MIG Welders Reviewed & Rated for Quality
MIG welders are specially designed machines that make your welding simple and effortless. Whether you are a professional or just a DIY enthusiast, these machines will help you get the work done. MIG welders use a spool of steel wire that melts down through the gun and joins two materials together. The setup process is quite easy as well as handling the machine – turn it on, and you’re set to go within a few minutes, melting down with one hand! If you’re a newbie that’s searching for a simple welding machine, you can definitely choose a MIG welder. Even professionals that are working on big and demanding projects may find this type of welding machine very useful. It’s just one of those easy-to-use machines that provide great accuracy and fast welding.
- Hobart 500559
- First-Class Features
- Lincoln Electric K2185-1
- Compact Design
- Miller Electric
- High Power
We made a list of 10 best MIG welders on the market. Our goal was to help you with the bothersome process of choosing the right kind of product for your personal needs. If you’re searching for your first welding machine, our list will help you to finally decide on the proper one. On the other hand, professionals may find some great products that can replace their old and worn out machines. Here is our list of:
10 Best MIG Welders
This MIG welder runs between 25 and 140 amps, allowing you to weld materials of various thickness (24 gauge up to ¼ inches). You’ll be able to perform many different household and professional welding jobs. One of the advantages with Hobart MIG welder is that you can operate it on the household current of 115V. The only drawback is the fact that Hobart 500559 isn’t suitable for outdoor use. It can’t attach to a portable generator, so if you want to weld far from an electrical outlet you should go with another MIG welder.
Hobart offers some great and useful safety features. There’s a thermal overload system, a wire-safety mechanism, and protection against high-surge currents. Additionally, it has 5 temperature voltage control system that prevents unexpected accidents. It gives you the option to choose different power capacities for different welding materials and tasks.
Easy to Use
Hobart welder is made from durable steel, so the whole thing is sturdy and durable while the gun and the cable are lightweight. That way, you’ll have a durable machine that doesn’t cause any tiredness during use. It measures 19 x 11 x 13 inches and it has 57 pounds – not too light, but enough to be easily moved. Investing in a welding chart might be a great option if you want to make the machine even more portable. You’ll be able to drag it around without any difficulties.
Cost and Value
Hobart 500559 is a valuable, yet a well-priced product. Considering its high-quality features and durability, this MIG welder is one of the rare first-class machines that have a reasonable price. If you decide to go to Hobart welder, you’ll also get a 5-year warranty!
Runs between 25 amps and 140 amps
Operates at a household current of 115V
Various safety features
5 temperature voltage control system
Isn’t suitable for outdoor use
Lincoln Electric K2185-1
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 has an output power range from 35 amps to 88 amps. It’s suitable for welding steel from 24 gauge to 1/8 thick sheets. It requires nothing more than a regular household current of 115V. Therefore, you can move it around your house and use it wherever you have an available outlet. The welder features continuous wire feed speed adjustment and 4 voltage settings to give you more control over the welding process. When it comes to safety, this welder has a contractor that keeps the wire cold so you have a maximum level of protection. Additionally, it can weld both flux-cored and MIG, but you have to purchase the shield gas separately.
This is a compactly designed MIG welder that works great on light welding jobs, but don’t expect too much from it. If you need a heavy-duty machine for big welding projects, you should search for a different product.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 welder is a very portable machine that weighs only 46 lbs. It has a handle on the top of the box which allows you to simply pick it up and transfer it. The welder measures 12.8 x 18 x 8.8 inches – along with light design this makes it easy to handle on a daily basis. Even so, Lincoln Electric K2185-1 welder doesn’t lack sturdy and durable materials that will satisfy even the high-demanding professionals who simply want a compact machine and don’t need too much welding power.
Lastly, we have to mention a small flaw in the Lincoln Electric welder design. We found out that this welder has a limited spool capacity – frequent re-spooling can be a bit annoying.
Cost and Value
Many users praise the attractive price of Lincoln Electric K2185-1 welder. It’s one of the best-priced MIG welders on the market! However, that’s not the main reason for its great popularity. Even if it’s mainly designed for small welding projects, this welder has some first-class features that delight almost every customer.
