This is a new article that will show you the best MIG welder on the market you should consider selecting right away. If you are thinking about welding, you should ask yourself what kind of welding you want before buying any equipment. Almost all of the welding machines can make most joints in metal, but they can be better at some jobs than some other machines. And, one of the most universal welders is a MIG welder. You can consider using a MIG welder in order to weld heavy steel pipe or thin gauge sheet metal. A professional can make beautiful, deep and smooth welds with the help of a MIG welder while an amateur can make adequate welds. Now, if you want to find the best MIG welder and how to choose it, this article may be helpful.
Table of Contents
- What Is MIG Welding?
- How To Choose MIG Welder ?
- Best MIG Welder Reviews 2019
- Best MIG welder under $300
- Best MIG welder under $500
- Best MIG welder under $1000
- Best MIG welder under $2000
What Is MIG Welding?
MIG welding or Metal Inert Gas Welding is a process used to weld aluminum and other types of metals. It can be semi-automatic or automatic. MIG Welder uses a wire connected to the direct current source that works as an electrode and then combines 2 metal pieces by using a welding tool or gun. While the wire passes through the welder, a gas flow is also passes through the welder to clear the welding zone and keep the airborne contaminants free. The inert gas works like a shield during this process. This welding system is much faster than stick welding.
The disadvantages and advantages of MIG welding are determined by the type of MIG welder as well as the nature of your work. Before mentioning both the advantages and disadvantages of the MIG welding machine, it is important to first know what kind of your work that needs a MIG welder and which kind of MIG welder to use. And then, you will be able to evaluate both of its advantages and disadvantages.
Higher productivity: Many MIG welders have higher productivity because they do not have to constantly change rods and not have to repeatedly brush the weld. Generally, MIG welders work aster and cleaner.
Simple and good-looking welds: MIG welders offer better weld pool visibility and control provided by the auto-feed wire. And, MIG welders make the process simple to create a good -looking weld.
Simple to learn: Simplicity is known as one of the most important benefits of MIG welding. A beginner can learn how to use MIG welder in several hours. Some instructors say that they can give basic training in only 20 minutes with most of the time used to clean the weld.
Versatile: MIG welders very versatile and they can weld many different metals and alloys, while working in many ways like semi and fully automatic. MIG welders can work on the following metals such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel, magnesium, nickel, mild steel as well as other metals. MIG welding can be useful for lots of home welding jobs, it can also be used by many industries.
Clean: MIG welders use a shielding gas in order to protect the arc, so the loss of alloying elements is very little because the metal moves across the arc. Also, there is not any slag to remove, and only a little minor weld spatter will be produced. After a cleanup, MIG welders will be able to be back on the job thanks to its required minimal cleanup.
Faster welding speed: When using MIG welding, both of your hands can be free thanks to the continuously fed wire. And this can help improve the speed of welding, and the quality of the weld.
Cost: Welding equipment is costly and more complex, while it also sacrifices portability. Additionally, you may need to add up electrodes, shielding gas, and replacement nozzles for MIG welding.
Unsuitable for outdoor welding jobs: Apart from not being portable, using MIG welders is also not suitable for outdoor welding jobs because they utilize a shielding gas in order to protect the welding’s purity. Wind will affect the shielding gas as well as the welding’s quality. Also, a MIG welder cannot be worked in a field to repair the tractor, but it works well in the garage.
Limited positions: The high heat input and the fluidity of the puddle of MIG welders can rule it out for overhead or vertical welding. However, many welders will never think of welding in these positions. Therefore, you need to consider this factor before deciding whether or not to buy a MIG welder.
Unsuitable for thick metals: MIG welders work well on thin metals and they cannot deliver proper penetration for thicker metals that deliver a solid weld.
Fast cooling rates: When the weld is completed, the welded metals will cool at higher rates because they will not be covered by slag.
Shielding gas: You can need time to replace the shielding gas bottle while welding.
