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There’s a reason stick welding remains the most important and the most commonly done type of welding. It’s the oldest type of welding, and many welders choose it because it creates strong joints and it can be done outdoors. If you do a lot of DIY projects or repairs or if you have plans of putting up a construction business, stick welding becomes a good part of what you will do. Hence, investing in good stick welding machines sounds reasonable.
But why look for a good stick welder, when you have the best options? Here are some of the best SMAW machines based on features, build quality, and performance.
Everlast PowerARC 140ST Stick Welder
Everlast PowerArc 140 Stick Welder
This stick welder is possibly the best unit for beginners, although it’s a bit more expensive than your average stick welding machine. But it’s a bargain for its price. It’s great for DIYers and hobbyists doing some light fabrication work or repairs in the backyard or garage.
You can weld metal sheets up to 3/16” thick and use 1/16”-1/8” thick electrodes. Not to mention, this machine can do TIG as well.
One of the selling features is the IGBT technology. Inverter machines with this capability allow for more efficiency and control. IGBT welders are the latest in the industry. The inverter design, on the other hand, makes for light and portable machines. Speaking of portability, this welder is only 25 pounds.
One reason it’s touted as a beginner-friendly stick welder is its easy lift start feature. Beginners will find this feature handy.
On the other hand, beginners and professionals alike will appreciate the arc stability, especially when doing TIG. When doing stick welding, you’ll appreciate the auto adaptive start and auto adaptive arc force control for high quality welds.
This dual voltage machine has a good duty cycle of 35% at 140 amps, but it’s a DC only machine. Another downside is it doesn’t have a gas regulator for TIG.
PrimeWeld TIG225X TIG/Stick Welder
Primeweld TIG225C TIG/Stick Welder
- 225 Amps TIG/Stick Welder with Pulse Function
- 3 Year Warranty / 7 Day Support
- Comes up with many Accessories
- Also comes with foot pedal for ease of use
This is basically an AC/DC TIG machine that can do DC stick welding. It’s also dual voltage, so you can use 120 or 240 volts with no problem.
For stick welding, the PrimeWeld TIG225X works at 120 amps on 120V and 180 amps on 240V. At 180 amps, you can weld a 3/8” plate. If you’re working with sheet metal, then you can just switch back to TIG, for which this machine is specialized.
LOTOS LTPDC2000D 3-in-1 Welder
LOTOS LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter / 200A TIG Welder / Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welder
The LOTOS LTPDC2000D is a multi-purpose machine that can do TIG and stick welding, as well as plasma cutting. With all these capabilities, this tool is easily one of the best and most versatile for its price. Performance-wise, it’s not bad, especially considering it can weld metals up to half an inch thick.
There are a number of remarkable features aside from the dual voltage capability, which is ubiquitous among many welding machines. The non-touch pilot arc is great to have if you’re doing plasma cutting. For welding, you’ll appreciate the wide amp range (10-200 amps).
This is another lightweight and portable welder and plasma cutter. The 3-year warranty will surely give you some peace of mind.
Lincoln Electric K1170 60Hz Arc Welder
Lincoln Electric K1170 60Hz Arc Welder
The Lincoln Electric K1170 AC225 is one of the most sought after industrial welders for a number of reasons. The smooth AC welding arc can weld different types of metal, such as stainless steel, cast iron, and 16-gauge carbon steel. Hence, this stick welder is great for a wide range of jobs. That’s why you might see one in a workshop, a farm, or a garage.
This 60Hz welder requires 220 volts. It’s not dual voltage, but you can use it anywhere in North America. The duty cycle is quite low at 20%.
The amp selector, which allows you to set the machine to the right current, is easy to use. You can turn it down to 40A or all the way up to 225A.
Everlast PowerARC 160STH Welder
Everlast PowerArc 160STH Welder
- Lightweight and Portable
- TIG & Stick Functionality
- Dual Voltage 110v/220v
- Digital Display
- Easy Hot Start
The Everlast PowerARC 160STH welder is a small machine but packs a lot of power. Like the PowerARC 140, this one is perfect for beginners. But hobbyists and professionals do use this stick welder. This heavy duty machine is quick to set up and is one of the most efficient stick welders out there.
It’s a dual voltage machine, so you can plug it to a 120V power source for small jobs or to a 220V power supply for serious welding operations.
This DC stick welder has DC arc capability. If you want to weld aluminum, you can quickly switch it to TIG. It has the HF feature, which comes handy on windy days. The lift start feature gets rid of the need for a pedal. It also has the IGBT inverter technology for stable arc. In addition, this device has a low power consumption and a good duty cycle of 35% at 160 amps.
Weighing only 36.8 pounds, the Everlast PowerARC 160STH Welder sure is portable. After all, what good is a stick welder if you can’t take it outdoors?
Read more about Everlast Welders.
Novices and professionals find stick welders useful for many types of tasks. Stick welding is an easy and efficient way to produce strong welds.
There are a lot of machines capable of SMAW, but the ones mentioned in this article are some of the most reliable machines we’ve seen. Nonetheless, it’s up to you to pick a tool that matches your needs.
Read more on the all of what we consider to be the best plasma cutters on the market.