The Best Welder Generator, According to 7,000+ Customer Reviews
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best welder generator 2022. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Many times, professional welders will need to attend a job site where the electric supply is scarce or even non-existent. In situations like these, having the right power-generating equipment is essential. Engine-driven welder generators are welding machines that do not rely on mains electricity. Like normal generators, they are fueled by a generator engine tank which can be filled with either diesel, gasoline, or propane.
Image credit: Shutterstock/Andri wahyudi
These portable machines are the perfect piece of equipment to get those welding jobs done in the middle of nowhere. As well as being able to handle various welding tasks and provide power to welding equipment, engine-driven welders will also serve as an auxiliary power supply for other electrical devices like power tools or plasma cutters. Welder generator combos, therefore, serve as two machines in one—a generator, and a welder.
The Best Welder Generator—Buying Guide
You may find that looking for a welder generator is not as straightforward as you thought, as there are quite a few things to consider. In this brief buying guide, we will look at some of the features that make a great welder generator to get those serious welding jobs sorted, and help you find the best one for your needs.
The power output of a welder generator will usually determine its price. The higher the power output, the higher the price tag. The more affordable welder generators are built solely for the purpose of powering a welder, and tend to have a lower power output. The higher-end welders, however, have sufficient power to provide energy to other equipment such as an angle grinder or even a plasma cutter.
In the welding process, AC and DC welding refers to the type of current that is used during arc welding. DC output provides more of a stable and smoother arc when it comes to welding with less spatter. This is because a DC current has a constant polarity flow in one direction.
AC power, on the other hand, has an alternating current which makes welding a little less smooth than DC, with a lot more splatter. It does, however, fix issues with arc blow and is a lot more suitable for aluminum welding as it removes the oxide from the metal surface.
Most engine-driven welder generators have the option of switching from DC to AC power when needed, but there are some that only provide one type of current—so this should be taken into consideration before you settle on one for your needs.
The term duty cycle is used to describe the amount of time the machine can operate safely at a specific amperage. The amount is expressed as a percentage—the lower the percentage, the less time the welder generator can be used before its cycle finishes and it shuts down. This is another important factor to consider when looking at engine welders.
Most engine-driven welders will mainly function as a stick welding machine as this is the most common type of welding that they are used for. Some welder generators have enough power to support special welding processes such as TIG welding. Some also have the capability to support the use of a MIG welder for flux core welding. In order to MIG or TIG weld, however, it is important to use the right attachments and welding leads.
Thomas’ Top Picks for the Best Welder Generators 2022
A welding generator is a great solution for job sites with little electricity supply. Source a quality machine from our top picks below.
Best Overall Welder Generator: Hobart Champion Elite Welding Generator | Buy Now
Best Alternative Engine Driven Welder Generator: TOMAHAWK Engine Driven TIG Welder | Buy Now
Best Multi-Purpose Welder: Lincoln Electric Eagle Engine Driven Welder | Buy Now
Best Welder Generator Combo: Lincoln Electric Bulldog Portable Welder Generator | Buy Now
Best Value Welder Generator Combo: Klutch Arc Welder Generator | Buy Now
Best Budget Welder Generator Combo: DuroMax Portable Generator Welder | Buy Now
Scroll down to read more about these top picks for the best welder generator, according to many happy buyers.
*Prices listed in this article were as shown in US$ on amazon.com (USA) and Northerntool.com as of November 2022
1. Best Overall Welder Generator—Hobart Champion Elite Welding Generator
Generating up to 4500 watts of surge peak power and 4000 watts of continuous generator power, the Hobart Champion Elite welder generator is a great choice for repair work and maintenance projects.
Like all Hobart machines, they are solid in construction and made to last. This portable generator welder has a 40-145 amp DC weld output which makes it ideal for stick welding.
“Best purchase I have made in years,” wrote one happy reviewer. “It's really good on fuel consumption. I was running two electric heaters and my big screen TV at the same time… As for welding, I tried it with all of the rod types I had in the shop, 6010, 6013, 7024, and 7018. It welds great, easy starting and smooth arc, even with 7018.”
Fuel Capacity: 6.25 gal
Weldable Metals: Steel, Stainless steel, cast iron
Welding Amperage Range: 40–145 DC
Duty Cycle: 30% at 130 Amps
BUY NOW: US$2,279.99, Northerntool.com
2. Best Engine Driven Welder Generator—TOMAHAWK Engine Driven TIG Welding Generator
The Tomahawk engine TIG welder can generate enough power to support welding and the use of other electrical tools all at the same time.
