The Essential Guide to Buying Welders

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The Essential Guide to Buying Welders

There are many different reasons why a person may want to purchase a welder, especially because there are many different uses for this type of equipment. A professional welder, of course, may need one for his or her professional advancement. There are also many reasons why non-professionals may choose to add a welder to the cache of tools in their garage or workshop. For example, someone who wants to restore a car or motorcycle may find it quite useful to have a welder. Artists also find welders to be useful tools when working on metal sculptures and similar projects.

When purchasing a welder, whether it is for home or industrial use, it is important to consider which type of welder is most useful for the widest variety of projects. Welders of all types, both brand new and used welders, are available for purchase from home improvement retail stores as well as online from eBay.

Types of Welders

Welding is general term that refers to the process of joining two pieces of material, usually metal, by melting them together at very high temperatures, using an electrical current. Depending on the materials as well as the type of project and the location of the project, there are a number of different types of welders available. Choosing the best welder for a particular job makes the welding process much easier for both amateur welders and professionals.

Stick Welders

Stick welders are probably the most popular type of welder for a non-professional welder to learn and use. The name stick welder comes from the fact that there is an arc of electric current that jumps from the end of the welder's stick to the metal that is being welded. It is this arc that heats up the metal and allows it to weld. Despite its popularity, stick welding is actually more difficult to learn than other types of welding. Stick welding also must be done on thick metals, and the welding rod must be changed frequently, both of which may be drawbacks for some people.

Gas Metal Arc Welders

A gas metal arc welder works much differently than a stick welder. This type of welder uses the current that flows between the metal being welded and a piece of wire in order to join the metal. It is known as gas metal welding because this type of welder uses an inert gas to shield the arc. For this reason, a gas metal arc welder may also be referred to as Metal Inert Gas welder or a MIG welder. The wire feeds out of the welder at a constant speed and actually melts onto the metal, creating a clean and attractive weld. This type of welder is also generally considered easier to learn than stick welding and can be used on metals of any thickness.

Flux-Cored Arc Welders

A flux-cored arc welder is similar to a gas metal arc welder because it also uses a melting wire to create a weld. However, this type of welder does not use a shielding gas and instead uses a type of wire that shields the arc. Flux-cored arc welders are ideal for use in windy conditions or on dirty metals because it lacks the shielding gas that could lead to difficulties in those situations.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welders

Gas tungsten arc welders, which are also known as Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welders, are considerably less common than other types of welders. While they also use a wire current, like MIG welders, the wire is not melted or consumed in the welding process. Rather, the Tungsten electrode provides the current and facilitates the weld.

TIG welders are much more difficult to learn than either stick welders or MIG welders, and welding with them is a much slower process. Still, TIG welders are effective for welding thin steel alloys as well as some metals such as copper and magnesium.

Types of Metal

Another way to determine which type of welder is best for a given project is to consider the type of metal that is being welded. Some welders work most efficiently with certain types of metals, as described in the table below.

Type of Metal

Stick Welder?

MIG Welder?

TIG Welder?

Stainless Steel




Aluminium Alloy




Cast Iron












It is clear that the type of metal greatly affects which type of welder is best suited to a project. Indeed, certain metals may be nearly impossible to weld with the wrong type of welder. This is why it is quite important to know what type of metal needs to be welded most often in a shop or home before investing in a certain welder.

Welding Safety Gear

It likely goes without saying that welding can be extremely dangerous. It is absolutely necessary to follow all instructions and ideally receive professional advice before undertaking any welding project as an amateur. It is also essential that anyone who chooses to use a welder wear proper safety gear so as to fully protect themselves from the potential hazards of this equipment. This gear includes special gloves, jackets, and masks.

Welding Jackets

The arc of any type of welder can get extremely hot and cause burns to the skin as well as fires. This is why welders do well to protect every part of their body from the welder when it is in use. Wearing a specially designed welding jacket is certainly a good first line of defence against burns to the skin. Welding jackets are typically made from a fire-resistant material, such as leather.

Welding Gloves

Because a welder's hands are always in close range of the welding arc, welding gloves are another essential piece of welding safety equipment. Again, leather is a popular material because it is both durable and comfortable. It is important for welding gloves to fit the welder well so that he or she can maintain careful control of the welder while still protecting his or her hands.

Welding Sleeves

Some welders choose to go a step further when protecting their hands from the potential hazards of welding by wearing an additional layer of welding sleeves. This accessory lets the fingers remain free for dexterity but covers the length of the forearm in a protective fabric, such as Kevlar. These sleeves act as extra protection for the area between a jacket and gloves where burns could occur.

Welding Masks

Protecting the skin from fires and burns is certainly important, but the damage that can be done to a welder's eyes is potentially the worst. The UV rays that welders emit can cause serious damage the eyes of anyone who looks directly at it, which is why welders wear face and eye protection at all times. Welding helmets feature heavy UV-filtering so that welders can still clearly see what they are doing without exposing themselves to the dangerously bright and harmful rays.

How to Buy a Welder on eBay

Finding the right type of welder for virtually any project is easily done on eBay. Depending on your specific needs, you can begin by entering some simply search terms into the search box on any page of the site. Look for something general like a "stick welder" or something more specific like a "new TIG welder" and then narrow down your results using the eBay filters. You can find both new and used models as well as a variety of brands. Browse through the listings and continue to refine your search until you find the perfect welder for your project.

Welders are specialised devices, and you may have technical questions about them that are not answered in the product description. If that is the case, be sure to have the seller answer these questions before completing your transaction. It is easy to do this by sending a message through the eBay interface. Once you have a satisfactory answer, you can complete your purchase with ease and confidence.


Although welding may not be the most common hobby, it can be an extremely useful skill. The only way to truly hone that skill, however, is to purchase a welder. Having a welder at home, no matter what type it is, is by far the best way to learn and improve. Having a welder can also be a good way to save money on car repair or home improvement projects. No matter what the reason for purchasing a welder, be sure to consider the project and materials that are most commonly used in the home, garage, or shop where the welder resides. Rebuilding a car may require a very different welder than putting together an elaborate metal sculpture.

Luckily, there is a lot of information available about types of welders and how to use them. By spending some time reviewing this information and selecting the right type of welder and safety gear, it should be easy to develop and improve as a welder so that welding can be a hobby or even a profession for many years to come.

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