AHP Alpha TIG 200X
The AHP Alpha TIG 200X is the best pipe welding machine for those who want a solid residential and portable welding machine for under $1000 retail. This welder represents the perfect balance between performance, reliability, and price. Unfortunately, it does not have suitable for industrial or commercial use.MORE INFO
Welding refers to the process of joining together metal materials by melting them together with electric current. In general, you have MIG, TIG, and Stick Welding machines, which vary in the type of electric electric arc used. Depending on the project and the material type, each type of welding machine has its pros and cons.
Pipe welding refers to the technique of joining and repair tubes and pipes in all sorts of places. It can be something simple such as a broken pipe at home, to a large pipe in a commercial building, to a natural gas pipeline. Again, the choice between using a MIG, TIG, or Stick welder for pipe welding depends on what its used for. In general, commercial applications are much different from residential applications.
Pipe welding is a great long term career for those looking for stability with great salaries. The top independent pipe welders can earn well over a six figure salary while maintaining flexible hours and being location independent. You can either work for a pipe welding company, which will likely supply you with a pipe welding machine, or you can go completely independent and supply your own machine.
In this article, we will help you find the best pipe welding machine for your needs. We will offer some cheaper options for smaller residential projects and some crazy expensive ones for those looking to tackle large scale projects. In other words, there are home machines and pipe welding machines for commercial use.
As you probably know already, pipe welding is a specialized career that requires specialized a lot of education and investment. You have to go to speciality school, pass certification exams, and likely buy your own equipment as an independent contractor. These are both huge investments, but with a potentially greater payoff. In general, you need to look at the what amps are required for your project and pick a welder that can deliver that output given a particular duty cycle.
Best Pipe Welding Machine
- AHP Alpha TIG 200X
- Everlast PowerARC 200ST
- Hobart Champion Elite Welder and Generator
- Miller Trailblazer 325 EFI Welder
- Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP
AHP Alpha TIG 200X
The AHP Alpha TIG 200X is considered by many experts to the best pipe welding machine in its price range. In fact, it is not just limited to pipe applications, but to all sorts of other jobs. But keep in mind, this is a residential welder, so great for projects around the house or even in a building. If just can’t expect to fix natural gas pipelines with this welder.
The AHP Alpha TIG 200X is great for a beginner or professional who needs a very reliable unit that also won’t break the bank. It is still an entry level welding machine that is not fit for commercial use.
In terms of technology, it has the Pulse Width Modulated Technology that basically helps automate the system uptime. This is very useful in that it results in power savings as the system cycles, which means more reliability and long term durability. Furthermore, the arc is quite consistent as well as the weld as power delivery is smoother.
You end up getting phenomenal performance across all power ranges. The unit outputs 150 amps at 110 volts and can go all the way down to 10 amps. Finally, you have an adjustable output frequency, which gives you A/C frequency control. The unit will automatically adjust the frequency and narrow the arc. In terms of some of the negatives, we found that it has sometimes it has a hard time starting, which is annoying.
– Best pipe welder for the price
– Durable and solid construction
– Automates system uptime
– Consistent and reliable
Everlast PowerARC 200ST
For those of you who want the best pipe welding machine and are on an extreme budget, the Everlast PowerARC 200ST is a great option. This is the ultimate home and residential pipe welder as it is portable and can be taken with you on the road to any site. As long as you have the expectation that you won’t be able to use it for industrial pipe welding, the Everlast PowerARC is perfect.
The welder itself can be set to 110 volts or 220 volts, depending on your power preferences. You also get 200 amps of DC stick or lift TIG welding power. The standout technology of this device is the IGBT or Infineon insulated gate bipolar transistor. It is designed to switch from one mode to another rapidly with a fast conversion.
At this price range, we don’t think you’ll find a pipe welder that is better. It also weighs in at only 32 pounds, making it one of the lightest at the sub $500 retail price range as well. Finally, this welder has nice and easy to use user friendly controls that are intuitive. Unfortunately, there is no foot pedal or carry strap.
– Dirt cheap
– 100 or 220 volts
– IGBT technology
– Lightweight at 32 pounds
Hobart Champion Elite Welder and Generator
If you want a heavy duty industrial welder, the Hobart Champion Elite is the best pipe welding machine for you. This is the perfect entry level machine into the world of pipe welding for commercial industrial uses. The Hobart Champion is of course also a generator, so it has its own built in power source when working out in the field on irrigation pipes to pipelines.
This particular pipe welding machine can generate up to 11,000 watts of AC generator power and can handle materials up to half an inch thick on a single pass. Additionally, it runs on a gas powered 23 horsepower Kohler engine twin cylinder, which is very fuel efficient. In terms of other specifications, you have a welding amp range of 40 to 225 amps along with a 5 volt rated output at 100% duty cycle.
All in all, we believe the Hobart Champion Elite is the best deal in the sub $5,000 retail price range for industrial pipe welders. It comes with a 5 year limited warranty, which is pretty decent. Unfortunately, you have to buy the welding cables and leads separately.
– Entry level industrial pipe welder
– Powered by 23 horsepower gas engine
– 40 to 225 amps
– Quality construction
Miller Trailblazer 325 EFI Welder
The Miller Trailblazer 325 EFI is the best pipe welding machine if you want a truly premium product. This is when you start getting into the heavy hitters of pipe welding, with machines over $5,000 retail. We put the Miller Trailblazer 325 up there is the Lincoln SA-200 model, which is now obsolete.
This powerful welder is also a generator and features a 23.5 horsepower motor. The amp range is 10 to 325 amps at 12,000 watts. Like all industrial pipe welders, you need the generator to power your welding activities out in the field, where is no source of external power. This is a multi-process welder that has MIG, TIG, flux core, stick, plasma, and TIG pulse functions.
Perhaps the best feature is the Miller Electric trademark Auto speed technology, which will automatically adjust the engine speed to whatever project you are working on. This greatly improves run times, improves fuel economy, and increases performance efficiencies.
Finally, we really like the fact that the Miller Trailblazer is rather portable and doesn’t require you to be a powerlifter to load it on your truck. Also, it is a very silent machine and you can even hear yourself talking when running at idle.
– 12,000 Watts of power
– 10 to 325 amps
– 23.5 HP motor
– Multi-process welder
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP
Lincoln Electric is a very well respected name brand in the pipe welding community. The LIncoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP if you want a unit that is light, portable, and gives you extreme power. Unfortunately, it is not a welder generator, so you won’t be able to take it out to fields to fix up pipelines without bringing an external generator.
The beauty of this model is that it is a single welder that is capable of 4 welding process, which is great when dealing with all types of metals. It has output power ranges of 20 to 220 amps and has a 40% duty cycle at 100 amps. Also, it can weld steel up to 3/8 inches thick and aluminum up to 3/16 inches with a single pass. There is also a dual voltage feature that allows you to operate it on 120 or 230 volts.
Finally, the best part is that you can use it almost anywhere as it is lightweight. You don’t need to load it on a truck or have people help you carrying it around. This is great for independent contractors to go between jobs and have the ultimate flexibility in welding options and power.
– 4 welders in one
– Dual voltage feature
– 20 to 220 amps range
– Very lightweight for its class