10 Best Mig Welder for Beginners- Reviews in 2022

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As a beginner, when choosing a welder, you mostly look for the best MIG welder for the money; this is because you do not want to purchase an expensive device that will not stand the test of time.

Choosing a welder can be difficult as there are thousands out there to choose from. I have brought to you in detail all the things to look out for when picking a welder and ten of the best MIG welding machine available right now.

Make sure to buy a welder that best suits your needs because there are different welders for different welding purposes.

Now, even if you did not have an idea before, you can know where to start in choosing a welder.

In a Hurry? Check out Our top picks of Mig Welder

Our Picks of the Best MIG welder for the Money

Picking the top-rated MIG welder can be tiring especially when there are a lot of products in the market. Here is a list of ten MIG welders to choose from, you will definitely find something that closely meets your need.

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

If you are in this line for a long time, chances are you have already used a Hobart welder at least once. That’s because they have been producing welding products for more than a century. The reason they have survived so long is that they do not compromise with the quality, and Hobart 500559 is no exception.

What makes the device a bit special is that not only you can use this for MIG welding but also for flux cored welding. With this device, you can work both thin and ticker objects. Thanks to having an amp output of 25-140, you can weld objects from 24 gauges to 0.25-inch thick steel.

I like the fact that it comes with a gas regulator from ‘miller.’ For the uninitiated, ‘miller’ is a highly reputed company that makes gas regulators. Needless to say, the regulator is top-notch quality and does a fantastic job. What’s also impressive is the build quality. It’s built toughly and should last a very long time.

It’s impossible to say something bad about its performance. You have to see for yourself to understand how great this thing works. No matter if you are pulling or pushing the beads, it feels effortless. Don’t worry if you aren’t skilled at welding; it’s really easy to use even for beginners.

This thing runs on the 115V household current which is really nice. However, if you plan on taking this thing out and powering it with a generator, then you are in for a disappointment. Because it doesn’t work with a generator.

There are a few issues that I’d like you to know about. If you decide to go with this one, then you will be required to get a gas cylinder, which will need to be bought separately. Also, the amount of spool it comes isn’t adequate, so, you would need to get some extra spool of wire.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input voltage: 115V
  • Amp Output: 25-140 amps
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Operation: Mig/flux cored welding
  • Dual groove

Pros
  • Able to do both MIG/flux cored welding
  • Ideal for small home projects
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Great performance
  • Built sturdily

Cons
  • The included spool wire isn’t long enough

FAQs

  • Is this a good beginner model?

Ans. For a beginner model, this one is a great choice.

  • Does the unit include upgrades?

Ans. Yes, this thing comes with pretty much everything you need.

  • Can this device be used without gas?

Ans. Sure, you can. However, you’ll find it difficult to weld thick materials without gas.

Buy on Amazon


Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder

LOTOS MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder, Flux Core & Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding with 2T/4T Switch Argon Regulator, Metal Wire Feeder, Brown/Black

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a company that uses technology more effectively than Lotus Technology in this industry. All their devices include PWM which is a high-frequency inverter technology. That way they are able to produce a constant flow of current to the welding surface.

Unlike most of the MIG welders, this thing has a small footprint.  So, if you work in-house, or have a small workshop, then it should be your go-to choice. In addition, it isn’t very heavy which makes it easy to take outside for work. However, a power supply is required to run this 110V welder as it’s unable to operate off a generator.

Running between 30-140 amps, this device is equipped to weld things that are 24 Gauge – 3/16″ thick. Similar to the Hobart, this one also can handle both Mig and flux cored welding.

Overheating and power overload can be an issue for certain Mig welders, but not for this one. Thanks to the thermal cut-out system, the device is immune to these sorts of problems. Hence, you won’t face any cut-out even if you run this thing for hours.

The manufacturers incorporated 2 digital displays so that you can control voltage and the speed of wire feeding with superior precision. There’s also a ground cable quick connector which enables it to easily change from positive to negative and vice versa.

In terms of price, this thing is really affordable. In fact, this model is one of the least inexpensive MIG welders out in the market. Nonetheless, one thing that bothers me is that it doesn’t come with a gas cylinder.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 110V
  • Amp Output: 30-140 amps
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Operation: Mig/flux cored welding
  • Includes ground cable quick connector
  • 2T/4T Switch

Pros
  • Features thermal cut-out system
  • Two digital displays enabling you to adjust wire feeding speed and voltage
  • Affordable price
  • Takes very little space

Cons
  • The unit doesn’t include a gas cylinder

FAQs

  • Can this device work without gas?

Ans. Yes, it does.

  • How long is the weld gun cord?

Ans. It’s about 8-inch long.

  • Does it require a 15-amp or 20-amp circuit breaker?

Ans. 15-amp will do but for continuous use get a 20-amp circuit breaker.

Buy on Amazon


Lincoln Electric PowerMig 210 Mp #K3963-1

Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp #K3963-1

Lincoln Electric doesn’t build any run-of-the-mill devices. If there’s one thing you can say about their products, it’s that they offer premium quality and high-end features. Needless to say, these welders will cost you a lot of money. But more on that later.

I have already told you that they do things differently. That’s why unlike others they come with dual voltage inputs; 120V or 230V. That means you can take this anywhere you want and power it from any standard power supply.

In fact, it’s one of the best dual voltage Mig welders available. But is it portable? Weighing only 40 pounds, it’s 100% portable. It’s impossible to make the set-up any easier. The push and digital turn controls make the entire process a snap.

To make the installation more intuitive, they have added a color display to act as your guide.  Therefore, irrespective of whether you are just starting welding or a pro at this, it can be an ideal option for you.

I know what you are thinking; it’s a lot of money for a Mig welder. But if you take all the features and their superior quality into account, you’ll realize that the 1000$+ price tag isn’t unreasonable. So, unless it’s out of your price range, I’d suggest that you give this thing a try

Being able to run at 210 amps, it allows you to weld both thin pipes and steel tubing of up to 5/16 inches. Also, you are able to operate the unit on either gas or flux core welding.

