14 Best Welder Brands

The highly-developed Welding industry encompasses hundreds of brands offering all sorts of equipment. However, less than twenty brands dominate the welding landscape.

This article will introduce you to the best welder brands, and we will not shy away from the pros and cons. Not every brand targets professionals.

For example, hobbyists and metal artists became a large part of the market when inverter welders became affordable. 

As a result, the welding machine market landscape has changed quite a bit. It’s no longer just Hobart that offers one or two welder models for DIY, but numerous brands have emerged that specialize in this and every other market segment.

1. Miller Electric

miller electric brand logo

Website: https://www.millerwelds.com

Miller Electric is one of the largest welder manufacturers synonymous with the industry. So when you talk about “blue,” every welder knows you are referring to the Miller name.

History

Founded by one man in rural Wisconsin in 1929, Miller Electric grew to what is today one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-end welding equipment. 

Niels Miller, the founder of Miller Electric, made his first welder from scrap steel and coil windings in his basement. Eventually, Miller won the hearts of American welders and grew so large that everyone in the industry either used or knew about their machines.

Illinois Tool Workers (“ITW”) bought the company in 1993 and added it to its portfolio of leading industry brands.

Target Market

Miller mainly targets professional welding shops, fabrication, and education facilities. 

Price

Miller’s welders are expensive. But, considering their high build and arc quality, professionals are happy to pay the premium price. Still, more often than not, Miller’s equipment doesn’t offer the best price-to-value ratio.

Specialization

Miller Electric sells MIG, TIG, and MMA welding machines ranging from small inverter welders to large, industrial-grade units. Additionally, they offer plasma cutters, safety equipment, fume extractors, robotic systems, and induction heating devices.

Pros

  • Exceptional quality
  • USA brand with a long history
  • They specialize in all welding equipment
  • Excellent customer support and warranty
  • Cover all industries

Cons

  • Expensive products
  • They don’t offer hobbyist-grade equipment. All their welders are “too” well-built, making them expensive for hobbyists or DIYers

2. Lincoln Electric

lincoln electric brand logo

Website: https://www.lincolnelectric.com

Lincoln Electric, just like Miller, is a well-known industry giant. Everyone knows them. If you say you are a “red” team fan, you prefer Lincoln’s equipment over Miller’s.

History

Lincoln Electric was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1895 by John C. Lincoln with just $200. His first product ever was a unique DC motor. Later, John and his brother James invented and launched their first variable voltage arc welder in 1911.

As years passed, Lincoln Electric became one of the most important welding institutions. Besides being a leader in welding equipment manufacturing, Lincoln includes a non-profit welding education institute, and the Lincoln Electric Welding School was established in 1917.

Target Market

Lincoln Electric offers welding equipment for professional shops, fabrication, and education facilities. 

Price

Similarly to Miller, most of Lincoln’s equipment is pricey. However, Lincoln does offer more welding equipment designed for hobbyists than Miller. 

Specialization

Lincoln Electric specializes in almost every piece of welding equipment. However, Lincoln also focuses on welding education. Therefore, many of their products are designed for efficient welder training in their schools or other educational settings that use Lincoln’s program. 

Pros

  • Industry-leading quality
  • Excellent customer service and extended warranties
  • Lincoln produces almost all welding equipment
  • Numerous programs for welding schools
  • USA brand
  • Buying Lincoln equipment means investing in Lincoln’s educational institutions

Cons

  • Expensive equipment
  • Only a few hobbyist-grade welders and they are expensive too

3. ESAB

esab brand logo

Website: https://esab.com

Like Miller and Lincoln, ESAB offers top-of-the-line welding equipment for the USA and the rest of the world.

History

Engineer Oscar Kjellberg invented the first flux-coated welding electrode in 1904 and founded Elektriska Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget (ESAB) in Sweden. What followed was a series of innovations that played a substantial part in welding development as we know it.

Target Market

ESAB primarily targets professional production lines, heavy industries, and high-end welding shops.

Price

ESAB welders and equipment are expensive. But, some of their products are cheaper than Miller’s and Lincoln’s while offering similar or better quality.

Specialization

ESAB is best known for arc welding equipment. But, they also offer CNC cutting systems, plasma cutters, welding robots, and personal protective equipment.

Pros

  • Industry-leading quality
  • Excellent customer support
  • Wide range of product selection
  • Many products offer unique features
  • Global presence
  • Adequate price-to-quality ratio, even for hobbyist-grade equipment

Cons

  • While cheaper than Miller and Lincoln, most ESAB products are out of reach for the majority of hobbyists and DIYers

4. Hobart

hobart brand logo

Website: https://www.hobartwelders.com

Hobart is known for quality welders, flux-cored and solid MIG wire, and stick welding electrodes.

