If you’re a certified welder, then you are aware that duty calls are in different locations. Other areas have a steady supply of electricity while others don’t. Particular places like rural homes may have no electricity connection at all. Even in areas with a steady supply of electricity, the primary grid may go off due to stormy weather or other unavoidable circumstances. It is in such situations where a portable generator becomes vital equipment besides your welding machine.
With a reliable portable generator, you can weld almost anything and from anywhere. However, getting the best portable generator for a welder can be a daunting task. This article will make it easy for you to pick a reliable portable generator to meet your welder power demands. We also answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding portable generators for welders.
10 Best Portable Generators for Welder
1. Durostar DS10000E Portable Generator
Top Editor’s Pick
The best portable generator for welder should be easy to transport, have a variety of power outlets and be able to handle your welder’s wattage demands. Durostar DS10000E meets and supersedes these features.
This generator has a powerful 18HP 440cc OHV engine driven by gasoline operating at a noise level of 72 decibels. The generator can generate 10,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts. This power output is enormous for running most welding machines used by professional welders. On the power outlets, this model boasts of;
- Dual 120V 20A outlets,
- 120V 30A twist-lock outlet
- 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet
- 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet
You can be sure your welding project will not stall with all these outlets because of a power blackout. The dual 120V 20A outlets are household-style outlets for easy connection of your household appliances should you use them as an emergency power plan.
DS10000E can operate for 10 hours continuously with a 50% load thanks to its 8.3-gallon capacity fuel tank. Thus, you can comfortably run your welder for the better part of the day without having to shut down the unit for a fuel refill. The generator comes with an idle control feature that lowers the RPM when the load reduces, reducing fuel consumption. A perfect feature for a welding generator because of the intermittent use of power during welding.
This model weighs about 260 pounds which is heavy for anyone to lift by themselves. It comes with collapsible handles and non-flat tires that make it easy to move across the ground to improve its portability. The all-metal construction material on DS10000E makes it challenging for a construction environment.
2. Champion 7000 Watt Dual Fuel generator
Second Editor’s Pick
It is a powerful portable generator that can either run on propane or gasoline, giving you the flexibility to run it with your easy-to-access fuel source.
When running on gasoline, this generator can deliver a peak wattage of 7,000W and rated wattage of 6000W. This amount of power is sufficient for running a single welder of a maximum of 250amp. Its power output drops to a starting wattage of 5,500W and 5000 running watts when running on propane.
It has a 439cc 4-OHV engine that produces power with less than 5% THD. Besides powering your welder, you can also run your sensitive electronics with this generator. The generator operates at a noise level of 74 decibels. The generator has two power outlets;
- 120V 32A
- 120/240V 32As
The fuel tank capacity on this model is about 6.1 gallons which can run the generator for about 8 hours when it has a 50% load. When running on a 20-pound propane gas cylinder, this generator can run for about 5 hours when running on a 50% load. This low-cost generator comes with an in-built volt guard system to protect your welder and other appliances from the risks of power surges.
This model supports electric and easy start recoil systems. One of the unique features of this generator is the Cold Start technology. You can quickly start this generator even in cold weather.
This generator weighs about 213 pounds which is not easy to lift by yourself. However, its open frame design makes it easy for two adults to lift and move this generator. The never-flat wheels and flexible handle will make your work easier to move this generator even on even ground. The rigid materials used in making its casing qualifies it to be used in challenging environmental settings.
3. Lincoln Electric Ranger 225
This is an excellent compact welding generator made by Lincoln. It has a 23HP 674cc 4-cycle engine that delivers 10,500 peak watts and 9,000 continuous watts. The power output is sufficient for meeting your welding project’s deadline even in remote areas with no power connection. And it comes with an electric starter.
This generator can produce both AC and DC outputs in high currents. The DC output that ranges from 40 to 250 amperage allows you to do excellent stick electrode welding. You can comfortably undertake Flux-core, MIG, and TIG welding with this generator, thanks to its versatility. Apart from running your welder, you can also run your other power tools.
As a multi-purpose generator, this generator comes with a button shift that you can press to use a plasma cutter or a welding option. The plasma cutter option allows you to cut metals for your welding project.
Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 has a 12-gallon fuel tank capacity, and on a single tank, this generator can operate for about 14 hours. It is a long period for completing a one-day welding project. Besides its enclosed state, this generator comes with a built-in fuel gauge. The auto-idle feature in this model helps in lowering its fuel consumption, guaranteeing you the long-running hours.
This generator operates at a noise level of 76.4 decibels while on a 50% load still bearable to your neighbors. It has a maximum noise output of 100.7 decibels.
In terms of weight, this genset weighs about 514 pounds. You will need a cart or vehicle to ferry this equipment for projects that are in remote places.
4. A-iPower SUA12000E Portable Generator
This is an ideal portable welding generator thanks to its high power output and other admirable features.
It has a 459cc OHV 4-stroke engine that delivers a peak wattage of 12,000W and a running wattage of 9,000W. This power output is big for powering your welder and other power tools you may need to run at a construction site. You can quickly power it on thanks to its easy-to-pull traditional recoil and an elegant electric starter. This model has several outlets;
- Four 120V 20A outlets
- Single 120/240V 30A outlet
- Single 120/240V 50A outlet
- 12V 8.3 DC outlet
Besides powering your welder, you can achieve more with the available power outlets. For instance, you can use the 120/240V 30A outlet to connect to your home’s breaker box in case of a power outage.
It has a fuel tank capacity of 7 gallons which can offer 9-hour runtime when the generator runs on a 50% load. While running on this load, this generator has a noise level of 78 decibels which is within the allowed noise limit in a construction site.
The generator weighs 216 pounds. In order to enhance its portability once it is on the ground, this generator has a 9.5-inch wheelset and folding handles. The heavy-duty steel frame makes this generator rugged equipment ideal for use in harsh environments.
5. CAT RP12000E Portable Generator
The manufacturer is one famous brand in the construction industry making heavy-duty construction equipment. The CAT RP12000E portable generator will not disappoint you either.
This model has a 670 cc engine that generates a peak wattage of 15,000W and 12,000 rated watts of power with less than 5% THD. You can power your sensitive appliances such as charge your laptop or smartphone when the welder equipment. This power output is more than enough for most medium-size and large-capacity welders. You can therefore power your welding machine and run other appliances concurrently. The model features an easy to use electric starter system and has multiple outlets for different plug-ins;
- Two dual 120volts 20A household-style outlets (GFCI protected)
- Double 120volts 30A outlets
- 120/240volts 30A outlet
- 120/240volts 50A outlet
- 12volts 8A DC outlet
Apart from powering your welding machine, you can conveniently connect this generator to your breaker box via the transfer switch-ready feature.
The generator has a fuel tank capacity of 13.2 gallons. This generator can run for approximately 11 hours on a single full tank when it has a 50% load. The runtime offers you adequate time to work the entire day without refueling the unit during your working hours.
Even though this generator is considered portable, its 350 pounds weight makes it difficult to lift. However, the lifting hook on its open frame brings convenience when lifting or loading this generator. The folding handles and never-flat wheel kit make it easier to move once the generator is on the ground.
6. Westinghouse WGen12000
If you’re looking for a versatile and rugged welding generator for all conditions, WGen12000 is one of the best choices in the market.
This generator runs on a gasoline-powered 713cc engine that generates 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts of less than 5% THD. This is ample power to run any size of a welding machine you may have. You can also power your entire house with this generator, thanks to its big power output and multiple power outlets. On the power outlets, you will find;
- Dual 120volts 20A household style receptacle
- 120volts 30A receptacle
- 120volts 30A receptacle (transfer switch ready)
- 120/240volts 50A receptacle
- Double 5volts USB ports
All the outlets on this model have a rubber covering, which keeps them safe from dust and dirt accumulation.
For easy operation, you can start this generator through the conventional recoil start system, electric or remotely. The remote operation feature allows users to start and stop the generator when it is several feet away from them.
WGen12000 has a 10.5-gallon fuel tank capacity. On a half load, this generator can run for about 11 hours on a single tank. This runtime is relatively impressive for powering your welder and other tools, considering the amount of power that this generator produces. The innovative idle feature automatically detects the generator’s load. It adjusts the engine speed to lower fuel consumption and noise production. The generator operates at a noise level of 74 decibels which is noisy but allowed in construction power equipment.
The generator weighs 330 pounds which can be challenging to lift and move around. However, with its open-frame design, flexible handles, and never flat wheelset, you quickly move this generator once it’s on the ground. So, you can comfortably carry it around your job site.
