It is no secret that welding can be a dangerous profession. Welders are constantly exposed to many dangers, including fires, explosions, and health hazards. Good thing experts have designed ways to minimize and even prevent those risks.

Welders and construction workers rely on their safety equipment to perform flawlessly every time – and that is why the Waylander Svalinn welder's blanket for a smoker is a valuable accessory for your protection. 

In this detailed review, we will take a closer look at what makes this welding blanket great and some of its key features and benefits. Let's explore! 

Waylander Svalinn Welding Blanket Smoker Cover: Under a Microscope

Waylander welding blanket in black

Waylander Welding has been fabricating safety apparel and welding blankets for years. They are created for welders and tested by welders. So rest assured, their products are made for safety in all welding conditions. 

Like all of their products, the Waylander welding blankets are specialized heat-resistant materials that protect you and your welding station from the extreme heat and sparks produced during welding. Check out the Svalinn welder's blanket for a smoker in detail. 

Fiberglass Blanket

Welding can easily damage your furniture and other objects nearby. You can easily ignite a fire with weld splatters and sparks, and the intense heat can cause serious burns, from flash burns to third-degree burns. 

Take extra precautions when welding with Waylander fiberglass blanket. Thanks to its high heat resistance, fiberglass fabric can withstand temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it an ideal choice for welding blankets, which protect nearby workers and equipment from the intense heat of the welding process. 

Dual-Side Vermiculite Treatment 

On top of using a fiberglass fabric for fire protection, Waylander also uses vermiculite as another layer of protection. Vermiculite is a type of mineral that can withstand high temperatures. 

Thus, the Svalinn welding blanket can put out flames up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit with the combination of fiberglass and vermiculite.

Reinforced Kevlar Stitching

Kevlar thread is a high-strength, heat-resistant material used in a variety of applications. Its strength and heat resistance make it ideal for fire-resistant clothing, reinforcing tires, and making bulletproof vests. 

In addition, Kevlar does not break down in high heat, making it ideal for even aerospace and automotive applications. Waylanderuses Kevlar to stitch the ends of their welding blanket. Thanks to this flame-retardant material, the Syvalinn became the ultimate flame-proof material. 

Strengths of the Waylander Welder's Blanket 

Thermoplastic helmets, layered-leather gloves, and five level shades are many of the safety gear a welder must possess. The Waylander welder's blanket is a valuable protection for your safety and your surroundings. 

Here are the many reasons why the Waylander Syvalinn welders blanket for a smoker is a must-buy. 

Multi-Purpose Fire and Smoke Retardant 

Welding involves using high temperatures to melt metal, producing a lot of smoke. The Waylander blanket helps deflect the heat away from the welder and blocks out the smoke. This allows welders to work safely without inhaling harmful byproducts coming from their welds.

But you can use it for many other applications, despite it being called a welding blanket for a smoker. 

Skin-Friendly Protection

Blankets with fiberglass have a harsher feel to them because they easily harden up when exposed to high temperatures. But due to infused Vermiculite, the Waylander blanket became tolerable for body protection. This makes the blanket low-irritant to the skin.  

Brass Grommets for Flexible Positioning 

While most grommets for welding blankets are metal, a brass grommet offers several advantages over other materials. Regarding thermal conductivity, a brass grommet is far more conductive than stainless steel or metal, making them less likely to break or tear. 

At first glance, brass grommets might not seem essential to a welder's blanket. However, these metal eyelets serve an important purpose: they give you the flexibility to hang the blanket in various ways. 

Whether you are using it to cover up your table or furniture, the grommets allow you to easily change the way the blanket is laid out. 

Reusable Safety Gear

Waylander tops its competitors due to its long lifespan. Due to its reinforced hem and dual heat-retardant materials, this welding blanket will last for many years, making it an excellent investment for any workshop. 

They are also much more convenient than disposable welding blankets, making them a cheaper option in the long run. 

Weakness of the Waylander Welding Blanket  

Waylander welding blanket in beige

The Svalinn welding blanket comes in three different sizes: 

At 6 ft by 6 ft, this welder's blanket is the perfect size for small welding projects. It is also large enough to cover an average height welder. However, other welders have larger welding equipment and space to cover, so sometimes, they end up buying two 6' x 6' Waylander blankets instead of one. 

We hope in the future Waylander can give larger sizes, so their welding blankets have extra cover for accidental fires. Having an 8' x 8' blanket will give Waylander a more competitive edge against other welding blanket brands.  

Waylander's Welding Blanket Can Handle the Heat

So, is the Waylander Svalinn welder's blanket a good investment for your safety needs? 

Overall, it is an excellent product that can help you fight fire with fiberglass and vermiculite. The skin-friendly fabric and brass grommets make it flexible and easy to use, while the multi-purpose fire and smoke retardant quality make it a valuable piece of safety gear. 

If you need more protection than this blanket can cover, check out our other reviews and buying guides at Welding Buddy to make perfect welds without slag!

You're at the store, standing in front of the racks of different welding rods, and you have no idea what size you need. You know you need a smaller rod for thin metal and a larger rod for thicker metal, but beyond that, you're lost. What about when you're joining different types of metals? Some metals require a specific welding rod to create a strong joint.

Welding is a delicate process that requires the right equipment and practice to perfect. Therefore, the type of welding rod you use is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of your weld metal. This blog post will discuss the welding rods available and how to choose the right rod size for your project. 

Introduction to Welding Rods 

In welding, you need a welding electrode, otherwise known as a welding rod. It's a coated metal wire that helps create the electrical arc. Welding electrodes come in two varieties: consumable and non-consumable. 

A consumable welding rod melts down when welded and fuses onto the weld bead. Thus, whether your parent metal (base metal) is mild steel or carbon steel, your consumable electrode must be the same as it acts as a filler material.

Meanwhile, a non-consumable electrode is tungsten or carbon and does not melt during welding. Instead, it conducts electricity to create the arc that melts the metals being joined. They don't act as fillers, so you’ll still need a consumable welding rod for your weld.

Welding rod 6011

The Codes on Your Welding Rod Matter

If you've ever seen a welding rod with many letters and numbers and wondered what they meant, wonder no more! These codes are used to classify the weld rod sizes and types. So next time you're at the store, you'll know exactly what to look for. Here's a quick breakdown of what each code means.

Tensile Strength

Welding electrodes are categorized by tensile strength, determined by the first two or three digits of the four or five-digit numbering system. 

For example, an electrode with a tensile strength of 60,000 pounds per square inch would be denoted by the number 6011. If tensile strength is higher, the welding rod gets thicker. Generally, you use thicker electrodes for thicker base metals. However, it is important to choose the right weld rod for the job, as using an electrode with too high tensile strength can make welds more brittle. 

Welding Position

The second to the last digit of your welding rod are welding positions. The number 1 type of weld rod can be used in all positions, making it the most versatile option. However, weld rods with the number 2 are limited and can only be used in the flat and horizontal positions, such as butt welds. Meanwhile, the number 4 weld rod is designed for flat, horizontal, vertical down, and overhead positions. 

Coating and Current

The last digit tells the type of coating and current that you should use for your metal. For instance, 1 in welding rod 6011 means the coating is cellulose potassium. Thus, the welding current should be either direct current reverse polarity, alternating current, or direct current straight polarity.

