WELDER REVIEWS

Best Welder for Aluminum Boats (Top 5 Brand Reviews of 2021)

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No matter how much expertise you have, finishing a welding project can be challenging and painful if you lack the right tools and equipment. Welding metal, such as aluminum, can be complicated. Aluminum holds a very complex chemical and physical structure and therefore needs select welders for it.

Therefore, if you are looking for the best welder for aluminum boats, we have reviewed the top five. Choosing the perfect one for you might be challenging, but you might find it easier than expected if you consider the right factors.

Can You Weld Aluminum with A Regular Welder?

We often see the use of a welder to adjoin multiple metal pieces like iron, steel, or brass quite easily, but welding aluminum may come as a bit of a challenge to any novice welder. You definitely can’t use the same welder for aluminum, because it has a relatively lower melting point but higher conductivity compared to iron or steel. As a result, a regular welder may be a little too much for aluminum by burning it too much in the case of thinner aluminum sheets.

So what is the best way to weld aluminum boat? The answer is simple, we should choose a welder that has a current control function, like a TIG welder. A TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder is the best option for welding aluminum since it can hold back itself from producing too much heat that causes a burnthrough in an aluminum workpiece. It’s perfect for thick aluminum plates too, because it can produce a high temperature point pretty quickly and hold it for a long time.

Other types of welders like MIG welder or Torch welder also work for aluminum, but both of them are quite difficult to handle compared to a TIG welder. There will be higher chances of burn-throughs and the finishing may not be as perfect as a TIG welder. So we would suggest getting a TIG welder for aluminum boats welding.

How Did We Make This Article?

Finding a suitable welder for aluminum works isn’t a walk in the park, we have to consider a lot of factors to pick & choose, we’ll discuss it in detail in our buying guide segment. In order to shortlist the top picks for an aluminum boat welder, we had to check the features & reviews of nearly 40+ products before we could find the ones that actually work well. Then, we went even further to assess their real time performance by following the customer reviews that helped us reach the final list.

Overall, we spent almost 150+ hours to review and finally write this article to let you know about the products. We hope the reviews and the buying guide will help you find the best welder for aluminum as per your preferences.

Best Welder for Aluminum Boats: 30 Second Quick Summary

If you don’t have the time to dig in detail, then this quick summary of each product will help you make a quick decision and check the particular product. We’ve also mentioned which one is best for whom to help you reach the product more easily. So here it goes—

1. Best For Versatile Usage: Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder

Having the capability of working on both 110 & 220 voltage, this aluminum boat welder is the king of versatility. Other than aluminum, this welder also works great on steel, so you can buy it as a complete package.

2. Best For Easy Control: Aluminum Welder AC DC 200 Amp HF TIG/Stick Welder

The foot pedal control in this welder makes it extremely easy to operate, plus pulse function & 2T-4T touch control adds another feather to its cap.

3. Editor’s Choice: LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun

The precise welding functions with a spool gun makes this welder the perfect choice as the best tool for welding aluminum boats. Easy usage and market competitive price range makes it our top pick in this category.

4. Best Combination Welder: MTS-165, 165 Amp MIG/Flux Cored Wire

With multiple welding options including MIG, TIG & Torch, this product is the all in one solution if you need different types of welding for different situations. Top-notch performance in every welding function makes it the best combination welder you can ever buy.

5. Budget Pick: HZXVOGEN MIG Welder 100V/220V 200Amp Weld Aluminum Wider

Despite having a get-at-able price range, this welder doesn’t compromise with its quality. Rather, the smart control feature & multi-welding function makes it an incredible pick for frugal welders who are looking for cost saver deals.

Table of Contents:

Use this section to accurately find every information, product review, or section in the guide and the exact pages to find them.

Comparison Table:

Use the table to compare the five products discussed below based on several chosen factors to see how they perform against each other.

