2021’s Best MIG Welder For The Money – Quick Comparison

mig welder reviews

Great Metal fabrication in the modern world would not have been possible without welding.

But where did welding originate? About 2000 years back welding was performed by the Egyptians and there are evidences (small gold boxes) of this too. Discovery of electric arc by Humphry Davy goes back in 1800 and the MIG welding history is somewhere around 19th century.

Firstly the carbon electrodes were used and then the metal ones. But the conventional welding is a lot more different than the traditional one.

Over the last couple of decades the flux core wire-feed welders and MIG- Metal Inert Gas welders have revolutionized the small-scale welding drastically.

Be it the beginners, hobbyists, and the professionals for any DIY home or industrial-grade tasks, the MIG welders deal will everything brilliantly and efficiently. The reliability, durability, and productivity is just amazing and tackling any kind of metals or alloys is super easy.

Great penetration with fewer starts and stops, clean and safe welding!!!! What else one wants.

But different welders cater to the needs also differently. After much use and abuse we have shortlisted the best MIG welders according to their speciality and suitability.

As there is a rush of many Chinese and foreign-built products in the market, we have the best and quality performers MIG welders for money right here….

Best Mig Welder For The Money : Comparison Chart

Best Overall

Hobart 500554

best mig welder for home use

Budget-Friendly

Goplus MIG130

portable mig welders

Premium Choice

Amico TIG160

best budget mig welder

Top 6 Mig Welder For The Money

1. Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder 230V

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 130A

  • Input Voltage: 220/230/240v

  • Amperage Range: 25A – 190A

  • Net Weight: 68 lbs

  • Input Phase: 1-Phase

  • Wire Feeder Speed: 40 IPM – 740 IPM

  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty)

If you want easy to use, power, and portability then nothing will be able to defeat Hobart 500554 Handler and that is why this one tops our list. Be it the hobbyists or the professionals this is stylish, compact, and works just perfectly. When it is about welding this brand is trustworthy as remains synonymous with style and high quality.

In a single pass, this can weld 24-gauge up to 5/16″ while operating at 230V power and is easily operable at 115V by changing the plug. We also appreciate the quick and easy set-up for varied wires, materials, and thicknesses. This is suitable for tackling any kind of welding jobs such as tool carts, bow racks, metal sculpture, farm equipment, auto body panels, mower decks, or any other DIY projects.

Best Features

  • A powerhouse machine.

  • 7 voltage settings selections.

  • Features a built-in contactor.

  • Integrated spool-gun control circuitry is standard.

  • Industrial cast aluminum wire drive system.

  • Door chart with initial settings.

  • Self-resetting thermal overload protection.

Drawbacks

  • Fairly expensive.

  • Will need a 230V receptacle.

Budget-Friendly

portable mig welders

2. Goplus MIG130 MIG-Welder

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 15% @ 105A

  • Input Voltage: 110V

  • Input Phase: 1-phase

  • Amperage Range: 50A – 120A

  • Net Weight: 35 lbs

  • Warranty: 6 months

The Goplus MIG gas welder is compact, exquisite, and made of heavy-duty stainless body, painted with durable yellow paints that ensure a long-last serving life-span. This works well for flux core welding and MIG alike and boasts of adjustable temperature and speed settings. The best settings based on your materials can be picked by you and select from 4 speed and heat settings with ease.

Overheating or high-temperatures are prevented by the air vents that are located on the welder sides. These air vents allow only the cool air to get around or inside the motor. Safety is not an issue due to the automatic thermal protection. For budget shoppers, this is probably a solid choice as you get a number of tools for e.g. a welding mask for protection along with welding wire for different applications.

Best Features

  • Low price.

  • Compact and smart design.

  • Comes with many complimentary necessities.

  • Offers adjustable speed control settings.

  • Ideal for home DIY and general repairing work.

Drawbacks

  • Performance isn’t as good as the expensive welders.

  • A better choice for flux core wire welding.

Best For Professionals

200 amp mig welder

3. Miller Electric 120/240VAC

Specifications

  • Thermal Overload Protection.

  • MIG/flux core wire-feed

  • Input 120 and 240 volts

  • Material thickness 24 gauge to 3/8 inch

  • Flux core 0. 030 In. to 0. 045 inch

  • Wire size 0. 023 In. to 0. 035 inch

  • Includes 10 ft. M-10 MIG Gun

The Millermatic 211 is probably one of the best welders on our list for professionals. This runs from 110 to 120 inputs and when connected to the 240 side this features a 40% duty-cycle at 150-amps.

