Once your welding carrier moves your job site away from the power source, you will need a welder generator.
Engine-driven welder generators are considered must-have welding equipment for any welder that spends most of his time welding out in the open, whether it is repair, pipeline, or contractor work.
Since we are seeing an increased number of Engine-Driven Welders and welder-generator combo machines, looking for the best one can be a nightmare. That’s why we decided to answer the question, what is the best welder generator on the market?
Our comprehensive reviews will help you get the best welding generator and save you hours of grunt work.
Welder Generator Combo – Comparison table
|Image||Name||Continuous Power||Engine||Welding Output||Duty Cycle||Weight||Check Price|
|Lincoln Electric Eagle 10,000 Plus||10,000 Wats||23 HP Kohler||50-225A||40% at 210A||514 lbs.||Check Current Price Northern tool|
|Hobart Champion 145||4000 Watts||10 HP Briggs & Stratton||40-145A||35% at 130A||222 lbs.||Check Current Price Northern tool|
|ESAB Ruffian 150||4000 Watts||14-HP KOHLER Command PRO||30-150A||60% at 150A||236 lbs.||Check Current Price Northern tool|
|Miller Fusion 160||6000 Watts||14 HP Kohler||30-160A||20% at 160A||242 lbs.||Check Current Price Amazon|
|Klutch 7500K||6000 Watts||14 HP Kohler||60-170A||30% at 170A||220 lbs.||Check Current Price Northern tool|
|TOMAHAWK 15 HP Engine-Driven Portable Welder||2000 Watts||15-HP TOMAHAWK Engine||50–210A||60% at 210 A||202 lbs.||Check Current Price Amazon|
Best Generator Welder Reviews – Engine-Driven Welders And
Before we dig into the reviews, we should briefly explain the differences between several types of generators. There are standard generators that will provide you with enough power to power your welder and power tools, but there are also engine-driven welder generators. Engine-driven welder generator combo has a built-in welder into a generator, so you don’t have to carry your machine. Advanced machines even have a separate power output for welder, so the power tools don’t affect your welding performance.
That being said, our list of best welder generators features:
- Lincoln Electric Eagle 10.000 Plus welding generator
- Hobart Champion 145 Arc welding generator
- Klutch 7500K Arc Welder/Generator
- Miller Fusion 160 Generator welder
- ESAB Ruffian 150 DC Manual Metal Arc Welder and AC Generator
- TOMAHAWK 15 HP Engine Driven Portable Generator welder
1. Lincoln Electric Eagle 10.000 Plus Multi-Process Welder – Best Engine-Driven Welder –
Highest-rated Engine-Driven Welder
Lincoln Electric Eagle 10,000 Plus
Lincoln Electric is a renowned welding equipment manufacturer, and its lineup of welder generators provides solutions for all welding applications.
Lincoln Electric Eagle 10.000 plus is a massive, sturdy, and well-built machine that uses gasoline fuel and operates at 9000 Watts continuous power and 10,500 Watts surge power.
|Processes:||Stick Welding, TIG/Flux core, MIG with an added welder||Welding Output:||225 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum||Duty Cycle:||40% @ 225A, 100% @ 210A|
|Surge Power:||10,500 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||9,000 Watts||Amperage Range:||120–225A ; 70–145A ; 50–90A|
|Engine Type:||Lincoln Electric GV750 Gasoline Engine||Max Welding Thickness:||1/2″|
|Horsepower Rate:||22 HP||Start Type:||Electric|
|Tank Size:||12 gallons||Weight:||514 lbs.|
This robust giant weighs 514 lbs, so it is not the most lightweight machine on the list, but the entire build is dedicated to ease of use and durability. The fully enclosed case protects the engine and limits noise, and there is a truck mounting kit for more accessible transportation in a contractor, maintenance crew, farm, or ranch applications.
The 23 HP Kohler Gasoline Engine provides smooth and reliable operation with 1.5 gallons/hour consumption at 210 amps DC. The fuel tank fits 12 gallons of gasoline for extended operation, and there are clearly marked four fuel levels. The engine requires an oil change every 100 hours and an oil filter change every 200 hours. Maintenance is made more accessible by precise engine hours meter and oil drain extension.
