6 Best Welders for Exhaust Work That Perfectly Deal with This Task (Spring 2022)

We picked and reviewed the best MIG and flux-core welders, and even a TIG model, to deal with exhaust pipe work
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Last updatedLast updated: November 12, 2021
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The exhaust pipe is located in the lower part of the vehicle, an area highly exposed to possible shocks, vibrations, humidity, mud, and other inclement weather that cause the deterioration of this mechanical component. One of the possible breakdowns or damages that can occur in the medium or long term is perforation due to the effect of corrosion. Therefore, the workshop professional or a DIY welder must have the most suitable tool to weld an exhaust pipe correctly.

In our review, we will help you find the best welder for exhaust work and break down the essential features you need to pay attention to. A welder to look for here must be capable of working with thin materials effectively, so we looked at the welding processes and workable metal thickness. We also considered the input voltage, output amps, and duty cycle, as these also affect the end result.

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Editor's Choice

Hobart Handler 140

Features
  • Process: MIG(GMAW), Flux-core (FCAW)
  • Input voltage: 115V
  • Output amps: 25–140A
  • Duty cycle: 20% at 90A
  • Material thickness: 24 ga. up to 1/4 in mild steel
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 in
  • Weight: 57 lbs.

Accessories: gun, built-in MIG gas solenoid valve, dual-gauge regulator, gas hose, 10ft. work lead, 8in. wire spool adapter and more

The Hobart 500559 Handler is a MIG welding machine with Flux Core (FCAW) welding process. It is a 115 volt 140 amp wire feed welder that features a 10-foot MIG gun. It also comes with a heavy-duty ground clamp and a ten-foot cable. This unit comes with a roll of flux core wire so you can weld right out of the box. It also includes the regulator gas hose.

If you desire to take a look inside the Handler 140, you’ll notice the welding setup chart that makes setting your machine up properly very easy. It has an industrial-grade cast aluminum drive system with quick release that also makes changeover very quick. It also has polarity with easy access so you can change from flux core to MIG very easily. Taking a look at the front of the Handler 140, you’ll notice the slope control panel for easy visibility. It also features infinite control, your wire feed speed, and 5 tap settings, allowing you to go down to 24-gauge steel and up to a quarter-inch steel.

What makes it stand out?

  • We liked that this machine features a thermal overload protection light. In case the machine gets too hot, it will shut down and save the machine from any damage. You will experience an excellent performance from the Handler 140 with a smooth stable arc on all thicknesses. It's designed and assembled in Troy, Ohio, USA, and backed by a 5-year industrial warranty to protect your investment.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • The internal gas hose could be hooked up. Some users claimed they had to take it apart to hook it up. The wire feed knob could also be better. It lacks a definite stop for adjusting the speed.
RELATED: 8 Best Welders for Beginners – It’s Time to Start! (Spring 2022)
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Features
  • Process: Flux-core (FCAW)
  • Input voltage: 110V/120V
  • Output amps: 60–125A
  • Duty cycle: 20% at 90A
  • Material thickness: 18 ga. up to 3/16 in mild steel
  • Dimensions: 14 1/4 x 14 3/8 x 8 1/4 in
  • Weight: 38 lbs

Accessories: flux core gun with 6ft. long cable; ground clamp with 6ft. long cable; spare contact tips; wire brush / chipping hammer combo; hand-held face shield; spool of flux core wire

The Chicago Electric Flux Core Welder is a 125 amp and 120 Volt welding machine that will be good for welding your exhaust pipe as it can weld a material thickness of 18 gauge and up to 3/16 inches of mild steel. The output amps range from 60 to 125 amperes and the duty cycle at 90 amperes is around 20%.

It’s a compact and portable welder that weighs around 38 pounds. It’s therefore about 20 pounds lighter than the Hobart welder. The machine is the perfect model for all uses outdoors, especially on dirty metals.

What do we love it for?

  • One of the things we liked about the welder is its lightweight, portable, and compact design. It's lighter than most welding machines on the market and has a high value. We also liked the speed control and continuous wire feed mechanism, which optimizes welding performance. Also, it features overload protection which prevents it from overheating. The device is also well accessorized. It comes with a flux core gun and a 6-feet-long cable. There's also a ground clamp and 6 feet long cable. Other accessories include the contact tips, the wire brush, wire spool, and face shield.

What were we disappointed with?

