If you appreciate multitasking and convenience when welding, a welding generator might appeal to you. These machines provide a continuous power supply for your welding process. Welder generators are also necessary equipment on most farms and construction sites as emergency power units.
With these generators at your disposal, your job becomes easy as they provide a reliable outcome. A standard welding generator can power a modest home with ease.
Since it runs on fuel, you don’t have to worry about finding a power outlet with the right voltage to run your welding equipment. All you will have to do is fill the fuel tank, turn on the generator, and start welding.
- 1 What are Welding Generators?
- 2 Why Should I Use Them?
- 3 What Are the Pros & Cons
- 4 What to Consider When Buying a Welding Generator?
- 5 Best Welding Generators
- 5.1 1. HOBART Champion
- 5.2 2. Lincoln Electric Ranger 305
- 5.3 3. TOMAHAWK 15HP Engine Driver
- 5.4 4. Miller Bobcat 250
- 5.5 5. Champion Power Equipment 76533
- 5.6 6. Lincoln Electric Ranger 225
- 5.7 7. DuroMax XP12000
- 5.8 8. A-iPower SUA12000
- 5.9 9. Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator
- 6 Where to Get Them?
- 7 Best by Each Category
- 8 Conclusion
What are Welding Generators?
A welding generator consists of a fuel-run engine that generates electricity to run welding equipment-amongst other things. They produce high voltage, which means they can adapt to the current circuit to meet your voltage needs.
Welder generators come in a wide variety, with many features. They can accommodate different types of welding processes a stick, MIG, TIG- as required.
Why Should I Use Them?
You might be thinking, why should anyone spend money by investing in a welder generator? Let us tell you why.
Regardless of your occupation, you can benefit significantly from a welding generator because it is easy to use and reliable. If you work in construction or build for pleasure, you will find these especially helpful.
Besides, it generates electrical power, and you can hook this generator to any appliance you need to use. Yes, that’s right! They are not exclusively used for welding equipment. You can attach a ratchet, drill, or even a coffee machine to these generators, and it will power them.
If you work away from primary electrical power sources, this generator will come in handy. It will power your device, whether welding or others, without any hassle. So, you won’t have to worry about a stable electrical connection or voltage the next time you set out to work?
The primary use for this two-in-one device is a generator. If you live through a power outage or need power at your construction site, this generator can act as a primary electrical source.
Welder generators are safe to handle, simple and have an efficient performance level. They are also multi-functional; consumers will no longer have to buy separate equipment for a specific function; instead, they can rely on the welding generator. It saves not only space but also money.
What Are the Pros & Cons
Each machine comes with its pros and cons; however, some general aspects of welding generators may or may not appeal to the consumer.
- They are powerful machines, producing enough electricity to power more than one piece of equipment in your work zone.
- They are built to be durable. A welding generator can withstand any weather condition or the hazards of a construction zone. They have a strong build which aids this quality.
- They can be transported from place to place by attaching a wheel kit or other means. Pipe-built generators are the easiest to transport.
- They can serve as power generators for your home or work. Since they produce electricity, there is no rule forbidding you to employ it for other uses. A medium-range generator can generate 11000W of power. It can easily drive heavy machinery. Furthermore, if you experience natural calamities like floods or snowstorms, the generator can provide emergency power.
- They produce stable voltage, thus can your machinery with whichever voltage it requires. Therefore, you don’t have to wire your project size to accommodate 240V tools especially.
- They have versatile features. If you often require to weld with the stick, MIG, and TIG or a plasma cutter, you don’t need to break the bank looking for different machines for each; a welding generator can perform these tasks. However, all welder generators do not have this multitasking feature, and you will have to find the right one for it. Since they run on a stable and high current, they provide excellent welding output.
- The most significant factor is the price. Even if you aim for a low-range welding generator, you will be paying about $1500. And unfortunately, the welding generators with this price tag are relatively small and have fewer features. However, a decent high-range welder generator will easily cost $10,000.
