BEST MIG WELDER 2019 – GUIDE & REVIEWS

Before we discuss about the best mig welder, we should know about the welding history.In the south and west of Asia and many other places where the ancient societies started to emerge after the discovery of softer metals like bronze because it enabled men to make well-built swords and other weapons. Then men discovered the hard metals which are ex-tractable like iron ore, and they soon learn that by heating two metallic compounds above their atomic thresholds and forcing those atoms to create a bond.

But they lacked the technical superiority. The modern history of welding starts right from the industrial revolution in the early, and late 1800s era Great Britain and other European nation started to use various compound materials for industrial architecture.

It is said that industrial welding is constituted 50% of American blue collar jobs. So whether you are picking up welding just for as a hobby or for professional purpose, the first thing you will need is a good welder.

But beware, there are different techniques of welding is used in professional welding arena, and different welding techniques require a different kind of welders. That’s why we will discuss best MIG welders since they are phenomenal!

1. Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

Features

  • Dimensions: 23 in x 11 in x 18 in
  • Weight: 36 lbs

This one is the best MIG welder for money, period! It is very much possible to get a good deal of results using this Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder. It is well capable of penetrating and welding reasonably heavy metal. But you have been realistic about what results to expect from it. Unlike a Miller or a Lincoln welder, it's not exactly the type of welder that you can rely blindly on extensive duty repairs or projects as there are some limitations. Although you can work with 1/4" steel, it won't be able to do the precise penetration that's needed for a job with 1/2" steel. But you will be able to do the job effortlessly anyway.

But other than this, you will love this MIG welder for its best performance. For beginners, arc welding is perceived as relatively easier to operate, but there is a catch. You cannot be able to produce a good result without a good tool. But this Forney easy welder is not just easy to weld and operate, but it does a pretty good job on joining the metals together by creating pressure on the base metal, and then the filler metal fills in. Which makes it a perfect candidate for making metal frames and intensive welding works if you don’t mind the puny amount of setbacks it comes with?

PROS

  • It's very beginner friendly. Just plug and pay. It's that easy.
  • The price is better within range than other MIG welders
  • All you need to do is clearing up the dust and dirt once in 3/4 months.
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    Built out of durable plastic

CONS

  • Not much suitable for cutting thicker materials.

2. Forney 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit

Features

  • Weight: 33 lbs
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 24.5 x 25

What's a startup kit? It's something that helps you to create something out of completely zero. This MIG welder is the best gift you can give yourself if you are starting out in welding or got enough knowledge under your belt to start your exhausting system. Before diving into the specs, the most satisfying for a consumer is when a product delivers more than what's expected from it. It has some amazing extra features such as the helmet which is described as the perfect helmet for any welder due to its. This helmet got a cool setting for adjusting out the darkness, sensitivity, and delay! Now tell me it isn't something cool!

It comes equipped with everything you might need, but you forgot to add to your shopping list. It includes headgear, a 5/8 and ½-inch welding nozzle, gloves and a ground clamp as well. The learning curve isn't much steep either. If you have some previous experience that will be a plus, but you can survive without any familiarity. But its portability is a big plus if you are constantly on the move from place to place. There are two options for switching between for high sensitivity and low. So overall, this is an excellent MIG welder if you are looking for something really easy to get started with and awesome portability.

PROS

  • Made for mostly intermediate to beginners welder for getting a head start.
  • Very lightweight and extremely portable
  • Includes a helmet with extra settings for darkness and sensitivity
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    Does considerably better job yielding through heavier metals

CONS

  • Much suitable doing pet or hobby projects but not up for complex projects.

3. Lotos MIG140 140​​​​ Amp MIG Wire Welder

Features

  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 16 x 9.6 in

This is the best MIG welder you should be checking out if you are quick to get bored with average welding projects and want something more extreme. Well, it's not exactly a cheap welder, but you will know where your extra money went. Because beginner welders are well, just average and not so coincide with heavy metals projects. Naturally, you would soon be moving out from thinner materials from larger materials and you will need something that produces a solid result, not just something that just does the work. You are a high achiever like me; this heavy duty MIG welder will not disappoint you.

