Welding has been a crucial joining method in industries across the globe, such as automotive, construction, aerospace, oil and gas, and many more.
While welding was reserved for industrial applications in the past, it has become popular among hobbyists and beginners in recent decades. The manufacturers recognized changing trends, but new competition soonly arose.
As a result, we see an ever-growing welding equipment market filled with all kinds of welding machines with different price tags. While the healthy competition on the market is good for you as a buyer, many wonder what the best welding brand is. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple, but in this article, we will help you understand the difference between the big players and runner-ups, cheap and expensive machines, and the best welding brands.
About Best Welding Brands – Can One Be Crowned As The Best?
Simply put, it is tough to highlight a single welding brand as the best. Each big name or budget manufacturer has a unique approach to the market as it aims its welding equipment and machines to a different group of welders. That’s why it is hard to crown the best welding machine brand. So before making a choice or purchasing your welder, it is crucial to understand the differences between each one of them. Of course, you will also have to set your goals straight.
Do you want a professional welder, or do you occasionally weld in your garage, is your local welding shop well supplied, what are the servicing options in case of malfunctions – these are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself before buying a welder brand. That’s why we will try to explain each best welding brand thoroughly and what it offers for you as a buyer.
1. Lincoln Electric Welding Brand
Key Features of Lincoln Electric Brand:
- One of the pioneers of the welding industry in the US
- Welders for hobbyists and industrial applications
- Industrial welders are made last and withstand even the harshest conditions
- Great warranty and servicing options
Lincoln Electric is one of the oldest brands in the welding industry, which was founded on December 5, 1895, but its work was oriented on direct current electric motors for industrial applications. Soon enough, in 1911, John C. and James F. Lincoln developed the first portable variable voltage welder, which became a part of the history we know today.
Lincoln Electric welding machines are known for their distinctive red paint. Besides color, the name in the industry today is a synonym for reliability and high-quality welders. Even today, you can find traditional Lincoln welding machines that work well, even though they are 50 years old.
But Lincoln didn’t stay in the past, as they brought innovative functions. Their VRTEX 360 welding simulator is now a part of every serious welding school and welding education program. There is also a wide variety of robotic welders and automated solutions, so the future is well covered. But what does it mean for you as a buyer?
Lincoln Welding Machines
One of the most significant advantages of Lincoln electric which makes it one of the top welding machine brands, is the way it covers the welding market.
As a hobbyist welder, you can opt for one of their portable MIG welding machines, such as Lincoln Power MIG 180 or Easy MIG welder.
All-around multi-process machines such as Lincoln LE31MP cover the needs of small shop owners, and seasoned welders love the “old but gold” Lincoln AC 225 stick welding machine.
Lincoln TIG welders, such as SquareWave PrecisionTIG or Aspect, are packed with state-of-the-art welding technology and features. Buying Lincoln beginner or semi-professional welders is always a good choice if you are looking for a reliable machine that is built to last and perform. However, what really makes Lincoln a good brand is its industrial-quality welding machines.
They bring solutions for multiple industries, such as automotive, general construction, pipeline welding, and many more. Lincoln Idealarc, PowerMIG 360, PrecisionTIG, or Aspec TIG welder, are real industrial workhorses built to last and perform even under the harshest conditions.
While their price is not worth occasional applications, they improve productivity, making the pay off the investment quickly. So if you get an opportunity to buy a used industrial Lincoln welder, do not hesitate, as they will serve you well, or even your children and future generations.
Overall, all Lincoln welding machines are somewhat pricier, as you will have to spend more than $1000 even for hobbyist welders. The industrial solution can be well pricier than $5-10.000, but the high investment pays off with longevity and premium build and performance.
Other Lincoln Welding And Cutting Equipment
Besides hobbyist and professional-grade welders, Lincoln offers high-quality welding products and consumables.
For example, Lincoln Viking 3350 was one of the best welding helmets on our test and certainly an excellent piece of safety equipment. In addition, there is a wide variety of Magnum MIG guns, CTA and Caliber TIG torches, and robotic guns.
When it comes to consumables, Lincoln makes some of the fine, high-end wires and electrodes. For example, their Innershield flux-cored wire is well known among welders, and solid wires are no different. During my welding experience with the Lincoln machine brand, I noticed that their welders work somewhat better with Lincoln consumables. The good side is that some budget machines come with spool samples of wire or electrodes to see the results.
