Top 9 Best Welder Generator For The Money in 2020 [Reviews & Buyer’s Guide]

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There is no such thing as a pitch-perfect working condition. No matter what the job is there should always be a backup plan. The same goes for welding. There are tons of situations when an external power source might be necessary. For example, a power outage might occur.

In these situations, you cannot afford to waste valuable time waiting for the power to come back. And that is why you need a welder generator. If you look online there are tons of brands and types of generators to choose from. So, to spare you from hours of research and scouring through the net we did that for you.

We have made a list of top 9 best welder generators that are available in the market. We’ve also added some in-depth information on engine driven welders to help you better understand what you should look for and make your choice.

Top 5 Welder Generators Comparison (Side by Side)

Preview
Best Overall
Miller Trailblazer 325 (Kohler) Engine Drive Welder/Generator 907753
- 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
Engine Driven Welder, Ranger
Engine Driven Welder, Bobcat 250
Best Portable
Engine Driven Welder, Bulldog 5500
Peak Power
12,000 watts
10,500 watts
11,000 watts
11,000 watts
5,500 watts
Max Output
300A
305A
250A
250A
140A
Mode
Stick, TIG, MIG, Cored-wire, Plasma
Stick, TIG, MIG, Cored-wire
Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-Cored, Gouging
Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-cored, Plasma and Arc gouging
Stick
Weight
468 lbs
510 lbs
602 lbs
501 lbs
198 lbs
Best Overall
Preview
Miller Trailblazer 325 (Kohler) Engine Drive Welder/Generator 907753
Peak Power
12,000 watts
Max Output
300A
Mode
Stick, TIG, MIG, Cored-wire, Plasma
Weight
468 lbs
Price on Amazon
Preview
Engine Driven Welder, Ranger
Peak Power
11,000 watts
Max Output
250A
Mode
Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-Cored, Gouging
Weight
602 lbs
Price on Amazon
Preview
Engine Driven Welder, Bobcat 250
Peak Power
11,000 watts
Max Output
250A
Mode
Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-cored, Plasma and Arc gouging
Weight
501 lbs
Price on Amazon
Best Portable
Preview
Engine Driven Welder, Bulldog 5500
Peak Power
5,500 watts
Max Output
140A
Mode
Stick
Weight
198 lbs
Price on Amazon

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What Is A Welder Generator?

A welder generator is a device that is used as both a welding machine and a generator. These devices are usually used for STICK welding but depending on the user can also be used for MIG and TIG welding as well. When required they also act as a generator to power any other device that you might need.

They are usually powered by gas, diesel or propane. Lightweight welder generators are typically used just to add portability to your welding. So, that you are not bound to a specific location and can move about freely as you weld.

But larger heavy-duty welder generators are used to power any other equipment you might have at your work site along with the welding itself.

How To Choose The Best Welder Generator?

Knowing what to look for in the welder generator is a key first step to make sure you are getting the best for your buck. When it comes you welder generators you first have to determine what you need and the nature of your work.

Depending on that there are a handful of things you should look for when buying a welder generator. And here they are –

  • Weight: A bigger welder generator does not necessarily mean a better welder generator. It depends on your needs and whether or not you are planning on using other equipment. A bigger welder generator generally means it has more power. So, if you are going to use the generator for powering other equipment then you might need to bring home a big one.
  • On the other hand, smaller welder generators are primarily designed to just power the welder. They are much more portable and lighter than larger ones.
  • Power: In the market, you can find welder generators that support from 4,000 watts to 20,000 watts. In this case, you have figure out how long you are going to use the machine. Also, what other equipment you plan on powering with the welder generator.
  • Fuel: Welder generators support all sorts of fuel. Like gas, diesel, propane. Some support more types of fuel than others. It is good to have your welder generator support different types of fuels as different work conditions may require different types of fuel. For example, some job sites do not allow the use of gasoline.
  • Outlets: If you are going to use your welder generator to power various other equipment then you should make sure that the machine supports a decent number of outlets.
  • Amperage: The maximum amperage of your welder generator may determine which equipment you can power or can’t power. So, pay close attention to the supported amperage.
  • Accessories: Accessories enhance the user experience no matter what the machine is. The same goes for welder generators. Check for what type of accessories a welder generator supports and think about how they can help you in your work.