This boasts of professional power, dual-input versatility, with true MIG capability. Any material around 1/8-inch thick can be welded by the Millermatic. This comes with a handy feature called the auto spool detect whose work is to detect automatically eliminating the need for a switch.

In case any overheating occurs then the Thermal overload protection shuts down the power source output. This is quite portable and can be moved around easily on a steel construction site for any sort of details such as the railings and stairs.

Best Features

  • Light weight.

  • Runs quietly.

  • Comes with a solid metal wire drive.

  • Welds heavier materials easily.

  • Very low amperage for light gauge sheet.

  • Handy Auto Spool Gun Detect.

  • 120 and 240 AC powered.

Drawbacks

  • Grounding clamp is not so strong.

  • Wire feed spool is not so promising according to some owners.

Top Choice For Beginners

best budget mig welder

4. Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A.

  • Wire Feed Speed: 40 IPM – 700 IPM

  • Input Voltage: 110/150/120v

  • Amperage Range: 25A – 140A

  • Net Weight: 57 lbs.

  • Input Phase: 1-Phase

  • Wire Feed Speed: 40 IPM – 700 IPM

  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty)

The Hobart Handler 140 shares similar features to the Handler 190 and is designed for durability and quality. This is great for beginners due to its ease of use, portability, and power.

You can easily weld mild steel, flux core steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. This has the ability to weld 24-gauge up to ¼” mild steel. Recommended welding for copper, brass, iron, magnesium, alloys, flux core aluminum, magnesium, titanium, alloys, etc.

A 115V standard household current is used by this with an amperage output of 25-140. A stable arc for all welding thicknesses is created by the 5-position voltage settings selector.

A versatile welder that makes an ideal option for household repairs, farm projects, auto body, or any yard projects. The best part is this doesn’t create any slags and offers a quick-release roll level for perfect control. The wire spool acts as a filler material and this master tool is certainly the best for beginner welders.

It’s extremely versatile to use and is perfect for welders who work on household repairs, auto body, farm projects, or any yard project. Its spool of wire acts as the filler material. This type of feed head offers a quick-release roll level that enables you to have perfect control over the weld. Moreover, it doesn’t create slags.

Best Features

  • Brilliant arc performance.

  • Convenient polarity changeover.

  • Five-position voltage control.

  • Self-resetting thermal overload.

  • Quick Select drive roll.

Drawbacks

  • Will need a 20A outlet.

  • Not suitable for big projects.

Ideal Choice For Home Use

gas mig welder

5. Lincoln Electric K2698-1 Easy MIG Welder

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A.

  • Net Weight: 71 lbs

  • Input Voltage: 115/160v

  • Amperage Range: 30A – 140A

  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.

  • Wire Feeder Speed: 50 IPM – 500 IPM

  • Warranty: 3 Years

If portability and ease is on your cards then Lincoln electric is a good option for home use. Not only beginners but professionals also find the performance of Lincoln Electric at par with the other welder brands. This is hassle-free, easy-to-handle, with a duty-cycle of 30%. You can uniformly run the beads on any kind of sample.

This also provides you with a 50-500 IPM wire feed speed control and makes gas-shielded MIG welding, gas-free flux-cored possible for steel and aluminum or stainless steel. This also has a fully adjustable drive system that minimizes wire tangles and crushing. Enhanced conductivity is provided by brass-to-brass gun connection. The rigid drive and cast-aluminum body make you align wires easily.

This is portable and light with a weight of 71 lbs and can be used for home use to heavy-duty commercial welding jobs with ease and you can plug it into 230V household outlets with ease. This MIG model is ideal for use in fabrication and automobile welding, as well as home projects. While perfectly good for professional work, it’s also the top choice for Home Use.

Best Features

  • Ideal for home projects.

  • Toughest PC Board Protection in the Industry.

  • Diamond Core Technology.

  • Industrial Cast Aluminum Drive.

  • Spool Gun Ready.

Drawbacks

  • Less perfect for professional grade welding.

  • Can’t be used with a generator.

Most Versatile

best 220v mig welder

6. LOTOS MIG175 MIG Welder

Specifications

  • Net Weight: 85 lbs

  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 135A

  • Input Voltage: 200/240V

  • Input Phase: 1-Phase

  • Power Efficiency: 80%

  • Warranty: 3 Years

Your search for a versatile welding machine ends here. As the LOTOS MIG175 is the right choice due to its advanced transformer technology, solid/durable case, and amazing wire-feed motor function. With its automatic dual-frequency, this is operable at 220V to 240V.