The bad side is that Lincoln’s consumables are somewhat pricier. However, spending a few more bucks on getting a better result is, in my opinion, a good bargain. In addition, due to brand popularity, you can buy consumables and equipment in your local welding shop or even in after-hours markets.
Service And Warranty
Even though cheap welding machines started offering excellent features and innovative technologies, nothing beats the service networking, warranty options, and part availability of brand manufacturers such as Lincoln Electric. In my experience, malfunctions are rare with Lincoln machines, but even if they occur, excellent service network coverage and spare parts availability, with good customer service, will ensure they are resolved as soon as possible.
Rectifiers of industrial Idealarc machines are covered by 7, and the rest of industrial-grade welders by a 5-year warranty. Hobbyist and semi-professional grade welders are covered by a 3-year warranty, while torches and guns are protected for 1 year. As a result, you can be sure your investment is well protected.
Lincoln Welders and Protective gear reviewed:
- Lincoln Electric Power Wave S350 Review.
- Lincoln EasyMIG 140 Review.
- Lincoln EasyMIG 180 Review.
- Lincoln PowerMIG 180C Review.
- Lincoln LE31MP Multi-Process Welder Review.
- Best Lincoln Welding Helmet Reviews.
- Review Of The Popular Lincoln Viking 3350 Welding Helmet.
- Power MIG 210 MP Review.
2. Miller Electric Welding Brand
Key Features of Miller Welders Brand:
- Equipment and machines for hobbyist and heavy-duty applications
- Top-of-the-line TIG welding machines
- True Blue Warranty coverage
- Innovative solutions and high-end engine-driven welders
Miller Electric grew from a one-person operation business in 1929 to one of the world’s leading welding equipment manufacturers. The characteristic blue color distinguishes Miller electric welders and plasma cutters, so the company tagline is “The Power of Blue.”
Today, Miller is owned by Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), a parent company of another welding giant, Hobart, which we will talk about later. Like Lincoln, Miller welders are also known for their excellent reliability and high-end results that come at a certain price.
Miller Electric Welders
With a wide lineup, Miller Electric covered the needs of occasional and hobbyist welders, as well as industrial applications. Miller Millermatic might be one of the best and easiest-to-use MIG welders on the market, as it offers excellent results with adaptive controls for beginners.
However, there are also heavy-duty MIG welding machines such as Continuum, Invasion, or Deltaweld.
Miller TIG welders are maybe one of the most famous on the market, as many had chances to try or practice on Miller Dynasty or Sychrowave.
The latest addition is beginner-friendly Diversion TIG welders that suit occasional welders. Miller Stick welding machines such as Thunderbolt are more oriented at medium to light-duty applications, and there are no heavy-duty stick/arc welding machines like Lincoln Electric.
However, I have to praise the variety of Engine driven welders from Miller. There is a wide variety of compact, industrial, or lightweight engine-driven welders to help you with any on-field job.
To buy a Miller electric welder, you will have to spend quite a few bucks, just like with Lincoln. However, these welders, either they are industrial or hobbyist grade, offer excellent reliability, so the investment is well worth it. If you decide to buy it, consider it a long-term investment.
Miller Welding Equipment
When it comes to the rest of the welding equipment, Miller electric products are mostly oriented at welding protection, automation solution, and training. Miller electric shade glasses and safety gear, such as Miller Digital Infinite series hoods, are among the most popular in the market. Yes, they are pricier, but choosing Miller Electric is an investment worth taking.
Besides safety equipment, you can buy replacement parts and excellent MIG welding guns and spool guns that are compatible with Miller machines. You can also find all of the consumables in your local welding shop, but keep in mind that there are no Miller wires or electrodes. If you try to browse for Miller electrodes, the site will offer Hobart consumables, which should be a surprise cause of the parent company of both brands.
Servicing Network And Warranty Options
Miller Electric offers more than 800 authorized service distributors across the globe, so even if your welder has some issues, they will be resolved in a matter of no time. Customer service is also well-educated and ready to answer all questions.
As a customer, you can be safe with Miller True Blue Warranty, where rectifiers are protected by a 5-year warranty, while most welding machines come with a 3-year warranty. Accessories, such as TIG or MIG torches and other systems, are under 1-year parts and labor warranty.
