The most common types of welding combinations include TIG, MIG, and stick. By combining the various processes of a more dedicated welders, this type of rig allows you to weld different materials with an easier setup than several dedicated welders. Aside from plasma cutting, TIG welding offers the largest range of materials that you able to work with.
Keep in mind this one simple caveat, most multi process welders run on a DC current so that means they will not be able to MIG-weld aluminum.
The Best Multi Process Welder – Quick View
We have a short list of only a few as we have some stringent requirements and from our experience, only these multi process welder and plasma cutter combo rigs met them.
Everlast Powerultra 206PI
50A Plasma Cutter
3/8" @ 120v
1/2" @ 240V
3/8" @ 12 ipm
1/2" @ 3-5 ipm
|16 x 7 x 13
50A Plasma Cutter
1/2" @ 3-5 ipm
What are the Benefits of a Multi Process Welder?
The three primary benefits of multi process welders are price, space, and convenience.
Price: A multi process welder is nearly the same cost as a dedicated welder or plasma cutter. This equates to a savings of about three times over what you pay for an individual TIG, stick, MIG, and plasma cutters. I’m not sure about you, but if I can save money and get the same power, features and quality of several machines in one, I will definitely consider it.
Space: Now since you only need one device versus three or four, you have quite a bit of space savings. This isn’t a big deal if you have a large shop, but if you need to be mobile or have a smaller home shop, this is a major benefit.
Convenience: If you are a hobbyist or other non-professional welder, you will appreciate the ability to rapidly switch from one process to another without needing multiple rigs. Now coming from a farming background, this convenience is one of the main benefits that sold me on a multi process welder.
Best Multi Process Welder Reviews
Everlast Powerultra 206PI
Designed as an entry level machine that can take the load for anything from single tradesmen to small garages, the Powerultra 206PI is a solid, reliable combination welder/plasma cutter that has a lot to recommend.
This is the latest model, and Everlast have made sure to install as much tech as they can to make this as simple as possible to use. It’s simple enough that an absolute beginner could pick this up, get it set up out of the box and start welding or cutting within an hour or two, and still produce consistent, clean welds.
But there’s still enough control that the veterans amongst us will appreciate, with a suite of options that are easily accessible from the front mounted digital controls. Plus there’s a load of safety features and minor touches that can make a lot of difference when it comes to the finished product.
Of course, it’s still an entry level machine, so it might lack a little polish, but when you’re only spending this much, you can expect a few rough edges, right? All that matters is that this unit is capable of consistent, high quality welds and a robust, surprisingly fast plasma cutting feature.
It offers reliable performance at both voltages, with a maximum welding thickness of 5/16ths of an inch on a single pass, and half an inch with multiple passes at 240V. It can still weld up to 3/8 of an inch on 120V, so even if you’re running this from home without heavy duty power, you can relax, because it’s going to do the vast majority of small jobs with no complaint.
As a welder, it’s simple to use, with two preset pulse settings for incredibly simple set up. It’s entirely possible to just plug this in, connect it up, throw a couple switches and start welding. The clear and easy to read digital controls on the front really help with this, as well. It’s all laid out in a smart way, and I never found myself hunting for particular switches, like I have with some models in the past.
Once you get into the job itself, the decent duty cycle keeps you working for as long as possible, with a decent 60% even at max amps. It also comes with down slope and post flow controls, for even cleaner, more manageable welds.
It’s pretty good as a portable unit, as well, considering it’s not too heavy. The only issue with this is if you need it to function as both a welder and cutter wherever you’re taking it, ’cause you’ll be taking a lot of cabling, gas and other sundries. Of course, it’s still less than you’d have to take with two separate systems, so it’s still a better choice.
Bear in mind you cannot use this to weld aluminum, as it’s a DC only machine. So if that’s a capability you need, you’re going to have to either look elsewhere or rely on another machine you might have.
The plasma cutter can still cut aluminum, however. As a plasma cutter, this unit is deceptively good. In my opinion, it’s actually a better plasma cutter than welder.
It cuts ¼ inch easy, at a decent rate of 15 -20 ipm, with a 3/8 clean cut and ½ inch maximum severance, still chugging along at around 3-4 inches per minute.
The torch is reasonable quality. I mean, it’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s still easily good enough to be getting along with, especially if you’re not using this as a plasma cutter as it’s primary function. The torch fits easily into the hand, and the 10ft cable is long enough to work around without being obtrusive or getting in the way.
All of the torches on this system run on DINSE style connectors, so switching them over or picking up different attachments is simple. It’s good that they’re easy to switch, ’cause changing from welding to cutting means you have to switch everything over.
The only real downside with this unit, apart from the fact it can’t weld aluminum? It can go through consumables pretty fast. But considering what you’re getting, and the fact that consumables for this system aren’t particular bank breaking, it’s not that big an issue.
Weight: 40lbs (18.1kg)
Amps: 200 TIG/stick 50A plasma cutter
Power source: DC
Duty cycle: 60% at 200A
Max weld thickness: 3/8″ at 120V, 1/2″ at 240V
Maximum severance: 1/2″ at 3-5 IPM
Dual voltage settings, so it runs on both 120V and 240V power supplies.
Good welding and cutting thicknesses, speeds, and a solid duty cycle, especially at high amps.
