9 Best MIG Welder For The Money – Beginners, Home Reviews 2018
How many times have you needed to fix a broken metal object, and wished you had a welder in your garage, rather than have to depend on someone else to fix it for you. It’s one of those tools that may not get used too often, but can also prove to be very useful. Let's figure out how to decide which one is perfect for us.
Before starting about the best MIG welder, let me introduce myself and the reason behind writing this post. Have you noticed the increase in the number of DIYs out there? I am proud that I started this trend in my neighborhood. Today, all my friends that want to join the party ask me for tips.
Table Of Contents
- 9 Best MIG Welder Review 2018
- 1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
- 2. Everlast PowerMIG 200 200amp MIG stick welder - Best 110v MIG Welder
- 3. Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding
- 4. Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine
- 5. Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Welder Kit - Best Budget MIG Welder
- 6. Campbell Hausfeld WF215001AV Flex Core Welder, 115 Volt, 70 Amps, Portable
- 7. LONGEVITY Migweld 140 - 140 Amp Mig Welder Capable Of Flux-Core
- 8. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit - Best Cheap MIG Welder
- 9. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/ Free Mask - Best MIG Welder Under 500
- Why Buy A MIG Welder
- Things to Be Consider Before Buying Best MIG Welders
- Quick Tips To Buy Best Home Welders
- Final Note
13.4 x 7.3 x 11.4 Inches
19 x 11 x 13 Inches
16 x 14.5 x 9.6 Inches
110 V / 60 Hz Single Phase
20.6 x 15.4 x 13 Inches
24.6 x 12.6 x 18.5 Inches
As a DIY enthusiast, I believe I know a thing or two about home-related projects. I can’t tell you how many times I advised my neighbors and friends on the equipment they need.
9 Best MIG Welder Review 2018
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Hobart means business with its Handler 140 MIG welder. If you are looking for a high-quality machine that will serve for years, this might be the model for you.
The unit packs the impressive power of maximum 140 Amp. It also has a considerable duty cycle of 20% on 90 Amp.
You also have excellent control over the strength thanks to five different voltage setting.
Aside from packing impressive power, versatility is the selling point of this product. The DIY enthusiasts will be delighted with this welder. It is ideal for auto repairs such as exhaust systems and auto body work, as well as trailer hitches and frames. It’s also suitable for mower decks and other lawn equipment, fences, bow or gun racks, and other farm projects.
Handler 140 has two models of functioning – with or without shielding gas. It is suitable for both stainless and mild steel up to ¼” of thickness.
2. Everlast PowerMIG 200 200amp MIG stick welder - Best 110v MIG Welder
MIG140 Welder is one of the affordable Everlast models. Despite that, it still has impressive and consistent performance. The thing that stands out is the duty cycle. The maximum output of the unit is 140 Amp.
Even if you use those settings, the duty cycle will still be 25%. That means the welder will work for over two minutes before it needs to cool down.
The product weighs only about 25 pounds, which makes it incredibly portable. The handle is oversized to make carrying around more comfortable.
The unit requires a shielding gas to work. It can work on 100% carbon dioxide or a combination of Argon and CO2 (75-80% of Argon). It accepts 0.023” wires, but you can also use those that are no thicker than 0.035”.
You can weld different materials, including mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. However, you will need a spool gun for the latter one.
3. Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding
The first thing you notice here is the sleek design and the beautiful combo of black and red. But once you go into details, you realize that Lotos MIG140 is a reliable welder that can deliver impressive results. The setup is child’s play, and it won’t take long. The unit is capable of providing up to 140 Amp of heat at 110v, which is admirable.
According to the manufacturer, the welder can handle mild and stainless steel of reasonable thickness. You can weld materials from 18-gauge to 3/16” and be satisfied with the work done.
The machine is also capable of welding aluminum, but you will need a spool gun. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t deal with aluminum thicker than 1/8.”
The model underwent an upgrade in 2014 and received two significant new features. The digital display enables control, while the 2T/4T switch makes long-time work with this welder more comfortable. One of the best mig welder under 1000.
4. Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine
This is a flux-core welder, which means you don’t need any shielding gas for its use. It runs on 110v and delivers welding power between 50 and 120 Amp. The duty cycle varies – when amperage is set at 60 it is 35%, but when you run it at 105 Amp it will be 10%.
That makes it ideal for welding steel materials, including both mild and stainless steel. You can control the feed speed, and the product has an automatic protection from overheating. That makes it an ideal long-term investment and the perfect choice for beginners.
The item weighs less than 40 pounds and a classic black design. The assembly instructions are not as clear as we would like, but you should be able to figure things out.
5. Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Welder Kit - Best Budget MIG Welder
Pro-Series MMIG125 can be of great service if you are an occasional welder. It is perfect for DIY enthusiasts that have a workshop, as well as the work around the garage or farm. This is a flux-core welder, which means it doesn’t require any gas for shielding. The assembly of the unit is straightforward, and the product is light. That makes it ideal for moving around.
When it comes to performance, it can deliver maximum 125 Amp of power. If you use it with 80 Amp, it will have a 20% duty cycle.