The construction of this welder is highly impressive. Made with sheet-metal, it has been built to last years. Thus, you can rest assured that this thing will serve you for a long time with minimum maintenance.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 120/230V
  • Operation: Mig/flux cored welding
  • Amp Output: 210 amps
  • Weight: 40 pounds

Pros
  • Double voltage inputs
  • Able to weld 5/16 inch steel
  • Color display to guide you through the installation
  • Sturdily built
  • Lightweight

Cons
  • A bit expensive

FAQs

  • Is the device able to Tig weld aluminum?

Ans. No, it can’t. This device is DC only.

  • Is the body made of plastic or metal?

Ans. Both plastic and metal have been used to build the appliance.

  • Where is this device manufactured?

Ans. In Mexico.

Buy on Amazon


Miller Electric Welder, MIG/Flux Core, 120V, 90A @ 18.5VDC

Welder, MIG/Flux Core, 120V, 90A @ 18.5VDC

Niels Miller, the founder of the company, created the first device from recycled scrap steel that he found in his basement. Though it started as a one-man company, it has grown to be one of the biggest manufacturers of arc welding equipment.

It goes without saying that they are one of the most reputed companies in this industry. I find auto-control fascinating. It enables you to relax as the machine sets itself to the right parameters. No need to get disheartened if you are a fan of manual mode.

The machine also features a manual mode which allows you to set things by yourself. No plastic has been used to build the body as it’s entirely made of metal. Not only it makes the machine long-lasting, but it also gives the device an attractive look.

I know aesthetics don’t matter in a welding machine, but being nice-looking doesn’t hurt. Right?

When it comes to welding aluminum, it’s capable of working on materials that are as thick as 14-18 gauges. However, if you are welding mild steel, it can weld materials from 24 gauge to up to 3/16 inch.

The device operates on 120V which can be found in regular households. It would have been better if the device had dual voltage inputs similar to the Mig welder from Lincoln Electric, but 120V is good enough.

Smooth is the word I would use for the way the drive roll assembly adjusts itself for various wire sizes. Moreover, you will be glad to learn that just like other welders, this one also supports both Mig and flux-cored welding.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 120V
  • Operation: Mig/flux cored welding
  • Amp Output: 90 Amp
  • Features both auto and manual mode

Pros
  • Both auto and manual control is available
  • The body is all metal
  • Versatile
  • Easy set-up

Cons
  • Sits on the expensive end of the price spectrum

FAQs

  • Why does the unit include gas gauges?

Ans. To allow you to use shielding gas for welding.

  • What wire should I order for gas welding?

Ans. The machine comes with a roll of wire. Nonetheless, you can get a roll of flux core if you have outside welding in mind.

  • Can the machine use 220V input?

Ans. Unfortunately, no.

Buy on Amazon


Forney 309 140-Amp Mig Welder

Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder, 120-Volt,Green

If you have budget constraints and looking for a quality welder at an affordable price, then this one might be your best bet. It comes from Forney, which is in this business for over 80 years. The company is renowned for producing top-class welding equipment at an affordable price without sacrificing quality.

Performance-wise, there’s nothing you can complain about. On the contrary, it deserves a lot of appreciation. The welding machine produces a clean cut and lets you perform spatter-free welding.

One of the most significant features of this unit is its duty cycle. It’s incredibly good and allows you to do welding for a long time without a hitch. Unlike cheap MIG welders, it doesn’t turn off midway through the welding process to cool down.

Though the unit features a hose and a gas regulator, it doesn’t come with a gas tank. I must warn you that gas cylinders can be really expensive in certain areas and can cost you hundreds of bucks. Nonetheless, you can also do some flux cored welding with this one.

If you value portability, I’m afraid this one might not be the right choice for you. That’s because this thing is pretty heavy. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it means the device is really well-constructed. So, it’s up to you to decide if you are willing to barter portability for a great construction.

Regarding material thickness, it can weld from 1/16” up to ¼ inch steel. That’s really good considering the low price. Have I told you that this thing is made in Italy? Probably not. Not that it’s a bad place to make welders, but the language barrier makes the instruction manual a bit less helpful.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 120V
  • Wire Length: 8 feet
  • Amp Output: 140 Amp
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Operation: Mig/flux cored welding

Pros
  • Great duty cycle
  • Praise-worthy performance
  • Well-built
  • Able to do both Mig/flux cored welding

Cons
  • May seem a bit heavy

FAQs

  • What is the minimum amp?

Ans. 30 amps.

  • Is a spool gun compatible with this device?

Ans. No, it isn’t.

  • Can I use this machine without gas?

Ans. Yes, you can.

Buy on Amazon


Arksen Mig-130 – Gas Less Flux Core Wire DIY Home Welder

ARKSEN MIG-130 Welding Machine Gas Less Flux Core Wire DIY Home Welder Automatic Feeding, Yellow

Ok, I must admit welding machines (good ones) do not come any cheaper than that. The price is insanely low for a welding appliance. Granted, it’s not suitable for professional works, but it’s certainly one of the best Mig welders for home use and occasional repairing jobs.

Concerning portability, it’s the complete opposite of Forney 309. This thing is small, takes up very little space, and weighs a lot less than the others. In short, it’s the perfect welder machine for carrying along with you on an outdoor task.

The unit features two air bent on the device to tackle thermal issues. They facilitate heat dissipation and enable the machine to remain cool. In addition, the gun comes with on/off safety control so that you don’t start the device accidentally.

With the help of a knob, you can adjust the wire feeding speed. There are ten different levels of speed that allow you greater control over the machine and the entire welding process.

