You have decided to invest in purchasing a MIG welder. This is a big investment. If you buy the right product, it will last for years and be an invaluable tool for your secular work and projects around the home. You are investing too much money to purchase a mediocre welder. You need the best MIG welder that you can afford.
If you spend a lot of time and energy reading endless MIG welder reviews, you may be left feeling confused. What I’ve tried to do is save you the time and energy of reading countless reviews. I have produced a complete and comprehensive guide designed to make it possible for you to have all the necessary information to make a conscientious buying decision.
Our Top MIG Welders
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder||18×16.8×10.3 inches||49 pounds||Our Review|
|Hobart 500553 Handler 210 Multi Voltage Plug MIG Welder||24 x 18.6 x 13.2”||87.5 pounds||Our Review|
|Miller Electric Millermatic 212 MIG Welder||n/a||n/a||Our Review|
|Lincoln Electric K2697-1 Handheld 120VAC MIG Welder||20 x 15 x 16”||61.2 pounds||Our Review|
|Forney 299 125FC Flux Core Welder||23 x 11 x 18”||14 pounds||Our Review|
|Arksen MIG-130 Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder Welding Machine Automatic Feed||19 x 11 x 17”||38 pounds||Our Review|
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine||13.4 x 7.3 x 11.4||35 pounds||Our Review|
|Lincoln EasyMig 140||20 x 15 x 16”||61.2 Pounds||Our Review|
|Hobart Handler 140 Wire Welder||19 x 11 x 13”||65.3 pounds||Our Review|
|Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder||20.2×10.2×16 inches||62 pounds||Our Review|
Best MIG Welder Reviews
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder is easy to use, portable, light, and efficient. You can plug it into 115V twenty amp wall socket. Various voltage configurations and adjustments allow you to weld metal from 24 gauge up to .125 inches thick.
This is a complete package boasting:
- Wire/Gun Assembly
- Clamps and Cable for Work
- Gas Holes with Regulator
- Tactile Hands Shield
- Filtration System Plate and Lens
- Great for Sheet-Metal and Work on Decreasing Gauge Steel
- Easy to Transport inside the Workshop or in the Field
- Robust Design
- Electric Fan Prevents Overheating
- Incorporated Safety Tools Not Top-Notch
- While the Machine Is Portable, Accessories Are Difficult to Transport
- Not for Heavy Duty Use
This is a nice product for light to medium jobs. Lincoln has a respected name and reputation that shines through in the quality of this product. It is worth the money since you can expect this product to function well for decades to come.
Hobart 500553 Handler 210 Multi Voltage Plug MIG Welder
This product represents the perfect mix of cost-effectiveness, durability, quality, and ease-of-use. The unit is designed for use by novices and experts.
One of the reasons why this is the best welder at its price range is because it has the power output that ranges from 25 A to 210 A. This makes it a versatile machine.
This welder can be used on materials like steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. It is powerful enough to handle three quarter of an inch thick steel. However, it has the stability to handle 24gauge materials.
Its flexibility allows it to be used in everything from metal fabrication to auto body workshops to small industrial projects. Many are impressed with what they read when they look at Hobart 140 MIG welder reviews.
- Dual Voltage Input Ability
- Easy for Novices to Operate
- Produces a Clean Weld
- Cost-Effective When Compared to Other Welders in the Same Category
- Designed for MIG Welding/Flux Core Welding
- Not Designed for Heavy Duty Fabrication
- Short Cables May Frustrate Some Users
- Requires an Additional Cart for Transportation
The Hobart 500553 Handler 210 is a good product. It is going to leave you with a clean weld, and it is very easy to use. However, if you are looking for something that is more versatile and that has a lot of features, this is not the product for you. You may want something that’s a little bit more expensive, yet offers you the versatility needed to get larger industrial jobs done.
Miller Electric Millermatic 212 MIG Welder
The Miller Electric Millermatic 212 MIG Welder is one of the best welding machines in this review. It is an auto set wheeled metal inert gas welding device. It is powerful enough to handle 3/8 inch thick metal in just one pass, while at the same time accurate enough to be used on 22 gauge steel.