Miller Welding machines and gear reviewed:
- Miller Multimatic 120/240VAC Review.
- Miller Diversion 180 Review.
- Miller Digital Elite Welding Helmet Review.
- Best Miller Welding Helmet Reviews.
3. ESAB Welding Brand
Key Features of ESAB Brand:
- Industrial-grade machine brand
- High-end heavy-duty industrial welders and rugged equipment
- Top-of-the-line welding consumables
- One of the most comprehensive warranty programs
ESAB is another pioneer in the welding industry. Oscar Kjellberg, the founder of Elektriska Svetsnings Aktiebolaget (ESAB), developed the world’s first flux-coated welding electrode in 1904. Coated electrodes allowed welders across the globe to work in the field without having to supply shielding gas, and even today, some wear the initials of the founder, O.K.
Today, ESAB is a world leader in welding and cutting equipment and consumables. ESAB welders are distinguished by their yellow color but are also considered high-end, reliable machines.
While with Lincoln and Miller, we had a mix of hobby and industrial machines, ESAB is more oriented at industrial welding at the highest level.
There is an excellent all-in-one multi-process welder ESAB Rebel EMP 205ic, that offers TIG, MIG, and Stick at the highest level, but it is somewhat aimed at small fab shops and medium-duty applications.
I loved the ESAB Rogue Stick/Arc welding machines, as they are compact and powerful while offering excellent arc performance.
The rest of the lineup is mostly aimed at industrial applications, where welders such as ESAB Artisto, Origo, Warrior, or Renegade offer excellent performance on heavy-duty occasions.
These provide reliable results with fine control and high output. If you get a chance to grab one of these, do not hesitate.
ESAB Equipment And Consumables
As a pioneer of coated electrodes, ESAB is the world’s largest supplier of consumables such as stick welding electrodes, MIG wires, fluxes, and other filler metals. Fillers are suitable for nearly all applications, such as welding aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and special alloys, and welding processes, from MIG, TIG, or Stick welding to Submerged arc welding, brazing, and soldering.
Even though ESAB fillers are pricier than some off-brand electrodes or wires, you really shouldn’t hesitate to buy one.
In addition, the company is so sure of its fillers that you even get a warranty. Properly stored ESAB filler metals are warranted to be fully serviceable and free from any defects in materials or workmanship.
Besides fillers, I absolutely love the ESAB Sentinel A50 welding helmet. This is one of the best and certainly best-looking helmets on today’s market. In addition, there is a wide variety of accessories that are perfectly made to suit ESAB welders.
Warranty And Servicing Network
The ESAB equipment is backed by one of the most comprehensive warranty programs in the industry. While other brands usually cover the machines, accessories, and parts, the ESAB warranty covers every piece of ESAB welding equipment that sell in the US, Canada, and Mexico, such as filler metal, gas apparatus, or plasma machine.
ESAB machines are covered by a 3-year warranty, and properly stored fillers are safe for 12 months from purchase. One thing that got me amazed is the ESAB gas regulator brand, Victor, where you get a lifetime warranty for edge 2.0 series regulators.
ESAB Welders and protective gear reviewed:
4. Hobart Welding Brand
Key Features of Hobart Brand:
- Brand name reliable machines
- Excellent welders for hobby, ranch, farm, and DIY applications
- Great welding consumables and fillers
- Widespread servicing network and 5/3/1 warranty
Hobart Welding Products has been a part of the welding world since 1917, where they spent years designing welding and cutting products that combine high reliability and ease of use. Their welding equipment, including welding machines, is distinguished by its characteristic orange color, and it is perfectly designed to suit production, farming, maintenance, auto repair, or do-it-yourself needs.
Today, the Hobart brand is owned by Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), the same parent company of Miller. That’s why we see similar technologies and features in both Miller and Hobart welders.
Hobart Welding Machines
So far, we have seen Miller and Lincoln with a combination of hobby and professional welders and ESAB with somewhat more industrial solutions. Meanwhile, Hobart is a welding machine brand focused on the hobbyist and DIY welding market, where we see some excellent MIG welding machines.
Hobart Handler 140 might be one of the most popular hobbyist welders on the market, offering ease of use and good results, even for beginners. For more versatility, there is an MVP (multi-voltage plug) option.
The rest of the lineup includes stick welders and multi-process machines (Stickmate and Multihandler), which are also suitable for light to medium-duty use.
