If you are reading this, you might be making a living doing metalwork or repairing various items such as automobiles. For any manual task, it is best to always have the best tools at your disposal – such as choosing a good multi-process welder to complete many repair tasks in your workshop.
The designation that multi-process welders have is that they allow you to be a jack of all trades. Welding styles are numerous, and the best multi-purpose tools will permit you to use two or three welding styles without forcing you to switch welders all the time.
Since it stands that there are many welding techniques each with their own requirements, narrowing down your choices of the best multi-purpose welder is not always an easy choice. However, we have done much of the hard work for you in selecting the best five you can find, which will in turn make a decision easier for you. We also include some tips you can use when making a purchase, in order to increase the chances of making the right choice.
Processes and amperage
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Forney Easy Weld 270
Stick (80A), MIG (90A), TIG (110A)
Lincoln Electric POWER 210 welder
Flux core, Stick, MIG, TIG
W Weldpro 200 welding machine
Stick, TIG, MIG
Everlast PowerMTS welder
Stick, TIG, MIG
LOTOS LTPDC2000D welder
Stick, TIG, Plasma cutter
Dual (110/120V, 220/240V)
Best multi-purpose welder reviews
Forney Easy weld 270 – great for beginners
If you are searching for a MIG welder that gives you plenty of value for your money, then this is the best one to go for. It also has a variety of functions you can utilize in your work, even though it is in a smaller size compared to the Hobart 210.
- Has a 3-in-1 approach, combining TIG, MIG and stick welding
- Infinite voltage capacity and wire feed control
- Three-switch position to allow for quick change in welding processes
- Has both gas and no-gas welding installation
- Generator-friendly with a minimum continuous output of 4500W
- Includes a 10’MIG gun. Adapter (20A to 15A), 8’ ground clamp, and integrated handle with a torch wrap
- 120V input power, with a full output power of 10 to 140A
For a beginner that wants to start learning their craft on a machine that is low in amperage, this is an ideal machine to use. This is because it is simple to learn from, and the instruction manual is comprehensive enough to answer all your questions and make the learning curve easier to deal with – regardless of whether you have welding experience or not.
Among the MIG welders in the market, the 140MP is among the most popular with numerous users, and this is also partly due to its diversity in use – it can even handle TIG and stick welding, though you have to purchase the weld sticks separately. The only disadvantage you might notice is the short length of the leads in the machine, but this is not a major issue as it is hard to find stock leads that are long in length.
The machine is also lightweight and small, which makes it easy to move around. In addition, it can operate effectively on 110V if you do not have access to 240V power sources.
- Very easy to set up and use
- Lightweight and portable
- Good quality of build
- The instruction manual is comprehensive
- Short leads
- Low amperage
Compared to the Hobart 210 welder, this has a similar arc consistency, quality build, and penetration. If you want high quality arcs without spending too much money on a welding machine, then this is a good pick, keeping its price in mind.
Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 welder – our pick
If you are learning to perform the welding process, or you are a hobbyist that does occasional repair work, this is the best choice to give you a variety of options at your disposal. It gives you a choice of 4 different welding methods – flux core, stick, TIG and MIG welding.
- Lightweight at 40 lbs.
- Large color display to help you through the setup process
- Dual voltage input allows you to plug it anywhere
- Push and turn style of digital controls
- Durable build
Even though this is a machine that you can use in many applications, it still remains easy to use. This is mostly thanks to the intuitive display of the control panel, and the easy-to-understand color display. In addition, the digital controls are push-and-turn, which makes it easy to make fast changes.
You might think the machine is heavy because of its multi-purpose use, but the good news is that this is not the case here. You can also use it to create both smooth and strong welds, which makes it a great choice if you want to perform some repairing work and complete precise projects that are more intricate. The only problem is it might be limiting if you want to do a heavy-duty project, or work with thicker materials – even though the price tag might tell you otherwise.
The welder can comfortably handle stainless steel with a thickness of 3/8 inches, and aluminum with thickness of 3/16 inches. It can also deal with electrode welds (up to 5/32 inches). While this is all great for your upcoming tasks, note that the package will lack a spool gun – so you will have to purchase it separately. All the other welding tools you require will be included in the package.