The generator delivers up to 38 amps from the single 120V/240V full-KVA receptacle. In addition, you can get up to 40 amps from two 120V duplex receptacles. With a high continuous power output of 9000 watts, you can easily run your welder, lights, grinder, or other power tools simultaneously.
Regarding the welding, you should really be careful when considering Lincoln Electric Eagle. I was also tempted by the marketed multi-process capability, where you think you can use it for TIG welding, flux core welding, or as a MIG welder. Initially, Eagle is a Stick welding machine with high generator power so that you can plug your other electrical devices and machines such as MIG welder or TIG welder, which turns it into a multi-purpose welder generator.
You can read more about this Welder Generator here.
- High generator power output
- Reliable power source
- Can power multiple devices without impacting the weld arc
- Low fuel consumption
- Large fuel tank with easy-to-read levels
- Easy to maintain
- Up to 225 amps of stick welding
- Massive and heavy
- Expensive machine
- Initially, it is only a stick welder
2. Hobart Champion 145 Arc Welder/Generator Combo with 305CC Briggs & Stratton Gas Engine and Wheel Kit
Fuel Efficient and Durable Generator Welder Combo
Hobart Champion 145
If you don’t need the most powerful and, therefore, pricy welder generators, you should consider the Hobart Champion 145 arc welder generator combo.
Compared to the big boys such as Lincoln Electric Ranger and Eagle, or Hobart Champion Elite, this is a lighter and more compact machine rated with 4,500 Watt surge power and 4,000 Watts continuous power.
|Processes:||Stick Welding||Welding Output:||145 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel, stainless steel, cast iron||Duty Cycle:||35% @ 130A,130A at 25V, 30%|
|Surge Power:||4,500 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||4,000 Watts||Amperage Range:||40–145|
|Engine Type:||Briggs & Stratton OHV 4-cycle||Max Welding Thickness:||1/4″|
|Horsepower:||10 HP||Start Type:||Pull|
|Tank Size:||6.25 gallons||Weight:||222 lbs.|
With 222 lbs., Hobart Champion is not that heavy for a welder generator combo, and I loved the fact running gear is included in the package. As a result, you can transport it easier through your farm or ranch. Fundamentally, it reminds me of Lincoln Electric Bulldog, but Champion is more affordable, and it comes with running gear for increased portability. In addition, the electrical components are made by Miller, which is a big plus.
The generator is run by Briggs & Stratton 305 cc, 10 HP 4-cycle OHV engine. Due to more compact dimensions, the tank holds 6.25 gal, which is, in my experience, enough to keep it running for a whole day. The sight fuel gauge can help you check fuel levels at a glance. I liked how Briggs & Stratton Intek Series allows you to add fuel while the engine is still running.
Hobart champion 145 provides 4,000 Watts of continuous power, which is enough to run smaller grinders, welders, or other electrical devices. There is a built-in 20 Amp, 240V AC outlet and four 20 Amp, 120V AC GFCI outlets that provide ample auxiliary power. All outlets are well protected from moisture, dirt, or dust, which prolongs the lifespan.
The built-in stick welder is rated 145 amps, which is not the highest, yet quite suitable for your on-field ranch, farm, or fence repair. You can weld up to 1/4″ thick meal, and it handles various welding tasks and electrode types up to 3/32″ in size. The duty cycle, on the other hand, is not the highest in the class, with 30% at 130 amps.
- Compact and easy to transport
- Running gear included
- Miller electrical components
- Reliable Briggs & Stratton Intek series engine
- High efficiency with low fuel consumption
- 5 added outlets for auxiliary power
- Good welding capability and performance
- Low duty cycle
- Not the highest-rated generator welder meaning you cannot plug in high amperage MIG welder or TIG welder
3. Klutch 7500K Arc Welder/Generator 429CC Kohler Gas Engine and Wheel Kit — 60–185 Amp DC Output
Best Budget-friendly Welder/Generator
Klutch 7500K Welder Generator
Power-wise, the Klutch 7500K is rated somewhere between our first two machines on the list, as it produces 6,600 Watt surge power and 6,000 Watts of continuous power.
