Here’s What You Need to Know About Stick Welding: Pros, Cons, Cost and More
You won’t be laying down perfect beads right off the bat, but you can get strong, serviceable welds with a few hours of practice.
Whom It’s For
If you mostly want to do down-and-dirty welding where appearance isn’t an issue, stick welding is for you. It’s a simple, cheap way to repair dirty or rusty trailers and equipment (especially outdoors).
- $100 to $1,000.
- Best for welds that don’t need to look nice.
- Works well on dirty and rusty parts.
- No bottled gas required.
- Best used outdoors—there’s lots of splatter and smoke.
- Can’t be used on metals thinner than 18 gauge.
- A bit difficult to learn, and it does require some practice.
- Slag must be removed after weld-ing using a chipping hammer followed by wire brushing, because slag absorbs moisture and won’t accept paint.
The flux on the outside of the electrode/filler rod provides the shielding gas, so no bottle is required. This is the machine you want for ultimate portability, as a stick welder is often integrated into a generator and works well outdoors.
Plus: Learn how to build a really cool welding table for your home shop.