Because this versatile MIG welder has got everything from MIG welding to flux core welding under its belt. You can even do gas welding with it, but note that you will need a separate gas cylinder if you plan to do anything with gas welding. Or you can even go without gas because it doesn't necessarily need one. Other than that it's got a very powerful output of 140 amps which makes it very suitable for doing and cutting ¼” sheets and 24 gauges as well. But you Might be thinking isn't a 54 pound MIG welder too heavy to carry on? Let tell you; it's one of the most portable MIG welders available. It's designed with a handle for giving a comfortable grip when carrying.

PROS

  • You can do both MIG welding and flux core welding as well.
  • It can be used with gas and without gas
  • Its weight and dimension makes it one most portable MIG welder
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    There is thermal protection system for preventing heat overload

CONS

  • The price is a bit high compared to other MIG welders

4. Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 1​​​​80 Flux-Core/MIG Welder

Features

  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 24.2 x 18.7 in

Sometimes we feel the need of some industrial grade welders especially building a fence or a pet project which needs serious welding and cutting through thick steel shits or aluminium. At Least i feel so sometimes when i need to do some auto repairing jobs at my home garage. But we can't just go buy an industrial grade welder just because we need to cut through 3/16 inches metal. Instead, the Lincoln provides a much affordable solutions to this problem. With Lincoln electric easy MIG 180 flux core MIG welder, it has been possible to deliver an quite heavy metal jobs just at home or outside. Though does not support the generators, but the power input is made compatible with normal household plugs of 120 volts.

It's still called as the best MIG welder despite the fact its bit heavier, and the price is one the higher end. But if you are willing to swallow them, not a single another MIG welder can produce such results. Its fully functioning steam setting provides different stops for the steam to crush and join together any kind of base and filler materials. It is very much suitable for small to moderate industrial welding jobs for any hobbyist or a farmer. This powerful MIG welder is a heavyweight tool which means result, and this is why Lincoln is one of the leaders of industry.

PROS

  • The sensitive internal parts are well protected with industrial grade plastic coating
  • Included a teen feet long spool gun
  • Five different voltage control makes sure smooth arc and better welding
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    It can cut very thick metals and aluminum

CONS

  • It does not support generator

5. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG W​​​​elder

Features

  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.3 x 18 x 16.75 in

Among all the MIG welders we have been talking about so far this one is one of the most lightweight MIG welders you will ever find in the market. It's from the same Lincoln family, but it’s made for people who need to be moving out a lot for some serious repairing works such as body panel replacement welding other sheet metal repairing. It’s a perfect solution for this kind a works because it’s portable and very much potent at doing full body repairing or doing something like building a portable saw. This is a favorite tool for truck owners because it can be used for everyday repairing.

This Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy is best MIG Welder works like magic when cutting through mild gauge steels like 24 gauges up to 1/8 inch. But the most interesting feature is you can do both flux cores welding as well. Because it has already necessary gas embeds on its wire. So you can do either with gas or without gas. Due to its weight it's highly portable as well. You won't need to be carrying it around like a heavy burden because it's already very lightweight. As a beginner welder, it's important to choose a compact MIG welder because it's more convenient. Also, longevity isn't much of an issue because Lincoln MIG welders are known to last for literal ages because their superior built.

PROS

  • It's one of the best user-friendly MIG welder out there
  • It’s made for using at home workshops and highly portable
  • Can very thickest of metals. Cutting 24 gauge or 3/16 inch steels are not much of an issue
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    Cold conductor safety keeps the wire cold until the gun trigger is pulled

CONS

  • Does not have infinite voltage control

6. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder​​​​

Features

  • Weight: 60 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 in

This Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder works good with lightweight to mild gauge steels like 24-gauge up to 1/4 inch thick. . It already has highly pressurized gas inserted on its nozzle via the wire feed. But the most useful feature it has is the ability does both MIG welding and flux core welding as well. So you don't need to worry about heavy gas tanks carrying around everywhere you go. Its weight is only 60 pounds so it’s highly portable as well. It also supports 115v inputs. So you can carry it around anywhere because it’s very compatible with any household power supply.

