Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is the most well-known subtype of Gas Metal Arc (GMA) welding handling method. Its rivals are the successful Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding and Stick Welding.
For the household and construction site usages, MIG welding is more comfortable to operate, requires no cleaning system, and gives a higher rate of productivity and efficiency.
Depend on your skills and working purposes; you need to choose the right welder that meets all of your needs. Most people that had experienced MIG welder would agree that the main benefit of a Metal Inert Gas Welder is its speed.
The pace of a premium MIG welder can be a bit faster than the other two welding types. For this reason, the MIG welder allows for higher effective rates and more stable productivity than other welding processes in the mass manufacture.
Through our study about the most particular welders in the market, we would love to give the best MIG welder reviews to help you in selecting the best MIG welder for your needs.
Table of Contents
- What Is MIG Welder?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of MIG Welder
- How to choose the best MIG welder?
- The Best MIG Welder Reviews 2021
- Best MIG Welder Under $200
- Best MIG Welder Under $300
- Best MIG Welder Under $500
- Best MIG Welder Under $1000
- Best MIG Welder Under $2000
What Is MIG Welder?
First, let’s have a look at a thing called “arc welder.” It is the equipment which generates heat from a high volume of electricity to make a weld. There are three different types of arc welders, which include MIG, TIG, and stick.
As mentioned above, their differences are not the electricity consumption or usage method, but about shielding gas. The shielding gas comes from a gas flux released from the welder’s tank.
For MIG welder, the tank contains a mixture called Metal Inert Gas (MIG). It indicates that the metal cover of the welder does not react with the gas. Also, the MIG does not add any contaminants to the welding processes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MIG Welder
Before evaluating the pros and cons of a machine, you need to determine your using purposes and basic requirements. A MIG welder can offer varied benefits as follows:
- Time-saving and high productivity
MIG welders are the certification of welding quality in the industry. The welder does not require the user to change rods continuously and frequently. You also would save much time from brushing the weld since the MIG welders only need a minimal cleaning process.
Moreover, with the aid of additional fed wire, the user would have both hands free in the working process. This support significantly improves the speed and gives you high-quality weld in a shorter amount of time.
- Easy to use
This is the benefit that the best MIG welder always contains. The welder is incredibly simple to operate, and after unboxing, you need a few hours to get along with it by following the instruction manual from the manufacturer.
- Efficiency guaranteed
The shielding gas is generated to reduce the loss of elements during the metal transfer through the arc. It protects the arc and removes all the debris in the typical welding works. Also, MIG welders offer the auto-feed wire to make the process even simpler and quicker.
No doubt that the advantages of the MIG welder are remarkable, but everything has its weaknesses. Here we list some of those cons:
- High market price and low portability
The welder is the advanced, sophisticated equipment. Thus it is more expensive than other primary construction machines. And you need to choose a fixed position for the welding jobs since the portability needs to be compromised
- Not applicable for outdoor tasks
When using the welder outside, the wind can badly affect the shielding gas and the whole welding quality. The MIG welder is an efficient tool only for the works in a workshop or garage.
- Hard to handle thick material
For the thick pieces of steel, this tool cannot provide the proper penetration of heat for welding through thick materials.
How to choose the best MIG welder?
There is a wide range of MIG welders on the market. Each product has different specialized functions which suitable for the specific types of user.
Most customers are afraid that they could purchase a welder that is less powerful than their works’ requirements. However, for a smart buyer, you also need to consider the case of buying a welder that has excessive power to avoid wasting money.
A welder is a complex system and provides different functions depending on the buyer’s perspective. Here are the guidelines you should consider when looking for a new MIG welder.
What is your primary power requirement?
A basic MIG welder for household works is available at 115 volts, which can handle every type of thin materials. For the thicker metals, you will need a more powerful MIG welder to obtain more power and of course, a higher price.
For the construction works that include a wide range of projects, an all-in-one MIG welder is a good option. It operates at both low voltage (120V) and high voltage (230V) levels. However, the combination unit cannot be as powerful and productive as the heavy-duty one.