Starting 2000s, Hobart introduced a lineup of equipment, including auto-darkening helmets, rod and wire, hardware, tools, and more. Hobart equipment offers a perfect combination of reliability, good results, and reasonable prices. Quality-wise, solid wires are in rank or even better than Lincoln but can be somewhat pricier.
The rest of the accessories, including masks, goggles, and helmets, are also reliable, but just like the machines aimed at light to medium-duty use.
Hobart is known in the welding world for its 5/3/1 industrial warranty, which applies to all Hobart welding equipment, plasma cutters, and spot welders with a serial number preface of NC or newer.
Transformers, rectifiers, stabilizers, and reactors are protected for 5 years, while PC boards, switches, and controls are covered by 3 years warranty.
As with other brands, accessories such as MIG welder torches fall under a 1-year warranty.
Due to the same parent company, Hobart equipment can be serviced by Hobart or Miller-authorized service agencies. Therefore, a wide network of services will make sure any issue is resolved.
Hobart Welding Gear And Welding Machines Reviewed:
- Hobart 40i Plasma Cutter Review.
- Hobart Stickmate 160i Review.
- Hobart EZ TIG 165i Review.
- Hobart Ironman 230 Review.
- Hobart Handler 210 MVP.
- Hobart Handler 140 Review.
- Hobart Handler 190 MIG Welder Review.
- Hobart Ironman 240 review.
5. YesWelder Welding Brand
Key Features of YesWelder Welding Brand:
- Great value for the money spent
- Hobbyist machines that are built to last and perform
- Innovative solutions such as all-in-one welder and cutter and 7-in-1 welders
- Good and responsive customer service
The welding market drastically changed once technologies became more widespread and cheaper. As a result, we see a rise in cheaper welder brands, and the one that stands out from the crowd is the YesWelder. The YesWelder started in 2006 when five cofounders decided to provide affordable, quality welding equipment to those who love and practice the craft.
While the brand cannot compete in terms of history with a “big four,” today, they brought some of the advanced solutions and features that you get for a fairly reasonable price.
YesWelder started small by introducing hobbyist multi-process welders that can cover the needs of occasional welders, hobbyists, and DIY lovers. Their MIG 205 DS was a great hit, and it is still one of many welders’ favorites.
The YesWelder lineup also includes budget-friendly machines for TIG or Stick welding and a CUT 55 DS plasma cutter.
TIG 205DS, ARC 165, etc., are all inverter welders that offer excellent versatility and value for the money spent.
Performance-wise, they can compete with much pricier machines, but they are certainly not aimed at heavy industrial use. One of the biggest surprises was the Kickstarter project, YesWelder MP200, where the manufacturer brought out and combined an all-in-one welder and plasma cutter. This welder was, and still is, a big hit among small fab shop owners and metal workers, where you get everything you need in one welder.
The YesWelder didn’t stop there, as today we see improved and featured packed welders such as YWA200, Cold TIG welder, and 7 in one TIG welder. These machines bring out decent features and are slowly meeting the demands of wider groups of welders.
The best part of YesWelding machines is the affordable price. You won’t have to break the bank to get one, and there are no significant drawbacks to stop me from recommending them.
Besides excellent budget-friendly welders, YesWelder offers decent equipment. For example, many welders loved the YesWelder M800HP auto-darkening helmet, which offers advanced features in a budget price range. In addition, there are lots of accessories, welding wires, and consumables that will fit their machines perfectly.
The only drawback of budget welding equipment manufacturers is that it might be harder to get replacement parts or consumables compared to brands such as Lincoln or Miler.
So, even though YesWelder is seeing a significant increase in popularity, you still might not find everything, such as spare lenses for the helmet or consumables for your torch, in your local welding shop.
Warranty And Servicing Network
Warranty, servicing, and spare part availability is other major difference between brands such as Miller and Lincoln and manufacturers such as YesWelder. For example, with YesWelder, you only get a 1-year warranty on your welding machine. Still, there is a 30-day return policy, so you can always try the products.
YesWelder is a relatively new brand in the world of welding, so the servicing network is not as vast as the US brands. In addition, there were complaints about poor shipping where welders were damaged during transportation. Sometimes it is just a single wire, while sometimes, the issues are bigger.
