Best MIG Welder For The Money 2020 – Buying Guide
Welding is one of the best ways to secure metal pieces together during construction. Welding is used in the automotive industry and in many other fabrication related industries.
Having a metal inert gas welding machine allows people to repair, fabricate, or construct their own items.
This type of welding is considered ideal for newbies, and for people who may be welding thicker items together. Our experts reviewed a lot of MIG welders to discern which ones could be recommended as the best MIG machines. The followings all met or exceeded the expert’s demands so they made the list of the best.
Comparison Table Of Our Top Picks
7 voltage selections, enhanced magnetics
Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel
Welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum
Stepless control of both the wire speed and voltage
Lightweight and Portable Welder
Welding Processes MIG/Flux Core
Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch
Allows you to fine control the output parameters
Most capable and versatile MIG welder in its class
110V/220V Dual Voltage DC IGBT Inverter
Switching welding mode easily
Easy start makes every strike EASY
Best MIG Welders Reviews - 2020
1. Hobart Handler 190 MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 78 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.3 x 10.6 x 19.5
- Model Number: 500554
- Manufacturer: Hobart
- Warranty: 5 year limited warranty
This powerful welding machine is capable of welding 24 gauges to 5/16 inch steel with just one pass across it.
It operates on 230 volt power supply and it has output amperage of between 25 and 190. You get seven different voltages that you can choose from so you can weld a wide variety of items without having a lot of waste or splatter.
This machine is ready and capable of welding aluminum with none of the hassles that can occur. You receive an optional spool runner that prevents the problems you can have while feeding aluminum wire. You flip the switch to change the settings over from MIG gun operations to spool gun operations and start welding.
Handler 290 comes with a handy weld set up guide that helps you to set the machine to the best settings according to the materials you are working with. Read full review on Hobart Handler 190.
It comes complete with a dual gauge regulator and hose. A work cable and clamp that measures 10 feet, 030 contact tips, a sample of the recommended 030 flux-cored wire, the 10 foot MIG gun, the handler that has a built in gas valve, and an 8 inch spool adapter.
2. Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 57 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
- Model Number: 500559
- Power Source: Corded-electric
- Warranty: 5 year limited warranty
This is the perfect welding machine for working on automobiles, farm and ranch equipment, regular household welding, and specialty projects. It is powered by a common 115 volt electrical outlet, and it is recommended that the outlet be on a 20 amp circuit breaker.
It has a voltage control selector with five different settings so you can weld a wide variety and materials with precision results.
This machine is very easy to use. It does come with a weld set-up guide to help you choose the proper settings, but it only takes a few minutes to have the machine ready to use, even if you are a brand new welder.
It is a convenient tool for working on lawnmower or tractor implements like the decks, brush hogs, the PTO, and it is also great for mechanics and car enthusiasts who work on automobiles, and for attaching trailer hitches, metal sculptures.
It comes complete with the built in gas valve, the dual gauge regulator and hose, the MIG gun and the liner, a ten foot work cable and clamp, and a ten foot power cord. You also get 030 contact tips and a sample of the .030 flux cored wire, along with an 8 inch spool adapter. Read full review on Hobart Handler 140 here.
3. LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
- Item Weight: 85 pounds
- Dimensions: 18 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches
- Model Number: BC-QJA8-561N
- Max Flow Rate: 12.00 liters/Min
- Power Source Type: DC
The wire feeder creates a greater amount of stability so you create better welds. This welding machine comes with a spool gun so you have the ability to weld aluminum. This spool gun allows you to make welds on aluminum measuring 3/16” or thinner.
The rated output of the machine is 175 amp. It provides you the ability to weld 18 gauge materials up to 1.4”. It requires an electrical supply of 220/240 volts.
You will be able to use wire that measures between .025” and .030”. You will also be able to use flux cored wire to create your welds. The machine comes with one pound of 0.9 wire.
This machine is recommended to be used on stainless steel, mild steel and pot metals.
The machine comes complete with the MIG gun/torch, welding mask and wire, an spool gun, the necessary ground clamp and cable measuring 10’, an Argon regulator and hose, and contact tips size 0.6mm and 0.9mm.
When you bring your machine home you are ready to set it up and start to use it. The instruction manual is easy to read, and the set up guide will allow you to choose the best settings. This might be the best for home use in among all other welders in this list.
