Your Guide to the Best Stick Welder for Beginners

best stick welder for beginners

Stick welding has always been the most popular method for home and workshop tasks. Perhaps this welding technique is difficult to learn, but when you know how to stick weld, that means you can do most outdoor and indoor jobs.

To choose the best stick welder for beginners, you need to consider every aspect and feature. Plus, thorough research is a must if you don’t want to pay money haphazardly. 

In this article, we’ll review some of the top options on the market to help you choose. Scroll through the options to meet your match.

Quick Comparison Table

1. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

  • Solar powered
  • Removable battery
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Largest viewing frame
  • External controls
  • Fast switching time
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2. Esab Sentinel A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

  • 5 point filter
  • Viewing area 3.93″ x 2.36″
  • External buttons for grind and welding mode
  • Amber reflective color for a protective filter
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3. Jackson Safety W40 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

  • Digital control panel
  • Delay adjusts with auto-dimming sensors
  • Switch between grind to weld mode
  • Flexible shades
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4. Lincoln Electric K4134-1 Lone Star Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Grind Mode

  • Interior ratchet headband
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Viewing area 3.82″ × 1.73″
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5. Forney 55702 Premier Series Camo Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

  • 9 to 13 variable shade selection
  • 2 arc sensors
  • Fire resistant and lightweight
  • Fast switching delay
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Best Stick Welder for Beginners in 2022

Your stick welder should be reliable, durable, and, most importantly, suitable for your work style and the tasks you intend to do. We gathered the best five stick welders for beginners with these aspects in mind.

1. ZENY Arc Welding Machine

You can use the Zeny to weld aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, and an array of other metals.

It also works for many applications, including guardrail, iron processing, and automotive maintenance.

The machine comes with a LED meter that easily helps you
set it to the optimum settings. Besides, it comes bearing a high-speed fan for quick heat dissipation.

When it comes to safety, you have nothing to worry about.
The welder offers 3-level protection against overcurrent, overload, and over-voltage.

Features and Specifications

  • Input Voltage: 115V / 230V / 60Hz
  • Duty cycle: 60%
  • Electrode holder
  • 6.4-feet cable
  • Work clamp
  • 5-feet clamp
  • Weight: 18 lb
  • Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 14 inches


  • Ideal for users on a tight budget
  • Decent safety features
  • It works for plenty of applications despite its small size.


  • Some users reported it can get a bit too noisy.

2. TOOLIOM 195A 110/220V Stick Welder

When it comes to convenience, the Tooliom welder is hard to match. For starters, it comes in a portable size that’s easy to carry between different job sites.

On top of that, its dual-voltage input design allows you to connect it to 230V or 120V receptacles easily. The company designed it with the user in mind, and it did a great job.

The welder can handle E6011, 6013, 6014, 6010, and 7018 electrodes, which is more than we can say for most welders in the same price range. Besides, it can do lift TIG tasks, but you’ll have to buy the accessories separately.

The Tooliom features a smart digital display that allows you to easily monitor your settings without stopping. Plus, an alarm LED alerts you when there’s a safety issue.

Features and Specifications

  • Input voltage: 120V/230V
  • Duty cycle: 60% at 195A
  • Output voltage: 27.8V
  • Output current: 195A
  • E6010/6011/6013/7018 electrodes
  • Capability for Lift TIG 
  • Insulation class: F
  • Weight: 18 lb
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 14.25 x 9 inches


  • Cooling fan included preventing overheating
  • Dual-voltage design for your convenience
  • Compact and easy to transport


  • Some users reported they received the package with some missing parts.

3. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST

If you’re opting for a portable welder that you can take anywhere, look no further; the Forney 298 may be your best bet. It’s a small machine, but it’s mighty and can handle workshop tasks easily.

If you want to imagine how small it is comparably, it only weighs 9.65 lb, while the Lincoln weighs 96 lb!

The welder runs on 120V, so don’t expect a high power output. However, it’s capable of welding 16 gauge sheets to 5/16 inches, which is pretty decent for a welder this size.

The machine is relatively easy to use, and it comes with a guide for beginners. On top of that, it can work for TIG welding, but you’ll need to buy a separate TIG torch.

Features and Specifications

  • Input Voltage: 115V
  • Duty cycle: 30% at 80A
  • Output Current: 90A
  • TIG capable
  • Up to ⅛ inch rod capacity
  • 8-inch electrode holder
  • 8-inch ground clamp
  • 6011, 6013, 7014 rods
  • Weight: 9.65 lb
  • Dimensions: 12 x 5.5 x 10.5 inches


  • Easily portable and lightweight
  • Good value for money
  • Highly versatile despite its small size


  • No foot pedal operation

4. YESWELDER Stick Welder 125A Hot Start ARC

The Yeswelder is another affordable welder that’s easy to use and ideal for beginners.

It has a dual-voltage design similar to that of the Tooliom’s, and it’s equipped with IGBT soft switch technology for smooth and accurate arcs.