Knowing the right rod size and type of weld rod is critical for any welding project, so familiarize yourself with these codes before starting your next project.

Other Factors to Consider When Picking the Right Welding Rod Size 

Decoding the numbers on your welding rod can classify the type and size of your arc welding. However, there are other main factors at play when choosing your welding rod sizes, such as:

The Thickness of the Base Metal

An external factor when considering your welding rod sizes is the thickness of your base metal. If the welding rod is the same thickness as the base metal, it will conduct heat more easily and can cause warping. To avoid this, choose a welding rod that is slightly thinner than the base metal. By doing so, you can prevent your base metal from welding defects. Additionally, weld slowly and carefully to avoid any accidental distortion

Here's a chart of welding rod sizes compatible with its base metal thickness.

Welding Rod SizesBase Metal Thickness
1/16“ or 1.6 mmLess than 3/16“
1/4“ or 6.4 mmMore than 3/8“
1/8“ or 3.2 mmMore than 1/8“
3/16“ or 4.8 mmMore than 3/8“
3/32“ or 2.4 mmLess than 1/4″
5/32“ or 4.0 mmMore than 1/4″
5/64“ or 2.0 mmLess than 3/8

If you're new to stick welding, you might wonder what weld rod sizes are the most common. The three most common weld rod sizes are 3/32" (2.4mm), 1/8" (3.2mm), and 5/32" (4mm). These sizes will be enough to weld most projects that you come across. However, there are weld rod sizes that are smaller in rod diameter, such as 1/16" (1.6mm) and 5/64" (2mm). These sizes can be more challenging to weld with than the common sizes and even more challenging than welding with the biggest welding rod sizes. 

Amperage for Stick Welding Rods

We all know that one size does not fit all when welding. The same is true for your stick welding rod's amperage, AKA the strength of the current. You want to set it high enough to get the best penetration and fusion for the job at hand, just a step before too much heat gives you defects.

A helpful tip is to test the amperage on similar scrap metals if you're new to welding to find the right setting. That way, your arc welding won’t produce any welding defects. Too much or little amperage can cause problems, so it's important to get it right. Then, you can weld away with confidence once you've found the right setting. 

A man holding welding rods


The numbers on a welding rod can tell you everything about how it should be welded. This includes information such as tensile strength, welding position, type of coating, and current necessary for distinguishing different types from each other, so no mistakes are made when trying to work out which one is right. But other external factors such as base metal and amperage are also crucial in getting the right arc for quality welds.

Picking out welding rod sizes can be confusing and tedious at first. Still, by understanding the different factors that come into play when selecting an electrode, you can confidently choose the best option for your arc welding. Be sure to check out our other welding guides for tips on choosing the right tools and accessories for your next welding project. We've got everything you need to start or advance your career in metalworking.

When you decide to purchase your very own plasma cutter, you should consider getting a Lotos Plasma Cutter. Industry favorite, Lotos, has introduced some of the latest technologies in cutting and welding machines, resulting in durable, portable, and versatile cutters of the highest quality. With the Lotos plasma cutter, you will get more bang for your buck and enjoy more precise cuts.

Why a Lotos Plasma Cutter

The price tag of this brand-name equipment makes it appealing to anyone on a tight budget. If you’re seeking a plasma cutter within a set price range that also doesn't skimp on performance, these units are excellent choices. It can function up to 50 amps and is rated for its 1/2-inch steel. You'll be astounded by how powerful the Lotos plasma cutter can get despite its low price—proving cheap doesn't necessarily mean bad. Some units, such as the Lotos LTPDC2000D and Lotos CT520D, even include welding among their impressive range of capabilities.

Most Recommended Lotos Plasma Cutters

Depending on your needs, you may select between an entry-level and an industrial-grade cutter since Lotos has every model you are looking for. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter Review

Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter

The Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter is suitable for cutting through perforated, painted, rusted, and tough materials. It lets you work with stainless, mild, and alloy steel, as well as aluminum, copper, and a variety of other materials. This is mainly owing to the effectiveness of its pilot arc torch. The cutter can sever materials of up to 34 inches in length. However, it’s important to consider that the machine works slower fed with thicker materials. Aluminum, for one, is not ideal.

The Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter is a tough device that accepts both 110V and 220V power connectors. In reality, the power cord comes with no fitted ends, allowing you to use whatever end you wish. While the 110/115/120V version is suitable for modest tasks, the 220V version brings this cutter closer to industrial-grade equipment. At that level, it will easily cut through thick materials (14-inch and above). The Lotos LTP5000D 50-Amp Plasma Cutter also has a small torch size and a long (10ft) hose, which is another plus.



2. Lotos LTPDC2000D Review

The Lotos LTPDC2000D is our best choice for experienced welders since it offers clean and strong cuts while also being a 3-in-1 option. Welding specialists can utilize the LTPDC2000D for TIG and stick welding in addition to plasma cutting. Despite being the most expensive suggestion on our list, the diversity of functionalities makes it a worthy investment.

The LTPDC2000D combines three items in one machine at a very reasonable price. In addition, experienced welders will appreciate how flexible this product is.

Each of the welding operations is extremely strong and precise. Both the TIG and stick welders have 200 amps, while the plasma cutters have 50 amps. As a result, you'll be able to cut through metals up to 12 inches thick with ease and precision—steel, stainless steel, ferrous alloys, and even molybdenum! Furthermore, because this is a dual voltage device, you may select whether to employ AC or DC operation in your job.

This model's pilot arc function assures clean and strong cuts, making it an excellent choice for heavy-duty usage. In addition, it will let you cut through corroded or hard metals with minimal splatter—this makes cleanup a breeze!

This plasma cutter boasts portability and a beginner-friendly design. The controls are easy to navigate and work to your advantage. Also, the unit itself is very easy to transport. After you've set the current, you may begin welding with a simple switch flip. The torch trigger may be adjusted with your thumb or index finger for improved precision. Working in small spaces is simple with the adjustable torch head.

This type is also relatively safe, which makes it an even more appealing plasma cutter for professionals, hobbyists, and users new to the craft. The built-in cooling mechanism guarantees that the unit's tip is never heated. It cools off fast after usage.

Finally, the LTPDC2000D is a long-lasting alternative. The Robust Infineon IGBT Power Drive matrix makes this machine durable and, hence, a more extended life. In addition, the LTPDC2000D, like other Lotos plasma cutters, comes with a one-year guarantee.



3. Lotos LT3500 35-Amp Review

The Lotos LT3500 is our favorite low-cost alternative, with a price tag of less than $200. But, don't be fooled by the low price—the LT3500 is pretty strong and a good choice for home usage. It is also easy to use and store in the house because it's portable. 

This Lotos 35 amp plasma cutter is a low-cost and practical option for minor welding jobs, making it an excellent choice for home use. This 35-amp device can penetrate metals of up to 25 inches thick and various metals, including stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, copper, and aluminum.

Aside from its numerous benefits, this model is also simple to operate, allowing novices and DIY enthusiasts to enjoy welding with ease. The machine takes 1 minute to set up—plug it into a power outlet, and you'll be up and running in minutes! It also has an easy-to-use gauge regulator and a preinstalled air filter to guarantee safety while in use.

