Are you planning to buy your first welder or looking upgrade? Don’t worry, we have got you covered!
When it comes to welding, there are three primary types of welders to choose from. They are Stick welder, MIG, or TIG welders. Out of all, the most famous is the MIG welder because it’s the least expensive of them all.
There is no doubt about it that MIG is the easiest welding process for beginners to learn.
These MIG welders are highly efficient in creating clean welds on all kinds of metals like steel, aluminium, and stainless. As far as versatility, speed, and the relative ease of use are concerned, the performance of MIG welder is unmatchable.
Whether you are a homeowner or a professional welder, buying a machine to suit your specific needs is of paramount importance. However, with over 100 different options on the market, it’s difficult knowing where to start.
Therefore, to ease it out for you, we have compiled some Best MIG Welders available to suit your needs.
We always recommend using welding helmets & gloves to protect your head, hands & forearms for any kind of burn or mishap. If you are beginner, protection gears becomes necessity for you. We have best welding gloves buying guide that should check out before start to playing with spark.
Along with that, we also got you covered with our hand picked collection of best auto-darkening welding helmets as well as Custom welding helmets that not only protects you, but also look cool on every head.
Now, let’s get back to the best MIG Welders buying guide.
Here are our Top 5 MIG Welders Recommendations
|Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder||115V||4.5||Check Price|
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder||115V||4.5||Check Price|
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder||Dual-voltage (115V & 230V)||4.4||Check Price|
|Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp||Dual-Voltage (120V & 230V)||4.6||Check Price|
|LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder||Dual Voltage 220/240V||4.6||Check Price|
Best 110V MIG Welder Buying Guide
High on portability, these MIG Welders can be easily run from any standard 110V household outlets.
They are suitable for jobs around the house or farm and is a great choice for those who want to venture into the world of welding without spending too much time and money on learning welding techniques.
We have listed a few best 110v MIG welders available.
Take a look:
#1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
Highly versatile, this durable transformer based machine works perfectly well on both MIG and flux-cored welding processes. With its professional results, it allows the welder to work with both thin and thicker materials.
Built with an industrial cast aluminium drive system and a heavy-duty work clamp, this superior quality machine delivers industrial-style performance. You don’t need any high-level skills to operate this MIG welding machine.
This beginner-friendly machine operates on 115-volt household current and is compact enough to be easily carried around.
It has a maximum power output of 140A and a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amps, which is adequate enough to handle any household projects. With simple controls, it is easy to use even for the first time welder.
The door chart located on the inside of the machine is quite straightforward to use and enables you to select the right settings.
Delivering clean and smooth welds, it is great for working on auto body panels, exhaust systems, trailer frames & hitches, lawn & garden equipment, metal sculpture, PTO attachments, and fences.
It offers infinite control on wire feed speed that allows you to make fine adjustments. It features a 5-position tapped voltage control selector that gives you the ability to weld smoothly on all thicknesses.
To ensure safety, this machine is equipped with a thermal overload system that offers protection in case of a high surge of electricity. It includes a weld set-up guide that allows for easy set-up. It is backed by the Hobart 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty.
Equipped with some great features, it is a great beginner and intermediate welding machine.
As far as auto body and household welding projects are concerned, it is one of the best MIG welders that offers great value for money.
#2. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
This compact, lightweight Lincoln MIG welder is perfect for small welding jobs for welding steel up to 1/8 inch. This portable welder is great if you often move from one site to another.
This diverse welder comes with the option to weld both flux-cored and MIG welding. With an easy to use interface, this user-friendly device delivers strong and quality welds.
It has a maximum output power of 88 amps, while the lowest amperage setting being 35.
Therefore, being the lowest power output welders, it is only suitable for a small project or minor repairs around the house.
It just runs on an input voltage of 115V, 20Amp outlets, making it convenient to weld anywhere in the house. It has a duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps.
As far as safety is concerned, it features a fan-cooled design to avoid overheating. Another one is a cold contractor safety feature that ensures the wire remains electrically cold until you pull the gun trigger to heat it.
The indoor chart helps you to select settings based on metal thickness.
With four different voltage settings to choose from and continuous wire feed speed control adjustments, this electric welder allows you better control of the weld as per its thickness. It is backed by a 1-year warranty for parts and labor.
In fact, not only beginners but this device is also great for experienced welders who are looking for a smaller machine for MIG welding on the go.
Considering its low price tag and feature-packed performance, Lincoln handy MIG is one of the best MIG welders out there that is worth the investment.
#3. Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder
Featuring a minimalist design, this quality machine is a perfect entry-level MIG welder that can easily weld through tough materials. With 19 lbs, it is lightweight enough to be easily carried around the house.