Metal preparation time: Before you weld using a MIG welder, you need to make sure that the material does not have any rust or dirt for safety’s sake and good-looking weld.
How To Choose MIG Welder ?
When you plan on welding something, at first, you need to make sure that you have a general understanding about welding and how to choose the best MIG welder. And here are some useful tips that can help you know how to choose the best MIG welder.
Understand Your Needs
When it comes to finding the best MIG welder for the money, the first thing you need to know is your needs when using a MIG welder. You want to use it just for home use or industry use, and the workload of your welding jobs is a little or so much. Actually, understanding your needs will help you avoid purchasing a MIG welder that has more or less power than your needs.
Your Primary Power Requirements
You need to determine that your welding projects are home or industrial projects. This is because most at-home welding projects are related to thin metals, so you just need to select a MIG welder that works on this kind of metals. Nonetheless, this MIG welder will not be able to work on thick metals. If you really need a MIG welder that has high power, then you should opt for the more powerful MIG welders and of course, they come at a higher price.
The best option for those who have many welding objects to work on may be an all-in-one MIG welder that operates at 120/230 V. To use this kind of MIG welder, you just have to switch from the high voltage plug to the lower voltage plug.
Flux-Core Functions Or Multifunction
In the market, almost all of the welders support flux-core functions, but other welders do not. The MIG welder should be your preference if your welding objects are diverse. And if you want to get the best machine with many different purposes, you really have to opt for a multipurpose welder. The MIG welders can be used in many different cases such as for home repair, auto body, ranch applications, maintenance and repair. Some features you should look for when selecting MIG welders include standardized solid contractor circuits, auto-set system, and thermal overload protection.
Thermal Overload Protection
Overheating is a problem that makes MIG welders useless. Some MIG welders can only be used for a short periods of time and they overheat. Then, you have to wait for some time until they cool down. Therefore, when looking for the best MIG welding machine, you should consider save your time by selecting a MIG welder that owns the thermal overload protection. Remember that your welder requires to be used for long, having the thermal overload protection will be an insurance policy for you.
A welders output should be measured before you choose the type of MIG welder. The output of these welding machines will be measured by the use of voltage and amperage and rated as duty cycle. Generally, duty cycle implies to the amount of time that a welding machine can operate at a certain output without needing to exceed the limits of the temperature. It is often measured by 10-minute cycles. For example, a welding machine has a 20% duty cycle at 180A/240V. This means that this welder can weld continuously for two minutes at 180A/240V. After two minutes of welding, it requires about 8 minutes to cool. Another thing you need to pay attention is that duty cycle is proportional to the welding output. When you operate the welder at lower outputs, its duty cycle will increase. Therefore, according to your rated output, you can opt for a welder that has a proper duty cycle rate.
The Metal Thickness
The thickness of the welded metals is not very important when choosing a MIG welding machine. This is because nobody will want to invest in a welding machine that cannot adjust the current and the voltage. The type of welded metal, the welding position, the metal thickness, the joint configurations, the shielding gas, the wire diameter speed, as well as other factors will determine the voltage you require to adjust your machine while welding. Then, you can know the exact voltage required for the given thickness. In the market today, some digitalized MIG welding machines will automatically set the voltage and current you need to work on. When you turn on the Auto-set, you just need to dial the thickness of your welding metal and the welder will automatically set itself to your required voltage.
Portability And Weight
Other important factors that you need to pay attention when selecting a MIG welder are portability and weight. However, you may not need to think of the weight so much as the first priority should be the quality of the welding machine you choose. From the best options, select the lightest. Besides, the size of the machine is also a great factor because you may not want to move everywhere with a voluminous MIG welding machine.
Maintenance And Repair
This is a minor or major factor depending on your financial strength and flexibility. The fact is that all machines need maintenance and repair. You may know the best MIG welding machine that you should choose. However, the repair shop in your local area cannot provide its spare parts and even cannot repair it within. And this point can force you to select another MIG welder.
