Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run A Welder?(How to Find the Right Size)

There’s no doubt that a welding project requires a good amount of electricity. That’s why most mechanics prefer an excellent generator to execute welding properly.

However, if a technician wants to run a welder where electricity can be a significant issue, they always carry a portable welder. And when it comes to portability, 5000 watt generator is just the perfect option. But there has always been a doubt on will a 5000 watt generator run a welder?

Well, it depends on the wattage of the welder. And you can use a 5000 watt generator if the maximum output of the welder isn’t greater than 5000W.

However, there’re other factors and initials that impact both generator and welder. Let’s figure them out, and I’ll show you other alternatives as well.

Types of Generators for Welders

There’re two types of generators you’ll find for welders. One is a car/home generator, and the other one is an industrial generator. Let’s take a look.

Car/Home Generator

An electric generator that can provide power or energy when the main source of electricity is not working is called a car or home generator. A car generator is basically a substitute for when the main engine can’t provide any power.

Similarly, if a house’s primary grid is thrown out in any situation like a storm, then a home generator can supply electricity.

The price range of a car or home generator costs around $1000 to $2000.

Industrial Generator

The name shows that an industrial generator is made for industrial use and can serve heavy equipment like a welder, grinder, etc. Natural or diesel gas is required to run an industrial generator.

Besides, you can use an industrial generator for several years and have optimum performance with regular maintenance.

The price range of these generators will be $10,000 to $12,000. However, if you want to buy the used one, that’ll cost you around $5,000 to $7,000.

Will a 5000 Watt Generator Run a Welder?

In simple words, if you’re using a welder with 120 or 240 volts, then a 5000 watt generator is a suitable option. So a 5000 watt generator is sufficient for a welder with an output power of less than 5000W.

However, this generator can’t produce electricity for an industrial welder as it’s a heavy-duty machine.

Another reason why a 5000 watt generator can’t be beneficial to a heavy-duty welder is that the electrode can’t be attached to the workpiece properly. Or if it even sticks to the workpiece somehow, the arc keeps popping out frequently.

In other words, it’s preferable to avoid using a heavy-duty welder on a 5000-watt generator. But if you have a non-heavy-duty welder, in that case, a 5000 watt generator will do well.

How Many Amps Will a 5000 Watt Generator Produce?

You have to know a formula to know exactly how many amps a 5000-watt generator can produce. So here’s the formula:

Amps (A) = Watts (W or kW) / Volts (V)

Now, if you want to calculate the amps of any appliance, you should know the voltage of that specific machine. For example, if you’ve equipment with 120 volts, then just divide 5000 by 120 volts in that case.

An average 5000 watt generator can produce roughly 41.6 amps at 120 volts and 20.8 amps at 240 volts. However, for further information, check the owner’s handbook for the machine you’re considering purchasing.

Alternative Generators Wattage to Run a Welder

There are other alternatives generators to run a welder. But to find out whether they are capable enough of running a welder or not, keep on reading.

Will a 2000 watt generator run a welder?

A 2000 watt generator will be sufficient for a welder with a maximum output less than 120 amps and have power under 2000.  For example, TOMAHAWK 15 HP Engine Driven Portable 2,000 Watt Generator.

Will a 3000 watt generator run a welder?

There are 3000 watt generators available for welders that have power under 3000. Also, you can run welders with a maximum output of less than 120 amps on a generator with 3000 operating watts. Honda EU3000IS Super Quiet Gasoline Portable Generator is such an example.

Will a 4000 watt generator run a welder?

A 4000 watt generator can run a welder if the wattage of that welder is less than 4000. Or a welder with less than 120 amps maximum output can also use a 4000 watt generator. For example, DuroMax XP4000S Portable Generator-4000 Watt.

How to Find the Right Size Generator For Your Welder?

First of all, to find the right size generator for any welder, you have to know the wattage. The rule for wattage is; input voltage x output amp = wattage. But for an inverter welder, you have to add 1.5 times to the wattage.

For example, if you have a welder with 120v of an input voltage and an output of 25 amps, then the wattage will be (120 x 25) 3000W or 3KW.

However, for this particular case, you’ll need a generator that can produce more than 3000W.