It is perfect for small Do-It-Yourself, maintenance, repair, Metal Fabrication, and hobbyist projects.
It has a long ground clamp and will make your MIG welding tasks quite easy. It comes with a strong power output of 140 amps and will plug to the standard 110V household outlet.
Its power output can easily weld mild steel up to 1/4 inch plate. It features an in-built 0.3-inch flux core wire that will provide necessary protection from the atmosphere. Since external shielding gas is not required, you save a lot of money on gas refills.
These flux core wires allow for a high deposition rate and help you to create strong welds on thicker metals.
It delivers a duty cycle of 30% at 90 amps, so you can dial in the perfect weld without any disruptions. All the controls are easy to use and beginner-friendly.
It comes with infinite voltage and wire feed speed control so that you can create that perfect professional weld. It also includes an integrated handle with torch wrap and a 20A-15A adapter. It offers ample storage for more wire spool options.
The rugged metal case is big and strong enough to handle 2 and 10-pound rolls of wire easily. A 12-month warranty backs this semi-professional grade welder.
Given its power output and heavy-duty performance, it is one of the best MIG welders for the money, which is definitely worth its price tag.
#4. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
Quite minimalistic in design, the sleek, full-metal exterior looks sturdy and appealing. With a range of 33-88 amps, The Handy Core wire feeder welder from Lincoln Electric can easily weld 18 gauge to 1/8″ mild steel easily.
The sturdy handle at the top allows easy one-handed movement if required.
Lightweight and compact, it can be easily plugged into a standard household outlet that runs at 115 volts with a 20 amp output. As far as the duty cycle is concerned, it delivers around 20% at 70 amps.
This whole machine has been designed keeping the novice welders in mind. It is one of the best MIG welders available for home use.
It is equipped with a cold contactor safety feature that keeps welding wire electrically “cold” until you press the gun trigger. With only a few buttons & knobs, it is effortless to operate.
With four different output options, you can easily switch between different jobs by just turning a knob.
It features self-shielded, flux-cored wire electrodes, which means that it doesn’t require an external shielding gas to operate, thereby saving your money on refills.
Other additions include a chipping hammer/brush that removes any slag and cleans the surface of base metal. The setup process is simple and literally takes a few minutes.
With its ability to work on MIG and Flux Core processes, it allows you to work on thinner & mild metals easily. The built-in fan allows you to work for longer hours.
It also includes gun and cable assembly, work lead, work clamp, and input power cable for you to work without any delay.
It is backed by a one-year warranty on all labor & parts. Perfect for home repair or hobby projects, this precision-based welder is one of the best cheap welders that is definitely worth the purchase.
Best 220V MIG Welder Buying Guide
The 220V MIG welders have been designed for high-end performance, therefore are suited for professional welders or if you want to weld like one.
These machines can easily weld both thinner and thicker metals with ease. However, they require a 220V outlet to function, so you have to compromise on the portability aspect.
We have listed a few best 220v MIG welders available.
Take a look:
#1. Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
Hobart Handler 210MVP with Multi-Voltage Plug (MVP) is versatile enough to be used for both home and professional purposes.
It can be easily plugged into either 115V or 230V input power, and the best part is that no tools are required for the same. It automatically adjusts itself to the desired input power.
It offers a duty cycle of 20% at 90A (115V) and 30% at 150A (230V). Packed with 210 amps of welding power, this rugged and portable MIG welder delivers superior arc performance.
It can weld 24 gauge up to 3/8 inch mild steel in a single pass. The infinite wire feed speed control offers maximum control to deliver high-quality performance.
The whole set-up is quite simple and will only take a few minutes. To ease convenience, it includes a weld set-up guide on the inside of the cover to help you set the welder. You name the project, and it has got you covered.
Highly versatile, this handler can easily weld auto body panels, exhaust systems, mower decks, trailer frames, lawn & garden equipment, farm equipment, fences, etc. All the controls are intuitive and beginner-friendly.
It also includes a SpoolRunner 100 direct plug-in spool gun to help you weld aluminum parts. The built-in contactor keeps the wire electrically cold when not welding.
Another safety feature is the self-resetting thermal overload and motor protection, which doesn’t let the motor exceed its duty limit, thereby protecting it from any kind of problem.
The Dual-groove drive rolls allow easy switching from one size to another. Designed and manufactured in the USA, this welder is backed by Hobart’s 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty.
Highly versatile, this Hobart MIG welder can meet most of your welding needs and is a perfect fit for both beginners and pro welders who want some light welding work to be done.
#2. Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Mp #K3963-1
Weighing at 40 lbs, this lightweight and portable welder is equipped with some advanced options and features that will make welding an easy job. Its sturdy sheet- metal construction speaks of durability.