Best MIG Welder Reviews 2019
|Images||Dimensions||Weight||Voltage||Amperage Range||Editor’s Rating|
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine||14 x 8 x 12||35 lbs||110V/60HZ||105 A||4.1/5|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit||24.5 x 24.5 x 25||57 lbs||120V||125 A||4.1/5|
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1||18 x 10.3 x 16.8||26 lbs||115V||70 A||4.5/5|
|Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V||19 x 11 x 13||57 lbs||115V||140 A||4.5/5|
Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder
|16 x 14.5 x 9.6||54 lbs||110/120V||140 A||4.2/5|
|Everlast mig140 MIG welder||17 x 8 x 14||54 lbs||120V||140 A||4.5/5|
|Hobart 500554001 Handler 190||29.5 x 18.5 x 13.7||89 lbs||230V||190 A||4.3/5|
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder||24 x 18.6 x 13.2||87.5 lbs||115V/230V||150 A||4.4/5|
|Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180||-||-||208/230V||180 A||4.4/5|
|Everlast PowerMTS 211Si MIG TIG Stick 200amp 110v/220v||25 x 19 x 16||80 lbs||110/220V||200 A||4.3/5|
Best MIG welder under $300
Here are top 3 best MIG welder under 300 we want to review in this article. All of them are highly recommended by customer on Amazon.
1- Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/ Free Mask
This MIG welding machine is perfect for normal thin iron and steel, for home and repairing work. Although it is small in size but it is also practical when giving you a professional finish in welding. Besides, this machine features a carrying handle, compact design, light weight, easy for storage and translation. However, the drawback of this product is the custom service.
Some technical details are:
- 4 adjustable heating
- Two air-vent on this machine for lowering the temperature
- Automatic thermal safety protection
- Full on / off safety control
- Plastic handle or steel frame
- 110V/60HZ Voltage
2- Forney 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
This Forney 29901 MIG welder Startup kit offers a great option for those who are planning on DIY welding projects. This great start-up kit includes all factors you need for working on welding projects with an affordable price. This kit is a great option for beginners because it is easy to setup, simple to use, and includes minimal learning curve. The box includes the MIG headgear, gun, gloves, a 5/8 and ½-inch welding nozzle, as well as a premium ground clamp.
The Forney 29901 125 FC MIG welder startup kit works well and it is also known as one of the best MIG welding machines for beginners and intermediates. It is easy to use and also a great option for those who are looking for ways to work on low to medium welding projects. However, some customers have complained about the lack of some accessories in the package.
Some technical details are:
- Internal switch controls
- 2 optical arc sensors
- Automatic on/off switch
- Welding on thick metals
- Great customer service
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Simple to setup and use
3- Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder is a wonderful option for small welding objects. The options to use wire or gas welding features, the affordable price, safety options, and the warranty make it a great option for you. However, some customers have also reported that the performance of this machine is not as good as expected.
Some main features of this MIG Welder are:
- This welder can weld both flex-cored and MIG. With 35-88A output, the multifunction of this machine makes it a great option.
- The cold contactor safety feature adds up to its benefits. It makes sure that the wire is still cold until you pull the MIG gun. The convenience this adds is so great, especially if you work on welding jobs for hours
- It is portable, lightweight and also easy to use.
- It plugs right into 115V 20Amp outlets
- 6 contact tips, and 3lbs of spool
All the products as we mentioned above are among the top MIG welding machines on the market. With the versatility of MIG welding, the convenience and portability of a lightweight machine, these MIG welders are great options for small welding jobs.
Best MIG welder under $500
Here are top three best MIG welder under 500 that are highly recommended. All of them offer quality, good versatility as well as beneficial factors.
4- Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V ( I Highly Recommended )
This Hobart Handler MIG welder is a compact machine used for both flux-cored and MIG welding processes. It allows you to work on both thick and thin materials. Actually, this is an impressive welding machine. It is ideal for entry level users, but the welds that it produces are high-quality, so it will also work well on professional welding projects. However, many customers have also reported that this machine misses some parts. This MIG welding machine offers you some beneficial features, including:
- It is so portable, so you can take it to almost anywhere.