- They are too heavy to carry. While these generators are portable, it is challenging to transport them without additional facilities. The larger the generator, the more it will weigh and the more difficult it will be to transport. You will have to use a trailer trolley or a crane, depending on the size, to move it. So, if you can’t arrange this transport, you will probably have to get a smaller generator, which may or may not meet your needs.
What to Consider When Buying a Welding Generator?
Before you jump to buy a generator that may not suit your requirements, consider some factors. Following are some aspects of a generator you need to contemplate over to buy the right one for you:
Type of Welding Process
Most welding generators support stick welding since it is the most common type. However, high-grade welding generators provide TIG and MIG options too- convenient for remote welding. But if you mostly work with stick welding, you do not need to invest in the other kind.
The duty cycle tells the duration for which the machine will work at full power. For example, if the generator has a 50% duty cycle and you are welding for 20 mins, the generator will run on full power for 10 of those minutes. A 100% duty cycle is ideal but also costly.
Most generators produce AC power, but this cannot drive heavy welding equipment. However, if you want to work on magnetic metals, DC output will not work; you will need AC power instead. An inverter is used to convert this AC supply to DC power and run the machines. Different generators will produce different amounts of DC amperage. Higher amperage is required when welding thicker materials.
So, depending on the task you have to perform, you will have to deduce the amperage you need and then decide.
Power output is a significant factor in choosing a welding generator. If you intend to perform simple tasks like mending objects, go for a less power output generator. But, if you want to do heavy-duty work, naturally, you will need a heavier output. However, the minimum production must be 5000W for satisfactory performance.
How you intend to transport your generator can also affect your decision, especially if you work at multiple sites. If you can set it up at the back of your truck, buying a larger and heavier option may be possible. Some large generators come with protective cages or wheelsets to aid transport.
However, if you will be moving it around a lot, it makes sense to buy a smaller or lighter generator. Otherwise, it will be too cumbersome to carry the generator to the worksite.
The type of fuel required by your generator will depend on the model you purchase. Most generators run on either gasoline, diesel, or liquid propane.
Gasoline is the cheapest option. In winter, gas engine generators are relatively easier to start. They also have a low fuel consumption. But they should only be used at sites with good ventilation; otherwise, they risk igniting.
Jobs of longer durations require diesel-powered generators as they provide a long run-time. So, diesel is an economical option when working for a longer time. But, in cold weather, it cannot be easy to start. It does not risk ignition, but it gives off toxic fumes, making them unsuitable for indoor work.
Propane is the most expensive of the three. It has a longer shelf life than gasoline- which can go stale. It can be used indoors because it burns clean and does not need to be in a ventilated area. Despite its benefits, it is rarely used because of its cost.
Loud noise can make working difficult and also disturbs the people around. If you live in a city and work in a congested neighborhood, you will need to consider the noise level. It is best to get a generator with a noise level lower than 90dB in such cases.
If you live in a remote area, like a ranch, you can overlook this aspect. In such cases, noise-cancellation headphones will do the trick.
Ease of Use
While more advanced welding generators provide more controls and features, they can be confusing to some people. Most generators are easy to use and adjust to your work. Before you take the generator to your job site, familiarize yourself with the controls and meters for a better experience.
If you intend to get a generator for small-scale projects or emergency power, getting an industrial-grade welding generator will not be necessary. On the other hand, if you plan to use several welding machines, a generator with higher power capabilities will be better suited. Before you buy a generator, consider how much power you need from it and what functions are necessary for your task.
Accessories like extension cables, electrode hoses, clamps, and welding guns are necessary for welding. It would be convenient if some accessories are provided with the generator.
Best Welding Generators
1. HOBART Champion
Hobart is a well-known and reputed company among industrial workers. It is because Hobart machines provide better performance at a reasonable price.
