Amico 160 Amp DC Stick Welder Review
The Amico 160 is a welder that’s almost too good to be true.
With 160 amps of output power this machine can weld up to 1/4″ thick mild steel with ease. Coupled with its long duty cycle and dual voltage capabilities the Amcio 160 is a beast of a machine. Add to it the portability aspect and it’s unstoppable.
Combining a careful mix of quality, power, price and ease of use, it’s a welder that’s both forgiving to beginners and powerful enough for professionals.
- Great for beginners
- Inverter design
- Dual voltage
- Infinite amperage control
- LED display
- High duty cycle
- Lightweight/ Portable
- Long work clamp and electrode holder leads
- Tested in the USA
- Low quality electrode holder
- DC only
Great for beginners
It’s easy to see why stick welding is the most common type of welding: It’s simple, straightforward and low-cost.
What makes this unit stand out from the rest is its ease of use, making it ideal for both beginners and professionals alike.
Setting up the rig is a breeze. The package includes everything you need to get started except the electrodes. All you need to do is attach the work clamp and the electrode holder, plug in the power, set the amperage and you’re ready to weld. Even if it’s is your first time welding you can have this machine setup in minutes. The actual welding, on the other hand, might take some practice.
Welding with this unit couldn’t be easier. Just attach the proper electrode, set the amperage and strike the arc. It’ll take time and practice before you can lay down some nice looking beads but with the Amico 160 you’ll have a blast doing it.
When it comes to stick welding there are two main types of power sources: inverter and transformer. The reason why they can fit so much power into such a small box is because of its inverter design.
What’s the difference between inverter and transformer?
Size – Inverter welders are significantly smaller than the latter. They can be easily transported to and from jobs as needed whereas transformer based welders tend to be heavy and fixed in one spot.
Efficiency – Inverter welders can be more than twice as efficient than their heavy counterpart. As a result, you’ll save energy and money in the long run.
Stability – The arc stability on inverter rigs is just as good if not better than that of a transformer unit.
Cost – The upfront cost of an inverter welder is slightly higher than a transformer but over the long run you’ll save on energy costs.
If you want to know more about the technical side of things check out this article by TheFabricator.com.
The Amico DC stick welder boasts dual voltage capability, allowing you to take full advantage of its 160 amps of raw, metal melting power.
The welder itself is equipped with a 230V input lead which is fine if you have the proper electrical setup at home. However, if you only have a standard 115V outlet, don’t worry, the package includes an adapter so you can get started immediately.
Infinite amperage control
Another standout feature on the Amico 160 amp DC stick welder is the ability to control the amperage to your exact specifications.
Using the infinite amperage control, coupled with the bright LED display you no longer have to get by with “good enough.”
Unlike some other machines, the amperage on the Amico 160 is controlled by a knob rather than buttons. This makes it easier to adjust the amperage while wearing cumbersome gloves so you don’t have to waste time taking your gloves on and off.
High duty cycle
If you plan to do a lot of welding it’s important that the unit has a high duty cycle so you don’t have to wait around all day waiting for it to cool down.
The Amico 160 has a solid duty cycle of 60% at 160 amps. That means for every 10 minutes, you can weld for 6 before you have to stop and let it cool down for 4 minutes.
However, that’s only if you are pushing the machine to its limits using all 160 amps. The duty cycle is drastically increased the lower you set the amperage.
For such a high quality stick welder you’d think it would have a price to match but you’d be surprised. For less than $200 plus the cost of consumables you get the full package and can start welding today.
Of course there are cheaper rigs available, but when it comes to fabrication equipment you don’t want to go TOO cheap. The Amico 160 represents the perfect mix of power, quality and price.
Thanks to its inverter based design the Amico 160 is one of the lightest welders on the market today.
Weighing a mere 18 pounds, it’s not only light but it’s also tiny – measuring 12.5 x 9 x 22 inches. If you move around a lot, the small size is a lifesaver. In addition, the Amico 160 has both a heavy-duty handle and a shoulder strap for convenient transportation.
Long work clamp and electrode holder leads
While on the topic of versatility, it sports both a 10 foot work clamp and a 10 foot electrode holder.
While they are not the longest leads available they are more than long enough for puttering around the shop.
And if they’re not long enough, thankfully the Amico 160 is light enough to move around effortlessly. Plus you can always upgrade if you need to.
Tested in the USA
While the Amico 160 isn’t manufactured in the United States (or else you’d be paying a LOT more) it is tested here.
They run a variety of tests to ensure you’re buying a welder that is up to the rigors of the American work ethic.
Low quality electrode holder
It was almost too good to be true.
But like everything, it has its faults. Fortunately there is only one minor flaw: the electrode holder isn’t the greatest.
The holder is made out of copper plated steel covered by white ceramic. The copper tends to wear down which weakens the grip of the electrode causing it to slip when striking an arc.
This is easily fixed buy upgrading to a better quality holder.
Not really a con but it’s something you should be aware of.
DC is usually the preferred welding polarity anyway but if you know you need to weld with AC, look elsewhere.
Whether you’re brand new to the world of welding or have been welding for years the Amico 160 amp DC stick welder is one of the best stick welders on the market today.
It is portable, powerful, affordable and capable of producing high quality welds.
If you’re looking for a no-frills welder that will do its job every time, consider the Amico 160.
Specs and Features
Weight: 18 lbs
Size: L22″ x W9″ x H13″
Power Input: 115V/ 230V
Power Output: 160 A
Duty Cycle: 60% @ 160 A
Thickness: 1/4″ Mild steel
Warranty: 1 year