- Friendly for beginners to use
- Is useful in a variety of welding projects
- Durable and portable
- Can easily handle aluminum welding
- Intuitive display and controls
- It is quite pricey
There are many reasons to make this welder stand out from the rest of the competition, especially in terms of its versatility. These make it among the most popular options for DIY enthusiasts, and give you most of what you need without forcing you to use different equipment to accomplish the job.
W Weldpro 200 welding machine – best budget option
If you are looking for a multipurpose welder that still offers the benefits of a compact design, then the W Weldpro 200 might be the solution for you. In fact, it is the lightest on this list, and easily stands out because of its bright yellow color. In addition, it still carries some of the features you would find on more expensive models, even though it is an entry-level model.
- Can do aluminum welding, stick welding and MIG welding. Optional spool gun
- Dual digital display, allows for easier reading and adjustments as you work
- Thermal overload protection feature
- Lightweight and compact – weighs 30 lbs.
- 2T/4T modes and advanced DC lift TIG
- 2-year warranty
It serves as a piece of the most versatile equipment you can have during the welding process, and allows you to perform stick welding or TIG welding even while using a single piece of equipment. The important thing to note, and might be a drawback for some people, is that it lacks a TIG functionality for welding aluminum. The welding thicknesses it can handle are: 25 gauge to 0.25 inches (TIG), 124 gauge to 0.315 inches (electrode), 0.035/0.030/0.025 inches (MIG).
Aside from the disadvantage of lacking the ability to weld aluminum in TIG mode, you will notice that the TIG process works excellently for all other metals. The package also includes the collets and TIG torch that you need.
The welder is also user friendly, as the controls and display are easy to read and adjust as you go along in the process.
- Very good choice for beginners
- Compact, lightweight and portable welder
- Very good value for money
- No aluminum TIG welding function
- Low efficiency in energy use
If your aim is to get a multipurpose welder that is still affordable, and will allow you to achieve the bottom line that you seek. Even though its build indicates that it is a welder that beginners can learn from, even the most experienced welder can find some surprising advantages in it, making it among the smartest choices you can make.
2019 Everlast PowerMTS 211 welder – most powerful multi-purpose welder
The company behind this product is known by many to create some of the best welders in the market, and this follows in the footsteps in terms of reputation. It offers a variety of functions, and the machine is very easy to use even though you have never done welding before. It can also handle stick, TIG and MIG welding comfortably, while delivering plenty of power.
- Handles three types of welding – TIG, Stick and MIG
- Inverter design to make it easier to carry
- Straightforward user controls
- Dual voltage mechanism
- 5-year warranty
- Includes extra tools such as TIG torch, stick electrode holder, MIG torch, foot pedal, 10-foot cable and work cable
This unit houses a digital inverter, and has quite the large footprint. It is quite heavy, so it will not be the most practical or affordable option if you want a portable multi-purpose welder. However, this will not affect the other advantages it holds.
Its multiple modes will allow you to deal with anything that requires repairing around the house, and setting up the system is quick and easy. Thanks to the versatility of the tree welding options it offers, it will be worth your money – and as a pleasant bonus, the quiet operations will be a nice addition even though the machine is quite big in size.
You can use the machine almost anywhere you want, thanks to the 102/240V power input. As for the output, the modes have different rates – stick welding has 200A, TIG has 250A, while MIG has 250A. Compared to most welders, these are numbers at peak performance.
In addition, expect a duty cycle at peak performance of 35%, which should tell you a lot about the workhorse quality of this welding machine. If you happen to be an experienced welder, you can also go into full manual mode (which it has) to allow you to set the intensity you want.
- Can do multiple welding modes
- Does not generate much noise
- Uses a dual voltage system
- Includes pulse MIG and pulse TIG modes
- User-friendly controls
- Has many extras included
- Can be quite heavy
Aside from the hefty price tag it carries, this is among the best welders in terms of value for money that it gives. If you are an experienced welder that also wants to increase the possibilities of your welding results, it can also be a great choice for you, and the additional accessories it comes with can allow you to handle special metals.
