Last Updated on Nov 19, 2022
Generators are the go-to for anyone who might be working away from a power source. These machines provide not just an easy but an efficient alternative.
That holds especially true if you’re working either in the absence or away from the main source of AC power. In that regard, these welding generators owe their efficiency to the heavy-duty cycles. To know more, simply continue to read through our article on welder generators.
At the same time, you must keep in mind that these machines may cause a dent in your finances. Portable welder generators are capable of carrying out multiple types of processes. But because of that same reason, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
That’s why it’s pertinent that you must make sure to maintain a balance between the price and its features. Thus, we’ve listed down five of the best engine driven welding generators.
How big of a generator do I need to run a welder?
There exist many underlying factors before you go on choosing a generator for yourself. Among these, the primary factor is the welder itself. That is, the type and variant of the welder determine the generator you need to buy.
In general, either a 240 V (volt) or 120 V is the output voltage required to efficiently run a welder. At the same time, it’s possible to find welders that boast the usage of both voltages. Make sure you understand grounding requirements for your generator, here’s OSHA requirements.
But before you get a welding generator, you need to consider the amount of energy your welder consumes. You may do so by making use of the input voltages and input current.
Thus, we advise selecting portable welder generators big enough to produce output energy that’s higher than the power required.
Apart from that, you can look at factors such as the value of Total Harmonic Distortion or simply TDH. For those who are not familiar with TDH, it measures deviation. That is, it calculates how much power deviates away from the normal. For best-quality portable welder generators, the values lie lower than 6%. That means the deviation of power supply is below 6% from the normal.
What qualities should I look for when buying a welding generator?
Many a time, the power you get from the walled power source isn’t enough for welding. Thus, it becomes vital that you choose welder generators that allow an efficient combo. That is, a welding generator capable of offering ample power to your dedicated welder.
Thus, the first quality of efficient portable welder generators you must look out for is high wattage. That is because the welding process requires large amounts of undisturbed power. Besides, it should be able to provide such power consistently even if the main power source isn’t present.
Also, the wattage further depends on the types of welding processes you wish to undertake. That is, weld processes such as MIG, TIG, etc., all require varying levels of wattage. So choose the wattage depending on the welding processes.
Plus, you can even go for welder generators that offer multi-welding processes.
The next quality you need to consider is the weight of the welding generator. It’s quite natural for the machine to be on the heavier side. That’s because of the heavy components built inside the framework. At the same time, these heavy-duty parts offer the machine high wattage capabilities.
You can choose to go for lighter portable welder generators. But these won’t provide nearly the same efficiency in terms of output power.
It’s expected of high-quality, efficient engine driven welding generators to provide power for long hours. That’s a prerequisite for the purpose of carrying out any type of welding process; an undisturbed power source. And that’s what a duty cycle of a generator typically is.
For maximum efficiency, choose a generator with a long duty cycle. Also, we advise you not to overheat your machines as such instances can be really dangerous. These can very well result in fatal situations. Thus, that makes it even more apt to get welder generators with long duty cycles.
What types of fuel do I need for an engine driven welding generator?
Other than the qualities we mentioned above, fuel also forms a part of the factors that you must consider. In that regard, there exist mainly three primary varieties of fuels. These are Liquefied Petroleum Gas or simply LPG, diesel, and gasoline.
This type of fuel doesn’t cause any type of harm to the environment. When it comes to its efficiency, LPG resembles the workings of gasoline.
It’s suitable for places where there are restrictions on the usage of diesel and gasoline. Also, LPG is a natural choice for users who stay at a place where the other two alternatives are expensive.
Usually, portable welder generators that employ diesel as fuel belong to the group of 300A or above. Diesel is definitely more on the expensive side compared to the gas variants. Even then, the fuel’s more preferred than the gas fuels. That’s evident from its prominent usage as a job site workhorse.
The reason is higher fuel efficiency (35 percent) and power output. Also, some workspaces employ diesel engines due to safety reasons. Besides, on average, in comparison to gas variants, engines using diesel as fuel have a longer life.
In general, engines that use gasoline possess a limited usage. Also, such engines are lighter compared to other engines that use diesel or any other alternative fuel source. Unlike diesel variants, engines that employ gasoline fall below the category of 300A. And that means lesser efficiency.
Plus, such engines aren’t allowed in some spaces due to safety reasons. Also, they have higher maintenance needs.
Welding Generator Recommendations
A welding generator that you can use to weld anything and anywhere is of the highest priority. Also, you need to consider the noise that it’ll create while you’re using it. That holds especially true if you’re working at a place with a lot of people nearby.
With that in mind, the following welder generators aren’t only noise-proof but also power efficient. Thus, without further ado, here are the top five portable welder generators.
