How to learn to weld by yourself. Part 3

Selecting a process to learn

If you’ve ruled out MIG as your process that you’d like to begin with, stick is definitely the way you should go. Stick welding seems like an “old school” way of learning to weld, but in many welding schools, you learn stick before any other process. It has the capability to teach you a lot if you are facing the challenge of learning on your own. Stick welding can teach you valuable puddle recognition skills. It can teach you arc gap management, muscle memory and manipulation skills, all on a relatively cheap budget. No, stick welding is not outdated nor will it become so anytime soon, so you would not be wasting your money on purchasing a stick welder. Stick is also fairly low cost as far as start up related expenses as well.

There’s no regulators, cylinders or gas to buy. In fact, if you have a power plug to plug into and a box of welding rods, along with a welding helmet, you are ready to weld. A MIG welder requires cylinder, gas, regulator, consumables and welding wire to get started at the very least. Even if the MIG purchase cost is low, you could double the cost of the purchase by the time you obtain all the other items you need to be ready to weld. So, stick is a good option if you are on a budget, and you’ll be glad that you have a stick welder, because it will weld in conditions that are prohibitive for standard MIG welding.