11 Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021 | BUYING GUIDE

Please note in this document we are only going to cover SMAW machines and processes. So if you are looking for MIG (metal inert gas welding) and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas welding) machines this document may not help you. Machines are selected from amazon with keeping the price as a major factor.

What is Stick weld or (Shielded Metal Arc Weld)?

stick welder machines 2021

Shielded metal arc welding is a welding process in which there is a consumable electrode that is covered in a specialized coating called “flux” so when we start the welding process our electrode metal got fused into the base metal with flux covering it from the top so that the newly welded joint doesn’t react with the gases present in the air.

How it works?

arc stick welding 2021

Basically, we have a welding machine connected to the power supply 220V AC current (depends upon the type of machine and weld. we are covering only portable machines in this case). The machine has a control knob for Current and voltage which lets the welder choose between different configurations for different types of metals and welds.

The machine has two outlets. Positive and negative. Earthing clamp goes into the positive end while the welding electrode goes into the negative end. This is called straight polarity. You reverse the configuration and it becomes reverse polarity.

Consider how you want to weld 2 pieces of steel together in a butt weld. So you will connect earthing clamp with the workpiece put a welding rod in the electrode holder and start the weld. Once you finish the welding flux will deposit on top of the weld which is called “slag”. With the help of a chipping hammer, you can remove the slag and check your welding joint for quality, etc.

Nothing is more important than keeping your equipment in working order. With the right safety gear, you’ll never have to worry about the life of your machines. Our line of welding safety equipment keeps you and your hands protected as you weld. Choose from clamps, jackets, gloves, and masks to keep you safe from the sparks that fly in any shop or job site.

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding

To choose the best welding machine available nowadays we must consider the below factors.

Power

In a portable welding machine, the biggest concern is its power. For example, many cheap welding machines available in the market nowadays do not have enough power to melt a 3.2mm 7018 welding rod.

Duty Cycle

A duty cycle defines as a 10 minute period of actual time taken by a welding machine to generate a particular welding current. It ranges from 10% to 80%.

The duty cycle represents the amount of time you can constantly weld before you have to let the machine cool. Generally, a full duty cycle is 10 minutes. The longer the duty cycle, the more efficiently it can accomplish your job. Also, it makes sure you need not face the overheating issue. For small welds in houses etc. duty cycle does not play any major role but for industrial use, the machine should have a high duty cycle otherwise frequent breaks have to be given to the machine to cool down.

Weight and build

A portable welding machine would be lightweight and easy to carry without a compromise on its power and durability. The lighter the machine better it is to carry in difficult weld locations.

Cost

The stick Arc welders are not so much expensive. At the price of approx. $200, you can buy a budget stick welder that delivers solid results and durability. When you expand your budget, you can get a stick welder with even more power and more versatility.

11 Portable Welding Machines for Stick Welding 2021

Honorable Mentions (too expensive to be added to the list) Excellent for heavy industrial use.

  • ESAB
  • Everlast
  • Miller

Stick welding is a versatile and popular welding process that can be used on a wide variety of materials with a variety of applications. This process is primarily used to weld steels, stainless steels, aluminum alloys, and special composites such as carbon steels. Welding with the shielded arc method has proved to be extremely effective for lightweight structural components such as metal scaffolds, floor beams, and metal cables.

As welding has become more and more popular, some manufacturers have found ways of making it more efficient than before. In 2014, the process of stick welding was found to be too expensive and less efficient than traditional methods. For many welders, stick welding is still the preferred method of welding. However, with some manufacturers creating better stick welding machines, there are some new stick welding machines that are more affordable and more efficient than ever.

Portable welding machine working

Stick welding is among the most powerful welding techniques and has a great reputation for its ability to protect workers. The most modern stick welding machines have an integrated shielding system that is designed to protect the weld face from the ionized metal welder. This is more effective when used with low-voltage welding.

