After giving it a lot of thought you have decided it’s time you got your own welding machine. As you have gotten tired of always having to ask your friends to weld stuff for you. But there is a problem, where to start.
The market is flooded with all kinds of welding machines with the most common being Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welders. The latter is easy to use even for beginners and requires little to no cleanup. These welders are also known for their high rate of productivity.
Obviously, this is only if you have the best MIG welder. Because not every MIG welder out there will give you a high rate of productivity and exceptional welds. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of my top 10 favorite MIG welders.
Top 10 Best MIG welders reviews
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder
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. 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.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
How powerful is it?
The first thing you are probably asking yourself is how powerful this unit is. Now I will be the first to admit that with a max output of 88amps it is not the most powerful. Nonetheless, it is capable of handling small welding projects.
It can handle welding steel of between 24 gauge and 1/8 inch in thickness, which is not bad. More importantly, it has a low input voltage of 115 volts. Meaning you can connect it to any one of your home’s outlets.
This welder is both a flux-cored and MIG welding machine. This means you can shift between the two weld types very easily. With this, you can handle more projects that require different weld styles.
Weighing 46 pounds it is not as lightweight as the previous entry on my list. Nevertheless, it is lightweight enough for carrying around in your garage or workshop. Also, it comes with a handle that helps in its transportation.
Since it works with any home outlet it is an ideal option for mild auto body repairs. For welding hobbyists, it is the best MIG welder for auto body work. It is both a flux-cored and MIG welder, which is great for all-around home use.
Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine w/Free Mask 110V
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.
Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder with Dual Voltage
Powerful welding machines come at a premium and this WeldPro model is no exception. Owning this welder will set you back $600 or so. Which begs the question, when there are other more affordable options is this model really worth it.
At its core, this is a flux-core welding machine with a dual 220v and 100 volts voltage. In terms of welding, it can handle true TIG welding and best stick welding. More importantly, it is also capable of aluminum welding.
A compact machine
While it can handle a lot of different weld types, it is not a bulky machine. In fact, it is quite compact measuring 17 ¾ x 8 ¾ x 15 inches. It does not take up much space, meaning it is ideal for home use as well as professional use.
The term synergic design is one you will find on the description of this welder. What it means is that it automatically adjusts the voltage with the wire speed. For people who do not weld every day, this is a handy feature to have.
When you want to do different types of welding, you may have to spend money on two or more welding machines. Or you can purchase this all-in-one machine that can do the work of two machines. When it comes to value for money, this welding machine has it in plenty. And is thus the best MIG welder for the money.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
It is one of the most talked about and reviewed welding machines. But does it live up to the hype? I got to try out the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V and here is what I think about it.
At first glance, it is clear that Hobart invested a lot in the construction of this welder. Its build quality is superior. And overall the machine feels sturdy. A quick look at the machine’s description reveals that it is built from steel hence the exceptional build quality.
When it comes to amperage it runs between 25 amps and 140 amps. This is sufficient for welding all kinds of material. In my test, I found it did well when I tested it with mild ¼ inch thick steel. Meaning it can also handle a 24 gauge thick steel sheet.
Five voltage settings
There is a voltage control selector that lets you choose from five different voltage settings. You can thus choose the settings you want for your material. This results in a steady arc at all times regardless of the material you are welding.
It might not be the most lightweight welding machine out there but it is still a worthwhile investment. From my tests, it produced some nice and clean weld. It costs about $500 plus and has a lot to offer especially for home users. And is, in my opinion, one of the best MIG welders under 1000.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun
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 for the money, it would among the top three if not at the top of the list.
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
This Hobart Handler mig welder is the priciest on my list. Costing just under $1000 it is a compact welder. However is it worth its hefty price tag or should you go for more affordable offerings?
Versatile power outlet
One of the best things about this welder is its multi-voltage plug. The latter can work with a 115-volt power outlet as well as a 230 power outlet. When connected with the 230 power outlet you get 7 different voltage settings and 4 different settings for the 115-volt power outlet.
