Are you having problems in choosing a MIG welder?
Do so many brands in the market haunt you?
Are you fed up to the point that you feel helpless?
Worry not! To solve your problems we bring to you the Best MIG welder series, where we suggest our best picks when it comes to beginners, home use, power or other specifications and requirements. Say goodbye to your entire haunt and tag along to know in which category your welder falls!
|Lincoln Electric K2278-1|
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1|
|Goplus MIG 130|
Budget is one of the constraints when you are thinking to buy a good MIG welder. Well, nothing can compare the Hobart 500554 Handler 190 when it comes to providing maximum features at the given price. The stylish and compact welder is the epitome of a great welding experience for professionals and hobbyists alike.
This power welder offers you great flexibility when welding. If you have a number of different scale projects to work on, you can easily adjust the current and voltage rating of the MIG via the control knob on the front panel. You get to choose between 7 different voltage settings and a current range of 25-190Amps to weld several different metals to your liking.
With Hobart Handler 190 you get double power for the buck spent. You can make use of its amazing features for different DIY projects at your home or worksite. The simple to use welder will not require you to rack your brains to get it working provided its user manual. Coupled with this and the noteworthy features mentioned below it’s definitely worth the purchase.
The cool spool gun – It gets messy handling the wire, making the entire welding ordeal troublesome. In order to avoid this, Hobart Handler 190 has a spool runner, which connects to the machine and regulates the flow of the wire. The spool gun can work with aluminum, steel, and mild steel wire.
Built-in Gas valve – You don’t have to look for additional accessories when it comes to this nifty welder. The welder has a gas valve, a spool adapter, a MIG gun, and gas hose, making life easier for.
Multiple voltage setting – The 7 options to set the voltage give you ample options to work on a variety of materials. You can weld 24-gauge to 5/16 inch using this welder. This truly is awesome features and most welders look forward to it.
The MIG welders mentioned earlier might not be suitable when it comes to small home projects. Instead of creating a mess in your home by bringing in a huge welding machine, Lincoln K2278-1 makes things easy for you. This handy welder by Lincoln will save your pocket and at the same time, give you enough power to complete your home projects in a go.
When it comes to some light-duty projects at home, you need something that isn’t full of unwanted features and does the job asked. This Handy Core welder by Lincoln does exactly that. We tested it out on a number of small projects and were amazed to know that it could handle mild steel up to 1/8 inches.
Although this compact home welder doesn’t pack a lot of exciting features, what it provides is enough to get your home projects done in a clean and economical way.
Cold Contractor safety – Although you will be using the welder for small purposes, yet there is this safety feature that prevents any thermal disasters. This feature keeps the welding wire cool unless you press the trigger.
Four output ranges– You can operate in 4 output ranges to work with some materials at your home. These options are more than enough when working on household DIYs. The four output ranges are selected based on the material you are working on or on how much power you require.
In-built fan– The compact welder also comes with a small inbuilt cooling fan. This prevents your welder from over-heating when you weld up to 70 Amps with a 115V input. This safety feature adds value to the welder.
Additional Accessories– Despite its economical range you get hold of the cable assembly, work clamp, work lead, and other cool accessories upon purchase. This solves a lot of problems and saves you a lot of trips to the market, plus you wouldn’t face any compatibility issues.
Lincoln has again made it to our list but this time around as the Best MIG welder under $500! Yes, you can get this amazing and handy welder in an economical budget. True to its name, the Lincoln Electric k2185-1 Handy MIG, is extremely convenient when it comes to low-duty projects at home. With its sweet price tag, this MIG has a lot to offer in its little bundle.
With a weight of almost 46 lbs. you can move it around your house and get the welding done in no time with the minimum mess created. With its easy interface, even the newbies can rock the welding profession in no time.
You might think that in the given price all you will get is the mainstream welding option that too on certain materials. Well, you are wrong. For its size, the welder packs some good amount of power and amperage range 35 to 88Amps, which allows you to weld different steel grades with minimum spatter. Fix your vehicle panels, repair your car bumpers, do custom fabrication, and much more, with these power-packed little machines.
Two operating modes – You can either make it work as a MIG or simply use flux core depending on your choice and requirement. This switching between two modes is effective and allows you to experiment a lot. However, one thing that might be a downpour for you is that you will have to purchase a separate shield gas to operate it as a MIG.
