Out here, we like to get the most out of our tools and equipment. That inevitably means firing up a welder. Perhaps you're tired of bringing things to a shop to have them welded or maybe you've borrowed your neighbor's welder enough for you to feel it's time to take the plunge and buy your own.
Either way, Tractor Supply has the type of welder you need to do work that will make you proud.
If you're new to welding or between choices, here's a quick rundown of the kinds of welders we sell and the advantages of each.
Stick Welders - The most popular welders because they are economical, work with most metal alloys and create a bond between even dirty or rusty metals. These welders can also be used indoors or outdoors. Stick welders (also known as arc welders) work by creating an electric current between the welder and the welding stick. Most folks find that stick welding takes longer to learn than other forms of welding. Available in AC or AC/DC configurations, stick welders are best for welding 18-gauge metals.
MIG Welders - These welders automatically dispense a wire welding electrode from a spool inside the machine at a pre-determined speed. The current between the wire and the metal you are working on creates a consistent, high-strength weld with little need for clean up. MIG welding is easy to get the hang of and works well on steel, aluminum and stainless plate metal as thin as 26-gauge. An important thing to note about MIG welders is that they require you to use a "shielding gas" (often argon or an argon/CO2 mixture) to protect the welding area from atmospheric contamination. Note: A MIG Welder can also be used as a Flux-Core Welder, but a Flux-Core Welder can only be used for making Flux-Core welds.
Flux-Core Welders are similar to MIG Welders in that they also employ a wire feed that creates a high-strength weld. Also like MIG welding, Flux-Core welding is easy to learn and works well on steel, aluminum and stainless plate metal as thin as 26-gauge. The greatest advantage Flux-Core Welders have over MIG Welders is they do not require a shielding gas, making them the best choice for welding in windy conditions or outdoors in general. Flux-Core welders also work as well as Stick Welders on dirty or rusty metal. Note: A MIG Welder can also be used as a Flux-Core Welder, but a Flux-Core Welder can only be used for making Flux-Core welds.
TIG Welders - These machines produce a weld with a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Like MIG Welders, they require use of a shielding gas to prevent contamination in the welding area. TIG welding is slower and harder to master than other kinds of welding, but once you get the knack, you'll be able to produce higher quality welds. TIG welding is the best choice for welding thin pieces of alloy steel, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as magnesium, aluminum and copper alloys.
If you have any questions about selecting the best welder for you, please ask a Tractor Supply team member.