Image Product Technical Details Price
Best For Versatile Usage
Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder
Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder
  • Overall Dimensions: 19.1″ L x 9.8″ W x 20″ H
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Input Voltage: Single-Phase 110vAC or 220 vAC (±15%) @ 50-60 Hz
  • Power Cord Receptacle Plug: NEMA 6-50R
  • Input Amperage: 28 amps
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Best For Easy Control
Aluminum Welder AC DC 200 Amp HF TIG/Stick Welder
Aluminum Welder AC DC 200 Amp HF TIG/Stick Welder
  • Dimension: 20 x 9 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 49 lbs
  • No-load voltage: 70 V
  • Pre-flow(S): 0-2
  • Pulse duty cycle(%): 10-90
  • Duty Cycle : 60%
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Editor’s Choice
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
  • Dimension: 18 x 12.5 x 10 inch
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Input Voltage: 220 vAC or 240 vAC @ 50-60 Hz
  • Output Current: MIG: 175 amp
  • Spool Gun: Included
  • Warranty: 1 years
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Best Combination Welder
MTS-165, 165-Amp MIG/TIG-Torch/Stick Arc Combo Welder
MTS-165, 165-Amp MIG/TIG-Torch/Stick Arc Combo Welder
  • Dimension: 17.3 x 9.1 x 14.3 inches
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Metal
  • Pattern: USA
  • Output Terminal Type: Direct Wire
  • Size: Full Size
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Budget Pick
HZXVOGEN MIG Welder 100V/220V 200Amp Weld Aluminum Wider
HZXVOGEN MIG Welder 100V/220V 200Amp Weld Aluminum Wider
  • Dimension: 19 x 14.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 33.3 lbs
  • Display: LCD
  • Material: Other
  • Handle Material: Acrylic
  • Color: Black
  • Control system: Smart control
  • Batteries required: No
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Best Welder for Aluminum Boats Reviews 2021

Now is the time to find out what the best welders in this category are. Each of the five welders is thoroughly tested and researched to come up with accurate information about them. Read along to learn more about the best welder for aluminum boats.

Best Welder for Aluminum Boats

1. Best For Versatile Usage: Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder

Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder

You can take your welding to a whole new level with these welders right here. When you want to make a sturdy and robust aluminum boat, the Eastwood TIG 200 would be a reliable option. It is the best welder for aluminum with excellent performance when handling your work. You can use it to weld steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

The Eastwood TIG 200 also offers a wide range of features that can transform your project into a masterpiece. The welder offers accurate welding so there are minimal energy and material wastage. That way, it is a convenient piece of innovation meant to make every welding correctly done.

The Eastwood TIG 200 also gives you the liberty to connect it to a standard 110 volts or a 220 volts power source. The welder consumes little power hence an excellent option for anyone who needs to save money on power bills.

Technical Specifications:

  • Overall Dimensions: 19.1″ L x 9.8″ W x 20″ H
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Input Voltage: Single-Phase 110vAC or 220 vAC (±15%) @ 50-60 Hz
  • Power Cord Receptacle Plug: NEMA 6-50R
  • TIG Welding AC Duty Cycle* (%): 120 VAC 60% at 145 amps, 220 VAC 60% at 190 amps)
  • STICK Welding Duty Cycle* (%): 120 VAC 60% at 140 amps, 220 VAC 60% at 185 amps)
  • Input Amperage: 28 amps
  • Output Amperage: 10-200 amps AC/DC
  • AC Welding Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Max Output No Load Voltage: 56 V DC
  • Pre/Post Gas Flow: 0.1-1.0 sec/ 2-8 sec.
  • Remote Foot Pedal & Control : Yes
  • Torch Style: 12 foot long, Standard WP-17
  • Foot Pedal Cable Length: 7 feet
  • Torch Control: Finger on/ off control/ variable foot pedal

Eastwood TIG Features:

  • Gives you versatility since it operates on either a 110 volts AC, 15-amp circuit, or the 220 volts AC, 30-amp circuit.
  • High-frequency start that gives you a precise arc control every time you need it to.
  • Boasts a welding capacity of 1/4-inch thickness on a 220 volts AC.
  • It features a “WP-17”-type torch that accepts standard cups and collets, boasting up to 1/8 inch electrodes.
  • A square-wave inverter provides the welder with the necessary power and promotes accurate aluminum welding.