  • The face shield could be more practical to use. You have to hold it with your hand while welding, which may be cumbersome to some beginners or cause some mistakes. The manual also doesn't include crucial information. So, we think it may not be the best for starters. But asides from this, there's nothing wrong with the welder and many users report having a great experience with it.
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Features
  • Process: MIG, Flux-core
  • Input voltage: 110/ 115/ 120V; 220/ 230/ 240V
  • Output amps: 30–120A
  • Duty cycle: 40% at 150A (240V), 20% at 115A (120V)
  • Material thickness: 24 ga. up to 3/8 in
  • Dimensions: 5 x 11.25 x 12.5 in
  • Weight: 38 lbs

Accessories: hook-and-loop cord wraps; 6.5 ft power cord and MVP adapter plugs for 120V and 240V; 10 ft MDX-100 MIG gun; 10 ft work cable and clamp and more

These days, it’s hard to find a welding package that does everything you wanted to do and does it right. But if you’re looking for that all-in-one MIG welder that’s easy to use, is truly portable, and gives you best-in-class art quality, the Miller has exactly what you’re looking for. The Millermatic 211 can connect to 120 or 240-volt power without tools. With the multi-voltage plug (MVP), you can weld materials from 24-gauge up to 3/8-inch mild steel. Despite all these, the good news is it weighs only 38 pounds!

Whether you’re a home hobbyist, car enthusiast, or a professional welder who requires portability, this machine gives you what you need where you need it. The Millermatic 211 features a smaller lighter case that’s easy to move around your work area. The Auto-Set makes setting up your machine fast and easy.

What are its best features?

  • We liked that the machine now works with five different wire types and gas combinations. Simply choose the wire gas combination, wire diameter, and material thickness and Auto Set automatically sets the proper wire feed speed and voltage saving you valuable set-up time. If you want to fine-tune things, even more, you can use manual mode to customize your settings. The angled all aluminum wire drive improves speed ability.

What could be improved?

  • The product has a high price. Also, because it's a WIG welder, it has a higher cost of maintenance because of the additional electronic components needed. But this model has a lot of components included.
RELATED: Hobart Handler 210MVP vs Miller Millermatic 211: Which Is The One?
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4
Best TIG Welder

Lotos TIG200

Features
  • Process: TIG, Stick/MMA
  • Input voltage: 110/120V; 220/240V
  • Output amps: 10–200 A
  • Duty cycle: 60% at 150A (110V); 60% at 190A (220V)
  • Material thickness: 3/8 in
  • Dimensions: 28 x 13 x 17 in
  • Weight: 58 lbs

Accessories: TIG torch; MMA/Stick clamp; foot pedal; argon regulator; ground clamp; 220V/110V converter pigtail; consumable Set

The Lotus TIG200ACDC is an inverter-based TIG machine. The welder is a TIG type with stick or MMA welding process. It has 110/120 and 220/240 input voltage capability. At 150 amperes and 110 voltage, the duty cycle is usually at 60 while at 190 amperes and 220 voltage, the duty cycle is also 60%.

It’s better off for the homeowners, students, or weekend hobby users. It has a foot control pedal with an option to adjust the amperage. A smooth arc comes with the heavy-duty clamp. It also comes with short-end cap guns. These are a lot better than some of the other Chinese guns on the market. It also came with the adapter cord to do 110 to 220 volts. So if you need to take it home or if your shop doesn’t have 220V, you can weld with it.

Why is it special?

  • The welder is a lot easy to use. On the control panel, the welder features the digital display, several knobs, downslope, your post flow, and of course the ACDC. The TIG welder has the controls for the foot pedal. There are plugs for when you want to use the trigger on the gun. You just plug that in and you could use the foot pedal. It has the pretty standard dense plug.

What are the flaws?

