Anyone here know about welders.

I’m looking for an entry level welder. Just for odd jobs around the house and to add another option for future projects.
I’m seeing new welders that run off a 10amp plug. That is a must. Can anyone offer any advice or point to a decent welder. Prefer sub $500, strictly 10amp plug and will make a monkey shit welder into a passable one.
I have rudimentary knowledge of the difference between mig and stick welders, I don’t fully understand the new ‘multi mode’ welders.
Thanks everyone.

I’ve got a cheap MIG that works ok, just a $400 odd one from supercheap. Mig is easier than stick for me and you don’t have the issue of moisture affecting electrodes.

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Oh, I’m fairly sure that we all have that issue :rofl:

Hey Superduke, Mate it a`ll depends on how good you are at welding and what you want to weld, if you are going to weld slightly heavier gauge steel then a stick welder would be ok as it is simpler to set up or you can use the gasless mig with flux cored wire but once the wire is opened the moisture will start affecting its capabilities, the wire is best kept in a warmer when not being used so as to keep it dry, then there is the gas metal arc mig that requires gas for operation which is an extra cost but this is my prefered for home use and once you are shown how to set it up it is just switch it on and weld , every now and then you have to change out the empty gas bottle , the bottles come in small, med and industrial sizes ,These GMAW are the easiest to use for a person with no ability for welding and there’s no flux residue to worry about, with welder and gas it might end up a tad over $500 like you can pick them up for $700 or so where as the stick and flux cored machines are cheaper but have more to contend with in damper climates

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I’m very happy with my Cigweld weld skill 155 multi process, mig, tig, stick, got it for $499, tig torch don’t come with it, so if you want that you have to shell out about another hundred doll hairs. Plugs straight into a 10 amp circuit. They also offer a weld skill 185 for a couple hundred more and you can run a spool gun, handy if you want to mig weld aluminum, you can still mig aluminum without a spool gun. But the spool gun is better imo. But you will need argon cylinder if you want to weld aluminum. I was going to get the 185, but they didn’t have it in stock at the time.

Im planing on getting an AC tig for aluminum welding.

Also need gas if you dont want to use flux core wire, or you want to tig weld.
You can buy piss ant throw away argon cylinders, but that would only be if you pretty much never did anything that required gas, a one off small job, err well maybe. Sure you can get larger refillable cylinders, but you either need to buy your own cylinder or rent one.

The gas price varies with the different size cylinders, larger the cylinder the cheaper the gas. Its additional cost that may not be viable for the occasional welder. I generally just use the flux core, its been fine for everything I do steel wise. The other thing about running the flux core wire, is that if like myself you often take it to do jobs for others, you dont have to lug around the gas cylinder.

Overall the welder does what I need it to and all three processes seem to weld well. I learnt to weld on a stick welder, but I think mig is the easiest to learn, tig is a steeper learning curve Imo.

They offer a mig only model that was even cheaper again pretty sure it was gas/gassless jobbie, but I think its kind of nice to have the stick and tig options, especially if someone is only going to get one welder.
It really depends on what you want out of a welder and what your welding and what process or processes you want. :beers:

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Only looking to use it for basic mild steel box tube and that sort of thing. Nothing too heavy guage. 2-3 mm max.
My welding skills are currently basic but I have mechanical aptitude and will practice.
An all in one type unit sounds like the go to me.

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In that case @Supaduke, I serously doubt you would regret getting either the one I got or the 185 if you wanted to spend a little more then mate. If I was to ask myself would I buy it again, the answer would be absolutely. I can run gas or gassless wire for mig and have the options to play around with tig and it’s always handy to have stick available. Couldn’t really ask for more for the price tbh… Well I already had an old MonArc stick welder that I got off my grandfather that I have been using for years. Only got the Cig 155 because I needed to weld a new floor pan in the LC, but I haven’t used the MonArc since I got this one. Not that I wont use it again, just haven’t needed to…
There are other brands, but Cig have been around for a long time. Can’t really comment on the quality of the other brands, but the Cig seems to be good quality and a very reasonable price imo… :beers:
Btw… I got mine from total tools, their price was about $600 but they matched the online price I found from supercheap and sc didn’t have it in stock, was special order. So if you have a TT near you, shop around for the best price you can find and hit them up. May even get a better better deal than I got, It saved me enough to cover the tig torch. But if you dont want that it would get you a few rolls of wire to play with…