Hobart Champion Elite Welding Generator is an engine-driven generator with 23HP, 11000 W of power, and 9500W of continuous power. This system can run as a stick and TIG on DC power output- providing convenience and power to the user.
With an electric starter, it will begin running as soon as you push the button. They run a 100% duty cycle at 225 amps. With its fuel-efficient system, you will be saving on gas. It has a large fuel capacity of 12 gallons. With a full tank, this generator can run consistently for long durations.
It is one of the best stick welding generators, and if you attach the proper equipment, it can also operate as a DC TIG welder.
Hobart Champion Elite features a 240-volt 50 amp outlet, a 120/240-volt dual voltage outlet rated at 50 amps, and a 420 amp plug-in at 120V.
- Reasonable price
- Peak power of 11000W
- Continuous AC power of 9500W
- 225 amps 100% duty cycle
- 12-gallon fuel tank
- Twin-cylinder engine (Kohler)
- Saves fuel with an idle control feature
- It comes with an hours meter
- It has a welding amperage range of 40 to 225 DC
- 23 Horsepower engine
- Three years warranty
- Heavy; weighs 493 pounds
- It does not come with welding leads
- It does not include wheels or a bumper frame for transport
2. Lincoln Electric Ranger 305
Lincoln is one of the oldest and most reliable manufacturers in America and is known throughout the world.
305 G Ranger is the perfect combination of function and performance. This multipurpose generator can support a stick, MIG, gasless flux core, and TIG welding capabilities- heaven for the off-site worker. It also features Lincoln’s Copper Technology which guarantees a stable arc. As it provides AC and DC output, you can use it to weld magnetic metal. This generator offers maximum versatility for the user.
This 25 HP engine generator can produce up to 10,500 surge watts of power,9500 continuous power watts, and 300 amps. This power makes it the best fit for hobbyists working on large-scale projects and those who need to run multiple heavy pieces of equipment. It can also power the lights of your construction site.
The engine installed is built by Kohler. It is a gasoline-powered engine that runs with a 23 HP carburetor. It is easy to start because of the fuel injection feature. Its integrated fuel pump allows you to run the machine at high altitudes. The generator can be used for long tasks as it boasts a 12-gallon tank.
- The high-grade gasoline engine
- Multi-process welding
- Reliable arc performance
- AC/DC output
- Industrial application
- Surge power of 10,500 watts
- Continuous power of 9500 watts
- The duty cycle of 305A at 29V
- 12-gallon fuel capacity
- Heavy; weighs 510 pounds
- Not a tube frame
3. TOMAHAWK 15HP Engine Driver
Tomahawk is a San Diego-based company aiming to provide quality American-made products. Tomahawk 15 HP Engine Generator is a versatile machine, allowing stick, TIG, MIG, and MMA welding capabilities. Additionally, the device can act as a powerful generator capable of powering other tools and even your home.
With 2000 watts of clean power, this generator can meet most of your needs. The machine is also suited for long-duration projects with its 60% duty cycle and amp range of 50 to 210 amps of DC. It not only generates high power but also runs for a suitable period. The 7-gallon tank helps charge welding tools and allows a good run time.
This 15 HP engine can easily weld 1/3-inch, ¼-inch, and 3/8-inch metal plates. Keeping the consumer in mind, they also provide a TIG torch, welding leads, a ground lamp, and an electrode holder. The machine itself has simple controls and an easy-to-read digital meter showing amperage.
Tomahawk 15HP is highly portable with its lightweight and wheel bolted to frame. So, you won’t be straining your back by moving this engine.
- Lightweight with 154 pounds
- Affordable price
- Peak power of 2000W
- Versatile welding
- 210 amps at 60% duty cycle
- Can weld from 6010 to 7024 rods
- Electric starter
- Attachable wheels
- 7-gallon tank
- Does not support AC outlets
- Can run hot
4. Miller Bobcat 250
Miller is a forceful competitor against the big companies in this industry. Miller generators are top quality and so expensive. Miller Bobcat 250 is no exception, but it has a reachable price.