However, the best part about it is the affordable price, which makes it a good bargain and a common choice among fellow welders.
|Processes:||Stick Welding||Welding Output:||170 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron||Duty Cycle:||30% at 185A; 60% at 130A|
|Surge Power:||6,600 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||6,000 Watts||Amperage Range:||60–170 A|
|Engine Type:||14 HP Kohler||Max Welding Thickness:||3/8in|
|Horsepower:||14 HP||Start Type:||Recoil|
|Tank Size:||5 gallons||Weight:||220 lbs.|
This engine-driven welder, with its 220 lbs, isn’t the most mobile tool on the planet, but the build is dedicated to improved portability. The Klutch 7500K includes a wheel barrel-style cart, two hard wheels, and comfortable grip handles for easier transport. So like with Hobart Champion, you can move it around the workplace.
The 4-cycle, 14 HP Kohler engine provides consistent and reliable power for hours of welding or power generation. The fuel tank fits 5 gallons of gasoline, which is the least among the first three, but with high fuel efficiency, it provides up to 8 hours of run time. The sufficient power of 6,000 Watts is enough to run your welder and other electrical tools simultaneously. There are four 115V, 20 Amp receptacles, and a 240V, 30 Amp twist lock receptacle to help you with it.
A built-in stick welder is rated at 60–170 A, which is enough power to weld up to 3/8in. thick steel, stainless steel, cast iron, hard surfacing, and aluminum in a single pass. Welding performance is decent, but it cannot compete with Lincoln or Hobart’s reliability and arc results.
Klutch 7500K comes with a 3-year warranty on the welder and a 2-year warranty on the Kohler engine. Therefore, your investment is well protected. Overall, this is a great engine-driven welder for those on a tight budget that is still capable of doing various welding jobs. Built and quality-wise, it is hard to compete with Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart, but it will still get your job done.
- Great value for the money spent
- Budget-friendly machine
- Running gear with comfortable handles
- Compact and easy to transport
- Medium generator power output
- Good welding performance
- Reliable engine
- The build quality and welding capability are not as high when compared to brand-name machines
4. Miller Fusion 160 Engine-driven Welder Generator
Welder Generator With Power Shift Technology
Miller Fusion 160
Miller Fusion 160 is another compact and lightweight welder generator combo that offers excellent versatility and productivity for hobby and professional welders and contractors.
It provides a smooth, stable arc from either engine power or 120/240-volt utility power. Despite its compact dimensions, the generator produces single-phase continuous power of 6200 W and 6500 W surge power.
|Processes:||Stick Welding||Welding Output:||170 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron||Duty Cycle:||30% at 170 A|
|Surge Power:||6,500 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||6,200 Watts||Amperage Range:||60–170 A|
|Engine Type:||14 HP Kohler||Max Welding Thickness:||3/8in|
|Horsepower:||13.4 HP at 3,600 rpm||Start Type:||Electric start|
|Tank Size:||6.25 gallons||Weight:||242 lbs.|
The build quality is something you can expect for a Miller unit, and you won’t be disappointed. Fusion 160 is significantly smaller than Miller Bobcat and, with 242 lbs, quite similar to Klutch or Hobart machines we already reviewed. The tank can fit 6.25 gallons of gasoline, so you can spend more time welding rather than worrying about fuel. Engine efficiency allows you to run Fusion 160 for approximately 7.5 hours under a continuous load of 3,000 watts. In addition, it provides an 8,2 run time when welding at 160 amps (20% duty cycle).
Like Klutch and Lincoln welder generators, Miller Fusion 160 uses a 13.4 HP Kohler engine. The engine runs at 3,750 RPM or 2,500 RPM at idle. The latest improvements brought us a Kohler PRO 10W-50 full synthetic oil that triples the oil change interval from 100 to 300 hours. This oil is compatible with any Kohler gasoline engine, but you will have to buy it separately. Nonetheless, even though it is more expensive than other oils on the market, extended oil change interval pays off periodically.
The power generator is designed to provide strong power while keeping the voltage within 10 percent of 120/240 V. This increases tool/motor performance and tool/motor life, even though gasoline engines are subjected to higher wear.
One of the things we didn’t see at other engine-driven welder generators is the Power Shift technology. It allows you to run a 160-amp rated inverter stick welder off the generator or household 120/240V power supply. As a result, you can weld virtually anywhere with just one machine.
