Best Stick Welder for Beginners With Comparisons & Review [2021]

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Best Stick Welder for Beginners: Hobart Handler 140

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

The number-one spot best stick welder for beginners, and even experts looking for a light-duty tool or a backup machine, is the Hobart Handler 140.

This amazing MIG and stick combo tool delivers deep penetration through metal objects, and also supports flux-cored welding.

The Hobart Handler 140’s key specifications are as follows—

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 115V Input Power
  • 20% Duty Cycle @ 90A
  • MIG + Flux-Cored

The Hobart Handler 140 is an incredibly powerful machine considering its limited 115V input.

It has the ability to penetrate and join plates of up to a quarter-inch in thickness with the MIG gun, and with a stick welding option, you can work on all sorts of materials, old and new, virtually anywhere without trouble.

Its 20% duty cycle is a bit off-putting, especially if you’re looking for a backup machine for your metal workshop, but as a tool for DIY-ers and novice welders, 20% offers plenty of time to assess your workpiece.

This machine can also use flux-cored welding wire, which eliminates the need to lug around heavy tanks of shielding gas.

This is what the Handler 140 looks like in action:

 

Pros

  • Amazing MIG and stick performance
  • Can use flux-cored wire
  • Portable and durable body
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Duty cycle could be better

The simplistic design of the Handler 140 makes it a user-friendly stick and MIG welder that beginner welders will thoroughly enjoy using.

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If you’re unaware, stick welding has a wide range of advantages over TIG and MIG welding, such as its outdoor welding without using a shielding gas and its ability to weld corroded or painted metal pieces.

In this guide, we’ll show you what we feel is the best stick welder for beginners.

After extensive and exhaustive research of over 30 different models, we’re positive you’ll find the most suitable stick welder model on this list.

Best Stick Welder for Beginners Compared

Here’s a comparison between Best Stick Welder for Beginners:

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Best Stick Welder for Beginners – Hobart Handler 140
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 115V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A
  • USP: MIG + Flux Cored


MILLER ELECTRIC MIG Welder,120/240VAC,1 PhaseBest Premium - Miller Millermatic 211
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 120V/240V
  • Duty Cycle: 40% @ 150V
  • USP: Auto Spool Detect


Arc Stick Welder, 115 Volt, 70 Amp (Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV)Best Budget - Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/8 in.
  • Input Power: 115V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 50A
  • USP: Thermal Indicator


SUPER DEAL PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine w/Free Mask 110VSuper Deal PRO MIG 130 AC
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/8 in.
  • Input Power: 110V
  • Duty Cycle: 10% @ 105A
  • USP: All Accessories Included


2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v 3 YEARS WARRANTYAHP AlphaTIG 200X
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 3/8 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200A
  • USP: Works on Aluminum


Lotos 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG/STICK ARC Welder, Square Wave Inverter, 110/220V Dual Voltage, BrownLotos TIG200ACDC
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200A
  • USP: Works on Aluminum


Reviews of the Top Stick Welders

Our testing of over 30 stick welders didn’t just show that the Hobart Handler 140 is the only model worth getting.

If you’re interested in something different in your beginner-friendly welder, we’ve discovered several options to choose from.

Best Premium - Miller Millermatic 211

best overall rating MILLER ELECTRIC MIG Welder,120/240VAC,1 Phase

Key Specifications

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 120V/240V Input Power
  • 40% Duty Cycle @ 150A
  • Auto Spool Detect

The Millermatic 211 is arguably the most popular MIG-stick welder tool to date. It doubles as a fantastic stick welder for outdoor welding jobs, but it excels at MIG welding performance and versatility.

By plugging in the stick holder, you can take this lightweight machine outdoors and work out of position without worrying too much about sticking.

If you get the spool gun (sold separately), you won’t need to configure your machine in any way—simply plug it in and weld aluminum sheets together with ease.

With a quarter-inch welding capacity and a 40% duty cycle at 150A (240V), there’s little wonder why the Millermatic 211 is such a beloved tool by pros and beginners alike.

Watch this video to see the MIllermatic weld a truck arm!

 

Pros

  • Amazing welding performance (MIG and stick)
  • Automatically detects spool gun
  • Decent duty cycle at max output
  • Dual-voltage

Cons

  • Cheat sheet isn’t entirely accurate

The Millermatic 211 is a premium-grade, beginner-friendly MIG and stick welder, but its dual-voltage compatibility makes it a beats in metal workshops.

Best Budget - Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV

best overall rating Arc Stick Welder, 115 Volt, 70 Amp (Campbell Hausfeld WS099001AV)

Key Specifications

  • 1/8-inch Welding Capacity
  • 115V Input Power
  • 20% Duty Cycle @ 50A
  • Thermal Indicator

The Campbell WS099001AV is a super-inexpensive stick-only welding machine. Its lack of versatility allows it to focus purely on stick-welding performance, and we must say, it’s excellent at what it does.

This stick welder can be used to join 1/8-inch mild steel plates together in a single sweep. It uses either 1/16 or 5/64-inch rods, allowing you to use common consumables available in nearly every hardware store.

The Campbell was designed with DIY welding in mind, so even though it offers great penetration, its 115V input limitation might not be best for large workshops.

That said, as an at-home or even around-the-barn welder, it undoubtedly covers all of the bases.

