Technology moves fast and much like TV’s, telephones, etc, welders have improved leaps and bounds these days. For many years you would need to have multiple welders rolling around the shop. If you’re on a budget this just isn’t possible and many of us weren’t able to afford luxuries like TIG welders or plasma cutters, etc, This mean you were stuck with the welder you had even if it wasn’t the best for every job. In the past few years multi-process welders have become the wave of the future and Eastwood has been bringing them to the home hobbyist. But not all multi-process welders are the same and you need to decide what features and functions matter most to you. Read below for our tips for buying your first multi-process welder.
- Welding Functions- Multi-Process welders allow you to do multiple functions in one unit but not all do every function of welding. Most units are based off of one type of welder and the other functions are “add-ons”. For instance you may find a TIG welder that you can also ARC weld with or a MIG welder you can TIG and ARC weld with This means it performs its main function the best while the other add-on functions may have compromises with functionality. This doesn’t mean the welder doesn’t weld properly in those functions; just some of the bells and whistles for the add-ons may not be present. Add-on foot pedals for TIG or no gas regulator for TIG may be some examples. But like anything if you want to spend the money you can get larger multi-process welders that have complete welder functions for all options. Our MP-250i is a good example as it has full function MIG welder with a true High Frequency start TIG welder with pedal built in.
- Add-On Accessories- It’s always nice to grow with your tools and welders are no exceptions. Some multi-process welders come with the options to do multiple functions internally but the accessories to weld with those functions need to be purchased separately. Make sure when your welder shopping that you price out these accessories versus a welder that comes with them as you may find you’ll spend a lot more in the long wrong if you buy a welder without.
- Welder Ratings- Another thing to consider is the ratings for your multi-process welder. Because these welders may do one function REALLY well and the other functions are add-ons you may find that the duty cycle or amperage ratings are different for each function, As long as the ratings aren’t too different you probably will never have a problem but be careful of buying a welder that has extremely big gaps in duty cycle between functions.
Whether you want to step up to a pro Multi-Process welding rig or just get a small unit to occasionally weld with it’s good to have a single unit that can do many things for productivity and also space constraints. See all of the Eastwood Multi-Process welders HERE.