Miller Bobcat 250 was built to give you uniform and stable welds with its unwavering current. The current in this generator does not spike like most cheap generators providing accurate results. This diesel-run engine is also economical for long-term projects. Its Kohler engine can produce 11000 watts of power and 9500 watts of peak power. It runs on full amps at 100% duty cycle, maximizing power. With this power, you can run any tool at your worksite.
The machine allows stick, MIG, DC TIG, and Flux Core welding capabilities. If you want, the machine can be upgraded to act as a plasma cutter. The DC/AC output options add convenience to the tow workstation.
This generator has reverse airflow technology, which allows it to cool faster than most generators. This system also helps in reducing the noise produced by the engine. It is also easy to maintain with simple fueling and cleaning processes.
Although much lighter than earlier models, Miller Bobcat is a heavy machine and is built for industrial purposes. A hobbyist might not find a need for it, but if you want the best welding generator at a reasonable price, go for it.
- Fuel efficient
- AC/DC output
- Multi-process welding
- Surge power of 11000 watts
- Continuous AC power of 9500 watts
- 250 amps at 100% duty cycle
- 40-250 DC amperage range
- 23.5 Horsepower
- 12-gallon tank
- Heavy; weighs 501 pounds
- Welding cables not included
- Accessories sold separately
5. Champion Power Equipment 76533
Champion 76533 features a 244cc Champion 4-stroke engine capable of running efficiently on two fuel types – gasoline and propane.
When running on gasoline, it provides 4750W of starting power and 3800W of running power. If fueled by propane, it has a starting power of 4275W and running power of 3800W. The starting mechanism is the conventional pull-start, but it can also be started with an electric starter. It is easy on the ears with a 68dB noise rating. At 50% load, the generator can run for 9 hours on gasoline, and on propane, the run time is 10.5 hours. It has four AC outlets, all of which operate at 120V.
The pipe frame design is great for portability and the outdoors. The wheel kit and folding handle features add to the ease of movement.
The machine has a meter displaying voltage, frequency, and, hours. It also provides security to the consumer with its low oil automatic shutting mechanism and Volt Guard protecting from overload. It also has a spark arrestor to prevent forest fires. Additionally, it comes with accessories that include oil, a funnel, and a propane hose.
- Great Compatibility with Welders
- Dual Fuel
- Good price
- RV ready
- Lightweight; 119 pounds
- Electric start
- Noise level of 68dB
- Automatic shut-down mechanism
- Volt Guard included
- Spark Arrestor mechanism
- Fuel efficient
- Not A Welding Machine
- Not a remote start
- 3.4-gallon fuel capacity
- Low run time
6. Lincoln Electric Ranger 225
Lincoln electric ranger can produce 10,500 watts of AC power at peak, enough to compensate for most job sites. It can provide 9000 watts of continuous power and run up to 210 amps per 25V with a 100% duty cycle. It ensures that the generator will run the full course for your task without overheating. This generator can easily run for 14 hours with its 14- gallons of fuel capacity.
This welder generator allows multiple welding processes, including stick MIG, TIG, and Flux-core. Not only that, it provides a smooth welding experience. The 2-cylinder Kohler engine runs at 23 HP and includes technology that causes it to shut down when overheated. As it features an air-cooling valve overhead, it is difficult to overheat it in the first place. The engine is completely enclosed, protecting it from dust and other pollutants while protecting you. There are three access doors to carry out maintenance.
The generator produces both AC and DC outputs. The former is great for industrial operations, while the latter is best suited for stick welding through electrodes.
The build is heavy. It makes the generator quite durable but a hassle to transport. It does not have a tube frame or wheel attachments to help move the generator, as is the case with most generators of this build and weight. But it is a worthy investment.
With great performance, power, and efficiency, this generator is made for professional welders.