2. Best For Easy Control: Aluminum Welder AC DC 200 Amp HF TIG/Stick Welder

Aluminum Welder AC DC 200 Amp HF TIG/Stick Welder

This is a powerful welder built with the latest IGBT technology. It also works best on quality aluminum and nonferrous metals. That way, it is more economical to have it around. You will not have to buy welders for different materials like cast iron or stainless steel separately. It can weld stainless steel and other thin gauge material. This welder provides up to 85% power efficiency.

The IGBT technology inverter is the latest transistor technology. It is more efficient to the extent that it enables the highest power. Also, it boasts a duty cycle of 60 percent at full capacity. This machine features an efficient cooling fan (built-in) so it will not overheat. You will also love its portable design since you can take it anywhere.

It has an AC TIG function that is more suited for welding aluminum and aluminum alloys. You can use it to weld all types of steel and aluminum, among many other metals. The machine can weld thicker metal plates up to 200 amps. This budget-friendly machine also has an LED to help you see the changes on the display when making adjustments.

Technical Specification:

  • Dimension: 20 x 9 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 49 lbs
  • Input Voltage: 110vAC or 220 vAC @ 50-60 Hz
  • Output current: MMA: 20-180 A / TIG: 20-200 A
  • No-load voltage: 70 V
  • Pre-flow(S): 0-2
  • Pulse duty cycle(%): 10-90
  • Clean width (%): 20-80
  • Slop-down time (S): 0-10
  • Post-flow time (S): 0-10
  • Pulse Frequency (HZ):5-300
  • Arc-Leading : HF vibration
  • Duty Cycle : 60%
  • Foot Pedal Control: Yes
  • Touch Control: Yes, 2T-4T touch control

Aluminum Welder Features:

  • IGBT technology inverter is the latest transistor technology that is more efficient to enable high power.
  • DC TIG function welds stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, and several other nonferrous metals.
  • Digital control front panel is nicely fit to the HF ignition, 2T/4T function, and a digital displayer that shows the current amperage.
  • The welder offers a wide range of adjustment to give diversity in your projects.
  • Features LED display to help you with the details when you make adjustments.

3. Editor’s Choice: LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder

LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder

With this welder, everything is as easy as cutting, welding, and building. It is the best MIG welder for aluminum boats. LOTOS MIG175 is highly versatile and can be used to weld all types of steel, aluminum, and nonferrous metals. The controls are also provided and well-elaborated to help you figure it out fast and use it well. Each control here is meant to promote simplicity.

The LOTOS MIG175 is suitable for both newbies and professional welders. The welder needs a 220/240 V outlet and it features overload protection for safety. You can start using the machine right away since it includes a mask and a spool gun.

This best welder for aluminum boats has a rated output of 175-amp. It gives multi-purpose application for welding aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel. Additionally, it features a wire range of 0.6-0.8 mm on solid steel and 0.8-0.9 mm on flux core.

Technical Specification:

  • Dimension: 18 x 12.5 x 10 inch
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Input Voltage: 220 vAC or 240 vAC @ 50-60 Hz
  • Output Current: MIG: 175 amp
  • Spool Gun: Included
  • Welding Capacity: Mild Stainless Steel 18 Gauge – 1/4″; Aluminum: 3/16″ or Thinner
  • Wire Range: .025″- .030″ (0. 6-0. 8mm) Solid Steel; .030″- .035″ (0. 8-0. 9mm) Flux Cored.
  • Warranty: 1 years

LOTOS MIG175 Features:

  • Features a quality aluminum wire feeder to give you stable and desired welding.
  • This is a multi-purpose machine that delivers excellent welding on steel, aluminum and other metals.
  • It has a high-speed MIG spool gun that is especially suited for aluminum welding.
  • Utilizes efficient transformer technology to provide durability and reliability.
  • Features accessories like gas hose, MIG torch and a reliable ground clamp cable so you will not spend extra buying them.

4. Best Combination Welder: MTS-165, 165 Amp MIG/Flux Cored Wire

MTS-165, 165-Amp MIG/TIG-Torch/Stick Arc Combo Welder

Welding aluminum boats can be successful if you use the right tools like the MTS-165. It is a technologically advanced model and that many experts praise. The MTS-165 is capable of welding up to 1/4-inch aluminum, weld steel, aluminum alloy, mild steel, copper, cast iron, and stainless steel.