The Yeswelder is lightweight and safe to use for anyone who’s not an expert. A built-in safety system protects the machine from overload and overheating. Despite that, it’s still lightweight enough to carry anywhere, weighing a mere 7 lb. The shoulder strap also makes carrying it a breeze.

The welder comes with a brush that you can use to clean
it and remove the debris. Plus, you receive a power adapter cable, an arc welding ground clamp, and a rod electrode holder. It also features an LCD on its front to easily monitor the current power.

Features and Specifications

  • Dual Voltage
  • 10ft electrode holder
  • 10ft ground clamp
  • Plate Thickness Range: 110V-1/4″ Mild Steel, 220V-1/2″ Mild Steel
  • 6ft Power Cord
  • Amperage: 110V-110A / 220V-125A
  • Weight: 7 lb
  • Package Dimensions: 14.8 x 13.15 x 7.68 inches


  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Built-in safety functions to avoid risks
  • Affordable price


  • Some users reported that the ground clamp needs upgrading because it’s cheaply made.

5. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K1170 AC225, 60Hz Arc Welder

There’s no wonder the Lincoln CO K1170 is Lincoln’s best seller in the years that the company has been operating. It’s best known for its durability and solid construction; you can use it for ages before noticing the least signs of wear and tear.

The Lincoln welder is fully equipped with Smart Art technology that accounts for accurate arcs and easy starting. Contrary to most welders in the same price range, you won’t have to wait for it to start or face hardships trying to operate it.

The welder doesn’t offer many high-tech features, but it has all the basic needs of a beginner, and it’s easy to use. It has a transformer power source that ensures the machine won’t shut down on you, contrary to modern inverter power sources.

However, it adds to the welder’s weight, making it one of the heaviest on the market.

Features and Specifications

  • Input Voltage: 220V
  • Output Current: 40A–225A
  • 6911 rods
  • ISO 9001 certification
  • 10-foot ground clamp cable
  • 15-foot electrode clamp
  • 16-gauge sheet to 0.25-inch plate
  • Weight: 96 lb
  • Dimensions: 15 x 19 x 27 inches


  • Smooth Arc technology for better accuracy
  • Moderate price
  • Solid construction and high durability


  • Not a portable model
  • Manual draining is required


What’s the best type of stick welders?

There’s no best stick welder; it all depends on your usage, your experience, and the kind of work you do. However, getting a welder with AC/DC outputs is always better.

Generally, DC welders have leverage over AC ones because they work for more applications. Besides, they have fewer arc outages and less splatter, which results in better-looking welds. Not to mention that they’re easier to use for overhead and vertical welding. 

So, whatever welder you choose, make sure it doesn’t only have AC output.

Are AC output welders good for anything?

Of course. Welders with AC outputs are a good option if the material you want to weld is magnetized from friction. In this case, using a DC output welder, you’ll encounter arc blow because the magnetic field will below the filler metal out of the weld.

AC output welders switch between polarities, enabling you to easily weld magnetized materials.

What Is the duty cycle of a stick welder?

The duty cycle equals how many minutes a welder can run out of a cycle of 10 minutes. If you’re not familiar with the concept, imagine a welder with a 200-amp output at a 20% duty cycle. That means you can use it to weld at a power of 200 amps for two minutes, and then you have to let it cool for the other eight minutes of the cycle. Otherwise, the machine will overheat.

Many welder machines have built-in shutdown features because most users don’t pay much attention to the duty cycle when it’s one of the vital aspects to take care of.

Do I have to clean the welder every time before I start using it?

Stick welders generally don’t get much affected by dust, debris, or oil. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a go at your welder with the brush before you start using it. You can also grind any excess rust off the machine before it accumulates and becomes too much to handle.

Most welders come with a brush, anyway, so you won’t have to buy any cleaning equipment separately.

Is stick welding better than TIG welding?

Not necessarily. In fact, TIG welding is the highest in quality and the strongest type of welding, comparable to stick and MIG. But that’s only generally; it depends on the type of task you’re doing. Some tasks demand stick welding, so you don’t have much choice.

Conclusion and Best Offer

Choosing the best stick welder for beginners isn’t easy, and the options on the market are endless. You’ll need to consider each feature carefully, and you’ll still find new features to look for.

The preferred offer is the Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder. It’s a small welder, yet it’s powerful enough to handle plenty of home and workshop tasks. Its size makes it easy to transport and take anywhere, and it’s pretty easy to use for beginners. 

The only major downside of the Forney 298 is the lack of the foot pedal, but most compact welders come without it.

The Alternative

If the Forney 298 is too small for you, or you need a more powerful welder, the LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K1170 AC225 may be your best bet. It’s the best seller at Lincoln’s, and it’s a top-performing machine that impressed plenty of users.

Thanks to the filter wire, the welder reaches extremely high temperatures that allow you to carry out multiple welding tasks. You can use it to weld various materials, including stainless steel, rusty metals, and alloys.

On top of that, you can easily tackle 18 gauge and above metal sheets, as well as 16 gauge metals.

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