Sometimes, we need to weld metal, in very specific and precise ways. We often need to weld with shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), and that’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best stick welding machine. We have chosen our criteria based on experience and expertise, as well as the machines’ ease of use and reputation, such that no one else is better than the other.

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021

1.Hoobart 500570 Stick mate 160i Welding machines

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021


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One of the best and most expensive machines on the list HOBART stick mate. This machine weighs under 20lbs.
It’s a powerful small machine with an output of 160A. The duty cycle for this machine is 30% on 240Volts. We can easily use steel and stainless steel welding rods on it.

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding

The Stickmate 160i can be used as a charger, stable, portable, or portable power source for any electronics without the need to carry extra batteries. The 10 ft. (3m) electrode cable and 10 ft. (3m) work cable both come with heavy-duty holders allowing the user to conveniently and quickly mount them anywhere. The 6.5ft. (2m) power cord features multiple MVP adapters for easy plug into any power outlet.

Its best feature is its hot start technology which prevents cracking in welds. This machine comes with a 3m electrode cable with a heavy-duty electrode holder. 3m earthing cable with earthing clamp and 2m power cord with MVP adapter. The body is made of stainless steel and has an amperage range of 20-160 amps. The product is covered by Hobart’s 5/3/1 warranty.

Package includes
Electrode holder with heavy-duty cable
Earthing clamp with heavy-duty cable
Power supply cable

Pros
  • Durable
  • Robust Body
  • Light Weight
  • Hot start Technology
  • Compact design
  • Powerful (even 7018 rod is good to go)
  • Good quality electrode holder and earthing clamp
Cons
  • Low duty cycle in compare to cost

2. DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder Machine IGBT Digital Display LCD Hot Start Welder with Electrode Holder,Work Clamp, Input Power Adapter Cable and Brush

Welding machines
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Welding is the process of joining materials, usually metals, with heat. There are many different types of welders available to welders. The MMA welders are one of the most popular welding machines in the market. This type of welder machine can be used to weld any type of material like stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials.

The DEKO 160A MMA welding machine allows you to attain a professional finish in your welding projects. Key features include a 160A machine that comes implemented with the advanced IGBT Inverter technology. Power source 110/220V. It comes with a rated duty cycle of 40/60% with a power factor of 085. The body is made of steel with a plastic handle. It weighs 12.1lbs with size 11.4”x4.92”x4.87”.

The machine comes with,
Electrode holder with cable,
Work clamp with cable,
Input power adapter cable & plug,
Wire brush
Owner’s manual.

Pros
  • Light weight
  • High Duty Cycle
  • Modern looks
Cons
  • Quality of electrode holder not good
  • Power cable not good

3. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp,Green

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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The durable and versatile FORNEY Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder is compact enough for work in tight quarters, yet powerful enough to handle larger projects. It’s an ideal welder for hobbyists and professionals alike. Featuring a 90-amp output, it can be connected to a standard 120-volt household current, and it’s capable of welding up to 1/8″ rod. The FORNEY Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder features a tig-ready spool holder that makes changing spools simple.

For professionals or beginners, the Forney Easy Weld 100 ST is a suitable choice. It is a great welding machine to carry around. For occasional weld repairs and light gauge metalwork, it’s the best choice.

The prominent feature is Easy Start technology. The Easy Start technology makes every arc strike simple. The power source needed is a 120V supply. With 90amp output. The duty cycle is 30% on 80A. It weighs around 9.65lbs with size 12”x5.5”x10.5” machine is made of metal and plastic

This Forney Easy welder has a TIG capability. For the general-purpose, you can make a Tungsten Inert Gas weld with it. It is designed to accommodate up to a 0.125-inch electrode.
it can welds 16 gauge up to 0.3125-inch thickness. The machine is easy to use and portable. So, you can take it anywhere you want to have DIY minor Tack welds and repairs.