- Brand-name, reliable engine-driven welder generator
- Compact and lightweight build
- Inverter welder can run off generator or external 120/240V supply
- Smooth stick welding performance
- Reliable engine with high fuel efficiency
- Extended oil change interval with Kohler synthetic oil
- You can plug any less-demanding welder or plasma cutter
- High price
- Stick welding leads are not included
5. ESAB Ruffian 150 DC Manual Metal Arc Welder Best Welder Generator combo
Best Welding Performance In Welder Generator Combo Machines
ESAB Ruffian 150 DC
ESAB is another big name in the welding world, and their Ruffian 150 DC welder generator is a lightweight, powerful, and reliable all-in-one DC Stick welding machine and AC generator.
The peak power(or surge) output of 4,500 watts and continuous output of 4,000 watts is not the highest on our list, but quite enough for lights, grinders, hand tools, and even light-duty plasma cutter and TIG/MIG welder.
|Processes:||Stick Welding||Welding Output:||150 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel||Duty Cycle:||60% at 150 A|
|Surge Power:||4,500 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||4,000 Watts||Amperage Range:||30–150 A|
|Engine Type:||14-HP KOHLER Command PRO||Warranty:||3-years|
|Tank Size:||5 gallons||Weight:||236 lbs.|
Looking at Ruffian 150 DC, it reminds me of the Klutch 7500K with running gear and handles for easier transport and lifting. With 236 lbs, you will absolutely need these for convenient transport and moving. Nonetheless, it seems like a well-built and rugged machine. The rigid frame supports also allow for the unit to be truck mounted. A 5-gallon gas tank offers 6.5 hours of run time at maximum output.
The 14-HP KOHLER® Command PRO engine is extremely reliable and provides smooth operation during welding or power generation. I like the fact auxiliary generator output voltage is independent of the welding current. As a result, using power tools in one of four 120V/ receptacles or one 240V/ receptacle won’t affect welding ac power output, meaning you get smooth weld arc performance.
It seems like ESAB put a lot of focus on the welding performance of Ruffian. The built-in stick welding machine utilizes the award-winning welding technology from ESAB’s Rogue inverter Stick welder. Therefore, you get 150A of welding power at a 60 percent duty cycle, adjustable arc force, and easy arc start. You can burn electrodes up to 5/32-in. diameter, and it supports nearly all types (e.g., 7018, 6010, 6011).
Another positive thing about this welder generator is its price. If you plan on using a generator mostly for welding, you undoubtedly get better results with Ruffian than Klutch or Hobart Champion, but at the same price range, which is, in my opinion, a deal-breaker.
- Excellent build quality
- Reliable and fuel-efficient engine
- ESAB-grade stick welding performance
- Portable and compact
- Reasonable price
- It can be used for various welding tasks
- Consistent electric supply
- The generator output is not suitable for high-rated TIG welding or MIG welding
6. TOMAHAWK 15 HP Engine Driven Portable 2,000 Watt Welder – Generator with 210 Amp Stick and TIG Welder with Kit
Best Light Weight Engine Driven Welder
TOMAHAWK 15 HP Engine-Driven Portable Welder
Tomahawk’s engine-driven welder is another portable generator welder designed for high power and durability and is ideal for farms, construction sites, or any job site with no access to the power supply.
Compared to other machines on our list, Tomahawk provides the lowest generator capabilities with only 2000 W continuous power, but it offers the highest welding performances with a 210 A output.
|Processes:||Stick Welding||Welding Output:||210 amps|
|Weldable Materials:||Steel||Duty Cycle:||60% at 210 A|
|Surge Power:||2,500 Watts||Current Type:||DC|
|Continuous power:||2,000 Watts||Amperage Range:||50–210 A|
|Engine Type:||15-HP TOMAHAWK Engine||Warranty:||2-years|
|Tank Size:||7 gallons||Weight:||202 lbs.|
Despite its compact size and lowest weight on the list with 202 lbs, the Tomahawk welder generator is quite durable and rugged. The build is not the highest quality like Lincoln or Miller, so there might be a couple of loose bolts, but it will still get the job done, and it can easily be mounted on a truck. In addition, there are large 8″-wheels that never go flat for convenient transport.
Compared to other manufacturers, this welding generator uses its own 15 HP Tomahawk power inverter engine. The tank holds 7 gallons of gasoline fuel, which is enough for an uninterrupted whole-day operation. The engine generates a 2000 W of clean power output, which provides really smooth welding operation. However, due to lower output, there are only two 120V receptacles and no 240V receptacles.
