Wire-feed welders are relatively easy to use and functional, but there are advantages to considering stick welders, which use rod electrodes held in a clamp. Here’s what happens – a ground lead is lead from the welding machine to your work piece. When contact is made between the stick electrode and the metal of the work piece, a welding circuit arises, creating high-­temperature arcs that melt the rod. As it becomes molten, the flux coating on the electrode becomes gasified, shielding molten material from the air. When they cool, the metals are fused together. A big advantage of rod welding is that one can alternate easily between various electrodes. For instance, some rod welding achieves high-strength jointing; another might repair cracks in cast iron or be able to fill in pitted areas of the work piece. Also, specialized rod electrodes have been designed to cope with rust, dirt or other contaminations – a major advantage when you’re working on machinery outdoors where a clean weld surface is next-to-impossible.

The disadvantage of rod welders is that they are difficult to become skilful at using, especially if one does not have the advantage of professional training.

Wire-feed welders are more mechanically complex, but easier to operate. These machines propel wire electrodes from motorized spools, through a cable, to a welding gun.

Wire-feed welders are capable of joining metals as diverse as automotive sheet steel and 130mm-thick plate.

Your choice, but Weldmart’s technical advisors are standing by to guide you to the best-specced equipment for your uses.