Pros
  • Easy start technology
  • Light weight
  • TIG capable
  • Low cost
Cons
  • Low amp
  • TIG torch not included
  • Electrode holder and earthing clamp not included

4. TOOLIOM 195A 110/220V Stick Welder ARC Welding Machine DC Inverter Welder Dual Voltage MMA Welder Digital Display

Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding
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This beautiful-looking machine has a compact and portable design with a shoulder strap and comes with dual voltage input 120V or 230V depends upon your requirements. This machine is suitable for all 60 series welding rods and 70 for tack welds or minor welds only. It has a digital display for output welding current. Machines come with a hot start, anti-stick, and dig arc force function which is very good for beginners.

Lightweight and portable, this stick welder is perfect for welding mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and other non-ferrous metals. The built-in display screen reads the output of the current, which is easy to understand. The built-in display screen reads the output of the current, which is easy to understand.

The machine has a high 60% duty cycle which is able to weld a workpiece of up to 4mm and a maximum output amp range of 20 to 195amp. Item weighs 17.16 pounds. Package dimensions 17.5×14.25×9 inches. The body is made of metal and plastic

The machine is Lift TIG capable but the TIG torch and other TIG items have to be purchased separately.

In the box, you’ll find a stick machine,
50A heavy duty adapter.
1 electrode holder with a 10feet cable.
1 earthing clamp with 10 feet cable.
1 Power cord 10 feet
1 chipping hammer and cleaning brush
user manual

Pros
  • Built in anti-stick
  • Hot start
  • Built in arc force technology
  • Built in dig arc force technology
  • Low cost
  • Robust design
  • More functions asper cost.
Cons
  • Quality of electrode holder
  • Weight
  • Power

5. Dual Volt ARC Welding Machine Rod Stick 110/220V Mini Portable Inverter Welder AT2000 HITBOX

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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Whether you’re a new or seasoned welder, this is a must-have tool. This inverter welder offers the flexibility and portability you need to tackle your jobs on the go. This lightweight unit comes with an AC/DC welding output and a 110V power supply. It also has a built-in fan and a car adapter for convenient portability.

It is suitable for home or professional use. It is an ideal device that can be used in any situation. The compact size of this welder allows it to be taken anywhere you need. The dual voltage feature allows this welder to be used anywhere electricity is present. It comes with a built-in regulator which protects the unit from damaging itself by overloading the power source.

The cheapest and smallest machine on the list. It’s suitable. For small jobs and repairs around the home, farm, shops, etc. It has a dual input voltage of 110v or 220v depends on availability with a rated input capacity of 5.8 8.33 pounds. It has an output current range of 20-140amp with a duty cycle of 60%. Size is 6.7×4.4×9.1 inches and weighs around 1.95kg or 4.3lbs. The body is made of aluminum, steel, and plastic.

Package includes
Welding machine
an electrode holder and an earthing clamp.

Pros
  • Small size
  • Light weight
  • Very low price
Cons
  • Quality of power cable, earthing clamp and electrode holder is not good

6. Goplus ARC Welder, 200 AMP Lift TIG Welding Machine Hot Start LCD Anti-Stick TIG Welding Machine 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT Digital DC Portable Inverter Welder0amp Welding machines

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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Goplus arc welder 200amp is a stick welding machine with a lift TIG welding option. The machine is equipped with hot start technology it has an LCD display for amp, an anti-stick system, and have dual voltage options of 110 and 220v. It has an amperage of 10 to 120amp with a load cycle of 30 to 40%. The product size is 13.5″x5″x8.5″ and weighs around 15.84lbs.

The machine is equipped with a reinforced nylon panel. And had an over and under-voltage protection system. Over-current and under load protection. It has a plastic handle to carry around. Buttons and displays have a transparent plastic cover for touch prevention.