The LT3500 is lightweight and portable. It's fairly light, at only 17 pounds, so that you can transport this plasma cutter about the house for repairs with ease.

This Lotos model also has a 1-year warranty, which is the best in its price category.



4. Lotos CUT60D Review

The CUT60D plasma cutter boasts high performance and versatility due to its multiple pilot arc functions. These offer easy switching from mode to mode—continuous, non-continuous, and gouging. These arc movements provide the accuracy and flexibility required when working with steel, aluminum, copper, alloy, expanded, and other metals. In addition, the CNC-ready device offers no hazards to your CNC setup or other electric appliances because it uses a Trafimet ERGOCUT S65 torch that integrates the blowback approach to ignite the arc. The automated dual voltage/frequency system is a significant benefit.

The rated clean-cut thickness at 20-30 A DC is 1/3 inch, while the peak severance thickness is 1/2 inch. Taking it up a notch, the rated clean-cut thickness at 20-60 A DC is 4/5 inches, while the peak severance thickness is 1 1/4 inches. You may notice some variations in these figures. However, in typical conditions, you may expect up to 80% consistency.



5. Lotos LTP 7000 Review

Except for the torch, cut thickness, size, and weight, the LTP 7000 and LTP6000 are similar in terms of features and pricing. Therefore, taking it as more powerful than the others evaluated here is not an exaggeration.

The CB172 torch includes a 2-prong connector and a 17-foot cord for increased reach. The device has been developed to do drag cutting, piercing, and cutting edge activities. Unfortunately, its piercing powers are a touch overstated, as may be seen if the workpieces aren't adequately prepared for the operation.

It’s also key to note that this machine operates with a ⅞ inch rating at maximum amperage through aluminum, brass, steel, and other metals, including expanded and rusted parts. On the other hand, the severance thickness is at 1.25 inches. Finally, the pilot arc system employs HF to provide the operator with an advantage in any plasma cutting task.




The Lotos LTP5000D is ideal for most individuals since it is flexible, long-lasting, and reasonably priced. This model also provides outstanding performance and clean cuts, making it a perfect choice for metalwork. In addition, the LTP5000D is ideal for any light welding work around the house, ranch, or repair business.

While the LTP5000D is ideal for amateurs, the LTPDC2000D is perfect for professional welders since it combines three welding choices in one machine. Overall, the LTPDC2000D is a bang for the buck. It is also the most durable of our choices and the greatest option for heavy-duty use.

The LT3500 is the best low-cost option. It is enough for minor repairs at home and light DIY projects. Furthermore, this model is incredibly lightweight and portable, allowing you to move it from one area to another with ease. Whatever you choose, we hope this guide has given you sufficient information to help you decide which Lotos unit best fits your needs.

If you have some welding experience and you're thinking about upskilling, then Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is your next step. TIG welding expands the range of what you can do with metals. To guide you on how to get started, we've created this checklist for the essential items you'll need to buy.

Your TIG Welding Equipment

Here's a list of the basic TIG welding tools and equipment you’ll need to start.

TIG Welder

When you skim through listings to find a TIG welder for sale, choose the one that has both Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). Choosing both AC and DC for a TIG welder will allow you to work on different types of metal with ease.

Amperage is another thing you should look for when you buy a TIG welder. If you're looking to experiment with welding different metal thicknesses, get a high amperage machine. There are 400-amp units for sale but as a rule, your minimum should be 140-amp for a quarter-inch thickness and 250-amp for half an inch.

Lastly, consider the number of pulses per second the TIG welder can produce. You will want to get one with a higher pulse rate if you're working with intricate joints and thin metals. The higher the pulse rate, the cleaner the weld.

Foot Pedal

Because TIG welding involves precision, you're going to want to learn how to control the amperage on your welder to get that clean weld. The foot pedal lets you do that. It helps you control the intensity of the torch's heat and avoid mistakes such as punching a hole on a thin metal sheet when you're not supposed to. When you're looking for a foot pedal, it's preferable to have a wireless one. The wires on the foot pedal are a trip hazard, especially if you tend to walk around in your workshop.

Grinding Wheel

In TIG welding, you'll be needing tungsten electrodes to create an arc that welds the metal piece you're working on. Part of the TIG pre-welding process is forming the tungsten electrode tip according to the requirements of the metal you're going to weld. A grinding wheel does this job. This equipment will let you sharpen the tip of the tungsten electrode so it can produce the right arc for the weld.

TIG Welding Equipment Supplies

Once you’ve purchased all the basic equipment, you'll have to shop around for TIG welding supplies. These are the consumable parts of your welding equipment that you'll have to buy repeatedly. These supplies will be like bullets to a gun: without them, your welding equipment is useless. Purchase the following items to get started.

Gas Cylinder

Gas cylinders produce the shield that protects the molten pool of filler metal weld from being exposed to oxygen in the air which can cause spatters.

When choosing a gas mixture, you can go with 100% Argon if you're mainly welding aluminum metals or any non-ferrous metal piece. If you want good-quality welds, a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide is recommended. The optimum mixture should be 75–95% argon, and 5–25% carbon dioxide.

When it comes to gas cylinders, it all depends on how frequently you weld. Cylinder sizes range from 40–125 cubic feet. Make sure that the cylinders you purchase meets ISO requirements for safety and quality.


Tungsten electrodes are an essential supply to conduct TIG welding. They produce the electric arc, which results in a welded metal. You can't weld without them. But if you're still learning how to TIG weld, you will make mistakes that contaminate your tungsten electrodes, such as hitting them with the filler metals. In other cases, you'll have to regrind the tungsten because you sharpened it incorrectly. That happens. So you're going to want to purchase a pack of ten or more pieces just in case you need new ones.

Filler Metal Rods

These rods are consumable and become the metal that's welded into your piece. It's that metal that joins several metal pieces together and closes any openings in between. That's why it's crucial to choose a good quality filler rod for your TIG welding sessions. When buying a filler rod, consider whether it's susceptible to cracks and if the filler material has excellent tensile strength on the final weld. Lastly, check your filler rods’ finish for aesthetic purposes.

Additional TIG Welding Accessories List

TIG welding accessories make welding convenient. This list contains all the essential things you'll need in your workspace, before you’ll actually need them. Buying several of these items will save you the hassle of having to improvise while you're welding.

Marking Accessories

Marking or drawing accessories are essential because they allow you to cut, join, and put boundaries on your metal piece. Marking accessories help you create metal angles and bevels smoothly and give you a benchmark on where you should and shouldn't weld. Soapstones are an excellent starter marking accessory you can purchase.

Welding Magnets

When you're welding a piece of metal, you tend to use your hand to grip the piece before you weld it. Your grip can be unstable and the metal can slip, which will ruin your weld. Buying heavy-duty welding magnets will help you secure the metals in place as you work on them.

Welding Clamps

Some metal pieces are so thick that a welding magnet can’t hold them. That's where welding clamps come in. They hold up thick metals securely on your work table and lock them in place so you can focus on welding them precisely.

Speed Square

To weld angles correctly, you’ll need to get a precision tool to join two separate metal pieces together. Speed squares or squaring tools will help you make precise measurements, and you can even use the tool to combine two metals at a ninety-degree angle.

