Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    I'm looking at the two different "tombstone" stick welders Lincoln offers, one is AC and the other is AC and DC. What is the major difference between welding with DC current and AC current. The price difference is about two hundred bucks. We basically need to replace the old stick welder we have in our shop, we weld a lot of stuff around our farm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Ca, USA
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    DC is smoother and nicer to weld with. Try it, you'll like it.
    MM350P/Python/Q300
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    Smith op

  3. #3
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    Feb 2009
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    houston tx
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    i agree...i would buy the ac/dc welder

  4. #4
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    With an AC machine the arc goes out briefly every time the polarity switches from DC+ to DC- and then back. Thats why a DC machine welds smoother. Some rods run better on DC (7018) or are DC only (6010 and some alum rods). Also some rods can be run on thinner metal on DC- vs the same rod on DC+. The only real advantage of AC other than price, is if you weld magnetized steel like drill rod. AC cuts down on arc blow. It's not something most people encounter on average, and with an AC/DC machine you still have the AC option. Given the choice I would suggest the AC/DC machine.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  5. #5
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Another vote for DC capability.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009
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    85

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    i have a MOT welder as well as my mig. a learning/experiment welder. would putting a rectifier diode bridge on it smooth the arc out? the rig aint quite powerfull enough for big steel but when it feels like keeping its arc for a while its decent on thinner sheet. its just a pain to hold its tiny arc. last i checked its running about 160 amps at 13 volts AC. but the arc is ungodly unstable
    Realgear 140 MIG
    More DeWalt tools that I prolly need
    DIY 160 amp 40 OCV MOT Stick Welder

  7. #7
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    Apr 2008
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    NW ON Canada
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    1,567

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    DC weld current is so much nicer for out of position welding.
    Jason
    Lincoln Idealarc 250 stick/tig
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
    Miller Bluestar 2E
    Torchmate CNC table
    Ironworkers Local 720

    Owner/Operator Devlin Metal Works
    Custom CNC Plasma Cutting and Welding

  8. #8
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    May 2007
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    The AC/DC machine is the one I vote for. Was this a democratic vote?
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  9. #9
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by tanglediver View Post
    The AC/DC machine is the one I vote for. Was this a democratic vote?
    Since you and I are from Kalifornia, it was a Socialist Republic vote, for us.
    MM350P/Python/Q300
    MM175/Q300
    DialarcHF

    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

    Hypertherm380
    ThermalArc185
    Purox oa
    F350CrewCab4x4
    LoadNGo utilitybed
    Bobcat250
    XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic
    Suitcase12RC/Q300
    Suitcase8RC/Q400
    Passport/Q300

    Smith op

  10. #10
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    Sep 2007
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Arc Gougging and TIG for Steel and Stainless are two for DC. JG
    SMAW,GMAW,FCAW,GTAW,SAW,PAC/PAW/OFC
    and Shielding Gases. There all here.


    :

  11. #11
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    Dec 2008
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    looking into a Hobart stickmate or a lincoln ac/dc tombstone right now

  12. #12
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    Jan 2006
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    I would list in order of preference would be miller, hobart, then lincoln. The lincoln is a tapped machine that only goes up to 125 on the dc side. I have one in the garage and while it is nice, I would love to have more on than the 125. These three are all in the same ballpark as far as price is concerned.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2008
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    57

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Just found a local guy selling a Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC stick welder for 325 bucks. Says he bought it in 1996 and never took it out of the box so its new in box. I think it's a good deal considering that welder is around 600 bucks new.

  14. #14
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    I'd say thats a decent deal. I have one that sits at my buddy's shop in case we need to fix the plows there instead of at my place. They are tanks and keep on going for years and years.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  15. #15
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    That is a great deal.

  16. #16
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    Dec 2008
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Picked this baby up this morning for $325. Brand new in the box, the guy never used it. Welds really nice.

    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC



    I'm going to make a little cart for it tommorrow

  17. #17
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    Sep 2009
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    Baltimore, Maryland
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Good deal! You'll find the need to have both AC and DC if you weld long enough.
    SPARK...SPARK...SPARK...SAPARK...SPARK...SPARK...
    Lawrence
    A & E Welding Services
    Baltimore, Maryland

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  18. #18
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    Dec 2008
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    57

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    I just realized in the first pic you can see the old century stick welder i had been using in the background. looks kind of sad back there, like it's been forgotten.

  19. #19
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    Jun 2008
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    Vancouver, BC (formerly Cape Breton)
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by thefluxcorekid View Post
    I just realized in the first pic you can see the old century stick welder i had been using in the background. looks kind of sad back there, like it's been forgotten.
    LOL- reminds me of that Ikea commercial: "You feel sorry for the little lamp, don't you? That is because you're craaaazy!"
    Lincoln AC225 & MigPak 140, Lincoln Magnum SpoolGun, Miller Spectrum 375-X Plasma, Syncrowave 200 TIG, Millermatic 252 MIG, Miller Digital Elite, General 7x12" horiz/vert bandsaw, 3' box/pan brake, 20 ton press, milling machine, 12x28 lathe, etc.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    I think you did really well

    I have all Lincoln, but wouldn't really mind having Miller. You have a great machine there.

    I dunno if the DC side of the Miller is heat protected, you might want to read the literature on it. I think my Lincoln is protected on the DC side, but not protected on the AC side.

    Just watch your duty cycle and you'll be fine.

    YOU'RE GONNA LUV DIS MACHINE
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    57

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Made a cart/stand for the welder today. So far it has cost me nothing, i had all the angle and tubing lying around in the scrap pile, and my old man had the wheels from an air compressor he never used. I even found a can of Rustoleum Royal Blue spray paint to paint it with.

    Here's what I've got so far, I just need to secure the welder to it and make some sort of handle, then paint it up.






  22. #22
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    Sep 2008
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    Dalton, GA
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Hey, FluxCoreKid!
    This might give you an idea for a handle: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=36893.
    Go to my Post #7. I like the handle on the first one better. Use 1" angle iron and angle it back, with a 1/2" rod or 1/4" pipe for a handle between them. Works good.
    You will enjoy that welder. What a deal!
    Burt
    _____________________
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Millermatic 211 w/Spoolmate
    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
    Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC
    10FtDrillBit.com

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    57

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Thats a great idea for a handle, I will be "borrowing" that idea for sure. I like how you have the little brackets for holding the cables.

  24. #24
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    Sep 2008
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    Dalton, GA
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    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Good morning, FluxCoreKid.
    I'll be glad to send a better picture of the handle and give you the measurements that I used if you need them. The handle works well and the hangers for the leads are essential.

    I found another Thunderbolt 225V AC only on Craigslist and I think I will try to buy it and fix it up. Won't be new, like yours, but will be fun to restore.
    Burt
    _____________________
    Miller Syncrowave 250
    Millermatic 211 w/Spoolmate
    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
    Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC
    10FtDrillBit.com

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    57

    Re: Difference between an AC stick welder, and AC/DC welder?

    Hit me up with those pics or dimensions, here is my email address: justcanth8enuff@hotmail.com

    I've been scouring craigslist now for more good welder deals, I want to find a good used 220v MIG. It's the last thing I should be buying, but I'm becoming obsessed with welding

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