So what’s the catch? Well. There’s one. It’s not a Mig welder. Yes, I know that it’s called a MIG welder, but the name is somewhat misleading. Despite being called a MIG welder, it’s unable to do Mig welding. That said, due to being one of the best gasless Mig welders out there, it has earned a place in my list.

The build quality is one of the best in the market. If you ask me how the device was constructed so well at such a low price, I really don’t know the answer. Well, probably being made in China and cheap labor has something to do with it.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 115V
  • Operation: only flux-cored welding
  • Amp Output: 50-120 amps
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Pros
  • Ideal for repairing jobs
  • Robust body
  • Adjustable wire feeding speed
  • Two air vents make it easy to deal with thermal problems
  • On/off safety control

Cons
  • Unable to perform gas welding

FAQs

  • How long is the cable of the welding gun?

Ans. It’s about 76″ long.

  • Does the unit come with a mask?

Ans. Yes, it does. The mask is made of plastic.

  • Are replacement tips easily obtainable?

Ans. Yes, it is.

Buy on Amazon

Goplus Mig 130 Welder

Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/Free Mask

If you compare this one with the Arksen Mig-130, you would be forgiven to think that both are the same products. From the design to the specifications, they have several similarities. But that doesn’t mean that Goplus Mig 130 doesn’t offer anything new. Due to having several interesting perks, it merits a place on this list.

The variable wire feeding speed control allows you to adjust according to your power intensity levels. Moreover, the four heat settings are also an amazing feature, which helps it to stand out among the budget options.

Built with a steel frame, the device looks pretty nice. Though the handle is made of plastic, it doesn’t take any shine off its design. Also, the device is meant to last years and has been built really well.

I am sorry to disappoint you, but this is no Mig welder. Just like we have seen with the Arksen Mig-130, the name can be misleading. And that’s what happened in this case as this machine can’t support Mig welding process. Hence, you’ll have to be content with only flux core welding.

The upside of not being able to gas welding is that the manufacturers can sell it at a very low price. Priced at just over 100$ it’s one of the most affordable welders out there.

There’s a face mask that comes with the package. However, I’d strongly suggest that you upgrade the face mask if you intend to use the machine regularly. That’s because it’s just a piece of plastic and more suitable to work as a shovel rather than a mask.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 110V
  • Operation: only flux-cored welding
  • Amp Output: 130 amps
  • Power Cord Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds

Pros
  • Four heat settings
  • Adjustable wire feeding speed control
  • Built to last long
  • Affordable price

Cons
  • Can’t do gas welding

FAQs

  • Is the machine able to weld 1-inch square tubing?

Ans. Sure.

  • Is the device AC output?

Ans. Yes, it is.

  • What sizes of wire can the device handle?

Ans. .030 and .035 should be fine.

Buy on Amazon


Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder by XtremePowerUS

MIG Series Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder Welding Machine Automatic Feed Unit DIY (MIG-130)

XtremepowerUS is a huge company and mainly known for manufacturing various home equipment. Nevertheless, their most popular product is welding machines. For this reason, you can remain assured that this one will be of great quality.

Being a budget-option, it has a low price tag, which makes the device very affordable. Nonetheless, the manufacturers didn’t resort to cutting corners to keep the price low.

Granted, you won’t get the features of a Hoover or Lincoln Electric, but the device is on par with all the other inexpensive options in terms of quality and performance.

The manufacturers gave a lot of effort to make the setup process as effortless as possible. Even if you have no prior experience with welding equipment, you will find it very easy to set the machine up.

When it comes to welding current, 50-120 amps is neither bad nor extraordinary. However, the fact that you can adjust the wire speed is certainly admirable and makes the device more versatile.

It’s one of the lightest welding machines out there at just 36 pounds. That makes the device extremely portable. What’s also impressive is its duty cycle which is 10% and 35% at 105 and 60 amp respectively.

Regarding wire capacity, you can use either 0.030″ or 0.035″. Keep in mind that this device isn’t capable of gas-welding, and is only able to do flux core welding.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 115V
  • Operation: only flux-cored welding
  • Amp Output: 50-120 amps
  • Weight: 36 pounds

Pros
  • Very inexpensive
  • Easy to set the thing up
  • Very lightweight
  • Good duty cycle

Cons
  • No gas welding

FAQs

  • Can this machine weld automotive sheet metal?

Ans. Sure, it can.

  • Do you need gas to run this thing?

Ans. No, you don’t.

  • Is it possible to weld aluminum with this one?

Ans. Yes, it is.

Buy on Amazon


HYL Mig130 Combo Mig Welder

MIG130 Combo Welder

The USP of HYL is that they provide an ample amount of value for the money. Their products are always filled with attractive and useful features. And the best thing is these welders won’t cost you a king’s ransom; rather they come at a competitive price.

Only a glance is enough to tell that this one is no ordinary welder. Unlike others, it’s three-in-one welder which supports Mig/Tig/Stick welding. That makes the machine extraordinarily versatile and opens a lot of options for you.

I must mention that this device is amazing at welding. Produces a stable arc and almost eliminates splatter. Considering the price, its performance makes the deal a no-brainer. Moreover, due to having a very low weight, it can be considered as one of the best portable Mig welders in the market.

According to the manufacturers, the welding device has a high duty cycle. Well, I find myself agreeing with them as the machine indeed has a really good duty cycle. You shouldn’t have any problems running the machine for a prolonged period.

As regarding the construction of the body, it’s pretty good. Not that it is as good as the high-end welders, but it should certainly suffice. You can expect a couple of years of service from this one easily.

It’s worth mentioning that one or two consumers have complained about gas welding. Nevertheless, in my opinion, those problems most likely occurred due to their inexperience with the welding process rather than something to do with the device itself.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 110/115/120V
  • Operation: Mig/Tig/Stick welding
  • Amp Output: 10-120 amps
  • Weight: 38.2 pounds

Pros
  • Able to do Mig/Tig/Stick welding
  • Amazing duty cycle
  • Splatter-free welding
  • The body is well-built

Cons
  • Some people have had to face difficulties with gas welding

FAQs

  • Does the unit include a gas regulator?