However, I was surprised by the customer service that worked hard to send any replacements or deal with an issue. I even got a gift with the replacement. Therefore, I believe they are working hard to get the trust of potential buyers and make sure customer satisfaction is a top priority.
YesWelder Welding machines and protective gear reviewed:
- YesWelder MIG – 205DS Review.
- YesWelder MIG – Pro 250A Welder Review.
- YesWelder TIG-205DS Welder Review.
- Yeswelder TIG 250P AC/DC Welder Review.
- YesWelder CUT-55DS Plasma Cutter Review.
- YesWelder M800HP Welding Helmet Review.
- Yeswelder 205A ARC Welder Review.
- YesWelder MP200 Plasma Cutter/Welder Review.
- YesWelder TIG-225P Welder Review.
- YesWelder YWM-211P MIG Welder Review.
- YesWelder YWM-200 Multi Process Welder Review.
- YesWelder CUT-65DS Review.
- YesWelder YWA-160 Stick/TIG Welder Review.
- YesWelder Firstess CT2050 Welder/Plasma Cutter Review.
- YesWelder ARC-165DS Welder Review.
5. Eastwood Welding Brand
Key Features of Eastwood Brand:
- Another reliable US brand
- Auto-body and automotive solutions
- Great value welders
- Machines, tools, primers, and paints
If you are an auto-body shop owner or in an auto-restoration business, you have probably heard of the Eastwood welding brand. Eastwood was established in 1978 to serve the burgeoning market of auto restoration and customization hobbyists. The company slogan is “Do the job right,” and their equipment is certainly designed to help the customers do so.
Today, Eastwood offers complete solutions for auto-body businesses, including excellent welders, tools, spare parts, and the rest of the equipment. This is yet another US brand that offers great customer service and expert advice.
Eastwood welders, like other equipment, is aimed at auto-body and repair shops and garages but also any hobbyist and DIY lover. Eastwood Elite MP200i is an excellent multi-process welder that will cover most of your welding needs in a garage. While MP200i is a go-to choice for novice welders and home shop owners, those more seasoned can look for Eastwood TIG AC/DC or Digital TIG AC/DC.
These two are excellent TIG aluminum welding machines that will cover most of your needs. Eastwood 200 AC/DC TIG is more oriented at simple AC TIG welding, while Digital TIG offers advanced features and controls such as pulse, AC balance, and upslope and downslope control, so it is aimed at welders that look for the most out of their welder.
There are also decent, easy-to-use Eastwood MIG welders, plasma cutters, and Stick welders, but their multi-process and TIG machines stood off from the crowd. During my experience with Eastwood welders, I noticed the leads are somewhat shorter, but that actually shows they are made for garage work, not on the field.
The previous brands we talked about were mostly oriented on hobby or industrial welding accessories and equipment, but Eastwood closely aimed its supply to auto-body.
As a result, besides welding machines, you can buy a wide variety of car paints, primes, painting guns, and powder solutions that got the brand recognizable, as well as tools and spare parts.
Overall, if you browse the Eastwood website, you can perfectly equip your home shop or garage with everything you need, from welders and cutters to wrenches, abrasives, and metal finishing equipment.
Servicing Network and Warranty
Eastwood Automotive Tools retails are available in 6 states in the US, but you can always buy the equipment from the website. Like other US brands, you get a 3-year warranty on all welders and cutters, 2 years on compressors, and 1 year on tools.
Customer service is highly responsive and ready to solve issues. In addition, there is an open line where you can ask for expert opinion and advice. Overall, Eastwood clearly set their market goals, and they are great at what they do, so you won’t be disappointed by any of its products.
Eastwood Welders Reviewed:
- Eastwood MIG 135 Review.
- Eastwood MIG 180 Review.
- Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Review.
- Eastwood Elite MP200i Review.
- Best Eastwood Welders.
- Eastwood mp250i Multi-Process 250 Amp Welder Review
6. Everlast Welding Brand
Key Features of Everlast Brand:
- Advanced features with IGBT inverter technology
- Vas welder lineup of versatile welders for beginners and seasoned users
- Capable machines built to last
- Long warranty options
Everlast was founded in 2004 in San Francisco, California, as a small e-based generator and welder company. Soon enough, they evolved into a multinational company with distributorships worldwide. Even though they started well, Everlast had the greatest expansion with the Power line of IGBT inverter welders.
