With some of the best deals on welder/generators we’ve seen in a decade going on right now, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your understanding of welder/generators. Even some of the most seasoned welders don’t realize how much these machines have changed in the last couple of years.
First, what is a welder/generator? It’s what happens when a welder and a generator are stuck in a motel room with a constant loop of saxophone love songs playing: Literally it’s a welder crossbred with a generator. This means it’s completely independent of outside power sources. Welder/generators are perfect for jobs where moving your workpiece to your shop is out of the question. For instance, any type of outdoor welding generally requires a welder/generator. Also any type of structural welding can benefit hugely from this type of machine. And if you’re working on a farm and not using a welder/generator, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
So it’s a welder that powers itself? Yes, but not just itself. Most welder/generators produce an excess of energy. This means you can also plug in a grinder as well as a couple of lights and run them all from the same machine. Some welder/generators are so powerful, they can actually run a second welder. The catch is that the more power these welder/generators produce, generally the more expensive they are. So the first step to finding the right welder/generator for you is to assess your power usage. Ask yourself, will I be running just a fan and a couple of lights or am I planning on using a plasma cutter? Make sure the welder/generators you’re looking at cover all the power requirements you need.
An important aspect of welder/generators that’s new within the last couple of years is which processes these machines can run. Today, most reliable welder/generators can run MIG, TIG, and Stick processes just as good as any standalone welder. It should be noted that some welder/generators might require a special add-on module or accessory for more advanced welding techniques.
The most important part of finding the right machine for your process is looking at how much amperage you’ll need. While you’re shopping for welder/generators, take a look at how many amps your most demanding projects require. And here’s a good pro tip worth noting. Occasionally you might use a process or technique that requires a large amount of amps, such as carbon arc gouging. It can actually be more cost efficient to start using a less amp-heavy process, such as plasma cutting, than to buy a welder/generator with enough amps to cover a technique you only use once in a while.
Finally, it’s crucial to understand that welder/generators can be quite a bit larger than your average welding machine. Most welder/generators can easily fit into the bed of a pickup truck, but if you’re planning on hauling it around in your Prius, you’re going to have a problem. Welder/generators can also be easily carried around on trailers. With these, you can buy them specialized or modify your own trailer. Just make sure your machine is securely attached. Nothing is worse than watching from your rearview mirror as your new welder/generator bounces away.
Now that you’ve got a new, profound knowledge of welder/generators, check out why right now is the absolute best time to buy a new machine with some of the biggest sales ever from Miller and Lincoln.