7. Lincoln Electric Ranger 330MPX
If you are in the market for a very quiet and powerful portable generator for welder, Lincoln Electric Ranger 330MPX is worth your investment. This generator is 60% quieter than welding generators in its range.
The model has a 25 HP engine running on gasoline. It can deliver up to 11,500 peak wattage and 10,000 continuous wattages of consistent power. You can power various appliances with this generator, including a heavy-duty welder, thanks to the available receptacles on this model. It has an electric start system that guarantees you an easy time to start the generator. With remote operations capability, you can control this generator from a distance. Such features increase the conveniences of a generator. The available outlets on this model are;
- Four 120 volts GFCI protected outlets
- 120/240 volts outlet
- 240 volts outlet
This generator has a fuel capacity of 11 gallons that can power it for about 7 hours when running on full load. However, the runtime increases to approximately 18 hours when the generator is running on a quarter load. This runtime is impressive for any contractor handling light welding contracts.
When running on a full load, this generator operates at 74.7 decibels. When powering a few appliances or a light-duty welder, this generator operates quietly. You will not shy away from using it to power your power tools in the estate.
Lincoln Electric Ranger 330MPX has an average weight of 440 pounds which is 25% lighter than most welder generators in its class. Its compact size is also 20% smaller than others in its class, making it easier to load into your car boot.
8. HOBART Champion Elite Welding Generator
This is a heavy-duty welding generator made with the best features of Stick welding, offering easy and quick starts.
The generator has a 23 HP 4-cycle OHV gasoline-powered engine that generates a peak wattage of 11,000W and 9,500 running wattage. You can comfortably run a 225-amp welder to meet your fabrication needs. Besides running your welder, you can also power other electrical appliances at your job site, including power tools and lights. The innovative Hobart technology in this model offers you smooth arc starts that have the least sticking. The available outlets in this model are;
- Four 120 volts 20A receptacles (GFCI protected)
- Single 120/240 volts 50A receptacle
- Single 240 volts 50A receptacle
This unit has a 12-gallon fuel capacity that offers you an extended runtime of about 14 hours running on a quarter load. The idle control feature enhances its fuel savings and noise reduction features but still guaranteeing maximum productivity. You can run the generator for 100 hours before changing the oil. You can easily monitor the maintenance schedule thanks to its digital hour meter. The generator operates at an average noise level of 75.5 decibels.
It is a compact design generator with an approximate weight of 495 pounds and slightly over 3 feet tall. Even though this generator Is heavy, it is reasonably portable. You can transport it to your site through a pickup.
9. All Power America APGG10000GL
All Power America APGG10000 is an unpopular welder generator. Still, it’s one of the most reliable portable generators a welder can buy.
It’s a dual fuel generator with a 420cc engine that delivers 10,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts when running on gasoline. The output wattage reduces to 8,500 peak wattage and 7,000 rated watts when running on propane. You can start this generator through a traditional or electric push-button system. The presence of multiple outlets makes it versatile power equipment for powering your welding machine and other power tools. The generator has an output noise level of 76 decibels which is normal in generators within its power range. Outlets available include;
- Four 120 volts 20A household-style outlets
- Single 120/240 volts twist-lock outlet
- Single 240 volts twist-lock outlet
- 12 volts DC outlet
It has a 6.6-gallon capacity fuel tank which offers 11 hours of continuous runtime when the generator has a 50% load. When running it with a 20-pound propane gas tank and at the same load, you will get fewer running hours than when using gasoline.
This model has an average weight of 232 pounds. Thanks to its open-frame design, the weight is manageable, making it possible to share the load with a colleague. The presence of flexible (drop-down) handles and never-flat wheels makes it convenient to move this unit once it’s on the ground. The generator has a longstanding battery that requires only requires occasional charging to maintain its effectiveness.
10. Miller Electric Bobcat 225 Portable Generator
If you need to power several welding devices, Miller Electric Bobcat 225 will serve your needs. It is a tough, durable and reliable welder generator perfect for welding businesses.