Output power range from 35 to 88 amp
Welding steel from 24 gauge to 1/8 thick sheets
Fits a regular household current of 115V
Continuous wire feed speed adjustment and 4 voltage settings
Compact design and great portability
An attractive price
Doesn’t come with a shield gas
A limited spool capacity
Miller Electric Welder, MIG/Flux Core
Miller welder can achieve great welding results no matter if it’s dealing with mild metal, stainless steel, or aluminum. It has an output power that ranges from 30 to 230 amps, offering excellent performance. You’ll get a versatile tool that you can use for any welding job. It can handle both flux-cored and MIG welding, but it has also some additional functions that will satisfy even the most demanding customer. Let’s not forget that Miller can support the multi-voltage plug. You can use it almost anywhere, from garage and house areas to industrial environment.
What we found very convenient in Millers’ design is the lack of noise! It’s a very silent machine that can work on the highest voltage and still don’t cause you a horrible headache afterward. It has only 50 pounds, so it can be easily transported and carried around. It also has thermal overload protection to ensure a high level of safety during the use. Lastly, this welder is made from durable metal and aluminum materials that will ensure a long lifespan.
As we already mentioned, Miller welder is suitable for professionals who want to achieve high welding accuracy, but also for beginners who are encountering welders for the first time. The entire process of setup and usage is as simple and easy as it can be.
Cost and Value
Miller certainly offers first-class features, but it’s also pricey. Beginners may find it overpriced for their light welding needs. That’s why professional welders make the majority of this product’s users.
Welding various materials
Output power ranges from 30 to 230 amps
Flux-cored and MIG welding
Easy to use and transport
Made from sturdy and durable materials
Lotos MIG175 can be used with flux core and it comes with its own gas regulator, offering great welding with various materials such as mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. It can also handle different material thickness, from 18 gauge to ¼ inches (with aluminum it can handle 3/8 of an inch). It has quite good output power, ranging from 30 amps to 175 amps. It requires only a 200V or 240V outlet, and you’re set to go within approximately 10 minutes. It’s simple as that!
This welder weighs 85 pounds – it’s quite heavy, especially when compared to the previously reviewed products. You will still be able to move it around but it’s not too light and compact. However, there are some great additional features you should look into. For example, you have the ability to adjust the heat so you can weld down at high accuracy. The welder also features an overheat protection to prevent any accidents and to assure durability. An extremely useful feature is a two-step trigger that allows you to release the gas and only then use the arc to weld.
Cost and Value
Truth to be said, Lotos MIG175 isn’t the best MIG out there. The manufacturer reduced the price at the expense of some additional features, but that made this welder affordable to many DIY welders and newbies. Don’t get this wrong, Lotos welder still offers high-quality features, it’s just not good enough for some demanding welding enthusiasts.
Welding various materials and different thickness
Output power range from 30 amps to 175 amps
Simple setup and easy to use
A two-step trigger
A bit heavy
Not suitable for big projects
Forney 125FC welder is a basic flux-core machine that doesn’t require shielding gas like a typical MIG welder. It’s mainly designed for light to medium welding. The welder uses a standard 120V outlet and has an output of 125 amps, and it also attaches to a generator. This makes it perfect for indoor use because it doesn’t need special power sources. One of the most useful features is a 2 voltage setting that you can adjust according to your job’s requirements (lower voltage for sheet metal and higher voltage for thin plate welding). The only drawback is the lack of the gas option. It works only on flux core and it can’t weld stainless steel but only mild steel.
Forney 125FC is designed to be portable and user-friendly. You can easily transport this welder that comes in 12 x 18 x 24 inches and weighs 51 pounds. The handle located on the top of the unit provides simple carrying. Additionally, this welder setup is easy as it can be – just plug it in the power socket and you’re set to weld!
Lastly, the welder is made from durable plastic and gauged metal that ensures a long lifespan. Not only that you get an easy-to-use machine suitable for most medium welding jobs, but you get to keep it for a long time! The only drawback that many users find annoying is somewhat inadequate protection from overheating. While the welder does shut down itself to prevent overheating, the time of use is very short. You can use it only for 2 minutes, then it has to pause for 8 minutes.