- AC/DC output
- 11000-watt continuous power
- Multi-process generator
- Electric start
- Easy maintenance
- Welding amperage range of 50-255 amps
- 3-year warranty
- 100% duty cycle at 25V
- DC output only for welding processes
- Heavyweight; 563 pounds
7. DuroMax XP12000
DuroMax can deliver 12000W of peak power and 9500W of continuous power with 18HP. You can easily finish your DIY project with this much electricity, operate much large equipment, or power your home during a blackout. Due to its 8.3-gallon fuel capacity, the gas engine can run for 10 hours at 50% of its capability. The generator will automatically shut off when the fuel level is low, preventing complete fuel use.
In order to accommodate your diverse demands, it has 120/240 VAC and 12 VDC outlets. One AC 120V 30A, two AC 120V 20A GFCI, one AC 120V/240V 30A, and one AC 120V/240V 50A outlet are available.
Because you won’t need to switch between equipment as frequently as you would with smaller generators, these flexible connecting choices offer ease to the user. TIG and stick welding equipment may be powered by this generator.
The electric start feature of the generator makes it simple to start and operate. That is the best option for those who lack the power to use a recoil start. You would anticipate that a machine of this scale would make a deafening noise. Remarkably, the noise level produced by this generator is just 72 dB.
This generator is lightweight compared to other generators, making it simple to move. Its tubular construction makes it small, transportable, and robust.
- Lightweight; 260 pounds.
- Great Compatibility with Welders
- Produces a ton of power
- Many connectivity possibilities
- Easy to use
- 8.3-gallon tank provides 10 hours of run time
- Wheels and toolkit provided
- Not A Welder.
- Requires unleaded gas
8. A-iPower SUA12000
A-iPower provides a peak power of 12000W when it starts and continues with 9000 wattages later. The 459cc engine runs at 16HP. With this much wattage, you can power your business, home, or construction site with ease.
The generator is fitted with a 4-stroke gasoline engine with a single cylinder and air-cooling system. The engine starts easily due to an electric start. The start key is the push button. It features a 7-gallon tank that can provide a run time of 7 hours at 100% capacity and 9 hours at 50% capacity.
This generator is great for the worksite as it can easily power 1/2″drill and most saws along with the standard stick welding equipment. The generator is also great for camping. Since it is CARB-compliant, it can be used in California without risking a forest fire.
The noise level of this generator is adequate, producing 78dB at 23ft. The control panel is ergonomically designed for better user interaction, keeping safety in mind. Its outlets are GFCI protected to prevent shocks in damp weather. Another safety feature is automatically shutting down when fuel is low to prevent damage. It also comes with an ergonomically designed foldable handle.
It comes with the following outlets: four GFCI 120V 20A NEMA5-20R, one 120V 30A NEMAL 5-30R, one 120/240V 30A NEMA L-14-30R, and one 12V8.3A port. These versatile outlets are convenient for the off-road worker and those working with several kinds of tools. This generator is easy to transport as it Never has Flat tires equipped. The tube steel frame provides greater portability and durability even in rougher terrains.
- Lightweight; weighs 206 pounds
- Great Compatibility with Welders
- Provides substantial power
- 7-gallon fuel capacity provides efficient run time
- GFCI protected outlets
- Integrated DC adapter plug
- Wheels equipped for better transport
- Wiring can be hidden
- Noise range of 78dB
- Cord protective cover provided
- Easy set-up
- Budget-friendly option
- 2-year warranty
- Not A Welder.
- The steel frame’s powder coating may come off.
9. Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator
The Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator is a powerful and reliable generator that is designed to provide backup power to your home in case of an emergency or power outage. It is equipped with a robust 420cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine that can produce up to 6600 watts of peak power and 5500 watts of rated power, making it capable of running multiple appliances and tools at once. The generator has a large 8-gallon fuel tank that provides up to 16 hours of run time at 50% load, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable source of power for extended periods of time.