Package includes
Welding machine
Earthing clamp with cable
UL certified adaptor
1 electrode holder with cable
1 wire brush
1 strap
1 face shield with filter

Pros
  • Voltage protection
  • Amp protection
  • Hot arc start
  • TIG capable
  • Anti-sticking
  • Face shield and wire brush
  • Cover to protect control panel
Cons
  • Low quality wire brush
  • Small Duty cycle
  • Plastic body

7. Arc Welder 110V 220V 130Amp MMA Stick Welding Machine IGBT Inverter DC Welder LCD Display for Beginner with Electrode Holder Clamps

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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Hey, up arc-2 is a powerful welding machine capable of welding mild steel, stainless steel, and cast iron. It has an IGBT system for exact current, low splash, and smooth joint. It comes with a LED display for power. It has an automatic circuit breaker installed for safety. Its equipped with over and under voltage, current, and heat system

The size of the welding machine is 10.8inx8.3inx5.7in with a weight of 8.77lb. It comes with a hot start, anti-sticking, and arc control technology. It has an input voltage of 110/220v with an efficiency of 85% the rated Duty cycle for this machine is 60%. The power factor is .95

Box include
1 arc welding machine
1 earthing clamp with 4.92ft wire
1 electrode holder with 6.56ft wire
1 power cable
1 operation manual
2 welder quick plug

Pros
  • Auto cutout
  • Energy saving
  • Anti-sticking
  • Hot start
Cons
  • Shape and body type

8. HZXVOGEN 160Amp 110/220V MMA Welder Dual Volt Arc Stick Welding Machine 60% Duty Cycle Mini Portable Inverter Welder with Electrode Holder Earth Clamp 30A Cable Adapter

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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The HZXVOGEN 160 Amp 110/220v MMA Welder Dual Volt Arc Stick Welds is a high-quality product and is the perfect solution for welding hobbyists who require quality for their work. It delivers a far more versatile operation than any other welding machine on the market and is capable of welding all types of metal including stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and titanium skinned metal.

Easy to Use, Safe, and Powerful Welder, it is a great welder for home, workshop, and commercial use. It can weld thicker materials like wood, steel, metal, etc.

The electrode holder can hold a number of electrodes that can be easily clamped to the welder. 1-year warranty and great after-sale service.

The machine has a dual input voltage f 110/220v with an output power of 20 to 140 amp with a 60% duty cycle.
The machine is suitable for domestic and small work use. The size of the machine is 285x180x210 mm can weld an electrode of up to 3.2mm. The weight of the machine is 2.2kg

Box Includes
1pc electrode holder
1 pc earthing clamp
1pc 30amp adapter cord

Pros
  • Light weight aesthetics
Cons
  • Warranty

9. Arc Stick Welder, 115 Volt, 70 Amp (Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV)

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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A great option for any project, this arc stick welder contains a 70-amp transformer to power weld materials of all types. It also has thermal overload protection that prevents overheating, and a transformer that provides an easy-starting, smooth arc. Thermite stick welding is extremely powerful and ideal for many projects.

The arc stick welder’s four-position regulator allows you to select the desired current output. It also has thermal overload protection that prevents overheating and a transformer that provides.

This arc welding stick welder is a great tool for home or commercial use. The unit’s dual voltage allows for usage in countries with different electricity standards, allowing you to work long and hard on your projects without worrying about compatibility.

This welding machine weighs 24.6lbs with the size of 15.47.7510.25 inches. It has a duty cycle of 20%. The machine has a thermal overload protection system. The welder is capable of welding up to 1/8inch thickness with a maximum output amp of 70amp.

Box includes
Welding gloves
Welding machine
Face shield
Wire brush
Welding rods electrode holder and earthing clamp with 6ft cable

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Heavy

10. Prime Weld stick 16PrimeWeld 160A Arc/Stick Welder, 110V/220V Dual-Voltage Multipurpose Welder, Stick Welder Machine for Home or Jobsite Use, DC Stick Welder and Lift TIG Welder, 160Stick

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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PrimeWeld Welders are the most preferred Stick/Power welding machines for home or office use. Our 160A Arc/Stick Welder is a versatile Dual voltage arc and sticks welder machine that can be used for both 110V and 220V. This welder has a built-in top cover and heavy-duty double knob handle, it is made with the finest quality and the highest standard of engineering.