Is the material thickness necessary to consider?
The thickness of material to be welded will decide the minimum voltage of the welder. Nobody would purchase a MIG welder that does not have different power settings or at least is not able to adjust the voltage.
Make sure that you know the accurate voltage information on the MIG welder before buying. Currently, there are models of a digitalised MIG welder. It can automatically dial the metal thickness and set the voltage level you need to process.
Check the portability of the welder
If your working condition requires moving around, do not hesitate to put the portability as a primary factor. You need to clarify your MIG welder as more alike a mobile welder or a permanent one.
First, look at the weight. The priority for a mobile welder is lightweight for lifting most easily. Second, notice the size and design of the welder. If you want to move it around a workshop, its design should be neat, and the size is average to avoid hitting other equipment during moving around.
Does a spool gun need to be purchased?
When it comes to aluminum welding, the wire gets jam in the MIG torch. By equipping a spool gun to the torch, you can place the wire far away and terminate the problem of wire jams.
How to reduce fuel expenses?
The shielding gas can be a massive cost if you deny using the flux-cored wire. The advice is investing in an appropriate shielding gas regulator. You will be surprised how it saves your fuel costs and even your time to accomplish the tasks.
What should the manufacturer equips to the MIG welder for working protection?
The welder’s working cycle can illustrate how many minutes you can generate the machine before cooling down the welder. The higher the duty cycle, the longer you can work. If you force the welder for too long, it could be overheated and consequently broken down.
However, not everyone will pay attention to the excessive amount of generating time. So, the thing you can do to avoid the overheating problem is choosing a welder that includes thermal overload protection.
The thermal overload protection is similar to an insurance policy through your working processes.
The Best MIG Welder Reviews 2021
|MIG Welder||Voltage||Amperage||Dimensions||Weight||Editor’s Rating|
|Forney Easy Weld 299 125 FC MIG Welder||120V||125 A||12 x 18 x 24"||51 lbs||4.1/5|
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder||110V||130 A||14 x 8 x 12"||35 lbs||4.1/5|
|Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130||110V||130 A||20.2 x 15 x 12.5"||38.1 lbs||4.1/5|
|Forney Easy Weld 261||120V||140 A||16.7 x 12 x 8.1"||19 lbs||4.8/5|
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1||115V||70 A||18 x 10.3 x 16.8"||26 lbs||4.5/5|
|Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core||115V||70 A||15 x 11 x 10"||45 lbs||4.1/5|
|Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder||115V||140 A||19 x 11 x 13"||65 lbs||4.5/5|
|Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Welder||110/120V||140 A||22 x 10 x 16"||54 lbs||4.2/5|
|LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder||110/120V||175 A||18 x 12.5 x 10.5"||85 lbs||4.2/5|
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder||115/230V||150 A||24 x 18.6 x 13.2"||87.5 lbs||4.5/5|
|Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder||230V||190 A||24.2 x 13.3 x 18.7"||78 lbs||4.5/5|
|Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180||230V||180 A||-||56 lbs||4.0/5|
|Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp||120/230V||210 A||19 x 10.8 x 14"||61.8 lbs||4.3/5|
|Miller Electric 120/240VAC, 1 Phase||120/240V||230 A||23.8 x 15.2 x 16.2"||49.9 lbs||4.4/5|
Best MIG Welder Under $200
1 – Forney 299 125FC Welder
When someone is usual with MIG welding products but curious about the flux-cored welding, he/she tends to waste money in a welder that does more than they need.
For this reason, purchasing a particular welder is a better choice if you are a beginner and want to add welding to your construction skills.
The Forney 299 Flux Core Welder is a tool that generates fluxed-core welding without the gas shield. You can equip a two- or ten-pound spool gun on the welder.
It works efficiently with a 120-volt electricity input and provides a 125-amp output. This welder can process and work through the materials that have a thickness of about 24 gauges or up to ¼ inches.