Pliers There will be instances in your welding wherein the metal you're working on gets too hot to touch, even with welding gloves. Pliers will come in handy in these situations as they allow you to remove the heated metal piece safely.

TIG welding accessories

A Starter's List

It's important to keep in mind that this isn't an exhaustive TIG welding accessories list. Different skill levels may require additional tools depending on the scope or complexity of your project. On the other hand, this list tackles everything you need to get started.

As a side note, before you buy these items, be sure to invest in personal protective equipment specific for TIG welding as it is a hazardous process. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun welding!

If you're a beginner planning on taking up Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding as a hobby, you have to start with a few necessary accessories and equipment. Unfortunately, it's easy for you to fall into the trap of buying what you want instead of what you need. As a result, you tend to overlook important things, and you end up risking your safety.

Before you run to the shop and buy every shining MIG welding equipment that catches your attention, you must first consider safety. You have to start your welding hobby with the essential equipment needed for MIG welding—equipment that keeps you safe and worry-free. That's what this article is about.

If you're an absolute beginner at MIG welding, this helpful guide will introduce you to the different types of safety equipment needed. In this article, you'll find out what features you should be looking for on each safety accessory when you go out and buy them.

Safety First: MIG Welding Safety Equipment

MIG welding is no doubt a risky endeavor to get into. Several things in your workspace could endanger you physically. That statement isn't meant to dissuade you, though. It is a fulfilling hobby to take on, especially when you reach the level wherein you're making valuable tools, repairs, or modifying objects. To do that, you need to have the proper safety equipment to make sure you're safe from start to finish. Take a look at this essential MIG welding accessories list and find out what you should put into your shopping cart.

MIG welding helmet

Welding Helmet

The helmet's primary purpose is to protect your face and eyes from hot metal sparks that fly off during the welding activity. In addition, it also protects your face and eyes from the harmful Ultraviolet light (UV) emitted when the torch heats the workpiece. Therefore, we recommend you get a welding helmet worn on your head instead of held. Also, please choose the one with an auto-dim lens because it will protect your eyes from overexposure to light. An excellent entry-level welding helmet should have at least three and eleven shades.

MIG welding jacket

Welding Jacket

Sparks and spatters can also go to your neck, arms, and torso and can cause burns. Metal spatters can have temperatures between 500 to 1200 degrees celsius, so it's no light matter to get burned by it. The intense heat could burn through any regular clothing you have on and get to your skin. When scouting for a welding jacket, consider the thickness of the fabric and the season. If it's summer, you might want to consider a jacket made of cotton. On the other hand, for colder seasons, leather would be ideal. Choose a jacket that covers the skin from your neck to your wrist.

MIG welding pants

Welding Pants

If your welding jacket protects your upper body, your welding pants protect your lower half. When choosing welding pants, be sure to check if it is fire-resistant. In addition, it should be lightweight so that you can be comfortable moving around your workspace. You should also not forget to check if the zippers and the button on your welding pants are anti-static. Lastly, the pants should have a boot-cut opening so you can tuck them in your work boots, making sure there is no exposed skin.

MIG welding gloves

Welding Gloves

Your hands are the most at risk when you're welding. The hands are the ones closest to the MIG welder that emits the heat and causes the spatter. To weld without gloves on is simply a no-no. Welding with the wrong gloves is also dangerous. Putting on a glove that doesn't support the type of welding you're doing could cause you to slip or lose your grip.

When you go out to buy a welding glove, ask the shop clerk for a MIG-specific welding glove. You have to get the one that's flame-retardant. That means it shouldn't catch fire when a spatter falls on it. Also, it should be thick enough to resist the spatter's heat until it dies down. The heat and the spatters could put your entire arm at risk, so be sure to get the MIG welding gloves that cover your lower arm and look like a gauntlet. In addition, it has to be comfortable to wear so you can weld longer.

Welding ear muffs

Ear Protection

Welding can emit loud noises when you fire up the torch towards the workpiece material. Prolonged exposure to this noise can damage your eardrums. There's also that risk of metal spatters going into your ultra-sensitive ear and can put you off. The best ear protection is the one that covers the entire ear and has a noise-canceling feature. When searching for ear protection, consider if it would also fit your ears when your welding helmet is on.

Work boots

Work Boots

Even though your foot is far from where the action is, it's still at risk for burns due to the falling spatters. Your foot also has the most risk of getting injured from sharp or heavy objects when you cut pieces of metal sheets or tubes. Your foot is also at risk of stepping on wires lying on the ground; this can cause electrocution. To make sure you're fully protected from head to toe, you'll need work boots to protect your foot. When looking for work boots, you have to make sure they can cover your entire foot and ankle, as any exposed skin is a risk. The toe box should also be made of rigid material so it can protect your toes and deflect any falling objects. Lastly, the boots should be Electrical Hazard (EH) rated, which means the materials used for the boots are non-conductive.

These MIG Welding Accessories are NON-NEGOTIABLE.

The MIG welding accessories mentioned above are your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—these accessories will make sure you're covered from any potential hazards that come with MIG welding.

These accessories are non-negotiable. Don't go out and buy a welding machine and start welding until you have all these items beforehand. You are responsible for your safety and protection. Besides, you can only enjoy MIG welding fully if you know you're free from any potential dangers that come with it.

It’s probably your first time using metal inert gas (MIG) welding, so you're here searching for a quick guide with a complete list of MIG welding equipment. However, more than having sufficient welding skills, it's important to ensure you're fully protected and using the right tools before the operation begins.

MIG Welding Accessories List: Essential Equipment for Safety and Efficiency

There are four primary pieces of equipment needed for MIG welding. Each tool needs careful consideration, as they come in different types that will depend on the welding purpose. If you choose wrong, you won’t get the results you want.

Below is a list of the important tools you need before and during MIG welding.

Equipment Before Welding

Safety first! Ensure that you are completely protected before getting started by including these things in your MIG welding safety equipment list.

Eye and Ear Protection

The welding field is full of hazards, especially when you are not wearing proper protective equipment. Avoid having direct contact with fumes, toxic vapors, arc rays, MIG spatter, and arc radiation; these can penetrate and damage your eyes, ears, and skin.

If wearing a welding helmet is impossible when working very close to the workpiece, you need approved safety glasses or welding goggles. These glasses should not be heavily colored and must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

Additionally, wearing earplugs or muffles helps prevent substances from penetrating your ears and reduces loud noises.

Welding Helmet and Gloves

Welding helmets and gloves can protect the exposed parts of your skin that safety goggles and earplugs can’t. A welding helmet is essential to protect you from damage caused by powerful arc radiation, and welding gloves protect your hands and arms, which work the hardest during the process.

Whether you're a professional or a beginner, opt for an auto-darkening welding helmet. The best thing about it is that you don't have to manually flip it up and down to make weld shade adjustments. On the other hand, welding gloves must be made of thick leather, are high temperature-resistant, and have enough dexterity.

MIG welding equipment helmet gloves

Protective Clothing

Proper clothing ensures full body protection and prevents the effects of radiation when you're welding. You should wear a welding jacket along with long-sleeved shirts and pants that are made of natural fiber (wool, leather, or cotton). Note that clothing with cuffs or holes is prohibited for welding since it can catch sparks and splatter.

Additionally, wearing a high-quality welding apron and knee pads will increase protection and work efficiency. The apron protects you from the heat, splatter, and sparks, while knee pads can help make your work less tiring, even for long periods.

