Best Arc Welders in 2020 – A Buying Guide

Are you on the lookout for the best arc welders available in the market today? If so, the ideal starting point would be to list out the purposes arc welders are used for. A better understanding of the purpose would help to prioritize the factors that should be considered the most important when making a purchase. 

What are arc welders used for?

An arc welder is a tool that helps to fuse and join metals together. The basic set-up consists of a welding machine that runs either by AC or DC power, an electrode cable and a work-cable, an electron holder, and an electrode. With power going to the electrode, the electric arc created helps to melt two conjoined metal pieces and then subsequently solidify them into one. Therefore, when buying one, keep an eye on the functional capabilities of the entire system: the capacity of the power generating system, the quality, and length of the cables, the type of the arc, etc.

In this article, we provide a carefully selected list of some of the best arc welders available in the market.

ARC Welders Covered in This Article:

  1. Amico ARC-160D
  2. Lotos LTPDC2000D 3 in 1 Arc Welder
  3. Everlast PowerARC 160STH
  4. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder
  5. Hobart 500571 Stickmate 210i Arc Welder

Amico ARC-160D

When it comes to selecting the best arc welders for money, Amico ARC-160D invariably features among the top. Priced at US$149, itโ€™s also one of the most efficient choices for the position of the best arc welder under 200 dollars. 

It is a machine designed for industrial purposes and uses a combination of Stick Arc and Lift-TIG. A variety of electrodes that used in industrial construction work, such as E6010, E6011, E6013, E7014, and E7018, jell well with this model. In terms of modulating power as per requirement, it has automatic selection features helping to self-regulate the machine between 100~250V/50~60Hz of power.

Best inverter arc welder reviews also rate this machine highly for it uses a well-advanced form of IGBT inverter technology. The power cord is 7 feet in length. Combined with electrode holder assembly, it expands up to a distance of 10 feet.

Pros

#1. It provides excellent arc characteristics and superior arc stability.

#2. Duty cycle 80% at 160 amps

#3. The set-up comes with a host of built-in functions helping the set-up to adjust thrust, control the intensity of the current, etc.

Cons

#1. The output range is shorter

#2. Can not be used for diverse purposes.

Lotos LTPDC2000D 3 in 1 Arc Welder

The most enticing feature of this machine is that it supports three types of welders in one set up – plasma, tig, and stick. The arc welder provides a wide range of output power starting from 15 amp at the very least going up to a level of 200 amp. It is also known for providing a stable arc required to create a deep weld pool and welding shape that is best-in-class.

Pros

#1. Unlike most of the other arc welders, this variant serves multiple purposes.

#2. It comes with a one-year warranty period.

#3. Its dimensions and 43 pounds of weight makes it a highly portable one.

Cons

#1. A short electric clamp of six feet.

#2. TIG foot pedal is absent

Everlast PowerARC 160STH

Priced above $430, the Everlast PowerARC 160 STH is an expensive model to start. However, several benefits make this machine cost-effective in the longer run. The most important of those benefits is the 5-year warranty. It provides a 35% duty cycle at 160 amps with an average amperage capacity of 140 amps. Weighed 36.8 lbs, the system is conveniently portable and also offers dual voltage capacities of 110v and 220v.

Prosย 

#1. Receives encouraging best inverter arc welder reviews for its IGBT Infineon modules.

#2. Comes with both TIG and Stick options.

#3. Offers a wide range of 10-180 amp output.

Cons

#1. The TIG torch and the regulator are not sold together creating compatibility issues.

Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder

This arc welder is another significant contender for the position of the best arc welder under 200 dollars. This highly portable arc welder is TIG compatible as well. The machine runs on an inverter power system offering an average amperage capacity of 90 amps. Weighed 13.74 lbs, it comes with a cord length of 6 feet. Forney Industries, the manufacturer, provides a year-long warranty for any sort of manufacturing defect.

Pros 

#1. Comes with electrode holder and ground clamp both 8 feet long

#2. Can be started without much hassle.

#3. Maintenance and repair can be done by inexperienced users.

 Cons

#1. Foot pedal operation facilities are not available with this welder.

Hobart 500571 Stickmate 210i Arc Welder

Priced at almost $1170, the Hobart 500571 Stickmate 210i is an expensive model. However, it provides 7000 watts of power with a source of 240 volts. The set-up comes ready with an electrode cable spanning 10 feet including the holder, a work-cable of 10 feet in length, and a power cord spanning 6.5 feet. With only 15 lbs of weight, the welder is a highly portable one. 

Pros

#1. With 210 amps of output, the machine can weld up to 5/32 inches of mild steel.

#2. Robust in nature and can be reliably used in difficult conditions.

#3. Perfect for welding thicker materials.

Cons

#1. Pricey option and not suitable for multiple purposes.

Summary

When it comes to the debate of arc welder vs MIG welder, popular opinion often cheers in support of the later. Arc welders are often considered as the most basic form of welders. Although arc welders are well appreciated for their durability and functional agility, they often do not get their due for their productivity.

Therefore, it would be important to mention here that arc welders can perform as rapidly as a MIG welder if operated by an experienced hand. 

Also, what arc welder google searches often fail to inform us is that these instruments are unmatchable when working underwater.

Apart from the skill of the operator and the conditions of the workplace, another important factor that often determines which arc welder to go for is the type of the material to be worked upon. Each different type of surface – such as a metal sheet, a thin plate, or thick surface – all have a separate type of arc welder that works the best on them.

To stress upon a bit more on the importance of the conditions of the workplace, it is important to keep the nature of the input power source and output current requirements in mind. As we have already seen, arc welders vary on these aspects and a careful study of the workplace provisions beforehand helps to make the best selection possible.

Finally, what matters the most is the ease with which the machine runs. Maintenance and repair should also be as less complex as possible. The less complicated the requirements of the machine are, the more selectable the machine is.