5 Best Welder Generators Reviews & Buying Guide

Welding, a profession that demands precision and skill, often thrusts its practitioners into challenging and unpredictable work environments. Imagine finding yourself at a remote work site, far from the comforts of a well-equipped workshop, where reliable electrical power is a luxury. In such situations, the absence of a stable power source can present a daunting obstacle. Traditional generators may offer a glimmer of hope, but they are a shared resource, serving a multitude of needs, from illuminating the workspace to powering the tools of fellow workers. This constant juggling and compromise can be a real headache for welders trying to maintain their focus and efficiency.

However, in the world of welding, there exists a versatile solution that can come to your rescue – the welder generator. This ingenious piece of equipment not only performs its primary function of welding but also acts as a self-sufficient power source, running on fuel. Today, we will explore a selection of these welder generators that can prove to be invaluable companions, ensuring your productivity remains undeterred in any situation.

5 Best Engine Driven Welder Generators – Reviews

1. Lincoln Electric Ranger 305G Welder Generator – Top Pick

This is a great all purpose generator, made specifically with welding in mind. It works for everything you can throw at it: Stick, TIG, wire, and pipe welding. Besides welding it also has enough power output for any other tools you might need on a job as well.

It has a 12 gallon fuel tank, and runs on gas (not diesel). While life varies for any generator, this translates to roughly 12 to 14 hours of life, a bit less if you put a lot of draw on it. It provides 9500 watts of power (10, 500 surge watts), or close to double your standard 5000 watt generator.

On the welding side, it uses Lincoln’s “Chopper” technology to smooth out welds (plus reduce spatter and bead size), and has a downhill pipe welding mod you can slap on it as well. This welder can weld steel, cast iron, and stainless steel so should serve most purposes for you, and can do 5/32 welds on its stick welder.

It is inverter compatible as well, so can power any inverter welders you might be packing with you as well.

Keep in mind this is a fairly bulky unit,  42.3” (height) x 21.5” (width) x 36” (height) so ensure you have enough space to haul this if you buy it.



  • High power output compared to standard generators.
  • Great welding technology; clearly built with welding in mind form the start.
  • Good fuel capacity.
  • For general purpose stick welding, CC-stick mode is optimized using E7018 low hydrogen electrode.
  • Downhill pipeline welding mode
  • Skewed rotor design.
  • Multipurpose.


  • Bulky and heavy; hard to move around on a job site. Definitely truck-bound.
  • Expensive; Even more so than you’d expect from a generator.

2. Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 Welder Generator Combo

The Ranger 225 is the Ranger 305’s smaller sibling, and shares many of the same specs.

It outputs 9000 watts of power (instead of 9500), but keeps the same 10, 500 watts of surge power. It is an electric start, making it easy to start up and keeps the same 12 gallon fuel capacity for a similar 12 to 14 hours of operating capacity.

While it provides DC power by default, it can also provide AC power for powering other power tools, and is primarily meant for Stick or TIG welding.

The main drawback over the Ranger 305 is the lack of the “Chopper” technology smoothing out your welds and providing a number of other benefits that this one simply doesn’t.

The advantage though, you can get this generator welder cheaper than the Ranger 305, making it a likely tempting to trade off. If you don’t need that technology (downhill pipe welding tech) for whatever your reason is, then this is the same generator that cost less, which you can save.



  • Good power output.
  • Capable of MIG, flux-core and TIG welding.
  • DC and AC power generation.
  • Totally enclosed case with 3 service access doors.
  • Good fuel capacity.
  • Great price.


  • Lack of “Chopper” technology.

3. Hobart Champion Elite Engine Driven Welder Generator

This is a great generator if you can get your hands on it.

It’s easy to use and no hassle to set up, with both 120v and 240v receptacles and easy to reset circuit breakers. The generator itself is electric start (always a plus, I hate rip cords) and it generates a steady 11, 000 watts of AC power, a good bit more than most of these.