Leather Boots

Safety boots are tested for impact rating measurements to ensure their protective quality. Experts recommend safety boots made of heat-resistant leather and compliant with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. These ASTM standards (F2413-05 and F2413) cover compression resistance and impact properties to ensure your safety.

Equipment During the Welding Process

Now that you are fully equipped with safety gear, it's time to get to the most fun (but also the most hazardous) part: the welding process! Again, using a complete and proper set of equipment is important to produce your desired welding results.

Here are the things your MIG welding accessories list should include to start your welding project right.

MIG Welder

The first thing you need to set up is the MIG welding machine, which provides the constant supply of voltage power, amperage, and polarity required to complete the welding task.

Trusted brands usually sell a decent MIG welding machine that costs around $300–500. But if you have the budget for a more expensive option, ensure that all features will be handy for a fast and easy welding process.

Wire Feeder

Once you have the power supply, you need a wire feeding system for the repeatability and stability of MIG welding. The wire feeding unit feeds the electrode wire to the arc continuously. Additionally, it helps transfer the power supply's current and shields the weld puddle.

Wire feeders have three forms: push system, pull system, and push–pull system. These forms determine the functionality of the drive rolls and the torch.

Welding Gun

A welding gun provides the precision required to weld successfully. It guides the electrode wire to the joint or the arc, transfers the current to the wire, and even provides gas to shield the weld pool.

MIG welding guns have three types: push–pull guns (use a drive motor), water-cooled guns (use a cooling system), and air-cooled guns (rely on shielding gas).


C-clamps, also known as G-clamps, hold your welding metals in place to keep your welds aligned throughout the process. It is a very useful tool if you’re working on large workpieces that are difficult to keep steady. All you need to do is adjust the screw from the clamp's frame and apply the right amount of pressure to hold the materials together.

MIG welding equipment regulator

Gas Regulator

A gas regulator controls and maintains the right amount of gas needed for a successful MIG weld. Additionally, it reduces the high pressure caused by the gas cylinder, keeping it under control so as not to mess up your welding task.

When adjusting the flow rate setting on a MIG welding machine, turn the knob of the regulator around the ideal count: 25 or 30 cubic foot hours.


Preparation determines the quality of your results. If you have the complete and proper set of safety gear and MIG welding equipment, you're good to go. However, you still need to monitor and practice safety when welding. Even if you're using reliable equipment, you have to be alert and understand how everything works.

We hope this article has helped you become a more knowledgeable and skilled welding enthusiast! If similar questions like "How to MIG-weld aluminum?" or "What is MIG welding?" come up in your mind, feel free to explore more of our articles centered around these subjects.

So you've finally decided to take on an intimidating welding process—tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. You want to get started on the right foot and learn what tools and equipment you need.

You've come to the right place.

We've laid out a quick TIG welding equipment list to serve as your reference once you hit the store. This list isn't exhaustive, but it’s enough to get you started on practicing the TIG welding fundamentals.

First, you'll need the basics—your welding equipment.

TIG Welding Machine and Torch
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TIG Welding Equipment

To get started with TIG welding, you need the core TIG welding setup. That means you'll need a TIG welding machine and a TIG torch.

TIG Welder

The welder, or TIG welding machine, regulates the energy supplied to form an arc. When looking for a TIG welder for sale, you should consider its amperage range and its voltage. If you're just starting out, it's best to get a machine that has a low amperage range so that you can practice learning a good puddle technique without melting through your workpiece.

TIG Torch

Your torch is a central tool to the welding process, and you need to make an informed choice if you're still starting out. A great TIG torch should complement your current skill level, but it should also challenge you to elevate your skills.

Get a low-cost starter torch with industry-standard parts. It should be versatile to work on any welding machine and should support its amperage range.

TIG Filler Rods
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TIG Welding Equipment Supplies

You will need two essential supplies to get started with TIG welding. It is best to have an adequate stock of these supplies so that your welding project wouldn't grind to an unnecessary halt. These are your gas mixture and your filler rods.

Gas Mixture

The two main shielding gas mixtures for the TIG process are argon and helium. You can add nitrogen and hydrogen to the mix depending on the type of base metal you're working on.

When you get to the intermediate or advanced level, you'll become more familiar with your gas mixture, but if you're starting out, it's best to consult your supplier and let them know the type of base metal you're working on.

Filler Rods

Your filler rods serve as a “filler” between the two base metals you're going to join together. The rod fills a gap in the two base metals by supplementing the weld pool enough without melting the two base metals so much. That way, you get a smooth, even surface when the weld is done. Plus, it produces a stronger joint.

TIG Flow Meter
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TIG Welding Tools and Equipment for Support

When you're TIG welding, having the tools to support the entire welding activity is crucial so that you can work with efficiency and do more. These tools measure, refine, or give you information to help you produce a high-quality weld. Here are some of them.

Foot Pedal

The foot pedal lets you control the amperage that the welding machine gives out. Controlling the amperage means controlling the intensity of your arc. The more intense the arc, the better it can weld thick metals.

Leads and Hoses

Work leads and ground leads have one purpose: they direct the flow of electric current for it to become productive. They also prevent short-circuiting and keep you safe from electrical shock.

On the other hand, hoses are the medium where gas, air, and water flow from the cylinder to the torch. The gas shields the arc and prevents contamination from outside elements. The air or water cools down the torch for it to continue welding for extended periods.

Flow Meter

The flow meter is a piece of support equipment that provides information on gas pressure, content, and gas flow rate. Knowing this information is vital in determining the quality of the weld.

Measuring and Marking Tools

Measuring tools such as a speed square or a ruler allow you to make precise cuts and welds on metals while marking tools like soapstone or chalks let you temporarily mark an area on the metal workpiece you need to weld. These are extremely helpful for fabrication projects.

TIG Welding PPE
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TIG Welding Personal Protective Equipment

Last but not least is your safety. You should wear personal protective equipment every time you are welding. Here are the things you need before you step into your workspace and fire up the TIG torch.


When choosing a TIG helmet, consider whether you should have a helmet with or without an auto-dim feature. Nowadays, however, it's best to get the ones with an auto-dim feature as it adjusts to the intensity of light produced by the arc. Check your welding machine's amperage range and cross-reference it with the helmet's specifications.


The best welding jacket should protect your entire upper body from neck to hips. In addition, it should be resistant to heat and electricity. It should keep your temperature at tolerable levels in case your workspace becomes heated as a result of welding for long periods.


Similarly, your pants should also protect your whole lower extremities from the hips down to the ankles. It should have the same heat, spatter, and electricity resistance as your jacket. The fabric should be made of cotton, and it should be loose and comfortable to wear.


Apart from heat, fire, and electricity resistance, your gloves should fit nicely on your hand. For TIG gloves, the fingers should have enough flexibility to move because you'll be doing many precise welds with both of your hands. So try moving your hands when you fit a welding glove and check if it's comfortable.


The feet are also subject to the risk of falling spatter or grounding. The best welding boots should have premium leather and a strong toe cap to repel any falling object. Please get a steel toe cap, although it may be a bit expensive.