The generator features a convenient electric start that makes it easy to start the generator with just the push of a button, and it also has a manual start option for added flexibility. It has four 120V AC outlets, a 120/240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet to power a variety of appliances and tools, as well as a USB port for charging your electronic devices. It also has a built-in hour meter to help you keep track of maintenance schedules.
The Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator is designed to be portable, with a compact and lightweight design, and it comes with a wheel kit and folding handle for easy transport. It also features a low oil shutdown and circuit breaker protection for added safety and reliability. This generator is ideal for providing backup power for your home during power outages, as well as for use at outdoor events, job sites, and more.
- Great Compatibility with Welders
- Equipped with a robust 420cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine that can produce up to 6600 watts of peak power and 5500 watts of rated power
- A large 8-gallon fuel tank that provides up to 16 hours of run time at 50% load
- Convenient electric start for easy starting and manual start option for added flexibility
- Four 120V AC outlets, a 120/240V twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet to power a variety of appliances and tools, as well as a USB port for charging electronic devices
- Built-in hour meter to help keep track of maintenance schedules
- Portable design with wheel kit and folding handle for easy transport
- Low oil shutdown and circuit breaker protection for added safety and reliability
- Not a Welder
- As with any generator, the Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator is quite loud, so it might not be the best option for situations where noise is a concern.
- It is a bit heavy, so it might be difficult to move around some people, especially if they don’t have a vehicle to transport it.
Where to Get Them?
There are multiple options for shopping, you could check out your local hardware store or the generator company’s dedicated store, but we recommend shopping online- particularly on Amazon.
Why Amazon? Here are our reasons:
With minimum person-to-person contact, online shopping is safer in the age of covid-19
Amazon provides great prices. Upon comparison, you will find that your local shop will sell items at a higher price than those found on Amazon. Furthermore, you will often find the product you want is on sale. It can help you stay on budget.
Amazon has a wide variety of products you can choose from. There is a large pool of sellers on Amazon. Even if you are searching for a specific product, you will find alternative retailers or several brands to select from. Or you will find something better and new that you had no idea about.
Amazon provides faster and cheaper shipping. If you make the mistake of buying from the generator company’s website, you will have to wait significantly longer and pay a hefty delivery cost. With Amazon, most parcels arrive within 2-3 days, and the shipping cost is always modest.
Reviews are a key aspect of Amazon. Because this shopping portal has such a vast and diverse user base, you can always find reviews that are helpful and relevant. Customers give their honest feedback and experience while also attaching images or photos.
Customer service is always available and helpful. With other sites or even in shops, it can be hard to get reliable service, but Amazon has always helped us during our shopping mishaps.
It is also easier to return parcels on Amazon. If you receive a faulty product, you can send it back within a week and get a refund or another piece sent without charge. You can also buy protection on products when ordering to extend the return window.
Best by Each Category
Best Air Cooled Generators for Welders
Champion Power Equipment, Westinghouse 6600 Watt Home Backup Portable Generator
TIG Welding Generators
MIG Welding Generators
Stick Welding Generators
Hobart Champion Elite Generator
Flux Core Welding Generators
Multi-Process Welding Generators
Diesel Welding Generator
Welding generators prove useful to welders, DIY enthusiasts, and hobbyists. They have multiple functions that make them useful for every home, especially those that often face natural disasters or power outages. They are essential for welders when an external source of power is not available.
To decide which generator is best for your project, you will have to consider factors like power, output, fuel capacity, and much more. We have covered these aspects in our guide for your ease. Make sure to look into the manufacturer details of the products to check specifications.
There are various generators available in the market, but to make your decision easier, we have provided you with quality products. The list we have compiled contains reliable generators that can be used for any of your requirements. However, if you feel unsatisfied with our selection, we understand. You can review our tips and advice regarding buying a generator to make an informed decision for yourself.