History

Hobart was founded in 1917 by Charles Clarence (C.C.) Hobart and his family. At first, they were manufacturing generators, metal furniture, and air compressors. But, in 1925, Hobart produced their first welder and started his journey into the welding world.

Soon after, they founded the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in 1930. Today, this school is still one of the best welding institutions in the world. 

ITW purchased the Hobart brand in 1996. Many people think that Miller owns Hobart, but both are subsidies of ITW. 

Target Market

Hobart markets its welders to professionals, hobbyists, and DIY weekend warriors. They are the most significant brand that proactively competes in the hobbyist market.

Price

While their line of welders is mainly watered-down versions of Miller machines to make them more affordable, Hobart machines are still expensive. However, the exceptional build quality and extended warranty compensate for the high cost. Even so, no one would call them a bargain.

Specialization

Hobart specializes in the production of filler metal wires for MIG welding. But, they also produce mid-tier welding machines. Their welders can’t compete with Miller, Lincoln, or ESAB’s professional welders. But they are well suited for light shop and hobby use.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • USA brand with a long history
  • Less expensive than the other big brand names
  • Industrial warranty
  • Most equipment uses Miller parts

Cons

  • While cheaper than other big brands, Hobart products are still expensive
  • Limited product selection
  • Welding machines have modest features

5. Eastwood

eastwood brand logo

Website: https://www.eastwood.com

Eastwood is a USA brand that makes excellent and affordable welding equipment. But, they also sell a wide variety of tools from various brands.

History

Curt Strohacker was a self-taught car enthusiast and repairman. He saw the lack of tools available in the hobbyist car enthusiast market and launched the Eastwood brand in 1978. As his brand grew, Eastwood started offering more and more products, including welding equipment.

Eastwood then designed a spot-weld gun to replicate the industrial-made spot welds on automobiles. The welding offerings grew, eventually developing a catalog of MIG, TIG, and MMA welding equipment.

Target Market

Eastwood welders primarily target hobbyists and shops that perform light welding.

Price

Eastwood offers the best price-to-quality ratio of all welding brands for the DIY weekend warrior. Their welders are cheaper than Hobart’s, provide more features, and come with an extended warranty.

Specialization

Eastwood specializes in tools for car enthusiasts. So, their welders are also oriented for sheet metal work. 

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • 3-year warranty
  • USA brand with a long history
  • Everything is built with hobbyists in mind
  • Much of their equipment can sustain heavy shop work

Cons

  • While Eastwood offers the best bargain welders, their machines lack some features. 

6. YesWelder

yeswelder brand logo

Website: https://yeswelder.com

YesWelder is a relatively new brand taking the hobbyist market by storm. They offer the lowest prices and have built a solid reputation among weekend warriors.

History

YesWelder was founded in 2006 by five co-founders with the goal of producing affordable, quality welding equipment. In 2018, YesWelder sold to consumers directly and cut out the “middle man,” making their products the most affordable on the market.

YesWelder has a proven record as an industry disruptor. They offer multi-process welders with tons of features at an affordable rate, and they had two high-profile, groundbreaking Kickstarter campaigns where they sourced funds to develop innovative solutions.

Target Market

YesWelder primarily targets rookies, DIY hobbyists, and light shop fabricators.

Price

Considering the included features and low prices, YesWelder offers the best budget machines on the market. However, while Eastwood’s units have fewer features, Eastwood’s products have an extended warranty and better build quality. It is no surprise that these two brands actively compete head-to-head. Both want the hobbyist market, and YesWelder is cheaper. But Eastwood has a better warranty.

Specialization

YesWelder specializes in arc welding equipment, with a focus on multi-process machines.

Pros

  • Affordable equipment tailored to hobbyist needs
  • Excellent arc quality
  • Feature-rich machines
  • Wide equipment selection 
  • Great customer service
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Some machines have a low build quality
  • Import brand

7. Forney

forney brand logo

Website: https://www.forneyind.com

Forney sells a large variety of shop tools but specializes in welding equipment. Their green color is easy to recognize and unique to their brand.

History

In 1932, they started their journey in the welding industry when James Donovan Forney created the “The Forney Instant Heat Soldering Iron.” It was Forney’s first product. In 1936, Forney designed their first welder. Soon after, they started expanding the product line and eventually became one of the largest welding equipment distributors in the USA.

Target Market

Forney markets gear to professionals and hobbyists. They offer an extensive range of products, from high-end equipment to entry-level welding machines.

Price

Forney welders are priced from $350 to $3000. Since their product line is diverse, some machines are a bargain, while others may be overpriced compared to other brands.

Specialization

Forney sells arc and oxyfuel welding equipment, abrasives, and various shop tools.