4. 2019 Everlast PowerMIG - Best 110v MIG welder
- Item Weight: 42 Pounds
- Used with 4" & 8" Wire Spools
- Part Number: MIG-140E
- Manufacturer: Everlast
- Batteries Required: No
This is an excellent welding machine for home repair projects and craft projects because of the flux core wire that you use with the machine. This flux core wire prevents oxidation on the welds because of the way it releases the metal inert gas during the welding process.
The machine has 10 adjustable speed settings. The speed controls allow you to create the perfect welds on mild steel, stainless, and other thin metals.
The machine is very light and has a convenient carry handle so you can easily take it where you need to go with it. This makes it ideal around farms, ranches, and allows you to not have to move the item you are working on, you simply take the welding machine to the item.
This Everlast Welder machine comes complete with the necessary grounding clamp, a wire brush, the welding gun, welding hood, and accessories. It is powered by common 110v electricity so you can plug it into the majority of your household outlets.
The welding gun has an off and on power switch that allows you to have instant control of the power at your fingertips. This safety feature allows you to prevent many accidents that could occur while using a welding gun.
5. Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 26 Pounds
- Dimensions: 18 x 10.3 x 16.8 inches
- Model Number: K2185-1
- Voltage: 115 volts
- Wattage: 2300 watts
This Lincoln electric welder weighs only 26 pounds. That makes it light enough to maneuver with ease. You do not have to worry about bringing the welding project to the welding machine, and you do not need a big truck to transport the machine.
This Lincoln welder is powered by the common household 115 amp electrical outlets so you can plug it up anywhere. It comes with an 8 foot clamp cable and an 8 foot power cord so you can position the machine with ease.
It has a safety feature that keeps the welding wire you are using cold until you depress the trigger on the MIG gun.
The variable speed control allows you to set the machine up to use MIG shielding gas and weld a variety of metals.
It comes complete with the MIG gun and the cables needed to use the gun, the regulator and hose needed, the gasless nozzle you will need when you do flex core welding, a gas nozzle for when you use the shielded gas, one pound of 0.035” flux core, a hand shield, a chipping hammer, a wire brush, and three contact tips size 0.025”.
6. Lincoln Electric Co K2698-1 Easy MIG 180 Wire Feed Welder
- Item Weight: 66 Pounds
- Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 16 inches
- Model Number: K2698-1
- Brand Name: Lincoln Electric
- Measurement System: Metric
This 66 pound Lincoln welder is perfect for homeowners, private use, thin steel and more. It is handy around farms, small businesses, and anywhere you might need to repair metal objects or fabricate metal objects. You can easily weld stainless steel items, and aluminum items.
It is a wire fed welding machine, and it is capable of welding thicknesses as great as 3/16” or ½” when using the flux core welding methods.
It comes with everything you need to start working as soon as you bring the machine home. It even has a two knob tapped system that allows you to set the machine up to weld thinner materials with perfection.
The easy to read instruction manual and set up guide will allow you to set the machine to the proper control settings for the type of materials that you are welding. These manuals make it possible for even a new welder to set the machine up and have the ability to make proper welds.
It does require an industrial strength electrical circuit to power the welder. You will need 208/230v electrical input to operate the machine.
The welding hood and gloves you need for safety are not included with this welding machine.
7. Forney Easy Weld 299 - Best 120V MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 51 Pounds
- Dimensions: 12 x 18 x 24 inches
- Model Number: 299
- Amperage Capacity: 125 A
- Cord Length: 6 Feet
This is a flux core welding machine and it does not require shielding gas like the typical MIG welders do. Many people still refer to the Forney Easy Weld 299 as a MIG welder though.
This machine is perfect for homeowners, personal use, crafts, and those who are new to welding. If you have ever wanted to try welding this is the perfect machine for you to use to get the hang of making welds, and learning all of the intricacies of temperature settings, voltage, flux core, and metal thickness.
The different settings on the machine allow you to make proper welds on different materials. If you are welding a thin material you will choose a setting that has a higher wire speed, and the lower speeds are best when you are welding the thicker metals.
Always make sure that you properly connect the included ground clamp to a piece of metal, such as a section of the metal you are welding. The machine comes with this ground clamp and the MIG gun, and it performs best if you use .030” flux wire.
This machine is small, lightweight, easy to use, durable, and dependable. It is everything a homeowner or fancy user could want.
8. Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 87.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 24 x 18.6 x 13.2 inches
- Part Number: 500553
- Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
- Batteries Required: No
You do not have to be an expert welder in order to use the Hobart Handler 210MVP MIG Welder. The device is easy to use.
