Best Welders For Sheet Metal 2022 – Top Picks & Reviews
Welding on sheet metal is considered by some to be a specialty craft that the majority of welding equipment cannot handle. We had a lot of people ask us if this type of welding was possible and what the best welder for sheet metal is.
In order to provide accurate information, we went to a group of experienced welders, automotive experts and sheet metal fabricators to get answers for our readers.
The professionals we spoke to told us that the following four welding devices were ones they used themselves and recommended to others. They also gave us some advice on what to look for when we were shopping for automotive sheet metal welding equipment that could be used on thinner metals like sheet metal.
5-position voltage control selector
Dual digital display easy to read
Advanced Inverter Technology
Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency
Why Trust This List?
This is simply impossible to build a list of the best sheet metal welding machines if someone doesn't know the basics of sheet metal welding. We hired an experienced automotive welding expert to make this list.
Following, the methods and factors that helped us to figure out the top list of this article:
Basics of Sheet Metal Welding
As I just mentioned earlier that to determine the perfect sheet metal welder you must know the basics of this welding process. The biggest challenge of thin metal welding avoids the burn-through and control the excessive heat during the welding process. For that, you need to ensure the strength of the machine which is capable to meet this challenge.
Short arc ( Short circuit transfer MIG ), Pulse TIG machine and general TIG machines are suitable for this process to avoid heat and warping.
We elaborated more about the process of sheet metal welding, here you go: how to weld sheet metal.
MIG Machine for Sheet Metal, Why & How?
MIG works best for thin metal so far. In an MIG machine, you can use a smaller wire which ensures heat the surface less. As the Small wire has a lower deposition rate it also ensures solid control over the weld.
Another reason to pick a MIG for sheet metal is you can easily use a .023- or .024-inch wire in this machine which is perfect for a thinner gauge metal. We recommend a .030-inch wire in case of thicker metal.
Tips: To get the ultimate result always try to use a wire certified by the American Welding Society, for instance, ER70S-6.
Some of the compatible MIG Wires for sheet metal welding:
TIG Welder for Sheet Metal, Why & How?
Yes, in our list we also include a few outstanding TIG models which are quite efficient to weld sheet metals.
In a TIG machine, you can use a smaller electrode instead of a big 1/8-inch tungsten electrode which. This kind of smaller stinger works better to control and avoid burn through working under lower heat settings and you can focus better in a smaller weld area.
.020, .040 and 1/16-inch are some of our suggested diameters for electrodes to use for this purpose. Experts also agreed with us.
Tips: Though ER70S-2 filler is popular to weld the sheet metal you can try the silicon bronze as well. The reason behind this is you can only get the ultimate result if the filler is thinner than the base metal.
After considering all of these, we started testing 10 of the popular models using the different electrodes, wires to ensure their quality. Our expert used his garage to make the test successful and finally, we found the following 4 welders, the best for sheet metal.
Best Welder for Sheet Metals Reviews 2022
1. Hobart 500559 Sheet Metal Welder
- 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps
- Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
- Amperage Range: 25-140 A
- 50-740 IPM at no load
- Wire Feed Speed Range 40-700 IPM
This is an MIG welding device. It can be used to weld materials that are rated as 24 gauge and up to ¼ inches thick. You can use it on sheet metal, aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, and most other weld-able surfaces.
One of the benefits of this device is it has the ability to maintain a stable arc at all times no matter what thickness the material you are welding on is. It offers a voltage control selector with five different positions to help you adjust the arc settings and keep a smooth weld flow going.
This is an MIG process machine but it can also be used to perform flux-core welding processes with. It has welding amperage of 25 to 140 amps with a 20% duty cycle when operating at 90 amps. It is powered by 110/115 volt electrical currents. It has a wire feed speed that ranges from 40 to 700 IPM, and when there is no load on the wire feed the speed increases to between 50 and 740 IPM.
This machine comes complete with a MIG gun with a 10 foot cord, a work clamp attached to a ten foot cable, a dual gauge regulator and the necessary gas hose, a quick select drive roll, contact tips size .030, a sample of flux core wire along with a handy material thickness gauge to help you make perfect setting selections.
2. 2022 Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Welder For Sheet Metal
- Item Weight: 30.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 17.72 x 8.66 x 14.96 "
- Part Number: MIG200GDsv
- Manufacturer: W Weldpro
- Batteries Required: No
This is a three in one welding device that will allow you to perform MIG processes, flux core welding with flux core wire and TIG welding processes. It also does ordinary basic stick welding processes.
It gives you the power and ability to weld just about anything you could want to weld and considered as the best welder for automotive sheet metal.
This is a dual voltage device that can be powered by simple household currents of 110/115 volts or can be powered by heavier currents of 220/240 volts. When you increase the current you power the machine with you increase the power and capabilities of the machine. This makes it perfect for beginners and professionals to use.
The foremost advantage of this machine is, it is very easy to use with controls that are easy to read and easy to adjust. You adjust the amperage and the wire feed speed according to what you are doing and it stays set so you can use the machine repeatedly with no adjustments.
