Voltage power, AC/DC settings, and duty cycle are important factors to consider when choosing the proper welder. It will need both sufficient power and operating time (duty cycle) to complete your jobs in full.
Types of welders can include:
• MIG welders
• TIG welders
• Stick welders
• Multi-Operator welders
• Spot welders
• Submerged Arc welders
• Multi-Process welders
• Engine drives
• Wire feeders
When deciding what welder to choose, it is important to understand welding processes and their uses. Here are the four basic welding processes:
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) was developed in the 1940s as a process that is considered semi-automatic and uses electricity to produce heat, an electrode, and shielding gas to keep air out of the weld. This type of welder (MIG welder) uses a constant DC current while gas and wire are continuously fed through the welding gun and is presented as the trigger of the welding gun is depressed.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is the manual welding process that requires one hand holding the TIG torch that produces the arc and the other hand used to add the filler metal to the weld joint. TIG welding is the most versatile but also the most difficult to learn and produces the highest quality weld when done correctly. TIG welding is greatly used for welding metals other than common steel, critical weld joints, and small precise welds. Three common gases for shielding include argon, helium, and an Ar/He mix.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is often used in high wind outdoor repair situations. Current is passed through the leads to an electrode. The electrode is covered in flux which protects the arc during a weld so that shielding gas is not needed.
Flux Cored Welding
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) is quite similar to MIG welding, though the greatest difference is the filler metal. So that a shielding gas is not required, the filler metal is hollow and filled with flux. Alongside stick welding, flux cored welding is often used in outdoor, high-wind repairs.