Welding Kit for Beginners, Fast Track to the Best

By Ben Norton / November 12, 2018
Welding Kit For Beginners

Let's talk beginner welding kits

Does it matter which kit you buy?

Of course it does. Let me explain why.

Purchasing a welding set as a novice welder should give you a head start and get you welding.

Till you know enough, have enough experience to that you can choose your own specific equipment in each area because you now have enough knowledge about what you exactly want.

What is a welding kit for beginners?

The ideal welding kit for newbie welders not only provides a welder - the machine you weld with. A welding kit goes further because you have wrapped up in the package, extra pieces of equipment, kit, stuff to get you started.

The big box arrives, you sign for your package and you can't wait to open it all up. You're all keen to start playing, practicing and lay down a few beads.

You read the instructions or

If you are the type that doesn't read the instructions you struggle a bit till you realize that to get anywhere you must find out how that widget plugs in.

Then and only then when you're in a lather to get going you see that there are other things, stuff you'll need as well.

Stuff you didn't think to buy at the same time and now you'll have to order and wait for that to arrive before you can begin welding.

What I'm aiming to do in this article is to outline those things. The crucial bits you'll need so that you can order them upfront if not provided in the kit.

So when your big box arrives you can dive straight in, hear that sizzle and see your first weld.

How do I help you in your search for a welding kit as a rookie or hobby welder?

I've researched and evaluated the welding kits available for a fledgling in welding and outlined what you can expect from each starter set and what you'll need in addition. Just so you know ahead of time.

​Beginners Welding Kit Comparison Table

Let's explore what is currently out there for a newbie welder.

In the below table I have given you an overview of the welding kits I have researched with;

  1. Some idea of what is in each kit, 
  2. ​My rating out of 4 for each kit. I have put them in order. The one I consider the best is at the top.
  3. and its relative price. 

You can click on the jump to button to take a look at my quick overview of each welding kit or you can select the images to view each welding kit on Amazon.

​Welding Kit

​ My Rating

Price

​Quick Review

Forney Easy Weld 125 FC Front

Forney Easy Weld 29901

​Easy Weld 29901 Flux Core Welder
2 lb reel of flux core wire
2 Contact Tips
Helmet, 2 pairs Gloves, and more ...

3.5 out of 4

$$$

Handy Core and MIG Gun

Lincoln Electric Handy Core
​Handy Core Flux Core Welder
1 lb reel of flux core wire
 Hand held face Protection Mask

Combined Chipping Hammer and Brush

2.5 out of 4

$$$

GoPlus Front

​Goplus 
​Goplus Flux Core Welder
.55 lb reel of flux core wire,
2 Contact Tips,
Hand held face Protection Mask
Combined Brush/Chipping Hammer

2 out of 4

$$$

Super Deal MIG 130 Front

​Super Deal Black Commercial MIG
​​SuperDeal Flux Core Welder
.55 lb reel of flux core wire,
2 Contact Tips
Hand held face Protection Mask
Combined Brush/Chipping Hammer

2 out of 4

$$$

Lincoln Handy MIG

Lincoln Electric Handy MIG
​Handy MIG Welder,
1 lb of flux core wire,
2 lb of solid MIG wire,
Gas Regulator and more ... 

2.5 out of 4

$$$

Forney 377 Welder Start Up Kit

​Front Lift Helmet, Welding Gloves, Chipping Hammer, Wire Scratch brush

3.5 out of 4

$$$

Cheap Beginner Welding Kits

At the entry level, low cost end of the rookie welding kit market there are a number of companies with welders that actually are the exact same welders.

They are being sold in sometimes difference colors, given different brand names, sold by different companies. Yes, they are Chinese imports but if you have a very limited budget.

Circa 100 dollars to spend will get you one of these entry level welders. And if you are not sure if welding is for you and just want to give it a try then these welder will certainly do a job for you.

​1. Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder

2 out of 4

GoPlus Front


Click Image to View the Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder on Amazon

A flux core welder that uses flux core mild steel welding wire and will only weld mild steel. Also known and referred to as a gassless welder.