Any type of metal along with welding stainless steel, aluminum, and mild steel this remains suitable for many. With just a set-up time of 10 minutes, the MIG 175 is quite easy to work with.

Easily agreeable that this MIG welder is one of the simplest to set and capable of aluminum welding using a spool gun. This can tackle industrial-grade wire spools of 4”-5”. The resettable overload protection is incorporated within the system that makes it last longer. This provides a stable performance along with a commendable safety gauge. Our great pick for aluminum the welder is reliable and versatile.

Best Features

  • Durable, heavy-duty welder.

  • Aluminum wire feeder.

  • Two step trigger.

  • Automatic dual frequency @50/60Hz.

  • This is spool gun ready.

Drawbacks

  • Portability is less.

  • Loud drive motor.

The Best MIG Welders Buyer’s Guide

Before buying the best MIG welders you need to consider a list of things. An ideal MIG welder is the one that can be used by you on any job site and will perform the way you want.

Our all-inclusive buying guide will help you decide right.

Voltage:

The first thing you need to look for is the voltage-amount your welder demands. Most of the MIG welders need 110-220 volts and this should be compared to the voltage you have at work or home.

The voltage requirement will make you clear about the steel type it will weld. For e.g.

1. An 110V capacity generally works well on 3/16-inches of steel.

2. An 220V machine will help in welding steel up to ½-inch thick.

Spool Gun:

Go for MIG welders that come with a spool gun as this gun connects to the torch handle and will let you control the metal moves quickly. When you are working with aluminum these spool guns work perfectly.

In case you buy a machine without a spool gun then you can buy a new one. Whichever is compatible and can be put to use on certain applications should be chosen and ordered from the manufacturer.

Safety Features:

Basic security features are a must to be possessed by an MIG welder such as the:

Overload protection that takes care of any sort of overheating while the motor runs hot or fast and this prevents burning of the motor.

This you can confidently use your MIG Welder. Note that any model without this feature may turn your equipment into a non-functional unit.

Weight:

If you are not a part of a dedicated garage then a welder with much weight will be more of a problem than a help for you. As carrying 50 to 100 pounds could be quite stressful for your body.

You need not worry as many of the portable models designed by the big brands weigh 20 pounds or even less.

Along with portability, handle or case are other two important features that you should not ignore. A good handle makes the carrying easier and a heavy-duty case ensures durability.

Speed and Temperature Settings:

Both these settings greatly help in a lot many ways. Speed settings always give you freedom to work at your own pace and similarly the temperature settings makes you do the needful adjustments.

This way you can work according to the job at hand. The settings are just like small knobs that you can twist and change whenever you feel like. Ensure that the knobs are durable and sturdy and won’t break.

One more thing that can’t be overlooked is the air vents that a machine will have. These air vents are of great use and prevent any sort of overheating thereby saving your machine from sudden break down or burn outs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q 1. Do You Need To Push Or Pull While Mig Welding?

Ans 1. Slag is produced while you drag the welder- as said by Leisner. In simple terms when you are welding with a flux-core wire welder or a stick then you need to drag the wire or rod. While with a MIG (metal inert gas) you need to push the wire with the metal.

Q 2. How Thick Can I Weld With An Mig Welder?

Ans 2. Wire welding which is technically termed as GMAW- gas metal arc welding or MIG enables any DIY welder, home-hobbyist, farmer/rancher, artist, and others to weld, repair, maintain, or fabricate on different metals and alloys from 24-gauge up to 1/2-inch thick.

Q 3. Stick Welding Or Mig, Which Is Stronger?

Ans 3. If you are dealing with thin metal projects then stick welders aren’t an ideal option as they are good for thicker plates.
Though in MIG E70s6 bare wire is used and in stick welders, 7018 stick is used and both of them turn out to be equally strong. The tensile strength comes around 70,000 tensile and this is quite stronger than most of the steels you deal with.

Q 4. What Is The Welding Process For Mig?

Ans 4. The MIG process in short: A process that involves heating of solid wire electrode continuously which is later on fed into the weld-pool with the help of a welding gun. The weld-pool is protected from the air-borne contaminants subsequently as the shielding gas is fed by the gun alongside the electrode. This way the entire process remains safe and reliable for the user.

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