Jargons aside, electric arc welding is basically divided into three main types – Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMA), Metal/Inert-Gas (MIG) and Tungsten/Inert-Gas (TIG). The type of welding process you choose should be balanced upon your requirements and budget.
Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMA/MMAW), Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Flux Shielded Arc Welding (FSAW) or just simply called ‘stick welding’ (nicknamed for the sticks of coated consumable electrodes) is the most basic and cheapest of all the electric arc welding processes. As the flux is coated over the electrode, stick welding requires no separate shielding gases and minimal skills to gets the job done. About the only thing complicated about stick welding is trying to remember all the various abbreviations associated with it.
The Kende IN275A is our best-selling stick welder for a reason – it’s both light in your hands and on your wallet! Other than the consumable electrodes and some basic tools to scrape off the slag, the IN275A make for an extremely portable set up. The IN275A has a welding range of between 20 to 160 amps with a no-load voltage of 80 volts and weighs in at a feathery 4.4kg.
If you need more more power, the IN295A sporting a similar size but with an additional 20 amp increase in max output pushing its welding range up to 200 amps at a slight increase in price and weight at 4.5kg.
Meanwhile, the Kende KD250C is a 240V inverter-type MMA or stick welder with a welding range of 25 to 250 amps and an 85% efficiency. Inverter welders are not only lighter than their non-inverter counterparts but also offers better quality weld finishes. The KD250C also uses up to 30% less electricity compared to non-inverter type welders.
Welding on site with no power mains? Not a problem. The Kende KD7500 is an integrated MOS inverter DC generator-welder with a 23A and 5500W max rated output. The KD7500 has a welding range between 50 to 190 amps and weighs in at 80kg.
Stepping up from stick welding is Metal/Inert-Gas (MIG) welding. The learning curve is marginally steeper due to the wire feed rates but MIG generally produces a higher quality weld when compared to stick welding due to less splatter.
MIG welds are less malleable compared to TIG welds but is generally easier to master as the operator can focus solely on the welding process without worrying about the filler material while welding.
MIG has two sub-variations, one with an active gas, Metal Active Gas (MAG) and one without any form of gas shielding called Flux Shielded Core Welding (FCAW). Both vary only in the type of shielding gas or flux-cored filler wire used.
Inert gases, such as argon or helium is traditionally used for MIG welding of non-ferrous metals while active gases, typically a mix of argon, carbon dioxide and oxygen, is used for welding steels. In terms of cost, MIG welding machines typically costs more than TIG machines simply because they have an additional mechanism to handle the filler wire feed.
The Kende NBCMGIMAG200F is an inverter-type (Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor) MIG/MAG welder that feature pulse width modulation (PWM) control technology for precise, continuously-adjustable welding current while using as much as 30% less energy over non-inverter type machines.
The NBCMGIMAG200F is able to handle high arc loads with a welding range of between 30 to 250 amps with an 85% efficiency rating and allows the operator to weld a wide selection of metals from carbon steel, alloy steel, cast iron as well as stainless steel. The NBCMIGMAG200F also feature automatic over-current and overheating protection.
For greater flexibility when the job calls for more than one type of welding process, the Kende MIG300 has you covered. The Kende MIG300 is a 240V dual MIG/MAG and MMA (stick) welder with an inverter with a rated welding range of 70 to 180 amps.
The MIG300 comes bundled with a 5kg 0.8mm MIG wire, a CO2 regulator and a portable CO2 gas canister. The MIG300 allows the operator a choice between quick and dirty stick welding or a more finesse MIG process as and when it is needed.
Finally, we have Tungsten/Inert-Gas (TIG) welding. TIG welding is somewhat similar to brazing with an oxyacetylene torch in the sense that you need to dip the filler metal into the pool of molten metal during the weld process.
Similar to MIG, TIG welding uses an inert shielding gas from the torch to protect the weld area from atmospheric contamination. While the tungsten electrode doesn’t get used up like in stick welding, it does get worn down over time.
TIG is typically used to join thinner sections of metals including more exotic non-ferrous metals like aluminum, magnesium and titanium. Of the three processes, TIG is the slowest and most difficult to master but produces the best welds as it gives the most control to the welder.
The Kende WS200 is a dual TIG/MMA (stick) welder that delivers a stable arc for high quality welds with a welding range of between 30 to 200 amps with an 85% efficiency. The WS200 offers the benefit of a dual-process welding set up in a single machine.
Checkout our full range of Kende welding machines at CTHardware.com