Best Generator for Welding

Welding is a job with many unique challenges, and one you might encounter is a construction site without electricity (or at least unreliable power that requires you to have a backup plan).

Conventional generators are good and nice, but they’re used for a whole range of other things, from your work lights to the power tools of other workers, and sharing (and balancing) can be a pain.

Fortunately, welders have another option: a welding generator that supplies its electricity in exchange for fuel. Having a good welding portable generator that meets the needs of a welder ensures that you can weld just about anything, anywhere.

Today we will look at a few best generators for welding that will serve you well in any situation.

Top 3 Generators for Welding

Lincoln Electric Ranger 305G Welder Generator

The Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G is a great general-purpose generator specifically made for welding. It’s one of the best generators for welding and works with everything you can throw at it: Stick, TIG, wire, and tube welding. In addition to welding, it also has enough power for all other tools you might need at work.

It has a fuel tank of 12-gallon and runs on gas (not diesel). The lifespan of a generator varies from a generator to generator, but this means a life of about 12 to 14 hours, a little less if you apply a lot of pull on it. It delivers an output 9500 watts (10, 500 starting watts), i.e. almost twice the output of a standard generator with 5000 watts.

On the welding side, Lincoln’s “chopper” technology is used to smooth weld (as well as reduce the size of spatter and bead), and there’s a downward welding mod for pipes that you can also slap on it. This welder can weld steel, cast iron, and stainless steel making it suitable for most purposes, and can make 5/32 welds on its bar welder.

It is also inverter-compatible, so it can also supply all inverter welding machines that you may have with you.

Remember that it’s a rather bulky device, 42.3inches (length) x 21.5inches (width) x 36inches (height), so make sure you have enough room to carry it when you buy it.

Pros

  • Compared to the standard generator it has a high power output
  • It has a great welding technology
  • Good fuel capacity
  • The CC-stick mode is optimized using the E7018 low hydrogen electrode for general bar welding
  • Downward pipeline welding mode
  • Oblique rotor design
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy; difficult to move on a construction site. Truck-bound
  • Expensive

Hobart Champion Elite Engine Driven Welder Generator

The Champion Elite 225 is easy to use and easy to set up, with 120v and 240v sockets and easily resettable circuit breakers. The generator itself is an electric starter and it produces a constant AC power of 11, 000 watts, a bit more than most of these devices.

It’s also perfectly compatible with DC welding and is primarily designed for stick (scratch start) as well as flux-core and TIG welding.

It has a standard fuel capacity of 12 gallons but is slightly lighter than the most device of this size. On the whole not much (about 20 to 30 pounds less), but enough to get it under a few less generous weight capacities.

This generator has excellent performance that offers 23 horsepower, as much as Lincoln’s 305, and a lot more than most other units. If you’re looking for a device with the performance of the 305 and much lower cost, the Hobart Champion Elite is just the thing for you, as long as you don’t miss Lincoln’s “Chopper” technology.

Pros

  • High power output
  • Easy to use sockets and breakers
  • Portable, motor-driven solution
  • Electric start

Cons

  • Many of the features that some other welders offer that would make it from ‘good’ to ‘great’ are missing.

Miller Engine Driven Welding Generator

The Miller Bobcat 250 has been designed to produce a steady current that doesn’t jump up and down like most generators, so the welds are even. This gives you a much higher accuracy in welding compared to conventional welding generators.

It also operates with a duty cycle of 100% at full amps to ensure you have steady maximum available power. The machine is highly resilient to withstand years of use even at this high running rate.

It’s a heavy machine, but Miller has significantly reduced its size compared to older models to make it easier to carry. It would be nice if it were equipped with welding gear, but with what it offers, the price does not tolerate additional equipment.

We recommend this quality machine to anyone who wants the best welding generator at a lower price than lots of other options.

Pros

  • Average price
  • Peak power of 11,000 watts
  • 9500 watts AC continuous power
  • 100% duty cycle at 250 amps
  • 5” x 29” x 23” dimensions
  • Three-year guarantee
  • Current intensity during welding: 40 to 250 DC
  • 5 horsepower
  • 12-gallon fuel capacity
  • Can connect MIG welding device
  • Can TIG welding
  • Smooth, non-spiked power

Cons

  • Contains no welding lines
  • Weighs 501 pounds

What Are the Uses of a Welder Generator?

