MIG welding is one of the simplest welding processes. In fact, most beginners are advised to start their welding journey with a MIG welder. However, this does not mean that the search for the MIG welder is easy.
As a beginner or in a tight budget what is the best MIG welder around 500 dollers? This is the question we will be seeking to answer. Below is our pick of the best MIG welder for the money. These are the welders we feel will best suit you as a welding novice.
The Welder Pro 155 amp is the better of the two and has the features to prove it. For starters, it has a dual voltage plug. Meaning you can use a standard 110-volt power output or a more powerful 220-volt power output.
Moreover, you can use it for stick, MIG and arc welding. For a model priced below $500, this is pretty impressive. It can weld mild steel of up to ¼ inch thick.
The Goplus is the cheaper of the two and is probably the MIG welder under 200. This is a full MIG welder with no gas welding. Meaning you do not have to purchase any additional components to use it.
Also despite its relatively low price point it is very well made. It features a stainless steel body, making it the best mig welder under 300 in terms of construction. It has many other awesome features.
The Welderpro 155 amp is the best MIG welder under 500. While the Goplus is the best mig welder under 400. It can also be considered the best cheap welder.
Comparison Table Of Our Top Pick Of Best Mig Welder Under $500
Best Mig Welder Under 500 Reviews
Weldpro 155 Amp Inverter MIG/Stick Arc Welder
The Weldpro 155 amp inverter MIG/stick arc welder is a machine I have owned for a while. I looked at several other products before settling on this one. There are a couple of reasons why I bought this model, and here are the main ones.
The feature that sold me on this was one is the dual voltage feature. In my experience, you need an amperage of 140 amps to weld thicker steel. With this, I could get beyond this mark with the 220-volt power output.
For basic home use, such as welding thinner sheets of metal, the basic 110/115 volt power outlet is enough. The flexibility I get from being able to switch between 115volt and 220-volt power output is awesome.
Machines with a voltage capability of 220 volts aren’t the most lightweight. However, I was pleased with how easy it was to move this machine around. There is no need for a cart as the machine is quite lightweight.
As its name suggests it is capable of flux-cored, mig and stick welding, which is awesome. With it, I can weld sheets of steel of up to ¼ inch thick. Also, the adjustable wire speed and temperature adjustment let me control my welding.
This welder might not be the best for professionals and industrial use. But it is an ideal option for home use. With its features and price tag, it is the Best MIG welder under 500. There are many other options under this price point, but few compare to this model.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding machine
One of the cheapest welding machines on the market is the Goplus MIG 130 welder flux core wire automatic feed welding machine. This model costs less than $200 and is ideal for beginners and Do-It-Yourselfers. But at such a price point is it worth it?
Inexpensive cored wire
This unit is a gasless welder and uses what is known as the flux-cored arc welding process. The process does not require the use of expensive steel solid wires. Instead, it uses cored wires made from special alloying materials.
Thus you get an inexpensive welder and welding process that produces an even and clean weld. Also, there is no need to buy any extra components for your welding machine.
Four temperature settings
It comes with four different temperature settings marked from lowest to highest. This gives it versatility in that it can be used by beginners and pros alike.
Wire speed control
The wire speed control feature combined with the temperature settings give you control of your welding. You can choose the wire speed based on the thickness of the material you wish to weld. Ideally, though this welding machine is suited to welding thinner metals.
For welding thinner sheets of steel, this welding machine is more than sufficient. It is by far the best cheap MIG welder on the list. It is quite small and thus will not require a lot of storage room. Moreover, it can be used by both beginners and professionals.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun
The LOTOS MIG175 can do a lot and is highly rated. While it is not the most affordable product out there it is well worth every penny. But should you spend over $500 that this welder’s price tag demands?
Not many welders are built for standard welding. This LOTOS welder is among the few. With the included free spool gun you can weld aluminum of up to 3/8 inch in thickness.
This is in addition to being able to weld other types of metals such as stainless steel with the standard spool gun that is included. For this feature alone, it is well worth the price as it does the work of two different welding machines.
In regards to safety features, it comes with a resettable overload protection feature. This feature prevents overload and ensures your welding machine has a long life.
Given it can weld aluminum as well as stainless steel and steel, it is a versatile welder and offers great value for money. In a contest for the best MIG welder under 600, it would among the top three if not at the top of the list.
Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder
Most mig welders may feel a bit too industrial grade for home use. Not this model, as it is specifically designed for home use. It doesn’t have some of the high-end features you find on costlier models, but it will serve you well.
Highly portable unit
Unlike other models on the list, this one has a PVC body. This helps reduce its weight as it weighs only 38 pounds. It also features a handle that makes it even easier to carry. Also, it is very compact and does not take up much space.