Ans. Yes, but doesn’t come with a gas tank.

  • Does the package contain a Tig foot paddle?

Ans. No, it doesn’t.

  • Is the wire roller plastic?

Ans. No, it’s made of metal.

Buy on Amazon


LONGEVITY 140 Amp Mig Welder

LONGEVITY Migweld 140-140 Amp Mig Welder Capable Of Flux-Core And Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding 110v

Longevity, the name of the company, and the word can also be used to describe their products. Their products are designed to survive and can endure years of rough use. Not that you won’t have to replace parts, but they won’t need frequent replacements.

What struck me most about the device is that it’s incredibly easy to operate. That’s a huge plus if you aren’t proficient in the welding process. Also, you will find the setup very simple, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to get the machine started.

The Mig welding device can weld steel up to 3/8″ thick. If you take the price into consideration, it seems more than impressive. Moreover, the duty cycle of the device is 20% at 90 amps. That means you can run the machine for about an hour without any issues.

Unfortunately, the device is a bit heavy and big. So, you must consider if you have enough space for the Mig welder before you make any decision. That said well-constructed devices are usually a bit heavier.

There are a few things that I didn’t like about the welder. The pressure gauge and the flow gauge aren’t up to the standard and will probably need replacements after a year. On the front, the plastic bezel is susceptible to being warped from the heat of the sun.

It’s great that the unit keeps the door open for both Mig and flux core welding. Unlike some budget models, it does Mig welding just as well as it’s advertised.

Key Tech Specs

  • Input Voltage: 110V
  • Operation: Mig/flux core welding
  • Amp Output: 140 amps
  • Weight: 54 pounds

Pros
  • Remarkable welding ability
  • Unbelievably easy to operate
  • Quick setup

Cons
  • Has a relatively large body

FAQs

  • What things do I need to weld aluminum with this device?

Ans. A spool gun and a gas cylinder filled with argon gas.

  • What size wires come with the unit?

Ans. .025 wire.

  • Does a regulator come with the package?

Ans. Yes, it does.

Buy on Amazon

Best for the Money – Hobart Handler 140 Wire Welder

The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is both a great starting point for beginners and a competent MIG welder for seasoned pros. It is easy to use, simple to setup and it’s ready to use right out of the box (although shielding gas is recommended).

The Handler 140 is ideal for all sorts of DIY welding projects. Auto body repair, household tasks and even some light industrial welding is child’s play to this rig. It operates on a standard 115v household current and puts out between 25 and 140 amps with a 20% at 90 amp duty cycle, making it the best MIG and flux-core welder for at home use. Complete with an industrial cast aluminum wire drive system the Hobart Handler 140 is the real deal.

Weighing in at just under 60 lbs, the Handler 140 is a bit heavier than similar models but the convenient handle, 10 ft. MIG gun, 10 ft. power cord and optional cart make it highly portable.

If you’re looking for an affordable quality welder that is forgiving to beginners and capable for professionals the Hobart Handler 140 is the best MIG welder for the money.

4.5/5

Weight: 49 lbs

Size: L18″ x W9″ x H13″

Power Input: 115V

Power Output: 88A

Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A

Material Thickness: Up to 1/8″ mild steel

Warranty: 1 year

Review

Best For Beginner – Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

There is no question that Lincoln is one of the most trusted brands in the industry and their welders are no exception. The K2185-1 is a solid rig for welding both MIG and flux-core. If you’re a beginner or an occasional hobbyist and don’t want to drop a ton of cash this welder is perfect.

The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 plugs into the standard 115V, 20A outlet and can put out between 35-88A with a 20% at 70A duty cycle, making it the go-to welder for many beginners and hobbyists. For simple home repairs this welder is a cut above the rest. It is compact and light enough to be easily moved around to wherever you need. In addition, the four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed adjustment allow you to weld mild steel up to 1/8″ thick with precision and accuracy.

The K2185-1 comes with everything you need to start welding today, including a spool of self-shielded flux-cored wire, so you can test out the welder even if you haven’t bought the shielding gas yet.

If you’re in the market for a high-quality welder from a reputable brand like Lincoln Electric and only need it for some light duty work, check out the K2185-1. The combination of affordability, quality, performance and features make this rig a top contender for the best MIG welder for beginners.

4.4/5

Weight: 38 lbs

Size: L21″ x W11″ x H13″

Power Input: 240V

Power Output: 230A

Duty Cycle: 40% At 150A

Material Thickness: Up to 3/8″ mild steel

Warranty: 3 year

Review

Best Portable – Millermatic 211 MIG Welder

 Miller is synonymous with quality and reliability, so when it comes to their MIG welders it’s no surprise that they rank among the best. The Millermatic 211 is one that stands above the rest, balancing the fine line between performance and affordability.

This rig is a powerhouse. Capable of an output power of 30 – 230A with a duty cycle of 40% at 150A the Millermatic 211 can weld steel up to 3/8″ thick. Using Millers Multi-voltage plug (MVP), you have the option of using either the common 120V input or a 240V input. With that kind of power you can weld anything from basic DIY home repairs to farm machinery to critical vehicle repairs. Despite its power, it is incredibly lightweight. Weighing only 38 lbs you can take it just about anywhere with ease. Coupled with a cast-aluminum drive system to allow constant feeding for up to 15-foot MIG guns, the 211 is about as portable and dynamic as they get.

The price might be a bit steep especially if you’re just starting out but this best MIG welder is a testament to Millers dedication to making quality products. This will be the only welder you’ll need to buy.