Comparatively light and easy to move, especially for a combination unit.
If you’re changing processes, you have to swap cables and the gas line. But this doesn’t take long, and it’s a simple procedure.
Can be heavy on consumables.
Conclusion on the Everlast Powerultra 206PI
As an entry level machine, the Powerultra 206PI just keeps on delivering. With solid performance whether you’re welding or cutting, a solid duty cycle that’s easy to work around and simple set up and tear down, it’s a great combo unit for someone who needs it all. And all this at a really reasonable price.
The first triple system on the market, Lotos really struck a winner when they found a way to combine a welding system and plasma cutter in the same chassis.
Light, easy to set up and move around and really easy to use, this system is great for anyone who’s looking to equip their home workshop with a decent suite of tools without having to remortgage the house. It’s also pretty decent for someone who relies on having a solid welder and plasma cutter available, especially if they need it to be portable.
Now, obviously you can’t have everything, and this is really just a smaller, starter machine, so don’t expect the same performance you’d get from something like a Hobart or Miller. But then those machines are going to be two or three times the cost, so like anything, you get what you pay for.
If you’re smart about what you need and can work around the limitations, buying this will get you a hard working little welder and cutter that should last a good long time.
First, it’s incredibly easy to set up and use. You just need to connect it up, turn it on, set the current and start. It also comes with everything you need to start TIG welding, stick welding or plasma cutting straight out of the box, as long as you’ve got the gas or air you need.
There’s also a few nice additions to the welder which you wouldn’t expect on something this price, including a non touch high frequency start option, which makes striking an arc so easy.
It’s also got a pilot arc torch, which means surface imperfections and paint don’t stall the arc and stop you welding. Whilst we obviously don’t recommend going into a job intending to weld over rust and paint, sometimes these things are necessary.
It’s also got a surprisingly high end cooling system, with an Ebm-Papst fan keeping everything running, which is a lovely touch.
The kit comes with everything you need, including cutting torch, TIG torch, stick welder torch, consumables, a ground clamp, air filter and argon regulator. The torch is a reasonable quality and comfortable to use, especially considering you can adjust the trigger to use with your thumb or forefinger. It also has the option for foot pedal control, which is great if that’s something you’re used to. Bear in mind there’s no foot pedal included in the starter kit, though.
The plasma cutter is pretty good, as long as you don’t overstretch it. The manufacturers say it has a maximum severance of ¾ of an inch, with a standard cutting thickness of ½ an inch. General experience suggests this is a little generous, so we’d recommend dialing it back to ½” max severance and around 3/8” for clean cutting to be sure it’s going to be fine.
Apart from that though, the plasma cutter is pretty robust, with a decent responsiveness and clean edges on standard materials, without too much spatter.
It’s a nice unit to keep as a portable piece as well, considering it’s light, easy to move, and has the option to run on 110V power as well as 220V, as long as you buy or make a pigtail adaptor. (Making your own might void the warranty though, so be careful!)
If something does happen go wrong, there’s a 30 day money back promise and 1 year warranty. A few buyers have reported issues getting hold of Lotos about this, with emails having to be sent two or more times just for an answer. But all of them eventually received replacements or refunds, so there’s no risk, just waiting.
The instructions that come with it are also pretty bad. It’s like someone translated them into Chinese and then back. Which is weird, as Lotos is an American company. However, the unit is pretty easy to set up and use.
Overall, this is still an entry level machine, and it shows. But what there is works well, with deceptively good performance across the board and just enough supplemental tech to make it pleasant to work with.
Weight: 43lbs (19.5kg)
Amps: 200A welder, 50A plasma cutter
Power source: DC
Duty cycle: 60% at 200A
Maximum severance: 3/4″
Comes with everything you need to get it out of the box and start. The only thing you’ll need is gas.
Controls are front mounted, simple to read and easy to use, even masked up.
Leads on the TIG torch are quite short. Not too hard to fix this, though.
Expensive consumables, and only takes Lotos brand.
Conclusion on the Lotos LTPDC2000D
When it works, this is a great little machine, The welding performance is solid, simple to set up and really easy to use, giving you clean and consistent results, and the plasma cutter function is solid enough to suit home workshops, hobbyists and even smaller businesses.
The issue is reliability. If you’re really unlucky, you might get a duff unit. Then you’ll have to struggle a bit with Lotos’s customer support. You’ll definitely get your money back or a replacement, especially if you go through Amazon (Amazon’s returns policy is bulletproof) but it might take a few weeks.
If you’re willing to take a small risk, and you like what you see, feel free to pick this up. In all but the heaviest work circumstances, you will have a great little system that you will love for years.
The Final Cut on the Best Multi Process Welders
A multi process welder may not be right for everyone. If you are a professional, they might keep up with your workload and provide some flexibility.
If you are a hobbyist or simply have a variety of chores to do around the house/farm or occasionally need to fix a larger piece of equipment such as a vehicle, they can provide the flexibility you require at an affordable price point.
Keep in mind you will still need all of the same safety equipment, welding helmets, air compressors, and air filters as you would otherwise.
Make sure you know what types of jobs you expect to do and what types of process and function requirements these rigs demand. Doing so, you may end up with the best multi process welder for your needs.