Pipeline welders play an indomitable role in building a well-off society. They play a key role in transporting critical fluids like gas, oil, etc., from one end to the other. So, pipeline welders cannot compromise with what they do.
Since pipeline welding is the most challenging job, they require the best welder machine for pipeline. You’ll certainly agree if you also are a pipeline welder. Like conventional metal welding, pipeline welding is not a piece of cake.
Pipeline pipes are thicker than usual metal pipes. Also, there is a huge difference in the welding environment. Most of the pipeline welding projects are done outdoors. There you need a welder that produces power by itself or works well with a generator.
Moreover, you need more power, voltage, and AMP in pipeline welding. In light of all this, pipeline welders require the best welder for pipeline. So, which pipeline welding machines meet all these requirements? Let’s find out.
5 Best Pipeline Welding Machine
What is Pipeline Welding?
When it comes to pipeline welding, many people confuse it with a welding piping system. Pipeline welding is absolutely different from piping welding. However, piping welding is a process of welding piping systems in industries. Pipeline welding, on the other hand, is done on the distribution pipelines used for transporting oils, gas, and water. They deal with pipes that may span hundreds of kilometers. Whether it’s Alaskan snow or Arizona heat, pipeliners need to go where they are called. Pipeline welders do the installation, repair, and maintenance of pipelines. Installation of pipes meaning assembling different sections of pipes. That’s where you need the best pipeline welding machine. When pipeline welding is done with a welding machine, you don’t need a threading tool at all. Moreover, pipeline pipes contain harmful contents. Pipeliners have to comply with strict specifications. Using the right tool for welding and safety standards is paramount.
Why Do Pipeline Welding Require a Special Welder?
For starters, it is crucial to know why they need a particular welding machine for pipeline welding. Here is why. Pipeline welding asks for quality and performance. Primarily, pipelines are welded on-site where the pipelines are aligned and beveled. So then comes a lot of challenges pipeliners face on the field. Pipeliners cannot think of a better alternative than the best welder for pipeline welding. The reason behind this is not only the thickness of the pipes, power, or amps. There are more reasons why a pipeline welder needs dedicated welding machines.
Maximizing Welding Productivity and Avoiding Downtime
Nowadays, pipeline welders must meet challenging quality standards along with deadlines. Then, they are supposed to cut downtime so they can maximize welding production. A quality pipeline welding machine helps to maximize repair rates. Also, it allows adjusting to new types of pipes on the field. The pipeliners can stay competitive while maintaining their quality of work with the best pipeline welding machine.
Ensuring Quality and Speed
Traditional SMAW (shielded metal arc welding) methods have been used for low-carbon and low-alloy steel pipes for decades. It becomes the pressure for pipeliners to produce high-quality welds on sites. The metal technologies and downhill welding techniques have remained unchanged in those traditional welders. So, it is close to impossible to speed up welding to meet project timelines. While looking to maximize the quality and speed, a pipeline welder needs the best welding machine. Oil, gas, and other industries cannot avoid pipeliners that put their demand at the top. What attracts pipeline welders to choose this job is the handsome paycheck. The Best Welder Machine for Pipeline Reviews: Our Winners! One of the questions you seek is what the best welder for pipeline welding is? We’ve walked through several reviews to find the best answer. After looking for many hours, here we assembled a list of the powerful pipeline welding machines. Take a look.
Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 G Multiprocess Welder
Lincoln Electric has maintained its top position manufacturing the best welding machines. This Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 is the best depiction of it. The welding machine is a marvel of engineering. Also, it is ranked the best Lincoln welder for pipeline for its versatile performance. The Lincoln ranger is an engine-driven welder that gets your basic and heavy-duty projects done.
Why is it the best?
- The welder allows performing a range of welding techniques, including MIG, TIG, Stick, and flux-core welding.
- It is designed with Lincoln’s advanced Chopper Technology for a reliable, smooth arc performance.
- The machine comes with a powerful 23HP Kohler, 4-cycle, 2-cylinder, and air-cooled gasoline engine. It has around 12-gallon fuel capacity for a whole day operation.
- Then, it is equipped with an AC generator with 9.5kW continuous power and 10.5kW surge power.
