Different materials, different challenges

Before deciding to buy a welding machine, think about what are you going to need it for. It all depends on what process are you going to use.

The processes:

Wire welding

There are two types of wire welding – MIG and flux core. The MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. It relies on a continuous stream of gas which protects the weld from contamination. The gas comes from a gas bottle, and it’s plumbed into the gun. The downside of this process is that it’s sometimes difficult to do it outside because the wind can blow away the shielding gas.

The flux-core process uses a wire which is specially designed for use without the shielding gas. Therefore, it’s good for outdoors.

Stick welding

Stick welding is the best type for the beginners. It’s perfect for quick repairs on the go. It’s easy to set it up, and it uses an electrode to operate. Because it uses an electrode, you don’t need a wire feeder at all. Although it’s slower than MIG welding, it’s more forgiving when it comes to working with rusty metals. It is also not recommended for sheet metal welding.

TIG

Tungsten inert gas is used mainly for architectural work and in the automotive industry. It delivers a smooth and precise weld. As far as the difficulty goes, this type is considered the hardest to learn. However, it’s doable if you’re persistent enough.

The challenge

The biggest challenge is to learn to weld well, and that’s it. If you’re a beginner, try focusing on only one type, and stick with that. The recommended one is stick welding. Once you master it, it’s going to be much easier to learn the other types as well.

The most important thing to bear in mind is precautionary measures and safety. Make sure that you wear gloves and protective eyewear at all times while working on a project. Maintain the unit in good condition, and you’ll master the processes in no time. It’s all about persistence and knowledge.

Different types require different materials and levels of skill. You’ll get better as the time progresses, and you’ll learn which materials react best with each other. However, don’t experiment with the equipment and materials. Make sure to read the user manual first and get an insight into the suitable combinations.