A unique feature that must be said is the welder offers ample space storage to make sure the wire rolls are stable when you do the welding. The welder generates a Tweco-style spool gun, which is simple and easy to operate.
The working cycle of the Forney 299 Flux Core Welder is approximately 20% at 125 amps. So it has enough power to process on steel, iron, and even stainless steel with high accuracy.
Moreover, the machine has multiple feed rates and different metal handle, which allows you to customize the arc for your needs. Through our experiments, we have to state that the Forney 299 Flux Core Welder is capable to handle aluminum and copper along also.
Until writing this article, we find no problem in using this fantastic unit and do not hesitate to give it the titles of the best MIG welder under $200.
2 – Goplus MIG 130 Welder
Are you looking for an affordable MIG welder with multiple extra features? Goplus MIG 130 Welder is a great unit. Its power maximization is 3.6 KVA, which is enough to operate efficiently on the thin steel of a bodywork.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder is a unit that obtains the function of the flux-cored molding without gas operation. Its process is similar to the MIG welding using a tubular wire filled with flux.
The flux-cored wire is made from particular alloying elements and utilizes the electrode that contains a metal casing. Indeed, the welder does not come with gas cylinders because its fire-catching is not from carbon dioxide (CO2) reaction.
The benefit of the flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) process is that it cannot evaporate after a period of using as long as you operate the machine frequently. The Goplus MIG 130 Welder offers a four-heat power setting from low (Min 1 and Min 2) to high (Max 1 and Max 2).
Once you need a bigger hole on the surface or more powerful welding, you need to combine a suitable speed with a high power level. The machine is easy to use and appropriate to the ranges of construction tasks.
About the tools included, the Goplus manufacturer provides a 65” welding gun, 72.5” power cord, and extra welding wire for the replacement.
Denote that a long power cord is valuable since the welder is limited in portability. You will have no issue with finding a nearby power source or multiple plugs.
However, some users consider that the welder’s breaker is weak is easy to get the trip. The tripping occurs when the welder suffers maximum heating and high-speed forcing. In this situation, we offer a solution using Circuit breaker of 10A, which works great with a welder of 120V.
3 – SUPER DEAL MIG 130 Welder
For the price of under $200, the Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 Flux Core Welder is an ultimate light-duty machine. It best fits any DIY project or small, infrequent household works.
Like the above two models, this welder can handle most types of thin materials, especially sheet metal. Most of the sheet metals require low cuttings. The Super Deal PRO welder obtains an automatic feed that can get the job quickly done.
From 16 gauge to 3/8” metal to aluminum, the machine is capable of welding all of them effectively, which somewhat proves for its versatility and productivity. The welder is perfect for welding beginners to learn on, as it allows you to experiment with different material’s thicknesses.
The Super Deal PRO welder comes with a large number of supplement tools and a welding mask for face protection.
Some of the extra equipment includes a spool gun, a wire brush, a chipping hammer, a 2.5-meter torch, and additional electrodes and fuses. These things are a great preparation for you to start learning to weld once you get the welder on hand.
Notwithstanding, the wire the comes with the welder is too thin. So it does not always work efficiently with the automatic feed system. Our recommendation is better off buying a MIG wire separately for the machine.
Best MIG Welder Under $300
1 – Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder – I Highly Recommended
What makes the Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder a high-end flux-cored inverter?
Forney Industries has done a great job to simplify this machine for multiple purposes. The beginners or welding hobbyists can enjoy this equipment for their DIY projects, while the experts can obtain great results of repair and maintenance or metal fabrication from this machine.
The welder is not a gas compatible machine. It uses only a flux-cored wire of 0.3 inches. It is durable and easy to transfer as you can even pack it on the motorbike and carry around.
The welder is mainly designed to be used with both a 2lb and 10lb wire spool. Forney had focused on upgrading the wire feeding system as much as possible.
The infinite voltage control and the smooth wire feeding make Forney Easy Weld 261 become a priority supporting tool for any professional welder.