LOTOS LTPDC2000D welder – best plasma cutting welder
If you are a DIY enthusiast or love welding as a hobby, this should offer you sufficient options for the job. However, it has a slight difference compared to all the other welders we see on this list – it does not have MIG welding, instead giving you plasma cutting functions. It will be a good choice for you if you regularly work on copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and steel.
- Non-touch plasma cutter with minimal slag, output of 10-50A
- TIG and stick welding output of 15-200A, though it does not include foot pedal
- Quick setup thanks to the air filter regulator and type D plug
- Advanced cooling system to guard against overheating
- Dual voltage input (110/120V, 220/240V)
- One-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee
The build quality is among the best you will find, and there are numerous mechanisms to resist overheating issues. The stick and TIG welding functions can put out 200A, while the arc plasma cutter puts out 10 to 50A.
The result is a unit that is highly versatile in its usage, as it permits you to handle both heavy duty and light duty tasks, even at higher voltage settings – due to its dual voltage mechanism and the powerful non-touch arc welding function.
- Intuitive and easy-to-use control panel
- Uses universal frequency and voltage
- 3-in-1 welding functions
- Strong and durable build
- Has powerful plasma welding
- Ground cable is short
- Lacks a control foot pedal for TIG function
With this welder, you will have all the tools you will need for your work, including the welding of special metals – which you might not accomplish with a standard welder.
What we do not recommend
HITBOX MIG gasless welder equipment – has versatility, but low quality build
While this is a machine that comes in quite handy for a beginner or useful as a backup machine, there are a number of disappointing aspects that it has, which is the reason why it is not a good choice.
The good news about it is its affordability, which makes it a god choice for any hobbyist welder. It can operate with 200A of power, and its arc can become hotter than what you would typically get from a 200A machine.
In addition, it can operate for a much longer period compared to other similar machines of the same size. However, it does not have as long of a lifespan, because of its low quality.
It also gives you an option to connect a TIG torch and do some TIG welding if you want, but the preset settings are unfortunately too limited to handle extensive work due to using synergic settings. Instead of giving a wide variety of settings, it comes with predetermined specified settings, which then dictate the amperage you can run and wire size to use.
The setting style is good if you are a learner, because you do not necessarily need to know the correct amperage rate to wire speed. The bad news is that you can only choose between two metric wire sizes, unlike most synergic machines that have multiple wire speed adjustment settings.
- Can handle both MIG and TIG welding
- Low warranty period
- Inconsistencies in the results and the product
- The lifespan of the welder is short
- Limited setting adjustments
If you are looking for a 200A machine that has beautiful welds, this can be an option to consider. However, it is not something you would consider first, as there are plenty of similar machines that have a higher quality of build and work.
Types of welding processes
In order to have an improved understanding of multi-process welders, it is important to know the different types of welding processes. They are three, which are:
Also known as Tungsten Inert Gas welding, this uses an electric torch alongside a tungsten electrode, which then gives the welding arc some power. You then add a filler rod, and this will weld the metals.
As a shield gas, you use an inert gas, usually argon – this will also act as a coolant for the weld puddle and protect it from contamination or oxidation. The method does not produce as much heat as MIG welding, and this makes it great for lighter metals and their alloys.
This involves the use of a MIG welding gun and spool wire when welding the metal. It can be used for a variety of surfaces regardless of thickness, such as stainless steel, nickel, or even aluminum (in some cases), and is among the easiest welding methods to learn.
However, it cannot be used for all metals because of the very high temperatures it produces, which can destroy lighter metals and alloys. In addition, the results must be free of corrosion, because the process is not weather resistant.
This involves the combination of the work piece and an electrode, and they are subjected to high temperatures until they melt, then the mixture is welded. In order to prevent contamination of the mixture, you use flux core to coat the mixture.
The process is the most heavy-duty of the three, and it is usually used when you are welding very heavy or thick metals. It also generates a lot of heat – even more than MIG welding. The process is also quite challenging to learn, because you will need to control the different elements of the process.