4.6/5

Weight: 80 lbs

Size: L25″ x W16″ x H19″

Power Input: 110V/220V

Power Output: 250A

Duty Cycle: 35% @ 250A

Material Thickness: Up to 3/8″

Warranty: 5 year

Review

Best Multi Process – Everlast PowerMTS 251Si Multi-Process Welder

Are you kidding me? The Everlast PowerMTS 251Si is the first and last welder you’ll ever need to buy. MIG, TIG or stick there is no project too big for this machine. Everlast is an industry leader when it comes to fully featured MTS units and it’s easy to see why.

The feature-packed Everlast PowerMTS 251Si is designed with the serious welder in mind. It includes a new Pulse MIG setting that allows you to make the most out of spray arc welding through higher quality welds and cost savings. This is independently controlled and easy to access via the easy to use front menu. The duty cycle on this machine is above average at 35% at 250 amps so you can spend your time welding instead of waiting. The PowerMTS also has a massive amount of storage space with room to handle up to a 12 inch roll of wire. And despite it being a 3-in-1 welder it is surprisingly portable, weighing in around 80 lbs. Just buy the consumables and this rig is ready to use right out of the box.

While the Everlast PowerMTS isn’t strictly the best MIG welder, if you need a rig that does everything, it is one of the best welders for the money.

4.2/5

Weight: 57 lbs

Size: L19″ x W9.5″ x H16″

Power Input: 120V

Power Output: 140A

Duty Cycle: 35% @ 90A

Material Thickness: Up to 1/4″

Warranty: 5/3/1 year

Review

Best Under $500 – Forney 309 140 Amp MIG Welder

Forney is a lesser known brand in the industry but don’t let that fool you. They’re like a scrappy underdog with a big bite. The Forney 309 is a great choice if you’re looking for a high performance machine with the capability to weld both MIG and flux-core.

With a power output of 140 amps the Forney 309 uses a standard 120V input and is a solid welder for everyday at home repairs. You’ll be able to weld pretty much any materials you have at home including stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron and aluminum up to 1/4″ thick. It has an exceptional duty cycle of 35% @ 90A which beats out most other welders in its class so you can weld for longer periods without having to rest. The aluminum drive system is easily accessible thanks to the massive cabinet it’s housed in and uses both 4″ and 8″ spools. Because of its dual MIG and FC capabilities the Forney 309 is ready to use right of the box thanks to the included spool of flux-core wire. The best part is that Forney offers a $50 rebate for this welder on their website.

Despite being a relatively lesser known brand the Forney 309 is the best MIG welder you’ve never heard of. Whether you need it for minor at-home repairs or use it to create awesome metal sculptures this rig wont disappoint.

4.6/5

Weight: 51 lbs

Size: L20.5″ x W11.25″ x H12.5″

Power Input: 115V

Power Output: 90A

Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A

Material Thickness: Up to 3/16″ steel

Warranty: 3 year

Review

Best Under $1000 – Millermatic 141 MIG Welder

Miller prides themselves on being an industry leader and the Millermatic 141 MIG welder is no different. Wit exceptional reliability and performance the 141 is the best Miller MIG welder for under $1000.

Featuring their revolutionary Auto-Set feature, the Millermatic 141 is one of the easiest welders to use. You wont have to fiddle around and experiment with different parameters to find the right setting. Simply set the wire diameter and the material thickness and you’re ready to weld. However, if you’re one of those people who loves playing around with things or need to tweak the settings for different materials you can override with manual mode.

The angled all aluminum drive system automatically detects the spool gun so it is easy to set up, providing consistent feeding for a smooth, spatter-free start.

The rig is powered with a standard 120V input so it can be set up pretty much anywhere. The 6.5 foot power cable and 10 foot MIG gun only add to its portability.

With Miller you always know you’re getting a high quality and reliable product. It may cost a bit more but for peace of mind the Millermatic 141 is a solid option.

4.7/5

Weight: 79 lbs

Size: L19.5″ x W10.5″ x H12.5″

Power Input: 115V/230V

Power Output: 210A

Duty Cycle: 30% @ 150A

Material Thickness: Up to 3/8″ steel

Warranty: 5 year

Review

Best Wire Feed – Hobart Handler 210 MVP

If you’re looking for a welder with a bit more power but cant justify the cost of spending thousands on a red or blue, take a look at the Hobart 210 MVP.

The MVP is unique in that it has the option for duel-voltage input  – either 115V or 230V – making it the reigning champ for versatility. This can be changed with a simple twist of the wrist, no tools needed. Just plug it in and the Hobart will automatically adjust for the input. Despite its small portable size, the Hobart 210 MVP packs a lot of power. With a 210A max output this rig welds up to 3/8 inch steel with ease, making it suitable for all sorts of welding from construction to personal home use.

The Hobart 2010 MVP offers an aluminum drive system with dual groove drive rolls make it easy to switch to different wire sizes. It features infinite wire control so you can adjust it just right for the perfect weld. The spool hub assembly can hold both 4 inch or 8 inch spools.

If you take price into consideration the Hobart 210 MVP is the best MIG welder in its class for the money. It is powerful, reliable and its small size makes it perfect for moving it around to different jobs.

4.3/5

Weight: 35 lbs

Size: L13.5″ x W7.3″ x H11.5″

Power Input: 110V

Power Output: 130A

Duty Cycle: 15% @ 105A

Material Thickness: Up to 1/16″ steel

Warranty: N/A

Review

Best Gasless Welder – Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder

Cheap doesn’t always mean bad quality. Just take a look at the Goplus MIG 130 flux-cored welder.

For around $100 you get a full flux-cored welding setup, capable of producing some surprisingly solid beads. However, the rig is meant for very light work so look elsewhere if you need to do any heavy-duty welding. The input voltage is the standard 110V so it’ll work with any plug in your home and boasts a duty cycle of 20% at 90A.

It includes everything you need to start welding right away including: the MIG gun, a spool of FC wire, a welding mask (cheap) and a brush.

