If you’re searching for a welding machine, you may stumble across descriptions such as “transformer” or “inverter.” If you are unsure which is best for your application, at least know this: transformer and inverter welders are perfectly capable of producing high-quality welds. However, keep in mind that most new models produced by industry-leading manufacturers are inverter-based.
Transformers are not necessarily bad, they are just “old school” compared to the “new school” inverter welders. An inverter and transformer power supply converts AC input power to DC output power suitable for welding. But just as the modern sedan can offer improved fuel economy through aerodynamics, lightweight materials, and engine design advancements, the inverter welder can also offer benefits to the welder through electrical technological advancements.
The inverter-based welding power source traces its commercial origins to the 1980s, thanks to advancements in solid-state electrical components. At that time, the new inverter technology lacked the same reliability as the proven transformer technology. This reputation stuck even as high-amperage solid-state technology continued to advance.
Today, inverter welders are much more reliable than when they were first introduced, have an increased practical lifespan, and can tackle applications not previously recommended, such as carbon arc gouging in-field welding conditions.