what type of welder to get??

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Well-Known Member
I work for a welding supplies outlet here in the UK, so can pass on a bit of info..

To do the job you want, a MIG welder is prefered....however, if you want to weld car body panel thickness material, the welder MUST be able to go down to 25-30amps. Any more than that, you'll be blowing holes all over the place.... not good.

Best to use 0.6mm wire too.

For up to 6mm (chassis work), you'll need at least 160-180 amps to get a decent penetrative weld. Use 0.8 mm wire.

Those cheap welders generally have 2 to 4 amp settings, and won't go down to the minimum you need.

We've sold Lincoln Electic welders very similar to the one in the auction. 120amp machine, with 4 settings. Lowest setting was 50amps.... way to much for thin material.

Plasma welding is excellent, but commands serious amount of cash. We have one in stock at the moment, that will go down to ½amp, and is capable of welding the fillament in a lightbulb.... cost is way into the thousands.

If you need any more help... just PM me....



New Member
For all of your welding questions, go here

It's a non-brand specific board with alot of knowledgable people there. My recommendation would be to pick up a brand name welder (Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, etc.), don't get one of the relatively cheap welders from a store like Harbor Freight. As TK/TB6540 suggested, I would go with a MIG as well.


Well-Known Member
I run a structural steel fabrication shop and have quite a bit of experience welding - perhaps I can help. What you need and what will work best all depend on the materials you will be welding. If you have never welded before in your life, then I would suggest MIG welding would be an excellent starting point. Unfortunately, a cheap MIG welder will only allow you to weld basic metals of the carbon steel class. For aluminum you will need to use a TIG welder or a specially setup MIG welder (will need a more expensive machine to begin with and a special welding gun). The skills necessary to TIG weld are quite advanced and should wait until you have experience MIG welding. Perhaps a little background info on what particularly you want to weld will help. What kinds of materials? How thick? Do you access to 220V power? Let me know and I will see what I can do. Also, what kind of budget are you looking at. Remember, you will need some protective clothes (Levi's, good long sleeve shirt, leather gloves and a welding helmet) and consumables to and these will add a bit to your purchase.


Well-Known Member
I agree with acerocket for the most part..

I was a production welder for ooo 10ish years and help a friend with the restoration of his Mini cooper, its a nail but he wont admit it.

Can I just say before I go on, steer away from stick welding units. Its messy and not as quick and easy to pick up for the novice as mig welding is...same goes for gasless.

I had a look on Ebay.com to see if i could see one to recommend, but the prices put me off, although that might be because im in the UK.

Any (almost any) mini mig budget setup will be able to deal with 0.7 to 5mm "steel" its just a matter of practising on some scrap. On the lighter gauges you'll just have to move a little faster (alot faster if its a higher amp) or spot weld across your joint (dont spot if it has to carry weight). Experiment with settings as what they say on the chart doesn't mean its right. To practice on thin guage stick everything on minimum and wirespeed on 4, for heavy guage wack it up to max and wirespeed on 6/7. These are only suggestions if you get a budget set.

Dont skimp on protection, buy a decent mask, arc eye is not pleasant and only takes a few seconds of exposure to the rays to do the damage. Also any uncovered skin can and will get burnt from the sparks and spatter as well as from the rays, think of nasty sunburn.

Don't let that put you off though, as with all things practice makes perfect and mistakes are learnt from (I question that last one).

Hope that helps :)

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