This Dual Voltage Mig Welder comes with everything, you need not buy separately which would be unnecessarily costly. You can use it with aluminum wire, flux cord wire, and solid wire. Also, it is easy to use with lots of safety features put into place too.

It utilizes IGBT technology with a convenient waveform control system. Therefore, you can get the right waveform volt in case of short circuits. It is synergic controlled and delivers apparent wire melting droplet transfer.

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimension: 17.3 x 9.1 x 14.3 inches
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Metal
  • Pattern: USA
  • Output Terminal Type: Direct Wire
  • Power Supply: AC 100 V or 240 V/ Single Phase 50-60Hz
  • Size: Full Size
  • Welder Type: 3-IN-1 MIG/ TIG/ STICK Combo Welder
  • Effective Input Current: 115V: 28.9 A (MIG)/ 17.2 A (TIG)/ 29.1 A (STICK); 230V: 19.8 A (MIG) / 11.9A (TIG) / 19.5 A (STICK).
  • Maximum Input Current: 115V: 37.3 A (MIG)/ 22.2 A (TIG)/ 37.6 A (STICK); 230V: 25.6 A (MIG)/ 15.3 A (TIG)/ 25.1 A (STICK).
  • Current Range Output: MIG: 115 V/ 50 A- 130 A, 230 V/ 50 A- 165 A; TIG: 115 V/ 10 A- 110 A, 230 V/ 10 A- 140 A; STICK: 115 V/ 10 A- 110 A, 230 V/ 10 A- 140 A
  • Nominal DC Open Circuit Voltage (OCV): 56 V
  • Amperage Capacity: 165 amp
  • Welding Output: 104 F (40C),10 min (230 V): MIG: 165 A/ 22.2 V, TIG: 140 A/ 15.6 V, STICK: 140 A/ 25.6 V.
  • Handle material: Plastic
  • Duty Cycle: MIG: 60% at 165A, 100% at 128A; TIG: 60% at 140A, 100% at 108A; STICK: 60% at 140A, 100% at 108A

MTS-165, 165-Amp Features:

  • Automatically compensates for voltage fluctuation, under-voltage protection, and over-voltage protection.
  • It is capable of welding up to 1/4-inch aluminum, aluminum alloy, weld steel, mild steel, and stainless steel.
  • It has the STICK function and TIG torch and it is synergically controlled.
  • Advanced IGBT technology and features waveform control system and perfect waveform of a volt.
  • Uses high-quality wire-feeding machine that ensures smooth wire feeding at all times.

5. Budget Pick: HZXVOGEN MIG Welder 100V/220V 200Amp Weld Aluminum Wider

HZXVOGEN MIG Welder 100V/220V 200Amp Pulse Weld Aluminum Wider

As an aluminum boat builder, you can benefit greatly from this powerful welder. It is full of innovative features, each of which is geared towards making the best welding imaginable. It is the most advanced and multifunctional welder. It uses 0.6,0.8,0.9 and 10mm flux wire for the MIG function. For the TIG function, it uses 1.6-2.4 mm tungsten. Lastly, for the MMA function, it can weld 2.5,3.2 and 4.0 electrodes.

It features a wide LCD, which displays essential information. The HZXVOGEN MIG Welder makes it immensely more manageable for you to select the appropriate welding mode, material, tungsten rods, welding wires, and electrodes.

With just a press of a button, you can set it to your preferred mode. It also works well with various metals like iron and stainless steel. The MIG welder also comes with several accessories such as a graphite wire feed tube, electrode holder, and earth clamp.

