If you’re about to start your welding project, you may be wondering how many amps does a welder draw.
One of the specs we need to understand the power requirements of a welder.
In fact, it depends on the type of welding process. The three most commonly used welding processes are:
- MIG (Gas Metal Arc Welding, or GMAW)
- TIG (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, or GTAW)
- Stick (Shielded Metal Arc Welding, or SMAW)
In this post, I’ll try my best to cover the welder amperage requirements of each type of welding type.
If you’re interested to learn about how many amps does a welder use, continue reading this post.
How Many Amps Does a Welder Draw?- MIG, STICK, TIG & More
The simple way is to look at the control setting on your welding machine for the amperage label. The maximum amp draw and duty cycles are indicated on the label.
How Many Amps Does a 110v Welder Use?
Most 110V welders draw around 90 to 100 amps, greatly limiting your selection of electrodes and penetration.
How Many Amps Does a 220 Welder Draw?
A 220v welding machine uses half the amperage of a similar 110v welder. You need a minimum 30 to 40 Amp breaker for a 220v welder.
How Many Amps Does a 120 Volt Welder Draw?
120-volt welding machine draws a fair amount of current. If you look at the label for specification, you’ll see most of the 120v units draw a maximum of 20 amps. So, you’ll need a 120v dedicated circuit to operate a typical 120V unit.
How Many Amps Does a Tig Welder Draw?
The rule of thumb for amperage usage of aluminum GTAW is for every thousandth (0.001) of material thickness, it will draw a 1-amp current. For example, a tig welder will draw about 125 amps for welding 1/8 inch (0.125) thick a base material. However, if the thickness of the base material is more than ¼-inch, this rule starts to deviate, and not as much amp is required.
How Many Amps Does a Stick Welder Draw?
Typically, most of the Stick (Shielded Metal Arc Welding, or SMAW) welding processes draw 200 amps or less. So, a stick welder with 225 to 300 amp can handle almost anything the average user may encounter.
Simply make multiple passes to weld a material that is thicker than 3/8-inch. Even when welding on a 1-inch thick structural steel, you can apply this tip- and this is what a professional welder does.
How Many Amps Does a Small Stick Welder Draw?
On average, a small STICK welder that operates on 115 volts draws 140 amps current to weld maximum ¼-inch thick steel.
How Many Amps Does a Mig Welder Draw?
For welding up to ¼-inch thick steel with a 115-volt MIG welder, you’ll need a 140-ampere current. If it is a 220-volt MIG welding machine, it’ll draw around 200 amps to weld maximum ½-inch thick material.
How Many Amps Does a 3 Phase Welder Draw?
Depending on the types of 3 phase welding machines, the usage of current differs. This welder may use a couple of hundred watts for welding thin stuff or thousands of watts for welding thick materials.
For example, Miller Synchroware 250 welder at 200 ampere uses 77 amps of current at 60% duty cycle, 220volt.
How Many Amps Does a Spot Welder Use?
It depends on spot welder sizes.
A 240-volt spot welding unit will draw half of the ampere from the mains for a similar welding current.
Best Welder for the Money
Welding is a tricky task and when it comes to buying the best welder for the job, you should make sure you have a welder that is safe, and durable.
With many options available on the market today, how do you know which welder to buy? Here are our top picks for different types of welders.
Best Welder Overall
If you’re looking for a portable and energy-efficient welder, DEKOPRO MMA160A will be a perfect choice. This MMA welder allows you to weld stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron, and weld steel with this unit.
- Current range: 10 to 160amp
- Advanced IGBT Inverter Technology with unique control mode for improved reliability
- Closed-loop feedback system for a stable voltage
- Power and overheating indicating light
- Welding current adjustment knob
- High-efficiency radiator
High strength carrying handle makes the unit easy to carry and transport.
Best Welder for Beginners
If you’re looking for a great entry-level welder, don’t’ miss this model. It offers you infinite voltage and wire feed speed control. So, you can dial your desired weld as an amateur.
- Flux-Core capable; handles 0.30, flux core wire
- Big enough to handle 2 and 10-pound rolls of wire
- 120-volt input & Up to 140 Amp output
- Can weld mild steel up to 1/4 in plate
The metal construction makes it rugged for everyday use. With 19 pounds weight, Forney Easy weld is portable.
Best MIG Welder
Hobart 500559 is a popular choice for 5-position voltage control. So, you can fine-tune this welder to meet your different welding needs.
Hobart’s Handler Welder runs on a 115-volt standard household outlet. So, you can use it at the home. It is suitable for household repair, auto body repair, and more.
- Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel
- Stable and smooth arc at all welding thicknesses
- Wire Feed Speed Range 40 to 700 IPM
Another lucrative part of this unit is its heavy-duty work clamp and aluminum drive system.
Best ARC Welder
This Stick MMA Welder provides easy arc starting making it convenient for welding jobs.
The two best features of this unit are its automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation and temperature control. These safety features make it a great choice for any welders.
- 20 to 125amps; perfect for welding thin workpiece
- 110V/220V Dual Voltage
- Excellent arc stability
- IGBT soft switch technology
- Over-current and overload protection.
- All generators friendly
I hope, you have found all the necessary information on “how many amps does a welder draw”.
If my post also helped you to get the right welder for the job, please let us know in the comments.
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I’m Ivan D. Mitchell. I’m the Chief Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Tool and Launch, specialising in automotive equipment design and build which meets World Class Manufacturing methodology. I have 15 years of work experience as a Tooling Specialist on some of the leading automotive manufacturing companies. When I launched this site, I wanted to create a platform where you’ll get everything about tools in one place. I also wanted to share my experience in the tool industry. I’ll do my best to share the information you need to truly make your tool using experience better. I hope you find our guides, reviews, information HELPFUL. If you have any inquiries, I’m always here to help you.