While it’s not the best welder I’ve ever used, for the price, I was surprised by the quality. If you’ve never touched a welder before or just need to do some small household repairs, the Goplus MIG 130 is the best MIG welder if you’re on a budget.

4.8/5

Weight: 50 lbs

Size: L18″ x W10.15″ x H14″

Power Input: 120V

Power Output: 140A

Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A 

Material Thickness: Up to 3/16″ steel

Warranty: 1 year

Review

Best 110v/ 120v Welder – Lincoln Pro MIG 140 Welder

It should come as no surprise that Lincoln makes some high-quality products. The Lincoln Pro MIG 140 is another rig in a long line of reliable welders.

Capable of welding both MIG and FC, the Lincoln Pro 140 is great for both indoor and outdoor use, making it one of the most versatile welders around. It’s light weight and common 120V input power make it ideal for easy transport to and from jobs. And thanks to the 10 foot gun cable you’ll have complete freedom of movement.

The Pro 140 is easy to setup and use even if you’re a beginner. The simple two knob control allows for adjusting of the voltage and wire speed. Just set it to your specs and fine tune if needed. It also features a fully adjustable drive system to reduce wire tangling and crushing and includes an easy-turn drive tension indicator to optimize for different wire diameters.

If you’re looking for something smaller without skimping on quality, the Lincoln Pro MIG 140 is the best MIG welder in the 110v range.

4.1/5

Weight: 85 lbs

Size: L18″ x W12.5″ x H10.5″

Power Input: 200V/240V

Power Output: 175A

Duty Cycle: 20% @ 175A

Material Thickness: Up to 1/4″ steel

Warranty: 1 year

Review

LOTOS MIG 175 Amp Welder

When it comes to low-cost, high-quality welding products there’s no better name than LOTOS. The LOTOS MIG 175 is a powerful rig that produces solid welds without having to pay for a popular brand name logo.

The LOTOS MIG 175 amp welder comes with everything you need to start welding today, including the mask, a brush, MIG welding wire and Flux Cored welding wire. It connects to a 220v outlet and can be setup within minutes. While the MIG 175 is a bit hefty, weighing 85 lbs, it can be easily transported using a cart. On the flip side, the extra weight only adds to its durability. With a duty cycle of 20% at 175 amps it leaves some room for improvement but if you aren’t constantly using it on maximum power it’s a solid welder. It comes with an 8 feet 7-inch MIG torch as well as a 10 feet 4-inch long spool gun. The housing is capable of holding both 4 inch and 6 inch standard industrial wire spools.

If you need a quality welder but don’t want to pay the premium price of a brand name the LOTOS MIG 175 is a contender for the best MIG welder for the money. And if you do end up having problems, their customer service is fantastic and will take care of you every step of the way.

What is MIG welding?

MIG welding (or GMAW) is one of the easiest types of welding to learn. Depending on the type of welding you’re doing it’s the preferred method for both beginners and professionals alike. It works by feeding a wire from the machine to the gun. All you do is point it at the spot you want to weld and pull the trigger. Easy. The hard part comes when trying to decide on which is the best MIG welder for your needs. It can be daunting. There are a ton of options and features to consider: from price to portability to the thickness of metal it can weld. But we’re here to help.

How to Choose the Best MIG Welder?

By now you’ve probably decided that MIG welding is the way to go. The next step is choosing which welder to buy.

When it comes to buying a MIG welder, deciding which one is right for you can seem overwhelming at first. What brand should I get? How much power do I need? What features should I look for? How much money should I spend? These are all factors you need to consider. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about buying a MIG welder but if you don’t want to read all the way to the bottom, take a look at this handy video. He sums it up nicely.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=HVZynf3Wbok%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Advantages

Easy to learn – It’s the go-to process for beginner welders. MIG welding uses a consumable wire electrode that is fed from a spool so you just point the gun at the spot you want to weld and pull the trigger. Learning to MIG weld takes just a few hours but to master it you’ll need a bit more time. If you don’t have a lot of time to invest and just want to learn welding as a hobby or for some minor home repairs, this is the way to go.

Produces a uniform weld bead – MIG offers much better weld pool visibility. Coupled with its simplicity and increased control provided by the auto-feeder you’ll get a solid, clean weld every time.

Clean and efficient – Because MIG uses a shielding gas to protect the arc there is very little contamination to the outside elements like oxygen, hydrogen or nitrogen which can cause a variety of problems including holes within the bead and excessive spatter. There is no slag to clean up so time spent chipping and brushing can be spent welding instead.

Versatile – It’s an incredibly versatile process which can be used to weld a variety of metals including aluminum, copper, stainless steel, mild steel, magnesium, nickel and iron. In addition to being the ideal process for at-home projects it’s used in plenty of other industries that depend on strong, clean welds.

 Higher productivity – The continuous wire feed allows for much faster welding and because you don’t have to constantly change rods or chip and brush away slag you’ll be able to get much more done in much less time.

Disadvantages

Cost – The cost associated with MIG welding is higher than other processes. You must consider the initial cost of the machine as well as consumables like shielding gas, electrodes, replacement tips and nozzles. It can add up quickly.

Depends on environment – MIG is not typically suitable for outdoor welding. Because it relies on shielding gas for a nice clean weld. Any hint of wind will blow the gas away and contaminate the puddle.

Unsuitable for thicker materials – It is best suited for thin metals. If you’re welding thicker material you’ll need multiple passes or even a change of process.

best mig welder

What will you be welding?

You need to consider what type of welding you will be doing. Will you be doing mainly small home repairs like fixing bikes or cars or will you be doing big industrial projects? Below is a chart to help you figure out what amperage you’ll need for common welding tasks.

Miller also has a great calculator on their website to help you find the exact amperage you’ll need depending on the material.

