Recently I am looking to buy a welding machine for my construction company, and I started researching various types of welding machines. That is when the inverter welding machine caught my attention. While attractive new technology made this product very attractive, I did want to know why is an inverter welder better than the traditional transformer inverters?
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Inverter welding machines are lightweight, compact, portable, and very easy to use. You can connect it to a household power socket because it consumes very little electricity. It also has multiple power regulation settings, while being able to tolerate low-grade electrical supply systems.
Thanks to the concept and working of an inverter welding machine, the transformers used are much smaller in size. As a result, this allows for the machine to be lightweight and compact to the point where it can fit in a briefcase. As a result, it also allows you to carry it around easily.
What is an inverter welder?
An inverter welding machine uses recently developed silicon technology to electronically control the welding process. It rectifies the primary AC current to DC, before increasing the frequency of the current. It is finally rectified back to DC current and supplied to the electrode.
The silicon-based components of this machine give it crucial control over the processes of frequency boosting and rectification of the current. It also helps add features like overload protection as well as control the output power of the machine.
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Initially, the high input voltage of 110V – 240V is rectified to high DC voltage. A control system then converts this DC voltage to AC while increasing the frequency from the regular 50 Hz to a much higher value ranging between 10,000 Hz and 30,000 Hz.
This high-frequency AC voltage is finally converted to an output DC voltage between 20V-50V, which provides the welding arc. Thanks to its high frequency, the transformer size decreases drastically. This allows the welding machine to be much smaller in size.
What are the advantages of an Inverter Welder?
Power Efficient: The machine allows you to connect it to a household power supply socket itself, thanks to its transformer consuming a lower amount of power due to its small size. As a result, you can make do with a regular supply socket to perform the welding operation, while minimizing your electric bills.
Compact Size: You will not require any bulky transformers or generators either, which allows you to use this type of welder across different locations that have just a 110V socket. Because it uses a power controller, which means you don’t need a big transformer to make higher voltages.
Flexible Control: The inverter welding machine has electronic components that regulate the power supply. As a result, you can perform accurate welds that need precise settings easily. This gives you additional flexibility while welding, depending on the type of material and the type of weld you need.
Electrical supply can be quite irregular in some locations. Voltage fluctuations and frequency surges can often affect the sensitive internal components of a welder, causing damage to your machine.
The inverter welder has an increased tolerance to such issues, protecting the components from damage and ensuring that the welding arc remains unaffected.
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I was hugely relieved that the inverter welding machine solved most of my previous issues with welding. It convinced me to do more research and find out the best inverter welder available in the market, so that I could get started as soon as possible.
Do read on as I share some of the things I came across while doing my research. This includes what is an inverter welder and tips on how to use it. I have also reviewed my favorite inverter welder just in case you are looking for one yourself.
Are inverter welders AC or DC?
Most inverter welding machines accept AC input power but supply their output power in DC form. A few machines available today provide AC output as well as DC output.
This is done by the rectifiers and step-down transformers within the machine, which convert the input AC to the required DC voltages required for welding. This however prevented the usage of these machines for purposes that needed AC welding.
Developments in welding technology have allowed newer models to be incorporated with options where one can perform AC as well as DC welding, depending on the materials being joined as well as other factors.
As a result, many welders are now preferring inverter welders with dual AC/DC operating modes, as it gives them the flexibility to perform welds on different materials using a single, compact machine.
Do read on as I discuss the features of an inverter welder that I have used and prefer personally.
How long do inverter welders last?
Inverter welders have a short lifespan. This can reduce even further if they are not maintained and stored properly. As it has more parts inside it, which can be easily damaged if not taken care properly. An Inverter Welding machine can last upto 5-6 years.
Inverter welders are a new technology that is still undergoing a lot of refinement and development. However, thanks to its electronically controlled design, it allows for updates to be made to the software, allowing you to make small upgrades without expensive new components.
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If you compare it with a traditional transformer welding machine, it has a much shorter lifespan. The sensitive components and expensive new technology cost a lot to repair and replace, making it pointless to repair at this point.
As a result, you will also have to take care to maintain and store the machine properly. If not, you will end up having major issues with your inverter welding machine much earlier than expected.
At best, your inverter welder will last between 5-10 years, depending on the brand you have purchased. If you are looking for a product to last you for a long period though, be willing to shell out quite a bit of money for it.
How to use an inverter welding machine?
Inverter welding machines are easy to set up and use compared to traditional transformer welders. If you don’t know how to use an inverter welding machine you can read the manual that comes with it or watch some youtube videos. Here are the steps that you can read to learn the basics of how to use an inverter welding machine.
- Connect the machine to your regular power socket and make the necessary positive, negative, and ground connections to the work bed.
- Check the tip of your welding gun to see if any metals have fused with the tip in the previous process. If so, remove the unwanted material with a plier.
- Wear safety equipment like helmets, gloves, and closed toe-shoes with protection.
- Choose the appropriate settings required to weld the materials of your choice.
- Clean and place the workpieces to be welded next to each other. At the points where they are to be welded, file the material away to form a V-shaped depression.
- Move the weld gun along the V in a unidirectional manner to form the joint.
- Grind and file away the excess weld for a uniform and smooth finish.
What is the best inverter welding machine?
From personal experience, I loved using the DEKO 160AMMA Welder. I initially wondered if I was making a compromise when it came to quality, as I could not believe just how affordable it was. Using it had me completely surprised though, as I realized just how much value and features I got for my money.
I will be discussing its features in brief, before quickly listing down its pros and cons based on personal experience as well as those of other users. This will give you an idea of what to look for in an inverter welding, or even convince you that the DEKO 160A Welder is the perfect choice for you.
- This MMA welder has IGBT inverter technology that reduces the size of the machine while giving you increased versatility. With this inverter, you can weld mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and aluminum with ease.
- The lightweight and compact design of this machine allow for great portability, with the carrying handle allowing you to take it around easily. The good quality materials used also ensures that it is rugged and durable, allowing it to be used across different worksites.
- The closed-loop feedback control and other electronics allow users to connect it to different electrical networks. It also has a voltage matching system that ensures the current remains stable throughout, giving you a better weld.
- The electronics allow for protection overload and processing protection to protect the sensitive internal components from damage. A cooling fan helps dissipate heat from within quietly, allowing for more efficient welding and increased safety.
- This product comes with a manual, welder unit, input power adapter, plug and cable, electrode holder with cable, work clamp with cable, and a brush.
If you want to know more about this product then you can read the Amazon sales page.
- Lightweight and compact design, handle for maximum portability
- IGBT technology for reliable and energy-efficient welding
- Advanced electronics provide internal protection along with a cooling fan
- Stable voltage output for the steady welding arc
- Required welding accessories provided
- Great value for money
- Low-quality weld sticks provided with the machine
- Electrode holder susceptible to breakage
- Early failure and not very durable according to few users