As anyone will tell you that has experience in the industry or as doing it as a hobby, it can be empowering and exciting working with metal. Watching the sparks fly as the heat turns up and transforming some strong and seemingly unyielding materials into products and shapes. This skill obviously takes a lot of practice, time and training to perfect.
There are various types of welders out there nowadays, and although the general principles are similar, they all work a little differently and are used for different applications. If you are therefore interested in purchasing a welder and are not sure which you need to purchase or want to learn how to use – you’ve come to the right place.
Below we will discuss four of the most popular and commonly used welders, how they are used and what they are used for. This will hopefully give you some idea as to which type of welder or welder training would be suitable for your planned projects.
SMAW or Shielded Metal Arc Welding
With a SMAW, you are utilising the manual process of stick welding. With this method and tool, you have a stick that uses a current of electricity to form an electrical arc between the metals you want to join and the stick itself. Stick SMAW is usually the method of welding used in industrial and construction settings for welding steel structures and welding iron and steel together.
GMAW/MIG or Gas Metal Arc Welding/Metal Inert Gas
Often this welding style is known as MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding. The wire electrode that is used to warm the metals you want to join has a shielding gas passed along it. There has to be a constant voltage and direct-current source of power for this method to work properly. It involves four main metal transfer methods – pulsed spray, spray, short-circuiting and globular. This is generally used mostly in industrial settings.
FCAW or Flux Cored Welding
The Flux Cored Welder was designed with the purpose of being an alternative welder to a shield welder. Due to its more compact design and the high-speed welding, it is capable of, this semi-automatic arc welder is normally used for projects in the construction industry.
GTAW/TIG or Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding
The weld produced by the Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welder involves a tungsten electrode and an electrical arc and is most commonly used for joining large or thick pieces of non-ferrous metals or stainless steel together. However, it should be noted that compared to the other welders and processes mentioned above; this is a lot more complicated.
The right welder and welding process for you will depend not only on the training you have already had or want to participate in and your available budget; but also the type of materials you want to join and the application of the finished weld.
Whether you are just doing it for a hobby or your career, we hope this explanation of the most common and popular welders has helped you.