5 Best Stick Welders for Farm Use (Fall 2022) – The Complete Guide

From heavy-duty workhorses to lightweight and energy-efficient options, we pick the best stick welders for farm use.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 10, 2022
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While stick welders are a popular choice for farm use, some models will simply not suffice for the tough and grueling tasks that you can expect to face on a farm. Luckily, there are plenty of great options out there that will help you get the job done, no matter how hard your project is.

Our choices are based on a number of characteristics we consider the most important. Power output is one of the crucial ones since it will determine how well the welder will be able to handle thick and heavy metals. The duty cycle is also important to keep in mind because it will tell you how long the welder can be used before needing to take a break. We’ve also ensured that every welder offers exceptional durability and sturdiness because conditions may get rough when working on a farm.

Top 5 Stick Welders for Farm Use Review 2022

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Features
  • Process: Stick
  • Input voltage: 225V (AC), 115V (DC)
  • Rated output: 225A (AC), 125A (DC)
  • Welding capacity: 16 gauge to 1/2″
  • Duty cycle: 20% @ 220A
  • Weight: 114 lbs

Other features: front-mounted AC/DC polarity switch, smooth arc

The Lincoln Electric K1297 Stick Welder is our Editor’s Choice because of its ultimate set of characteristics. If you’re looking for a durable, versatile, and powerful machine, this is the one. This welder has a smooth DC arc, making it one of the best AC/DC options on the market. Talking about other technical characteristics, this welder is powerful enough to weld 16 gauge to 1/2″ material and has a duty cycle of 20% at 220 amps. The only downside is this welder’s weight at 114 lbs, which makes this machine quite difficult to transport. But if you’re looking for a machine that will last you a lifetime and will be suitable for basically any type of welding job, this is a great option.

The Lincoln Electric K1297 Stick Welder has the same design as the popular, classic AC-225 K1170 Arc Welder by Lincoln. The only difference between them is that it can tackle more tasks with AC/DC than the K1170. The K1297 also adds more stable, and smoother DC arc. It is ideal for use in the farm or home where improved welding is needed while the K1170 is perfect for welding mild steel.

Why did it make our list?

  • Incredible power allows it to work with a wide array of materials
  • Tried-and-tested welding machine
  • A smooth DC arc makes it one of the best AC/DC stick welders out there

What is not ideal about it?

  • This machine is heavy and bulky, so transporting it might be an issue
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Best Lightweight Stick Welder

Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i

Features
  • Process: Stick
  • Input voltage: 120/240V
  • Rated output: 160A
  • Welding capacity: 16 gauge to 3/8″ Duty cycle: 30% @ 160A
  • Weight: 15 lbs

Other features: Hot Start technology, amperage control, adjustable shoulder strap, dual-voltage capability with MVP adapters

The Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i is a portable stick welder that is perfect for home and farm use. It is lightweight at just 15 pounds, and it’s also easy to move around with its built-in carrying handle and shoulder strap. It has a 120/240V input, a rated output of 160A, and a 30% duty cycle at 160 amps. It also features a Hot Start technology, which ensures an easy and reliable arc start. The Stickmate 160i also has a dual-voltage capability with MVP adapters, making it a versatile tool for any welding job. Plus, it’s built from heavy-duty stainless steel, so you know it will last. The Stickmate 160i delivers an incredible performance in a small package, making it the perfect welder for any farm.

The Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i stacks up against its new brother, the Hobart 500571 210i. Their designs are almost identical and both offer easy, quick, and reliable arc starts thanks to the Hot start technology. The 500571 210i has a wider welding amp range and can weld mild steel as thick as ½ inches while the 500570 160i ‘s can weld 3/8 inches.

What are its best features?

  • Offers an impressive performance for such a small footprint
  • Easy to move around due to the carrying handle and a strap
  • Hot Start technology makes it easy to use

What could be improved?