For example, some welder generators come with a remote that can be used to control the amperage and various other functions from a distance.

Benefits Of Using Engine Driven Welder

There are many benefits to using a welder generator over a standard welding machine. Let’s talk about a few of them.

  • Great portability: Unlike a welding machine with welder generators, you can move about freely and drag your machine to anywhere you see fit. This makes welder generators great for doing large projects and repairs around the farm.
  • Uninterrupted power: The welder generator is its power source. So, you don’t have to worry about power outages. You don’t even have to worry about requiring power outlets near your job site.
  • Works as a generator: As the name implies the welder generator works as both a welder and a generator as well. This means you can power other equipment if needed considering your welder generator is powerful enough.

Top 9 Best Engine Driven Welder Reviews

We made a list of top 9 best engine driven welders available in the market. And here they are –

1. Lincoln Ranger 250 GTX

Lincoln Ranger 250 GXT Reviews
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If you are looking for the best bang for your buck then Lincoln Ranger 250 GTX is what you are looking for. It strikes a perfect balance between power and portability. At 11,000 watts this welder generator can power your equipment alongside the welding with ease.

This 600 lbs. beast was designed with contractors in mind. The size is compact enough to be easily moved around making it quite portable and easy to work with. For an 11,000-watt machine that is impressive, to say the least.

It has 120V and 240V supported outlets. So, you can expect to use it with heavy-duty tools like plasma cutters. You can plug in up to four 120V equipment to this device. The Lincoln Ranger 250 GTX is great for STICK, MIG and TIG welding. So, you have plenty of options. It comes with remote control as well.

Specifications

  • Brand: Lincoln Electric
  • Model: Ranger 250 GTX
  • Peak Power: 11,000 watts
  • Output: 120V/240V
  • Welding Modes: STICK, MIG, TIG, Flux-cored
  • Weight: 600 lbs.
  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Dimensions: 42.3 x 21.5 x 36.2 inches

Features

  • Powerful: The Lincoln Ranger 250 GTX has a peak power of 11,000 watts. This makes it quite more than just adequate to be used with all sorts of equipment with decent backup time.
  • Decently portable: The generator-welder is quite compact for the amount of power it holds. This makes it easy to carry around. This machine was designed with contractors in mind. So, it was built to be moved around which can be observed by how easy it is to handle.
  • Remote control: The 250 GTX comes with a remote control that can control various functions from afar. This makes using the machine a breeze and enhances the work experience.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Well built
  • 11,000 watts of power
  • 120V/240V outlets
  • Quite portable for a device so powerful
  • Remote control
  • Can be used for STICK/MIG/TIG welding/Flux-cored welding

Cons

  • Kind of heavy

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Lincoln Ranger 250 GXT Reviews<<<

2. Lincoln Ranger 225 welder generator

Lincoln Ranger 225 Review
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The Lincoln Ranger 225 is another of Lincoln’s popular generator-welders. The generator can provide 9,000 watts of continuous power. This is great for welding. With such power, the device can also be used to plug in other equipment like plasma cutters, lights, heating, etc.

This generator has a great noise reduction system with a 76.4 dBA sound level at 23 ft. This makes the piece great to work with. It supports various modes of welding such as STICK, TIG, MIG, and Flux-cored. With 23 HP KOHLER gasoline engine, the welder generator is very fuel-efficient.