It can be operated on either 115V or 230V so you will always be able to find an electrical power source. To change the machine settings to accept the different power source you simply twist a dial. You need no tools to make the conversion.
If you have the need to weld aluminum you will love this machine. The spool gun that allows you to create aluminum welds plugs easily into the front of the machine. That is all you have to do. Plug in the spool runner and get to work.
If you are a new user, or if you are welding on materials you are unfamiliar with, then you will love the set up guide that tells you what setting generally work best with different materials.
The contents of the box include a welding handler that has a built in gas valve for use with shielded gas, a dual gauge regulator and the necessary hoses, a power cord that measures 10’, a ground clamp with a 10’ cord & accessories.
9. Hobart Ironman 230 MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 224 pounds
- Dimensions: 36.5 x 18.9 x 31.5
- Model Number: 500536
- Voltage: 151 Volts
- Batteries Required: No
If you are looking for a heavy duty welding machine with the ability to deliver between 30 and 250 amps of power, then this Hobart 500536 Ironman is the perfect MIG welder for you.
This machine has the power to make welds on 24 gauge materials that are as much as ½” thick in just one pass. You get less splatter, cleaner welds, and have less after weld clean-up of your materials when you use this system.
You get a twelve tap voltage control so the variety of metals that you can weld is enormous. You even get the opportunity to purchase a spool gun that will allow you to weld aluminum that is 18 gauge to ½” thick!
This machine is so easy to use that a primary user will have no troubleshooting it up and starting the process of welding. It is also so powerful that the experienced welders will love the results they get when they use it.
It has amazing features like the built in thermal overload, the brake tension knob that requires no tools when you want to change your wire spools for a 2;b to a 45;b, the ability to have 2 wire sizes on one drive roll.. Check out the other version of this welder, which is Hobart handler 130 wire feed welder.
10. Forney Easy Weld 125 FC MIG Welder
- Item Weight: 57 pounds
- Dimensions: 24.5 x 24.5 x 25
- Model Number: 29901
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Wattage: 15000 watts
This Forney Easy Weld is a flux core welder and requires no gas to operate. It is lightweight at only 32.6 pounds so it is easy to transport and move, yet is effectively welds wire with a diameter as large as .030”.
It requires common 120V electrical supply to operate, and it can make welds on items that are 24 gauge and up to ¼” thick.
It comes with a welding hood that has two optical sensors so your eyes are protected. The viewing area on the hood measures 3.62” x 1,65” and it is auto darkening. It is adjustable at 5 points so you get the right fit and experience less neck fatigue, or strain while using it.
It comes with black welding gloves that offer optimum wrist and forearm protection to the wearer. Inside this MIG gloves there is a cotton fleece lining that absorbs sweat and wicks the moisture away from your hands so you maintain the optimum control. The backs and palms of the gloves are made of comfortable, durable, split-leather.
It is an excellent machine to use on thinner metals. It comes with 2lbs of the recommended flux wire. This flux wire reduces splatter and helps you look more professional because the welds it creates are clean, straight, and strong..
11. Goplus MIG 130 Welder - Best Value
- Item Weight: 35 Pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 12 inches
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Manufacturer: Superbuy
- Batteries Required: No
The body of this welding machine is made of heavy duty stainless steel. That means that you are getting a durable product that you can fully rely on.
It is operated using flux core wire so you do not need a supply of gas to weld. The flux core wire creates a self-release gas and it creates less splatter, and cleaner welds.
It has four adjustable welding speed levels. Thinner materials need to be welded at higher speeds than thicker materials, and these adjustments will allow you to make strong, permanent welds, on a wide variety of materials.
You will also be impressed with the 10 different wire feed speeds you have to choose from which is a similar feature to the multi process welding machines.
The machine is small and compact so it is easy to move, easy to carry, and easy to store. Do not let the small size fool you. This machine creates professional results, and is suitable for a wide range of welding needs.
The torch has an on and off control for increased safety, and it has automatic thermal safety overload protection built into the machine. There are 2 air vents for heat dissipation, and your welding protection mask is included with the machine.
12. Super Deal PRO Commercial 130 Welding Machine
- Item Weight: 38 Pounds
- Dimensions: 20.25 x 15 x 12.5
- Perfect for welding steel.
- Manufacturer: SUPER DEAL
- Batteries Required: No
This is the optimum choice for household welding needs. The machine is lightweight and powerful, and it plugs into the common 110V household outlets.