It has an output power range of between 25 amps and 210 amps. This means you can weld almost any kind of metal including stainless steel and mild steel. It can handle 3/8 inch thick mild steel as well as 24 gauge steel.
Resettable thermal overload
The thermal overload system ensures the machine doesn’t exceed the duty limit. Also included is a motor protection feature. The latter protects the motor from problems with the machine. This ensures a longer lifespan for your welding machine.
It might be the priciest on the list but it’s the best MIG welder under1000. It has a lot to offer and can handle a host of different welding projects. Thanks to its versatility and dual voltage plug it can be used by both amateurs and professionals.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding machine
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.
Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 Flux-Core/MIG Welder
Due to its lower power output, it may struggle against thicker sheets of steel. However, for thinner sheets such as auto body work, it excels. It is priced at below $1000 and its dual voltage and aluminum welding capabilities are very versatile.
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.
Best MIG Welder For The Money
Value for money is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a MIG welder. After all, you expect value whenever you spend your money. Among my top ten MIG welders, there are two that I believe offers great value for money.
The first one the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder with Dual Voltage
The latter is a dual voltage model capable of mig, tig as well as arc stick welding. Thus, the $600 plus you spend on it gives you the functionality of at least three welders.
This welding machine is enough and you don’t have to spend money on any other welding machine.
The second one the LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun
Costing slightly below the $500 mark it is not as costly as the WeldProo 200. However, it offers you great value for money as it can weld a diverse selection of metals.
As seen in its review above it comes with a spool gun for aluminum welding. With it, you can weld aluminum as well as other types of metals such as steel and stainless steel. Thus, it can do all the welding you need doing without you having to invest in a second welding machine.
In a nutshell, these two machines offer exceptional value for money. The WeldPro 200 is the best MIG welder for the money but the LOTOS MIG 175 isn’t so far behind.
The Best MIG Welder For Home Use
For home use, I highly doubt that you require an expensive and overly powerful model. Especially since most likely your home power inlets have a voltage of 115volts. Ideally, the best welders for home use are machines that can use the 115-volt power outlet.
The two that are most suited to home use are the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V and the Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder. These two are both compatible with the standard 115 volt power outlet.
The Hobart is the better of the two as it offers a more diverse range of applications. As such, it is also the costlier of the two. For the increased price you get a better welding machine capable of welding a wide range of metals.
This Hobart model can handle almost any welding task you throw at it from light auto body welding to more demanding farm jobs.
The Super Deal Pro is the more affordable of the two. Priced at less than $200 it has quite an impressive selection of features. One of its selling points is its ease of use, with its control panel, it is very easy to use.
Also, since it is made from a PVC material it is considerably lightweight compared to other models. Thus you can easily haul it from one location to another as the job requires.
So which between the two is the best MIG welder for home use? Well, it depends on what you want. If the tasks you handle do not require a lot of power, then the Super Deal pro is for you. But if you want some bit of extra power, I recommend going for the Hobart 500559.
In essence, the Super Del Pro is the best MIG welder for home use while the Hobart 500559 is the best MIG welder for home shop.
Best MIG welder for beginner
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 on the list, while the Hobart 210 is the best MIG welder for autobody repair.
Best mig welder under 1000
There are some pretty amazing welders in the under $1000 price bracket. Some of them cost upwards of $700. However, there are those that cost slightly above $500 and offer almost the same features as their pricier counterparts.
If I had to pick my two best MIG welder under 1000 I would pick the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V and the LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun.
A popular among welders the Hobart 500559 appeals to both casual handymen and professional contractors. It is capable of welding mild steel of up to 0.25 inches in thickness. In addition, this wire feed welder doesn’t require an additional mig kit to function
It is no wonder this unit has a lot of best MIG welder reviews on the web. It is a versatile machine that can handle almost any kind of welding task.