Duty Cycle: 10% at 105 Amp (although 15% at 105 Amp is claimed by the distributor of this welder)

Max Welding Output: 50 to 120 Amp

Min/Max Weld Width: From 18 gauge to 3/16th of an inch mild steel

Controls:

On / Off switch. 4 settings via two buttons. One buttons sets the Goplus to Min/Max and the button is for the fine setting of Min/Max of 1 or 2. There is a wire feed adjustment knob with 10 levels of wire feed speed that you can set. An overheat protection light should you over heat the welder.

The Set Consists Of:

  • The Goplus flux core welder
  • 2 contact tips of 0.035 size
  • A reel of flux core wire .55 lbs,
  • A hand held face protection mask
  • Combined brush/chipping hammer

Read the Full Review of the Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder

2. Super Deal Black Commercial MIG

2 out of 4

Super Deal Black Commercial MIG

Click Image to View the Super Deal Commercial MIG Flux Core Welder on Amazon

A flux core welding set the same as the Goplus above. Uses flux core mild steel welding wire only for mild steel. Also known and referred to as a gassless welder.

Duty Cycle: 10% at 105 Amp

Welding Output: 50 to 120 Amp

Min/Max Weld Width: From 18 gauge to 3/16th of an inch mild steel

Controls:

On / Off switch. 4 settings via two buttons. One button sets the Super Deal to Min/Max and the other button is for the fine settings within Min/Max to 1 or 2. There is a wire feed adjustment knob with 10 levels of wire feed speed that you can set. Overheating protection should you over heat the welder.

The Kit Consists Of:

  • The Super Deal flux core welder
  • 2 contact tips 0.035 in size
  • A reel of 0.035 flux core wire .55 lbs,
  • A hand held face protection mask
  • Combined brush/chipping hammer

​These welders are also sold under several brand names. E.g. Zeny MIG 130, Arksen MIG 130 and the FDS MIG 130 brand.

Entry Level Beginner Welders Kits Pros

  • ​These welders are at the start of the market. An entry level flux core welder, sold and distributed through several companies
  • ​The MIG 130s are designed for light and occasional use as the 10% duty cycle demonstrates
  • ​Great for a novice as these welders are easy to set up and use, as there are limited settings
  • check
    ​​As long as you don't expect too much of this welder it will lay down some nice beads for you. With a little more know how and experience you could be beveling and welding up 1/4 inch mild steel
  • check
    ​​These MIG 130s are cheap welding gear you can use to build up skills on before you move up to a more quality welder

​Cons

  • ​​The MIG 130s flux core beginner welding kits just about passes muster
  • Times
    The flux core wire provided isn't of the best quality
  • Times
    The hand held face protection mask is barely fit for purpose and the brush, chipping combination will hardly see you though your first weld
  • Times
    Though these welders claim to weld 1/4 inch mild steel, joint preparation with beveling and multiple passes is needed.  As is multi-pass capable welding wire

​Conclusion

If you only have circa 100 dollars to spend then these starter flux core welding kits are much of a much ness. Don't expect too much for the money, these will weld and get you practicing your skills.

They allow you to plug into a 20 Amp fused circuit and use a normal home power plug. And if you only ever plan to do light occasional welding then these welders may just be the thing.

Do yourself a favor; if you have no equipment at all then get a decent helmet to protect your head and eyes. A spool of reasonable quality flux core wire. Who wants your novice beads spoiled by rubbish wire? A decent chipping hammer and brush will also be needed if you plan to weld for more than five minutes.

What else would you need before you start welding with the Goplus or Super Deal MIG 130?

A helmet as the hand held face protection mask is going to do little for you. Decent quality flux core welding wire, welding pliers, chipping hammer, wire scratch brush and welding gloves.

And don't forget protection for your body with a welding apron.

Mid-Range Welding Kits

​3. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core

2.5 out of 4

Lincoln Electric Handy Core Welding Kit

Click Image to View the Lincoln Electric Handy Core Flux Core Welder on Amazon

A flux core wire welding kit that welds with flux core mild steel welding wire.  The Handy Core welder is only for welding mild steel.

