How do I Choose the Best Stud Welder?

Lori Kilchermann

When choosing a stud welder, there are several important factors to consider including the availability of equipment, power of the transformer and ease of operation to name a few. A good stud welder must be able to use a wide array of studs and should work on both metal and aluminum with ease. The switch on a stud welder is often the weak link. Be certain that the brand of stud welder selected has quality switches and is built with quality components and materials.

Stud welding involves joining a metal fastener to another piece of metal through the creation of heat.
Stud welding involves joining a metal fastener to another piece of metal through the creation of heat.

The benefits of a stud welder over drilling and removing dents is two-fold. First, by drilling the body panel, it is weakened structurally by removing material with a drill bit. Second, the act of drilling a hole in a body panel creates an entrance for water and moisture to seep into the body. This creates the possibility of rust and paint damage. By welding a stud onto a body panel and pulling the dent in this fashion, the body panel remains intact.

Welding goggles.
Welding goggles.

When purchasing a stud welder, choose a kit that offers options needed for the job at hand or future needs. Stud welders typically come in kits that contain the welder, studs and a puller, or slide hammer. Deluxe kits typically offer different size slide hammers, rivet welders and trim stud welding attachments. These more inclusive kits make it possible for the stud welder to be used for more than simply pulling dents.

Read all manufacturer's instructions prior to operating the tool. This will ensure maximum success by informing the user about the proper type of preparation of the body panel needed for a successful application of a stud. The proper stud spacing as well as the proper slide hammer usage will be explained in the manufacturer's instructions. Failure to read all of the instructions could result in an unsuccessful stud application.

Once the repair has been accomplished, the studs are easily removed, in most cases with a small disk grinder. Body panel preparation and painting can be completed once the studs have been removed. In most repairs, the body panel will retain its original integrity and strength. A good body repair professional will be able to complete many repairs with a minimal amount of plastic body filler. By choosing a stud welding kit that has the most equipment and tools that falls within budget, the home handyman as well as the professional body repair shop tech can maximize his or her repair potential.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - I would suggest if someone wants specific recommendations on what kind of equipment to buy, that they have a look on relevant forums and review sites.

Try to make sure the websites aren't biased towards a particular company.

I haven't ever had to buy a stud welder myself, but whenever I need to make a major purchase, this is the first thing I do. People will almost always have a rough consensus on what are the best brands, and why, and they will also be able to give you recommendations depending on what you are specifically hoping to accomplish.

Don't rely on that exclusively, but I find that getting a bunch of knowledgeable people together is often the best way to get a grip on what the real deal is.


@anon209523 - It really depends on what you want. If you want something you're going to be using for many jobs over a long period of time, you should go for one of the more expensive models, particularly one attached to a company which has been around for a long time, and presumably offers a long warranty.

This way, you know the company is not going to go out of business and that you'll be able to use your stud welder for years to come without having to worry about it breaking.

If, however, you're just getting one in order to do a short term job, you might want to consider renting one, or even bringing in a contractor.

You don't want to end up with a cheap welder that's going to break after a years worth of work.


which one is better?

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