Specifications

  • Brand: Lincoln Electric
  • Model: Ranger 225
  • Peak Power: 10,500 watts
  • Output: 50-225A DC
  • Welding Modes: STICK, MIG, TIG and Flux Cored
  • Weight: 514 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 29.9 x 21.5 x 42.3 inches

Features

  • Supports various welding operations: The Lincoln ranger 225 supports all sorts of welding techniques. Whether it is STICK, TIG or MIG it can do it all. You can even do Flux-cored welding.
  • 9000 watts continuous power: The engine ensures 9000 watts of continuous power with a maximum of 10,500 watts at peak. This is great for connecting multiple types of equipment at a time and powering them for long hours.
  • Efficient engine: The 23 HP KOHLER gasoline engine is very efficient and only drains 1.5 gallons/hour at 210 amps DC, 25V with a 100% duty cycle.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Durable build
  • 9,000 watts of continuous power
  • Quite portable
  • Low noise
  • Can be used for STICK/MIG/TIG welding/Flux-cored welding

Cons

  • Still pretty heavy

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Lincoln Ranger 225 Review<<<

3. Lincoln Electric Vantage 300 Welder Generator

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The Lincoln Electric Vantage 300 is built for construction workers. With 12,500 watts of power, this generator is ready to tackle the most demanding jobs. Power various types of equipment while you weld as the large capacity is plenty for anything you throw at it.

The four-cylinder 1800 RPM Kubota diesel engine if very efficient and super quiet. The standard engine gauges allow you to monitor performance easily. It has a 20-gallon fuel tank that supports long hours without the need for frequent refilling.

With Lincoln Electric’s patented Lincoln Electric Chopper Technology, the Vantage 300 delivers excellent DC arc welding performance for Stick, downhill pipe, TIG, MIG, cored-wire and arc gouging.

Specifications

  • Brand: Lincoln Electric
  • Model: Vantage 300
  • Peak Power: 12,500 watts
  • Maximum Output: 400A
  • Welding Modes: Stick, downhill pipe, TIG, MIG, cored-wire and arc gouging
  • Weight: 1035 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 35.9 x 25.3 x 60.0 inches

Features

  • High power: The Vantage 300 has a peak power of 12,500. This makes it a great choice for professional work requiring long work time. With such power, you can expect to plug in a number of construction equipment.
  • Many welding capabilities: The Vantage 300 supports Stick, downhill pipe, TIG, MIG, cored-wire and arc gouging. This provides plenty of versatility to the user. A wide range of supported welding techniques makes this machine great for any situation and compatible with welders with various levels of experience and preference.
  • Large fuel tank: The 20-gallon fuel tank is great for large projects. This ensures that the machine runs for a great time before needing a refill.

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Great work time
  • Large fuel tank
  • Very versatile
  • Low noise

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Very heavy

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Lincoln Vantage 300 Reviews<<<

4. Miller Bobcat 250

Miller Bobcat 250
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Miller is renowned in the industry for their quality and top tier products. The Miller Bobcat 250 is a clear example of their goodwill. The welder generator peaks at 11,000 watts. So, there is very little that this machine can’t handle.

The engines of the Bobcat 250 welder generators are rotated towards the front to create more efficient airflow that ensures in super quiet operation. This generator is about 5 inches shorter and 55 lbs lighter than the previous generation of Miller’s making them much more portable.

The EFI gas engine is designed to optimize air/fuel ratio to ensure efficient use of fuel and minimize emissions. As a result, the Bobcat 250 not only saves you money but also saves the environment.

Specifications

  • Brand: Miller Electric
  • Model: Bobcat 250
  • Peak Power: 11,000 watts
  • Maximum Output: 250A
  • Welding Modes: Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-cored, Plasma and arc gouging
  • Weight: 501 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 20 x 28 x 40.5 inches

Features

  • EFI engine: The electronic fuel injection system is great for better-optimized fuel consumption and reducing carbon emissions. This makes this generator very economic in the long run and also environment-friendly. According to Miller Electronics, the Bobcat 250 emits 27% less CO.
  • Multiple-welding modes: The Bobcat 250 supports a wide range of welding techniques. Such as Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-cored, Plasma and arc gouging. So, it can be used in any scenario and by welders of all classes and experience.
  • Very quiet: The Bobcat 250’s unique engine design makes the machine 33% less quiet than the previous generation of welders.

