Choosing a welding machine

When choosing a welding machine you have to consider some things. What kind of metal are you going to be welding? How thick is the metal your going to weld? How big are the objects your welding on? Are you welding inside a building or are you doing it outside? Flux welders and mig welders fit a lot of needs and are pretty much the same welder. The only difference between them is the mig requires a mig welding wire and gas. It can weld thicker metal but the gas is on the expensive side. Both use wire which comes in handy because you don't have grab a new stick like arc stick or tig welding stick so you can keep going but you can not use flux wire to mig weld and visa versa.The spools also take up less space and usually cost less than sticks do and blue demon makes a flux cored stainless welding wire. If you use something other than the blue demon to weld stainless or want to weld aluminum you have to use a mig machine. You do not have to have a spool gun for aluminum unless you do a lot of aluminum welding. I personally have a 220 volt flux/mig combo machine that allows me to weld up to 1/2" metal. For anything over 3/16" I have to go mig. All I have to do is switch polarity and hook up gas to go to mig. Stick welding allowes one to weld thicker metal than flux or mig and doesn't require gas but rods usually cost more than the flux/mig wire. It is called stick welding for a reason though. The welding rods will stick to the metal and can ruin your rods. 7018 rods are notorious for this but if the metal is clean it helps a lot. 6011 rods will weld anything dirty. You have to have an inverter or an ac/dc machine to weld aluminum and stainless steel because you have to weld both on dc. You can hook up a welding lead to you rod clamp to reach longer distances. Tig welding cost the most and is the most difficult to do. When you stick weld the handle and rod move togather and when you flux or mig weld the wire shoots from the gun but both move togather at the time. Tig welding requires you to move the rod and the tip separate from each other. Also tig tips have to be changed when welding different size welds the smaller the weld size the smaller the cup and tip and the same for the bigger the weld. That alone will set you back. Tig is supposed to be the strongest though. Heavy trailers and pipe lines are tog welded along with many other thing. Find one that you can best weld with that fits your requirements and it will serve you well.