One thing you don’t see often, and the welder generators on our list prove it, is the ready-to-weld pack. A built-in welder can output 210 amps, but besides stick, it can be also used as a TIG welder. The best part about it is that you even get a stick electrode holder and TIG welding torch, so with added gas, you can TIG weld straight out of the box.
Due to clean power output, welding is quite smooth and consistent. The duty cycle of 60% is higher than most brand-name generators, such as Lincoln and Hobart, and it will allow you to weld longer without taking a break.
- Compact and lightweight
- Running gear for easier transport and moving around the field and garage
- Produces clean power that provides smooth welding operation
- TIG torch and stick electrode holders are included
- The digital display shows the exact amperage
- High duty cycle
- Lowest rated generator power on the list
- No 240V receptacles
- Not the highest quality build like Miller, ESAB or Lincoln
Engine-Driven Welder Vs Plug In Welder
At the end of the article, we made this brief comparison that will help you choose right you are still wondering whether to opt for engine driven welder or a wall power welder. We will include some of the most important factors that can affect your choice, and these are commonly versatility, welding power, costs, and more.
The Versatility Of The Welder
Engine-driven welder generators with AC or DC output are highly versatile tools you can use in many different situations when welding on the field or away from any power supply.
Besides welding, these usually include receptacles that you can use for lights, power tools, and with high output, even some small electrical devices such as TV and more.
Today, there are even more advanced welder generators, such as Miller Fusion, that you can plug into the wall for more reliable welding or run off the generator in case there is no power supply.
Meanwhile, with plug-ins, or ordinary welders as we know them, you are tied to a power source. So even though they come with long leads and the ability to work consistently with long power cords, they are useless without a power source. However, they are capable of being multi-purpose welders, including MIG welding, Flux cored welding, and even cutting.
So my advice here will be if your tasks take more than 70% of fieldwork, you should definitely go for an engine welder.
When it comes to welding power, plug-in welders take the lead since they rely on a stable power supply rather than engine-generated power. As a result, we see regular welders rated at 500 amps or more, while most machines on our list don’t go over 225 amps. Yes, engine-driven welders, such as Hobart Champion Elite, can reach 250 amps, but they are massive and expensive.
The same thing applies to the duty cycle. We see modern hobbyist welders that provide a 100% duty cycle, allowing you to work without stopping for a break. Meanwhile, welder generators usually go up to 60%.
So if your projects include welding thicker pieces that require high welding power, you will need a plug-in welder.
There are a lot of discussions on the internet regarding welding performance, where many agree plug-in welders provide more consistent results due to the constant input power of the grid. That was true in the past because turning on any auxiliary device could impact the welding performance.
However, many modern machines, including ESAB Ruffian, use separate auxiliary generator output voltage from the welding current. As a result, your welding process remains smooth, consistent, and not dependent on other electrical tools.
Costs are another highly discussed topic, especially with changing gas prices. A welding generator is initially more expensive than a plug-in welder, but the provided versatility somewhat justifies the price. Whether engine-driven or electrical-supplied welders, modern machines are highly effective, so they don’t consume too much power or fuel.
Nonetheless, engine-driven welder generators are popular among contractors, so they usually pay off the investment fast. Meanwhile, if your welding tasks are focused on indoor, shop, or garage welding, you won’t need an engine-driven unit.
Welder Generator Combo Vs Regular Generator
If you are 100% sure you need a welder generator, there is one more emerging question. Do you go for a welder generator combo or opt for a regular generator?
Welder generator combos are much more standard today, and the best part about them is that you get a built-in welder, so you don’t have to carry around an extra machine. In addition, these provide “clean” power for welding, which is crucial for smooth arc welding performance.
If you browse the market, you can see combos are usually rated lower than regular generators. The reason is that built-in welder reserves a part of the power, so no wonder they are rated lower.
On the other hand, regular generators provide output higher than 10 kW, so theoretically, you can use them for high amp MIG welding or TIG welding, but the issue is that the energy is not entirely clean. High power means you can plug in higher-rated welders, but the provided power may yield inconsistent results during the welding, so they wouldn’t be my primary choice.