That means this welder can work for two minutes without stopping, which is impressive. The unit accepts flux-cored wires from .030 to .035 of thickness. It can deal with materials that are anywhere from 18-gauge thin and 3/16” thick.
The unit can handle thicker materials than that, too. We tested it on ¼” steel, and it worked like a charm. On top of that, it can reach tight spaces thanks to its compact design.
6. Campbell Hausfeld WF215001AV Flex Core Welder, 115 Volt, 70 Amps, Portable
Consistency is the other name of Campbell Hausfeld WF215001AV. Aside from being constant, it also gives the user total control. That comes thanks to the adjustment knobs on the front panel of the unit.
You have four different heat settings to choose from when welding. The choice should be made based on the thickness of the material, and the maximum the product can handle is 3/16” of thickness.
Some other welders automatically heat the wire as soon as you plug them into an outlet. However, this model keeps the wire cold until you pull the trigger. That is an extra step towards user safety that needs to be commended.
The unit has modest power and maximum heat output of 85 Amp. That is more than enough for your house and shop-related projects. If you work with 30 Amp, the duty cycle will be 20%. It delivers consistent performance, and its durability should be unmatchable.
7. LONGEVITY Migweld 140 - 140 Amp Mig Welder Capable Of Flux-Core
The Longevity Migweld also has a heat output of 140 Amp, which is sort of a standard for MIG welders. You can use it for mild steel of up to 3/8” of thickness, as well as other metals. If you want to move to aluminum, you will need a spool gun.
The good news is that the product is capable of accommodating this accessory. The unit can operate in two ways. The first way is on gas, but it can also work in a flux-core regime. It’s child’s play to learn how to weld with this product.
Even beginners won’t have any issues with mastering the use of this unit. As for the durability, the Longevity does have excellent longevity. It will last for at least several years, depending on how often you use it. One of the best MIG welder for beginners according to my neighbors who is also a beginner welder.
The manufacturer advertises the unit as extremely portable. Considering that it uses standard electric outlet of 110V that might be true. However, the welder still has 54 pounds, and it’s not that easy to carry it around.
8. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit - Best Cheap MIG Welder
It says “easy weld” on the box, and the US manufacturer delivers on that promise. Forney 29901 is an affordable welder that can do a solid job of thin metals and steel. Its heat output is somewhat lower than the other units on our list.
It has 125 Amp of power, but it can handle materials of up to ¼” thickness. This flux-core product offers a stylish design that combines black and green color.
There is no socket for a spool gun, which is a drawback. I guess that is one of the perks you need to give up for a low cost. It does come with a MIG gun and a premium ground clamp and equips a quick-start guide.
That can come in handy if you are a do-it-yourself guy that never used a welder before. In fact, this product is intended for DIY and other amateurs that don’t plan on welding all the time.
9. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/ Free Mask - Best MIG Welder Under 500
Next on our list is the Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine. It is a gasless, wire feed welding machine, suitable for repairing car bodywork and any other thin sheet steel.
It uses automatically fed ‘flux core’ welding wire, without the need for gas. So it will give you the experience of MIG welding without the expense of gas bottles. It is constructed using a stainless steel body, has a four position adjustable heating control facility, and dual air vents for lower temperature operation.
The unit also features Automatic Thermal Safety Protection. This is the best MIG welder for home use, with an output current of 105 Amps. The unit weighs in at just 35lbs.
This little MIG unit makes it possible for you to obtain a professional finish, without the layout of a professional machine.
Everyone considers me an expert for welders since I have been into welding for decades. If there is one thing I learned, it’s that you don’t have to deal with high voltage always. Even if your welding expertise is not great, owning a welding machine will help you to patch stuff up until it can be fixed by an expert.
Why Buy A MIG Welder
I’m sure you are wondering why to choose MIG welders in the first place. Let’s take a look at several reasons that might convince you to do so:
They Are Safe for Human Use
The experts agree that 110v voltage is a lot safer for human use than 220 volts. The reason is that the electrical potential of 110v appliances is low. If anything goes wrong, these products won’t electrocute or otherwise damage your body as quickly as 220v.
Suitable for Beginners
In case of MIG welders, the strength of the voltage determines the heat output of the product. Since 110v is a modest voltage, you shouldn’t expect too much power. If you think this is bad, you should think again.
You will get just enough heat thanks to the amperage. On the other hand, you won’t risk having to deal with too much power. That can particularly matter if you are only entering the world of welding. If you are a beginner, you will be more than satisfied with the heat output you can get from 110v MIG welders.
Perfect for Home Projects
There is no doubt that 110v welders can do an excellent job, especially if you are an occasional welder. If you are a DIY person or you have a small workshop where you don’t weld thick materials, they are an ideal choice.
You can weld various materials with these welders, including stainless steel, carbon steel, and even aluminum. The only thing you can’t deal with is materials that are too thick. However, the chances are you won’t need to weld them if you stick to home projects.
Plug It into Any power Outlet
The majority of the households today are equipped with 110v outlets. With these MIG welders, you don’t have to worry whether you have an appropriate socket. Everything will be ready and plugging in the product will be the only thing needed to get it up and running. Just, don't forget to organize your sockets in proper ways.