A simple but powerful stick welder that can be used to weld in the home, workplace, or wherever you need the job done right. This stick welder lets you weld with both TIG and MIG welding processes, and features a swing arc, “LIFT” arc, and DC TIG modes for cutting precise arcs. The integrated wire feeder with automatic shut-off assures no wire burns or spatter when you’re welding sensitive metals. The TIG welding function comes with

Prime weld stick 160 is a multipurpose dual voltage machine with a lift TIG option. With 120/240V input has an output of 120 to 160amp respectively. This welding machine has a 60% duty cycle. It weighs around 22.05 pounds. The product has a 3-year warranty.

Pros
  • Warranty
Cons
  • Weight
  • Low quality cables and electrode holder

11. ETOSHA MMA Welder 200Amp Inverter DC Stick Welder 110V 220V IGBT Digital Display Hot Start Portable Welding Machine Electrode Holder,Work Clamp

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding 2021
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The ETOSHA MMA Welder 200Amp Inverter DC Stick Welder 110V 220V IGBT Digital Display Hot Start Portable Welding Machine Electrode Holder, Work Clamp, Input Power Adapter Cable and Brush is a portable machine that works with different welding accessories.

This machine has advance IGBT technology. High inverter frequency reduces the weight and volume of the machine. It has a dual input voltage of 110 to 20V It has hot start technology. Thermal protection and power indicator LED. Current meter. With the size of 8in5.6in13in. The product weighs 13.23lbs output current 10 to 200A. Has a duty cycle of 30%. Orange color machine with steel and plastic body.

Box includes
Machine
Electrode holder
Earthing clamp
Welding mask
Wire Brush
Operation manual

Pros
  • Light weight
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Low Noise
  • Cost
Cons
  • Low duty cycle
  • Electric wires and plugs low quality

Related Guides:

FAQs:

Where to use Stick welding and how it’s different from TIG and MIG?

Stick welding is Easy to use. Do not require a highly professional worker. The welding joint is very strong and is highly recommended in site structural work. Have consumable electrodes.

MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding is suitable for in-house (workshop) welds preferably for thin metals. Its weld is clear and clean but needs an expert welder. Have consumable electrode feeding continuously.

TIG or tungsten inert gas welding requires a highly professional welder it’s used where the weld joint is visible and aesthetics are required. Used to weld thin metal, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. sheets. Have non-consumable electrodes.

Can stick welding be used both indoors and outdoors?

Yes, it can be used both outdoors and indoors. In indoors it’s highly recommended to have airflow and fire protection system with you.

Is it necessary to have highly skilled worker before using a stick welder?

It depends where you are doing welding. To be professional for sure you need practice and skills but for DIY stuff even if you are a beginner it’s good to go. It is easy in comparison with MIG and TIG and anyone can learn it quickly.

What is the way to determine the ideal welding joint?

There are a lot of factors involved in checking a welding joint. Many different types of non-destructive testing procedures are available which determine the quality of the weld. We can also check the quality of weld visually for undercut, porosity, pinholes, etc. Everything comes with experience and theory.

How to choose a good portable welding machine?

The following factors can be considered before picking a stick welding machine. They are the technology used, power source, duty cycle, materials used, ease of portability, protection features, compatibility with other metals, price, size, and weight.

Things to consider

Don’t weld on a wet surface
Bake welding rods before use
Do not use welding rod if flux is damage
Use proper PPE before welding
For heavy steel pre heat the welding joint
Always use a high-quality earthing clamp and electrode holder

Conclusion

Best Stick Welding machines Shielded metal arc welding

From my personal experience, I can say that type of welding machine depends upon its usage. If you want to use only for DIY minor welds or tack welds. Any low-cost welding machine will serve the purpose with low power and but if you want for a heavy industrial purpose it’ll cost more but will perform heavy-duty jobs.

Also for beginners, if you have a friend who is an experienced welder, better for you to ask him or any professional about the process they can guide you in the best way. There are things that can be achieved by experience only and cannot be googled.