When you need a semi-advanced welder with a low budget, this welder provides the highest power output of 140 amp. It is enough to handle a long-duty welding task.
Nevertheless, the welder weighs only 19 pounds and is easy to carry around. Despite being lightweight, it is rugged by an all-metal sheet, so if you accidentally drop the machine, it will not harm the insider motor.
2 – Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The second unit in this subsection is from the well-known Lincoln brand, which is a useful welder to process household and DIY welding works. The model of K2185-1 can process every type of slight materials such as metal sheets of 1/8” thick.
Lincoln is one of the oldest welding equipment brands. They have been in the welder market for over 120 years and proven their reputation through quality products. This welder offers two options of gas or wire welding as well as generous warranty policy, which make this an ideal choice of the welder.
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Welder offer two main functions of flux-cored and MIG welding with the shielding gas. You can swap from flux-cored function to MIG one without difficulty or delay, and the welder is very handy as well.
From our experiment, Lincoln’s product is compact, portable, lightweight, and easy to assemble. You can move it around the working site, unlike other heavy models in the market.
As stated in the product information, Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder comes with a full one-year warranty. The warranty covers for the accidental repairs or damaged replacements of time effects.
With all of these benefits, the price can surprise you. The machine is the best MIG welder under $300 due to its affordability.
Alike other high-end models, Lincoln never forget to give their customers lots of extra tools. An amazing extra set of the welder includes six contact tips, a 3 lbs spool gun, and a hammer brush.
It surely meets every kind of customer’s needs. However, a spool gun of 3lbs can be quite small for some particular projects, such as those require a 10lbs spool.
3 – Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
We have one more Lincoln product on the list. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy MIG Welder is made to meet all the user’s demands and creates an excellent entry for welding newcomers at the most palatable cost.
You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars for the too advanced welder’s features when it comes to the simple DIY projects and small workshop items.
Alike the K2185 model, the K2278-1 is light in weight and portable. It does a great job in taking on flux cores and welding the mild steel of 1/8-inch thick.
After unboxing, it takes you less time to accomplish the setup process than other models and then enjoy your welding experiment.
The welder has a variety of different functions. A typical one is the double settings of flux-cored and MIG welding. Although being sold for a low price, Lincoln welder is still rigorously equipped with safety regulators, a wire spool and spare contact tips.
The cover of Lincoln welder comes with the aluminum exterior, plastic, and metal components. Moreover, it comes with a one-year limited warranty on partial parts and labor.
Also, the welder is overload protected by the automatic shut-down motor when recognizing the overheating potential. You do not need to worry about the safety and durability of the machine for a period of time.
In short, the Lincoln Electric K2278-1 MIG Welder is a wonderful option for beginners who are looking for a light-duty and long-lasting welder.
You cannot go wrong with this machine due to the simple setting and large protective system. However, if you need a heavy-duty welder for the professional construction site’s projects, it may not be fit for you.
Best MIG Welder Under $500
1 – Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
For the best MIG welder under $500, Hobart 500559 Handler MIG Welder is a great pick. Its compact welding tool obtains both functions of MIG and flux-cored methods. The welder handles both light- and duty-heavy works efficiently and provides exceptional quality results
About the machine’s superior quality, the Hobart welder is made of intensive and robust steel. But the spool gun and wire are lightweight and neat, so you won’t be tired by holding it for a long time.
One of the most outstanding benefits of this welder is the portability. The welder is light enough to pick up and take to another location by hand. And the welder is equipped with the wheeled cart, which is even easier to deliver the machine.
Facing any materials, the welder can give you a smooth, steady arc all the times. The welder’s efficiency comes from the voltage control selector, which offers five distinguish settings.
Not only offering great versatility, but the Hobart 500559 Welder comes with advanced safety features. Besides the thermal overload system, this unit has precautions to limit the excessive power escalation and prevent the accidental explosions.
The main drawback of this welder is it cannot be hooked up to generators. Hence, it is useless to generate at outdoor locations without a power supply source. And a typical weakness of this low-price welder is it cannot handle industrial purposes.