- Ranger 305 offers an excellent duty cycle of 100% at 305A.
- There is a single, full-range output power control knob. It allows inputting the power you need instead of confusing the controls.
- The machine can weld up to 5/32 – inches of stick electrodes with ease.
- Skewed rotor design provides AC power suitable for operating Lincoln inverter power sources
- CC-Stick mode is optimized for general purpose stick welding using E7018 low hydrogen electrode
- Downhill pipe welding mod
- Model: Lincoln Electric Ranger 305
- Rated Watt: 9500 W
- Surge Watt: 10500 W
- Amperage range: up to 300A
- 120V and 240V dual voltage
- Duty Cycle: 100% at 305A
- 23HP EFP Kohler engine
- Skewed rotor design
- Weight: 510 pounds
- Warranty: 3-years
- Multifunctional machine
- Higher power rating
- Compatible with both AC and DC
- Digital weld meter allows easy monitoring
- Work well in harsh environments
- Somewhat heavier
- You need a separate wire feeder for flux-core welding
Not to mention that Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 is an impressive, versatile machine. It is the best choice for pipeline welding in terms of power output and top-notch performance.
Miller Electric Bobcat 250 Engine Driven Welder
It allows doing welding jobs for up to 14-hrs with the 12-gallon fuel tank. With the amperage range of 40-250A, you can work on both easy and demanding projects. Though it is lightweight, it can still weld thicker pipelines with 250A output.
- Start type: Electric
- Great for Stick and Flux-Cored welding
- Quieter and better sound significant improvements in sound level
- Amperage range: 40 to 250
- Provides a safer, more efficient working environment
- Model: Miller Electric Bobcat 250
- Rated Watt: 9500 W
- Surge Watt: 11000 W
- Amperage range: 40-250A
- Duty Cycle: 60% at 250A
- 23HP CH 730 Kohler engine
- 3600 RPM speed
- Weight: 501 pounds
- Lightweight design
- Large fuel capacity that lasts for 14 hours
- Noise-free operation
- Compatible with both DC and AC outlets
- Somewhat expensive
The Miller Electric Bobcat 250 is designed for pipelines in mind. We found that it is amazingly quiet as well as fuel-efficient.
Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 K2857-1 Engine Driven Welder
- 10,500 Watts peak generator power; 9000 Watts continuous power
- 210 Amps/25V@100% duty cycle
- MIG, flux-core and TIG welding capable (with optional equipment)
- Powerful 23 HP Kohler 2-cylinder, 4-cycle engine with overhead valve air-cooled design
- Totally enclosed case with 3 service access doors keeps the engine fully protected
- Model: Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 K2857-1
- Rated Watt: 9000 W
- Surge Watt: 10500 W
- Amperage range: 50-225A
- Duty Cycle: 100% at 210A
- 23HP Kohler engine
- Weight: 563 pounds
- Multifunctional, multi-process machine
- Powerful engine with the large fuel capacity
- Versatile and enclosed design
- Easy to maintain
- Generates smooth ARC
- Quite heavy
- Difficult to carry
To sum up, Lincoln Electric ranger 225 is truly an all-in-one welder. It handles the most critical job site tasks with its powerful engine.
Lincoln Electric Ranger K2382-4 Engine Driven Welder
Lincoln Electric Ranger K2382-4 is quite similar to the previous ranger 225. However, this welder includes a case to enclose the engine for better protection from surroundings. What we liked most is that it can be used as an AC generator.
Indeed, it comes in handy when there is an emergency on the job site. The machine can power tools like screw guns, work lights, etc. Like other Ranger series, it can provide continuous power of 9kW and an auxiliary power up to 11kW.
With the output amperage range of 50-250A, it can weld thicker pipelines. It allows welding up to 3/16” thickness. The device is gasoline-powered. Though it is a bit on the heavier side, you can still move it using a truck or trailer.
