MIG welders are popular due to their ease of use. Anyone, both a professional and someone looking for a new hobby can learn the process fairly quickly. The Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welder is suitable for various jobs regardless of the size and also provides joints which are neat.
Selecting the right MIG welder to purchase for a DIY project around the home is a very important task. Here we have made a selection of some of the most durable, efficient, as well as affordable welders available on the market.
There are lots of reason why you need to take time when selecting a welder. Just because it is expensive doesn’t mean it does a quality job. A good quality welder should be capable of working on thick materials without causing residue deposits which need to be scraped off.
That said, here is our list of the best MIG welders worth every penny spent:
|Hobart 500559 MIG Welder||19 x 11 x 13 inches||25 to 140 output amperage||115V|
|LOTOS MIG175 Mig Welder||18 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches||175- output amperage||220 volts|
|LONGEVITY Migweld Welder||16 x 14.5 x 9.6 inches||140- output amperage||110v|
|Lotos Wire Welder||16 x 14.5 x 9.6 inches||140- output amperage||110/120V|
|Hobart 500536 MIG Welder||36.5 x 18.9 x 31.5 inches||30-250 amps||151 volts|
|Lincoln Electric MIG Welder||18 x 10.3 x 16.8 inches||20 amp outlet||115 volts|
|Hobart 500553 Handler||24 x 18.6 x 13.2 inches||90/150 Amps||115/230V|
|Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder||20.2 x 10.2 x 16 inches||190-Amp||230-volt|
Table of Contents
- 1 8 BEST MIG WELDERS REVIEW
- 2 Hobart 500559 MIG Welder
- 3 Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
- 4 Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
- 5 LOTOS MIG175 Mig Welder
- 6 Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder
- 7 Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 MIG Welder
- 8 Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder
- 9 LONGEVITY Migweld 140 – 140 Amp Mig Welder
- 10 Buyers Guide—Choosing the Best MIG welders
8 BEST MIG WELDERS REVIEW
Hobart 500559 MIG Welder
The Hobart 500559 give users the opportunity to tune the arc with the 5-position tapped voltage control knob which allows the use on different surface thicknesses.
The MIG welder is suitable for welding works on aluminum and mild steel gauge 24 to ¼ inches. It features an industrial cast wire aluminum system, a fast release drive roll lever, and a feed head with excellent durability.
Further, it is a great choice for DIY home projects since the welder has a rating of 115V. This rating is the household standard current, which is considered safe. The power cord measures 10 feet in addition to the MIG gun with the same length which gives room for movement while working.
The assembly process of the welder is easy and also quite straightforward. It comes with a guide to put users through on how to set up the device for a first-time use.
Having a 20% duty cycle means the welder will have to cool down for 8 minutes after performing a 2 minutes job.
- Assembly of the welder is easy and quick
- No need to purchase any external component before making use of the welder
- A wrench is necessary to adjust the wire spool
- A 20% duty cycle
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
This welder can be plugged in the basic 20-amp outlet. And it can function with or without gas. For the latter, flux-core welding utilizes a hollow wire electrode which is fed via the gun.
This welder is portable, compact, and lightweight. This simply means you can utilize it on-the-go since you can maneuver it with ease during use. The welder has four settings that allow you to adjust the voltage to your desired specification at any given time. The speed adjustment setting gives you the capacity to weld various materials ranging from thick materials to light ones.
Additionally, to ease use, the manufacturer added all you would require for MIG welding in the box. We mean it comes alongside a gun, cable assembly, work cable, gas nozzle, gas regulator among other crucial elements. This ensures all you need to do is add shielding gas and begin welding. Though, this depends on preference.
- It can be set up with ease
- very user-friendly
- portable, lightweight and compact
- It is not meant for heavy-duty usage
Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
This Welder allows you to utilize a power output of 115V or 230V because of its 210MVP. It does not need extra tools in order to be connected to the power receptacles. It comes alongside a multi-voltage plug which ensures using this welder in any location is possible. Further, it is easy to utilize with an instruction guide and would be ideal regardless of if you are an expert or novice.
The SpoolRunner 100 plugin which is not compulsory, is ideal for welding aluminum. Alongside this, it comes with an inbuilt wire feeder and an adjustable tension.
The welder comes with a powerful output which allows it to deal effectively with mild steel of 3/8 inches. It also allows for easy control and maneuvering even with its size. The spool gun can easily be connected by you, and it can be utilized for stainless steel, and other mild elements. The welder comes alongside seven voltage settings which allow you to choose your desired voltage for any given job. It also offers seven-speed settings which allow you to pick the speed best suited for the material you are working on.
