Stick welders, those trusty companions in the world of DIY enthusiasts and individuals compelled by life’s circumstances to take matters into their own hands, are undoubtedly indispensable tools for any household. The realm of welders, in general, offers a plethora of choices, making it a daunting task to discern the crème de la crème among them. However, fear not, for we have embarked on a mission to sift through this maze of options and present you with a carefully curated selection of the finest stick welders available in the market.
In the following paragraphs, we will delve into the world of stick welders, exploring their utility, versatility, and the key factors that set them apart. By the end of this journey, we hope to equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make an informed decision when selecting the ideal stick welder for your needs. So, let us embark on this adventure together and uncover the hidden gems among stick welders.
7 Best Stick Welders – Reviews
1. Everlast PowerPro 164 Stick Welder – Top Overall Pick
While a bit expensive, this powerful multiprocess welder gives you a lot of bang for your buck. As a stick welder it’s as good as it gets, and like all of its functions is rated as a high quality machine. It can draw power from 110 and 220 volt outlets, and is compatible with generators that produce at least 10, 000 watts of “clean” power.
The biggest draw is likely its ability to switch between its stick, TIG, and plasma cutting features quickly and easily with just the flip of a simple selector switch.
For raw specs, it welds a 3/16” swath on a single pass on AC, 3/8” on DC (both TIG), and a 5/8” pass on the plasma cutter.
Rounding things out is a 30 day money back guarantee, and a 5 year parts and labor warranty, so you can subject it to as much of a pounding a you need to to get the job done. It’s even movable in a pinch, though a bit on the heavy side (60 lbs) to be called truly “portable.
You can’t go wrong with this best model no matter your purpose.
- Can tackle pulse and cuts as you do different types of welding
- Easy to carry around job sites because of its lightweight design
- Does 3/16” cuts with one pass and can do cuts of 3/8” to 5/8” in TIG welding applications
- Suitable for use with power sources that use 100 volts to 220 volts
- Can work with generators that use a clean power supply or source
- IGBT Inverter Technology
- Everlast does not have very good customer service or support
- It handles some form of welding better than other methods
2. Amico ARC-160D Stick welder – Top Choice for 110v unit
Similar to the Alpha 160, this is a very small and maneuverable (16 lbs, about the size of a lunch cooler) stick welding machine. It’s a dual voltage 110 and 230 volt package, and also like the Alpha 160 is only a DC welder.
While a bit weaker, it is also very cheap, and comes with a number of good safety features: a “smart fan” that only turns on when the machine is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, over and under voltage protection, over current protection, and overload protection. This makes it perfect for job sites with inconsistent power output (shoddy generators, or power in developing countries) or when working with unknown factors in regards to power. Amico ARC 160D has enough protections to make it safe to use under most conditions, and if it burns out it’s a tenth the price of a heavy duty stick welding machine so it isn’t as much of an issue to replace.
This is our choice for the best 110v stick welder machine on the market. It also fills a fairly unique niche as an portable and affordable price stick welder.
- Inverter technology provides the stable arc needed at the beginning and in the middle of jobs
- Built-in protection prevents thermal overloads
- Weighs only 16 pounds when taken out of the box and 20 pounds when it arrives
- 60% duty cycle at 115 volts and 230 volts
- Intelligent controls run a fan to prevent temperature fluctuations
- May take some time to start or set up the welder
- Finding the right amperage is difficult
3. Forney Easy Weld 298 Stick-Welder – Top budget Choice Under $200
By far the best budget stick welder on this list, but a great option for beginners. It is a combination “TIG” and “stick” welder, though TIG torch is sold separately.
Overall it’s very lightweight (9.65 lbs) movable enough for most purposes. It is a single voltage, 120 volt and 90 amp machine with enough power to finish out small projects.
The maximum single pass it can weld is 1/8 inch, fairly small for the average. This makes it fine for smaller jobs, but it doesn’t scale up very well.
While not recommended for an experienced welder with heavy duty needs, the Forney Easy Weld 298 lives up to its name, and is a good arc welding machine to learn how to weld well enough for hobby purposes.
- Works with 120 volts to fit most outlets and can also be used at a 125 amp option
- Can produce 1/4” welds with 24 gauge products
- Has a wire feed system that feeds the wire you need
- Ease of use because it turns on when you pull the trigger
- Weighs only 51 pounds and has a 6-foot power cord
- It can produce welds and cuts that look shaky and rough
- Some customers found that the welder stopped working after a few months
4. PrimeWeld Ct520d Stick Welder – Best for Farm Use
The above confluence of features is what makes it top stick welder for farm use. Day by day you never know what you’re going to need to do on a farm. Fence repair, broken wheelbarrow axle, some side project you’re throwing together for a single job, you name it and it might need doing.