For that reason, most welding professionals suggest that every piece of welding equipment have a greater power generator to avoid irregularities, overloading, and trip hazards.        

How Many Watts Does Your Welder Use

Before you know how many watts does your welder use you need to understand some basic parameter. So look here to know the parameters.

Volts: An electrical potential difference between two points.

Amps: it’s a parameter to measure the electric current flow.

Watts: A watt is a unit of heat energy. Electricity is generated by friction when electrons move across a circuit, which is measured in watts.

So here is the formula of watt is:

Volts x Amps = Watts

That means you just need to multiply the volts of the welder with the amps if you want to find how many watts your welder use.

Tips to Consider While Using Generator for a Welder

Here’re some tips you can follow while using a generator for a welder:

  • Low THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) Value

Generators with a THD of less than 6% are considered top-notch. It also ensures that there will be no massive oscillation or flooding in the power grid since the lower the THD is. Additional applications include power tools and welders.

  • Fuel Meter

A shortage of fuel, which power generators rely on to generate energy, may drastically reduce electrical supply. The energy that has been used up may cause injury to the welder. As a result, it is necessary to check the fuel levels regularly.

  • Low Maintenance

The generator’s ability to function depends on the type of maintenance performed on it. Having said that, a generator that requires a lot of maintenance would not work well.

  • Cords

Never use any cords in poor condition cause they can damage the welder.

  • Starting and Shutdown

Always unplug your welder before starting and shutting it down. It’ll help to enhance the lifespan of the welder.

  • Tools and Equipment

There should be at least another 2,000 watts of power added to the system if you need to run other instruments such as reciprocating saws, and grinders.

  • High Altitude

There is less oxygen at high altitudes. That’s why propane and gasoline engines are less fuel-efficient and provide less power. However, you’ll get less power out of your welding generator at higher altitudes.

According to generator manufacturers, every 1,000 feet of elevation will result in a 3.5 percent power loss in the generator.

How long is the Run Time of A 5000 Watt Generator?

On average, the run time of a 5000 watt generator is around 9 to 10 hours. It depends on the generator’s engine and cc. For example, a Champion generator, equipped with 292cc engine, can last more than 9 hours, whereas a 312cc engine can get up a running time of 10 hours or more than that.

Recommended 5000 Watt Generators for a Welder

  1. A-iPower AP5000V 5000 Watt Powered Portable Generator
  2. Briggs and Stratton 5000 Watt Portable Generator
  3. Briggs and Stratton S5000 5000W Portable Generator
  4. DuroMax XP4850EH 4850 Watts Generator


What size generator for a 220v welder?

It’s important to note that both input current and power voltage affect the needed power. An input current of 45 Amps would need an operating wattage of 9900 Watts for the generator. So, 220v is not sufficient to answer this question.

What size generator to run a 140amp welder?

For a 140amp welder, 120-volt electricity is requires. That means you’ll need a generator somewhere between 3600 and 4800 operating watts to run the 140 amp welder

  • What is the difference between the beginning and a maximum flow of a generator?
  • There are two types of generator flow. One is beginning flow, and the other one is a maximum flow.
    Beginning flow: As the name suggests, the amount of electricity a generator can produce when initially turned on is beginning flow.
    Maximum flow: The amount of electricity a generator can produce after 30 minutes or 1 hour from turning on is called the maximum flow.

    Can you run a stick welder on a generator?

    While an on-grid generator may undoubtedly power a stick welder, the stick welder and generator need to be compatible. To utilize it safely, the circumstances must be perfect; otherwise, any accident can occur.

    What size generator to run a MIG welder?

    Suppose you wish to use this welder exclusively in 110-volt mode. In that case, you’ll need an electric generator that produces 5,000 Watts (5 KW). Moreover, 30% for beginning and demand increases (another 2 KW) means you’ll need an electric generator that can produce up to 7,500 Watts at maximum output.


    Hopefully you’ve got no more confusion regarding ‘will a 5000 watt generator run a welder?’ So, in the end, all I can say is that you don’t have to worry much while using a 5000 watt generator.

    And, as it’s a standard generator, you can easily use it depending on the type of welder.

    Besides, if you remember the above-discussed details, you’ll have no trouble finding the proper generator to power your welding equipment.

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