This multi-process welding machine has been basically made for MIG welding, but is also capable of doing TIG, FCAW, and Stick welding.
For MIG, it allows us to weld mild and stainless steel thickness up to 3/8 inches. For aluminum, the depth is up to 3/16 inches.
Highly versatile, it is equipped with dual voltage inputs (120V or 230V), which is significant enough to tackle various jobs. 120V of voltage input allows you to plug into any common power supply. It can efficiently perform heavy-duty cycle operations.
Its large color display has been designed to guide the user through the setup process efficiently. Enabled by Torch Start TIG Technology in DC TIG, it also includes a DC stick that can handle 5/32 inches thicker stick electrodes.
This stick can tackle even the biggest jobs with ease. It provides a heavy-duty cycle of 40% at 100A and 25% at 200A.
All the features and settings are user-friendly and easy to access. The easy set-up process makes this machine perfect for beginners. It is backed by a warranty of three years, and some of its parts have one year or 90 days warranty.
This great all-around welder features an expensive price tag, but given its amazing features and power-packed performance, it is totally worth it.
If you are looking for a machine that can perform all kinds of welding processes, then this cheap MIG welder is worth considering.
#3. Forney 324 MIG/Stick/TIG 3-in-one 190-Amp Welder
This 3 in 1 superior quality welder is capable of effectively performing Stick, MIG, and TIG Welding operations. In fact not only this, it can be used for a number of other purposes also, like general fabrication, automotive, light industrial repairs, and maintenance.
Equipped with some great features, this welder is easy to operate and allows easy migration between one welding process to another. It utilizes a low input power of 120 volts, which is excellent for household purposes.
The electrode diameters of 5/32-inch diameters are also compatible with the equipment. One of the fantastic features of this machine is its power-saving inverter technology.
All the controls are synergic and straightforward to use. It is accompanied by an easy to read start guide, which further eases the convenience.
The Digital readout feature makes it easy to optimize arc voltage and manage the functions. It is equipped with an upgraded cast aluminum wire drive system that ensures durability and easy replacement in case of any malfunctioning.
It has a high duty cycle with 25% at 90A in MIG and 20% at 100A in TIG. In Stick, the duty cycle will be 35% at 80A. The product has a dual geared idler and a drive roll with better de-spooler to feed the wire properly.
It has some mind-blowing features, such as spool gun capability that allows for aluminum welding. However, you have to pay extra to purchase this feature.
Basically, this welder works great for MIG welding. For TIG and stick welding capabilities, you need to purchase the upgrades separately. This machine is covered by a five years warranty.
Overall, this high-quality welding machine delivers consistent performance and is a complete value for money.
#4. Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder
This 200 amp welder works amazingly well for MIG and Flux Core welding. Not only this, but it is also capable of stick welding and aluminum welding with the optional spool gun.
It is a dual voltage 110 and 220-volt machine with a maximum 200 amp output. Given its functionality, it is quite light in weight.
This intuitive synergically designed welding machine is compact and will take your welding experience to a whole new level.
It lets you adjust both voltage and wire speed simultaneously while doing MIG welding. It also allows the user to fine-tune voltage independently if desired.
With only a 30% duty cycle, its energy-efficient is quite low. The Dual Digital display makes it easy to make adjustments and modify the settings. The display is bright enough to read even in low light conditions easily.
The display also shows the VRD high temp, which kind of provides the welder with the overload protection needed to prevent any internal damage to the machine. All the controls are easily accessible and beginner-friendly.
It allows you to switch from one process to another easily. It features energy-saving inverter technology that allows for improved precision welding, thereby meeting the needs of a variety of welding methods.
Equipped with advanced Inductive settings, it delivers cleaner welds with less spatter. This 3-in-1 multi-process dual-voltage welder is highly versatile and can handle any chore with ease.
Overall, this versatile piece of equipment features an affordable price tag and is perfectly suited for beginners and intermediate level welders.
If you want to easily switch between MIG, TIG, and Stick welding with the same machine at a low cost, then this one is worth considering.
#5. LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
Equipped with flux-core and aluminum gas shielded welding functions, MIG175 is one of the most versatile welders that you’ll come across in this price range. It can weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials with ease.
It includes a high-speed MIG spool gun for aluminum welding. With the spool gun included, it saves you quite a few bucks. Its transformer technology is quite durable and reliable. It easily connects to a conventional 220v wall outlet.
The welding capacity for aluminum is 3/8-inch or thinner and 18-gauge mild at ¼-inch. The output range of this welder ranges from 135A to 175A.