As the price of this welder implies this welder is a step up from the welding machines in the entry level space of the market. Lincoln Electric is a known and trusted brand and manufactures reliable welders.

Duty cycle: 20% at 70 Amps

Welding Output: 35 - 88 Amp

Min/Max Weld Width: from 18 gauge to 1/8 inch mild steel

Controls:

On off switch,

Four welding settings set via two rocker buttons. One button is what they call their heat range switch and can be set at high or low. The second switch is for fine adjustment and can be set at 1 or 2

The wire feed is adjusted via the wire speed knob

Over Temperature protection will automatically shut off the Handy Core should you exceed the duty cycle.

The Handy Core Set Consists Of:

  • The Lincoln Electric Handy Core Welder
  • 2 contact tips, one to get you started and one spare 0.035 inch contact tip
  • 1lb spool of 0.035 inch Innershield NR-211-MP Flux core wire
  • A welding hand shield with #10 filter plate and a clear glass.
  • Combined chipping hammer and brush

Lincoln Electric Handy Core Pros

  • ​The welding hand shield is a step up from the very flimsy hand held face shields of the entry level welders. The hand shield will do the basic job of protecting your eyes and face from the UV rays generated by welding
  • ​The set includes a combined chipping hammer and brush which is better quality than the ones in the cheaper welder kits and will do the job to get you started
  • ​You get twice the duty cycle compared to the entry level flux core welder kits which means you can weld for longer before risking overheating your welder
  • check
    ​​Although the welder is rated at a maximum weld width of 1/8th and even though the entry level welders claim to weld 3/16ths of an inch, with both the handy core welder and the cheaper flux core welders you would need to prepare the joint, bevel and do multiple passes to weld 3/16th or 1/4 of an inch mild steel
  • check
    ​​And at least the Lincoln Handy Core is supplied with Innershield NR-211-MP Flux Core wire. A quality multiple pass capable welding wire
  • check
    ​​The Lincoln Electric Handy Core is a quality welder should your budget stretch

​Cons

  • ​​You will soon realize you need both your hands free, to weld and hold your project piece and the welding hand shield is just not cutting it for you anymore. Then you will want to step up to a proper welding helmet
  • Times
    ​Equally, you'll be soon deciding on what you want out of a chipping hammer and a brush and be looking for additions to this welding kit. Separating those tasks to equipment dedicated to chipping or wire brushing to prepare your steel for welding

​Conclusion

Welding with a hand shield ok ish to protect your face for the first few light welds. However flash burn of your eyes should be a concern and you would do well to order a pair of safety glasses offering UV protection to use with the hand shield to start.

You'll also find that holding the shield in one hand while welding with the other awkward and you'll more likely find yourself moving up to a fully fledged welding helmet pretty soon.

For a light duty flux core welding kit for a newbie, capable of being plugged into a 20 Amp household plug, from a quality manufacturer, the Lincoln Electric Handy Core may well be a nice choice for you.

Read the Full Review of the Lincoln Electric Handy Core

What else would you need before you start welding with the Lincoln Electric Handy Core?

UV rated safety goggles, Welding pliers, welding gloves,

And soon, welding helmet as the hand held shield is going to frustrate you.

A welding apron.

​4. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125FC MIG Welder Start-up Kit

3.5 out of 4

Forney Easy Weld 125 FC Front

Click Image to View the Forney Easy Weld Flux Core Welder on Amazon

Moving up the price and quality ladder my next choice for you is the Forney Easy Weld 29901 MIG welder start up kit. Although the Easy Weld 29901 125FC has MIG welder in its title it is in fact a flux core only welder, like the Goplus, Super Deal, Zeny, Arksen and Handy Core.

The Forney Easy Weld is well suited to light and medium welding jobs. And if you have a reasonable budget for your beginning welding gear then this start up kit could be the one to get.

Duty Cycle: 20% at 80 Amp

Welding Output: 65 Amp to 80 Amp

Min/Max Weld Width: 24 gauge to 1/4 inch mild steel

Controls:

Two settings for the welding output via one switch on the front. The switch can be set to sheet metal or thin plate. Thin plate being the hotter welding setting.

