How To Find A Good Used Welder
Many DIY welders, contractors and professional welders are in the market for a high-quality used welder in good condition – one that provides a lot of value for the spent. Purchasing a good used welder also makes sense for the beginning welder who wants to learn and practice their skills on a used welder before deciding if it’s a hobby, trade or general skill that they want to pursue.
These tips will give you clear pointers for how to find a good used welder. Follow them and you’ll likely end up with a machine that meets your needs and one that leaves more money in your pocket.
Know What You Are Looking For.
To know what you need requires having a handle on what type of welds you’ll typically be doing. Is the welder for use around your home where you’ll fix a bike or motorcycle frames, weld a tail pipe, maybe replace a quarter panel on the car you’re restoring, and welds like these? If so, a quality portable welder will serve your needs – one with a maximum output in the 140 amp to 180-amp range. Quality portable welders in this class are made by Hobart, Miller Electric, Lincoln Electric and others.
If you plan to do heavy-duty welding on construction equipment, heavy-gauge trailer steel, pipeline, etc., then a larger welder in the 240 amp to 260-amp range is more suitable. The first principle of getting a deal is to read welder reviews and make sure you buy a welder that will meet your needs, otherwise it is wasted money.
Know Where to Look – and Start with eBay or Amazon
It is not a bad idea to start with your local area and then shop areas within a reasonable drive. Just don’t spend $50 extra in gas to save $25 on a welder.
Many online shops certainly have good used welders for sale. A better approach is to shop for a used welder on large auction sites like eBay, amazon or your own preferred site, Amazon, that cover the entire country with one search. At any given time, for example, there are dozens of quality used welders being auctioned on eBay, welders from leading brands like ESAB, Hobart and Miller Electric. You’ll also be able to evaluate the reliability of the seller in many cases, moreso than is possible on classified sites.
Watch for Local Auctions
It seems like every year a good number of local farms, ranches, auto-body shops or fabrication shops are sold at auction – including all of the equipment. Look for auctions in your local paper or in the area’s farming weekly. Keep abreast of the upcoming auctions on the websites of auctioneers in your area. They will often list the pieces of equipment that are to be auctioned – or a simple call to the auctioneer will uncover that.
If you plan to attend an auction, first know exactly what you are looking for. Auctions typically have preview days where you can examine equipment first hand – always a great idea. Set your budget ahead of time and refuse to go over it. Don’t get carried away if the bidding gets hot!
Plan to Do Some Maintenance
It is possible that when you purchase a used welder you’ll need to do some maintenance to it such as replace the contact tip, the part that often wears out most quickly. This is a normal part of welder maintenance and the tips are not very expensive.
Look for Scratch and Dent Deals
Not exactly used deals, but slightly damaged equipment can represent a good bargain too. Simply make sure the damage is cosmetic or something that can be fixed so that the machine functions properly. If there’s a welding supply shop near you, a farm and ranch store, or other dealer, stop by and ask if they have any – or ask to be contacted in the event one gets damaged the next time a batch of them gets unloaded.