The ReadyWelder came about when Ted Holsing, the company’s founder, needed to repair a gate. After suffering through a major hassle of calling around to find someone to do it for him, he was inspired to create a welder that was portable and could be used by everyone. Over the last seven years, the ReadyWelder product developed from an original household drill-powered, two-handed unit to the units sold today which look like slightly oversized spool guns.
We’ve seen a number of portable stick welders on off-road vehicles, but this is one of the first completely portable wire welders we’ve seen. The ReadyWelder is contained entirely in the “gun” and is designed to work with auto or marine batteries wired in series to obtain 18, 24, 30, or 36 volts.
ReadyWelder sells three main models to the public:
- the Model 10000, which is designed to operate solely on batteries
- the Model 10250, which is designed to utilize other welders as a power source (like, for example, your existing stick welder)
- and the Model 1000-ADP, which offers the “best of both worlds,” and can power itself from batteries or other welders
The basic Model 10000 can purportedly weld thin sheet metal with an 18v battery source, weld 1/2″ in a single pass with 24v, and weld up to 3/4″ with 36v. It comes with a high-impact plastic gun, ten feet of cable, a spool of flux-core wire, a 300A ground clamp, two battery clamps, ten extra feet of gas hose, some miscellaneous expendables, and a carrying case, all for $599 direct. You supply your own batteries. (They recommend “group 31 marine deep cycle batteries,” but indicate that the unit can work with others.)
One note: All of these models have a full-time “hot” tip, meaning that once you connect it to power, the gun’s electrically live. They do offer each of these models for about $100 more with a “cold switch” to allow you to turn on power only when the trigger’s pulled. Those models have a “cs” appended to their model numbers. While ReadyWelder says most users have done some stick welding and aren’t concerned about an always-live gun, we recommend buying the cs models for safety’s sake.
According to ReadyWelder, their customers use these welders in all sorts of applications such as farming and off-roading. They’ve also created military versions which include water-resistant cases to hold the basic welder plus longer leads and supplies. (Not all of these are available to the public, but quite a number are.)
ReadyWelder sells these units directly as well as through distributors, so shopping around could save you a few bucks.
The ReadyWelder II [ReadyWelder]