Though not as powerful as the Hobart the Lotos MIG 175 is still a pretty awesome machine for its price. It is capable of welding steel of between 18 gauge and ¼ inch in thickness. But where it really shines is in its versatility.
The welder comes with a number of components that make it ideal for welding different types of metal. It can weld both stainless steel and aluminum. It comes with a spool gun ready for aluminum welding.
Best mig welder under 500
Some of the best welding machines on the market are priced below the $500 mark. Some costlier than others but at this price point, you cannot go wrong. The two best in the under $500 price bracket have to be the Weldpro 155 Amp Inverter MIG/Stick Arc Welder and the Goplus MIG 130 Welder.
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.
Best MIG welder for aluminum
Aluminum is one of the most used metals in the world. It is used in virtually every industry from making airplanes to making consumer electronics. The metal is popular due to its unique attributes.
As such, welding aluminum requires a special kind of welder since not all welding machines can handle this metal. But one that can and arguably the best mig welder for aluminum is the LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder.
This welder has all the features you would need in an aluminum welder. It comes with a spool gun included, which can weld aluminum sheets of up to 3/8 inch in thickness. It is also very powerful with a 175 amp output.
Apart from aluminum, it can also weld mild steel as well as stainless steel. In a nutshell, it is an all-around welding machine with a particular competence for welding aluminum.
Best mig welder for auto body work
For auto body work you need a welding machine that is able to weld different types of metals. Vehicles are manufactured from a wide array of metals steel being the most common. Thus, you need a welder that can weld sheets of steel of varying thickness.
The Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 Flux-Core/MIG Welder is one of the most powerful welders around. It is capable of flux-core welding as well as gas-shielded mig welding. This versatility is another thing that earns it the title of the best mig welder for auto body work.
It has a powerful 180 amp output and uses an industrial grade 208/230 volt power plug. This translates to incredible power. Which makes it capable of welding sheets of steel 3/16 inch thick. Thus, it can handle any kind of auto body repair work you throw at it.
Built from cast aluminum it is also lightweight and easy to carry thanks to its handle. Compared to others on this list, it is the best mig welder for auto body repair work.
The best mig welder buying guide
When searching for the best MIG welder, there are a number of things you should consider. In this section, I will be looking at some of the important factors to consider.
First is output power. Not every welder will be suited to your needs. For basic home use, a power output of 100 amps is sufficient. However, I have found that a power output of at least 140 amps is better.
A 140 amps power output is standard and will give you the ability to weld thicker materials than with a 100 amps power output. Thus, to be on the safe side I recommend going for a welder with at least 140 amps of power output.
Wire feed speed
Wire feed speed refers to the rate or speed at which the mig wire is fed from the welding machine to the gun. If the speed is too low you will end up with an ugly and uneven weld. On the other hand, if it’s too fast the result will be a ton of spatter.
Welding machines give you the option of adjusting the wire feed speed to fit your welding. You may want to test the speed on scrap metal first though. A better feature is the automatic speed setting.
This automatically adjusts the speed to the relative power.
Welding wires come in a variety of sizes. The size of the wire will have some impact on weld quality. Wires that are .023 and .030 in are best suited to welding lighter sheets of metal as they prevent burning through.
The thicker .045 in wires are more suited to welding thicker or more abundant metals. There are two common wire types the ER70S-3 and ER70S-6. The former can handle virtually all types of welding, while the latter is suited to welding dirty and rusty metals.
Overall size and portability
The performance of a MIG welding machine is important but what is equally important is how portable a welder is. A portable welder will give you the flexibility to move it around as need arises.
Also, portable welders tend to be more compact. Thus, you will not require a lot of space to store it. For home use, I recommend going for a lightweight and compact welder.
Different welding machines are suited to different welding projects. As such, it is important to choose a welder that meets all your needs. Obviously the more powerful the welder the more you will have to spend.
However, you may not require the most powerful welder out there as it all depends on your needs. Some welders appeal to professional contractors while others appeal to welding enthusiasts and hobbyists. All in all, there is always something for everyone.