2 – Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Welder
While not on top of the game, The MIG welder from Lotos is still a useful construction tool to consider. Its performance is hugely applicable for free-lance home projects and small amateur works. The 2017 version’s Lotos 140 MIG Wire Welder comes with some useful improvements.
The welder cover itself is sturdy so it can withstand the huge pressures from the knocks and jolts.
The size of the welder is not too large for a regular household garage or workshop. By the weight of 54 pounds, it is light enough to move around or carry from your basement to the workplace.
The critical function of the Lotos 140 Amp MIG Welder is the MIG welding. It also can generate flux-cored welding like other popular models.
The MIG welding function uses with or without gas, but you need to buy the gas cylinder separately since the set of the product does not contain it. Instead, the manufacturer provides a gas hose in the package.
This model of Lotos is equipped with a new aluminum wire feeder making it easier to handle tasks than the previous models. Like other high-end models, this welder has a thermal auto shut-down system.
You can be assured that it can handle by itself when there comes to motor overheating or power overloading. The 2017 version offers a 2T/4T switch. There are two digital displays to give more precise control over the voltage or the wire speed.
It is an excellent product for precision works and the beginners as they can get good results fast and efficiently. One small disadvantage is that the Lost 140 MIG Welder requires a power supply when you work in the areas without an electricity supply.
3 – LOTOS MIG175 175AMP MIG Welder
The other product of Lotos – the Lotos MIG175 MIG Welder – offers you all the features that you would need in a MIG welder.
The welder contains an Argon regulator and a roll feed which can couple at up to 175 watts. They make the Lotos MIG175 MIG Welder become one of the best MIG welders on the market.
Moreover, its weight is only 85 pounds, and you can move the welder from one corner to the other with no effort. You can also lift this machine by using the handle at the top with remarkable ease.
A unique feature is that Lotos keeps the carbon arc, which was generated worldwide a century ago, and put it in the welder. It gives you the experience of how amazing a steady metal heating arc is.
You can accomplish the stage of setup this unit within 10 minutes. Thankfully, the manufacturer includes cleaning brushes for the spool gun and torch as well as a face shield for working safety. Hence, you have essential extra tools to process your tasks better than when using other welder models.
However, we have to notice that for the heavy-duty tasks, this welder tend to overheat faster than the other welding unit. So we recommend you to use this welder mostly for DIY or small welding projects.
Best MIG Welder Under $1000
1 – Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder is a compact unit with a weight of about 80 pounds. Compare to other MIG models, it is significantly more substantial. However, it is still portable and easy to deliver in certain cases.
Unfortunately, this welder cannot generate with generators due to lack of inverter technology. So we do not recommend this unit for professional welding sites.
The welder comes with the 115V and 230V input power corresponding to a multi-voltage plug. The boot process of this welder is simple.
You only need to choose the plug that fits your receptacles and then start welding. It can connect to either of two receptacles in a twist without any supporting equipment.
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder is a full compound of high quality, cost-savings, and long life-spanning. Its output power settles down from 25A to 210A, which is ideal for welding novice, amateurs, and experts.
The welder can much handle 3/8-inch mild steel and 24-gauge materials. Hence, we offer this product for the metal fabrication applications corresponding to home, DIY, and workshop projects.
However, the welder is not designed for the heavy-duty welding plans since its functions are limited. You will need to purchase a longer additional cable if your construction site is spacious and you need to carry it around for different types of work.
2 – Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder – I Highly Recommended
There are not many welding manufacturers offer a low-cost welder that is capable of processing both steel and aluminum materials. The Hobart 190 MIG Welder is one of the bestsellers in 2021 that can handle this requirement
With a range of output from 25A to a maximum of 190A and a duty cycle at 130A, it can easily handle mild steel sheets, flux-cored steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Also, the welder offers the flexibility of 7 voltage control switches and adjustable wire feed control. All of these features ensure a perfect welding experiment for handling a wide range of material thicknesses.