- Totally enclosed case, which ensures engine is fully protected
- Use as an AC generator for high-capacity needs such as backup generator
- Painted roof, case sides and engine doors
- Series: Ranger
- Model: Lincoln Electric Ranger K2382-4
- Rated Watt: 9000 W
- Surge Watt: 11000 W
- Amperage range: 50-250A
- Duty Cycle: 100% at 250A
- 23HP Kohler engine
- Electric start
- Weight: 615 pounds
- Works as an AC generator
- Includes a case to enclose the engine
- Weld up to 3/16”
- Too heavy, you need a truck or trailer to move it around
The Lincoln Electric is a budget alternative to their Ranger series. You can use the machine as a backup generator on the job site.
2.48-7.87” Hand-push Pipe Welder PE PPR PB PVDF HDPE Fusion Welding Machine
- 【Scope of Application】The welder is suitable for PE PP PB PVDF PPR plastic pipe hot-melt butt welding. High quality design and construction provides an excellent machine for welding both on the worksite and in the factory.
- 【Stronger Welding】Upgraded high-hardness milling cutter, sharp and wear-resistant, clean and parallel cutting surfaces, and stronger welding.The use of high quality Aluminum casting alloys for lower weight without compromising strength and performance.
- 【Fast Heating Speed】Thick high-quality layer paint, uniform heat conduction, rapid heating of the tube, high work efficiency.
- 【Adjustable Temperature】Accurate scale temperature adjustment 0-300℃ Manual adjustment and lasting constant temperature.
- 【Parameter】Welding level(Φ, mm)；Outer dia:63mm(2.48”)、75mm(2.95”)、90 mm (3.54”)、110 mm (4.33”)、125 mm (4.92”)、140 mm (5.51”)、160 mm (6.30”)、180 mm (7.09”)、200mm(7.87”)
- Model: 2.48-7.87” (63-200MM) four rings manual
- Working temperature: 300oC
- Docking deviation ≤ 0.3mm
- 110V power input
- Power of milling cutter: 1.1 kW
- Power of heater: 2.5 kW
- PP PE PB PVDF HDPE PVC pipes can be weld
- Weight: 105 pounds
- Durable and tough construction
- Too lightweight
- Reaches soldering temp quickly
- Used to weld a range of pipes
- Not ideal for pipeliners
- Requires manual effort
This hand-push pipe welder costs 3-times less than the price of other pipeline welders. It may lack sophistication like its pricey counterparts, but it gets the job done.
INTBUYING Welding Machine 2.48″-6.30″ Hand-push Pipe Welder
- Manually Operated HDPE butt fusion welding machine is suitable for PE and PP pipes and fittings.
- High quality design and construction provides an excellent machine for welding both on the worksite and in the factory.
- The use of high quality Aluminum casting allows for lower weight without compromising strength and performance.
- Welding level(Φ, mm)outer dia: 2.48" (63mm), 2.95" (75mm), 3.54" (90), 4.33" (110mm), 4.92" (125mm), 5.51" (140mm), 6.30" (160mm)
- Time required to reach soldering temperature： <20min Materials can be welded： PE PP PVDF PPR
- Model: 2.48″-6.30″ (63-160mm) two rings manual
- Working temperature: 300oC
- Docking deviation ≤ 0.3mm
- 110V power input
- Power of milling cutter: 0.65kW
- Power of heater: 1.2kW
- PP PE PVDF PPR pipes can be weld
- Weight: 77 pounds
- Too lightweight, easy to transport
- Solid construction
- No gasoline and shield gas is required
- Less expensive
- It takes time to operate the machine smoothly
- Not suitable for heavy-duty pipeline jobs
Overall, it’s a decent tool for medium-duty industrial and home welding jobs. It is relatively safer than many high-end models while capable of doing the same functions.
LOTOS LTPDC2000D 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
- ★ NON-TOUCH PLASMA CUTTER: 10-50AMP Plasma Cutter Current Output; Max Ideal Cut Thickness: 1/2" ; Max Severance Thickness: 3/4"; Pilot Arc Torch Efficiently Cuts through Rough, Painted, and Rusty Surfaces and Produces Minimal Slag; Compact Plasma Cutter Has a Handle for Portability and Uses Non-Hazardous Compressed Air to Cut Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Mild steel, Copper, and Aluminum
- ★ TIG WELDER: 15-200AMP DC TIG Electric Current Output; Quality TIG welding on Stainless or Steel and Precise Welding of Thinner-gauge Materials; HF arc start hand torch control and Precise Foot Pedal Welding Heat Control(Foot Pedal NOT Included).
