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Gasless welding, which is also called “Gasless” or “No-Gas” welding, is the main convenience of contemporary MIG welders. That means they can make welds either with or without gas. It is possible thanks to the use of a special tubular wire filled with a flux and metal powder called a flux-cored wire. In a nutshell, when a flux-cored wire is used, its components generate a shielding gas under a high temperature that is essential for a high-quality joint. The thermal overload protection is also a useful feature that will switch the unit off automatically if the temperature reaches a certain level. Surely, a MIG welder is not something you will carry every minute. Yet, if a machine is lightweight and fitted with wheels, using it will be much more pleasurable. Finally, pay attention to the kit each tool comes with. Some models include a welding shield, coil, attachment for flux-cored welding, hammer, or brush. So, take these features into account when buying a welder.
How to pick a welder tips: Duty cycle: The advertised amperage of the machine offers a headline guide, but the duty cycle of the machine gives up the truth. Light industrial machine duty cycles can be as low as 20%, but more heavy duty MIG’s should range between 40-60%. If a 300amp MIG has 30% duty cycle for instance, it’s on the edge of acceptability. Duty cycle is determined by how many minutes out of 10, it can weld at 100%. Duty cycle testing: MIGS tested at 20 Degrees & 40 Degrees we consider good. (Beware any manufacturer who doesn’t quote an ambient temperature for testing) Manufacturer’s warranty: Always a great guide to quality. A three year warranty is good. Weld characteristics: Make sure the arc is smooth & suits your application. (Some machines are better suited at the low range and others at higher amperage range).
One of the “cardinal sins” that almost every shop commits is over-welding. This means that if the drawing calls for a 1/4″ fillet weld, most shops will put down a 5/16″ weld. The reasons? Either they don’t have a fillet gauge and are not exactly sure of the size of the weld they are producing or they put in some extra to “cover” themselves and make sure there is enough weld metal in place. But, over-welding leads to tremendous consumable waste. Let’s look again at our example. For a 1/4″ fillet weld, the typical operator will use .129 lbs. per foot of weld metal. The 5/16″ weld requires .201 lbs. per foot of weld metal – a 56 percent increase in weld volume compared to what is really needed. Plus, you must take into account the additional labor necessary to put down a larger weld. Not only is the company paying for extra, wasted consumable material, a weld with more weld metal is more likely to have warpage and distortion because of the added heat input. It is recommended that every operator be given a fillet gauge to accurately produce the weld specified – and nothing more. In addition, changes in wire diameter may be used to eliminate over-welding.
A few advices about welding equipment, MIG and TIG welders, plasma cutters. MIG welders use a wire welding electrode on a spool that is fed automatically at a constant pre-selected speed. The arc, created by an electrical current between the base metal and the wire, melts the wire and joins it with the base, producing a high-strength weld with great appearance and little need for cleaning. MIG welding is clean, easy and can be used on thin or thicker plate metals. Similar to MIG welding, flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)* is a wire-feed process but differs in that self-shielded flux-cored welding does not require a shielding gas. Instead, flux-cored wire is used to shield the arc from contamination. This is a simple, efficient and effective welding approach, especially when welding outdoors, in windy conditions or on dirty materials. The process is widely used in construction because of its high welding speed and portability. Discover more info on https://www.migwelders.ie/.
USA market dive: At just $99, the Goplus is a fantastic value considering what it is equipped to do. In fact, it is the most affordable welder on our list, beating out its competitors by hundreds or even thousands of dollars and putting it in a class of its own. For a budding hobbyist not yet sure if welding is for them, you can’t go wrong with the Goplus. After all, for $99 its welding thickness and the duty cycle is about what one would expect (don’t look to buy this welder if you want it for heavy duty use). The Goplus is light and compact when compared to most other welders. Flux core wire is included. It has four levels of easily adjustable current flow and ten levels of wire speed. The Goplus is able to weld steel and iron at below ¼ inches thickness.
The Hobart Handler 230 is unmatched in its field. It’s a powerful welder that can comfortably weld 1/2 inch steel in single phase with fantastic arc quality. Other features include a 60% duty cycle at 175A, 12 different voltage settings, and infinite wire speed control. It’s a huge unit, but there’s wheels to help move it around, and a build in cylinder rack to store your gas cylinder. Most hobbyists won’t need a welder this powerful, but if you want a reliable MIG welder with a bit of extra power, this is our top pick. You can read the full review here.