Using a portable welder generator will allow you carry out welding projects wherever you like. You will not have the worry of power outages and you will always have a power source available to get your projects completed in time.
The best welder generator is the Hobart Champion Elite, which is capable of producing 11,000 watts and is relatively quiet compared to the alternatives.
To ensure that you choose a welder generator that is best suited to you, it must exceed the power requirements. For example, a MIG welder may require a certain amperage to continuously without issues.
Table of Contents
- Best Welder Generator
- Welder Generator Buying Guide
Best Welder Generator
|Welder Generator||Amperage Range||Peak Wattage|
|Hobart Champion Elite||40 to 225A||11,000 Watts|
|Lincoln Electric Ranger 225||40 to 225A||10,500 Watts|
|Miller Bobcat 250||40 to 250A||11,000 Watts|
|Tomahawk 15 HP||50 to 210A||2,000 Watts|
|AMP TRIPLEX 9200RS||50 to 200A||6,500 Watts|
Most welder generators can be used for multiple forms of welding and they can be used to power a plasma cutter. Choosing one that is capable of powering up a wide variety of units is a worthwhile investment and worth paying the extra.
There is a range of different units available that are suitable for the back of a pickup to a work bench in a garage. Depending upon the amount of power that you require and its usage will determine the generator that you choose.
Below is a list of the best welder generators that are completely portable and will provide reliable power to meet your requirements.
Hobart Champion Elite Welder Generator
The Hobart Champion Elite is a heavy duty welder generator that delivers a continuous power generation of 9,500 watts. Although most generators are expensive to purchase, unlike other brands, the Hobart unit is relatively affordable.
Hobart produce a range of other generators but this portable engine driven unit offers the best performance for the money.
Other features of the Hobart Champion Elite include:
- Generates up to 11,000 watts
- Uses a 23 HP Kohler engine
- 41 x 20 x 28 inches in size
- Amperage range between 40 to 225A
- Electric starting
- Rated at 75.5 dBA
Overall, the Hobart Champion Elite is an excellent all-round welder generator that combines performance with value for the money. One drawback is the fact that is it only suitable for DC welding only.Check it Out
Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 Welder Generator
Lincoln Electric are a well-known brand and the Ranger 225 is one of the premium welder generators they produce. It is capable of generating up to 10,500 watts, which is more than ideal for most welding applications.
This unit uses a 23 HP Kohler engine with an overhead valve air-cooled design, which allows it to run smoothly for long periods.
Other features of the Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 include:
- 9,000 watts continuous and 10,500 watts peak power
- Amperage range between 50 to 225A
- 25V rated output @ 100% duty cycle
- Enclosed case for maximum protection
- 3 service access doors for easy maintenance
- Electric start and auto-idling
Although it is relatively expensive, it is suitable for a range of DC welding applications and has great performance. By choosing a Lincoln unit, you also have peace of mind that a reputable brand is backing the generator. You will also have their great warranty and spare parts if you ever require them.Check it Out
Miller Bobcat 250 Welder Generator
Miller are a highly reputable brand in the welding industry and the Bobcat 250 is one of the highest performing units available. It is an engine driven welder generator that is capable of generating up to 11,00 watts.
A unique feature of the Bobcat 250 is the “Smart Fuel Tank” design. The purpose is to reduce the amount of backslash whilst refueling, which is very common and hazardous with cheaper units.
Other features of the Miller Bobcat 250 include:
- Amperage range between 40 to 250A
- 25V rated @ 100% duty cycle
- Runs for 14 hours between refueling
- Electric start
- Heavy duty construction
- Reduced noise levels
- Ideal for stick or flux core welding
The main drawback of this welder generator is the expensive price tag. If you can afford the Bobcat 250, it truly is the best welder generator available. However, the alternatives are the better options for those on a budget.Check it Out
Tomahawk Portable Welder Generator
One of the more cheaper welder generators available is the Tomahawk 15 HP engine driven unit. It can be used with a TIG and stick welder with the ability to weld 1/3, 1/4, 3/8 inch. For tackling each welding project, it has an amperage range between 50 to 210A, which is adjustable by the dial on the front panel.