Its auto set feature allows you to weld without needing to do manual adjustments. You do not need to waste time second-guessing every factor or every adjustment.
- Easy to Operate
- Lightweight and Portable
- Comes with Interactive Tutorials
- Creates a Clean Weld
- Is Not a Multipurpose Device. Cannot do TIG welding
- Does Not Have a Spool Gun
- Although the Wheels Are Nice, They Require Additional Maintenance
This device is easy to work with. Allows you to automatically set the thickness and gauge of the material you’re working on. You can weld ½ inch metal with just one pass. It is durable, long-lasting, and sufficiently powerful to get most jobs done. Many consider this to be the best welder for the money.
Lincoln Electric K2697-1 Handheld 120VAC MIG Welder
This is a nice, small, versatile MIG welder. It’s great for completing jobs around the house, doing hobbies, or little garage products.
This non-gas welder uses standard electricity, exactly what you would find in any plug in your home. It’s the complete package. It is the best welding machine for those looking to learn how to weld.
It comes equipped with a flux cable, a gun, a welding sledgehammer, a brush, and a welding mask. The flex wire has a car feed dial that you can completely adjust.
If the welder duty cycle is exceeded, the overheat shutoff function will kick in, preventing any damage to the product.
- The Ability to Weld for Two Consecutive Minutes without Need to Cool down
- Dual Voltage Configurations
- Welds a Variety of Metals, Including Magnesium, Nickel, Copper, and Other Alloys
- Portable, Light, Good for Mid-Size Welding Projects
- The Handle on the Top Is Cheap, Flimsy, and Could Break
- The Welder Needs to Be Assembled before You Can Use It
The MIG Welder Handheld 120 VAC is a good option if you are looking to do medium to light welding at home. It is the complete package, allowing you to get started right away with your projects. It’s not designed for industrial jobs, but it does what it is designed for well. This is the best MIG welder for the money.
Best Cheap Welder
Forney 299 125FC Flux Core Welder
Its low price, durability, size, functionality, and semi-professional applications are to some of the reasons why review after review referred to this product as one of the best cheap MIG welders you can buy.
The unit offers a lot of amazing features, it has a unique design, and it is affordable enough so that a beginner can use it, learn the ropes, and not break the bank. It is a wise investment.
Even though it is small, it can make welds that are durable and strong. This welder can be used on stainless steel, which sets it apart from some other MIG welders in this price range. Although it may look fragile, it can do the job well.
- Ability to Weld Stainless Steel
- Durable Design
- Perfect for Beginners
- Produces a High Quality Weld
- Not Designed for Industrial Use
- Flimsy Handle
If you’re looking for a small welder that gives you big bang for your buck, the Forney 299 125FC Flux Core is a great option. It can weld different materials, it’s constructed from high quality material, and it is inexpensive enough to allow you to learn about welding without breaking the bank.
Arksen MIG-130 Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder Welding Machine Automatic Feed
When you first start welding, you may mistakenly believe that any welder will do. However, experience shows you that not all MIG welders are the same.
The Arksen MIG-130 Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder Welding Machine Automatic Feed is a nice, inexpensive machine that benefits from a portable lightweight design and offers a lot of versatility.
While not the most powerful welder on the market, this unit will allow you to weld steel and aluminum. This welder can provide precise and clean cuts if you’re working with plastic or rubber.
The automatic features of this unit make maintenance a breeze. The built-in cooling fan and thermal overload protection prevent you from damaging this machine by allowing it to get too hot.
- Top-Notch Protection, Including a Built-In Cooling Fan and Thermal Overload Protection
- A Complete Package, Including Chipping Hammer, Wire Brush, Ground Cord, and Welding Mask
- Lacks Power When Compared to Other Models of Its Size
- Not Designed for Industrial Use
- The Housing Looks and Feels Flimsy
This is a good cheap welder. It is obviously designed for domestic use around the home. If you have a small business, it can help you with little projects. It’s lightweight, portable, and durable.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
If you’re looking for a good yet cheap MIG welder, the Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core may be the best cheap wire feed welder you will find in our review.