Cost and Value
Forney 125FC is one of the cheapest welders on the market! It’s not a heavy-duty welder that will successfully tackle any big-sized welding project, but the truth is that this product is primarily designed for newbies and DIY enthusiasts. We shouldn’t forget to mention that Forney comes with a 6-month warranty.
Uses a standard 120V outlet
An output of 125 amps
2 voltage settings
Easy to use and durable
The lack of gas option
Works shortly to prevent overheating
Goplus MIG 130 Welder
Goplus MIG welder is a budget machine that offers a maximum output of 105 amp. This amount of output makes it unable to weld thicker metals, but it can weld sheet steel. It performs best on thin steel and iron, designed mostly for home repairs and small welding jobs. We have to admit that this isn’t extraordinary at all, especially compared to the big welders that we already had on our list, but it provides a decent amount of power for every hobbyist and beginner that only want to achieve great accuracy in small to average-complexity tasks.
Goplus uses flux-cored wire and it has 4 levels of current flow settings. You can adjust the flow at any time to achieve professional welding results. There’s also a wire feeding speed rotary knob that you can adjust for your job’s requirements.
Goplus MIG is a compactly designed machine, made of the quality and durable stainless steel. Actually, it’s a quite small welder that measures 14 x 8 x 12 inches and weighs 35 lbs. There’s no need to mention how light this machine is – you can carry it around and transport it effortlessly. Along with lightweight design comes a simple user-interface and safety features – Goplus has 2 air-vents to prevent overheating, and the gun has on/off safety control.
Cost and Value
Goplus is one of the best budget MIG welders on the market! It offers quality and useful features, and decent performance. However, if you want a heavy-duty welder that will tackle any big welding job with excellent accuracy, you’ll have to go with bigger and more expensive MIG welders.
Uses flux-cored wire
4 levels of current flow settings
Feeding speed rotary knob
Low power output
Not suitable for big welding jobs
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
Hobart 500553 plugs in 115V or 230V outlet, which makes it suitable for a wide range of welding jobs because you can easily find a power outlet for it. It runs up to 210 amps and it can weld 24 gauge to 3/8 inch steel in a single pass. Here comes the best part: Hobart 500553 features 7 different voltage positions for 230V and 4 different voltage settings for 115V. It also features a wire feed speed control that gives you maximum control over the welding process.
Hobart welder is a powerful machine that weighs 79 pounds. This makes it quite heavy and not so portable as earlier reviewed MIG welders. You’ll probably need a wheeled chart if you want to move it around frequently.
When it comes to additional, useful features, Hobart 500553 offers a lot! It has a thermal overload and motor protection that prevents overheating accidents. The built-in contractor makes the wire cold when the welder is not in use. Lastly, there are some entry-level features that will help beginners to use this machine at great ease.
Cost and Value
This MIG welder is on the expensive side, even if it does offer great performance and high-quality features. There’s no doubt that Hobart is an excellent choice for a wide range of welding jobs, it’s just more likely for professional to choose it rather than beginners that can go with a less expensive and compactly designed MIG welder.
Plugs in 115V or 230V outlet
Runs up to 210 amps
Welds 24 gauge to 3/8 inch steel in a single pass
7 or 4 different voltage positions
Wire feed speed control
Various safety features
Lotos 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder
Lotos MIG140 is a mid-range welder that can handle small to medium repairs around the house and professional jobs. It has a power output range from 30 amps to 140 amps. Lotos can weld from 18 gauge to 2/6 inch stainless steel and mild steel, and up to 1/8 inch or thinner aluminum. You also get to control the voltage and the wire feed speed.
Let’s not forget that Lotos MIG140 is also designed for flux-core welding. You can use it with or without gas, but keep in mind that you’ll have to get a gas cylinder separately because it doesn’t come with the welder.