A Practical TIG Welding Equipment List

The list of tools and equipment laid out above is meant to be practical. We recommend that you purchase them all first before getting started on any TIG welding. Missing any components on the list could prevent you from working smoothly on any TIG projects you want to start or, worse, endanger the people around you.

We've got you started on what to look for, but part of the learning process is asking people you interact with as you purchase these things. They will give you expert-level knowledge on each of the tools and equipment we discussed.

Now take this list, go out there, and have fun shopping!

Suppose you’re trying to improvise a new object out of a couple of soda cans or trying to fix broken aluminum furniture. These tasks will require a proper welding job for completion. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, it is not always an easy task to do. 

Now you’re trying to find the best welding option to work on an aluminum workpiece and decided on MIG welding for aluminum. But can you weld aluminum with a MIG welder? Some people ask such questions because aluminum is quite a tricky material to work on. We have this question answered in essential discussions below.

Why Welding Aluminum Is Challenging

What makes aluminum difficult to weld? As typical and ideal as the material is, being used for various equipment, there are traits about aluminum that make it tough to work on. Here are some of its challenging factors:

High Thermal Conductivity

This characteristic makes aluminum more vulnerable to unwanted distortion, burn-through or cracking during the welding process. It disperses the heat fast and has a low melting point, so it can blow through quickly if the welding arc is too powerful.

Fast Oxidation

Aluminum contains an oxidized layer, which helps resist corrosion. However, this trait that is considered an advantage also makes the welding process more challenging. You are required to clean the aluminum object(s) thoroughly before you can start welding.  

Pleasing Visuals, But A Bit Displeasing for Welding

The appearance of aluminum is what makes it ideal for creating consumer products, mostly tech gadgets. The silvery shade of aluminum makes objects look sophisticated, and the material is also lightweight and robust. However, the color is pretty tricky when you’re trying to see if it’s ready to work on when it comes to welding.

Sensitive to Impurities

Aluminum is sensitive material, making it more easily contaminated with air or water particles. Poor shielding and unmatched arc lengths can increase the risk of contamination. Water issues cause moisture, and air reduces the material’s strength. It is indeed essential to clean the aluminum workpiece thoroughly before you begin welding it.  

Let these factors be beneficial to your welding knowledge instead of discouragement. Of course, everything is challenging initially, but you can figure your way out of doing this job well!

MIG Welding: An Overview

MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding is a process where you fuse metals using electricity. It is a decade-long prominent arc welding process for both professional and hobbyist welders because it is versatile and easy to learn. Its technical name is Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and a slang called wire welding, but MIG is the most commonly used term. 

It works with a wire electrode that is continuously fed and heated in a weld pool through a welding gun. The gun sends a shielding gas to prevent the weld pool from getting contaminated.  

MIG welding works with different metals: stainless steel, carbon steel, magnesium, copper, bronze, aluminum, nickel, and alloys.  

Valuable Tips on How to MIG Weld Aluminum

Our answer to the question, “can you MIG weld aluminum?” is an absolute yes! However, before you begin, you need to know some essential information to ensure a successful weld. We have it all covered from preparation to completion below.

Getting Started

To prepare for the MIG welding aluminum process, you need to have the right tools. The proper equipment will protect you from any harm and will ensure a productive welding session. Check out some valuable tips and procedures below:

Cleaning the Aluminum

For a material like aluminum, thorough cleaning is essential to prevent air and water contamination. Use acetone to remove any signs of grease, oil, or water vapor on the aluminum’s surface. Remove oxides on the surface with a stainless steel bristle wire brush. Remember to rinse the aluminum properly and maintain it fully dry. Since it can be easily contaminated, clean the joint and cover it when not in use.  

Wearing Safety Gear

You can’t start welding without protective gear. Find the most reliable welding equipment: welding helmets, welding gloves, welding jackets, safety glasses, and more to protect the entire body. These equipment differ in welding type, size, and special features. Look into those important details closely when picking the right set of MIG welding safety apparel.

Welder Type

Not all welding machines work for aluminum. Experts recommend going for either MIG or TIG welders to work on the workpieces. Can you weld aluminum with a flux core MIG welder? No. Aluminum requires more amperage than the usual, which is around 90 to 130. Can you weld aluminum with a gasless MIG welder? No. Exterior shielding gas (preferably argon gas) is required for aluminum, and this welder doesn’t provide that. The shielding gas and welding wire are essential factors in aluminum welding. 

Aluminum Thickness, Spool Gun, and Shielding Gas

The thickness of the aluminum plays an essential role because there’s a technique that only works for materials around 14 gauge to 18 gauge. Thinner ones will require TIG welding. 

Choose the right shielding gas as well. For non-ferrous metals like aluminum, you will need a 100 percent argon gas with 20 to 30 cubic feet per hour of flow rates. 

Lastly, you will need a spool gun. A spool gun can prevent birdnesting (tangling of wires) and improve the stability of an arc. Note that some welding machines do not allow spool guns, so ensure you get one compatible with guns. 

Welding Techniques

There are specific ways of operating MIG welding you can apply exclusively for aluminum workpieces. Knowing these techniques will determine the outcome and enhance your skills further. From the right angles to the exact welding speed, keep these things in mind when you try to MIG weld:


The question “Can I weld aluminum with a MIG welder?” has been answered. Yes, you can, but it can get a little tricky, so take note of the right ways to do it. We hope this article helps you conduct a safe and successful aluminum MIG welding procedure, whatever application that may be.

Plasma Cutters

As a welder, nothing beats a useful cutting tool. Plasma cutters make it super easy and convenient to perform precision cutting on thin sheet metals and tubings, minimizing the time spent grinding and smoothing metal parts. In this handy buyer’s guide, discover the best plasma cutters under 500 bucks.

How does a plasma cutter work?

Matter has four phases: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Plasma is a superheated form of gas and is easily seen in examples like lighting, neon signs, and, well, the sun itself. Plasma cutters harness this energy by charging air, mostly oxygen, from an air compressor at a high rate through a narrow opening with an electrode. This process heats the high-pressure air molecules until the atoms break apart, releasing massive amounts of energy in a plasma jet stream, reaching temperatures of 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which cuts the metal by melting. 

What to look for in a plasma cutter

The best plasma cutter under $500 won't compare with a $1000 unit's quality, per se. Still, there are various options available that comply with the minimum standard of performance and won't compromise your safety and quality. 

When buying a budget plasma cutter, it’s good to keep some basic features in mind. If you want more advanced and premium features, you'll want to up your budget a notch. Here are a few of the determining features that you should put into account.

Air Compressor

For plasma to form, the air has to come through the electrode in the cutter's narrow tip to allow the formation of a sufficient plasma jet stream. The air source could either be coming from a built-in or external air compressor. Both are sufficient in terms of performance but differ in convenience.

A built-in air compressor will be much easier to carry around since it is already installed within the unit and will enable you to perform a high-volume of jobs much more quickly. The external air compressor will require carrying around and repeat installation if you're transferring workstations consistently. Still, it can also be useful for other air tools, like air drills and air paint sprays.

Pilot Arc

A pilot arc is a convenient feature wherein the torch of the plasma cutter doesn't have to make contact with the surface of the metal to cut it. This feature is handy in greasy, rusty, or rough surfaces because a pilot arc removes the need to smoothen it. A pilot arc also prolongs consumables' life, saving you the costs and energy to replace them. Pilot arcs are a relatively new feature in the industry, so it is more common in higher price tier models.