Pros

  • Powerful engine
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Supports many welding techniques
  • Environment-friendly
  • Efficient fuel usage

Cons

  • May have some heating issues

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Miller Bobcat 250 Review<<<

5. Hobart Champion Elite

Hobart Champion Elite Review
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The Hobart Champion Elite offers a wide variety of features and pretty impressive specs that make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to buy a welder generator. The innovative Hobart technology ensures smooth arc starts with minimal “Sticking”. Continuous 9,500 watts of power allow you to run compressors, pumps. Lights and other types of equipment.

The OHV Kohler engine is very efficient and ensures long hours of continuous function before needing a refill. The 12-gallon fuel tank also plays a part in the decent operation time of the Hobart Champion Elite.

Specifications

  • Brand: Hobart
  • Model: Champion Elite
  • Peak Power: 11,000 watts
  • Maximum Output: 225A
  • Welding Modes: Stick, TIG
  • Weight: 490 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 41 x 20 x 28 inches

Features

  • Lightweight: The Hobart Champion Elite is one of the lightest engine driven welders of its class weighing at only 490 lbs. This makes it easy to move around.
  • Durable build: This welder generator is built to last with premium-grade materials. Tightly enclosed and rugged wires ensure long time dependability.
  • Automatic oil servicing: The Hobart Champion Elite automatically changes oil every 100 hours. Relieving you of the hassle of doing this manually.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Rugged build
  • Very powerful
  • “No tools” oil change
  • Efficient
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Generator design is a bit outdated
  • DC weld only

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>>>Hobart Champion Elite Review<<<

6. Hobart Champion 145

Hobart Champion 145 Reviews
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For those looking for a more portable option, the Hobart Champion 145 is a great engine driven welder. At only 222 lbs. it is easily dragged around with the added running gear. This makes it an excellent choice for farmers looking to buy a compact and portable device for doing maintenance or homeowners interested in doing some DYI projects.

For a portable device, the Hobart Champion 145 is no slouch. It can support a long duration of welding while powering various other equipment. With a 6.25-gallon fuel tank and a fuel-efficient engine, you will rarely need to refill.

Specifications

  • Brand: Hobart
  • Model: Champion 145
  • Peak Power: 4,500 watts
  • Maximum Output: 145A
  • Welding Modes: SMAW (Shield metal arc welding)
  • Weight: 222 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 20 x 24.75 x 31 inches

Features

  • Great generator power: The Hobart Champion 145 supports 4,500 watts peak and 4,000 watts of continuous power to power various construction tools along with the welding.
  • Portable: The welder-generator is super lightweight at only 222 lbs. and comes with running gear. So, you easily carry it around the job site without a hassle.
  • Efficient engine: The Briggs and Stratton Intek engine is designed to conserve fuel and ensure long operation time.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • 4,000 watts of continuous power
  • Efficient engine

Cons

  • Not many options when it comes to welding techniques

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Hobart Champion 145 Reviews<<<

7. Lincoln Bulldog 5500: Best Portable Welder Generator

Lincoln Bulldog 5500 Reviews
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Lincoln Electric has its own version of a portable lightweight welder generator and it is the Bulldog 5500. It weighs only 198 lbs. and has a peak output of 5500 watts. It supports Stick welding and can power multiple other construction equipment. It’s compact and can easily fit at the back of your truck.