Warranty plus safety – In addition to its eye-catching price tag, the k2185 also has in-built cold safety contractor plus it comes with a 1-year warranty on the parts; how cool is that!
Portability and affordability – Being affordable is one thing but being portable in addition to that is like a cherry on the top. For under $500 you get a welder for home use that can either be used in your garage or inside your home, owing to its condensed design.
You will find it hard to believe, but you can get a MIG welder to fulfill your welding desires by spending less than $300, now how cool is that! You can be easy on the pocket and at the same time enjoy your hobby too. GoPlus MIG 130 welder is one of the best MIG welders under $300 you can get in the market. Weighing only 35 lbs. this welder offers maximum portability in a low budget.
The low cost and the lightweight do mean that you will not get a powerful arc, but what you do get with 110V input is enough to get done with small projects at home like fixing a door panel of your vehicle.
You can achieve some fine looking finishes using this MIG welder. Normal, thin steel and iron can work just fine using this machine. You can get most of your house repairs done with this small compact machine that comes with a carry handle. This allows you to carry your machine to the repair area, rather than bringing things to be repaired to it.
User-friendly control panel – This control panel makes the job easy for you. Even if you are a newbie, the simple panel with specific knobs for specific settings is easy to grasp. The current knob allows you to shift between 4 current levels. You can also adjust the wire feeding speed using a speed knob on the panel.
Two Air vent – This feature acts to prevent the circuitry in the machine from overheating by continuously dissipating the heat. This ensures an uninterrupted weld on your house repairs.
Storage Space – The sleek design of the welder hides a small storage space on the top. This is an excellent feature and it helped us carrying our small welding tools along with the welder without much hassle.
Metal Tip– The MIG welder makes use of convenient Flux-Cored wire, and with the additional self-release metal-inert gas when in use, prevents the oxidation of the welded part.
So far we considered some nifty welders that did not offer so much power, nevertheless completed the purpose they were used for. However, if you are some professional home welder, looking for some high power welding, Hobart Handler 210 MVP is the perfect contender. Not only is it the best MIG welder in the market, but also the best MIG welder under $1000.
Featuring Dual input voltage and dual welding processes, this powerful demon promises to offer, reliability and versatility. Our testing with this Hobart was simply amazing. Apart from the amazing features, the welder is easy to operate and allows you to experiment over 24 gauge – 3/8 inches.
You might thing considering its price and the features, the machine might be tough to handle and operate. But trust us; it is the opposite way round. You can get along with the functions in no time with its handy chart. The chart guides you through the settings to be used for different materials and the super cool gauge functionality allows you to know the thickness of the metal you are using too. It’s like all your work has been done for you!
Dual Input power – When it comes to some heavy-duty home welders, it is recommended to operate them at 230V. You have no such restriction in the 120 MVP by Hobart. 115V or 230V you can use both without the need to install multiple sockets of 230V at home to get your DIY projects done.
Experiment on a variety of materials – Hobart MVP 210 allows you to weld steels, iron and of course non-ferrous aluminum. At 115V you can get output amperage of 140Amps to weld steel as thick as 1/8 inches. If that does not satisfy you, you can always increase the power and the thickness, by plugging it in the 230V socket.
4-inch or 8-inch – Again the machine offers you option of the dimension of reel you want to use. You can adjust between the 2 options by using the adapter that comes along the entire assembly.
Quick Select – This function chooses the drive roll to be used for 0.024 inches or 0.030-inch wire and 0.030/0.035 flux wire. This machine is simply loved with the tons of choices it offers. You do not need to leave your welding spot and enjoy the uninterrupted experience.
7. 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder, Flux Core & Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch Argon Regulator, Metal Wire Feeder: Best 110V MIG Welder
With gaining much popularity these days, MIG welders have become one essential part of households. And when buying one, the voltage specs are something that one looks for according to the work one wants to take from it. Once you have decided that you are going to use the welder for small home DIY projects, 110V input is more than enough for you.
Lotos MIG 140 is the best 110V MIG welder according to us in the market. This cool and portable welder is versatile in its working and makes the entire welding ordeal easy for you.
Get hold of some amazing welds using this welder by Lotos, whether you are a hobbyist, professional or a newbie, Lotos has got you all covered. Keeping in view your tight budget, your requirement to weld different materials, and of course the power specs we recommend the versatile Lotos 140. Going from 25 to 140 Amps and coming with a number of accessories this is your best option for 110V MIG. Let’s have a look at the amazing features the welder has to offer.
