Best Multi Process Welders
This unit is one of the entry level multi-process welders and is a compact, lightweight machine with a 200-amp DC welding power. The SuperUltra can operate in TIG, Stick and plasma output modes. It is also pocket friendly making it perfect for a hobbyist or even a small business. The welder also comes with a digital control system, which allows it to operate at 120V and 240V, 200amps of DC welding power and 50A plasma cutter.
The Everlast superUltra can easily slice through metal with thicknesses between 3/8 and ½ inches, with enough power to weld rods of thicknesses up to 1/8 inches in diameter. The welder comes with a dual voltage option which makes it easier to use in various environments. The TIG option on this welding unit can be used for repairs on materials like steel, chrome molly and stainless steel. The equipment comes with a stick electrode holder, an AG60 plasma torch, a work clamp with cables and DINSE connector, an Argon regulator to work with TIG, a pressure regulator for Plasma and a foot pedal.
What makes the Everlast SuperUltra unique is the value for money and the quality of the equipment that are included with the welder. The welder is lightweight, user friendly and dual voltage makes it more convenient for a new user and usable anywhere. The TIG comes with a high frequency current, this forms the path for the arc to be established, and this high frequency gives it a smooth arc when welding.
- Supports TIG, Stick and Plasma welding
- Operates at 120V and 240V
- Maximum Power Output 200A
- Weight 40 pounds
This is more of an entry level type multi-process welder, which although it does not cost an arm and a leg you are still able to weld in a variety of modes, such as TIG and Stick which is great for beginners to learn on or for smaller maintenance jobs. In addition to its great price and good functionality, there unit is also light weight and can be easily carried and operated, with no fuss.
Lincoln Electric POWER Multi-Process Welder
If you are a beginner, hobbyist or even a small-time business looking for a versatile, compact light weight multi-process welder, the Lincoln Electric POWER Multi-Process Welder is perhaps the one for you. This welder comes with features, such as MIG, DC Stick, TIG and flux cored welding and the dual voltage feature makes it convenient for any user to use it anywhere. The big colour display and the easy to use digital controls make the experience so much better especially for a novice user.
The flux core of this machine is both self-shielded as well as gas shielded, which means that it is capable of operating under a variety of conditions, bot indoors and outdoors. The Lincoln Electric POWER, can weld between 5/16 inches of stainless steel and 3/16 inches of aluminium. The unit comes with a Pro Spool gun, for professional handling and enhanced quality to welding finishes.
The feature that really sets this machine apart from the rest is its ease of use, which is ideal for beginners to get used to the various modes, outputs and settings. This is because of the weld ready setup of the machine, the big display unit and the easy to use turn and push controls. For more advanced or experienced users, the advanced settings are easily accessible and
- Supports MIG, Stick, flux-cored and TIG welding
- Operates at 120V and 230V
- Maximum Power Output 200A
- Weight 40 pounds
This is a more comprehensive and well-built machine, which is both easy to use, but also has a wider selection of welding types. This unit not only offers a great deal for a hobbyist, but is also highly competent for a wide variety of repair jobs. The Lincoln Electric POWER however, is not the ideal machine for heavy operation all day long and because the TIG mode only functions in on DC power, it is not advisable to do very fine work on softer metals such as aluminium.
Forney 322 140-Amp MIG/Stick/TIG Multi-Process Welder
The Forney Multi-Process Welder, is an extremely sturdy and well-built welding machine which is ideally suited for more experienced or professional welders. This 3-in-1 machine comes complete with an aluminium cast drive, a gas hose, a MIG gun, regulator, a 120V adapter and a 4.5-metre power cable. This machine is capable of functioning in MIG, Stick, TIG and flux-cored modes and delivers a powerful welding output.
The big welding display unit and easy to use controls helps adjust your welding settings, for a smoother and more professional weld. This machine is ideal for lighter fabrication uses as well as general maintenance.
This product comes with a maximum output of 190A and is a bit heavier in comparison to other multi-process welders at 43 pounds. Ideally this unit is capable of welding metal of thickness around 3/8 inches. For this unit the spool gun, foot pedal and TIG torch are however sold separately.
- Supports MIG, Stick, Plasma and TIG welding
- Operates at 120V and 230V
- Maximum Power Output 140A
- Weight 43 pounds
The Forney 322 multi-process welder is a serious piece of hardware, which is aimed at more professional welders and those looking to use the machine a bit more extensively than just the basics. This unit is capable of performing for longer hours than some of its counterparts and sports a very sturdy construction for improved longevity, which means it will easily let you down. Granted that it does cost a bit more than some of the more economic multi-process welding units and some of the accessories are sold separately, this machine is more of an investment for those looking to make regular use of it..
