Some of the links on this page may link to our affiliates. Learn more about our ad policies.

Top 4 Best Welder Generators: Buying Guide + Reviews

Having to switch between two different machines can be a pain, right? How about having two in one? It may seem absurd, but nothing is impossible nowadays.

Welder generators are a merger of two separate functioning units. However, they perform together without any interference.

In order to get the best welder generator you can find, you’ll need some tips. That’s what I’m here for!

Read on to find out more about this interesting combination.

Best Welder Generators Reviewed

After thorough research of the worthy welder generators in the market, here’s a roundup of the top picks.

Engine Driven Welder, Bobcat 250
1 Reviews
Engine Driven Welder, Bobcat 250
  • Start type: Electric
  • Great for Stick and Flux-Cored welding
  • Quieter and better sound significant improvements in sound level
  • Amperage range: 40 to 250
  • Provides a safer, more efficient working environment

Pros

Cons

Miller prides itself in the Bobcat 250. The impressive machine can run the most welding applications out of all brands; MIG, TIG, air plasma cutting, flux-core, and air carbon. You name it and the Bobcat will do it for you!

Additionally, you’re not limited to one engine fuel. There are models available that run on diesel, propane, and gasoline. Moreover, the machine has a fuel capacity of 12 gallons. You can run that thing up to twelve hours with one tank.

All Miller welders have a smart-fuel tank design that reduces backsplash when you’re refueling.

Despite all that, Miller has a relatively small size compared to others on the market. It features a 20-inch width, 40.5-inch length, and a 28-inch height.

Furthermore, you can run your Miller Bobcat through all rough environments without a second thought. Its shell casing offers the utmost protection.

The Bobcat boasts a Kohler 23 HP engine that puts competitors to shame. Running at 3600 RPM, it generates 250 amps and 23 horsepower for the welder, while the generator gets 11,000 watts of Accu-rated power and a continuous flow of 9500 watts.

While most welders use DC, the Miller Bobcat uses both DC and AC due to its wide range of applications. DC gives a smoother job with minimal spatters, which suits steel welding. On the other hand, AC is more suitable for TIG and stick welding. You can rest assured, the Miller Bobcat offers both!

Hobart Champion Elite Arc Welder/Generator with 725CC Kohler Gas Engine and Electric Start - 40-225 Amp DC Output, 11,000 Watt AC Power, Model Number 500562
6 Reviews
Hobart Champion Elite Arc Welder/Generator with 725CC Kohler Gas Engine and Electric Start - 40-225 Amp DC Output, 11,000 Watt AC Power, Model Number 500562
  • Mobile source heavy-duty generator/welder
  • 41in.L x 20in.W x 28in.H unit is just under 4ft. long and weighs less than most competitive units
  • Portable, engine-driven solution with 23 HP Kohler twin cylinder, 4-cycle OHV engine
  • Delivers up to 11,000 Watts of AC generator power to run tools, worklights or backup power during an outage
  • 9,500 continuous watts power generation

Pros

Cons

If you want the best value for money, the Hobart Champion Elite is your go-to welder generator. Hobart decided to give Miller and Lincoln a run for their money with this one!

The Elite features an AC generator that produces up to 11,000 watts. As well as a DC welder that has an amperage of 225. What’s more, the continuous flow of 9500 watts promotes a high welding performance for job sites and home use.

You can use the Elite for stick welding, flux-core, and TIG welding. Hobart specializes in a smooth-arc technology that lets you do your job without worrying about sticking.

Furthermore, the Elite has a Kohler CH730 gas-powered engine that boasts 23 horsepower at 3600 RPM. You can weld materials up to ½-inch thick with this beast!

This generator comes with 120V and 240V receptacles and circuit breakers. It’s also an electric start generator, which powers up without the need for ripcords.

At a capacity of 12 gallons, the fuel tank won’t require frequent refilling. Here’s the thing about Kohler engines, they have a sky-high fuel efficiency. Meaning they use a minimum amount of fuel while maximizing productivity. That’s why you can work a lot of hours before having to refuel.

The Elite’s dimensions are moderate; it features a 41.5-inch length, 23.5-inch width, and a 32.9-inch height. It also weighs 495 lbs, which is fairly lighter than similar brands.

As for the maintenance, this Hobart is user-friendly. You have access to the compartment on both sides, which allows you to unclog the machine easily.

- Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G Multiprocess DC Welder/AC Generator Featuring Chopper Technology - 305 Amp DC Welding Output, 9,500 Watt AC Power Output, Model# K1726-5
1 Reviews
- Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G Multiprocess DC Welder/AC Generator Featuring Chopper Technology - 305 Amp DC Welding Output, 9,500 Watt AC Power Output, Model# K1726-5
  • Skewed rotor design provides AC power suitable for operating Lincoln inverter power sources
  • CC-Stick mode is optimized for general purpose stick welding using E7018 low hydrogen electrode
  • Downhill pipe welding mod

Pros

Cons

Efficient, reliable, and has a strong power supply. What’s there not to like about the Lincoln Ranger 305?

With a peak power of 10,500 watts and a continuous power of 9500 watts, the Ranger 305 is ideal for heavy-duty use. The gasoline-powered Kohler engine is designed to do high level jobs.

The AC generator power will work for motor starting, emergency generating, pumping, and whatever else you need on this power.

This machine features a welding amperage that goes up to 300 amps. Additionally, it has both AC and DC welding functions. You can do a variety of tasks with this unit; including wire welding, TIG, flux-core, and stick welding.

The Ranger 305 accommodates a fuel-capacity of 12 gallons. You can weld for numerous hours before having to refuel. On top of that, the engine will automatically shut down when low on fuel, which saves you the hassle of having to shut it down yourself when you need to refuel. The fuel tank opening is also large for easier refueling.

Lincoln put a lot of effort into designing this one. The enclosure protects the engine, which increases its lifespan.

The copper winding in the stator and motor of this machine provides efficient insulation for a safe working environment. Besides, the powder paint finish offers a protective layer that prevents rust and corrosion. It’s also ultraviolet-resistant so it won’t change color.

Aside from the engine warranty that’s issued by its manufacturer, Lincoln has a 3-year warranty for its welders.

The Ranger’s quality system is certified by ISO 9001, which tells you a lot about its reliability.

Lincoln Electric, K2857-1, Engine Driven Welder, Ranger 225
5 Reviews
Lincoln Electric, K2857-1, Engine Driven Welder, Ranger 225
  • 10,500 Watts peak generator power; 9000 Watts continuous power
  • 210 Amps/25V@100% duty cycle
  • MIG, flux-core and TIG welding capable (with optional equipment)
  • Powerful 23 HP Kohler 2-cylinder, 4-cycle engine with overhead valve air-cooled design
  • Totally enclosed case with 3 service access doors keeps the engine fully protected

Pros

Cons

There’s a reason that the Lincoln Ranger 225 ranks among the best welder generators on the market. It’s a remarkable product that does the work of four different machines.

It supports AC and DC welding functions which is a rare quality in welder generators. Whether you want to do MIG, TIG, flux-core, or stick welding, the Lincoln Ranger will handle it. It works for magnetized metal, thin sheets, and aluminum.

The Kohler engine generates 23 horsepower. Additionally, the Ranger has a continuous power of 9000 watts and a peak of 10,500 watts. No matter what welder you want to use, the Ranger will accommodate it.

This machine runs by gasoline. Also, the fuel tank holds up to 12 gallons. Thanks to the Kohler engine, the fuel consumption is lower than what you’d expect.

Refueling is also a piece of cake with this machine; the filling neck is large enough to make it easy for you. Moreover, there are indicators on the sides that tell you when you need to refill.

The Ranger doesn’t have a tube frame. However, its design allows for maximum component protection. The stainless steel encasing will hold up against all types of environments. Plus, the engine is protected by 3 service access doors.

The Lincoln Ranger 225 has an auto-idle feature, which increases the engine’s lifespan and reduces the emitted noise.

The Verdict

The best welder generator out of our top picks is the Miller Bobcat 250. Miller didn’t leave a single feature out of this one. The dual-power function, the welding-applications capacity, and the high endurance, all in one unit!

You also won’t need to worry about the types of fuel I mentioned; the Miller has various models that run on different types. I personally think this unit is a pleasure to own.

Compared to the Lincoln Ranger 225 and 305, which are the only other welders that support both AC and DC welding. Miller has a higher power output, in both peak and continuous power.

Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Welder Generators

Welder generators are not your common machinery. They’re two machines crossbred with each other. Interesting, isn’t it?

But it makes you wonder, how can one machine do both? Or even better, who would benefit from this strange merger?

There are a lot of questions to ask, and I’m here to answer them all!

Who Benefits From Welder Generators?

Welder generators are an innovation that Industrial areas, farms, and construction sites desperately needed for a long time.

