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As the title says.

I’m new to the industry and want to go for my LA Cert along with my AWS Cert, and I wanted a little stick welder for under $250 that I can use for home projects. Railings, gates, building a gas forge and just more practice for welding tests. It needs to be 110v input since that is our house current, although I wouldn’t mind it being a 110v/220v fo a later dedicated circuit since I have the space for it. 
I don’t know much about electrical, so that being said is there a big difference between 110v and 120v. 

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I would say Lincoln or Hobart inverter welder are the way to go, but there are heaps of reviews on other brands too. Search for reviews like "welding champs" or similar pages.

As for the voltage difference, to put it in simple terms, the higher the volts, the more power you can deliver. There is no practical difference between 110v and 120v, only a nominal difference. There is however a big difference between 110v and 220v as you probably know. 

Many of the Lincoln welders sold here, are multi input, meaning they take from 110v to 240v and also 50 or 60 hz. Check what is available in your area. What defines the welder is the Amp output. For small projects 180amp should be plenty.

One big difference you must keep in mind is the machine itself. Old buzz boxes are transformers you can have for $50 but they are not the easiest way to weld if you are not experienced. Modern machines have a bag of electronics, they are called inverters and achieve a much more steady output and make welding much easier. Many will also allow for stick, mig and tig welding from the same inverter.   Inverters used to be unreliable and the board would go up in smoke at the drop of a hat. Today reputable brands work much better and are more reliable. 

Let us know what you find. Best of luck :)

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2nd everything Marc said.

I just picked up a Lincoln Square Wave 200. It runs on 110 or 220. It will weld bronze all day long, so I know it will weld aluminum (preheat required for thicker sections.)

It is unlikely that I will ever use the 110 cord unless I have to do a small stainless repair in a commercial kitchen or something else requiring very little amps.

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In the USA power is about 125 volts per line at the transformer. Code allows a 5% drop to the meter, then another 5% of that from the meter base to the  outlet,  so that is why there can be 110v, 115v or 120v  listed interchangeably for a rating

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Now that is a very interesting tidbit. Thanks, Steve.

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I've wondered about that since I noticed the differences. Thanks for demystifying another corner of my world, Steve. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:21 AM, Steve Sells said:

In the USA power is about 125 volts per line at the transformer....

So just curious:  I've had people blow like a pinched-off tea kettle over one person saying 110 and another 120 or various combinations.   I've even had people go into long diatribes about RMS vs average vs whatever as though it mattered regarding a generic question.  Clearly, some people need to take a chill pill on the subject but... Is there a preferred voltage to use when referencing such things in USA text such as asking a question?  If we are going to choose some voltage to call it,  which one?

On a similar note, it seems people can get even more wound up when talking 220-230-240 V end of things.  Again, is there a preferred voltage to generally reference in the USA or is there true variation in what is being supplied on that end?  

Or are the crackpots going to crackpot no matter what get's referenced...

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what ever the name plate says is fine.   Amps x Volts  equals power factor. so

                           listing 10 amps @ 110 volts means it uses 1100 watts

                           listing 10 amps @ 125 volts means it uses 1250 watts.

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:00 AM, Kozzy said:

So just curious:  I've had people blow like a pinched-off tea kettle over one person saying 110 and another 120 or various combinations.   I've even had people go into long diatribes about RMS vs average vs whatever as though it mattered regarding a generic question.  Clearly, some people need to take a chill pill on the subject but... Is there a preferred voltage to use when referencing such things in USA text such as asking a question?  If we are going to choose some voltage to call it,  which one?

On a similar note, it seems people can get even more wound up when talking 220-230-240 V end of things.  Again, is there a preferred voltage to generally reference in the USA or is there true variation in what is being supplied on that end?  

Or are the crackpots going to crackpot no matter what get's referenced...

If you google USA power supply you will find the answer. Far from being a technical issue today, is actually a historic nominal issue. Edison chose 110V as the first power system as a good compromise. It worked well for incandescent light bulb without burning it too soon. By 1930 the voltage was increased to 115V and in 1968 motors had to reflect this voltage rating. In 1984 the code for load calculations changed again to 120V. Does it matter for the consumer? Unless you are an electrical engineer that needs to work out loads and wire sizes, probably not. After all you as a consumer don't have any say over what comes out of your outlet. if you had a voltmeter plugged in permanently next to your outlet, I bet the voltage will change from day to day and between day and night time according to your location and your area overall load, summer or winter, population etc.

Read the nameplate of your domestic appliances and motor plates and you will see 110,115 and 120 in any irreverent order, just like we have 220v 230v and 240v in Australia.  We used to have 240V but now is more like 230V

Does it matter? Not really. As long as you plug in the right outlet, and they are shaped to prevent errors.  :)

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Marc1 said:

If you google USA power supply you will find the answer.

Does it matter? Not really. As long as you plug in the right outlet, and they are shaped to prevent errors.  :)

 

Thanks for your take on it.  This is one of those items (when referenced elsewhere) which seems to bring the trolls out of the woodwork for some reason:  Mention 110 in a post and someone will read you the riot act about how it's not 110, it's 120.  Mention 120 and the next person will go on a tirade about how it really isn't 120 at all so you shouldn't call it that.  Similar with the 240v-ish version of things.  The real question is whether there is a preferred reference to use..what do people who do this for a living usually call it in their references.

So for my own sanity, I'm just going to stick with 120v and 240v for casual conversation and questions.  I personally understand that it's really more complex (if one chooses to get into the voltage weeds) but if the trolls elsewhere want to get their panties in a bunch,  that's their problem.  I'm sick of playing the "yes but.." game when it was just a simple question and the minute details are not the point.  A simple question like "Are you considering a 120V or 240V welder?" doesn't need a full-on voltage terminology lecture.   

Can you tell I got ripped by someone recently? :) 

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Ha ha, I remember my brother who lives in Italy and only knows 220V asking what do we have in Oz ... when i said 240V he said Ooooh Fanatic !

As if i have a home generator and crank it up that much more to be that much bigger than him. :P

A much more interesting debate, rather than voltage is frequency. 60HZ is actually better for the generator side than 50HZ yet most of the world goes on 50. 220V~240V requires smaller cables than 110~120V, so one would think that ideal domestic power should be 240V 60HZ, however most countries that use 60HZ use 120V and those on 50HZ go for 240V. Japan actually uses both and that does not seem to faze them one bit :)

Standardization of power supply is old hat and would cost a bomb to change, a bit like changing the side of the road you drive on. 

Just plug and play, and follow all the rules. 

I believe that you guys can do electrical work in your own home without being qualified? We can not legally do any electrical or plumbing work unless we hold a trade license in Australia. 

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It's not a stick welder but I just seen a Hobart toolmate 100 115v flux core wire welders for $134 at Tractor Supply Company. 

Pnut

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