It has overload protection built into it and it has an indicator to let you know when it is reaching an overload state.
It is lightweight and portable so you can work in one place like your garage, or you can load the device up and take it to where the work needs to be done.
3. 2018 AHP AlphaTIG IGBT Welder For Metal
- Item Weight: 69 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 23 x 12 inches
- Part Number: Alpha-TIG200X-2018
- Manufacturer: AHP
- Batteries Required: No
This is a TIG welding machine with the ability to also be used for stick welding processes. It has both advanced inverter technology designed into it and pulses width modulation.
You can use it to weld aluminum that is up to ¼” thick and mild steel as thick as 3/8”. It is amazing for sheet metal welding because it is so good at welding the thinner materials. The settings on the machine allow you to create the perfect welding scenario for the metals and processes that you are working with.
This machine does come with a foot pedal control to give you the optimum amount of control as you weld. It has a 100% duty rating when operating at 150 amps. You have three pulse settings for frequency, amperage and speed control.
It weighs 69 pounds, heavier than the 2022 Weldpro and Lotos TIG200ACDC, but, still, it is easy to move and perfect for small business owners, ranches and farms. It can be used by professionals and beginners with equal success, which is a big plus.
The machine is quiet when in operation and built of durable materials to make it sturdy and strong. It is a great choice for anyone whether you weld often or just on occasion for repairs.
4. Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A Aluminum Welder
- Item Weight: 58 pounds
- Dimensions: 28 x 13 x 17 inches
- Model Number: TIG200
- Manufacturer: Lotos
- easily switch from 220v to 110v
This is the 2nd TIG model on our list. But unlike the 2018 AHP AlphaTIG it is a dual voltage machine which can be operated on household currents of 110 or on heavier 220 volt currents. It can be used to weld thinner and lighter materials like aluminum and sheet metal.
You get a foot pedal so you have exact control over the amount of heat being generated. It has an easy arc start and an HF starts hand torch that gives you more ability to control every aspect of the process.
The advanced cooling system keeps the plasma cutter portion of this machine working steady and stable. You can use this device with a wide variety of acid or basic electrodes according to the work you are doing at the time.
The machine weighs only 59 pounds and has a convenient handle on the top to make it easy to lift and carry. You can do more with a portable machine because you can take the machine to work.
This device has a square wave inverter designed into it that gives it the ability to weld fine aluminum accurately. It is great for professionals and for weekend welders both.
Things To Consider When Buying
When you are going to be welding sheet metal you are going to be working with thinner materials than if you were welding pipe or making most common repairs on heavy equipment. In order to weld the thinner materials, you are going to need to have a welding machine that is capable of TIG or MIG welding processes.
Consider the following things about the welding machines you are looking at and you should be able to choose one that does the processes you need for the materials you will be working with most frequently.
Welding Process Capabilities
The processes that the machine can perform will determine what materials you can weld with it.
MIG is gas metal arc welding and requires shielding gas to operate. This is the easiest to learn the welding process and it is recommended if you are welding thin materials like sheet metal. It can also be used to weld thicker metals so it is an all-around effective welding process.
You can even create welds on materials that are located above your head and it welds about four times faster than basic stick welding.
TIG welding is gas tungsten welding that utilizes a non-consumable tungsten electrode and shielding gas like Argon. This is the perfect welding process for thin materials because it gives less distortion and high-quality finishes. The weld beads are prettier and you have complete heat control using a foot pedal or a hand control depending on your personal preferences and abilities.
Stick welding is shielded metal arc welding and it is not recommended for thin materials that are less than an 18 gauge in thickness. These machines have to be used outdoors and they are the least expensive of all of the welding machines.
Choosing a duty cycle
If you are welding thin materials like sheet metal or aluminum you want an MIG or TIG welding machine that has a duty cycle rating of 20% OR 30%. You do not need a really high duty cycle rating if you are going to be working on the thinner materials.
Thinner materials like sheet metal do not require high amperages. So you can choose a welder that has the lower amperage if you are going to work with thinner materials.
When using an MIG welder on an 18 gauge material you only need a 70 amp to be able to do the weld in one single pass.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of welder is used for sheet metal?
If you are going to be welding on thin material like sheet metal you need a TIG or MIG welding machine. The TIG is often preferred of the two processes because TIG leaves a cleaner weld and gives you slightly more heat control.
Can sheet metal be welded?
Sheet metal can be welded. It is thin metal and that means that you will need to use either a TIG or MIG capable machine when you start welding it, and you have to have great control over your heat and your puddle.
Can you stick weld sheet metal?
You can use a stick welder and do some spot welding on sheet metal but for the majority of welding jobs utilizing sheet metal, you will need a welding machine that either does TIG or MIG welding.
If you are looking for a welding machine that can do all of the welding processes then we suggest the 2022 Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder. It is a dual powered machine that allows you to perform any welding process that you choose.
If you want a welding machine that weighs less than 60 pounds but will give you the ability to weld most things then we suggest the Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG Welder. It is a great TIG process device that is easy to use and versatile.
Welding sheet metal is not difficult if you have the right tools for the job.
Last Updated on 1 year by Richard Boyer