  • We didn't find anything wrong with the machine. Neither did we find a serious complaint from users on the internet. It's a good value TIG/stick welder that can be purchased by any hobby, student, or beginning welder.
RELATED: 7 Best TIG Welders for Aluminum- Get the Cleanest and Best-Looking Weld! (Spring 2022)
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5
Best for Beginners

Lincoln Electric K2278-1

Features
  • Process: Flux-core, MIG
  • Input voltage: 115V
  • Output amps: 35–88A
  • Duty cycle: 20% at 70A
  • Material thickness: 18 ga. up to 1/8 in
  • Dimensions: 18 x 8 3/4 x 12 3/4 in
  • Weight: 45 lbs

Accessories: work cable/clamp; 2 contact tips; welding hand shield with #10 filter plate and clear glass cover plate; 1-lb. spool of .035in. flux-cored wire; chipping hammer/brush

With this Lincoln Electric welder, you will have the right tool for the job every time. The Handy Core MIG welder has a portable design and good compatibility with household outlets. This kit includes a welding gun with a cold contactor safety feature that keeps the wire electrically cold until you pull the trigger. Other accessories include sample wire spools, a flux-cored nozzle, a MIG nozzle and regulator, a chipping hammer and brush, and a hand shield for face protection.

It gives you the flexibility to weld virtually anywhere, making it exceptionally useful for around-the-house DIY jobs. With four output ranges, it has the versatility for home repair and hobby projects on mild gauge steel found around the house from 24 gauge to one-eighth of an inch thickness.

What do we love it for?

  • We liked that there is a handy reference guide to help users match the power output to the metal you're working on. So, even if you're new to welding or just need a cheat sheet, you're always ready to go. The welder is built to handle both MIG and gasless flux-cored jobs right out of the box. You'll find just about everything you need to get welding.

What were we disappointed with?

  • What we think could be improved on here is the welding face shield. It looks very cheap compared to other ones. It's truly a low-priced welder but Lincoln Electric could charge a little bit more to be able to improve the quality of the components and overall construction.
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6
Most Portable Welder

Lincoln Electric Century K3493-1

Features
  • Process: Flux-core, MIG
  • Input voltage: 120V
  • Output amps: 30–90A
  • Duty cycle: 30% at 80A
  • Material thickness: 18 ga. up to 1/4 in
  • Dimensions: 11 1/4 x 5 3/4 x 17 in
  • Weight: 6 lbs

Accessories: 6ft. cable with ground clamp; 6ft. gun and cable assembly; 6ft. input cable with 120V/15 Amp plug; shoulder strap

If you recall, Lincoln Electric purchased Century Welding in 2003. But before then was this MIG welder. The Century Flux Core Welder is a MIG and Flux-core welder that works on 18 gauge of steel up to 1/4 inches.

It’s a very compact and portable flux core welder to work on some small projects. This is a typical AC input welder that plugs into any 110 outlets. But it puts out DC about 30 to 90 amps. It is very small and compact. It measures only 17 inches long, 11 inches high, and about 5 inches wide, so it’s very compact.

Why is it special?

  • One of the things we like about this welder is that it has two knobs: one controls the wire feed and the other controls the amperage. Also, you can finitely fine-tune both your settings there too to get to something optimal. We like the fact that at the top, you have a place to load the 0.35 spool. It only takes a two-pound spool you can't use a 10-pound spool.

What are the flaws?

  • The trigger mechanism looks good. The ground clamp however could probably be more robust. You may have to upgrade that at some point.

Things to Consider

In this section, we’ll help you find the best welder for this job by providing all the information on what to consider while choosing one. Finally, we will see together how to weld an exhaust using one of these welders.

How to Pick the Best Welder for Exhaust Pipes

First, here are criteria to consider before picking a welder for your exhaust pipe repair job.

Type and Processes

6 Best Welders for Exhaust Work That Perfectly Deal with This Task (Spring 2022)

Exhaust pipe welding is one of the most common tasks that happen in a shop.

Currently, the welding equipment used to weld an exhaust pipe is the electric welding equipment with MIG and TIG wire. Another option that is also used to repair this component is cold welding Trusted Source What is Cold Welding? - Welding Headquarters Whenever we think or talk about welding, we consider it in the same lens as heating. The very first thing that comes to mind in a discussion over welding is the use of thermal energy to heat and weld metal objects together. Most welding techniques work by heating metals to… weldingheadquarters.com , which can be done with the Hobart 500559.

In the past, they were also welded with oxyacetylene or electrical equipment with a coated electrode (MMA method). Although this equipment is in disuse due to the high heat transferred to the metal and which translates into a greater risk of perforating the material and a greater loss of properties.

MIG equipment is the most widely used for welding exhaust pipes, as it is a type of welding equipment that is available at any body shop that offers heavy sheet metal repair services. This welding method stands out for being the one that contributes the least heat to the metal, which facilitates the welding process and does not modify the internal structure of the metal so much. In addition, its use and regulation are very simple. However, it is a system with a certain tendency to generate porosity, which makes its welds less watertight.