This is a good cheap MIG welder that is going to allow you to obtain a semi-professional finish in welding. You can work on automobile bodywork and other steel welding projects.
It has a voltage of 110 V / 65 Hz. The entire package includes the welder, a brush, a welding mask, and a welding gun.
- Four Adjustable Settings
- Excellent for Beginners
- Great Value for the Money
- Equipped with Multiple Accessories
- Long Cord
- Excellent Voltage
- The mask provided is made from a very flimsy and cheap plastic. I would recommend going out and buying a different model to provide you with adequate protection.
While this product would not fall under the category of the best cheap welder, it is definitely a good cheap welder. It is sufficiently equipped to allow you to do most at home jobs and some mid-level work related jobs.
If you’re the type of person who likes to do projects on your own, this is great for you. It’s not industrial level, but it will do the trick for domestic jobs.
Best Welder for Home Use
Lincoln EasyMig 140
This versatile welder is a reliable tool. For its size, it produces an amazing 140 A of output power. You will be impressed by the product’s 20 percent duty cycle at 90 A. Its versatility is seen when you realize that it has speed controls ranging from 50 to 500 IPM.
Added versatility is seen in the fact that it is capable of flux cord welding. It is clear to see why many people say that this is the best welder for home use. It is affordable, easy-to-use, and has the ability to weld metals including mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Its range goes from 24 gauge metal up to metal that is 3/16 of an inch thick.
- Makes the Welding Process Easier by Providing a Proven yet Forgiving Arc Performance
- Two Knob Control Makes It Easy for Beginners to Use
- Rugged Construction
- When you use it as a MIG welder, you’ll need to connect a gas cylinder. This makes the product less portable
- It’s heavy, and so it needs a cart for transportation
- It cannot be used on materials that are thinner than 24 gauge
Many people consider this to be the best MIG welder for home use. It’s versatile, it’s reliable, it’s accurate. It’s powerful enough to handle small metal fabrication projects. Its price makes it affordable enough to be good value for the money.
Hobart Handler 140 Wire Welder
This is the best wire feed welder for someone who is just starting out with welding. Its price makes it a great buy, especially when you consider all of the features that it offers. It is a capable yet forgiving welder. If you’ve never touched a welder before in your life, you’re going to be surprised at how easy it is for you to do at home projects with this 115 V welder.
- Excellent Arc Performance, Especially For Slim Gauge Materials
- Five Output Voltage Configurations with Cable Feed
- Individual Purchase Settings to Clear Gas Lines
- Durable Steel for Clamp
- The price is a little high when compared with other models of this type.
- Newer models of similar products offer greater durability and more features.
Multiple reviews on multiple sites list this device as the best home welding machine in its price range. It’s easy to set up, it is capable, but yet it is forgiving. It’ll have you doing your at home projects quickly, and it will leave you happy with the end results.
Forney 309 140-Amp MIG
The Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder is one of the best welders for home use. This is thanks in part to a recent upgrade that has endowed this welder with amazing features. It can work with a power outlet of 115 V. Its maximum power ranges from 30 A to 140 A.
What makes this welder valuable for the money is that it is ready to go as soon as you open the box. It’s versatile, it’s easy to transport, and it has a very low learning curve.
- Cast Aluminum Drive System
- High Duty Cycle
- Integrated Cable Wrap Feature
- The Eurostyle Torch Connection Feature Is Problematic
- Limited Power
- Not Compatible for TIG or Stick Welding
This MIG welder is a great choice for someone looking to do small projects at home or in their workshop at a reasonable price. It is reliable, it is durable, and it is precise. This is not the product we would recommend for industrial size projects as it lacks the necessary power to do those jobs.
What Is a MIG Welder?
Most welding machines can make joints in metal. Of course, some work better in certain circumstances than others. The MIG welder is the universal machine. It can be used on something as thin as sheet-metal or something as thick as heavy steel pipe.
Developed in the 1940’s, MIG welders use an electric arc to create a short circuit between a continuously fed anode and the metal that is being welded.
MIG uses a tank that is filled with metal inert gas. It is this gas that gives the machine its name.