- It is versatile when it runs between 25 and 140A and work on materials up to ¼- inch mild steel.
- It is cost effective when you do not need to buy any extra equipment
- It takes a few moments to operate and it is also easy to use.
5- Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch, 110V
The Lotos MIG140 is available with 2T/4T switch as well as the 2 digital displayers, so it can help users adjust welding voltage and wire feeder speed more precisely. The new Lotos machine features a 140A MIG welder that can give you a great performance at an affordable price. However, this machine is also bigger and heavier than some other products. This Lotos MIG welder offers some main features, including:
- It is easily connected to 110/120V wall outlet.
- It works on stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel, as well as other metals
- It includes MIG torch, gas hose, ground clamp cable, welding mask and wire.
6- Everlast mig140 MIG welder 110/120 volts FLUX 140AM
This welding machine features a 20% duty cycle at 90A, and a 35% duty cycle at 140A. It is also lighter in weight, so you can carry it right to anywhere. Besides, this welding machine from Everlast is not short on capability or performance. This welder may have a drawback is that it comes with some poor accessories. Some of the main features of this MIG welder are:
- CO2 Regulator Consumable start kit
- Working on steel, stainless and aluminum
- Using a spool gun when welding aluminum.
Actually, all of these MIG welders under 500 we mentioned above are highly recommended thanks to their quality and performances. Therefore, you can consider selecting any of these machines for your welding projects.
Best MIG welder under $1000
And now, we will continue reviewing top three best MIG welder under 1000 that you can find on the market.
7- Hobart 500554001 Handler 190 with SpoolRunner 100
This MIG welder works swell on flux core, mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Also, it is perfect for those who want to weld household repairs, auto body, or heavy farm projects. However, this welder has been reported by some customers about its false advertisement. Some main features of this MIG welder are:
- It is easy to setup and work well on different materials, wires and thicknesses
- It includes MIG gun 10 ft., gas hose, dual gauge regulator, etc.
- It weighs 89 pounds
8- Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
The Hobart Handler MIG welder is portable and convenient thanks to using a multi-voltage plug. This option is the best option for those who want to work on household repairs, auto body or even heavy farm projects. This MIG welder allows for better welder portability and convenience. So, you can consider choosing this machine for your welding projects. Some drawbacks of this welder are bad price and that power on/off button is not smooth. Some main features that you can experience with this MIG welder are:
- Dual-voltage 115/230V along with MVP plug
- 7 voltage settings for precision welding
- Duty cycle of 20% at 90A; 30% at 150A
- No equipment required
9- Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 Flux-Core/MIG Welder
- Set up for gas-shielded MIG or gas-free flux core welding
- Fully adjustable drive system
- Connect brass-to-brass gun for better conductivity
Top three MIG welders under 1000 are worth mentioning in this list of best MIG welding machines. So, you can consider selecting one of them for your welding projects.
Best MIG welder under $2000
10- Everlast PowerMTS 211Si MIG TIG Stick 200amp 110v/220v Multi Process new Welder
Although this MIG welder is a bit pricey, but it is actually a great option for you when you are looking for the best MIG welder under 2000 for most daily chores. All digital Multi-Process inverter design gives users the perfect welding for almost all tasks.
This MIG welding machine has some main features, including:
- It has lightweight design and is ideal for motorsports and jobsites
- It is easy to use and setup
- It has Adjustable Arc Force Control for better welding performance.
This is worth mentioning in the list of best MIG welder that you should consider opting for. Actually, it is also highly recommended as a wonderful welding option on Amazon.
After reading this review, hope that you can have a general understanding about MIG welder, as well as ways to choose a good welder. All of the best MIG welder as we mentioned above are great options. According to your requirements and financial condition, you can choose any of these machines for your welding projects.