On the contrary, TIG equipment such as the LOTOS TIG200ACDC transfers more heat to the metal than MIG-MAG equipment but allows for more focused and cleaner welding that, in general terms, increases its quality and durability. The main problem with these types of equipment is that they are more difficult to use and their regulation of welding parameters is more complex.

Voltage

Generally, arc welding stations are powered by electric current from a mains, except for models with an onboard generator set. It can be either a single-phase 220 V electric current or a three-phase 380 V electric current. Depending on the current source available in your workplace or home, you will need to choose a welding machine with suitable welding intensity.

It should be noted that a single-phase welding station generally delivers an intensity of less than 200 amps, while with a three-phase station, it is possible to obtain from 400 to 600 amps, which makes it possible to work for longer with more power.

Output

To know the output current delivered by the welding machine, it is necessary to refer to the welding power (A), to the no-load voltage (V), and to the type of welding current, alternating (AC) or direct (DC). Power is determined by the size of the electrode and varies depending on the arc welding process used.

As an example, for MMA welding, a 4.0mm electrode requires about 200A of welding power for a single-phase machine, while above 5.0mm in diameter, it will take more than 200A and the use of a three-phase substation becomes necessary.

The no-load voltage for its part keeps the electric arc stable and facilitates ignition. The no-load voltage between 40 and 45 volts is correct for MMA electrode welding. As for the welding current, the so-called continuous current is more frequently delivered by modern welding machines. It makes it possible to melt all types of electrodes.

Duty Cycle

6 Best Welders for Exhaust Work That Perfectly Deal with This Task (Spring 2022)

The duty cycle shows how long your welding machine can be operated at a given output without overheating.

As you probably already suspect, it is not only the workpieces that are strongly heated during welding. The welding machine components also get very hot. This is why welding machines switch off automatically as soon as a certain period of use or temperature has been reached. Otherwise, there is a risk of damage to the device.

The duty cycle Trusted Source A Duty Cycle Reality Check - ESAB KNOWLEDGE CENTER We hear a lot of talk when it comes to duty cycle, including a lot of misinformation about compact integrated inverters (the type with a built-in wire feeder) as not being true “industrial” welding machines. This article attempts to add clarity to the conversation and provide two critical reality checks. www.esabna.com provides information about how long a welding machine can be used in one go.

The duty cycle is given in percent per ampere. At 60% / 40A, you can weld for 6 minutes at a time if you need 30 amps. After that, you need to take a break.

If you want to weld about 0.8 mm thick sheet metal, 30 amps are required. You can use a welding machine with a duty cycle of 60% at 40 A for 6 minutes at a time. Since you will hardly weld at longer intervals, devices with this power are sufficient.

Electrodes and Wire Size

The welding electrode is an important welding accessory. It is continuously burned off during inert gas welding to connect the workpieces. It is therefore obvious that the welding wire must optimally fit the workpieces. The longer the distance, the thicker the wire needs to be. Welding wires for the DIY sector are between 0.6 and 1.2 mm thick. The most common are wires with 0.8 mm. We, therefore, recommend that you choose a device that can handle this wire size.

Size and Weight

6 Best Welders for Exhaust Work That Perfectly Deal with This Task (Spring 2022)

The size and weight of a welding machine impact its portability and overall convenience of its use in a shop.

A beginner, student, or hobby use doesn’t need sizey and heavy equipment. Exhaust pipe welding doesn’t also require highly powerful equipment. Besides, today’s welders are getting smaller and smaller. So, always choose something very compact and portable. A portable welder should weigh less than 20 pounds. The Century K3493-1, for example, weighs less than 16 pounds, which is great for transportability and storage.

Accessories

Welding machines for exhaust welding are more and more sophisticated and can embed various accessories for more safety and comfort of use. There are thus models with accessories such as sample wire spools, flux-cored nozzle, MIG nozzle and regulator, a chipping hammer and brush, a hand shield, and face protection. You will have to take into account your budget and especially the type of work to be done before choosing a basic welding machine or one with more advanced features.

Warranty

A machine like this costs between $100 to $500 in general and you need something that can protect your investment. A 1 to 5-year warranty will be enough and serve as something to fall back on in case the model you pick has a problem from the factory.