Most plasma cutters come in 110v or 220v power ratings. A heavier voltage is designed to release a greater output, which is great for thicker metals. A 220v plasma cutter can handle 30 amps and above and easily cut mild steel up to half an inch, while 120v machines typically reach up to 20 amps, quickly cutting thinner metals. However, this may still cut half-inch steel but at a slower, moderate pace.

Some plasma cutters come with dual voltages, ensuring versatility and flexibility in the machine's performance. The type of voltage you need ultimately becomes a question of what kind of cutting you'll be doing. If you’re dealing with sheet metals most of the time, a 110v cutter will do just fine. This will also save you some bucks.

Besides the metal thickness, you also have to take the type of metal into consideration. Metals such as copper and aluminum, for instance, eat up more power than ferrous metals such as steel or iron.

Cutting Performance

A plasma cutter's primary purpose is to cut through metal with effortless precision, so you want to go with a machine that has a decent to excellent cutting performance. Consider the type and thickness of the metals you'll be working on, and make sure that the cutter you're buying is more than capable of cutting it. 

Duty Cycle

Duty cycle refers to the amount of work a plasma cutter can endure at a given amount of time. Plasma cutters that have higher duty cycles can cut for more extended periods without overheating. This feature is usually measured in percent and will gradually decrease as you increase the voltage. You can maximize the duty cycle by pairing it with the most appropriate amperage. 

In general, a 50 percent duty cycle will be more than enough, significantly if you're cutting by hand. 


Nowadays, many plasma cutters are made with more and more lightweight materials, ranging from 20 pounds to the heavier weights of 100 pounds, usually applicable in industrial settings. For hobbyists and professionals needing an on-site tool, a light, portable plasma cutter would undoubtedly come in handy.

Cutting Torch

The length of the torch may be a severely limiting factor if you're going to be doing a lot of walking-around your workpiece. It takes a lot of effort to move your plasma cutter around to reach different areas of your workstation.  


While user diligence is always expected when operating a delicate machine like a plasma cutter, sometimes deep immersion in your work makes you forget some small details that could endanger your health. You have to consider the unit's duty cycle to know when the plasma cutter should have a rest period. Thankfully, most machines now have equipped safety features like built-in over-heat protection, under-voltage protection, and compressed air pressure protection.


Having your plasma cutter break down 13 months into your purchase will be a significant deal-breaker if its warranty only lasts a year. Warranties are a great way to have your units repaired or replaced, but this feature varies with many companies. Ensure that the item's manufacturer has service centers nearby, so you don't have to travel too far to get your plasma cutter fixed. 

Read on to find out more and decide what’s the best first plasma cutter under 500:

1. Super Deal CUT50

Super Deal is a company that constructs a wide variety of industrial products, from commercial ice shavers to towel warming cabinets. Their plasma cutters are just another product in their manufacturing line. Still, their machines pack some of the most recent innovations for such an economical price, a mark of the rapid globalization of plasma technology since its invention.

Quick specs:


The Super Deal Cut 50 is sufficient for hobbyists and professionals in light industrial applications. The included power supply is designed for 110v, allowing convenient use in your garage, but the inverter can also adjust to a 220v power plug. The voltage enables it to produce a 20-50 amperage current, allowing the torch to cut steel easily up to 1/2 of an inch. The torch is perfectly apt for slicing through thin materials, its smooth cut removing the need to polish and grind down messy metal slags. The post-flow cooling adjustment is another added feature that helps preserve your parts' working life during high amperage outputs.

The 60 percent duty cycle at max 50 amps is very respectable, designed to endure about 6 minutes of continuous work before it needs to cool down. Though 6 minutes seems a bit slow, you have to consider that the unit's portability and weight more than compensate for this limitation. 

The Super Deal Cut 50 has a reasonably compact build, 18.5 x 11 x 13.5-inch in dimension. The machine's body is also made with heavy-duty iron, which essentially provides the interior parts with IP21 protection so that you can work efficiently without the worry of water getting into your air chambers. The front side also boasts a clear digital LCD with an easy-to-read front panel air-pressure gauge, so you can clearly see if you're tuned to the right settings.

As in any power tool, safety should always be a main factor. This unit, in particular, comes with adequate safety features such as protection from overheating, under-voltage, and lack of compressed air pressure. It also comes with a cooling fan to efficiently dissipate excess heat for improved performance and stability.

The unit's pilot arc start means touching the workpiece won't be necessary to kick start the plasma jet, which also helps prolong the longevity of your consumables and allow you to begin your work faster. It also helps that the standard PT-31 LG40 torch uses easily replaceable consumables. The Super Deal comes with a long 11-foot torch hose that will allow you to work on your output from different angles.

Your item is still eligible for replacement in cases of damage or missing parts a year into your purchase.


Price(From Amazon): $215.99

2. Lotos LTP5000D 

Like most brands under $500, Lotos is popular because of their excellent cutting performance for such a low price. This low price is made possible by building the machine with lower-class materials than you would find in more expensive U.S. brands. That being said, machines under $500 are more tailored to weekend warriors or professional welders who need cheap and portable on-site tools.

Quick specs:


The Lotos LTP5000D also offers a dual voltage with either 110 or 220v power, although you'll need an additional pigtail if you want to opt for a 110v input, which is sufficient for light-duty work. Its cutting performance is greatly enhanced due to its V- MOSFET/IGBT transistors that generate high power outputs for thick metal cutting and a consistent result for thin metals. With a 10-50 amperage output, this unit offers excellent versatility in power output, especially for more delicate projects. The cutting performance is exceptional on this unit, cutting metals up to 3/4 of an inch when done at a slower, more moderate pace. For 1/2-inch thick metals, this plasma cutter will go through them like a hot knife to butter.

This unit has a 60 percent duty rating at its full 50 amp rating when it's running on a 220v input, allowing it to make a whole clean cut with ½-inch thick steel but still able to cut up to ⅝-inch steel at a moderate pace. The 60 percent duty rating is supported by German PAPST cooling technology, ensuring that the plasma cutter has a stable performance even while harnessing the maximum amperage output.

The Lotos unit is very portable, with 15 x 6 x 12 inches in dimensions and 26 pounds in weight. This plasma cutter also has a plastic handle and is designed to be lugged around so you can cut anywhere you like. This machine can even fit snugly in the trunk of your car. You'll need an external air compressor to supply air to this unit as it doesn't have a built-in air source. For the price, you're getting a torch, pre-installed air filter regulator, NPT plug for the compressor, and complete consumables you can get up and cutting in an instant.

The PAPST cooling system is highly essential, especially for beginners, maintaining the unit's optimal temperature. This advanced cooling system provides the stability the internal parts need, so they don't overheat, preventing damage to the unit and injury to the user and preventing dust and dirt from collecting inside the machine. The moisture separator removes moisture from the air coming from the compressor, ensuring the electrodes' safety and effective heating of the air molecules for a better quality arc. You'll know if moisture has gotten inside when the jet plasma sputters and is not consistent.

The non-touch pilot arc technology improves the cut's quality since you don't need the tip to make contact with the surface, prolonging your consumables' life. This feature is also great for making small changes to intricate work like metal sculptures since you can activate the plasma jet from a distance so you minimize any slag that may distort the artwork. 