  • Not found
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3
Best Affordable Stick Welder

DEKOPRO MMA Welder

Features
  • Process: MMA (Stick)
  • Input voltage: 110/220V
  • Rated output: 160A
  • Welding capacity: not specified
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 160A
  • Weight: 12.1 lbs

Other features: IGBT inverter technology, ELT-certified, energy efficient

The DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder is a great option for those looking for an affordable and reliable welding machine. This machine is perfect for farm use, as it is easy to transport and features amazing performance. It has a 110/220V input voltage and a rated output of 160A. The machine has a duty cycle of 60% @ 160A, while IGBT inverter technology improves the reliability of the machine. Additionally, the machine is ELT-certified for extra safety, making it a great choice for those looking for a high-quality welding machine at an affordable price.

Compared to the renowned stick welders on this list like the Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i and the Lincoln Electric K1297 Stick welder, the DEKO PRO MMA welder offers better value for money. It comes at an attractive price point yet it has top-end features like advanced IGBT inverter technology that increases its versatility and reliability. Plus, it is more portable.

What makes it stand out?

  • Incredibly affordable for all the capabilities it provides
  • The compact and lightweight design makes it easily transportable all across the farm
  • Built with energy efficiency in mind

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • A plastic enclosure might not be durable enough for use in rough conditions
  • Some users report issues with a ground clamp
RELATED: 8 Best Welders for Beginners – It’s Time to Start! (Fall 2022)
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Features
  • Process: Stick
  • Input voltage: 120V
  • Rated output: 80A
  • Welding capacity: 16 gauge to 1/4″
  • Duty cycle: 30% @ 80A
  • Weight: 9.65 lbs

Other features: inverter power system, comes with a quick start guide for beginners

The Forney Easy Weld 100 ST Stick Machine is a budget-friendly welder that is perfect for light projects. It is a great choice for beginners, as it is easy to operate and has a simple function. Easy Start technology ensures that operation is easy and straightforward. With an input voltage of 120V and a 80A rated output, it is perfect for materials with thickness from 16 gauge to 1/4″. The duty cycle is 30% at 80A, meaning that the welder can be used continuously for 3 minutes before it needs to be rested for 7 minutes. It also comes with a quick start guide to help beginners get started with welding.

The Forney Easy Weld 100 ST is the closest competitor of the DEKO PR MMA stick welder above, when it comes to affordability. The only difference is that it is better suited for light projects while the DEKO PRO can handle nearly all kinds of projects. As a beginner, you would not go wrong with either of the options as they both offer excellent features at pocket-friendly price points.

What makes it stand out?

  • Very easy and straightforward to operate
  • Great machine for a light welding work
  • Affordable price

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • It has only a DC output
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5
Best Multifunction Welder

Miller Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder

Features
  • Process: Stick, MIG, DC TIG
  • Input voltage: 120/240V
  • Rated output: 190A
  • Welding capacity: 16 gauge to 3/8″
  • Duty cycle: 20% @ 190A
  • Weight: 38 lbs

Other features: multiprocess capabilities, Fan-On-Demand technology, generator-compatible, LCD display, multi-voltage plug

The Miller Electric Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder is an incredibly versatile machine that is perfect for the farm. It can be used for stick welding, MIG welding, and DC TIG welding, making it a great choice for a wide variety of projects. This machine has a 120/240V input voltage and a rated output of 190A. It has a welding capacity of 16 gauge to 3/8″ and the duty cycle of 20% at 190A. It is also generator compatible, so you can take it with you wherever you go. The LCD display is clear and easy to read, making it a great choice even for inexperienced welders. Finally, this machine is highly portable for its capabilities, with a weight of 38 lbs. The Miller Electric Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder is an extremely well-built and versatile machine that is perfect for the farm. If you’re interested in other Miller machines, check out our comprehensive guide for best Miller welders.

The Miller Electric Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder is the best versatile welder on this list. Compared to the Lincoln Electric K1297 Stick welder, it is pricier but not as good at stick welding. Its top tier features like fan-on-demand technology and LCD display are hard to ignore. For general home and farm use, the Miller Electric Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder is a better choice because of its multiprocess capabilities.

What makes it special?

  • Can be user for MIG welding, stick welding, and DC TIG welding
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Rather lightweight and small, specially for everything it offers

What cons did we find?