This generator has a 23 HP Kohler gasoline-powered engine that produces starting wattage of 11000W and 9500 running watts of power. As a versatile welder machine, this equipment can handle both TIG and stick welding. If you are looking for a stress-free welding style to master, this equipment copes well with MIG welding. Its smooth power supply assures you of better welding performance. You can also use this power equipment to power your other devices, including AC units, batteries, and lights.
Unlike other generator models designed for construction sites, Bobcat 225 operates reasonably quietly. When running on a full load, this generator has a rated noise of about 72 decibels. You can comfortably handle this generator in any environment, including areas around hospitals and residential places. Its design’s quiet operation is guaranteed; a better part of the engine spins heading to the front, creating room for more airflow. This mechanism ensures the generator reduces its operating noise.
This model has a 12-gallon fuel tank capacity that offers you about 13 working hours. An in-built idle lock feature extends its runtime and dampens the noise output making the generator fuel-efficient.
Its compact design allows it to fit in most car boots since it doesn’t take much space. In terms of weight, this generator weighs about 480 pounds. It is a heavy unit but still portable. The manageable access oil levels make this generator easy to maintain.
Check Out This Video Of Miller Electric Bobcat 225 Generator Review
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Portable Generator for Welder
Even with the above review, there are critical factors that you need to consider before settling on any of the above brands. Read on to learn more.
Most portable generators are gasoline-driven; however, some models also run on propane gas and diesel. The type of fuel that your generator for welding uses will impact the overall costs of your project. For instance, diesel is an affordable fuel source, and it is readily available. However, diesel-powered generators are noisy. Propane gas, on the other hand, is the most expensive fuel source among the three. However, it burns cleaner than the rest. Additionally, propane has a longer shelf life than diesel and gasoline. Some models can run on both propane and gasoline.
So, check on your preferred fuel source before settling on any model.
Fuel Consumption Rate
Another factor that can affect the cost of your project is how much fuel your welding generator consumes. Most portable generators for welders are powered by gasoline because they have a high fuel efficiency rate, portable, and operate quietly. Check on the generator’s description to understand the unit’s fuel consumption rate.
Type of power
When shopping for a generator for welding, you should be keen on whether it produces AC or DC. This is because all welding machines don’t require a similar current. For the best service, choose a generator that matches the current requirements of your welder equipment. If your welding machine handles both AC and DC, choose a generator with a similar output. Moreover, you should also check the amount of power output the generator delivers. Check on your welder’s power input demands and other appliances you’ll be running and compare with the size of generator you’re shopping for.
Check on portability
A generator for welding should be portable so that you can move with it wherever there is work for you to do. The weight of the generator is one of the leading factors affecting the portability of generators. Robust and heavy-duty generators are heavier than light-duty generators. An ideal generator for a welder should be easy to lift and transport. If you settle for a heavy generator because of your power needs, consider installing it at the rear of your truck.
How noisy is the generator?
Suppose you’ll be working near a hospital or residential set-ups. In that case, the amount of noise generators produce is a critical factor. Encased and compact generators operate quietly because the casing dampens the engine sound, unlike open frame designs which are noisier. Even though the noise a generator produces is a crucial factor, be careful not to compromise on the power output of the generator.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a welder generator?
It’s multi-purpose power equipment that can work as a welding machine and be used as a generator when there’s no power. When you’re not using the equipment as a welding machine, you can run it as a generator to power your tools and other appliances.
Which generator is suitable for my welder?
Two key factors will influence the type of generator ideal for your welder; the kind of welding machine you’re using and the amount of power it needs. Please read your welder’s buying guide to determine which generator can comfortably power the device.
How can I safely use a portable generator with my welding machine?
Portable generators can safely power different welders. However, you need to ensure that you use the correct size generator and the right quality extension cords. Ensure you are using the generator and welder as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Can I run a stick welder off a generator?
Yes, however, you must ensure the stick welder specifications and the generator are matching. Running a welder with the wrong sized portable generator can be disastrous. Before running any stick welder off a generator, ensure the stick welder’s wattage and the generator match. If you are running other tools besides the welder, the generator should have the capacity to run them all.
So, what is the best portable generator for a welder? The review above offers the best portable generators for welders in the market today, and you will not go wrong by choosing any of the above. These generators have different power outputs, operating noise, weights, runtime, and even fuel types. Such differences are the critical factors that you need to consider when shopping for the best portable generator for the welder. Use the discussed factors in this review as a guide to buying the best portable generator for welder.