It does depend on the model you select. However, if you look at things overall, 110v welders are affordable. Their voltage limits the amperage that they can provide.
Since the products don’t have an option to work with extremely high heat, the manufacturers don’t need to make that an option. That is why they can offer a budget-friendly price for their products.
Things to Be Consider Before Buying Best MIG Welders
If you are buying your first MIG welder, the critical matter is not to make rash decisions. You need to gather all relevant information and then decide. That is why we are giving you some tips on the issue.
Who Needs a MIG Welder?
MIG welders are suitable for simple projects and materials that are not thick. Learning to operate them is not difficult. That is why beginners usually choose them. Some of the places where you will find a MIG welder include:
- Workshop of hobby welders and DIY fans
- Welding shops
- Automotive manufacturing and repair
Let’s move to the features you should look for in a welder now.
The power of a MIG welder is determined by its heat output. Each product has a certain amount of heat that it can produce during a duty cycle. This level is determined by the amperage, and it is where you want to place your focus.
If you are a newbie, you should set the upper limit of power at 150 Amp. For all the operations you might do with a welder that will be more than enough. In fact, a product that delivers heat output from 110 Amp to 150 Amp should cover your needs.
110V VS 220V
The next thing you want to pay attention to is the supply of electricity. You have two options – 110 volts and 220 volts mig welder, but we recommend the first one. The reason is simple – you can plug it into any outlet in your household, and it will work. However, there is something you should know.
There are limits when it comes to the amperage of a welder that a 100V outlet can produce. That shouldn’t be a reason to worry since you can still do the majority of the beginners’ projects. The only difference is that you will have trouble with welding thick metals in a single pass.
We would say that this is a must-have when it comes to MIG welders. Spool guns are considered to be one of the essential pieces of MIG equipment. Having them broadens your welding options significantly because they enable you to weld aluminum. The best welders out there don’t necessarily come with a spool gun. However, they are equipped to attach one.
Protection from Overheating
Each MIG welder has a duty cycle. That determines how long you can weld before you need to allow the product to cool off a bit. It’s essential to ensure that your desired item has protection from thermal overload. Think of it like this. Purchasing a welder is a long-term investment. You certainly don’t want that to be ruined by overheating.
You need your welder to be durable and perform well. The best way to secure that is to choose a reliable brand. The list of recognizable names on the welding market includes Lotos, Longevity, Everlast, and Forney. If you select any of these companies to buy your welder from, you cannot go wrong.
Quick Tips To Buy Best Home Welders
A perfect weld of any type is seriously a thing of beauty, and it’s a skill.
I remember learning to weld when I was a kid. I started on Oxy/Acetylene, a whole different ball game to Arc Welding.
The gas flame would melt and pool the material you were going to join or repair, and you would simply feed a rod into the molten pool, what could be simpler, a piece of cake! Then I was put on to an arc welder, and things changed.
This heavy box, plugged into the power socket, with a noisy humming transformer, producing sparks from a coated rod and sticking metal together, WOW!!
So, how do you choose the right machine for your needs. Well, the right machine is the one that will deal with the type of material you want to weld together or repair, and its size of course.
You also have to consider the power source you have available to run it, and not forgetting how much money you have to spend. Cheap MIG welding machines are not necessarily no good. A basic stick welder will be most suitable for temporary repairs around the house and garden, and, if you become good at it, will be more than ample for certain car repairs and sheet metal construction work.
But if you want a more professional appearance to you work, or an easier to use system, then you need to start to look beyond the basic humming box.
This article has focussed mainly on entry level machines. All of them will operate in a ‘home’ environment, using the existing power supply, and all of them will perform perfectly good welding processes, once you become proficient in their use.
Before you go out and spend your hard earned cash on a machine, think about what it is going to be used for, and how often. Are you going to buy one to repair the garden gate, do you want to get all artistic and start building steel ornaments for the garden. Are you thinking of buying, or have you already bought a car as a project, which is in need of some welding repair work?
Obviously, there are differences in the machines I have mentioned here, some will lend themselves to basic patchwork repairs, while others will give you the flexibility to be able to work with different material using the same machine. When you do go out and buy this machine, take into account the various consumables that each one will use, and their costs.
If all you want to do is steel patchwork, then you really don’t need a wire fed gas less machine, you need a simple arc welder, with an earth clamp and a rod holder. But, if you want to lay a sexy bead of weld onto a car wing, for instance, then you need something a little more technical. I think you need best small mig welder for anything for home use.
It all comes down to your needs. However, the best MIG welder do not have to be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an informed decision.
That was the goal of this article – to provide all the information you need. You now know what features you need to look for in a welder, as well as what makes it stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid if you have never welded before.
On a final note, let me say this. When it comes to welding, there is absolutely no substitute for practice. No amount of experience or skill is too much, you simply cannot over learn in the welding game. A good welder can make good and safe welds each and every time, regardless of the equipment he is using, but will always have room for improvement.
If there is anything unanswered, don’t hesitate to contact me so that we can find a solution!