  • On a pricey side
RELATED: 6 Best Miller Welders For Any Job and Process (Fall 2022)

Things to Consider

When it comes to stick welders for farm use, there are a few things you need to consider before making your purchase. The most important factors for this specific use are the welder’s durability and portability since you’ll likely be using it in a variety of locations and conditions. Nevertheless, as for any stick welder, characteristics such as voltage input, rated output, welding capacity, and duty cycle are also crucial in order to make sure the welder can handle your projects. Let’s take a look at all of these aspects.

Durability

Some welders are more durable than others due to their construction. Welders with a casing made from heavy-duty materials such as stainless steel are more resistant to wear and tear. We should mention the price of the machine made of such materials will be significantly higher. Nevertheless, buying a more expensive and durable welder is a good investment for those who plan to use it frequently. That being said, stick welders with a plastic casing that are presented in our list have also proven to be durable and reliable enough for farm use. So, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, we’ve got you covered.

Portability

5 Best Stick Welders for Farm Use (Fall 2022) – The Complete Guide

When it comes to farm use, portability is one of the key factors

Portability is another crucial aspect of choosing a stick welder for your farm. Some models are compact and lightweight enough to be carried by one person, while others may require two people to lift and move them. If you plan on using your welder in multiple locations around your property, portability will be key. Most models presented in our list are portable enough to be easily carried around, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your needs.

Of course, portability comes at a price of reduced power. If you need a welder that can handle tougher jobs, you might opt for much less portable options. That’s the reason why our top choice is a heavy and bulky machine. Of course, you won’t be able to easily carry 114 lbs unit around your farm, but the capabilities of this machine are quite impressive. However, there are some models that offer a good balance between power and portability, so be sure to check them out as well.

Voltage input

One important factor to consider when purchasing a welder is the voltage input. Most welders will require either 120 or 220 volts to function, and you need to make sure that your power supply can accommodate that. If you’re using a generator, make sure that it can provide enough power to run the welder at full capacity.

Rated output

Another factor to consider is the amperage output of the welder. This will determine how much metal you can weld at one time. If you plan on doing a lot of welding, you’ll need a welder with a higher amperage output.

Most welders have a rated output of between 20 and 200 amps. If you need a welder that can handle tougher jobs, you might want to go for a model with a higher amp rating. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to stick with a lower-amperage welder. This will help you avoid any potential problems and will allow you to learn the ropes before moving on to bigger projects.

Alternate and direct current

Arc welding can be done with either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). With direct current, the current flows in one direction through the electrode and the workpiece. This produces a strong weld, but it can only be used with electrodes that are compatible with DC power. With alternating current, the current alternates directions 50 or 60 times per second. This makes the electrode and workpiece more resistant to sticking to each other, so it can be used with a wider range of electrodes.

Welding capacity

Welding capacity is the amount of welding that a welder can do. It is usually measured in terms of the thickness of the metal that can be welded. For example, a welder with a welding capacity of 1/8 inch can weld metal that is up to 1/8 inch thick. When choosing a welder, you need to consider what materials are you going to weld and how often. For example, if you plan on welding aluminum, you can get away with a welder that has a lower welding capacity. On the other hand, if you’re planning on doing a lot of heavy-duty welding, you’ll need a welder with a higher welding capacity.

Duty cycle

A duty cycle is the amount of time a welder can safely be used before needing to rest. The duty cycle of a welder is determined by the current and voltage being used. For example, a welder with a 60% duty cycle at 100 amps will have to rest for four minutes after welding for six minutes. The duty cycle is an important factor to consider when choosing a welder because lower duty cycles mean more frequent resting and thus less welding overall.

Stick Welding on a Farm

5 Best Stick Welders for Farm Use (Fall 2022) – The Complete Guide

In our opinion, stick welding is optimal for farm use

There are three welding types: Stick, MIG, and TIG.