All welding machines needs a power source. Most machines depend on an external power source such as a socket in a welding workshop or the home garage. A welding generator has an in-built power source. This is very practical for cases where there’s no electrical connection.

Farmers can make use of a good welding generator for metal repairs l on combines harvesters, tractors, and other agricultural equipment; irrigation pipes, seed drills, and spreaders; metal components and frames on fences, pens, and barns, hitches, and trailers.

A welding generator is very useful on a ranch for building fences and pens, wagons and trailers, and the different types of equipment used on a ranch. A worker in the construction industry would use a welding generator for steel structure and steel columns on buildings.

Any industry or trade that uses welding in areas where no external power source is available will need a welding generator to construct or repair metal structures, equipment, or object with a metal component.

Welding generators are not only useful for welding functions. They also offer many advantages in emergency power situations.

A welding generator is constructed with a fairly large fuel tank so that it can run under continuous wattage for many hours under without having to refuel.

Some welding generators can deliver up to 12,000 watts of power, which is sufficient to cover the power requirements of a house or small business. Many welding generators can deliver peak power to start the engines of large appliances such as air conditioners, water heater, or furnace.

What to Look For In a Welder Generator

Many welders are interested in welding machines that can perform several types of processes. Most well-known generators can perform MIG, TIG, and Stick welding processes, and many can also operate a plasma cutter.

The more power your welding generator has, the more processes it can process. Therefore, one of the most important criteria for a welding generator is how much power it can supply.

The more demanding the type of projects you do regularly, the more current you will need. The fuel capacity or the size of the welding generator’s fuel tank determines how long the generator will run for.

Some welding generators can be portable and lightweight. However, most welding generators are much larger than a stand-alone welding machine and can be fairly heavy.

They often need a truck or trailer to transport them to and from construction sites. The size of the truck or trailer depends on how large and heavy the welding generator is?

Fuel Efficiency in a Welder Generator

The type of fuel you need will depend on the model of welding generator you purchase and other factors that depend on the way the generator is used. Most welding generators are powered by an engine and can run on either petrol, diesel or liquid propane.

In economic terms, gas will generally be the most cost-effective alternative. However, the price of fuel is not the only consideration when choosing a particular type of fuel.

Gasoline

In general, gas offers lower fuel usage and is cheaper than diesel or propane. Smaller, portable welding generators run on petrol. Gas engines also start more easily in cold weather. However, the use of petrol requires a ventilated area as it’s prone to ignition.

Diesel

Jobs, where the fuel is provided on-site, require the use of diesel fuel. Diesel offers a longer running time than gas or propane. It may, therefore, be an economical choice for work that requires a long run time.

Diesel doesn’t ignite as quickly and easily as gasoline, so it can be a more attractive option when used near other spark generating devices.

However, diesel emits pollutant emissions and is not well suited for indoor use. It can be more difficult to start in cold weather conditions and may require extra starting aids.

PROPANE OR LPG

Propane can be stored forever because it doesn’t go calcify, while petrol does. It can also be used in none well-ventilated areas or where exhaust emission is not allowed.

Propane burns cleaner than gas or diesel. Propane is not widely used because it is the most expensive of the three fuel options.


Conclusion

A welding generator is an essential device for welding requirements when an external power source is not readily available or when you need a reliable, durable power source.

As a small construction company owner, handyman or hobbyist, you need a high-quality device that is capable of generating a clean arc and that is durable and portable. Also, welding generators offer the possibility to carry out several welding functions from one machine.

If you need a welder for general repair or maintenance work, you probably do not need more than a one-rod welder. There’s no doubt that a high-end machine like Miller (Bobcat 250) will be more than adequate.

If you’re dealing with aluminum or magnetic metals, you need to buy a device with an AC welding output and TIG support.

For industrial, commercial, or high-performance applications, we recommend the Lincoln Electric Ranger 305G. This is one of the best generators welding featuring state-of-the-art options, with ample power and support for all processes.

These models are also fuel-efficient and durable, so the high price you pay now is offset by the low long-term operating costs. Any of the welding generators presented here would be the best choice for your needs.