7 Best Stick Welders Reviews & Buying Guide (2019)

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Stick welders (and welders in general) are handy tools to have around most households, especially if you’re a very do it yourself kind of person or are forced to be so due to circumstances. Amazon has a surprisingly large and good selection of these items on their storefront, which can make it hard to sift through them to find the best and most supported models (older models are rarely sorted out from their newer cousins on Amazon, at least until all of them are completely sold out).

This list should hopefully narrow down your options to some top picks.

In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice

Everlast PowerPro 164

Everlast PowerPro 164
  • AC DC welder with pulse and cutter
  • Heavy duty machine
  • Lightweight and portable
  • IGBT Infineon Modules
  • 110 and 220 volt outlets
  • 5 year parts and labor warranty

Our Favorite Products On The Market [2019]


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 duty 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 model no matter your purpose.

Pros

  • Can tackle pulse and cuts as you do different types of welding
  • The lightweight design lets you easily carry the stick welder around job sites
  • 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

Cons

  • Everlast does not have very good customer service or support
  • It handles some types of welding better than other methods

2. AHP Alpha-160ST  Stick welder - Best Under $500

The first thing to note with this unit is its lightweight and rugged construction. It weighs only 13 lbs, and takes up about as much space as a small toolbox or tacklebox.

While only sufficient for light duty, due to it running on DC power only (though is a dual voltage 120 and 240 volt machine), it is eminently portable and great for small jobs on steel or cast iron constructed items. Unfortunately AHP Alpha-160ST doesn’t do TIG welding, so materials like brass and aluminum are out, but its low price makes it a good option for any welder who only needs to work with steel and iron, or for anyone who wants a small, portable backup machine for smaller jobs so they don’t have to haul around a bulkier multiprocess or dedicated TIG/MIG welder.

It is possible to hook up gas and a separate TIG torch to get some of that functionality, it’s not really recommended given it can only draw DC power in the first place.

For what it is this is a reliable, cheap stick welder for a do it yourselfer, hobbyist, or professional looking for a machine for a specific purpose.

Pros

  • Functions as a powerful and affordable stick welder
  • Works with dual voltages of 120 and 240 volts
  • Produces a stable arc that you can easily control when welding
  • Inverter technology has a 60% duty cycle at a 40 C setting
  • Weighs only 13 pounds, which makes it one of the most lightweight welders

Cons

  • 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

3. 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) 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. It 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 machine so it isn’t as much of an issue to replace.

While not the best all around machine on the market, it fills a fairly unique niche as an affordable and portable stick welder.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • May take some time to start or set up the welder
  • Finding the right amperage is difficult

4. Forney Easy Weld 299 Stick welder - Top Choice Under $200

By far the cheapest option on this list, but a great option for beginners. It is a combination “MIG” and stick welder, though doesn’t require shielding gas like a true MIG welder.

For how weak it is overall it’s quite heavy (41 lbs), but movable enough for most purposes. It is a single voltage, 120 volt and 125 amp machine with enough power to finish out small projects. While it doesn’t work with most materials, between the MIG and stick functions it covers steel, stainless steel, aluminum (MIG only) and cast iron (stick only).

The maximum single pass it can weld is ¼ 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 lives up to its name, and is a good machine to learn how to weld well enough for hobby purposes.

Pros

  • 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
  • Easy to use because it turns on when you pull the trigger
  • Weighs only 51 pounds and has a 6-foot power cord

Cons

  • It can produce welds and cuts that look shaky and rough
  • Some customers found that the welder stopped working after a few months

5. LONGEVITY 721405557523 Stickweld - 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 perfect 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 machine that is used primarily for art projects and small repairs, and is favored by professionals as a cheap 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.

Pros

  • Digital display on the front makes it easy to set up the stick welder 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

Cons

  • The warranty requires that you contact another company for repairs
  • Doesn't offer much power when used with the 110V adapter

6. PrimeWeld Ct520d Stick welder - Best For Farm Use

The above confluence of features is what makes it perfect 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 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Better for beginners than more experienced welders or those with more money
  • Some shoppers received welders that included used parts or materials

7. Forney Easy Weld 299 Stick welder - Best For Beginners

As might be expected, one of the cheapest options on the market is the perfect pick 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 an easy 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.

Pros

  • Suitable of 24 gauge welds with a cutting of up to 1/4”
  • Can work with an output of 120 volts or 125 amps
  • Compatible with spools of between two and 10 pounds
  • Has a compact design that goes anywhere you need
  • Includes the cables and clamps you need in different welding situations

Cons

  • 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

Our Top Choice

Everlast PowerPro 164

Everlast PowerPro 164

While the Everlast Power Pro is the highest quality option, 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 ones for multiple purposes but want to keep price down and portability up.

Just be sure to take your own specific needs into account when choosing, and you shouldn’t regret your purchase.

If you are looking for reviews of welding helmets for Stick click here.