If you want to have a look at the manual that covers these two units and compare them, you will find the pdf on this page link…

:sunglasses: :beers:

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One that will run 0.9 flux-cored wire will do everything you need for “odd-jobs and future projects”.
Just need to keep the wire dry, rust is not your friend. Metal prep is also important with it, make sure you get rid of any rust, paint or crud on your job before welding. It does leave slag which needs to be cleaned off before each pass if welding heavier metal. Good quality wire brushes or a wire wheel on your grinder will help with that.
Running gas is a pain in the arse if you aren’t using the welder regularly, bottle rental will cost you more than taking the odd job to a fabrication shop. You can buy your own bottles and do a “swap and go” like with your BBQ bottle but that will initially cost nearly as much as the welder you want.

More importantly, ( imo ), look at the “duty-cycle” of the welder. Some of the smaller machines, ( especially the Chinese crap ), have woeful duty-cycles.
For example: My welder is 240V ( 15amp plug) , it is rated at 250amp with a duty cycle of 60%. It will run at 197 amps @ 100% ( granted my welder is a lot bigger than what you are looking at )
I can weld up to 1/2" steel or aluminium all day long without tripping it out.
I’ve used smaller units at the mine where I worked that you spent more time waiting than welding.
What I’m getting at is, that you need one that has a 100% rating for the “average” type of welding you will be doing. Does that make sense? :thinking:


Yes, I think so, thanks for all the info fellas.

Bit late to the party sorry. I am a panel beater by trade and have used lots of welders in my dim dark past. For home use, I have a BOC smootharc 175. It does MMA, MIG and TIG. I haven’t needed to use the TIG yet, but the gas-less (MMA) and gas (MIG) work very well.

I’m not a fan of gas-less welding, but it definitely has it’s place. Welding outside where the shielding gas will be blown away is a good example.

Unless you are going to be welding frequently, hiring a bottle from BOC is expensive. Occassional users pay a shite tonne more for gas and bottle hire than heavy users. Yes you can hire the bottle just when you need it and then take it back straight away to keep the costs down, but then you need to go and get a bottle when you need it…and then take it back again…PITA

.these days I use my welder a handfull of times a year, so I have changed over to “swap and go”. Pay no bottle hire, and I always have a bottle on hand for the “hi buddy, haven’t seen you ages…ummmm… can you weld this up for me…” type of visitors.

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No one has mentioned it but one of the electric automatic helmet/shields is a great help for a beginner.

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Yes, will definitely be investing in one of the automatic helmets.

Yes Bent_arrow i agree mate with the statement of not being fond of gasless migs although they have their good points, I’m a boilermaker and owned my own workshop and have used many types of welder and find the GMAW ‘‘Gas metal arc welder’’ was the easiest for people to learn to weld and the easiest to do overhead welds for the beginner, now in retirement i have a ‘‘Boc’’ also, 250amp single ph and find it was the most reliable for what i wanted, ‘‘like for home use’’ i paid $1400 with bottle set up ‘‘ie exchange type’’ large size it comes with no rental fees , although mine was a bit over $500 you can still buy cheaper ones than that with single ph like from $600 up and they would be good quality , these mig, tig and stick sound wonderful but they have a lot of electronics and fluctuations in power source can affect the habits of the welder making it harder to set up at times something a newby doesn’t need, but this is only my opinion but my advice for someone with some kind of ability and does his own repairs or fabrication is the GMAW set it up and go, but i suppose each to their own , one of the main benefit with the GMAW is you don’t have to deal with flux and it’s bad habits.


Have you considered a pre loved welder? You could potentially get somthing with capabilities that would otherwise be above the target price range…

Nah, I’d prefer something new. It won’t be used much. Doesn’t need to be powerful. I’d prefer not to have the expense of a bottle. I will be doing some research on flux cored wire and its pros and cons. Info has been terrific.

Bunnings do the pay once rental thing then it is swap and go. I jumped on that being the occasional user and a cheapskate. I hate paying for something i am not using.

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