There is a wire feed dial that goes from one to ten allowing you to vary the speed the welding wire is fed out at.

The Forney Easy Weld has an over temperature light that comes on when you have exceeded the duty cycle of the welder.

Forney Easy Weld 125FC Front Dial and Switch

Forney Easy Weld 125FC Front Dial and Switch

​The Kit Consists Of:

  • The Forney Easy Weld 29901 125FC Flux core welder
  • 2 contact tips of 0.030 in size
  • 2 lbs. of 0.030 flux core welding wire which is Forney's own brand of wire made for all position welding on mild steel. The flux core welding wire designed to be moderate to low spatter E71T-GS.
  • Black leather Forney welding gloves. Safety cuff for wrist and forearm protection,
  • cotton fleece lining, extra strength seams, sewn with kevlar thread for strength. Size large. Individual item no. 53425
  • Second pair of gloves - driver gloves, yes you can use them for driving, but they are also used generally with hand tools. Premium leather palm split cowhide leather back.
    Shirred Elastic around the wrist for a secure fit. Size large. Individual Item no. 53124
  • Wire scratch brush with wood handle. Use for hand removing rust and paint preparing your piece for welding. With embedded carbon steel bristles.
    Size 13 and 3/4 inches long curved wooden handle with a hole drilled so you can hang up your scratch brush. The angled handle saves cut and bruised knuckles. Individual item no. 70504
  • Metal/Steel Grinding wheel used for metal grinding off rust and milscale to get your metal clean for welding. Also can be used for grinding down your finished weld to smooth the surface. Will need to be placed into and used on an actual angle grinder.
    4 and a half inch type 27 with a depressed center grinding wheel for a 4 and a half inch angle grinder. Individual item no. 71819
  • Welding Helmet - premier Series CamoADF Helmet. Less than 1lb in weight, fire proof shell, impact resistant, adjustable at five points and has a sweat band, auto darkening filter.
    3.62 x 1.65 inch sized viewing area. DIN 9 to 13 variable shade selection via an external shade selection knob, adjustable delay settings. two sensors to protect against arc flash, solar cells with non-replaceable 3v lithium batteries and automatic on/off. UV/IR coating. Individual item no. 55702

​YouTube video on the Premier Series welding helmets

​Video Credit: Forney Industries

Forney Easy Weld MIG Welder Start Up Kit Pros

  • ​As you'll see from the Forney 29901 welding kit list you get a lot with this welder and the components are of great quality. All the items in the kit are made by Forney, a long standing quality name in welding and can be bought as individual products in their own right.  Getting those products in a welding kit for a rookie really sets you up well for starting your welding journey.
  • ​The 29901 can hold either 2 lb. or 10 lb. flux core wire spools. Which means you can have a cost per pound of welding wire advantage compared to using the smaller spools, should you weld a lot. Not many of the welding gear kits have this feature.
  • ​The highest duty cycle and Amp level of all the welders chosen at 20% at 80 Amp. Suitable for a 20 Amp fused household plug outlet.

​Cons

  • ​​At six foot in length each, the cord to the welding torch and welding clamp is shorter than its competition meaning you won't have as much cord to play with as you learn. But the quality of the components in the kit more than makes up for that.

​Conclusion

The equipment with starter kits, particularly at the lower end of the market, normally has the manufacturer scrimping on the items included to meet a price point.

Not so with the Forney Easy Weld Start Up Kit, all the included items are Forney products and are of great Forney quality. And when you take into account what you do get with this welder and calculate out the costs of the components you'll see that what you're getting is a true bargain.

They are all items you would need to buy anyway to start and before you know it you'd be spending this amount with your starter welder anyway.

A really good set for a fledgling, and the one I would recommend.

What else would you need before you start welding with the Forney Easy Weld 29901?

Welding pliers and body protection with a welding apron.