Powerful 140 Amp – Stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, you name it Lotos 140 can weld it! Going from 18 gauge to 3/16 inches in case of steel and 1/8 inches or thinner when it comes to aluminum, the welder provides a lot of boost for the bucks spent.
Aluminum Wire feeder – The welder comes with a good quality aluminum wire feeder that gives a stable welding experience. You will not have to fiddle with the wire issues and spatter with this feature in place.
2T/4T switch – Tired of pressing the finger in case of along weld? This 2T/4T technology in the Lotos 140 MIG makes your life a lot easier. No longer need to press your fingers in case of a long weld.
Digital Display– The knobs on the front panel allow you to adjust the amperage range and the digital LED display makes it easy even for the amateurs to set the welder for the project.
Since we already gave you the top choice of a 110V MIG welder, why hold you back from knowing the best 120V MIG in the market? Our top pick in this category is Lincoln PowerMIG 120 MP. This simple to use welder by Lincoln is your ticket to an amazing welding experience. The device offers dual voltage input, 120V, or 230V. You can attach it to the respective outlet depending on your requirement of use. However, when used in 120V mode, you can get the desired results for home welding projects.
Although a bit pricy, it’s worth the cost owing to its reliability and the dual power specs that ensure a smooth and stable weld.
Coming down to its features, to be honest, these are plenty and make up for the price tag it carries. Whether you are looking for options in power supply, ease of use, portability or it is usability you are questioning you are promised the best outcome the company can offer in the size. We had an amazing time testing out the following cool features in this welder.
Multi-welder – If you are a die-hard welder or a professional requiring a number of different welding techniques, then this multipurpose welder is for you. You can either use it as a MIG, as TIG, Stick or as a large MIG. This is like getting 4 welders for the price of one, AWESOME!!
Power specification – The power spec of this machine is also worth praising. You get a pretty decent duty cycle 40% at 100Amps and 20% at 200Amps. Additionally, there are 2 in-built fans in the machine to keep it cool.
Flux/MIG – The capability of the welder to be used both for the flux core and MIG welding further gives you an open ground to experiment with different thicknesses. MG can handle up to 5/16 inches of stainless steel whereas for thicker metals flux core works better. The stick can handle up to 5/32 inches.
So far we delved into the world of light-duty welders and covered different categories for you guys. But what if you need a welder for some high power heavy-duty projects? We got you covered here too, for Hobart Ironman 230 is the best 250Amp MIG welder in town. Whatever you throw at this powerful beast, it can tackle it with its max amperage of 250Amps!
Set this machine in your home workshops and do wonders. The machine is the best in its class and is perfect for the industrial projects you might want to try out. Recommended for experienced people in the field, Ironman 230 configures the perfect settings required to weld the material of your choice.
Coming to its features, you will see that this beast has more to offer than its pretty price tag. With high power output, you get to experience the MIG and flux core welding to their extremes. Additionally, unlike many others, this welder had did not pose any trouble with the spatter or any post welding clean up.
Power and Voltage tap – Giving you 250 Amps of immense power, the Ironman230 creates a stable and flawless arc for your welding projects. Additionally, you will find a voltage knob on the control panel on the machine. This knob gives you 12 tap voltage control, ensuring a smooth arc and a reliable weld.
Wire Speed and Spool Hub – Another control in your hands is the wire speed. You can fiddle through this knob and set the value on the cool digital display. This will allow you to work with the right arc on the right thickness and ensure o spatter or clean up issues. Another feature that you will find pretty smooth is the automatic spool change and wire alignment system.
Reversible drive rolls– Two-wire grooves in the machine mean less spending on replacement and more time spend in the weld. The two grooves support different sizes of wire on each making your job easy for you.
Safety Features – With the power output, of course, there needs to be some high priority safety measure in tow. Ironman 230 has the thermal overload which shuts down the unit in case of overheating. Plus the cooling fans are operated when there is a need to reduce the power load. This inevitably improves the life cycle of the machine.
Industrial Performance – Going from 25 to 230Amps this welder allows you to work on different industrial-level projects. In a single pass, you can weld from gauge 24 to ½ inches, and let’s not forget the additional accessories you will get with this champ. You will find a 200 Amp gun, gas hose, input power cable, 030/.035 in dual groove drive roll, and much more in the package.