Easy to use control panel
To make it as easy to use as possible, Super Deal installed an automatic control panel. This is where you operate the welder from. From this panel, you can regulate wire feed speed as well as temperature control.
At the end of the gun is a copper tip. The great thing about this tip is that it does not allow the buildup of slag as you weld. However, after continued use, you may need to replace this tip. The welder comes with a number of replacement tips.
If you are looking for a basic MIG welder for home use, then this is it. While it may not compete with other models out there it gets the job done. Also, it is an uncomplicated user interface control panel that makes it easy to use.
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder : Best Mig Welder Under 200
The Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG welder is one welding machine I love using. With its bright green metallic casing, it manages to combine power and portability in a neat little package. It weighs about 19 pounds, which is pretty lightweight for a welding machine.
With a 140 AMP output, this portable MIG welder is a powerhouse. With this output I able to weld steel of up to ¼ inch plate. Obviously, it does struggle when welding thicker sheets of steel, but that is to be expected given its price tag.
All metal construction
This Forney welder is a rugged little machine with all metallic construction. It is more than capable of sustaining the occasional work related abuse. It is also big enough to accommodate 2 to 10 pounds of roll wire.
Easy to use
What makes this the best MIG welder for beginners is how easy it is to use. You get the option of two flux core wires. A 0.30 in and a 0.35 in with a wire feed speed control included. This means you can dial in your preferred weld.
For light welding projects, this is the perfect welding machine. It is easy to use making it an ideal option for beginners like the 120v welder. And a quick search of it online reveals that many amateur and beginner welders prefer this model to others. Also at its price point, you cannot go wrong with it.
Introduction MIG welding
Let us start by looking at what Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is all about. MIG welding entails the feeding of a solid wire through a welding gun and into the weld pool. The weld pool joins the two base materials together.
Apart from the welding wire, a shielding gas is also fed through the welding gun. This shielding gas can either be argon, carbon dioxide, or a mixture of the two. The purpose of the gas is to protect the weld pool from atmospheric contaminants.
The shielding gas mentioned above is supplied from a pressure gas tank. As such, to weld using this technique, you require a welder and a gas tank. Thus, the equipment you need includes the welder, a gas tank, a regulator, or flow meter.
Also, as with any other welding process, you need a welding wire. The latter can be in the form of solid wire or a flux wire. A flux core wire is hollow and contains flux materials inside. These flux materials generate a shielding gas when burned.
Thus, some welding wires do not require an external gas tank.
How does MIG welding work?
As mentioned above, MIG welding uses an electric current. The current is used to create a short circuit between a positively charged solid wire and a negatively charged cathode. The cathode in this scenario is the metal being welded.
A non-reactive gas or inert gas is also fed through the welding gun. The gas and the circuit weld the metal and allows them to mix. When the heat is removed, the weld pool cools and solidifies, forming a new piece of fused metal.
Pros of MIG welding
- Is one of the easiest to learn welding processes
- Produces high-quality weld with minimal slag since there is no flux material being used
- It is a versatile welding technique and can be used to weld both ferrous and non-ferrous metals
- Produces high quality at a much faster rate
- The end product has a clean look and has minimal spatter
Cons of MIG welding
- This process cannot be used for vertical or overhead welding due to its high heat output
- Cannot be used for outside welding projects
Best MIG welder For Beginner : Best Mig Welder Under 200
If you are new to welding then you will need a welding machine that is uncomplicated but can also get the job done. The two that will tick all the right boxes for beginners are the Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder and the Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG, Welder.
The Forney East Weld 261 is an easy to use and incredibly lightweight machine. Also, it features an all-metal casing meaning it can take abuse. But what makes it ideal for beginners is its infinite voltage and wire feed speed control.
With the wire feed speed control, you can simply dial in the weld setting that will suit you. It also doesn’t come with a lot of complicated parts that may confuse you. And is ready to use right off the box.
The Hobart 210 on the other hand, is quite an expensive model, but still simple to use the machine. You get dual voltage plug capable of using either a 115 volt or a 230-volt outlet. There are also 7 voltage settings for fine tuning your weld.
In terms of quality, the Hobart 210 is by far the better of the two. But if I were to choose the Best MIG welder for beginner I would pick the Forney Easy Weld. It is considerably less costly and easier to use than its counterpart.
That being said, the Forney Easy Weld can also be termed the best cheap welder or the best mig welder under 200 dollar on the list, while the Hobart 210 is the best MIG welder for autobody repair.
When it comes down to it, there are many mig welding machine under $500 options on the market. And it comes down to what you need. As a beginner, you will probably be looking for a machine that is easy to use and is reasonably priced.
The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on your first welding machine. Most of the high-end welding machines out there are complex. Thus, they are best suited to professional welders who know their way around a welding machine