Pros

  • Great stick-only machine for novices
  • 115V home-grade machine
  • Decent duty cycle
  • Comes with a heat indicator LED

Cons

  • Not very versatile

The Campbell’s stick-only functionality gives it a cheaper price tag, which is a huge plus for first-time welders just looking to build up stick-welding experience.

Super Deal PRO MIG 130 AC

best overall rating SUPER DEAL PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine w/Free Mask 110V

Key Specifications

  • 1/8-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V Input Power
  • 10% Duty Cycle @ 105A
  • All Accessories Included

The Super Deal MIG 130 AC is a MIG welder first and a stick welder second.

Even though that’s the case, this machine doesn’t skimp on stick welding performance—it does an excellent job a welding 1/8-inch mild steel outdoors, without shielding gas, and with very little spatter.

This is a single-voltage 110V machine that draws power from standard outlets.

This allows you to use the machine in your home garage and weld all sorts of light, small objects with ease. Its 10% duty cycle at near-max output, however, is a huge turn-off.

This figure means the MIG 130 AC needs to rest for nine minutes within every ten-minute timeframe, but as an AC welding machine, you probably won’t need to crank it past 50A for most of your work at home.

Pros

  • Simple control interface
  • Portable design
  • Come with consumables, all the hardware, and cheap welding helmet
  • Excellent stick performance

Cons

  • Could be more durable

The Super Deal MIG 130 AC is definitely a super-deal! With all of the necessary hardware and supplies in the box, you can begin your welding journey right away.

AHP AlphaTIG 200X

best overall rating 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v 3 YEARS WARRANTY

Key Specifications

  • 3/8-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • Works on Aluminum

The AHP AlphaTIG 200X is one of those multi-functional welding machines that doesn’t get enough credit. It looks like a standard TIG welder with stick welding capabilities, but it’s actually quite a powerhouse.

The 200X can weld mild steel sheets as thick as 3/8 of an inch with every pass of the torch, and it’s a dual-voltage machine that draws power from standard 110V receptacles or heavy-duty 220V outlets in pro workshops.

Thanks to its HF start TIG gun, you can use the 200X to weld 1/8-inch aluminum sheets together. In stick welding mode, the 200X is an absolute beast, joining thick pieces together with very little spatter in the process.

Pros

  • 200A max output
  • Lightweight, portable
  • 220V to 110V pigtail included
  • Incredible welding flexibility

Cons

  • Control board could be less complicated

Although its control interface can be a bit intimidating, the included cheat sheet should guide you through setting it up for specific light-duty welding purposes.

Lotos TIG200ACDC

best overall rating Lotos 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG/STICK ARC Welder, Square Wave Inverter, 110/220V Dual Voltage, Brown

Key Specifications

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Power
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • Works on Aluminum

Last up is the Lotos TIG200ACDC. This hard-hitting machine can join quarter-inch mild steel places with minimal effort.

It also has a fantastic 60% duty cycle at max output, though you’ll need to plug it into a 220V receptacle to enjoy these two benefits.

If your work calls for joining sheets of aluminum together, the TIG200ACDC has your back, though you can only do so in TIG welding mode.

As a stick welder, this Lotos machine delivers pretty astounding results with minimal mess afterward.

We love that this machine supports both AC and DC welding, so whether you’re working with thick sheets or ultra-thin material, you can do it all with the TIG200ACDC.

Pros

  • Incredible versatility
  • Durable constructions
  • Comes with foot pedal
  • Perfect stick welding performance

Cons

  • Could be lighter

If your aim is to achieve maximum productivity, the TIG200ACDC by Lotos is the perfect fit for your garage workshop.

FAQs

Let’s see what sort of questions people have about stick welders for beginners.

How do I choose a stick welder?

The most important consideration to make when shopping for a stick welder, or any welder for that matter, is its welding thickness capacity. The thicker it can weld, the more versatile it will be, though you should choose based on what thickness you work with regularly. Our number-one pick—the Hobart Handler 140—is the best because it offers up to quarter-inch welding capabilities, making it great for light- and heavy-duty welding.

Should I get a MIG-stick or a TIG-stick welder?

Either is fine, although MIG welders are generally considered easier to use than TIG. MIG welding requires less finesse than TIG welding, whereas TIG welding is typically done at a lower amp for better control to produce aesthetic welding beads. Or you can skip the headache of choosing which combo welding machine is better and get the one-trick-pony Cambell WS099001AV.

Can I stick weld aluminum?

Surprisingly, you can. This requires flipping the machine to DC welding mode and operating the machine at a lower power output rating to avoid melting your workpiece. That said, it’s a lot easier to weld aluminum using either MIG or TIG welding modes. Some of the models above offer the ability to join aluminum sheets together.

Which stick welder should a beginner get?

Any of the models mentioned above will satisfy the needs of any first-time, aspiring welder. However, if you plan on taking up welding as a full-time hobby, you might want to consider finding a model that allows you to grow without needing to replace the machine entirely. This means looking for a thicker welding capacity, MIG or TIG welding capabilities, and variable flexibility. The model that fits this bill the best is the Lotos TIG200ACDC.

Summary

As you can see from our list, we’ve included several stick welders made by popular and not-so-popular manufacturers.

Each of these machines has a little bit of uniqueness that first-time welders will love.

If you found our guide on the best stick welder for beginners helpful or not, please let us know in the comments section.

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Michael Adams

Michael has been providing handyman services for the last 14 years. He also contributes as a writer sharing his experience and experience for design projects.

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