- ★ STICK/MMA WELDER: 15-200AMP DC Stick/MMA Electric Current Output; Easy ARC Start, Stable Welding Arc; Deep Weld Pool and Beautiful Welding Shape; Adjustable Hot Striking Arc Current which Can Greatly Improve the Arc-Starting Function; Suitable for Welding with Different Kinds of Acid or Basic Electrode.
- ★ THE COMPATIBLE CONSUMABLES SETS for this BROWN Color LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter are "PCS22" or "PCS33". Please search "Lotos PCS22" or "Lotos PCS33".
- ★ It CANNOT compatible with Lotos PCON40 or PCON90 Consumables Sets or any other third part consumables set
- Model: LOTOS LTPDC2000D
- Amperage range: 50-200A
- 50A pilot arc plasma cutter
- 200A TIG welder
- 200A stick welder
- 110V and 220V dual voltage
- A 3-in-1 machine offering a stick, TIG welder, and a plasma cutter
- Lightweight yet heavy-duty construction
- 110V or 220V power outlet
- It can weld thicker sheets as well as thin sheets of metal
- Not ideal for welding aluminum
- Plasma cutter is somewhat not suitable for 3/8-inch thick metals
The Lotos LTPDC2000D is an affordable alternative for pipeline welding. It can thin sheets of metal as well as thicker sheets of metal. Though it has some limitations, it is still worth it.
Miller Trailblazer 302 Air Pak Engine-Driven Welder
The last one is an all-in-one pipeline welding machine brought for you from Miller Electric. The Miller Trailblazer 302 is great for heavy-duty projects. It is better to say first that Trailblazer comes at quite a high price but for good reasons.
The welding machine works as a generator, a welder, and it includes an air compressor. However, the generator can pump out 13000W of power. This power is sufficient to power an 875 plasma cutter that can cut 5/8inch mild steel.
Moreover, it’s an engine-driven welding machine that is capable of doing any conventional welding processes. You can use the device with both AC and DC power outlets.
The best part is it is one of the most powerful machines with an output of up to 350amps. Another thing we loved is its lift Arc technology. It reduces the chances of the tungsten rod coming into contact with weld metal.
- Model: Miller Trailblazer 302
- Amperage range: 10-300A
- Generator power output: 13000W
- Duty cycle: 60% at 200amps
- Weight: Around 700 pounds
- Best suited for most welding processes
- Consume less fuel
- Easy to maintain
- Compact than its competitors
- It takes less space so easy to transport
- Too costly than other pipeline welders
- Too heavy
The Miller Trailblazer comes with more power and also the best engine-driven welder for pipeline welding. It can do more than conventional welding machines.
What Pipeline do Welders Require for Pipeline Welding?
First of all, pipeline welders require thorough training and skill in pipeline welding. Pipeliners, unlike welding in a workshop or garage, work in tougher environments and angles. So, they need more than average skills in welding.
A pipeliner needs 2000 hours or more of full-time work experience to be a proficient pipeline welder. They must adopt the following welding techniques;
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
- Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)
- Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- SMAW with low hydrogen vertical down electrodes
Pipeliners also need to learn to use tools, pipe system design, safety, and mechanical drawing. A certification course is required to acquire all these skills and knowledge. Most of all, a pipeline welder must have problem-solving skills.
So they can diagnose and solve the challenging issues found in different working conditions. Physical stamina is another crucial requirement for a pipeliner welder. They must have enough strength to withstand harsh working conditions.
Things to Look for in the Best Welder Machine for Pipeline
Proper skills, experience, and knowledge may not make you the best pipeliner if you lack suitable equipment. Keep in mind that you’ll be welding too thick pipelines, mainly in harsh environments.
So, one of the basic necessities is a powerful welding machine. Opt for a machine that offers reliable power for a range of operations. How do you find if the machine meets all the requirements for the best results?
Well, there are a couple of factors you need to check in a welder. Let’s find out.
Pipeline welding is unpredictable. Indeed, the varying thickness of the pipelines and working condition demands for more power in a welding machine. The power output of a welding machine denotes the power of the machine.
