Welding is a process in which a welder joins materials such as metals or thermoplastics by softening the materials with heat and then applying pressure. Stick welding is just one common method of welding. It is also known as shielded metal arc welding and is one of the more widely used welding methods among the arc welding processes.
To form the weld, stick welding uses a flux-coated electrode. As the electrode begins to melt, the coating creates a gas that effectively shields the molten metal while preventing it from oxidizing. When stick welding, you do not have to have any specialized equipment, and the process is pretty simple and straightforward.
Welders choose stick welding because the equipment is affordable and easy to operate. Additionally, it does not require any external shielding gas, and a large selection of metals and alloys can be welded very easily.
So, if it is time to replace your old stick welder or purchase your first one, we have compiled a list of some of the best available stick welders for you to choose from. When looking at your choices, consider the current setting for your particular task, the length of the arc, and the angle of travel.
This stick welder from Longevity is a 140 amp welder capable of operating on 110V and 220V. It also comes lift TIG operation ready so you can easily attach a TIG torch. It weighs an incredibly low thirteen pounds which makes it extremely lightweight and portable and comes with the power plugs and power switching adapter. It is a very well-designed machine that is even easy for those less experienced welders to use.
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- Digital display to easily read the amp setting
- Very affordable option
- May overheat with continuous use
- The instruction manual is less than desired
This stick welder offers a powerful punch that is contained in a lightweight and portable package. It features an inverter system that can handle fluctuations in input power, which provides for better and more consistent welds. It also requires less input amperage, which reduces its overall input power requirement by approximately 25%. To improve its already portable design, it also comes with a convenient shoulder strap. TIG welding attachments can be purchased separately.
- Compact and lightweight
- Easily portable
- Incredibly easy to use
- Some reported that the TIG adapter is often out of stock
This is a Lift Start TIG and Stick dual voltage welder. It features 25mm style connectors that allow for easy connection. A manual gas valve is also built directly into the torch handle. It is a low power consumption machine with a 35% duty cycle and is extremely portable. This machine comes equipped with the stick electrode holder and cable, TIG torch, six feet of work clamp and cable, a high impact plastic carry case, a wire brush, and a lift TIG feature. As a welder, you will find that positioning with this stick welder is relatively easy to do because of its overall design.
- Extremely portable
- Good value for the price
- Steady and smooth arc
- Hands may become warm when welding in enclosed space
- There is no foot pedal
- Must check the accuracy of the gauges regularly
This welder is relatively lightweight and has a secure carrying handle on the top of the unit making it easily portable. It has an 85% rated efficiency and comes with a grounding cable, a welding holder, and protection grade of IP21. The current on this machine can be varied from 20 amps up to the max amperage of 60%. It is ideal for small to medium welding jobs and features an automatic hot start which many welders find useful and convenient.
- Over-voltage protection
- Lightweight and portable
- Comes with the complete package needed to start welding
- Easy to use
- Maybe sluggish when starting
- Cable and leads were a bit short
This stick welder is listed as one of Amazon's choices for stick welder. Its smart design allows you to switch AC power to DC and then incorporate a step-down transformer in order to achieve the proper voltage and current needed for the job. It is also very compact and portable and comes with a convenient carrying handle so you can take it wherever you need it. This machine can be used for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and an assortment of other metal materials.
- Small, compact, easy to transport
- Adjustable current
- Overheating protection
- Double voltage
- Some reported an unstable arc – couldn't maintain the arc
- Needs a higher quality ground clamp and electrode holder
Stick welders are convenient and versatile and can be used just about anywhere you need them, and this is one of the biggest advantages you will find for stick welders. As long as you have access to a power source and you have your leads and consumables, you are ready for welding.
You can also use stick welders in a variety of different positions, and you can also use them indoors and outdoors. When choosing equipment to go along with your stick welder, you will find that it is affordable and might also be cheaper than MIG welding, TIG welding, and multiprocess welders.
When searching for your next stick welder, you will find several competitively priced options, and you can more than likely find exactly what you need for just under the $250 mark. Even the brand name and best-selling stick welders are affordably priced.
Stick welders have four parts, and these include the constant voltage power supply, the electrode holder/rod holder, the ground clamp, and the stick welding electrodes. When narrowing down your choices, you will find that a 140 amp stick welder is more than enough power and still allows you to weld virtually anything.
As you go through the products we have reviewed above, keep all of this in mind and you will effectively narrow down your choices and find exactly what you need for your welding jobs.