Benefits of a multi-purpose welder
The truth is, purchasing a multi-purpose welder is not the easiest task – in many cases, it can end up being more challenging than buying a welder that specifically caters to a specific welding method. But, like any other purchase, it is important to consider a few factors before making your purchase.
Before doing so though, it is great to start from knowing what makes a multipurpose welder unique from other welders, and the advantages they offer you as well.
This is the reason why these welders exist – to offer you a wide array of options you can use during the welding process, without forcing you to look for equipment catering to that specific task. This is due to the fact that these welders can handle several combinations, such as flux core, MIG, stick, and TIG welding, all in one machine.
These welders should make it much easier for you to accomplish a variety of projects in your workshop or construction site. This is all because of their ability to change according to the present needs, so you can adjust their use according to your needs. You will also not need to change the power sources when you are working of different tasks.
Due to this, both professional and amateur welders will appreciate the convenience these machines bring to the job.
The main problem of having multiple machines that all look similar and some functioning in similar ways is that they can occupy a lot of space in your workshop or storage, and it is tiresome to keep arranging them all the time. A multi-process welder will help to save this space, because one welder fits a multitude of needs. It will also help during transportation, since you will not need to carry a host of welders in your car.
These multipurpose welders can prove to be more costly compared to the specialized welder types in some cases, but this is ultimately negligible to buying a ton of different welders to cover a specific task. In the long term, a multi-process welder will save you money, as they perform a variety of tasks at a go using the same equipment.
What to consider when choosing a multipurpose welder
Portability and weight
It is easily understandable that buying a multipurpose welder means that you are taking on a variety of projects, so portability is good to consider for many cases.
Even though the chances of finding a truly lightweight welder are slim, you need to search for one if you are going to move around with it frequently.
Welding process and technologies
Different multipurpose welders will offer different welding styles, with some offering up to 4, though you need to manage the expectations you have if you do not want to spend so much. For many cases, you will turn to a multipurpose welder to save the costs of buying multiple single-use welders.
These welders can feature a wide array of combinations – although the most common combinations are stick, MIG and TIG applications. Some welders will have a plasma cutter function, though this will have a medium or low output, which you can use when welding aluminum, medium or thin thickness metal, or going through rust.
Overload protection mechanism
For any welder, it is a must that it has overload protection to guard against overheating. In multipurpose welders, this is even more important because the machine can easily wear down due to overheating.
This can seem minor, but it is a game-changer in many cases. In particular, it can really help you if you want some freedom of working without depending on one specific outlet type.
For higher output reasons, it is great to get one that uses 220 volts as well. This will allow you to cut through the thicker metals in one pass, since the circuit is powerful enough to sustain the job.
There are some welders that will have their duty cycles listed, though it is not as important in this case. Since you are using more than one welding style, the cycle will not be as consistent throughout – and there are other output ranges you will need to consider.
These tools will rarely be cheap, since they are offering you a lot of functions. While there are some models that are budget friendly, they will often make some compromises that make your welding tasks more difficult.
The more expensive options are the most useful, at the end of the day. This makes sense, because it will save you money in the long term, especially if you are not using the welder to complete a heavy duty task.
If you are planning on doing industrial style tasks, then you are better off purchasing multiple welders that are dedicated to the task, which ensures good performance and longevity.
Other factors to consider
The metals it can handle
Different welders can handle different metals – while some focus on one metal, others can do several efficiently. The usual metals you will find welders handling are aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel, while some welders can handle cast iron, iron, and some alloys.
Control of heat (TIG)
To achieve a good quality weld, it is very important to control the heat output of the welder itself. This is particularly important if you are working with metals that are more delicate, as too much heat will warp them.
Thickness of the materials/metals (MIG)
There is only so much you can expect a welder to handle. As a general rule, MIG welders can comfortably handle thinness of 0.0239 inches (24 gauge) or 0.0478 inches (18 gauge), and maximum thickness of 1.2 inch or 3/8 inch. If you are welding metals that are thicker than this, you are better off getting a stick welder machine.
The best multi-process welders can handle all your projects easily, so getting one that has at least three welding technologies available and dual voltage input is a good place to begin.