive & does it have digital display.

-Materials to be welded; Stick welders offer DC current & weld mild steel & stainless, but if you want to use cellulosic electrodes, check the specification.

-Warranty & brand; Buy it right & buy it once. Choose a reliable brand & insist on a 3 year warranty


240 volt options

If you are looking at light duty arc welding on a 240 volt supply, then a great choice would be the Fronius Ignis 150 EF stick welding inverter. It boasts Austrian build quality, a three year warranty and weighs just 6.5 kilos. It's extremely affordable, sold with a 4 metre lead set & incorporates a number of features such as; Hot & soft start, anti- stick force, MMA pulse and tracking arc. What is more, it's generator friendly, requiring only 5.5 kw to power it. Power factor correction software, means the Ignis can have welding leads up to 100 metres long and still run at full power.

For more higher amperage applications, there are two options the Ewm Pico 160 CEL (240v) and the Fronius Ignis 180 EF. The German built Pico 16O inverter runs electrodes up to 4.0mm on 240 volts and is being capable of welding cellulose rods. This machine has pulsed MMA, over voltage protection, preventing damage if plugged into 415 volts and has an intuitive digital operation panel for ease of moving between tasks. The 160 CEL has lift arc TIG capability should you want to add a TIG torch. The Fronius Ignis 180 EF has all the features of the Ignis 150, but enhanced welding power of 180 amps @ 40%.


110/240 & 415 volt options

For on site applications, where you need the flexibility of multi voltage inputs, the EWM Pico 162mv (110/240 volt) inverter weighs just 5.4 kilos and will run electrodes up to 4.0mm on 240 volts, but not on 110 volts. With a 16 amp input, it boasts arcforce, hot start & antistick amongst it's features and has the option to Lift arc TIG.

If you want the option to plug into 110, 240 & 415 volts, Miller's Maxstar 210 autoline technology allows you complete flexibility. It stick welds at up to 210 amps on 240/415 volts and 100 amps on 110 volts. Whilst we see it as an industrial stick welder with features such as DIG for adjusting arc characteristics for differing electrodes & hot start & anti stick, the Maxstar 210 is equally at home as a TIG welder with HF arc ignition.


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