What's the best stick welder for a wannabe

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 3, 2019
Hi guys:
I don't own any welding equipment (yet). I'd like to get a stick welder (don't ask me why, I just seem to like stick for no particular reason) https://mechanicguides.com/110v-stick-welders/ with no particular use in mind, other than to play with it so see if I can learn to stick weld. I downloaded a bunch of videos to accomplish this. They indicate that after burning through about 40 pounds of rods, and following the proper procedures, I should be "reasonably" accomplished. I don't wanna spend a lot of money. I see Miller offers a ton of welders, different types, different sizes, some ac, some ac/dc, transformer/inverter, some with TIG and stick, etc. What's a good "basic no frills welder" for a wannabe? I'm 65 years young, and not looking for a new career. Just want a new "toy" to learn how to stick weld. And then maybe build a few simple projects. I doubt I'll put 50 actual hours of weld time and any welder I get.

Thanks Guys,


Joined Sep 30, 2009
Do you have a project in mind? What thickness of metal do you think you will be welding. Those are things that will go into picking a welder. If you are thinking of welding stuff under 1/16" in other words sheet metal, a stick welder isn't such a good idea for a newbie. If I was to start out again, like you, I would probably go with a Mig welder. And get one that can also use 'cored wire', it really is like a stick welder, it just uses a roll of wire instead of sticks. Much less wast in the end because you don't have a couple of inches of rod to through away after each stick is burned.

You don't have a location of where you live listed. But for a pretty reliable welder for little money Harbor Freight is where I would go. I would stay away from anything that has "inverter" in the description, unless your willing to buy top of the line expensive equipment. I know many here would/will disagree with me on this, but I learned to weld at around 13 years old and am now 71. And have done it for all of the years in between.