With a MIG welder, a spool of solid steel wire is fed from the machine. It travels through a liner and then exits a contact tip on the MIG gun. The contact tip is very hot or has an electrical charge. This melts the wire, forming a weld puddle.
The heat that is produced by the short circuit, along with the nonreactive gas, heats the metals, allowing them to melt together.
Inert gas flows out of the gun, keeping the puddle shielded from the atmosphere and preventing welding defects.
A MIG welder is beneficial because it can join a wide range of metals with different thicknesses. It’s easy to learn, produces a minimal amount of weld spatter, and produces a good weld bead.
Best Welding Machine Brands
Since 1917, Hobart has prided itself as being one of the most inventive welder brands in the industry. Their focus has been on designing, testing, and manufacturing products that exceed the industry standard and that offer the customer more than what they could have hoped for.
Their products have been the standard for production in farming, maintenance, auto repair, and for do-it-yourselfers. They pride themselves on their ability to provide stellar customer service. For this reason, they make themselves available to their customers and are easy to contact.
Their complete complement of welders, welding accessories, and tools exemplifies their commitment to making welding as easy as possible for their customers.
In 1836, in Harrison, Ohio, Campbell Hausfeld got its start as a company that manufactured farm equipment. In the 1940’s, they began to diversify by starting to make products including air tools, generators, pressure washers, and welders.
Their hard work and commitment to their customers has allowed them to be considered one of the top welder brands in the world. Working hand-in-hand with their parent company Berkshire Hathaway, they have produced products that outshine even the best welder brand names. Their customers trust and rely on them to create a product that is second to none.
Starting with $200 in 1895, John C. Lincoln founded Lincoln Electric with products of his own design. From that year on, Lincoln electric has been among the best welder brands in the world.
They are a global manufacturer whose focus is providing the best in the world of welding and cutting. They are passionate about developing and applying new technologies. Their goal is to create complete solutions that allow their customers to work in a more productive and successful way.
Their unwavering commitment to their employees, their insatiable desire to succeed, and their love for the products they create are part of the reasons why year after year customers flock to their products.
Miller is concerned about building things that matter. This is why many consider them to be the best welding machine brand. They are solution focused, and they want to meet the needs of their clients, providing safe, efficient, and healthy welding material.
Their headquarters are located in Appleton, Wisconsin, but they are owned by Illinois Tools Works. They are committed to making a reliable, quality product. The units they create are blue colored. For this reason, their tagline is, “The Power of Blue®.”
Since 1929, Miller has grown from a one-man operation to one of the largest MIG welder brands in the world. They keep their eight decade tradition alive by focusing on what’s most important to them, people.
Since 1978, Eastwood has been a part of the do-it-yourself community. They pride themselves on creating welders and other tools designed to do the job right. They have created an in-house product design and development team along with a unique and proven product testing method that has left them with a strong track record of stellar quality and innovative products.
They are considered to be among good welder brands by top builders as well as novices. All of their products come with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. They are committed to offering a unique solution to the challenges facing their customers. This devotion to excellence will ensure their place in the do-it-yourself community.
This company’s history starts in the Minnesota iron range around Hibbing, Minnesota. The fluctuating economy in that area meant that people understood the importance of making products themselves.
The ingenuity that surrounds this company’s history is the same ingenuity that is seen in their welders and other products that they make. They are not content to be listed among good welder brands, but they work and they strive to be the best welding machine brand in the world.
Northern Industrial is a family owned and operated business. Together with thousands of motivated employees, they work hard to bring value to millions of loyal customers.
Factors to consider When Choosing the Best MIG Welder
Welding is an exciting field. Whether you are a professional welder or a novice looking to get into welding as a way of earning money or creating some projects at home, the best results come only by having the best welding machines.
However, with so many units on the market, it can be a challenge to know where to find the best all around welder. Take the following tips into consideration when looking for the best welding machine.
Understand What You Need
To get the best welding equipment, you need to know what you are going to use your MIG welder to accomplish. Is it for projects around your home, automotive jobs, small to medium jobs, or for industrial work? Answering these questions will help you when you are looking at welder reviews. It will help you avoid purchasing a MIG welder that is too powerful or purchasing one that does not have a sufficient amount of power.