The last category on the list of best MIG welders is the dual-voltage. The Miller Millermatic 211 is great manufacture when it comes to the best Dual-voltage MIG welder. The parts and the features that come with this dual voltage welder are something worth trying for the price.
If you are someone who constantly shifts environments to work and weld, it’s better to have multiple volts input options. In the case of Miller 211, you can either plug in this welder to your house supply outlet or when working outside, patch it up with a generator to get working!
Apart from giving you flexibility for the input voltage, the 211 offers several other nifty features that will come in handy once you get to welding. The machine has inverter technology in it making it portable for use between changing work setups. You don’t even have to fuss around changing the voltage input mode. All you need to do is to screw the ring on the plug and replace it with the other you want to use, as simple as that!
An easy start – The machine comes with Autoset and Quick SelectTM features configure the setting and the welding for you. All you need to do is to select wire diameter and material thickness. Taking these inputs and making use of the above-mentioned features the machine itself sets and produces a smooth arc for you to weld.
System cooling – The machine comes with an amazing cooling mechanism that prevents your machine from over-heating. The smart Fan on-demand function checks the machine temperature and turns on when the machine tends to over-heat. This feature not only promises a smooth welding experience but also enhances the life span of your machine.
MIG and Flux core – Although small in size, the machine has another dual functionality to offer to you. You can either use it in MIG mode or make use of its flux core welding mode. Plus the switching between the two modes itself is easy improving your experience of welding.
Stable wire feed – With its versatile drive system, you don’t need to fuss around messing up the wire. In fact, you can get an uninterrupted smooth feed during the weld. Additionally, despite its 38 lbs. weight the welder has to capability to from 18 gauge to 3/8 inches in case of mild steel which is pretty cool for the features.
Know More about Mig Welding Techniques
What things to look for when buying a MIG welder?
Now that you know of the top choices under different categories, let us guide you further into what to look for when buying a MIG welder for yourself. Bear a little more to see what shot and what is not.
Nature of your work
Depending on the nature of your work and projects, your choice for the best MIG welder will vary. If you happen to be a hobbyist then you do not require a MIG with intense welding capabilities as compared to a professional who requires performing some heavy-duty projects. This level can be gauged by determining the metal thickness that is in use for the particular project.
Going for light repairs at home, such a fence fixing and vehicle repairs you usually go for metals in the thickness range of 1/16 to 1/8 inches. Whereas, heavy-duty projects require you to use thicknesses up to ¼ inches. Therefore depending on your work, you can streamline your choices for a MIG welder.
The next important thing that you need to consider is the power input and output of the MIG welder. For the input, you can choose depending on your main supply output volts, whereas in case of the output, you need to determine the Amperage you require to weld.
Heavier welds demand up to 140 Amps of output. However, for smaller DIY projects at home, you will need up to 100 Amps at max and you are good to go.
Wire feeding speed
Want a spatter-free even weld? Opt for a wire feeding speed that is not too fast, neither too slow. A very fast speed entails too much wire which inevitably leads to spatter, something highly undesirable. Whereas a speed too low means that the wire vanishes leading to an irregular weld. So make sure you take this into account when making your choice.
The presence of shielding gas or not also determines the type of weld you want. The presence of this feature is oftentimes appreciated by the welders as it makes the welding ordeal a bit easy and simple.
However, this at the same time prevents you from outdoor welding (learn more about welding in detail) on a windy day, plus you need to spend a lot on the gas. You can enjoy the outdoor weld with the help of a Gasless welding feature. But this again comes with a cost. You will have to experience a lot of spatter.
Features and Control Panel
This basically is the main decider of your price in the end. The greater and sleeker the features you want in your machine, the heavier the price tag gets. Similarly, the control panel and its ease of use is also a deciding factor. For a newbie an easy to use and navigate control panel is a must-have, however, for a professional more weight is given to the added features in the welder.
Safety features are something that cannot be compromised whatever the cost. For, apart from a great welding experience, you will like to have a welder that is safe to use. Features like thermal overload and current overload protection add value to the welding machine. At the same time look for a MIG welder with a built-in contractor for a safe welding experience.
This brings us to the end of Best MIG welder series. Stay tuned for more updates on your favorite welder brands and reviews to help you select the best for you.
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Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.