Best Forney MIG Welder
Founded in 1932, Forney Industries is an American company and labels themselves the longest owned family business in the welding and metalworking industry. Over the years they have produced a range of incredible MIG Welders and led the industry in terms of new technology and innovation a lot of the time.
Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder
In this Best Forney MIG Welder Review, we are going to focus on the Forney’s 309 140 model which can weld many types of metals and is really affordable. The duty cycle is much harder than many other machines which means you get to work for a lot longer without breaks. Don’t get us wrong, this is a great machine but it definitely is suited to domestic and hobbyist use more than commercial and heavy-duty work.
If you’re an amateur looking at trying your hand at welding then the Forney 309 140 is the perfect starter tool for you. On the other hand, if you are a professional who welds on a regular basis then we would probably recommend the Hobart 500559 Handler 140!
The Forney comes with flux core and is able to weld up to 3/4 inch thickness in a range of different materials including stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron and aluminium. This model can also use both 4 and 8 inch wire spools and the unique Forney’s cast aluminium wire feeding system helps prevent the wire tangling while being fed through.
The Forney easy weld can run at 20% on 115 Amps and at 35% at 90 Amps. This means that at 115 Amps the Forney 309 140 can be used for 2 minutes before an 8 minute break, whilst if you use this Forney at 90 Amps you can use it for 3 minutes 30 seconds before a 6 minute 30 second break.
The input power of the Forney is 115 volts, which means it can run on most outlets. There is also the option to work at a lower voltage of 90 volts. This uses the same standard outlet and is controlled by a switch on the side of the Forney 309 140 Mig Welder.
This Forney easy-weld weighs about 56 pounds.
What to Look For When Buying a MIG Welder?
There are several things to consider when looking to purchase a metal inert gas welder. In our opinion, the first thing you need to consider is what do you need to do with your mig welder. When asking this question you need to think about a few different things. Examples include: what thickness of metal are you looking to weld with your MIG? What materials will you need to weld? How heavy-duty are the tasks you need to complete?
All of these questions need to be asked in order to make sure that you get the best MIG welder for you. Like if you need the ability to weld higher thicknesses of material with a metal inert gas welder then you will need a more powerful (and expensive) machine. However, you’d be surprised by how much work you can complete with standard welding machines. There is a wide range of different projects you can complete and how much more you can do with a welder as part of your arsenal.
A basic consideration is the power input the welder needs in order to function. In layman’s terms, this just means the voltage that the metal inert gas will run at. Just be aware that not all welders will be suitable for your standard workshop outlets. Generally speaking, if a welder has an input power of 110 to 140 volts then there’s not too much to be concerned about as this is the range a standard home outlet run at.
Some premium and cheap welders on the other hand, will run at about 220 volts power input or have the ability to be switched to run at a higher input voltage. This would mean you would require a totally different outlet altogether.
Changing outlets is a complex project and we highly recommend calling in the help of an expert electrician to do the job for you. You should definitely keep this in mind when you are looking at your budget for buying a MIG Welder as this added expense needs to be accounted for.
Another important thing to consider is the machines duty cycle. If you have never come across the term duty cycle then this simply means how efficient a MIG Welder is. The figures used determines the length of time you can weld for before you need to allow it to rest, in order for you to get the best out of your welder. The duty cycle is also really important to increase the lifespan of the machine, making sure you have a continuous high-performance output.
When looking at different MIG Welders specifications you will come across phrases such as “This welder has a 20% duty cycle when running at 90 Amps,” or “When operating at 135 Amps, the duty cycle is 35%.” What does this mean? Well at Wonkee Donkee we are here to explain it for you.
The first thing that you need to know is that duty cycles as a rule of thumb use ten-minute increments. So a 20% duty cycle at the right amount of Amps gives a welding total time of 2 minutes. After you have operated the welder for these two minutes, you need to allow it to rest for 8 minutes. Where a 35% duty cycle is stated, you can work for 3 minutes 30 seconds and then rest for the 6 minutes 30 seconds remaining. Although Amps vary from one machine to another, most machines have options where you can change the operating voltages by using a dial on the side of the unit.
Consideration of weight is of less importance when buying a welder than most other power tools. The average weight for a machine available on the market is about 50 pounds. Some will be as light as 30 or even lower while there are some that can well exceed 50 pounds. Machines at 50 pounds weight are still very portable, but to make it more effortless to move them around you can use a wheeled cart. These are easily available on the market but are an extra cost you need to consider on purchase.
Most products on the market have safety features in order to cool down a MIG welder when in use. One of these is called Thermal Overload Protection and in our opinion, this is the best on the market. This technology works through monitoring the temperature of the machine, if this reaches a certain point it simply cuts the machine out. Two machines with this feature are the LONGEVITY Mig weld 140 and LOTOS MIG175 175Amp.
Similarly, the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy has a cooling fan to prevent high temperatures, and the Hobart 500536 Ironman even has a “fan-on-demand” that is triggered when overheating is sensed during the welding process. Overall, the risks of overheating include wasted time and increased the expenditure of shielding gas, so the thermal overload protection is a nice feature to look out for if you can afford it.
The safety feature on the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy is a cooling fan that stops high temperatures. While the Hobart 500536 Ironman’s is “fan-on-demand”. The fan works by sensing overheating while welding is taking place. The chances of overheating and the time wasted plus the increased spending on shielding gas make having a thermal overload protection feature very worthwhile if you can afford it.