Your item is still eligible for replacement in cases of damage or missing parts a year into your purchase.


Price(From Amazon): $418.25

3. Eastwood Versa Cut20

The Eastwood brand has been around since the 70s, establishing a name for themselves in the DIY automotive community by offering reliable solutions for car customization. They also provide quality and innovative welding products with premium features providing excellent performance for a relatively economical price.

Quick specs:


The versa cut is perfect for handling thin sheet metals like automotive panels, rusted floors, and any other metals up to 1/8 of an inch thick. This cutting is supported by 110v, so you can usually plug it in electric outlets you'd find in everyday places. Eastwood is primarily an automobile restoration company, so you will find that the narrower 0.65 mm tip of this plasma cutter is well-designed for high precision drag cutting without the need to clean and prep the material, a convenient feature working on automobiles.

The unit comes with a 40 percent duty cycle at a maximum output of 15 amps. This means that in a 10-minute process, it can endure 4 minutes of continuous cutting before it needs to cool down.

The Versa Cut 20 is built with a compact case measuring dimensions of 19.5 x 11 x 12.5 inches and a feather-weight of 17.31 pounds, making for convenient and easy carrying. The 20-foot cable provides more flexible operations and movement in the workstation, so you don't have to keep moving the unit around.

This versatile power tool employs a high-frequency start that sends high-frequency signals to the nozzle, generating heat enough to kickstart the plasma jet stream. Remember that electronics should not be nearby while using this machine as the signal could damage them.

Eastwood offers you security with its epic Trueblue no-hassle 3-year warranty, so you can cut no-frills without fretting about any unforeseen damage.


Price(From Amazon): $449,99


In any purchase, you almost always get what you pay for. Plasma cutters under 500 bucks are good enough if you’re not going beyond small repair and metal works. For a mere 500 dollars or below, you're getting almost 80 percent the performance at half the price of more premium models.

Best of the Best

Among the three best plasma cutters under $500, the Lotos LTP5000d takes the bag. Its outstanding portfolio of features, especially in the performance department, ultimately makes it the most versatile machine for both hobbyists and professionals in need of an on-site tool. The Lotos' V-Mosfet transistors give it a leading edge in both power and performance as it enables it to cut further to 3/8 inch steel, a capability that not many of its competitors possess. The PAPST cooling technology's advanced cooling systems also ensure a continuous workflow without your inner parts getting overheated. Combined with the non-touch pilot arc, these features make it an accessible and convenient work companion for serious projects.

Best Value

The Super Deal Cut 50 comes to a close second with the lowest price for the most features. For the starting welder, this cutter can provide all the essentials. It also has a pilot start arc which will be very handy on greasy or rusty surfaces. 

The Eastwood versa cut 20 is perfect for users who won't be working on steel plates thicker than 1/8 of an inch. It won't need much air pressure, which is very cost-effective, and it will be the perfect starting point for people interested in automotive detailing. Plus, you're getting a machine that's made from an established U.S. brand, so the consumables are much easier to replace.Looking for the best budget plasma cutter isn't too hard nowadays, with the rapid rise of various manufacturers competing to provide the best value for your working needs.

Arc welding processes are as different as the workpieces they aim to create. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding are two techniques that produce varied results. Although they both form the weld using an electric art, the two are entirely different. It's best to first understand how these techniques work and differ from each other. If you have trouble choosing between MIG vs TIG welding, you have come to the right place. In this article, let us talk about the two in detail. 

What is MIG Welding?

MIG Welding, or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), is the process of feeding a metal wire connected to an electrode to meld your project together. This is also known as the “glue gun” in welding terms. The wire runs filler metals through the torch and into the weld puddle. You also use a shielding gas in order to achieve a clean weld. 

Carbon dioxide is the most common shielding gas for MIG welding because it’s much more affordable compared to argon or helium. Welders often use the MIG process because it's easier to learn and quicker to operate.

What is TIG Welding?

TIG Welding, or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is the welding process of using a tungsten electrode to run current through the metals. You will need both hands when dealing with TIG welding because the filler material and torch are separate. You also have a foot pedal that allows you to control the amount of electricity that enters the torch. One of TIG welding's significant advantages is it doesn't splatter during the process, which allows for a cleaner finish.

Both MIG and TIG torches produce an electric arc between the electrode and the material, which then melts the metal, combines it with the filler material, and forms a weld puddle. For best results, remember to clean and clear surfaces before welding. 

MIG Welding Components


 TIG Welding Components

MIG and TIG Welding Similarities

There are several similarities between the MIG and TIG welding processes. The electrical current can both be DC, for one. With MIG welding, the DC passes through the wire and forms an arc between the wire and the workpiece. In TIG welding, the current passes through the tungsten electrode and arcs to the workpiece.

Both MIG and TIG welding create an electrical arc, another similarity. This electrical arc creates a tremendous amount of energy that forms a controlled puddle of liquid to merge metals. Also, both welding processes use filler materials to close the gaps between parts and allow a cleaner weld.

MIG and TIG Welding Differences

Now, let’s talk about the differences in MIG and TIG welding processes: shielding gasses, welding application speed, automation, and precision. When it comes to shielding gasses, MIG welding doesn’t commonly use helium, argon, and oxygen, while TIG welding uses 100% argon gas. 

Another difference between the two welding processes is how fast the weld can be applied. MIG welding can be done at a rapid pace, while TIG welding requires a continual manual application of the rod. 

Lastly, for TIG welding, you can use a foot paddle or remote control to regulate the heat, making the weld more precise. 

Pros and Cons of MIG and TIG Welding?

Once you know the basics about MIG and TIG welding, you may ask the questions, “is tig welding better than mig?” or “why tig weld vs MIG weld?” It's still best to learn their advantages and disadvantages before leaning towards one welding machine. To help you out, we have rounded up the pros and cons of both welding processes.  

Pros of MIG Welding

Cons of MIG Welding

Pros of TIG Welding

Cons of Tig Welding

MIG vs TIG welding for cars

If you’re trying to restore a car body part, you can use a TIG welder because it’s slower and gives you more control. It’s best to apply TIG welding on an area that cannot easily be hit with a grinder. You can use MIG welding on large panels because it is faster. This principle is also applicable to TIG vs MIG welding body panels. However, we have a more detailed discussion below. 

When Will You Use MIG and TIG Welding? 

The global welding equipment market size is at USD 11.8 billion in 2018, which means the demand for welding equipment continues to increase each year. These machines are key equipment in different industries that knowing when to use MIG vs TIG welding helps in your project’s success. 

You can use MIG welding for bigger projects because it’s easier to handle and operate for longer periods. If your project uses thicker, larger pieces of metal, you can simply go for the MIG. However, if your project uses thinner metals, TIG is the better choice. TIG is also good for projects like creating a toolbox or sink. Lastly, if you are creating artworks such as ornamental designs and automotive projects, then TIG is the way to go. 

Final Thoughts

TIG and MIG are two welding techniques you can use for a wide range of projects. But as in any craft, it’s best to understand the advantages and disadvantages first before diving into your first weld. It’s also a good idea to establish the applications you’re going to take on for a little head-start. We hope this in-depth comparison helps!