A process using high heat to join metals or thermoplastics, welding is used in many contexts. Welding dates back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Glaucus of Chios invented iron welding. The Middle Ages saw advances in forge welding, a method wherein blacksmiths pound heated metal pieces until they bond. In the late 1800s, inventors Nikolai Bernardos and Stanislaw Olszewski created the first electric welding method, carbon arc welding. World War I saw a welding surge as military powers tried to find the best methods. Automatic welding was invented in 1920, and in 1930, the first all-welded merchant vessel set to sea. New welding methods continued to develop, and many techniques exist today. Below, we help you choose the best kit to start.
1. ZenStyle Welding Kit
This set includes both a cutting torch and a welding tool for full metal-working capability. The cutting torch enables you to cut metal pieces with up to a six-inch thickness, and the welding tool allows you to weld up to a half inch. Complete with hoses, goggles, tip cleaners, and a spark lighter, this option has it all and comes in a handy molded plastic storage case.
2. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
Able to weld up to an eighth of an inch of mild steel, this compact, portable, and lightweight welding tool is small but mighty. Designed to plug into any household outlet, the welding tool is convenient and easy to use. A contactor safety feature keeps the welding wire electrically ‘cold’ until the gun trigger is pulled, and the set also includes a helmet and wire.
3. Super Deal PRO Commercial Flux Core Wire Automatic-Feed Welder
This kit comes with a welding tool that’s both lightweight and powerful. The user-friendly interface makes setup a breeze, and adjustable controllers give you a bevy of customized options. A variable feed-speed controller allows you to alter the welding device’s current flow, and a wire-feeding-speed adjustment rotary knob comes with ten levels of wire-feeding speeds. As an added bonus, the device releases inert gas as it welds, preventing oxidation. Complete with a helmet, wire, metal tips, and a wire brush, this set has it all.
4. Forney Easy Weld Start-Up Kit
A great choice for beginners, the Forney Easy Weld welder is called so for a reason. Able to weld up to a quarter inch of mild steel, this tool is portable but powerful. Including an auto-darkening welding helmet, steel electrodes, driver gloves, a pair of welding gloves, a steel grinding wheel, and wire brush, this complete starter kit is a true all-in-one option.
5. Campbell Hausfeld Arc Stick Welder
A great choice for hobby welding or small repairs, this stick welder has a dual-heat setting and a thermal overload protection system. Able to plug into any standard household circuit, the power cord stretches out to about five feet for easy maneuverability. The transformer provides easy start-up, and the set includes a helmet, welding sticks, and a wire brush.