Today, Everlast welders are built in off-shore facilities using name brand, so the buyers get reliable and well-made machines at reasonable prices. Welders are commonly aimed at light to medium-duty use, but there are also a couple of workhorses.
Everlast has worked hard since 2008 on their IGBT Power series, so today, we see some excellent MIG, Stick, and low-cost TIG machines. Everlast PowerMTS 211 multi-process welder was one of the best on our test, as it is easy to use but still packed up with decent features.
Everlast PowerTIG is one of the highly advanced TIG welders that features different pulse and AC weave options, memory modes, and a high commercial duty cycle. However, there is also a Pro version suitable for industrial use.
The MIG welder lineup is pretty vast, as you can find entry-level Everlast MIG welders but also some industrial machines such as Everlast PowerMTS400 or pulse welder I-MIG 353. Stick welders are also divided into light-duty and industrial categories.
My experience with Everlast welding machines is quite positive. I know some dislike the fact they are made off-shore, but these welders are quite versatile and reliable. When browsing for welder, keep in mind that 200+ amps Everlast machines can be quite heavy.
Everlast Equipment And Accessories
Everlast accessories and equipment are perfectly made to suit Everlast machines. You can browse TIG and MIG torches of different sizes and ratings for convenient use and easy applications.
I disliked the fact some TIG torches are not compatible with Everlast PowerArc Stick welders.
Nonetheless, detailed website descriptions will help you perfectly pair your machine and spool gun or torch. In addition, accessories have proven quite comfortable and versatile.
Warranty And Servicing
I was surprised by the fact Everlast welders come with a 5-year warranty, but that’s just another proof they are sure of quality control. As you can see in the text, the long warranty is part of most successful brands.
As for servicing, you can find spare parts on the official website, and you won’t have to wait long for them. Experiences with customer service are usually positive.
Everlast Welders that we have reviewed:
- Everlast 250EX Review.
- Everlast PowerMTS 251si Review.
- Everlast PowerArc 140ST Stick/TIG Welder Review.
- Everlast Power i-MIG 140E MIG welder Review.
7. Forney Welding Brand
Key Features of Forney Brand:
- Great welders for beginners and intermediate welders
- US family business with a wide servicing network
- Lots of equipment, fillers, and tools
Forney Industries is one of America’s longest-operating, family-owned welding, and metalworking companies. The company was established in 1932, and today, they manufacture welding equipment, abrasives, personal protective equipment (PPE), and shop tools.
This is one of the US-based welding machine brands that makes excellent welders and plasma cutters for light to medium-duty applications. In addition, Forney has a line of decent and cost-effective TIG, MIG, and Flux core wires, as well as stick electrodes.
Forney welders are distinguished by their characteristic green color, which is somewhat similar to but much more distinctive than Everlast welders. Welders are aimed at beginners and professional welders, but in my experience, hobbyist welders are much more popular.
Therefore, Forney MIG welders stand out as quite versatile and easy to use. In addition, there is a line of entry-level welders, Forney Easy Weld, including Flux core and Stick machines. These are, as their name tells you, super-easy-to-use machines at a low price tag aimed at beginners and new welders.
On the other hand, there are also medium-duty Forney welders aimed at somewhat more experienced welders. These are more powerful but pricier Forney TIG welders, Multi-process welders, and Stick welders.
Other Forney Equipment
Besides welder, Forney makes pretty decent PPE, abrasives, and shop tools. My experience with Forney solid and flux cored wires is positive, as they offer great results for the money spent.
I haven’t personally tried Forney helmets, but welders seem to like them, especially the attractive price tag and comfort.
Forney’s line of abrasives is vast and versatile, as you can find all sorts of discs, grinding wheels, and brushes.
Warranty And Service
Forney Industries offers an extensive customer network across the nation. That includes nearly 20,000 businesses in the automotive aftermarket, hardware, farm & ranch, and do-it-yourself. As a result, you can find spare parts, consumables, and accessories almost everywhere.
In addition, Forney offers extensive warranty options. Internal transformers are protected by a 5-year warranty, while the rest of the parts of any machine, transformer on inverter based, are covered for 3 years. Forney helmets fall under a 2-year warranty, while accessories are protected for a year.
Links To The Articles Where We Reviewed Most Popular Forney Welders:
- Forney Easy Weld 140 MP Multi-Process Welder Review.
