ARC Welders Buying Guide

The Sealey Buyer Guide to ARC Welders      

ARC Welding (or Stick Welding as it’s sometimes known) is not as easy to master as MIG welding. It uses a flux coated metal rod, which delivers the electrical current to create an arc. The end of the electrode needs to be tapped against the workpiece to strike an arc. It also acts as a filler rod. So, as you weld, you need to master moving your hand in towards the workpiece, to compensate for the electrode getting shorter.

The flux coating is designed to prevent contamination entering the weld, and as there is no gas, you can use it outdoors. The flux creates a hard coating which covers the weld. This needs to be chipped off with a hammer when the job is finished and, if required, an angle grinder can be used to remove any weld spatter, smoke stains and high spots.

ARC Welding is ideal for use on materials over 3mm in thickness, so it’s not suitable for use on thin car and van bodywork.

Unlike MIG welders, even smaller ARC welders are capable of welding thicker metal items, by creating a number of passes to build up the weld. These can be run on a normal 13Amp domestic supply.

Compressor Duty cycle – This applies to all electric welders.

The duty cycle of a welder reflects how long it can weld in a 10-minute period before it has to cool down i.e. a 40% duty cycle equates to 4 minutes of continuous welding. The higher you set the amperage, the shorter the duty cycle.

If you plan to carry out a lot of welding, the duty cycle is a very important consideration when comparing welders.

Warranty - Sealey ARC and MIG welders are covered by a 3-year parts and labour warranty on the main power transformer. This is comprised of a 1-year unconditional parts and labour warranty, followed by a 2-year parts and labour warranty, subject to registering the purchase online.

Safety First! ARC welders create very hot temperatures and emit a very bright light, which can cause severe damage to both exposed skin and eyesight. Therefore, it is essential that the right safety equipment is worn.

View our current range of Arc Welders here:

Please refer to our guide on PPE: Personal Protection Equipment.