​5. Lincoln Electric Handy MIG K2185-1

2.5 out of 4

Lincoln Handy MIG

Click Image to View the Lincoln Electric MIG Welder on Amazon

Although the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG isn't sold as a beginner welding kit you get enough goodies sold with the welder for it to qualify for this list. The only welder on this list that will weld with flux core welding wire or solid wire. The Handy MIG qualifies as a true MIG welder as it allows you to use shielding gas when you're ready to take the step up from flux core wire welding. 115 volt welder that plugs into a normal three pin 20 Amp household outlet.

Duty Cycle:  20% at 70 Amps

Welding Output: 35 - 88 Amp

Min/Max Weld Width: 24 gauge to 1/8th mild steel MIG only (Flux Core 20 gauge to 1/8th)

Controls:

On off switch,

4 settings via two buttons. One button is the heat range switch and can be set at high or low. The second switch is for fine adjustment and can be set at 1 or 2

The wire feed is adjusted via the wire speed knob

The over temperature protection will automatically shut off the Handy MIG should you exceed the duty cycle.

Kit Consists of:

  • The Lincoln Handy MIG welder
  • 1lb of 0.035 of Innershield NR-211-MP flux core welding wire
  • 2lb spool of 0.025 in Super Ark L-56 solid MIG wire
  • A nozzle for flux core wire welding
  • A gas nozzle for solid wire MIG welding
  • Gas Regulator and hose for your shielding gas
  • 3 Contact Tips 0.035 inch for the flux core mild steel wire
  • 3 Contact Tips 0.025 in for the solid mild steel MIG wire
  • Welding hand shield with #10 filter plate and clear cover plate
  • Combined chipping hammer and brush

The Lincoln Handy MIG Pros

  • ​A nice MIG welding kit for beginners when you're starting welding and want a light duty welder from a quality manufacturer
  • ​Will weld using flux core wire or solid wire and shielding gas when you are ready for that
  • ​You get quality welding wire and a quality gas regulator for when you want to use shielding gas

​Cons

  • ​​A light to medium duty welder, not for thick metals unless you have the skills to prepare the joint first
  • Times
    ​The hand held shield is better than the ones provided on the entry level welding kits, not useless but you'll want to move up to a welding helmet

​Conclusion

You would be forgiven for doing a double take and say hey doesn't the Handy MIG look spookily like the Handy Core and it does.

Similar front, same size, weight, similar specs except the Handy MIG and its MIG welding kit gets you started MIG welding and it comes with a few more goodies you need for when you're MIG welding.

Like the gas nozzle, solid wire, contact tips for the solid wire and gas regulator.

When you're looking for a MIG welding kit for a beginner and you know you also want a kit that allows you to MIG weld then this meets the bill.

What else would you need before you start welding with the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG welding kit?

UV rated safety goggles to use with the hand held face shield.

Welding pliers, welding gloves,

And a little way down the line a welding helmet as the hand held shield isn't going to cut it when you start MIG welding.

A welding apron.

And when you're ready to try your hand at MIG welding you'll need C25 - a tank of shielding gas filled with 75% Argon gas and 25% Carbon Dioxide. Or should you choose you could get a tank of pure Carbon Dioxide gas. The Handy MIG will use either.

6. Forney 377 Welder Start Up Kit

3.5 out of 4

Click Image to View The Forney 377 Welder Start Up Kit on Amazon

And now for something different.

This kit doesn't include a welder but it does include some of the items lacking in those cheaper kit set ups. Namely, helmet, gloves, wire scratch brush and chipping hammer.  All made by Forney.

A useful addition should you only have the budget for an entry level welding kit like the Goplus, Super Deal, Zeny or Arksen, where the extra's you get with the welder barely make the grade.

The Welding Kit contains:

  • A front lift welding helmet
  • Split leather welding gloves, grey, size large
  • A chipping hammer 10 and a half inches in length
  • Wire scratch brush with wooden handle 10 and a quarter inch in length.

Forney 377 Welder Start Up Kit Pros

  • ​For the price you're getting good value for the money, from a quality supplier A novice welder needing just some items to get them going can get started with this kit

​Cons

  • ​​Basic. A small kit of good quality items for a newbie welder - but is this really a con? Not really

​Conclusion

When you're starting out in welding and have a limited budget this welding kit with the very basics in it, which will do the job. These items are not about to fall apart as soon as you start using them.