- Forney Easy Weld 100 ST Arc Inverter 120 volt Welder Review.
- Forney 318 MIG Welder Review.
- Forney 309 140-amp MIG review.
Brand Name Vs Off-Brand Welders
The question any buyer asks before purchasing a welder is either to go for a brand name or opt for a cheap welder. In the past, that wouldn’t even be a discussion since branded machines offered unmatched reliability, capability, and performance, but today, things slowly change.
I intentionally left this topic for the end of the text, as you probably noticed the difference between, eg. Lincoln and YesWelder brands.
Choosing Lincoln Electric, Miller, or ESAB machines will cost you more, but there is a catch. While cheap machines seem similar to brand welders on paper, when investing in expensive machines, you know the welder is properly tested to achieve all the stated results.
Another pro of expensive machines is that you can buy replacement parts, consumables, and accessories for brand-name welders even in your local welding shop or after-hour markets. In addition, servicing networking is vast, and you get excellent customer support and warranty options.
On the other hand, off-brand welders are really popping off last decades. They offer advanced features, decent capability, and power at a more than reasonable price. That’s the reason we see a growing expansion of brands such as YesWelder we mentioned.
When investing in a cheaper brand, of course, you save money. However, there are a number of reports of poor quality control, shipping, or packaging of the machines, and sometimes technical specifications don’t match the power in practice. While that’s resolved by some cheaper brands, such as YesWelder, specific extremely cheap machines from Harbor Freight, Lotos, or any Amazon sub $100 brand will be money spent.
In addition, a servicing network of cheap welders is somewhat narrower, and you usually get a 1-year warranty. Cheap machines might malfunction in a few months or during the first year, but I had a great experience with YesWelder welders, which served me for years without any issues.
Industrial vs Hobbyist Welders
Another common question on the internet is whether to opt for an industrial or hobbyist welder. While the choice will mostly depend on your applications, you shouldn’t strictly be oriented at a single type. Let’s explain why.
Industrial welders are aimed at heavy-duty use, as they usually offer high power and a 100% duty cycle, allowing welders to get the job done more efficiently.
These offer unmatched reliability, and they are tested to withstand harsh conditions. When I used Lincoln Industrial welder, it worked well while placed in low water, it fell off a truck or got covered by snow. Yet, it worked perfectly, just like the first day. However, as heavy-duty machines, these are usually expensive and robust. You will find it hard to move without a truck.
Hobbyist welders usually serve as light to medium-duty machines that serve for occasional repair, hobby, DIY, or garage work. They are lightweight, easily movable, and quite cheaper than industrial welders. However, they offer limited power and duty cycle, and you really shouldn’t stress-test them.
While it is clear which type fits a specific group, there are exceptions. You can buy a used industrial welder in good condition for significantly smaller sums and ensure a lifetime of reliable welding, even as a hobbyist. This welder will serve you well, and it can even outlast you.
On the other hand, as an industrial welder, you can use a small hobby machine when welding on the field or in cramped spaces. These portable and small machines might provide enough power but at a much more compact size, making them quite versatile even in industrial applications.
US Welding Machines vs European Welders and Brands
Welders have the same internal components, regardless of the country or the continent of origin, but the biggest differences are in the power supply, connections, and market orientations.
The US utilizes the two commonly supplied shore-power voltages: 120 Volts (60Hz) AC and 240 Volts (60Hz) AC. Meanwhile, The standard in Europe is 230 Volts (50Hz) AC.
As a result, US welders from Lincoln, Miller, or Hobart have different power supply plugs compared to EU machines such as Fronius welders. To use a US welder in the EU or the contrary, you will need a special adapter. Today, welders usually run on 50-60 Hz frequency, but using the US welder rated at 60 Hz in Europe with 50 Hz standard, the power, and duty cycle drop.
Accessories connection may also vary in US and EU welders. While we see an increased use of Euro-style connections today, some torches or holders might not still fit between the US and the EU. While there are more attempts to standardize connectors, accessories and consumables across the globe, some still might have issues purchasing the right ones.
Besides connections, you should also be aware of market trends. Hobby welding is undoubtedly more popular in the US, so you see manufacturers introducing entry-level DIY machines. Meanwhile, welding in the EU is still somewhat more turned to industrial applications, but manufacturers such as Kemppi or Fornius gradually introduce more beginner-friendly machines.