Technical Specification:

  • Dimension: 19 x 14.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 33.3 lbs
  • Display: LCD
  • Material: Other
  • Handle Material: Acrylic
  • Color: Black
  • Transformer type: Advanced Copper Amorphus
  • Rated input voltage (V) – 110V/220V
  • Frequency (HZ) – 50/60
  • Rated input power (KW) – MIG: 5.7; TOG: 4.37; MMA: 6.3
  • Rated input current (A) – MIG: 36.0; TIG: 28.1; MMA: 40.5
  • Rated input apparent power (KVA) – MIG: 7.8; TIG: 6.21; MMA: 8.9
  • Welding current adjust range (A) – 10 ~ 200
  • Welding voltage adjust range (V) – 10 ~ 26
  • Amperage Capacity: 200 amp
  • Duty cycle (40℃ 10min) – 25%, 200 A; 60%, 150A; 100% 130A
  • No load voltage (V) – 50 V (adjustable)
  • Power factor – MIG: 0.73; TIG: 0.70; MMA: 0.71
  • Efficiency(%): ≥ 80%
  • Protection class – IP23
  • Can it weld Aluminum?: Yes
  • Control system: Smart control
  • Batteries required: No

HZXVOGEN MIG Welder Features:

  • Smart control makes it easy and convenient to select the appropriate welding mode for each welding application.
  • The multifunctional welder does an excellent welding job on stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloy, and more.
  • Boasts numerous innovative features, including a wide LCD that displays vital information for you.
  • The MIG welder comes with a variety of accessories, including an MB24 MIG gun, earth clamp, and graphite wire feed tube.
  • Portable design makes it easy to handle and to move around both within the workshop and when being transported.

How to Weld Aluminum Boats? Step by Step Guide

There are several essential steps that you should follow when welding boats. Follow this step by step guide below.

How to Weld Aluminum Boats? Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Begin by gathering enough of the right grade aluminum. The most common kinds for this task are the 5086 or 5083. Purchase your design files, then contract someone to cut the design for you.

Step 2: When it is time for welding, avoid the TIG welding if you want to keep it clean. Instead, use a spool-gun, or better still, you can use the pulse MIG machine. The pulsed MIG is the best for professional boast building, and it does an excellent job at it. Spool guns are also suitable for building boats with aluminum and are more affordable.

Step 3: Set up the jig. It is essential that the jig does not move and is completely square.

Step 4: Use incremental back-step welding. The primary idea behind it is to eliminate distortion as much as possible. Beginning from the boat’s center, you work your way in six inches increments, but welding towards the center.

Step 5: Forming the handrails. You will need a lot of experience or a proper bending machine for this part.

Step 6: Transom height. This is where you decide on the right motor to mount on your boat before building the transom.

Why Should You Buy a Welder for Aluminum Boats?

You need a good welder if the boat making is to be entirely successful. Here are reasons why you should buy a welder for aluminum boats.

Why Should You Buy a Welder for Aluminum Boats

Works better than TIG welder:

Welding aluminum boats require you to have the best welder for aluminum boats. If you use a TIG welder, it will end up warping and hence alter your boat. Get a spool gun for your machine, and most of them come at affordable prices.

Needs Some Skills:

It is essential to do more practice because welding using a normal spool requires some skills. Try out various welds and ensure you don’t burn your boat. You can also get help from a person with experience to guide you through the welding techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are quite a number of questions people ask concerning welders for aluminum boats. Some top questions are as follows.

Can you weld an aluminum boat?

Yes, you can. Aluminum is a difficult material to weld, but with the right welder and materials in place, you can make an excellent quality boat.

How long will an aluminum boat last?

Aluminum boats are really strong and durable. If you weld it well together, it will last a long time and are easy to maintain over that course of time.

Should I paint the bottom of my aluminum boat?

Yes, you should. Even though it is not a must that you do it, painting the bottom somehow protects it from direct contact with water.

Does Flex Seal work on aluminum boats?

Yeah, it does.  When you use it when and appropriately, it works on aluminum boats just fine.

Can you weld aluminum with a stick welder?

Yes, you can, but it can be messy. You can use a stick welder to put it together.

Final Verdict

There are several brands of welders out there, and each brand has features that may be unique to itself. You can select based on the factors that matter to you. These five welders are among the best, and from them, you can find the ultimate best welder for aluminum boats.

All these can accomplish the task, but you need one, which makes things challenging. We commend the LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder. It provides reliable use and lasts longer. This welder provides multi-application hence making it versatile. Additionally, the welder provides a stable performance.

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