Pros

  • USA brand with a long history
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Multiple affordable welders for hobbyists
  • High-end equipment for professionals
  • Extended warranty on professional welders

Cons

  • Short warranty for some entry-level welding machines
  • Hobby welders have limited features

8. Titanium

titanium brand logo

Website: https://www.harborfreight.com/welding.html

Titanium is a brand of welding machines sold by Harbor Freight Tools. Like Forney, they are characterized by a green housing. But, Titanium machines have a slightly lighter green shade.

History

Harbor Freight was founded in 1977 by Eric Smidt and his father. The brand quickly grew to over 1300 stores across the USA and expanded to cover tools for almost all trades.

Titanium is Harbor Freight’s new sub-brand entailing only welding machines. They launched this line sometime in 2017-2018, so these welders are still relatively new.

Target Market

Titanium machines are designed for light shop and DIY welding.

Price

There are various machines in the Titanium line. But, most are slightly overpriced compared to other entry-level welding brands. Plus, their 90-day warranty is far below industry standards. More affordable welders from YesWelder have a better 1-year warranty, and comparably priced Eastwood machines offer a 3-year warranty.

Specialization

Titanium machines specialize in the arc welding processes. But, their best models are multi-process welders.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Numerous features
  • USA brand
  • Multi and single-process machines

Cons

  • Expensive entry-level gear
  • Poor warranty

9. Fronius

fronius brand logo

Website: https://www.fronius.com

With almost 1000 patents and a global presence, Fronius is one of the most successful welding equipment brands for professionals.

History

Günter Fronius was an engineer who founded Fronius in Pettenbach, Austria. He knew battery systems well and used his experience to improve the efficiency of welding converters by developing a variable welding rectifier based on a powerful battery charger. 

Fronius was founded in 1945 and grew into a global brand with a presence in 86 countries. They invented cold metal transfer welding (“CMT”) and improved the fields of “LaserHybrid” and resistance spot welding.

Target Market

Fronius targets high-end welding facilities, professional shops, fabrication lines requiring automated welding systems, and industrial processes requiring unique welding solutions. 

Price

Fronius welding equipment is expensive. Most of their welders are hi-tech solutions designed for industrial applications. Their most affordable machines cost $2000 to $3000. So, Fronius is not for the hobbyist.

Specialization

Fronius specializes in industrial welding, especially vehicle manufacturing.

Pros

  • Top-of-the-line build and arc quality
  • Automated solutions
  • The only brand to offer the CMT welding process
  • Fronius has a partner program for large businesses
  • Able to meet specific user requirements
  • Offer portable, battery-powered welders

Cons

  • Expensive
  • None of their welders are priced for DIY enthusiasts or small shop owners
  • Only a few vendors sell Fronius welders in the USA

10. Everlast

everlast brand logo

Website: https://www.everlastgenerators.com

Everlast is a relatively new brand of IGBT inverter welding and plasma cutting machines. Their “industrial” design and dark green color are easy to recognize, but they are best known for many included features and extended warranty.

History

Everlast was founded in 2004 in San Francisco, California. But, they manufacture their welders in China, like most USA welding brands. They didn’t gain popularity until 2008 when Everlast implemented IGBT inverter technology. Today, Everlast has many fans because of its low prices and good welder quality. 

Target Market

Everlast targets professionals who run small to medium-sized shops and DIY welding enthusiasts.

Price

Everlast offers numerous welding and plasma cutting machines, and many have excellent price-to-quality ratios. Some Everlast machines are so feature-rich that it’s hard to find an alternative at the same price. This is especially true for their more expensive equipment designed for shop use.

Specialization

Everlast specializes in IGBT inverter-based equipment for arc welding and plasma cutting.

Pros

  • Above-average build quality in their price range
  • 5-year warranty
  • Feature-rich
  • Often offer a unique mix of features
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Some entry-level welders have limited features

11. Vulcan

vulcan brand logo

Website: https://www.harborfreight.com/vulcan

Vulcan is another welding equipment brand by Harbor Freight, just like Titanium. But, the Vulcan equipment line also includes accessories like welding helmets and consumables.

History

Harbor Freight launched the Vulkan welder series in 2018 to compete with expensive brands like Lincoln Electric. Vulkan welders are still relatively new, but most users have had good experiences with their machines.

Target Market

Vulcan welders are designed for light to medium-level shop jobs and demanding DIYers or welding hobbyists.

Price

While Vulcan welders are cheaper than alternatives from big brand names like Lincoln, ESAB, and Miller, they are more expensive than Everlast. Unfortunately, like Titanium welders, Vulkan equipment has a meager 90-day warranty. So, many people remain skeptical of their actual value even if these machines offer excellent features and build quality.

Specialization

The Vulkan brand specializes in shop-grade arc welding equipment.