A welder with amps output of 120-140 amps will be enough for domestic purposes. However, a higher amps output is needed for more demanding projects. For outdoor pipeline projects, you’ll need a welder with 200- 300 amps power.
Moreover, it is good to buy an engine-driven welding machine that also works as a generator. So you can maintain operation for a day. Most pipeline welders come with an in-built generator.
Then comes another crucial factor which is the duty cycle. The duty cycle is the fraction of the period within which a welder can produce current without overheating. Let’s clear the definition with an example.
Say, a machine is rated 150A with a 70% duty cycle. It means you have to rest the machine for 3-minutes following 7-minutes of operation at 150A. Operating at lower amperage gives you a higher duty cycle.
Look for a welder that offers a higher duty cycle for specific power output. Most professional-quality welding machines provide a 100% duty cycle even for output 250A.
Gas Or Diesel Driven?
The engine of the welder may be gasoline-driven or diesel-driven. Check into the welding machine to learn what fuels the engine. Whichever type you prefer, make sure it is cost-saving. A gasoline-driven welder is the best pick if you are on a budget.
If the machine is electric-powered, it is essential to the power source. The power source depends on the job site like most industries have a 230V/240V power outlet.
As a nomad pipeliner, you never know what power source you may need. It is wise to choose a machine that operates on both 110V and 230V power sources. Thus, you can plug it with any power outlet.
Safety comes first. While investing in a powerful machine, it is essential to check the safety features. Some pipeline welding machines include built-in surge protection. Those have a protection level of 20%-25%, which is the best level of security.
The materials and thickness of pipelines ask for using different welding techniques. The techniques used in pipeline welding are mostly MIG, TIG, Stick, flux-cored, and GTAW. Only MIG or TIG or stick welder will not be sufficient.
You need a machine that works well with thicker pipelines using any techniques. Welding machines that are restricted by the scale or thickness of the pipelines will not do. Your pick should be the one that goes well with all types of welding techniques.
Pipeline welders are nomads; they need to go wherever they are called. They travel around along with their welding equipment. Keeping it in mind, you need a machine that is easy to carry around.
What is the best welding machine for pipeline?
The best welding machine is the one that fits varying thickness and materials of pipelines. Also, a machine that can perform all the welding techniques is the best. The machine engines that can produce 9500-11000W with less fuel consumption are the promising ones. They can generate up to 300A power output for your welding needs. Well, the Lincoln Electric Ranger 305 is one such example.
What kind of welder do pipeliner's use?
Mostly, the pipeliner's use MIG welders for pipeline welding. MIG welder utilizes an arc welding process where a wire feed is used through an electrode. The electrode remains inside a handheld welding gun.
Are pipeline welders in demand?
Absolutely, they are. Pipeline welding is one of the most in-demand jobs in the welding sector. This is the most challenging job, which requires extraordinary skills and knowledge. Being an expert in this field brings you lots of opportunities. Natural gas and oil industries are the largest employers of pipeliners. They offer exciting salaries and many other traveling opportunities.
How much do Pipeline welders make an hour?
As mentioned, pipeline welding is the highest paying gig in this sector. A pipeliner can make $57000 or more per year. They can make between $36-$52 per hour on arm pay and $15-$25 per hour for the truck pay. Also, a pipeliner can make between $100 and $200 for the per diem. The amount a welder receives is based on their skill and experience. As welders gain knowledge and experience, they get a higher amount per hour.
What is the salary for a pipeline welder?
A pipeliner gets a handsome salary for what they do. On average, a pipeliner is paid around $5000 - $6000 per month. They make around $70000 per year. The top earners, on the other hand, can get up to $100,000 per year.
Pipeline welding is a cakewalk like other welding jobs. It requires expertise, experience, and most importantly, the best welder machine for pipeline. So, investing in the best machine is no brainer to remain competitive in this field.
Although we’ve sorted the list, so you don’t get confused. We want to repeat once again that the machine should have a standard output amp of 300A. Then, the engine should generate the highest power.
You can pick one from the machines mentioned above as they all meet these criteria. Good luck with your purchase.