Buying Well: Considerations in a MIG Welder Purchase

E-Weld currently stocks a comprehensive range of MIG welding equipment, so knowing which to choose can be complicated. There are various aspects to consider.

What you plan to weld, as well as how often, is your most important decision. A welder of 180amps is capable of welding steel of maximum 5mm thick, whereas a welder of 130amps can weld up to 3mm, and of 90amps can handle only 2mm thick. Be sure to read the specifications of the welder to determine the maximum amps.

Quality and cost generally go hand-in-hand. Welders tend to get easier to use the more expensive they are. More expensive welders generally have advantages to do with the wire feed, vital for ease of welding. Some may contain a wire feed control that adjusts automatically to suit the power and does not need to be altered manually if the power settings are changed. Synergic or pulsed MIG welders use alternating or pulsing current into the power supply, with the benefit of a neater weld.

E-Weld now supplies MIG inverter welders, which can offer a range of features at a lower price compared to other transformer-based welders. The inclusion of an inverter aims to increase the deposition rate as well as the speed at which welding is achieved when high amps are used. Although these welders make welding significantly easier, they are more sensitive and may have a shorter lifespan than a traditional welder.

The duty cycle of a welder refers to the percentage of a 5 or 10-minute period over which you can weld continuously, before the welder will overheat. Again, consider how often and for how long you will be welding. Our 250A MIG WELDER (INVERTER) has a 60% at 250amp duty cycle: it can run at 250amps for 6 minutes before requiring a 4-minute break; whereas the TRADEWELD 175 MIG with a 30% duty cycle is able to operate for 3 minutes at 175amps. The difference lies in whether a fan cooling system has been included to increase duty cycle. In a welder without fan cooling, one runs the risk of experiencing thermal cuts, which is potentially very disgruntling in an industrial setting.

MIG welders require that oxygen be kept away from the weld. This is either achieved by the oxygen being displaced by a bottled inert or semi-inert gas mix, called gas-shielded, or that the wire itself contains a compound that produces a protective covering, called flux cored wire. Gas shielded welding is largely recommended since the welds are neater, one can see the weld pool more clearly, and the quality and strength of the weld may even be improved. E-Weld supplies both Arcal, Argon and CO2 as shielding gases. Gases are usually consumed at a rate of roughly 10 litres per minute.

With the South African welding industry becoming increasingly automated, it is vital to make the correct choice in welding equipment, ensuring both safety and a good welding experience. Alternate types of welders also available include DC ARC welders, TIG welders and AC/DC welders.

Contact E-Weld at today for further advice.

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