Pros

  • High build quality for low cost
  • Feature-rich
  • Almost all offer dual-voltage input
  • USA brand

Cons

  • Poor warranty

12. PrimeWeld

primeweld brand logo

Website: https://primeweld.com

Primeweld is a relatively new brand seeking to dominate the inverter welding and plasma cutting machines market.

History

Unfortunately, much of Primeweld’s history is not public. The Primeweld brand name and website domain were established in 2001. However, in the beginning, this company seems to have sold equipment for welding plastics. Also, for a brief period in 2006, their website showed Eastwood equipment, and it appeared as if Eastwood had bought the brand.

However, it’s difficult to determine if the company has any ties to the original website history. The PrimeWeld we know today launched somewhere in 2018-2019. So, this company is either entirely new or has rebranded from previous business endeavors. 

Target Market

Primeweld targets hobbyists and professionals who need advanced welding functions.

Price

Primeweld welding and plasma cutting machines are reasonably priced. Their 3-year warranty is on par with Eastwood, but they are still relatively new to the market. 

Specialization

Primeweld specializes in arc welding and cutting machines.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Feature-rich
  • Well made
  • Their machines include many accessories
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Relatively new brand

13. AHP

ahp brand logo

Website: https://ahpwelds.com

AHP is similar to Primeweld, Everlast, and YesWelder. They are US-based, but their machines are all made in China. However, they have developed a good reputation for longevity and arc quality. Still, their website, marketing, and product line are underdeveloped, and many machines are often out of stock.

History

AHP was founded in 2014 to bridge the gap between offshore manufacturing and the high standards expected in the USA. This brand is still fresh and has yet to catch up with Everlast and YesWelder, but their machines are already quite popular.

Target Market

AHP targets DIY enthusiasts and light to medium-sized welding shops.

Price

Since their welders are more costly than YesWelder, Everlast, and Primeweld, they are slightly overpriced. But, AHP does offer an industry-standard 3-year warranty.

Specialization

AHP specializes in arc welding and cutting equipment, but their best machines are TIG welders.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Good arc quality
  • Feature-rich
  • 3-year warranty
  • Quality accessories included

Cons

  • Small product catalog
  • Most products are often out of stock
  • Relatively expensive

14. Lotos

lotos brand logo

Website: https://www.uwelding.com

Lotos is also a USA-based arc welding brand with production in China. They are popular on Amazon but lack the marketing chops of some other brands. For instance, their website doesn’t inspire confidence with a design that looks like it’s from the early 2000s.

History

Lotos was founded in 1989 in Northern California. But they grew in popularity from the 2000s when they introduced inverter technology making their machines light and portable. 

Target Market

Lotos arc welders and plasma cutters are used mainly by DIY enthusiasts and light welding shops.

Price

While Lotos equipment is inexpensive, they lag in the arc and build quality compared to similar import brands like YesWelder, Primeweld, and Everlast. Still, Lotos offers a 3-Year warranty which is rare at such low prices.

Specialization

Lotos specializes in plasma cutters.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Long warranty
  • Feature-rich
  • Established brand

Cons

  • Low build and arc quality
  • Many of their machines use older MOSFET technology instead of new IGBT inverters
  • Lotos doesn’t service their products
  • Using consumables from other brands voids the warranty

Notable Mentions

The brands below either don’t have a significant presence in the US market or don’t produce welding machines. But they are definitely worth a mention.

  • Kemppi – Finnish brand that produces professional-grade manual and automated welders. They were founded in 1949 and have an extensive product offering today.
  • EWM Group – German brand with a global presence that offers high-end welding equipment and heavily invests in innovative solutions. They also sell smaller, hobbyist-level welding machines.
  • Lorch – German brand with automated and manual welding solutions. Most of their equipment is designed for heavy-duty welding.
  • Abicor Binzel – Specializes in MIG, TIG, and plasma torches. While they were founded in 1945 in Germany, their first manufacturing plant in the USA opened in 1976. Unfortunately, Abicor doesn’t sell welding machines, only accessories.

Wrapping It

The welding equipment market continuously evolves. Some of the brands we outlined are relatively new, and we are sure more new names will appear in the future. When choosing your equipment, consider the kind of work you’ll perform. If you run a small shop or weld as a hobby, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a brand name.

All welding machines sold in the USA are either partially or entirely made offshore. At best, the unit is assembled in the USA. However, some brands like Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, or ESAB have outstanding quality control and tight control of the overseas part production. As a result, their machines have better durability and build quality.

However, hobbyist welders don’t need industrial durability. So, alternative brands like Eastwood, YesWelder, Everlast, and PrimeWeld are a great choice. In our opinion, Eastwood offers the best build quality for hobbyists, while YesWelder’s equipment is the best budget option.

About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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