With a high duty cycle of 20% at 175A and 30% at 135A, it works best for heavy industrial work.
It comes with almost everything to allow for easy set-up. Starting from aluminum spool gun to ground clamp cable, to an Argon Regulator, this machine just takes10 minutes to get you started.
With 8 feet in length, the MIG torch is quite comfortable and works for most applications.
It offers consistent and superior weld with DC arc welding system. The two electronic circuits protect the wire feeding motor. It has resettable overload protection that enhances the lifespan of the machine.
It is perfect for larger welding projects as it can easily handle 4-6-inch of the industrial spool.
This machine is backed by a warranty period of one year. In this price range, it is hard to hand a machine with a spool gun included. This cheap welding machine has almost everything to help you make superior and high-quality welds.
What is MIG Welding?
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding makes use of a continuously-fed wire to create an electric arc that causes the metal to melt and form the weld. It can be used on all thicknesses of steels or other metals.
Highly versatile, MIG can be used with a wide variety of metals and alloys. MIG uses a shielding gas to protect the arc, which results in a little loss of alloying elements. There is no slag, only minor weld spatter is produced. Extremely simple, MIG welding is the easiest to perform.
Welding Wire used
There are three different gas-shielded arc welding wires available depending upon your welding project.
- Solid gas metal arc welding (GMAW) wire – It requires a solid wire electrode or a GMAW electrode to function. It produces a slagless weld that requires little or no cleanup.
- Composite GMAW (metal-cored) wire – These wires have metallic constituents in the core and perform well on a plate with a heavy mill scale. Due to its metallic components, this wire handles surface contaminants better. If travel speed is a concern, the Metal-cored wires should be the first preference.
- Gas-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) wire – When working with thicker metals, Gas-shielded flux wires are a perfect fit, as this type of wire easily removes any slag generated in the process. Moreover, the Self-shielding flux-cored wires do not require an external shielding gas.
Wire Feed Speed
Wire feed speed regulates an appropriate speed at which the MIG wire must be fed to the weld. Low speed can cause obstructions, while more than required speed can lead to burn-through.
Thus a proper wire feed speed system is extremely crucial to the stability of MIG welding. Basically, there are three types of wire feeding systems:
- Pinch rolls – It is the most conventional wire feeding system to push the stock in a particular direction. It doesn’t work for soft wires as the high pressure can deform the soft wire and cause poor current at the contact tip.
- Push-Pull – It is used to fed small diameter wires with a set of drive rolls located at the wire reel feeder and in the torches.
- Spool on a gun – Most often used for aluminum wires, this method is used for wires that may be difficult to feed through the standard MIG torch.
Wire Size and thickness
It is imperative to buy the wire in proportion to the maximum output of the welder. For MIG welding, choosing a thicker wire for thicker metal results in the best quality welds.
These days every MIG welder comes with a door chart to help you choose the right wire. However, keep these guidelines in mind before buying one:
- 0.23″ wire – When you’re welding thin sheet metal from 24 gauge to around 16 gauge on small welding machines.
- 0.3″ wire – This works for sheet metal up to around 1/8″.
- 0.35″ wire – Perfect for beginner welders, it can only weld up to 1/4″.
- 0.45″ wire – For professional or industrial welders, this wire is best for 1/4″ and above.
Welding Shielding Gases used
Shielding gas enhances the smoothness of the arc and protects the arc and molten weld metal from contamination by oxygen and water vapor.
Argon (Ar), helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2), are the most common shielding gases used during the arc welding processes.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the least expensive of the common shielding gases, therefore is most used in MIG welding. Also, it is the only one that can be used in its pure form without any additional inert gas.
However, choosing the right shielding gas depends on the type of welding you intend to do.
If you are a professional, then portability is a crucial aspect that can’t be compromised. A portable welding machine saves you a lot of money and inconvenience.
The best portable welding machine should feature a lightweight construction without compromising the performance.
Power needed for MIG Welders
It totally depends on the MIG welder you have and the material you are welding. Small welders that run on 115 volts have maximum amperage of 140, while for 220-volt welders, you can expect amperage of around 200.
So if you weld thick material of around 1/2″, then 220v machine is perfect as it will penetrate deeper into the material. For welding 1/4″ thick material or less than that, a standard 110v welder will work.
The purchase of a welder is an essential long-term decision, especially for the welder, who has just begun to learn the trade.
However, before initiating a purchase, make sure that you know about what you are going to weld, and how often.
Make sure to read MIG welder reviews on Welding Ninja, and then buy a welder that fits your needs.
The rule that you get what you pay for works here, as welders feature better functionality, as they get more expensive. So, don’t hesitate to shed a few more bucks to buy the best welder & welding protection gears.