Lincoln Engine-Driven Welding Machine (Bulldog 5500)
The welding generator makes use of a tube frame. That’s why it’s much lighter than the machines in the same power categories. In that regard, it weighs only around 198 pounds. That means when you can compare it to other generators; its weight is lesser than half of those machines.
When it comes to its power efficiency, it can produce a constant output of 4000 watts. If we talk about its peak levels of power creation, it lies around 5500 watts.
If you’re looking for a generator for the purposes of stick welding, you may very well go for this product. Other than that, it’s not efficient enough to support other types of welding processes.
Also, you can save a ton of money if you purchase this welder generator. Plus, 70-140 is its amperage range.
Lincoln Electric 225 Amp Eagle 10,000
Lincoln’s Electric 225 Amp Eagle 10,000 is, without a doubt, among the most widely used engines. A definite jump from Bulldog 5500, the generator is capable of pumping out 9000 watts consistently. Not only that, it boasts of producing really high and efficient peak levels to the tune of 10500 watts.
The engine’s built is of the best quality, ensuring a long-lasting machine. Plus, the engine’s entirely powder coated to prevent any type of corrosion. Besides that, you can even choose to remove the doors if you wish to. That makes the maintenance and the servicing of the Kohler engine much more efficient.
Unlike the Bulldog 5500, it’s capable of running various welding processes. A few of them are MIG, TIG (200A), stick welding (225A), and so on.
Not only that, it can produce enough power for the purposes of plasma cutting and gouging. But that’s limited to a steel plate of thickness of around 3/8 inch.
Hobart Champion 145 Arc
The welding generators are suitable for processes that require around 4000 watts of undisturbed energy. Also, it boasts of providing efficient peak levels of 4500 watts.
The Hobart Champion 145 Arc truly deserves the “portable welder generators” tag. That’s because the engine’s framework houses handle and wheels. These features make it easier to carry it around from one area to the other.
With this engine, the noise will be something that you’ll never have to worry about. Also, starting the engine is really easy and simple.
Besides, it also houses a huge tank to store fuel. The engine can store up to 6.25 gallons of fuel at once.
Also, the engine comes with a warranty of 3 years, besides being heavily durable.
The TOMAHAWK 15 is easily capable of producing a power output of 210 amperes. That holds true even when the engine is functioning at only 60%.
Also, the engine features durable functions that offer long duty cycles without compromising on the power output. It’s capable of providing peak power levels of 2000 watts. That’s possible due to its 420cc horsepower engine.
When it comes to its fuel tank, it can easily hold more fuel than the Hobart Champion 145 Arc. That is, in total, the TOMAHAWK 15 is able to hold up to 7 gallons at once. That allows the engine to offer maximum power efficiency for long hours.
The technology of the engine’s based on the HP inverters. Thus, because of that, the engine is able to offer constant and clean energy. Maintenance is easy since you can find the parts for the engine quite simply anywhere.
Similar to other engines in the list, it also houses big wheels for easy usage.
Miller Bobcat 225
Powerful is the term that best describes Miller welder generators. The engine can easily hit the levels of 9500 watts in terms of power production. Although its power efficiency and features are very similar to Lincoln 305, the former go easier on your wallet.
When it comes to its applications, Miller welder generators work best for stick welding and TIG. At the same time, it’s equally capable of usage for the purposes of MIG.
In terms of fuel capacity, the engine boasts of a large 12-gallon tank. On top of that, it produces extremely low levels of noise.
What is a welder generator? What should they be used for? What should they not be used for?
A welder generator is an engine that provides power for welding in the absence of the main power source. In that regard, it functions very much like an inverter. But instead of batteries, it makes use of various types of fuels to produce power for welding. Thus, a welder generator converts mechanical energy into electrical power.
So if you require power for welding in places without a power source, make use of a welding generator.
What should they be used for?
Just as we mentioned above, portable welder generators provide power for the purposes of welding. At the same time, that’s not all there is to it.
You may use a welder generator just as you would employ other generators. Thus, use it to power lights or devices that require a backup power source. You can even plug the devices into the framework of the engine.
What should they not be used for?
Do not choose smaller portable welder generators that cannot meet the power needs of the welder. That’s because, in such cases, it might cause the engine of the generator to overload. It may result in overheating, which can cause fatal accidents.
Thus, do not make use of under-sized engines. Select a generator that meets the power requirements of the type of welding you wish to undertake.
Although you can use portable welder generators to charge a car’s battery, we would advise you not to. That’s because, firstly, you would require the correct type of engine for charging purposes.
Secondly, you would need to consider the condition of your car’s battery. Considering all that, it’s best that you don’t use portable welder generators for such purposes.
- How big of a generator do I need to run a welder?
- What qualities should I look for when buying a welding generator?
- What types of fuel do I need for an engine driven welding generator?
- Welding Generator Recommendations
- What is a welder generator? What should they be used for? What should they not be used for?