Multi-process welders are welders that perform a variety of processes and are typically used in automotive, transportation, agricultural, construction and fabrication industries. The basic functions which a multi-process welder is capable of carrying out are TIG, MIG, Stick, flux-cored and plasma cutting.
Each one of these processes varies slightly from each other, based on the physical nature of the welding and grants the welder specific benefits based on the required job and the desired results. Below is a brief description of the various functions and their intended uses.
Tungsten Inert Gas welding, also sometimes referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and HeliArc, consists of a process which is performed by the fusion of a tungsten electrode which is non-consumable, which in turn heats the work surface or metal with an electric arc. In GTAW and TIG, shielding gases are needed to protect the welded area, while the intended usage may vary depending on the type of material, the design of the joint and the required appearance of the finished weld.
Most often TIG welds are performed on thin sections of stainless steel, as this type of weld gives one greater precision and strength of the weld, but it is more difficult to master and considerably slower than other weld types such as MIG welding.
This type of welding, formally referred to as metal inert gas welding, is driven by an electric arc which is generated between the end of a consumable piece of wire and the metal surface being welded. Additionally, a shielding gas is released from alongside the wire electrode, which shields the work surface from contaminants in the air.
MIG welding was originally intended for welding of aluminium and other ferrous metals, but was later adapted for use with steel. This type of welding is preferred in industrial processes due to its versatility and speed, but is only used inside because of the use of a shielding gas in the process.
Plasma Arc welding (PAW) or plasma welding is a kind of welding that is quite similar to that of TIG or GTAW (Tungsten Arc Welding), as it uses an electrode and a workpiece, with the main difference being the location of the electrode. In PAW, the electrode is within the body instead of outside like that of a TIG, and this electrode is directed through a copper nozzle. The plasma cutter arc is released in high velocity, and the main goal is to increase the energy of the released plasma in a controlled manner.
Many of the uses are similar to that of TIG welding, but plasma provides deeper penetration of the metal surface and higher tolerance to surface contaminants. The size of the torch is however considerably more bulky, which makes manual welding more difficult.
Stick welders or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is a kind of manual welding. It uses a covered electrode and an AC or DC electric supply to heat the coated electrode. Due to its versatility and the ease in use, especially as it comes with AC and DC power supply, stick welding is one of the most extensively used method of welding.
The coated electrode provides stability to the arc that is welded and also shields the molten metal by forming a shielding gas; the coated electrode protects the work area from contaminants. The primary materials which this type of welding is used on is iron and steel and this is mainly used in heavy steel structure construction and manufacturing sectors as well as in repairs and maintenance industries. Because of its versatility however, stick welding can is also used on aluminium, nickel and copper alloys.
Flux cored welders or Flux cored arc welding is similar to stick welding, but is however an automatic semi-automatic welding process. The flux cored arc welding process consists of a flux covered electrode and a power supply which is constant, with one of the major differences being that it does not require any shielding gas.
An externally fed shielding gas may be used, but is not necessary, as the flux itself produces gas and slag to protect the welding surface. The flux cored welding process is generally used on materials like alloys and stainless steel. Due to the easy portability and impressive welding speed, flux-cored welding is often used in industries such as construction.
Power Supply Importance for Welding
The electrical power supply available or required can greatly affect a number of factors when welding. It is important to first determine which power supply is available or which type of power supply is required before selecting a welder or a specific welding process.
Generally speaking a specific type of welding may rely on either constant current or constant voltage power supplies, which voltage responsible for the length of the arc, while current is responsible for the amount of heat generated.
The direction of the current also plays a significant role in welding, with common welding types such as stick welding and MIG welding most often making use of direct current. The polarity also plays a significant role in that it has great influence in the depth of the weld.
So, it is important to note the required heat, bead off rate and penetration required as well as the specific thickness and characteristics of the metal intended for welding when considering the type of welding process to select for a specific job. A welder extension cord may also be advisable if it is necessary to work further away from you closest power source. for more remote work a engine driven welder generator may be required.
Best Multi-Process Welders
Pros and Cons of Using Multi-Process Welders
Some of the pros and cons of using multi-process welders are:
• Most-multi process welders come with a dual voltage option (120V and 240V), which makes them more versatile
• Multi process welders are light weight and compact
• Most multi-process welders have a digital screen and user-friendly settings.
• They are perfect for a beginner to use and practise to increase skill.
• AC and DC power supply are supported
• Most multi-process welders can be expensive if you require better quality
• These are not very useful for high volume fabrication or production