Durable and Portable
The welder measures 16 x 14.5 x 9.6 inches and weighs 54 pounds. This makes it very portable and easy to store (you have also a convenient handle on the top of the unit if you want to manually carry it around the work site). The welder features a thermal cut-out system that prevents overheating and makes the entire machine durable. Lotos MIG140 can actually run for hours without taking a pause to prevent overheating. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about the short usage time.
Cost and Value
Lotos MIG 140 welder is a real steal! It’s not among the cheapest welders on the market, but it provides some additional features and high power output that makes it stand out with its great performance. If you are searching for a welder that will give you more power than usual compactly designed MIG welders, and still be reasonably priced, Lotos is a perfect choice!
The output from 30 amps to 140 amps
Welds from 18 gauge to 2/6 inch, or up to 1/8 inch or thinner
Controls over the voltage and wire feed speed
Also designed for flux-core welding
Portable and easy to use
Doesn’t come with a gas cylinder
The output power could be better
Ironman MIG Welder 250A
Hobart Ironman is a heavy-duty MIG welder that also works as a shielded flux-cored machine. It has an output range from 30 amps to incredibly high 250 amps! Therefore, Ironman can weld 24 gauge up to ½ inch material in a single pass. It gives you a 12 voltage adjustment settings and a wire speed control for maximum control over the welding process. The only issue is a high power requirement – the welder only works when it’s plugged in the 230V outlet.
Long Lasting Product
High-power requires big unit because there has to be enough space to accommodate all those quality features. Accordingly, Ironman weighs 185 lbs so you’ll be definitely purchasing a wheeled chart. However, you should keep in mind that this is a big machine primarily designed for heavy welding jobs, so the lack of portability isn’t such a big issue when the welder isn’t used in the house or in the garage.
Lastly, with built-in thermal overload system and computerized fans, which reduce the power load and clean the machine from dust and other kinds of debris, Ironman ensures continuous work and durability.
Cost and Value
Many users praise Hobart Ironman welder for its excellent performance and various high-quality features. However, keep in mind that this will cost you an arm and a leg! Professional welders may not find it overpriced because they work on big projects, but hobbyists and beginners often give up from it and continue to search for more affordable options.
Output range from 30 amps to 250 amps
Weld 24 gauge up to ½ inch
12 voltage adjustment settings and a wire speed control
Built-in thermal overload system and computerized fans
Plugs only in 230V outlet and heavy
Longevity 140 welders are suitable for both MIG and flux-cored welding (you’ll need to purchase flux-cored wire separately). The output power is ranging from 25 amps to 140 amps, offering you 10 different voltage settings. It welds 24 gauge to 1/4 inch steel, so it’s primarily suitable for home welding jobs or light industrial work. Lastly, the welder plugs in the standard 110v outlet so you can move it around wherever you need it.
The welder is simple to use and easy to transport. It weighs only 56 lbs and it measures 16 x 14.5 x 9.6 inches. There’s also a handle on the top of the unit making it easy to carry. The welder comes with various settings that provide easy usage and maximum level of control over the machine. For example, it features wire speed control and voltage settings as well as thermal overload protection to prevent overheating. Overall, it’s quite simply designed so that everybody can use it with ease, and it provides additional features for more accurate welding.
Cost and Value
Longevity 140 is one of the well-priced MIG welders on the market. If you’re a newbie or DIY enthusiast, this might be the best option for you! Longevity offers great value for the money, so you’ll end up fully satisfied with this compact and powerful machine.
Output range from 25 amps to 140 amps
Welds 24 gauge to 1/4 inch steel
Plugs in standard 110 outlet
Simple to use and easy to transport
Many additional features
The flux-cored wire isn’t included
Only decent output power
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the MIG Welders
When we evaluated the best 10 MIG welders, we wanted to make sure that every one of them is ranked according to their quality and overall value they provide. This doesn’t mean that some of the products on the bottom of the list can’t be a great option for you. We did a rough selection of the best MIG welders, but we are aware that along with quality, choosing the right welder is also the matter of personal preference. Here is the criteria we used:
When we say the performance of MIG welders we mean welding power, the machine’s capacity to weld many materials and different thicknesses. The most important thing was to determine the output power of every MIG welder, so the ones that can produce more power are on the top of our list. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The other factors that influenced our decision are the capability of the welder to process various materials and the ability to work with different thicknesses.