Price

The chart below will help you get an idea of the prices usually charged for each price range (entry-level, mid-range, and high-end). However, more expensive models do not necessarily mean better.

We, therefore, advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

Range Price
Entry-level 60 to 150 dollars
Mid-range 150 to 350 dollars
High-end + 350 dollars

How to Weld Exhaust Pipes?

The damage to an exhaust pipe is quickly perceived in the sound change that occurs when driving, especially when accelerating. Repairing and welding the exhaust pipe in time allows to solve the problem and avoids the need to replace the section of the exhaust line affected, with the consequent economic savings.

If you have access to a welder, then welding your exhaust system by yourself can save you a lot of money in the long run. Although welding general vehicle exhaust pipe is no different from any other type of welding, there are a few tricks that can make the job much easier and safer.

Cut the Pipe Carefully

How you cut the pipe is very important. If you cut it with an angle grinder or other small device, the ends of the pipe may not be smooth and level, making them poor when coupled. One of the things you want to achieve when welding the exhaust is that each part fits well together, with as little of a gap as possible. As the old saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” Use a chop saw or reciprocating saw to cut and shape the exhaust pieces.

Insulate the Pipe

Weld the exhaust away from the vehicle if possible. While you can weld the exhaust pipe under the vehicle or truck, the fuels and oils present can make this job dangerous, especially near the tank. It is much safer to weld the parts outside of the vehicle and fasten them under the vehicle later using clamps. Sometimes it is unavoidable, however, so keep a bucket of wet rags and a handy fire extinguisher rated for chemical fires.

First Weld by Spots

Weld the pipe in sections. In other words, don’t just make a 100 percent complete weld around the tailpipe. Welding creates extreme heat and the heat deforms the steel. Therefore, it is a better idea to weld the pipe at various points around the circumference before placing the full weld. This prevents deformation of the metal or creating gaps that are difficult to fill. For spot welding, do it in small sections, holding for two to three seconds before breaking the arc. Then move forward an inch or two (5.08 cm) and do it again.

Use Stainless Steel Rods or Wire

Use stainless steel rods or wire, depending on your application. Stainless steel pipe welds well if you use regular steel rod or wire, but be aware that the welds will rust very quickly. So if you can fill it with stainless steel, it is highly recommended. If you are using a MIG welding machine, you must weld with shielding gas when welding with a stainless-steel wire, as there is no stainless flux core.

FAQ

Welding an exhaust pipe is safe as long as you cut it from the vehicle and weld it away from the gas tank. While you can weld the exhaust pipe under the vehicle or truck, the fuels and oils present can make this job dangerous, especially near the tank. Therefore, it is much safer to weld the parts outside of the vehicle and fasten them under the vehicle later using clamps.

Currently, the welding equipment used to weld an exhaust pipe is the electric welding equipment with MIG and TIG wire. The MIG welding process is the most widely used for welding exhaust pipes, as it is a type of welding equipment that is available at any body shop that offers heavy sheet metal repair services.

Our Verdict

Rates 9.9/10, our Editor’s Choice, the Hobart 500559 Handler is a MIG welding machine with Flux Core (FCAW) welding process. It is a 115 volt 140 amp wire feed welder that features a 10-foot MIG gun. It is therefore our overall best welder for the exhaust pipe.

The Chicago Electric Flux Core Wire Welder is our Best Value model. Rated 9.6, it’s a 125 amp and 120 Volt welding machine that will be perfect for welding your exhaust pipe. It can weld a material thickness of 18 gauge and up to 3/16 inches of mild steel.

Also rated 9.6, the MILLER ELECTRIC Millermatic 211 MIG Welder is our Premium Pick for welding this type of damage. If you’re looking for that all-in-one MIG welder that’s easy to use, is truly portable, and gives you best-in-class art quality, the Miller welder has exactly what you’re looking for.

References

1.
What is Cold Welding? - Welding Headquarters
Whenever we think or talk about welding, we consider it in the same lens as heating. The very first thing that comes to mind in a discussion over welding is the use of thermal energy to heat and weld metal objects together. Most welding techniques work by heating metals to…
2.
A Duty Cycle Reality Check - ESAB KNOWLEDGE CENTER
We hear a lot of talk when it comes to duty cycle, including a lot of misinformation about compact integrated inverters (the type with a built-in wire feeder) as not being true “industrial” welding machines. This article attempts to add clarity to the conversation and provide two critical reality checks.
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