Can You Run a Stick Welder on a Generator?

It is essential to know the fundamentals of welding before starting working on welding projects on your own. You should learn which generator works with certain types of welders. Therefore, we are here with this article that shows can you run a stick welder on a generator?

In the welding industry, the most economic and popular method of welding is using a stick welder. In rough environments, this handy welder can work with absolute effectiveness. For outdoor projects, welders need generators to run accurately. So stay with us to know what size generator a stick welder requires.

Can You Run a Stick Welder on a Generator?

Stick welders can heat metals at a higher temperature; thus, it is suitable for thick metals. Also, stick welders are compatible with any dirt or rust metals and farm use. So, if you have a farm, you can use the best stick welder for farm use. It is the best welder that can work effectively in any weather condition at indoor or outdoor.

Can You Run a Stick Welder on a Generator?

As some welding jobs require outdoor projects, so they need generators for smooth operation. So, can you run a stick welder on a generator? The answer is yes, you can. Usually, generators come in two different varieties. The first one is a standard generator, and the second one is a welder generator.

You can use the welder generator with almost any kind of welder, including stick welders. But there is a difference when it comes to running an inverter welder and transformer welder on generators. Inverter welders need less power and smaller transformers, which means you can run this welder on any generator.

Due to dirty power, older inverter welders cannot work with generators. But, now, the inverter welders can easily work with the generator without any issue. Because of fewer amps and steady sine waves, the transformer welder may not work with standard generators. In that case, you may need the welder generator.

What Size Generator Do I Need for a Stick Welder?

People started using welder generators to get higher output with a constant electric flow. To run a welder by using generators, you should know the right size. Otherwise, it doesn’t work smoothly and properly. Before looking for a perfect sized generator first, you should find out the stick welders wattages.

What Size Generator Do I Need for a Stick Welder?

Here is the formula for calculating the stick welder unit’s wattages to find the perfect sized generator.

Input Voltage X Output Amperage = Wattage

According to the welder’s amperage capacity, the wattage requirements vary for every welder. As an example, a welder with a 160 amperage output will require a 3600 watts generator. Also, a welder with 180 to 200 amps output will need a 4900 watts generator. Similarly, a 250 amps output welder’s requirement will be a 6000 watts generator.

Make sure to look for a generator that can produce 25% to 30% more watts than the welder needed. To know the generator’s wattage output (kVA), you have to multiply the number by 800. For a 160 amp output stick welder, the minimum generator size should be 7kVA. For 180 to 200 amp welders, the recommended generator size is 8kVA. On the other side, a 250 amp welder will need a 13kVA generator.

You can also use the manufacturer’s voltage rating for getting the accurate generator size. They rated the welders at 110. 115, and 230 volts. This voltage rating is shown as U on the data plate. This voltage is used for measuring the amp and rating the machine. For getting the right amp rating, you should look out for the I1max. Which is known as the maximum network power supply or effective value. To acquire the stick welders’ watts, take the I1max amp and multiply it by the manufacturer’s given voltage rating. For example, (I1max) x volts = maximum watts.

Below we will provide the ways you can use to use a generator with your stick welder.


While calculating the generator size, always add the other accessory items that will be needed while welding. Like lights, fans, etc., will consume extra power, so you should add this also. For every 1000 feet of height, consent 3.5% energy loss. Your generator should run the welder at 50% to 60% capacity. It can easily manage the load fluctuations.

Other Consideration:

While starting up or shutting down the welder, make sure to unplug it every time. Disable the fuel-saving feature while running the generator at full speed by connecting to the welder. Fresh fuel is a must for a generator’s smooth operation. Fresh fuel ensures that the generator won’t stop running while welding.

So, you have to fill the generator every time with fresh fuel. Avoid the poor and undersized power cords, and it can cause damage to the generator along with the welder. Don’t run a welder with a generator that is not working accurately. Therefore, you should always maintain the generator and make sure it works appropriately.


Plug the welder into the front side outlet of the generator. If you find any issue while plugin, you can try wiring the cable by cutting off the plug. The easiest and best option is getting a suitable adapter to plug the welder with the generator.

Last Thoughts

A perfect sized generator can ensure the accuracy of the welder’s performance. Thus, it is compulsory to find out the right sized generator for your stick welder. So, you have to research the power requirements of your welder before purchasing any generator.

This article will show you can you run a stick welder on a generator? Also, how can you find out the right size of a generator for your stick welder. Remember one thing, always get something with more power it will work as a safeguard. And, don’t forget to measure the welder’s wattage before buying the generator.


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