If you are looking for a Welder Generator, eventually (and pretty quickly I might add) you’re going to start hearing about well known brands such as: Miller Electric Welder Generators, Hobart Welders, Lincoln Electric Welders and Miller Bobcat Welders.
Prior to comparing brands, you’d serve yourself better by asking and answering these nine critical questions.
What application will you be using this unit for?
Will this be a repair job or new construction? Will you be working underground and exposed to potential fumes and gases?
Will you be working in the air as on a skyscraper? Will you be working in a marine environment? What is the size of the project?
Does the job require a certain welding process?
If so, are you familiar with it? Is there a particular welding process that you prefer over others? Will you have to learn a new welding process? Is this a pipe-welding project? Will the equipment you chose need to produce an arc such as in pipe welding? Will you be required to perform arc gouging? Will you be performing any resistance welding?
What type of materials will you be welding?
Common mild steel? Stainless? Chrome? Low nickel chrome steels? Low manganese steels? Low-carbon steels? Thin aluminum 0.6mm or thicker aluminum? How thick of material will you be welding? Will you be welding any type of exotic metals or material? Will you be performing any thermal cutting tasks on chromium?
Which type of engine will you be using?
LPG, diesel or gasoline? When choosing a welder generator, the operator must determine the type of engine he’ll be using. It’s irrefutable that diesel engines beat out gasoline engines as far as fuel economy. In addition, diesel fuel does not ignite as easily as gasoline. In some cases if you are working in the Gulf or in areas with refineries, they will most likely require a diesel-fueled generator.
Will your equipment exposed to cold weather?
If you will be working in cold weather, it is advisable to use gasoline engines because they start easier. If you resort to a diesel welding generator, you may be required to use a ether starting kits and also revert to winterized fuel.
What type of location will be putting this unit in?
Will you be indoors or outdoors? This is important because you must consider exhaust emissions. Also, if you are in certain areas where sparks are subject to ignite, you’ll have to consider a Welding generator with spark arrestor capabilities. LPG generators are not as common as gasoline or diesel welding generators, but may become the only option if gasoline and diesel exhaust emissions are not permitted in the welding work area.
Will you be working at night or in the dark?
In certain situations, such as emergency repair work, AC power may be required on the jobsite. This could be for a number of reasons, to provide lighting, for grinding welds, etc. In that event, you may need a welding generator that outputs anywhere from 3,000 watts of AC generator power up to 8000 watts or more. Also, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) may be required. That’s why it’s important to assess these matters prior to purchasing any equipment.
Which brand is the best?
There are a lot of great brands on the market; however, Miller welders are at the top of the list! You cannot go wrong with a Miller welder generator! Next in line is Lincoln and Hobart. Those three are really the “top” name brands.