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Thread: Question on lead lengths.

  1. #1
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    Question on lead lengths.

    I am always looking for a deal on welders, and lately I seem to be seeing/noticing that a lot of them come with different length leads. What is the reasoning behind having a 15' gun or electrode lead and only a 10' ground lead?

    I know my stick welder is like this and it's a pain in the ***.

  2. #2
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    I guess the reasoning is that if you're working on a big metal object, you only need to grab it "anywhere" with the work clamp, whereas with the stinger, you'll need to move around more, so they make the stinger lead longer. Or say you're working on scaffolding...you can just clamp your work lead on the base of the scaffolding, but if you're going to be climbing around welding, you're gonna need a longer stinger lead.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    From a manufacturers standpoint it makes them cheaper to produce.

  5. #4
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    What is a pain in the ***? It is 25 feet regardless of how you cut it. I prefer more stinger or gun length. Also, with mig most folk do not elevate big migs so best to have more electrode length.
    Last edited by tapwelder; 05-04-2021 at 12:12 PM.

  6. #5
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    I think that they make the machine with ,leads so they can use the vaseline later when you need longer leads. Have you bought new truck lately?? Here's the truck ... ohhhh ,,, you want tires??? ,,,,, ohhhhhhhh, you want a steering wheel?????

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  8. #6
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Score a suitcase feeder if you want to extend your MIG range to as long a power cable as ya like. I hate moving welders (bad back and lazy) and love my old Hobart feeders.

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  10. #7
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Shorter guns feed the wire better.
    A longer gun is good for heavier wire as will still feed good.

    I have weld with a 6 foot gun it is on a rolling cart so roll the wire feed to makeup for short gun with 18 foot ground. Feeds great on 0.030" flux core wire.

    Manufacturer like short grounds as cheaper I replaced with longer ground so roll the wire feed around.

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by Ron_J View Post
    I am always looking for a deal on welders, and lately I seem to be seeing/noticing that a lot of them come with different length leads. What is the reasoning behind having a 15' gun or electrode lead and only a 10' ground lead?

    I know my stick welder is like this and it's a pain in the ***.

  11. #8
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    What is a pain in the ***? It is 25 feet regardless of how you cut it. I prefer more stinger or gun length. Also, with mig most folk do not elevate big migs so best to have more electrode length.
    It just seems like I am continually having to move my welder because of the ground wire is shorter than the stinger. I don't see the need for them to be two different lengths. But, there very well may be a good reason for it.

    Like was mentioned, maybe it's as simple as they figure you can clip on anywhere on the part, but I was always told to clip as close to the weld as you can (maybe not really necessary).

    My mig has equal length leads, but some I've seen do not.

  12. #9
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron_J View Post
    I am always looking for a deal on welders, and lately I seem to be seeing/noticing that a lot of them come with different length leads. What is the reasoning behind having a 15' gun or electrode lead and only a 10' ground lead?

    I know my stick welder is like this and it's a pain in the ***.
    Every 3rd welder they make gets a free ground lead.

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  14. #10
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob E. View Post
    Every 3rd welder they make gets a free ground lead.

    The 5' savings is on the ground lead. 3 x 5 is 15. So if they use the 15' lead on the electrode lead, then wouldn't the math point to a 15' electrode lead, not a ground lead?

    Edit - that would be every 4th welder getting a free electrode lead. 3 first to get the 15ft on the 4th. So you're right on the 3ord machine getting 10ft. That would be 2 first to get the 10ft = free third.
    Last edited by FlyFishn; 05-06-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  15. #11
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I guess the reasoning is that if you're working on a big metal object, you only need to grab it "anywhere" with the work clamp, whereas with the stinger, you'll need to move around more, so they make the stinger lead longer. Or say you're working on scaffolding...you can just clamp your work lead on the base of the scaffolding, but if you're going to be climbing around welding, you're gonna need a longer stinger lead.

    This was my thought exactly. I got a round top last year that came with leads. I forget exactly what the lengths are, I want to say the ground is 35' and the electrode is 48-50'. The cables (leads, power) are not OEM (1966 MY machine - I'm sure they have been changed a few times). The machine was originally run by a trucking company for equipment/trailer repairs. If you can ground anywhere on, say, a semi trailer frame then it doesn't really matter how long the ground is as the frame becomes the rest of the conductor to the arc.

    If you are working on a small item out a ways from the welder then yea, having a 15ft or so difference between the electrode and ground would be a 15ft limitation in how far away from the machine you can go.

    Leads are easy to replace, though. So tune things to your environment. I just think the reasoning from the welder manufacturer side is welding bigger things the ground lead doesn't have to be as long so they supply it shorter and save a bit of $ in production without limiting their customers much.

    I don't know if I'll ever use the 30-50' of the leads I have on the tombstone, usually its sitting right next to where I'm welding so the difference in lengths is a moot point - it doesn't affect me at all.

  16. #12
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Buy longer ground wire and go to next size larger. Typically the manufacturer uses as small as possible
    Large sizes works better for welding

    I Typically go 2 sizes bigger for better welding and buy 20 feet wire by time it is installed it 2 foot shorter.
    I also have longer cables I can add as need.

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by Ron_J View Post
    It just seems like I am continually having to move my welder because of the ground wire is shorter than the stinger. I don't see the need for them to be two different lengths. But, there very well may be a good reason for it.

    Like was mentioned, maybe it's as simple as they figure you can clip on anywhere on the part, but I was always told to clip as close to the weld as you can (maybe not really necessary).

    My mig has equal length leads, but some I've seen do not.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 05-06-2021 at 04:56 PM.

  17. #13
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    The 5' savings is on the ground lead. 3 x 5 is 15. So if they use the 15' lead on the electrode lead, then wouldn't the math point to a 15' electrode lead, not a ground lead?

    Edit - that would be every 4th welder getting a free electrode lead. 3 first to get the 15ft on the 4th. So you're right on the 3ord machine getting 10ft. That would be 2 first to get the 10ft = free third.
    I guess we can close the file on that one!

    Last edited by Kelvin; 05-06-2021 at 05:15 PM.

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  19. #14
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    Re: Question on lead lengths.

    Shorter ground/work cables aren't usually too much of an issue, unless you need to minimize the current path or control it to protect beaings, or close tolerance sliding parts, or where there may be electronics involved.
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