It has variable speed controls and wire feed controls so you can weld different metals, that are different thicknesses, and still get precision welds. It uses flux core wire so you do not need shielded gas, and the welds you create will need less cleaning up because flux core wire creates less splatter.
It comes with a copper tip that reduces the possibility of slags adhering to it as you weld. There is always a chance that your tip may need to be changed during the course of your work, so it comes with extra tips in case you need them.
You get the welding gun, the necessary hoses, regulators, clamps and such, and you also get the welding hood mask and a chipping hammer and wire brush. This machine is ready to be put to work the minute you take it out of the carton.
You can use this machine on mild steel, copper pipe, and many other metals. It is perfect for lawn and garden equipment repairs, fence repairs, automobile body repairs, and fabrications.
What is MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding?
MIG welding is actually metal inert gas welding. When performing MIG welding the process that fuses the metal together is done using a continuous feed of metal wire, or filler. This filling agent makes it possible for you to weld together thicker pieces of metal than you could join if you were using a TIG welder.
How it differs from other welding methods?
Both the TIG welder, or tungsten inert gas welding and the metal inert gas welding or MIG welding are types of arc welding. The methods of performing the welds are very similar, but each type of welding has a specific time when it is better to use.
MIG welding is more forgiving than the TIG welding is, because the MIG welds are made using a continuous feed of metal wire, and when you do TIG welding there is not always a wire or filler agent used.
So when you are TIG welding you will need for your welds and connections to be more accurate. This makes the metal inert gas welding more suitable for new welders, and novices.
MIG welding is better suited to create a strong hold when you are welding thicker items together. The metal wire that is used as filler helps you to create a secure bond between thicker items.
MIG welding and flux core welding are very similar. Both of these techniques involve a continuous feed of the metal wire and they can both be used on thicker materials than TIG welding can. The main difference between a MIG technique and a flux core technique is the shield of the arc during the process.
You also have to consider the metal you are trying to weld when you choose between the two methods. If the metal is more resistant then you want to use the TIG method. Resistant metal gets hotter faster and it is perfect for TIG applications.
IN FCAW or flux core welding the arc is shielded from wind and exposure to exterior elements by the flux core, so the welder can work outdoors without their operation being interfered with by Mother Nature. The MIG process does not shield the arc as well so gusts of wind can interfere with the job you are doing.
You also need to remember that whenever you are using a filler material like you use when MIG welds are made or flux core welds are made, then you have an increased chance of splatters. The splatters do not weaken your welds, but they do not look as smooth and neat as welds with no splatters. If you need a smooth line then choose the TIG method.
How to Pick the Best MIG Welders For The Money
Choosing the top MIG welder for your purposes will require you to know what types of materials you will work with the most. You also need to consider other features of the machines so that you can get one that uses the power source you have readily available, and is easy for you to maneuver, transport and such.
The following things should be considered when you are purchasing a MIG welder.
The Voltage of the machine
You can get a MIG welder that runs on 110v and you can get one that runs on 220v, so it is normal to wonder if one machine is a better choice, or if there is a real difference in the machines.
If you get a MIG welder that is powered by your normal 110v household outlets the amperage the machine can produce will be limited. The amperage produced by a welder plugged into a 110v outlet is perfect for welding materials that are 1/8” thick or less.
This means that fancy and craft workers will be able to use the 110v welding machine, but people who want enough power to weld on thicker steel will want a 220v machine.
If you plan to be welding aluminum then you need to get a MIG welder that has a spool gun, or has an optional spool gun. If you never intend to weld aluminum, buy the machine that has no spool gun capabilities because you will save a ton of money, but for aluminum welds you need that spool gun.
Low Amperage Machines
Low amperage machines cost less than the higher amperage machines. Not everyone needs to have a high amperage machine. If you are a hobby welder then you will likely never need to weld with anything that requires gas, the flux core welds will be great for your purposes.
The duty cycle of a welding machine refers to the minutes that you can weld at a specific amperage during a ten minute cycle without causing the welding machine to overheat.
If you weld short pieces of material, or in short spurts, then a low duty cycle will suit your needs. If you work for longer periods of time and need to make longer welds at higher amperages then you need to buy a machine with a higher duty cycle capability.
Size and Weight
Size and weight of your machine are also indications of the overall power of the machine. If you will be welding thin materials or using the machine for craft projects then you can probably do everything you want to do with one of those small machines that weigh less than forty pounds.