While the Everlast Power Pro is a tempting option to go with for its power and multiprocess functions, it’s also bulky and would be difficult to drag out into the middle of a field. The Prime Weld is about half the weight and bulk of the Power Pro, 1/3 of the price, and still does TIG and stick welding, the most important features you’re likely to need (a plasma cutter is nice, but is less generally useful).
The 3 year warranty and 7 day customer service push it over the edge as the top arc welder option for farm use, since never knowing what’s going to go wrong next includes when your welder is going to break down when you need it most.
- Suitable for stick welding but can also handle arc welding and do plasma cutting
- Three-year warranty covers all parts and labor
- Customer service is available 24-hours a day and seven days a week
- Portable design weighs only 32 pounds includes a convenient carrying handle
- 60% duty cycle and an 85% efficiency rating
- Better for beginners than more experienced welders or those with more money
- Some shoppers received welders that included used parts or materials
5. Forney Easy Weld 261 Stick welder – Top Choice for Beginners
As might be expected, one of the cheapest option for stick welders on the market is the great choice for someone just starting to learn welding. Everything that makes this the best cheap welder makes it great for beginning, not least because it’s so cheap. Less of an investment in money means if the hobby isn’t something you want to do long term, or if you end up just hailing it out once in a blue moon, you’re not out much money.
Combined with it being specifically designed to be easy to use above all its other functions, and it’s a great arc welder choice. A few other items on the list came to mind (the Alpha 160 and Prime Weld especially), neither quite hits the same intersection of low price point and versatility that this option does.
Easy to use, basically risk free, and small enough to easily stow away in the garage when it’s not in use. Perfect for this purpose.
- Suitable of 24 gauge welds with a cutting of up to 1/4”
- Can work with an output of 120 volts or 140 amps
- Compatible with spools of between two and 10 pounds
- Duty Cycle 30% @ 90A
- Has a compact design that goes anywhere you need
- Includes the cables and clamps you need in different welding situations
- Designed only for flux core welding that does not use any gases
- The welds that it does are not very good when compared to other welds
6. AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG / Stick welder
The first thing to note with this unit is its quality and neat construction. It weighs 69 lbs, and takes up about as much space as a toolbox.
Sufficient for light to medium duty, as this runs on AC DC power (have dual voltages 120 and 240 volt machine), it is eminently portable and great for small jobs on steel or cast iron constructed items. This AHP AlphaTIG 200X do TIG welding, so you can use materials like brass and aluminum. It’s low price makes it a good option for any welder who needs to work with steel and iron, or for anyone who wants a long lasting power source machine.
It is possible to hook up gas and a separate TIG torch to get some of that functionality.
For what it is, this is the best arc welder that is reliable, cheap, do it yourself, hobbyist, or professional looking machine.
- Functions as a powerful and affordable stick welder
- Works with dual voltage of 110 and 220 volts
- Produces a stable arc that you can easily control when welding
- Inverter technology has a 60% duty cycle at a 40 C setting
- It cannot work with certain wires or reach the high settings that AHP claims
- Some thought it worked better as a TIG welder at a lower setting than as a stick welder at a higher setting
7. LONGEVITY Stickweld 140 Arc Welder – Best For Home Use
Similar to the Alpha 160, this is a small 13 lb dual voltage (110 and 220 volt, 140 amp) unit that is top stick welder for small jobs, hobbyists, simple repairs, and home garage work. While being a bit larger than the Alpha 16 (taller and longer, but thinner) makes it harder to store, it also makes it easier to move around due to its shape, making it a bit of a trade off.
While it can’t do aluminum, it ends up as a perfect all rounder welding machine that is used primarily for art projects and small repairs, and is favored by professionals as a cheap stick welding machine to keep around the house.
Variable amp adjustment (30 to 140 amps), easy voltage switch over, and overheat protection (it will automatically and safely shut off if the machine overheats) round out the package. It doesn’t have many special features, but for the price (one of the cheapest welders on the market) it does what it says it does and does it well.
- Digital display on the front makes it easy to set up and view your settings
- Comes with an adapter for using with a 110V outlet and works with a 220V outlet
- 60% duty cycle works with 140 amps
- Protects against overloads with built-in thermal protection
- Works with stick welding rods in sizes 6013 and 7018
- The warranty requires that you contact another company for repairs
- Doesn’t offer much power when used with the 110V adapter
Our Top Choice
Everlast PowerPro 164
After thorough research and testing of the best stick welder reviews Everlast Power Pro is the highest quality option there is, its price point makes it easier to recommend each other option on this list for their own merits. They’re all fairly priced for what they do and serve very different purposes, and depending on your need you can’t go wrong with any one of them, or a combination of two if you need stick welders for multiple purposes but want to keep price down and portability up.
Just make sure to take your own specific needs into account when choosing, and you shouldn’t regret your purchase.
Check out the link if you are looking for reviews of best welding mask for stick welding machines.