- Welding with this device is seamless and smooth
- It is quite cost efficient
- The cables are a bit short. Some users may find this frustrating
LOTOS MIG175 Mig Welder
The LOTOS MIG175 is suitable for welding various materials including gauge 14 mild or stainless steel up to ¼ inches and aluminum with a 3/8 inches thickness or smaller. To improve the aluminum welding process when using the welder, it comes with a high-speed MIG spool gun along with an adjustable wire speed controller.
Operating on a 50/60Hz dual frequency, the welder also connects to a 220V socket outlet and features an overload protection which is resettable by the users. It has a duty cycle of 30% at 175 amps which is quite reasonable.
In addition to the thermal overload protection, the welder also comes with other safety features like the automatic circuits for the wire feeder protection, a temperature controller, and also a mask. These features make this 220V welder safe for use even by beginners.
Assembly of the welder can be done in 10 minutes and the weight of about 85 pounds makes it easy to maneuver during use.
The transformer is a major part of any welder and the transformer technology in this particular device offers a high level of durability, as well as reliability.
- Works well for thick materials
- Comes with a spool gun
- Difficulty in getting replacement parts
Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder
The inclusion of a 2T/4T button is a major improvement which is available on the welder. This switch makes it possible to use the device for a long period without having to press down on it. Moving on, changing between +/- is also easy with the ground cable quick connector.
A digital display for the welding voltage and another for the speed of the wire feeder give the opportunity to adjust these settings with improved accuracy for better welding results. It also comes with a wire feeder which uses an aluminum material, so it lasts longer and remains stable during use.
In each package of the welder, you’ll find a gas hose, Argon regulator, contact tips, ground clamp cable, and a MIG torch. There is also a welding mask provided to ensure that users protect their eyes from the weld light. The welding mask, as we tested is quite ok.
The welder comes with a 1-year limited warranty and also a 30-days money back guarantee to give buyers the assurance of quality.
- Availability of digital displays make it easy to adjust settings
- Features a ground cable quick connector
- It does not come with a spool gun
Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 MIG Welder
Controlling the arc output on this welder works efficiently with the availability of a twelve level voltage control. Providing 30 – 250 amps, this welder offers a heavy duty function to all welding operations.
It features an aluminum wire drive system that provides a fine wire feed speed. The machine has a hinged door on the body which gives access to housing area for the drive roll and spool. The former features two grooves with room for two different wire sizes on a drive roll.
The machine has a 10 ft. work cable with a clamp and two plastic cable hangers on the side. This is to ensure storage of the machine is neat and easy. The welder has an in-built cylinder rack with a 200 amp MIG gun measuring 15 feet.
Changing between different wires is quite a breeze on the machine. This is thanks to the spool hub which features a brake tension knob and an automatic wire alignment.
- It does not require an expert skill level for anyone trying to use it
- A comprehensive owner’s manual to quickly set up the machine
- A digital display can make adjustments more accurate
Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder
The Forney 318 MIG welder features a ground clamp, gas hose, and a regulator to easily adjust the settings on the welder. It also has a power cord which measures 15 feet in length so it covers a wide work area when this length is combined with the 10 feet long welding torch.
The device includes a flowmeter while it operates effectively with both a flux-core and MIG. There is likewise a 20 feet spool gun available which makes it suitable for welding aluminum materials. The welder works excellently with Tweco consumables and can weld stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel, and cast iron.
Continuing, the device utilizes a cast-aluminum drive system for the wire feeder. This makes it a great pick when welding stronger materials to produce a very durable weld joint. Finally, has an integrated gas line which offers better maneuverability when using the device.
- Comes with a gas hose and flowmeter
- The parts of the welder are easily replaceable
- Assembly is quick and easy
- There have been major improvements to the functions of the welder
- It is quite heavy and not as portable as most welders in the market
LONGEVITY Migweld 140 – 140 Amp Mig Welder
This welder operates using either a flux-core gasless welding or with gas making it quite versatile. It also comes with a spool gun which makes it a great option for working on metals like aluminum without much stress.
It connects to a 110V power outlet which makes it less effective on materials which are too thick. This connectivity to a standard household outlet in addition to the portable design of the welder makes it a great option for carrying out repairs around the home alongside some DIY projects.
There is a thermal overload protection as a safety feature on the welder—and it can weld mild steel with a thickness of up to 3/8 inches.