Specifications

  • Brand: Lincoln Electric
  • Model: Bulldog 5500
  • Peak Power: 5,500 watts
  • Maximum Output: 140A
  • Welding Modes: Stick
  • Weight: 198 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 25.6 x 21.8 x 31.5 inches

Features

  • Lightweight: The Bulldog 5500 is super light at only 198 lbs. This ensures great portability.
  • Rugged tube frame: The tube frame is very durable and protects the machine from damage.
  • Power various tools: With a peak output of 5500 watts it can power various tools such as Grinder, work lights, pumps, etc.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Super lightweight
  • Rugged frame
  • Compact size
  • 55,00 watts peak output
  • Low lift grab bars

Cons

  • Only good for Stick welding
  • No running gear

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Lincoln Bulldog 5500 Reviews<<<

8. Lincoln Ranger 305G Welder Generator

Lincoln Ranger 305G Reviews
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The Lincoln Ranger 305G is a great 9,500 watts welder generator for powering multiple tools at the job site and for welding as well. It can easily weld materials like Steel, stainless steel and cast iron. It supports various types of welding techniques. The Ranger 305G is a reliable device for smooth and clean welding as well as for providing power when needed.

Specifications

  • Brand: Lincoln Electric
  • Model: Ranger 305G
  • Peak Power: 10,500 watts
  • Maximum Output: 305A
  • Welding Modes: Stick, TIG, MIG, cored-wire and pipe welding.
  • Weight: 510 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 36.2 x 21.5 x 42.3 inches

Features

  • EFI engine: The EFI engine is very fuel-efficient and ensures reduced carbon emissions to ensure lower costs and reduce pollution.  
  • Many welding processes: The ranger 305G supports a wide variety of welding processes such as Stick, TIG, MIG, cored-wire and pipe welding.
  • Easy monitoring: With digital weld meters you can easily monitor the amps and volts with precision and properly control the engine output.

Pros

  • High power
  • Efficient engine
  • Fuel conservation
  • Supports many welding techniques
  • Digital weld meters
  • Reduced fuel consumption

Cons

  • Very heavy

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Lincoln Ranger 305G Reviews<<<

9. Miller Trailblazer 325

Miller Trailblazer 325 Review
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The 25 HP 12,000 watts Miller Trailblazer 325 is the ultimate welder generator for taking on serious projects. The large peak output means the generator can support long hours of back up while using to power multiple construction equipment. With precise arc control, you can optimize the arc to your liking for getting the best out of your work.

It has Auto-Speed technology that slows down the engine and reduces fuel consumption according to load. This conserves fuel and prolongs the time before a refill is required. The EFI engines also are highly fuel-efficient increasing the owner’s profits in the long run.

Specifications

  • Brand: Miller
  • Model: Trailblazer 325G
  • Peak Power: 12,000 watts
  • Maximum Output: 300A
  • Welding Modes: Stick, TIG, MIG, cored-wire, and plasma.
  • Weight: 486 lbs.
  • Fuel: Gas
  • Dimensions: 20 x 28x 40.5 inches

Features

  • Very Powerful Engine: The 12,000 watts engine can power anything you might require at the construction site such as plasma cutters, lights. Pumps etc.
  • Auto-Speed technology: With Auto-Speed technology the Trailblazer 325 optimizes engine operation according to load. This reduces fuel consumption and saves up costs.
  • EFI engine: The EFI engine is very fuel-efficient and conserves fuel. This means fewer costs and less frequent refilling.

Pros

  • Great Value
  • High power
  • Many supported welding techniques
  • Auto-Speed technology
  • Efficient engine
  • Low noise
  • Low Fuel consumption
  • Comparative low weight

Cons

  • High price

Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

>>>Miller Trailblazer 325 Review<<<

Wrapping Up

We’ve chosen the Miller Trailblazer 325 as our top pick for this list. Yes, it is a bit expensive but it exceeds all other welder generators in almost every way.

At 12000 watts of peak output, the engine driven welder weighs only 468 lbs. which is less than all the other pro-grade heavy-duty welder generators in this list. Lightweight, powerful engine and unique fuel conservation mechanics make the Trailblazer 325 the best welder generator you can buy.

We sincerely hope that our list of the top 9 welder generators was helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by.

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