In the Market for a New Welder?

protective personal equipment

Whether you are into hobby/classic car restoration or simply want to update your professional welding equipment, don’t sweat, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve compiled a simple, easy to read guide to help you navigate the often complicated world of welding to help you find the best fit for you.

Gas or Gasless?

Gas: Welding thin sheet steel is much easier WITH GAS. You may need to tack or stitch the plates together because you’ll easily blow a hole in the plate if you’re not careful. Triggering on and off will help avoid blow through’s but this should only be done with gas.

Gasless: Good for thicker plates and if you’re forced to weld outside but the flux turns to scale and so has to be chipped and cleaned off after welding.

Hobby or professional?

If you’re into hobby/classic car restoration the wide range of mini mig welders available should fit the bill particularly if there’s not too much welding involved.

It really depends on how much welding you’re planning to do and of course, it will very much depend on your budget.

The Clarke range from 160TM up is undoutably good value for money and will suit budgets of around £300. Although normally used with a half size ‘X’ or ‘Y’ BOC cylinder, it can be adapted easily to use small disposables.

If you’ve got a big project with a lot of welding we can set you up with a BOC cylinder, you’ll pay a years rental in advance but if you play your cards right, dump it when you’ve done and return it us and you’ll get whatever months are left refunded and then use a small disposable for odd jobs as they arise.

Spend £600 plus and it will get you a PROPER machine with Euro torch, industrial wire feed motor and wire tension assembly and it’s well worth the money too. See Murex 171, for example. Pros for spending that little bit extra? It’ll give you years of trouble free welding.

Looking for a TIG welder

We’ll help you decide which one to buy and deal with the terminology

DC machines: Ideal for welding ferrous metals including carbon and stainless steels, copper, titanium, zirconium and most nickel alloys.

AC and DC machines: Good for welding metals as above(DC) and for welding Aluminium alloys and magnesium(AC)

Scratch starting: Touching the electrode on the plate to start the arc

HF (High frequency) starting: High-frequency spark or electronic pulse initiates the current flow between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece. In DC mode the HF is removed when the welding current is established. In the AC mode, the HF stays on to stabilise the arc.

Square wave (AC mode): cleaning action to help breakdown the oxide layer on aluminium

Lift-Arc: Allows the arc to start without high frequency. An advantage in areas where the high frequency could interfere with computer or telecommunications equipment.

Slopes: Slope up allows the commencement of welding with a gradual increase in welding current up to the selected welding current. Slope down is a gradual decrease in current which helps eliminate crater cracks or gas holes on completion of the weld.

Post/Pre Gas: Usually timed Pre gas allows for purging the torch and weld area prior to establishing the arc. Post gas to protect the completed weld area from contamination.

If you’re still confused, overwhelmed or need a little extra guidance, give us a call and we will walk you through options depending on your budget, needs and wants.

The Welding Centre in Surbiton is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Fridays from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The store is closed on Wednesdays and weekends however appointments outside of hours can be arranged.