If you have some heavy duty welding to do, or you work a lot on your farm equipment, mower decks, automobile bodies, trailer hitches, or large projects, then you need to look for one of the larger and heavier machines.
Choosing the best machine is all dependent on the materials you will weld, and how often you will weld.
MIG Welders for Newbie: What to Consider
Welding is becoming a popular profession around the USA as welders can start with a good money from the very beginning. However, you don't need to get a 3-4 years educational degree to be a welder.
The MIG welders use continuous wire feed to create the welds so that means that starter welders will make fewer mistakes that are highly visible and it means that even if the beginner misjudges the thickness they can still create a strong and durable weld.
New welder professionals should take the following things into consideration when they are buying a welding machine.
You are not always going to be a beginner so buy a machine that you can use now, and one that will have the capabilities you are going to need later. If you know you are going to want to weld aluminum one day, then make sure the welder you buy will accept the spool gun.
Your safety equipment, like your welding hood and gloves are vital items that you cannot scrimp on. Buy yourself the best hood and gloves that you can get. Your safety is worth more than the few bucks you might save buying cheaper items.
Buy an MIG welder that can be used with gas or with flux core. There are times when the flux core is the perfect way to weld, but there are going to be times when you need hotter temps, and the productivity of the gas. Buy a machine that gives you the option and you will always be prepared.
Voltage controls and being able to control the speed at which the wire is fed to you during your work is important.
Buy a machine that has a set up guide. When you first begin you will need the advice of the experts on what temperatures you need to be welding different metals at. Make sure the machine you are buying is one that has a guide to walk you through all changes you need to make before you begin welding a different material.
Important: Before starting a welding job, you should be well educated on welding. Don't miss our guide on welding school costs if you are aimed to be a certified welder. It takes a few months or a year to become an expert welder. So, focus on your study first and then start your dream career.
Convert MIG welder to a plasma cutter
You will need to take a brass plumbing valve and connect it to a ¼” diameter copper tube and put a brass cap on the other end.
You need to drill a hole in the cap and then tap the threads so that you can fit a brass carburetor jet into the hole to convert it to a plasma cutter.
Attach the tube to the handle of your arc welder.
You will need to flex the nozzle so it is pointing towards your electrode.
Put a quick release compressor hose coupling on the plumbing valve and then connect the compressor hose to this coupling.
Crank your welder amperage up to over 25 amps and under 50 amps. This should give you enough oxidation and a hot enough arc to cut through metal that is less than 1” thick.
You can check out our exclusive article on how to choose the perfect plasma cutter.
FAQ About MIG Welder
How to set up a MIG welder with gas?
You must first prepare the metal by using a wire brush to remove any dirt or contaminants from the metal. The MIG wire will not stick to dirt, or rust, or any other contaminant. Then you want to check your cables to make sure the connections are tight. Next, select the polarity of the electrode and then set the gas flow.
Check the tension and inspect your consumables so that you remove all excess spatter from contact tubes and ascertain that your contact tip is not worn. Always follow the specifications given to you by the welding machine manufacturer.
How to weld aluminum with MIG welder?
The aluminum welding process requires a higher amount of heat than when you are welding mild steel. You want to set your voltage settings at about the same ones you set for welding mild steel but your traveling speed across the aluminum needs to be doubled.
If you stay in one spot too long you will burn through the aluminum. You are going to spray tiny particles of the aluminum into your weld pool so you have got to have a precise gas mixture and the proper wire feeder or spool gun.
What kind of gas does an MIG welder use?
Typically Argon is the shielding gas of choice used with MIG welding machines. Helium may be added to the Argon so that the fluidity and penetration of the weld pool are maximized. You can use the Argon and Helium mixture for all welding grades.
What size MIG welder do I need?
The size of the MIG welding machine that you will need will depend on what kind of metal you are welding most often and the thickness of that metal. Small welding machines that are powered by 110/115 volts of electricity usually are able to weld steel that is up to ¼” thick. The welding machines that are powered by 220/240 volts can usually weld steel that is up to ½” thick.
The best MIG welder is an excellent machine for fabrication, repair, crafts, and automobile altercations and repairs. These machines are very easy to learn to use, and the majority of them come with set up guides that will walk you through the settings and things you will need to cut various metals.
There are a lot of MIG welders available, and to determine which one is right for you read the features they possess and consider whether those features will ever apply to your welding needs.
Don’t be afraid to give this a try. The only person that makes no mistakes is the person who never attempts to do anything.