  • Stick welding is a type of welding that uses an electrode, or “stick,” to create an arc between the metals being joined. The electrode is made of a metal that melts easily and helps to create the weld. Stick welding is one of the most common types of welding, and it’s also one of the easiest to learn.
  • MIG welding is a type of welding that uses a wire feeder to create an arc between the metals being joined. A wire feeder is a machine that feeds a wire through the welding torch, and the wire melts and helps to create the weld. MIG welders are another popular option for farm use, so take a look at our guides for best 220V MIG welders and best 110V MIG welders.
  • TIG welding is a type of welding that uses a tungsten electrode to create an arc between the metals being joined. The tungsten electrode is made of a metal that doesn’t melt easily, and it helps to create the weld. TIG welding is the most difficult type of welding to learn, but it’s also the most precise.

In our opinion, stick welding is the best option for farm use for multiple reasons. First, stick welding is considered the easiest type of welding to learn, and it is also more forgiving in terms of mistakes. That means that you won’t have to spend as much time (or money) on training as you would with other welding types. Second, stick welding is extremely versatile in terms of both materials that can be welded and types of welds that can be achieved. So, it can be used for a variety of farm projects, both big and small. Electrodes are also widely available, meaning that you won’t have to search high and low for the right supplies. Finally, stick welding is typically less expensive than other welding types, making it more budget-friendly.

So, if you’re looking for a welder for farm use, we recommend a stick welder. Stick welders are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges, so you can find one that fits your needs.

How to Use Stick Welder on a Farm

If you are looking to use a stick welder on a farm, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. First, you will need to make sure that the welder is properly set up for use in an outdoor setting. This means that you will need to use a ground clamp and proper electrode holders to keep the welding leads in place. Next, you will need to select the right welding rod for the job. Stick welders use a variety of different electrodes, so it is important to select the proper one for your project.

Once you have your welder set up, you need to put on all the necessary equipment. This includes a welding helmet, gloves, and ear protection. You also need to make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an accident. Once you are all set up, you are ready to start welding.

When stick welding, it is important to keep the welding rod in the proper position. The electrode should be at a 90-degree angle to the base metal. The arc should be established before you start moving the welding rod. Once the arc is established, you can start moving the welding rod in a circular motion. Keep the welding rod moving at all times to avoid sticking.

When you are finished welding, it is important to clean up your work area. This includes removing all the welding slag from the area. You also need to remove any splatter that may have occurred during the welding process.

FAQ

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific welding project at hand. As a rule of thumb, AC output is better suited for thicker materials where deeper penetration is required, while DC output is better for thinner materials.

A multifunction welder might be a good investment if you plan to do a lot of welding or have a wide range of projects that you want to be able to tackle. However, if you’re only going to be using your welder for occasional farm projects, a stick welder is a more affordable option that will probably satisfy all your needs.

When using a stick welder, always wear protective gear, such as a welding helmet, gloves, and ear protection. You should also have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an accident. Also, don’t breathe in the fumes created by the welding process.

Our Verdict

The Lincoln Electric K1297 Stick Welder for the truly impressive results it shows in almost every welding project, making it a versatile and powerful welder that is perfect for farm use. If its heaviness is not a deal-breaker for you, this welder will satisfy all your needs.

If you’re on the market for a portable powerhouse, the Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i is our recommendation for you. Moreover, this machine has a sturdy yet thoughtful design accompanied by feature-packed internals, making it one of the best stick welders for farm use.

If you cannot afford $500+ welders, we can recommend the DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder. While being the lowest-priced option in our list, it still is impressively powerful and perfectly suitable for a wide range of tasks.

References

1.
Welding Safety | National Technical Reports Library - NTIS
Certain hazards are common to most arc welding processes. Principally, these are damage to eyes and skin from infrared and ultraviolet radiation, from the molten metal and electric arc respectively, burns from contact with hot metal or sparks, adverse health effects from breathing metal fumes and gases, accidents from materials handling, and electrical shock. Interest has centered around the health and safety hazards of arc welding.
2.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW): The Beginner's Guide | UTI
Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is used in a ton of different industries. Find out more about the process and what UTI campuses can help you learn it.
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