When it comes to fabricating your own go-kart frame, you’ll need to choose the right material and tools! If you’ve opted for steel as your material for the go-kart frame, then you should definitely consider a high-quality welder. This will allow you to create a durable go-kart frame that acts as a base for all of the other components.
While you are able to use nuts and bolts, welded joints for frames are typically stronger and also tend to last longer. The best welders for your project are typically of high quality and power, easily transportable, and are feature-rich! In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the best welders for constructing your go-kart frame!
1. DEKO MMA Welder
The DEKO MMA Welder is our best pick for constructing go-kart frames, as it’s portable, affordable and is equipped with many features. It’s a manual metal arc welder that is great for welding go-kart frames even on the go. It comes with an input power of 5.8KW and has a current range of 10 – 160 amps, which is great for a wide variety of steel thickness. It has a power factor of 0.85 and a protection grade of IP21S.
This welder has a very sturdy design that makes it suitable for working in all types of environments. It also has a high-efficiency fan to keep the overall system cool. What makes it great for welding kart frames is that it can be used to weld various materials like steel, aluminum, and other metals.
It is also portable with a weight of just 12.1 lbs and can be easily carried thanks to the built-in handle. On top of that, it is also an energy-efficient welder and features IGBT inverter technology that makes it a great and reliable choice.
2. Hobart MIG Welder
The Hobart MIG Welder has an amperage range of 25-140 and a weight of 57 lbs. While it is on the heavier side, it’s portable. It comes with a 20% duty cycle which is fairly average for household or DIY welders. This Hobart MIG welder also has a 5-position control selector for the voltage to provide users in different locations the ability to regulate the input voltage.
This welder is designed to work mainly with steel and aluminum. It has a very good build quality which makes it possible to be taken on the go without worrying too much. It also has a heavy-duty work clamp. Overall, this is a great choice for kart owners who want to have something a little sturdier, heavier and powerful enough to weld various kinds of frames without too much of a hassle.
3. W Weldpro MIG Welder
The W Weldpro MIG Welder is capable of running on 100/115, as well as 220/230 volts. This makes it great for European, American and Asian households. It’s designed to be a portable welder for anyone who wants to have professional-grade power at home or on the go. This welder can easily weld mild steel up to 1/4 inches and can feed wire at a rate of 78 to 396 inches per minute.
It has a weight of 21.2 lbs making it light and easy to carry around. The handles that are part of the design also help with carrying. Like some other leaders in the space, this model also comes with an IGBT inverter which can detect a risk of overheating or overcurrent and provides protection in such cases. With powerful welding capabilities and a portable design, the W Weldpro MIG Welder can be a great choice to weld your kart frames.
4. Forney Easy MIG Welder
The Easy Weld by Forney is designed to be the perfect entry-level welder for anyone looking for a combination of power and portability. It has an output of 140 Amp that will allow you to weld up to 1/4-inch mild steel, which is perfect for go-karts. This welder also has a 30% duty cycle which is great for DIY welding needs. The casing of the Forney Easy MIG Welder is made entirely of metal which makes it robust and great for traveling around with.
What makes this welder great for go-kart frame welding is its weight of just 19 lbs. It can be easily carried using the built-in handle. It also has an integrated cable wrap. And with its wire feed speed control, you can get the perfect results by carefully dialing in what you need. For precise and pro-grade welding needs, this is one of the best and most portable welders you can get.
5. DEKOPRO MMA Welder
DEKOPRO’s MMA Welder promises high efficiency and energy saving in a compact and portable design. It comes with a duty cycle of 60%, which is one of the highest amongst portable welders, and can operate at an input voltage of 110 or 220V. It has a Power Factor of 0.85 and has an IP21S rating for extra protection. The material of the casing is largely steel, with a plastic handle for convenience.
This is one of the lightest welders on this list, with a weight of just 13.6 lbs. This lightweight but durable build quality makes it excellent for taking along with you on your karting adventures if you need to do any repairs. It is suitable for various materials like stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, and other metals. Its IGBT technology adds another layer of reliability to its operation. All in all, this is a great choice for anyone looking for a welder to take on the go.
Go-Kart Frame Welders – Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing a welder for your kart frame, it’s important to acquaint yourself with some of its technical details, type, voltage, current range, duty cycle and portability. Let’s take a closer look at these aspects and things you should consider, before buying a welder.
There are two types of welders featured in this list, MMA and MIG welders. Both of these welders can be used to construct your go-kart frame. However, there’s a need to differentiate between them, as they both have their own advantages.
Manual Metal Arc (MMA) welders, also called arc or stick welders, use fusible electrodes in combination with a shielding gas to melt the steel for your go-kart frame. MMA welders are great for using indoors or outdoors and require a little more experience and coordination. The process also creates extra metal, which needs to be grinded off.
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welders use a consumable gas that won’t work well in the wind. Therefore, MIG welders would only be suitable if you’re working on your kart indoors. They are easier to use and beginner-friendly and also work well when fabricating your go-kart frame. Take note that the gas has to be topped up once in a while.
Certain welders only work at a specific voltage, whereby others feature an input voltage selector that lets you choose between 110V or 220V. The difference is in the way they are wired and you should always ensure that it matches the voltage of your outlet.
Houses in Europe and Asia typically use a supply voltage of 220 and 240 volts, whereas in North America (United States and Canada) 110V is the norm. When in doubt, you should opt for a welder with adjustable input voltage.
When it comes to welding steel for your go-kart frame, you’ll need to take into account the amount of amps your welder can output. The thicker the steel tubing you are welding, the more amps your welder needs to operate with. Depending on your go-kart frame design and tubing thickness you can take the below recommendation as reference:
- 1/8-inch steel thickness: 70+ Amps
- 1/4-inch steel thickness: 120+ Amps
- 1/2-inch steel thickness: 200+ Amps
The duty cycle of a welder indicates how long a welder can remain operational at a certain current. The duty cycle value is shown in percentage (e.g 60% at 120A) and should be understood as the following: 60% welding usage, 40% rest.
Operating your welder at a lower current will increase the duty cycle and will also allow you to do welding work on your go-kart for longer periods of time. Welders nowadays have an overload protection sensor that automatically shuts off, to prevent thermal damage to the welder.
Depending on where you’re building your go-kart, you may want to consider the portability of a welder. Many people tend to shift their location from a workbench, to the floor or even outdoors. If you’re going to be changing locations more often, it’s best to invest in a portable welder.
All welders in this list above are great for fabricating a go-kart frame, as they are portable and light, weighing only between 15 – 60 lbs. They also come equipped with a carrying handle.