Purchasing the Right Brand
As you are reading MIG welder reviews comparisons, you will likely ask which is the best brand to buy. The answer can only be found by doing a head-to-head welder comparison. Most popular brands offer a solid product. Each brand has its pros and cons, and you have to identify which pros you need and which cons you can deal with.
A Variety of Functions
Do you need a welder that supports flux core functions? This is something to look at when examining MIG welders reviews because not all welders support these functions. A nice thing about a MIG welder is that it can be used for a variety of functions. You can use at home, you can use it on your ranch, you can use it to do car maintenance, and you can use it for industrial repair. For this reason, when reading a MIG welder review, look for things like:
- An Auto Set System
- Built-In Solid Contactor Circuits
- Thermal Overload protection
How Much Power Do You Need?
If you’re looking at doing some simple welding at home, a welder that runs at 115 V is likely good enough for you. It will allow you to weld thinner materials, like a thin sheet of iron. Of course, this style welder won’t handle thicker materials.
Your best bet is to get a welder that can operate at 230 V or 120 V. With a simple switch, you can go from a high-voltage plug to a low-voltage plug. Many of these models are affordable and provide you enough power to do small to medium jobs.
Thermal Overload Protection
When reading wire welder reviews, it is likely that you will read about the duty cycle of the welder. For those who are unfamiliar with welders, basically this is the amount of time you can run your welder before it overheats.
The entire cycle is 10 minutes. So if the review says that at 180 A/240 V the welder has a duty cycle of 20 percent, it means that the welder can run continuously for two minutes, and then it needs to cool down for eight minutes before it can be used again.
Thermal overload protection will guarantee that if you’re working on a project and you exceed the limits of the component’s temperature, the machine will turn itself off and prevent damage.
The higher the duty cycle, the longer you can work without stopping. Now, it’s important to remember that the duty cycle is related to the welding output. So the same welder that has a duty cycle of 20 percent at 180 A/240 V will have a duty cycle of 60 percent when the welding output is lowered to 113 A/ 19.7 V.
Even the highest quality MIG welder needs to be repaired. When you are doing your MIG welder comparison, factor in how easy it will be for you to get repair parts. Is there a repair factory in the area that can give you the parts you need, or will repairing the product end up being more expensive than the welder itself?
Size and Portability
One of the most important things to look at when choosing a welder is its size and how much it weighs. Ask yourself, where you going to use it? If it is just going to sit in the shop and be stationary, then the weight is not that important. But if you need to take it with you as you work, then portability is something you should look for when reading a welder review.
To get the best MIG welder, you need to know exactly what you want to use the welder for. Take the time to do the research before you spend your hard earned money. Find out what you need and then purchase the MIG welder that meets your requirements and your spending limits.
My goal in this brief review was to give you the basic information on some of the most popular MIG welders on the market. I tried to break it into categories so you could understand the benefits and drawbacks of each model.
When making your final decision, you are going to have to look at your list of priorities. If you want a larger or more powerful model, then you may look at some of the best 220 MIG welder reviews out there. If you want something smaller, then you’re going to look for the best portable MIG welder.
For projects that you need done around your home, you want the best 110 V MIG welder. They are powerful enough for thin sheets of metal and are flexible enough to be used just about anywhere you can get 110 electricity.
There are a lot of brick-and-mortar stores where you can go to purchase a MIG welder. And while there are some benefits to buying a welder in a brick-and-mortar store, these benefits pale when compared to the benefits that come from purchasing your MIG welder online.
When you buy online, you can read MIG welder reviews comparisons before you buy. If you think you found a good cheap welder, you can talk to other people who have purchased a similar model online and find out what they think about it. The benefit of purchasing your welder online, from a place like Amazon, usually means you can purchase a higher quality product cheaper.
At the end of the day, where you choose to purchase is not as important as making the decision. Getting a nice MIG welder not only allows you to create some beautiful work at home, but it can be a source of income if you choose to use it that way.
So now it’s up to you. Pull the trigger, and buy yourself a nice welder. You will not regret that you did.