It is, of course, also perfectly compatible with DC welding and is designed primarily for Stick (scratch start) as well as flux core and TIG welding.

It has a standard 12 gallon fuel capacity, but clocks in a little lighter than most units of this size. Not by much in the grand scheme (about 20 to 30 lbs less) but enough to squeak it in under some less generous weight capacities.

This thing has excellent power output, giving you 23 horsepower to play around with, as much as Lincoln’s 305, and quite a bit more than most other units on this list, which clock in at between 15 and 20 HP for the most part.

If you’re looking for a unit with the power of the 305 and a lot less expensive, the Hobart Champion Elite has you covered, so long as you don’t miss Lincoln’s “Chopper” tech.



  • Great power output.
  • Easy to use outlets and breakers.
  • Portable, engine-driven solution.
  • Electric easy start.


  • Lacks a lot of the features some other welders provide that would push it from “good” to “great”.

4. Miller Bobcat 3 Phase Engine Driven Welder Generator

This is a powerful engine driven welder. It outputs 9,500 to 10,000 watts of continuous power, with an 11,000 watt surge power limit.

This puts it slightly above the Lincoln 305, but unfortunately slightly above the price as well.

This is mostly for DC stick and TIG welding, but good for AC MIG and non-critical Stick and TIG welding, making it pretty versatile.

It has a 12 gallon fuel capacity and some good quality of life features, including a fuel readout gauge, stud covers, an idle lock, and reduced noise levels to help your concentration on the job.

Overall a good package, but it runs a bit too steep for me to call it my first choice, but a great option if you are primarily a TIG welder in places without power, since it’s probably the best DC welder generator out there. Otherwise might be best to give this a pass over the Lincoln 305, which has a lot more specific welding technology backing up its chops as a generator.



  • Great power generation for DC welding.
  • Versatile for different types of welding.
  • A lot of good quality of life features.
  • Bobcat 3 Phase series features process DC stick/Tig, AC stick/non-critical Tig and FCAW/Mig.
  • Good fuel capacity.


  • Lack of dedicated welding technology.
  • Very high expense.

5. Tomahawk TWG210A 15HP Engine Driven Welder/Generator

The Tomahawk is a great budget option for welder generators, costing about a quarter what the top of the line models cost, while still being a quite respectable generator.

The main rub here is it only has a 2000 watt power output, meaning it’s really only going to power one, maybe two things. That makes it perfect for smaller jobs, like farm work, where welding is going to be an infrequent but occasionally critical task that needs to be done far away from a power source.

Keep in mind this is an inverter generator, which makes it fairly energy efficient, but may be less reliable than traditional transformer generators.

Still, for what it is (and especially for the price) this generator is great, It comes with a TIG welding starter kit and is compatible with all welders (MMA, MIG, Stick, TIG, and flux core). It is an electric start (push button) generator, making it easy to get up and going without any finicky clutch and pull string systems.

A 7 gallon fuel capacity rounds things out, giving it a roughly 7 hour operating capacity; maybe a lot more, it’s hard to tell with generators with less than 5000 watts of output since fuel to power output to longevity isn’t quite a linear function.



  • The best you’re going to get for under $2000.
  • Relatively lightweight and easy to move.
  • Compatible with all welders.
  • Decent fuel capacity.
  • TIG and MMA Welding Versatility.
  • Included TIG welding starter kit.
  • Easily set amperage with electronic reader and knob.


  • Low power output.

Our Top Choice

Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G

Lincoln’s Ranger models are far and away the best of these under most circumstances, unless you find the Hobart in stock and can snap it up when it’s available. Even then, the Ranger 305 is well worth the expense for the Chopper technology alone.

The other two are good, but more niche. I’d get the Tomahawk if you don’t need to weld too often but need something on hand when you do need to, but it’s hard to recommend the Bobcat over any of the other four save on price.

Read more here if you are looking for reviews of safety accessories like welding helmets.

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