ProjectAverage Metal ThicknessRequired Amperage*
Auto Body3/16-inch or less190 or less
Trailer frames and fencing1/4-inch to 5/16-inch200-250
Farm, ranch and landscape5/16-inch to 3/8-inch250-300
Bicycles and lawnmowers1/16-inch100
Boats, cars and motorcycles1/16-inch to 1/8-inch100 – 170
General to heavy repair3/16-inch to 1/4-inch190 – 200
Thick structural componentsOver 3/8-inch300 or more

* These are only rough estimates if you’re welding with steel. Use the calculator for a more accurate number.

What you need to consider:

Power

Output

The first thing you’ll need to look at when buying a MIG welder is the power output so it’s important to know what type of welding you’ll be doing and how often. If you’re just doing small at home projects with thinner metals 100 amps will suffice. Having said that, you never know when you’ll be welding something thicker so it’s better to spend a few extra dollars and get a rig with a maximum 140 amps.

You should also look at the minimum power output. The best MIG welder will have a minimum of around 30 amps which is okay for 18 gauge metal but if you plan to weld extremely thin sheet (22 gauge/ .8mm) look for something with a minimum output of 20 -25.

See the chart above for estimates on common projects.

Input

For a typical 140 amp welder a standard North American 120V outlet will be sufficient enough to power it. If, however, you plan on getting a bigger machine you will likely need to install a more powerful outlet.

Duty Cycle

This refers to the amount of time within a 10 minute period that you can continuously run the welder without it overheating.

For example: above on the Hobart Handler 140 you’ll see 20% @ 90A. That means you can weld for 2 minutes at 90 amps before you need to rest it for 8 minutes. The lower the amperage the more time you’ll be able to weld without stopping and vise versa.

This is extremely important to keep in mind if you want to keep your welder long term. Some of the best MIG welders have a built in protection system that automatically shuts off after reaching the maximum cycle but you’ll also pay a lot more.

Feed Speed

The feed speed is just as important as power. It has to do with the speed at which the wire is fed through the machine to the gun. Too slow and the wire disappears as soon as it touches the metal creating an ugly, uneven and insufficient weld. Too fast and the wire will extend from the gun leaving you will far to much wire and a lot of spatter. The perfect speed will have the wire going just fast enough to give you a constant arc and will make a satisfying sizzle sound.

Cheaper MIG welders will have separate power and feed speed settings so you’ll have to play around on a piece of scrap to get the ideal speed. This takes some practice but once you figure it out it’s easy to do.

The best MIG welder will have an automatic speed setting which adjusts the speed relative to the power. There’s often a manual override in case you need to make some small tweaks.

Portability, Size and Weight

This is really an afterthought compared to the welders performance but if you have limited space available take note of the size and weight. They can range anywhere from around 40 lbs to several hundred pounds depending on the the power and features.

But don’t let the size fool you. Many smaller welders can pack a huge punch. Just take a look at the Millermatic 211: it weighs under 40 lbs and has a power output of 230 amps. Compare that to the Hobart Handler 140 at 57 lbs with an output of  140 amps. It all depends on what kind of welding you will be doing.

If you plan on moving it around regularly, carts are available to make your life a bit easier so you don’t have to strain yourself before you even start to weld. This is especially useful for auto body work and need to move around the car easily.

Safety Features

The best MIG welder will come with built in safety features to protect you from harm so you can keep welding for years to come.

Thermal Overload Protection – This is so you don’t go over the recommended duty cycle limit. If your welder has a duty cycle of 40% at 150A, after 4 minutes the welder will automatically shut off to prevent overheating. Not all welders have this feature but it’s incredibly useful if your mind tends to wander. This feature will protect your investment and increase the life cycle of your machine.

Built-in Contactor – This makes it easier to change position without having to worry about making accidental contact. The contactor keeps the wire electrically cold until you pull the trigger.

Shielding Gas

Choosing the right type of shielding gas is vital for a high-quality weld. It’s what puts the G in MIG. There are several different types of gas depending on the material you’re welding. The 4 most common are:

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – is the cheapest and most common of the MIG welding gases. It can be used in its pure form when welding thicker materials for deep weld penetration but is often mixed with other gases to produce a more stable arc and less spatter.

Oxygen (O2) – is mixed with other gases in small amounts  – around 5% or less. It improves weld pool fluidity for better penetration, a nicer weld bead and no undercutting. It’s typically mixed with argon for carbon steel, low alloy steel and stainless steel.

Argon (Ar) – is heavier than air so it protects the weld from the air which would otherwise contaminate it. For a high quality weld in both appearance and strength a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide is recommended. It offers better arc stability, puddle control and less spatter. For non-ferrous metals like titanium, copper, nickel or aluminum 100% argon is used.

Helium (He) – is the least common and most expensive of the gases and is better used for TIG welding. For MIG welding it provides a wide bead with poor penetration.  It is always mixed with other gases and is commonly used on non-ferrous metals. If welding with stainless steel it is usually mixed with argon and carbon dioxide.

Multipurpose

Some of the best MIG welders offer both MIG and flux-cored options so you can tackle any project with confidence knowing you have the right tools for the job. With flux-cored welding you don’t need addition shielding gas because the gas is embedded in the wire. You’ll pay a bit more for the dual option but for the versatility it offers it’s well worth it.

Warranty

Buying the best MIG welder is a pretty hefty investment so a solid warranty is key. At the very least you should look for a warranty of 1 year but preferably 3-5 years. Usually any flaws in the welder will become apparent within the first few months but it’s always nice to know that you’re protected in anything goes wrong further down the line. Also keep in mind of the return policy so if it breaks within the first few weeks you can return it hassle-free. Amazon offers a 30 day return policy on all items shipped from their warehouse.

Tips for Choosing the Best MIG Welder

What Will you be Welding? – You should know exactly what kind of work you’ll be doing regularly and then look for a welder with a bit more power than you’d typically need (see chart above.) You’ll feel pretty lousy if you buy a welder that’s under powered and wont give you a proper weld for the task at hand. More power costs a bit more but it’s better than having to buy another one after you realize the one you bought is under powered.