Besides fantastic performance, this unit weighs 68 pounds, which is relatively portable. The manufacturer provides a cart with gas cylinder storage. You can quickly load it up on the truck’s cabinet and deliver to the working place.
The warranty of Hobart products is desirable for their range of prices. They offer a 5/3/1 warranty, which means a 5-year warranty on transformers, 3-year on motors, and 1-year on the spool gun and additional equipment.
Along with the automatic thermal overload protection like other high-end products, you can you this welder without concerning about the safety or accidental damages.
The price may be quite costly for mid-range customers, but with the attractive offers of quality and service, spending a high cost for Hobart 190 MIG Welder is worth every cent. Until writing this review, we still have no issue with this product’s durability and quality.
3 – Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 MIG Welder
Lincoln Electric 180 Welder is the best MIG welder under $1000 for the heavy-duty welding tasks.
There is a control knob that allows you to choose the appropriate output levels for steel sheet welding or flux-cored welding for thicker materials. For instance, you can select the voltage of 120V for welding aluminum or light steel and the 220V voltage for thicker materials.
In terms of size, it weighs somewhat about 66 pounds, which is lightweight and portable for the movable works. Lincoln Electronic offers a three-year warranty for all purchases from the company’s authorized retailers.
Along with the dual voltage system, they make Lincoln Electric 180 Welder be suitable for any types of welding jobs, from a small basement to a wide construction area.
Best MIG Welder Under $2000
1 – Lincoln Electric PowerMIG 210 MP #K3963-1
In the highest range of price, The Lincoln 210 Welder is a fantastic processing welder which can generate for MIG, flux-cored arc, stick, and TIG welding. There is a digital display on the welder to instruct the users and show the information of the amps, wire speed, and voltage.
The Lincoln 210 model is a 4-in-1 unit as it has the typical functions of a small and large flux-cored MIG welder, as well as can transfer to stick and TIG welding as mentioned above.
If you want to generate the TIG welding function, you need to connect your TIG torch to the DC negative terminal clamp. And then can change the digital controls to TIG feature, confirm your gas shield status and TIG is ready to use. The stick function follows a similar process.
Moreover, the welder has a dual-voltage system, which means it can be available for 115V and 230V power supply. One bonus point for Lincoln manufacturer is that they include two fans in the back of the welder to keep it cool and avoid overheating.
With the amazing performance and versatile features, the price of Lincoln 210 Welder can be a bit expensive for the beginners. However, it comes with a great package of extra equipment and is designed to fit with most of the welding works.
From our point of view, Lincoln 210 is the best MIG welder under $2000 in the field of professional welding.
2 – Miller Electric 120/240VAC, 1 Phase
We come to the last product in the article, the Miller Electric 120/240VAC, 1 Phase MIG Welder is a perfect example of a durable heavy-duty MIG welder.
This unit was designed to handle any welding project with ease. The manufacturer gives you a full set of advanced equipment to handle from mild steel to stainless steel and aluminum.
With a costly price, this unit offers a distinctive feature of ultra-quite operation that all of the above models do not have. The motor of this machine does not make much noise when processing. You cannot hear its processing sound when being 50-meter far away.
Moreover, this heavy-duty welder comes in at under 50 pounds, which is one of the most lightweight welders on the market in general.
And you will not worry as this welder gives you the same amazing performance when handling aluminum, stainless steel, and mild metals by flux-cored and MIG welding.
Our only recommendation is that this unit is not suitable for inexperienced users as it is complicated to generate all the functions and extra tools by the novice. Besides, it is one of the best welders on the market for any heavy-duty and construction site’s projects.
By publishing this best MIG welder reviews, we try to give our readers the most basic and useful knowledge about the types of welder.
There is a massive range of welder’s price to choose when you do the research carefully. Do not hesitate to give us feedback about your experiment after purchasing one of the products above. Thanks for reading and register to catch up on our next review. Cheers!