You will of course need welding pliers, and a welding apron in addition to get you going.

Now you have the complete list, the fast track to the best. Let me outline for you some of the terminology used in welding that led to my list of six best welding kits for beginners.

Why are Welding Kits for Beginners Generally Flux Core Wire Welders?

The flux core welding process is widely considered the best welding method for a home hobbyist learner to begin with.

My article "Best Welding Method for Beginners, the 15 Minute Guide" covers this subject in a lot more detail and is worth a look if you are a newbie in welding.

For now, the reason flux core welding is chosen, is because essentially as long as you have a suitable place to weld in - your garage or home workshop you can start welding with a flux core welder filled with flux core welding wire.

Of course this statement glosses over the fact that you need to protect your eyes, hands and skin with suitable protection to stop you getting burnt from the UV rays welding gives off and spatter - the colorful molten bits of metal thrown into the air when you weld.

Flux core welding is also pretty forgiving of new skills and you can get yourself a good weld with relatively little experience.

Also with flux core wire welding compared to Stick Welding, there is no stick electrode to choose and hold at the right angle to produce your weld;

Or the greater hand skills needed in TIG welding.

My Best Method for Beginners post also has a comparison between the different welding processes a novice home hobby welder will come across.

In MIG welding a separate tank of shielding gas needs to be chosen, purchased and stored. And the associated need to learn the skills right up front on controlling gas flow to get a good weld.

​Should you want an overview of MIG welding then I have an article on the site that will help widen your knowledge so feel free to take a look at it "What is a MIG Welder? A Guide for Extraordinary People."

What Should you Expect in a Welding Kit for Beginners?

And what is typically provided outside of the welder itself?

1. Spool of Welding Wire

Welding kits provide a spool of wire to match the provided welder. What do I mean by that?

If you are spending a bit more on the welder or it is from a solid welding manufacturer then you'll get decent quality welding wire. Yes, it may well be a small half spool of welding wire, but day one you'll be able to lay down some beads and trust that what ever else is happening with your novice beads, the wire is good. By contrast, should the welder be from a cheaper manufacturer something from the entry end of the market and here I'm talking spending around $100 on a welder, then the welding wire will be of a lesser quality and you'll be better off getting some reasonable quality welding wire at the time you buy your welding kit.

You can go over to the in depth research I have done on the flux cored welding wires on the market in my article "Best Flux Cored Wire for Mild Steel" - link to document

2. Contact Tips

You should get at least a contact tip and a spare. The pricier welding kits will give you two spares to match the size of welding wire your welder uses.  Expect to burn though a few contact tips as you learn your skills - figuring out the correct stickout, wire feed speed and distance from your project piece.

3. A Face Protection Mask

Many of the starter welding kits will provide some kind of face protection mask. On the entry level welders they are hand held and generally poor quality. They may or may not see you through your first weld.

As you move up the market to the more quality welding kits you should get a full helmet. Even if it's an entry level helmet. Protection for your face and eye sight is an important consideration when you weld and may help you choose between one welding kit versus another.

​4. Wire Scratch Brush and/or Chipping Hammer

On the cheapest welding kits the brushes may not even survive your first weld. In the better brand welding kits you'll get a decent wire scratch brush for cleaning rust and scale off your project piece or maybe even a chipping hammer from a manufacture that also sells those products separately as part of their quality line up of products.

​5. Gloves

The mid range welders from the quality brands will provide you with gloves as well in the welding kit. They are a must have when you start welding. So if you do not already have a pair of gloves suitable for welding, you'll need to consider ordering a pair at the same time as your welding kit.

​6. Bonus items

Beginning welding kits like the one from Forney contain additional items that you are going to need right off the bat. And the cost of those items separately should be taken into account when you're evaluating the overall cost of the welding kit and its welder.

The Welders in Beginner Welding Kits

Welders for this end of the market place are going to be light to medium duty and suitable for welding thinner metals - 1/4 inch or less but not for the thinnest of metals - 22 gauge or less mild steel. These welders will be great for getting you started on some test welds, and then when you're confident, you'll be welding up stuff around the yard and home.

