The Unexpected Truth About Welding Cost
The term “Welding Cost” gets thrown around a lot. Seems like every welding product will save you money over time. For the most part, they’re all right. The real trick is finding the products that’ll save you the most.
So where does most of your money go during a job? Consumables? Electricity? Gases? Unexpectedly, 85% of the cost of making a weld is in labor. That’s right, YOU are the most costly thing about a welding job. That means every minute you waste on the job is more costly than consumables, gas, electricity and any other expenses combined. The best welding products, in terms of saving you money, are actually the ones that make your job faster, require less downtime and minimize the chances of you or your equipment screwing up.
So if you’re looking to save some real money on the job (which is just about everyone who hasn’t managed to manhandle a leprechaun), we’ve compiled a beginning list of the best features the welding world has to offer.
A huge amount of welding time is spent fixing mistakes made by using the wrong parameters. Often welders don’t even know they’re using incorrect settings and waste even more time trying to fix their position, re-cleaning their material, or blaming their consumables. Welding machines that come with Auto-Set are easy to use. Just set the wire diameter and material thickness using the nobs and start welding. Below is a list of our favorite Auto-Set welders.
The Lincoln 210 has its own version of Auto-Set with a digital display
Free Quick Reference Guides
If you’re not looking for a new welding machine and you don’t have an Auto-Set feature, quick reference guides are the second best thing. Most welders don’t realize how much time they can waste on guessing the right parameters. Using a quick reference guide takes about a minute and saves a good chunk of time. Here’s a link to some of our favorite reference guide apps for your smart phone.
Nonthreaded Contact Tips
This one surprises a lot of MIG welders, who often learn to start welding on threaded tips. The idea is that having the tip threaded right onto the welding gun will help it stay on more securely making it easier to learn. However, that sense of security comes at the price of efficiency and time. Non-threaded tips are typically designed to have more area and conduct heat and electricity better. Also, one of the biggest advantages is that non-threaded tips don’t require any tools to replace, meaning they’ll pop off and on very quickly. It saves you time (which saves you money).
C’mon, lifting your hood really doesn’t take that much time, right? Right. Sure it’ll
add up over time, but that’s not why Auto-Darkening helmets really help. The real benefit of an auto-darkening hood is how it helps you stay lined up and on target. In other words, it keeps you from screwing up your welds. Every time you have to flip your hood down, there’s a chance you’ve moved your welding gun away from the intended mark. Out comes the grinder and a whole lot more time spent cleaning up and fixing mistakes. Auto darkening hoods are a great, non-pricey way to make your welds faster and more efficient. Here are a couple of our favorite auto-darkening hoods to check out.
The NEW Miller Infinity Series
We’ve listed just a couple of the best ways to speed up your welding jobs and therefore save you the most money. We realize, however, we don’t have everything here. What do you do to speed up your welding jobs? Let us know in the comment section below.