Capable of delivering solid welding power of up to 210 amps at a 60% duty cycle, this welder generator is both reliable and durable. The clean power generation produced by this machine offers a stable welding experience and is suitable for stick, MMA, and TIG welding.
“More than I thought that I was purchasing,” wrote one happy customer. “This machine is very mobile so I can move it around my property and do everything I need. I was surprised that it had the capability to TIG with all of the equipment except of course the gas.”
Fuel Capacity: 7 gallons
Duty Cycle: 60% at 210 Amps
Welding Amperage Range: Up to 210 amps
BUY NOW: US$2,399.99, Amazon
3. Best Multi-Purpose Welder—Lincoln Electric Eagle Engine Driven Welder
This AC/DC welder by Lincoln Electric Eagle has both an AC and DC output which means it can act as both a welder and a power source for other electrical equipment.
Having the AC option means that as well as enjoying the smooth DC current, users can switch to AC if working with aluminum. As well as being capable of MIG or flux-cored welding, the generator can also support basic TIG welding if required.
“This was a must-have on the farm to keep the fences up and make in-field repairs of equipment,” wrote one satisfied reviewer. “Started right up out of the crate and has been working hard ever since. Well laid out receptacles and controls, everything is easy to get to for maintenance and overall a very nice piece of equipment.”
Fuel Tank Capacity: 12 gal
Weldable Metals: Steel, aluminum,
Welding Amperage Range: 120–225A ; 70–145A ; 50–90A
Duty Cycle: Rated 40% at 225 Amps
BUY NOW: US$5,249.99, Northerntool.com
4. Best Welder Generator Combo—Lincoln Electric Bulldog Welder Generator
The Lincoln Electric Bulldog generator would be ideal for welders working with aluminum and steel as it offers AC power output only.
Like all welders that use gasoline engines, this welder generator is easy to start and it features unique Low Lift™ grab bars which make it easy to transport from A to B.
“Great welder, great price, and delivered quickly,” wrote one happy reviewer. “The construction of the frame is excellent,” wrote another reviewer, who added that “the machine operates and runs smoothly. The Kohler engine is very nice as well. It was a very good choice.”
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.9 gal
Weldable Metals: Stainless steel, steel, aluminum
Welding Amperage Range: 70–140A AC
Duty Cycle: 125A AC/20V/30%
BUY NOW: US$3,329.99, Northerntool.com
5. Best Value Welder Generator Combo—Klutch Arc Welder Generator
On a single fill, this powerful arc welder generator by Klutch can provide up to eight hours of power with a choice of both AC and DC output.
It is a heavy-duty, powerful machine that can weld cast iron, stainless steel, steel, and aluminum. To help when moving this machine, it comes with a barrel-style cart and comfortable grip handles.
“Great welder,” wrote one happy customer. “On the first day putting it to work it performed like a champ, easy to start, easy to run,” they added. “I plugged in a grinder to the generator for use in between welds.”
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 gal
Weldable Metals: Steel, stainless steel, cast iron, hard surfacing, aluminum
Welding Amperage Range: 60–185 DC
Duty Cycle: 60% at 130A
BUY NOW: US$2,399.99, Northerntool.com
6. Best Budget Welder Generator Combo—DuroMax Portable Generator Welder
The DuroMax welder generator is a great budget generator option suitable for a number of welding and practical uses.
Capable of powering a whole house in a power outage, this generator is a powerful machine. It has both AC and DC regulators along with a spark arrestor ensuring that the unit remains safe to use.
“It is a beast,” wrote one happy reviewer. “And for the price, it can't be beaten. Runs everything! I use it mainly for a mobile welding rig and air compressor. Routinely using 8–10k watts at 50 Amps. It also runs my whole house without a problem on either gas or propane.”
Horsepower: 18 HP
Fuel Tank Capacity: 8.3 gal
Weldable Metals: Aluminum and steel
Welding Amperage Range: Up to 210 amps
Duty Cycle: 60% at 210 amps
BUY NOW: US$1,099, Amazon
The Best Welder Generators—Summary
To summarize, for a smooth welding experience we recommend the Hobart Champion Elite welder generator (US$2,279.99, Northerntools.com). Alternatively, for a welder generator with both AC and DC output that’s perfect for welding aluminum and stainless steel, we suggest the Klutch Arc Welder generator (US$2,399.99, Northerntool.com).
We hope our review of the best welder generators has been helpful. For more suppliers of related products, including welders, aluminum welders, generators, protective eyewear, and power tools, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
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