A welder generator saves a lot of effort and money and it’s perfect for outdoor welding. Besides, it’s only one machine to worry about on-site, instead of having two to protect from theft.

Instead of buying two machines, you save time and get them combined in one. You use the amount of fuel you’d use on only one of them. Plus, when you’re not welding, you can put it in use as a power generator. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

If you have one at home, you can also use it during emergency outages to power your standard electrical devices.

How Do Welder Generators Work?

Welder generators are welding machines that power themselves. They’re fully independent of a separate power source.

Aside from the self-powering, these welders also generate more energy than needed. That way, they allow you to plug in some devices like a grinder. Additionally, if you have a welder generator that’s powerful enough, you can plug in another welder.

Alternatively, you can use them as stand-alone generators.

Will the Multi-functions Affect the Performance?

Having to perform as two machines will surely affect the unit’s function, right?

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t!

The generator delivers the optimum output, while the welder produces its full amperage capacity without a hitch. The performance will be at its finest on all functions, especially if you go for a trustworthy brand. You won’t have to worry about the consequences of interference.

Are Welder Generators as Noisy as Regular Ones?

Being engine-driven, they can be noisier than regular ones. That’s why they’re best for outdoor use where the noise won’t be a problem.

If you work at home, you’ll want to get a welder that has a noise suppressor. Like the Hobart Champion 145, for example.

Is the Duty Cycle Important?

A machine’s duty cycle is the time that the cycle of operation occupies at a specific amperage. The duty cycle of welder generators is measured as a percentage of 10 minutes.

Meaning, if your machine’s duty cycle is 30% at 150 amps, then you should use the machine for 3 minutes and let it rest for 7 minutes when using it at this amperage.

It’s not just important, it’s vital for maintaining your welder’s power. If you don’t rest the welder according to its duty cycle, you’re risking its engine wearing out.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Welder Generator

There are a couple of things to consider if you want to get the best welder generator out there. Let’s check them out.

Type of Fuel

Most engine-driven welders run on gasoline, but some exceptional ones run on diesel and LP.

The reason most engines are gasoline-powered is that it costs less. Also, gas engines are smaller in size which suits compact-design welders. They’re more suitable for home use.

On the other hand, diesel engines are more fuel-efficient, they use about 30% less fuel. This increases the engine’s lifespan which saves a lot of money. That’s why work sites prefer diesel engines. Because they’re usually banned from storing fuel.

There are a few engines that run on an electronic fuel injection system (EFI), which consumes less fuel than all types, but it’s rare to find.

Now that you have the input you need, you can easily pick the type that suits you.

Power Output

Your usage will determine the ideal power output for you. Most welder generators have an AC output that’s ideal for standard electric tools. However, it can’t be used for all welding applications.

That’s why it’s turned to DC so the welder can run properly. The amperage and wattage of the machine differ according to the manufacturer.

You’ll need to make sure that the power output suits the type of welding you want to do. Heavy work and thick plates require a high amperage. Furthermore, if you’re using power tools in addition to the welding arc, you’ll need enough generated power.

Manufacturer Warranty

You may get a welder generator with manufacturer defects, that’s when the guarantee will come in handy.

You shouldn’t get a machine that has less than a 1-year warranty. It sometimes takes time for you to recognize the issue with your unit.

That’s why all leading brands offer a 3-year warranty, to build trust with the customer.

Portability

When it may be optional for home users, portability is a must for professional users. Moving the welder from one site to another causes trouble more than often. A lightweight welder will be ideal in this case.

As a home user, you’ll want to go for a portable unit so you can easily move it around. A lot of general repair works require mobility

Accessories

Can you imagine paying a hefty amount for a machine then realizing it doesn’t have what you need? Personally, as a business manager, I consider it a nightmare.

That’s why you should know two things; what accessories you need, and the welder that’s compatible with them.

If you’re going for stick welding, you’ll need electrode hoses and clamps.

If you’re a fan of TIG welding, you’ll want to get a torch and tungsten electrodes along with your welder.

Other accessories you may need are a welding gun, carts, a portable wire feeder, a remote control device, and hose assembly. Receiving them with your welder will save you a lot of money, rather than buying them separately.

Design & Weight

A welder’s design has a close relationship with its weight. The heavier it is, the more protected it is.

Welder generators with enclosed casings are typically heavier than others, but the casing offers more protection against harsh environments.

Alternatively, welders with a tube-frame design are lightweight and easier to move. They’re more suitable for home use.