It may not look that way, but MIG welders’ design is very important for their overall quality. The thing is, welding is a demanding process that requires full concentration. Sometimes it’s very difficult to achieve the perfect weld joints, and the quality of the finishes can depend on the quality of the machine. However, additional features that provide comfortable and easy usage are crucial. They make the entire welding process simple, providing protection from accidents, overheating of the machine, portability and many other things. Welders that are designed to be portable and durable, along with additional features that we mentioned, are placed on the top of our list.
Price and Value
Lastly, we took into account the value that every MIG welder provides for the money. Whether you’re planning to spend a few more bucks on your new welding machine or you want a budget one, it’s important to know that you’re getting the best for the price. That’s why cost and value were important in the evaluation of the best MIG welders.
Other Factors to Consider When BUying MIG Welders
Like we mentioned above, choosing the right kind of product is always a matter of personal preference. There are first-class products that everybody finds incredibly valuable, but there are also quality products that some find less valuable and others are fully satisfied with. Now, how can I find the best MIG welder for myself, you may ask. Here are some steps that you should follow to determine what type of welder you need:
Where will you use your MIG welder? This is the first question that you should answer and it will determine what type of machine you really need. If you’re going to use it at home or garage for small repairs and light welding tasks, you should go for a compactly designed MIG welder that plugs in the regular household outlet. The output power of the welder isn’t as important for a beginner or DIY welder as it’s important for professionals that work on big projects and need to purchase a powerful and efficient machine. In this case, the portability is less important than the output power of the welder.
Think about the materials you’ll be welding because they can change the requirements we stressed above. The metal type can determine whether you need more or fewer amps, as well as the thickness of materials because not every welder can perform flawlessly with all thicknesses.
These days MIG welders have various additional features that are designed to provide more accuracy and safety during the welding process. There are various safety features that you should look for as well as some basic features that not every welder has, for some reason. Your budget will determine whether you could have all the needed features, or you have to make a compromise. However, try not to cut on basic and safety features rather on some additional ones that may turn out annoying but not dangerous (noise, short wire, heavy machine, and others).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the main difference between MIG welding and TIG welding machine?
A: MIG welding (metal inert gas) is an easy welding method, suitable for most DIY welders, artists, newbies and other people who don’t frequently get in contact with welding, but professionals use it too. To put things simply, MIG welding doesn’t require too much effort – it uses a spool of steel wire that melts down through the gun and joins two materials together. On the other hand, TIG welder (tungsten inert gas) uses long welding rods, feeding them slowly and turning them into the weld puddles. Therefore, TIG welding is a more complicated process that demands using two hands – the user needs to manually feed a filler metal into the weld area with one hand while holding the welding torch in the other. If you’re planning to weld at home, go with the MIG welder because you’ll get the job done in no time. TIG welders are better for professionals who often need to join various kinds of metals and deal with precise, small welds.
Q: Why should I use a MIG welder?
A: MIG welder is an easy-to-use machine that allows simple welding even for the complete beginners. Everybody can learn to use a MIG welder in no time. The setup is quite simple – plug the machine in the outlet and start welding within a few minutes (don’t forget to read the instructions just in case). You’ll save a lot of time using MIG welder because you don’t need to change rods like with TIG welder, and you can easily clean it up (a simple brush will do the job). MIG welder will save you some cash also. You can find many affordable MIG welders and all you need to purchase additionally is some wire and gas.
Q: What are the 5 basic types of welding joints?
A: There are 5 basic types of welding joints suitable for different job requirements. Tee welding joints are two joined objects that intersect at a 90 degrees angle (they’re making a shape of the letter T). Lap joints are usually two pieces of different thickness that are overlapping. The edge-welding joint is made by joining parts that are placed side by side – they’re welded on the same edge. Two pieces that are joined on the outer edge to form the shape of the letter L make the corner welding joint. Lastly, the most common type is butt welding joint that is made by joining the edges of two pieces that lay in the same plane.