There is no single welder that is appropriate for all applications. As a beginner, it is natural to look for a device that is both versatile and affordable. After you grow your skills and knowledge, something more specialized may come in handy.

So which are the critical factors to consider?

Purpose

The most critical factor to consider is the purpose. How are you going to use the welder, and what are your prospects. Are you going to work with aluminum or a wide variety of metals? MIG welding is most appropriate for stainless, aluminum, and steel. It is cleaner and easy to learn.
Ideally, you should take some time to consider the projects you will be using the welder on. Do you have an old car that requires some fabrication? Does the motorcycle need a new body?

MIG welding can comfortably handle stainless steel, steel, and aluminum alloy. On the other hand, stick welding is most suitable for stainless steel, steel, and iron. Stick welding is not the best for aluminum alloy.

TIG welding is the most versatile, and it can handle a variety of materials that include Steel stainless steel, aluminum alloys, Chromoly, copper, brass, and other exotic metals. The only shortcoming associated with TIG welding is that it cannot comfortably handle iron.

Difficulty

Flux-cored arc welding and MIG welding are some of the simplest to learn. The methods are efficient and straightforward, and you can use them outdoors in windy conditions. As a hobbyist, you are mostly going to use your welder outdoors, and it will be important if it can handle the conditions.

The high-speed and portability of flux cored arc welding makes it most functional for outdoor use, and DIY projects.

However, TIG welding gives you more control over the process compared to the MIG and Flux-cored arc welding. You can use it on thin materials of copper alloy, magnesium, and aluminum.

But if you want something simple to use on small projects at home, then a stick welder will be the most appropriate. The method is the most popular for welding joints and other gaps between metals. Stick welding is the most cost-effective, and it can work on dirty and rusty surfaces.


Power Requirements

The amperage or power requirements determine the versatility of the equipment. Do you intend to increase the usage of the welder in the future?

Determine the duty cycle and power requirements necessary to complete a particular Project. Will the current power of one specific welder be sufficient to complete the body of your favorite motorcycle?

Ideally, the beginner welder should be useful as well as economical.


Budget

Apart from the power requirements and duty cycle, you should consider the cost of the entire unit. To avoid problems, don't choose anything too cheap. Check the brand, and always pick reliability over everything else.

The cost of the supplies and accessories will also be critical to consider. This includes jacket gloves and helmet, as well as, other consumables such as a welding stick and gas.