Other features of the Tomahawk Portable Welder Generator include:
- Generates up to 2,000 watts of DC output
- 15 HP engine with an electric start
- Digital display for real-time feedback
- Arrives fully assembled
- 60% duty cycle
- Two standard outlets
If you require a cheap welder generator that costs a fraction of the alternatives, this unit is ideal. It may not be as powerful but it is more than suitable for MMA and TIG welding as well as being small enough to take anywhere.Check it Out
AMP TRIPLEX 9200RS Welder Generator
By far the most expensive generator for welding within this article is the AMP TRIPLEX 9200RS. It is a 3-in-1 unit that has the addition of an air compressor for other equipment that requires compressed air to operate.
Although it is a rather large unit, it does come with four wheels that will travel over all terrains with ease.
Other features of the AMP TRIPLEX 9200RS include:
- 14 HP air cooled engine with recoil start
- 50 to 200A range
- 6,500 watts peak power
- Suitable for a range of welding
- 8 gallon fuel tank that lasts 14 hours
- 2 standard outlets with built-in circuit breakers
Overall, it is a professional welder generator that will suit those that will be using it on a daily basis. The price tag will put many potential buyers off this unit but if you can afford it, the AMP TRIPLEX 9200RS will not disappoint.Check it Out
Welder Generator Buying Guide
Welder generators are an expensive and is important that you take your time to carry out your own research. Thanks to modern technology, they are far easier to use and more fuel efficient for running for long periods of time.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding welder generators.
A generator for welding will require a fair amount of power, which usually results in a larger unit. Depending upon the size, many manufacturers will integrate rolling wheels to the design of the generator for maximum portability.
If the unit is heavy and there is no integrated rolling wheels, you may want to look at purchasing a cart to place the generator on top for carting around.
AC & DC
Welding machine will either be able to run from AC, DC or both and it is worth checking that the output of the generator is compatible. Many of the recommendations will only be compatible with DC only and its important that you check beforehand.
Run Time & Fuel Tank Size
The run time of the generator is very much determined by the fuel tank size and the efficiency of the motor. The bigger the tank, the longer it will last but it may add a lot of weight to the unit, which will make it less portable.
The fuel tank size usually ranges between 5 to 30 gallons and you should be able to achieve multiple hours of run time with most modern generators.
Engine driven generators for welding are available with gasoline, diesel or LPG engines. Gasoline is the most common but may not be allowed on every work site due to the flammability properties.
Diesel is the best alternative as it is more efficient and is not flammable. Most diesel engines are more heavier duty too, which means less maintenance. However, in very cold climates, it may be difficult to start and they are more expensive.
LPG or propane gas can be stored for long periods of time and will not degrade like the gasoline or diesel alternatives. However, it may not be allowed on every work site and are generally less efficient too.
Tube Frame vs Enclosed Case
Depending upon the welding environment, you may want to consider an enclosed or tube frame unit. The enclosed generator for welding is more durable and protects the internal mechanics of the unit and are the more desirable of the two.
The tube frame alternative is usually much smaller in weight and power, which makes it more portable due to the lightness.
Recoil or Electric Start
To ensure that the generator is easy to use, the majority of manufacturers include an electric starting function. This will fire up the generator without the need of using the old fashioned recoil startup, which is not always guaranteed to work first time.
It also means that you can leave your generator in any position without the need of moving it around to start it.
Depending how close you are to others when using the generator, the noise output can be an important factor. Those that make too much noise can be frustrating for other people and will require protection of your noise to avoid hearing loss.
Enclosed units are often far quieter but many brands are taking it a step further to reduce noise. For example, the Bobcat 250 has the engine rotated to create a more efficient airflow, which reduces the noise output from the generator.
Cost and Warranty
The welder generator is an expensive piece of kit and you will want to ensure you are get the best value for the money. You will want to check that any additions are added to the package and that adequate warranty comes with the unit.
A reputable brand is a key factor when choosing a generator for welding. If something were to go wrong with the machine, larger and more reputable brand will have a support team and a host of spare parts readily available.
As mentioned above, welder generators are expensive and you will need a big budget. We have included premium and “cheap” generators within this article to suit a range of budgets. To avoid disappointment, we advise that you stick with the big brands to avoid any issues in the long run.