Things to look for and what they mean for a rookie welder.

Duty Cycle

Duty Cycle is a good way for a newbie welder to compare one welder to another along with welding Amp output (I will be discussing this next).

The duty cycle tells you the operator how long you can use the welder continuously at a given Amp setting before your welder overheats and you need to stop (or the welder will automatically switch off as many welders have over temperature sensors). It is usually written out at as a numbered percentage at a particular Amp setting.

It is also worth keeping in mind that duty cycle is affected by the ambient air temperature. As many of the home use welders are fan cooled, if you are using the welder in the summer in a hot humid climate then your duty cycle will be less. In a cold climate in the winter you may get a little more.

The duty cycle of each welder is measured at a theoretical operating temperature and that temperature is not always published by the welder manufacturers.

The duty cycle covers a ten minute period. 10% means welding for 1 minute continuously over a 10 minute period. 20% means the welder operating at 2 minutes over a ten minute period. Clearly being able to weld for 2 minutes as opposed to 1 minute means the welder is able to weld for longer and is more robust. Generally the cheaper welders operate around the 10% mark and further up the price range you find 20% or more.

Let us now look at the other side of the duty cycle equation, the Amp rating. 10% at 105 Amp says you can weld with this welder for a minute within a ten minute period at its 105 Amp setting.

Set your welder below 105 Amp and you can weld for a little bit longer, above 105 Amp and you'll have a much shorter time welding.

It is always interesting to compare the max welding Amp output which for the Super Deal Black Commercial MIG is a headline grabbing 120 Amp, yet maxing out the welder would give you a short (less than the duty cycle time) welding time at that level.

Welding Output

Is measured in Amp. Let's take a look at another example; the LE Handy Core has a welding output of 35 Amp to 88 Amp.

This tells you its lowest setting and maximum output setting.  Amps are what are needed to melt and fuse the metal you're welding along with the welding wire.

35 Amp at the low end for the Handy Core means that this welder can handle thinner metal than say the Super Deal with its lowest Amp setting at 50 Amp. At the top end you have 88 Amp on the Handy Core and you may think that's not so impressive compared to the 120 Amp on the Super Deal.

Maybe, not but think back to the duty cycle, you have double the duty cycle on the Handy Core compared to the Super Deal which means double the welding time before the welder overheats so you can get more welding done.

Min Max Weld

This is also an important point to note.

You want a welder that will weld the metal thicknesses you have in mind. At the rookies end of the market we are talking about mild steel. It's a common metal to have around the home and yard and the gauges covered by these welding kits are the easiest for a new welder to practice on and weld up.  

If you want to weld thinner metal then other processes or types of welders are likely to be more appropriate.

And should you want to go a little more exotic say welding stainless steel or Aluminum then you'll need practice, a more powerful welder than the list we have here, be thinking about MIG welding as you'll likely need separate shielding gas.

Certainly with welding Aluminum you'll not only need shielding gas, you'll also need to consider a welder capable of taking additional tools such as a spool gun for welding Aluminum.

Easy Set Up and Control

Is of course an important consideration. All the welding kits we have here have simple one or two switches to control weld output and a single knob for wire feed speed - simple and straight forward.

However if you are completely and utterly new to welding the operating manuals at the cheapest end of the market leave a lot to be desired.

YouTube video watching is something you're going to spend time on because when you buy an entry level welder the manual will be little help with the welder setup and settings for welding.

The midrange of the market has more quality suppliers spending time and effort on their manuals and helpful website information.

If you are looking for finer tuning of your welder's output, more selection and dials then you are rapidly moving up the market cost wise.

At the end of the day, it is all about what you are looking for and wish to spend, and I'm guessing that if you're looking for a starter welding kit then keeping it simple and the costs down are going to be your priority.

You can always buy into something more upmarket and sophisticated when you have amassed more skills, budget and know exactly what you want.

Last Words

I hope you enjoyed my article and research into 'Welding kits for beginners, Fast track to the Best'.

Welding is great fun and if you like doing it yourself then welding it yourself is going to be something you'll want to do. I wish you all the best with your welding adventures.