Budget – It’s easy to get carried away with more power and the latest features when choosing a welder but the price quickly adds up. Before you even think about buying a welder you should know how much you’re willing to spend and stick with that budget.

Brand – Besides the 3 best MIG welder brands – Hobart, Lincoln Electric and Miller – there are a few lesser known brands out there that are cheaper and produce outstanding quality welds. Some standouts include: Forney, GoPlus, Lotos, Everlast, AHP and Lotos.

Read Amazon Reviews – Amazon reviews are a tremendous resource for researching the pros and cons of the best MIG welder. You should always look for the welder with the most positive reviews. If it’s rated 4+ stars from hundreds of people it’s going to be a solid machine. But don’t just look at the positives, look at the negative reviews as well to see what are some of the common issues and if you can live with them.

Buy Used – Craigslist and Kijiji are goldmines for people who don’t mind buying used. People upgrade their welders and need to make room for their new rig so they put their old, perfectly good machine up for sale at awesome prices for a quick sale. There are obvious downsides to this like lack of warranty or shady sellers who sell you broken welders. This is the best option if budget is a major concern.


What Features To Look Before Buying

If you are a beginner and trying to learn how to MIG weld either steel or aluminum; getting a MIG welder is the best place to start as it is very easy to learn.

Before purchasing any MIG welder; make sure to look for some critical features that fit what you intend to use it for so you do not waste your money.

Here are some of the features to look for before buying any MIG welder.

MIG/Flux-Cored Welders or Multifunction

A flux-cored welder produces a protective covering from a compound included in the wire itself. This produces a lot of spatters and slag coating around the weld that must be removed.

Shielding Gas

There are some welders having shielding gas which helps to keep oxygen away from the weld. These welders produce a clean weld and you can better view weld puddles.

Power

Does the welder have AC or DC power supply? AC power supplied welders do not allow for much flexibility to make custom cuts and are relatively cheap.

DC power supplied welders allow for different cuts because they come with extra electrodes, but they are expensive.

Some welders come with both, which is the best option to get if you can afford it.

Feed Speed

Depending on the type of project, you will need to know the wire feed speed of the welder you are getting. Because the feed speed affects the amperage and also the amount of weld penetration.

Feed Speed

For DIY welders, the feed speed has to be manually set, but more expensive welders have automatic adjustments for the feed speed.

Wire Size and Material Thickness

The wire size you will use depends on the type of material that you want to weld. Thicker wire is used for thicker material and thinner wire for a thinner material.

So make sure to check the MIG welder for recommendations on the type of wire it can use.

Portability

You should consider if you will need to move the welder about. If this is the case, you need to get a welder with a wheeled cart to ease the stress of moving it around and reduce any strains to the back that may result from lifting such heavy equipment on a regular basis.

Duty Cycle

Depending on how long you will be welding for; check out the amperage and duty cycle of the welder.

The amperage of a welder is the amount of heat it produces while the duty cycle is the duration during a ten-minute period that the welder can operate on a particular amperage before it starts to overheat.

The higher the duty cycle, the longer the time you can spend welding.

So if you intend to weld for long hours working on thick metal; ensure you get a welder with a high duty cycle to avoid overheating and damaging the welder.

Thermal Overload Protection

thermal overload protection chart

It is important to choose a welder with thermal overload protection regardless of why you are getting the welder.  Depending on the duty cycle; if you weld too long, the welder can start overheating.

Having a welder with thermal overload protection saves you from experiencing the problems of having your welder overheat. This is something like a warranty on its own because it reduces the risk of you damaging your welder from overheating.

Warranty

Welders do not come cheap; make sure whatever welder you are getting comes with protection on your investment just in case there are issues with the product.

Most welder manufacturers give a warranty to replace the product or return your money for any defective product.

Spool Gun Capability

If you intend to work with a spool gun, ensure you check that the welder you are getting allows for a spool gun to be hooked to it. This type of welder allows for the welding of aluminum; not all welders have this option.

So, be careful to check for this feature on any welder you intend to get if you want to weld aluminum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Using a MIG welder is as easy as it comes, but then, there are still some things to have clarity on. Here are some of the questions you might have:

  • Can I use Argon for MIG welding?

Yes, if you intend to weld a non-ferrous metal, you will need to use 100% argon. Metals like aluminum, magnesium, or titanium require pure argon.

  • What is MIG welding used for?

This type of welding is used to create strong and durable joints.

  • Can I MIG weld with no welding experience?

Yes, you can, MIG welding is the easiest welding to learn and is the most versatile.

  • What is the difference between MIG welding and TIG welding?

The major difference between these two welding processes is that MIG uses a continuous feeding wire while TIG uses long welding rods by slowly feeding them into the weld puddle.

  • What can you weld with a MIG welder?

You can only weld thin to thick metals using MIG welders.

  • What is the basic shielding gas for MIG Welding?

Argon is the basic shielding gas for MIG welding, although Helium can be used in addition to argon to increase the penetration and fluid of the weld pool.

  • What is the right shielding gas to be used on stainless steel for MIG welding?

A mixture of three gases such as Helium (90%), Argon (7.5%), and Carbon-dioxide (2.5%) is the recommended ratio of shielding gas to be used to weld short circuit stainless steel.

  • Do I need a spool gun when welding Aluminum?

No, you do not need a spool gun to weld aluminum. You can use Teflon liners or special drive rolls.

  • Can I use the MIG welder to weld a thick metal?

Yes, you can.

Final Thoughts

I really do hope you can now make an informed decision when choosing the best MIG welder for the money. The welders listed above do not require you to be an expert welder to know how to operate; in fact, they are very easy to use.

Watch out for the features that best suit your welding needs; these devices are pricey, but you would not want to buy a machine that cannot weld the metal you intend to weld.

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