- Connects to a standard 110V found around the home
- It is designed for welding up to a 3/8 inches thickness of mild steel
- Usability is a great feature of the welder since it can work with both gas and flux core gasless welding
- Customer support is poor
Buyers Guide—Choosing the Best MIG welders
Getting a MIG welder to meet your requirements is a process which is more than just size, price, and brand name. Buyers have to take lots of different factors into account to get the right choice. Below are some of the factors which were taken into account when writing this review:
The Welder Power
This feature depends on the thickness of the material which you will be working with. It is a good idea to go for a powerful welder but this comes at a completely higher price. Though, if you won’t be taking on materials that are thicker than most, you don’t necessarily need to go for ones at a higher price. So just take into consideration your project needs before you make a decision on what to opt for.
Generally, low power welders operate at 115V while the high powered welders operate at 220V. Another way to get the right welder power is through the amps rating. This includes both the minimum and maximum rating. With all of this discussed, there’s still a point of notice for you. The higher the power rating and material thickness, the more the gas consumption in your workshop. This is obvious, but a lot of people may not be prepared for such consumption, so take this as a heads-up of what will come.
This is a feature which is necessary for users that will be working with aluminum materials. When using a MIG torch on aluminum, it is a common scene for a jam to occur in the torch. This is usually while the wire feeder is feeding the wire. Attaching a spool gun to the torch is an effective solution to this problem. This prevents wire jam by moving the wire away from the torch. Hence, safety and even slight hiccups during work will be prevented.
As much as you want a lot of power on the machine, you also need to consider portability. We can likewise say you should take into consideration the size of the welder. Then, how easy it will be moving it from one location to the next around the home/workshop. Depending on the kind of welding you will be performing, there may be a need to buy a welder with a large weight. For cases like this, there are carts available for pushing the welder around the area it is in use.
Buyers also need to consider storage space in the home. In this case, we still recommend that you give large spaces a chance, in the case of the welder. You may want to upgrade your current welder at any point down the lane. Wherein, the bigger size, won’t need you to go through a lot of stress just to accommodate its size.
Shielding Gas Flow Regulation
Flux-cored MIG wires eliminate the need for a shielding gas but do not produce a neat output. When using wires which do not have a flux-core, a regulator becomes a priority to make the most of the wires. The regulator gives users more time and also makes power consumption smoother in the long run.
Thermal Overload Protection
Considering they are great tools to purchase for DIY projects, MIG welders aren’t exactly cheap. This is why they need as much protection as they can get. Overheating is a common occurrence with MIG welders since they work by generating heat. This is where the information on the duty cycle of the welder becomes vital. A low duty cycle means a shorter period of welding while a high duty cycle implies a longer time. Welding longer than the indicated time on the duty cycle can cause damage to the welder from overheating. A good thermal overload protection can prevent this and ensure the welder lasts a long period. This should also help save you any unnecessary costs, which leads us to our next point.
It all depends on your personal preference, but the obvious trend is that the higher the price, the better the MIG welder will be. But that’s just the trend, which isn’t always accurate. There are sometimes that a welder, despite have an extravagant price, is rather underwhelming. Though this won’t be by much, but there will be a typical complaint like inaccurate duty cycle or inefficient feed speed. At the same time, lower-priced MIG welders may only offer low-quality output to users.
In light of these things (price and functional ability), you have to research products that are the best of both worlds. Obvious examples are the 5 products listed above.
The feed speed needs to be properly set to ensure that the wire goes into the gun at the right time. There are lots of issues when considering the feed speed like the feed moving too fast or too slow. In both cases, the welding result is messy and uneven.
Choosing a machine which includes a feed speed control is the best option. The only area where buyers may have an issue is getting the right setting which will allow a continuous arc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:What is GMAW?
A:GMAW or otherwise known as Gas Metal Arc Welding is the same thing as MIG. It is also the new name, but as MIG was the original name, it stuck, and most people don’t really know GMAW as MIG.
Q:Does MIG welder use gas?
A:Yes, a MIG welder uses gas, which is why the name means Metal Inert Gas. The function of the gas, or better yet, shielding gas, is to prevent the molten weld pool from being exposed to hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen common in the atmosphere. If you opt for a flux-cored MIG, you don’t need the shielding gas, though results won’t be as clean.
Q:What gas is needed for aluminum MIG welding?
A:Pure argon is the most common shielding gas used in welding aluminum. After that, mixtures of argon and helium are the next best alternative.