What Is an Inverter Welder?


Inverter welders are basically power inverters; they convert 120-volt AC power to DC electricity to power welding torches. Because you can plug one into a conventional 120-volt receptacle, it's more convenient to use than a stand-alone DC-current generator. The DC power passes through a transformer to step it up to the level needed for welding.

Frequency is Key

  • The on/off action of switches called IGBTs are the secret to increasing frequency of the primary power that reaches the welder’s transformer. This action simulates the increase and decrease of a magnetic field, similar to that of electrical alternating current but at a much higher frequency.


  • Inverter welders are much smaller than conventional welding units, making them portable, as they may be transported in a carrier instead of being rolled to jobs on a special dolly. Because of their small size, they are also ideal for do-it-yourselfers and for use in tight areas that cannot accommodate portable generators that are sometimes required to run traditional welders.


  • Because they run on household current, inverter welders use less electricity, making them more economical. Their design also makes welding more efficient thanks to a smooth arc, small spatter and stable welding current.

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  • Photo Credit Norasit Kaewsai/iStock/Getty Images
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