This MIG welder is very wildly accepted by the customers, you can tell it from looking at the so many positive reviews from its amazon page. That's because this is a very good MIG welder on the budget. It’s highly portable, pretty much within the budget and delivers results. This Hobart welder is not just easy to weld and operate, but it has done a pretty good job on the construction of the machines housing. It’s built with very sturdy materials which keep the inner components going and safe from any hazards. This makes it a perfect candidate for making metal frames and intensive welding works irrespective of the thickness.

PROS

  • It requires very low electricity throughout the whole cutting process
  • This versatile tool allows you to work on wide variety of materials
  • Its arc performance great with very less welding spatters
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    The learning curve isn't much. Very low experience is required to operate this tool
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    Due to the fact it’s very sturdily built, it will save you a lot of money in long run

CONS

  • Not much, other than the fact it isn't compatible with generators

7. Hobart 500568 Handler 130 Wire Feed Welder

Features

  • Weight: 51 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10 x 13 x 17 in

Hobart 500568 Handler 130 Wire Feed Welder does have the low need for power. But other than this, you will love this MIG welder for its performance. The very concrete built plastic body which has became quite a common feature for the Hobart. This has won both hearts and sold for this uniqueness. For beginners who are getting started with arc welding this MIG welder is perceived as relatively easier to operate than most of the other MIG welder. This unites runs in a relatively low power of 115v but produce a much better result than expected. This is because of the high quality of Hobart MIG welders it’s able to run on much low power and yet can cut through very good.

This machine is one of the best MIG welders for money despite the fact it does not come quite ready with the gas and you will need to buy them separately, it can go up to cut through quarter inch in the 24 gauge metal sheets just with few strokes. Its lower power input does not affect it cutting ability at all. It provides different nob stops for the gas steam to fabricate various materials of medium to heavy steel. This machine is just another powerful MIG welder from Hobart for any hobbyist with a home repair shop.

PROS

  • It does not need very high amperage of electricity for the welding process
  • It’s very powerful cutting ability allows you to work on 16-24 gauge steel easily
  • It does not produce much of after-welding hubris and dirt
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    Easy to get started with because of the easy setup

CONS

  • It does not come ready with the gas cylinder, and you will need to buy one

8. Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder

Features

  • Weight: 79 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11 x 19 x 13 in

Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder has the easiest settings on this machine. It is made for people who are new to welding and no experience. The best way to learn how to operate this machine is simply to follow the settings provided for the metal and thickness. This might welder has a seven voltage settings which will help you to get a much finer precision welding with all kinds of metals commercially available and various grade steels. It also has an infinite wire-speed control. , so you can easily set the voltage and wire-speed as you want to. This gives you the opportunity to repair the auto body, construction, boats. It also very much able to do every other daily household repairing and welding jobs as well.

This MIG welder has earned tons of reviews and approvals because of the extraordinary features and advantages it got. It can utilize a 240V outlet in workshops and also the standard 120V outlet which can be found in almost every household! Although its bit heavier n weight(79lbs) and the price($899) it is one the higher end it's still considered the best MIG welder by many experienced users.. But not a single another unit can produce such faster and precise results.

PROS

  • The very flexible power source to work with either 115V or 230V input power
  • There is 7-position voltage control and 4-position voltage control at 230V and 115V
  • It also includes thermal overload and motor protection
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    Easy to get started with because of quick release tension
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    It will cut through the 24 or 22 gauge pretty easily

CONS

  • It is quite heavy so you will need some kind of transportation

9. Amico Power DC-160A 160 Amp

Amico-Power-DC-160A-160-Amp

Features

  • Weight: 16 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17 x 6.5 x 10 in

Usually, the MIG welders don't support generators. So the lighter the load is, the easier it is to take somewhere with you. But Amico Power DC-160A 160 Amp is one of the most lightweight MIG welders you will ever find in the market. It's made for people who need to be moving out a lot for repair auto body, construction, boats and also capable of doing daily household repairing and welding’s as well. It's a perfect solution for people who need to work on their repair shop and also have to attend some long distance work too.

This Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder comes with a The electrode holder which is made out of copper plated steel covered by a white ceramic-like material. So it's very safe to use and does not cause any thermal overreaction. But you will need t give it a little bit of time for preheating.

The unit is an inverter welder. What is an inverter welder? Well, It shows us the information in a digital format so that we can see it and easily understand them.

But the biggest aspect of Amico Power DC-160A is ts voltage protection capability. This keeps the system from going under voltage and over voltage and secures it from going under such hazard. This is an important feature because it increases the lifespan of this machine.

PROS

  • This welder cab welds alloys like carbon, stainless and aluminum quite well
  • You won't need to be carrying it around like a heavy burden
  • Easily cuts through 3/8 and thicker steel gauge steels
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    Highly compatible with all safety grounds of North America

CONS

  • It has most of the weight is its back

10. Lincoln MIG Welder, Handheld, 120VAC

Features

  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 16 in

This Lincoln Handheld, MIG Welder, is so far is the most lightweight MIG welder you will find in this list. It's from the same Lincoln family which is known to be among the industry leaders. But it’s made for people who haven't done a ton of welding in my life. It's the best MIG welder for those who are just starting out because it's portable and very good at doing and constructing beginner-friendly projects. It is a very versatile welder you can use for the farm, auto body, and welding on a tank in the back. It has different settings for wire thicknesses, and it can weld just about any commercially available materials.

This is an advanced MIG welder with cutting-edge circuitry controls. The circuit cards are protected and waterproofed with the rugged with the cast aluminum body housing against shock and impact damage. This Lincoln Handheld MIG welder will outlast any other MIG welder in this price in competition pretty much effortlessly.

This unit has very good options of operating range compared to other 120 volt portable machines. It has a wire speed range of 50 inches per minute to 500 inches per minute which are quite impressive. The issues with wire tangle and wire crushing are made redundant with fully adjustable speed control. This unit comes with the rigid drive mechanism and makes sure the perfect wire alignment to keep your welding going smooth.

PROS

  • Pretty good jobs 7-year rectifier warranty
  • It changes the whole way of the materials you can weld including steel and aluminum
  • You can run its wire very smoothly without any tangling
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    The wire speed range varies from 50 inches per minute to 500 inches per minute

CONS

  • Couldn't really find one

Best MIG welder The Buying Guide

There are a quite a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best MIG welder. Like many good things in life, It is not simply about buying the latest or most costly models. There are also some certain features which you need to look for before you splash your cash. Let's proceed.

What is a MIG welder and what is it used for?

A MIG welder is a powerful tool that uses inert gas blown through a tight nozzle at high pressure. As the gas gets heated up, it becomes ionized by an electrical arc and turns into MIG welder in an electrically conductive matter. A MIG welder is like a hot torch. This is used to transfer conductive gas to cut electrically conductive alloys and metals at high temperatures to join them together and make stronger structures. The advantage of a MIG welder is that it can cut much faster and more smoothly than processes such as ox fuel.

Now as we have established what a MIG welder does, let’s look at some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing the best MIG welder.

1. Cutting Ability

The main function of this welding tool is to cut metals with highly pressurized gas. So you need to think about the thickness and type of materials you will be working with this tool. Because cutting abilities can vary greatly according to size and type of materials used and you will need different tools for them. If you are working with material which is up to a ¼” thick, a lower amp MIG welder may be quite enough. But If the material you are using is up to an inch thick and you want to use a smaller or less powerful machine with a thicker material it can end up being a disaster. Smaller MIG welders leave behind much more post-cut debris and don't give a smooth finish.

2. Cutting Speed

It usually depends a lot on the thickness of the material used, so the cutting speed is the next factor to be considered. As it will determine the quality of the cut, you will get. Usually, for more frequent use and thicker materials, a high amp cutter may be required. If you will be using it less frequently and with thinner materials, go for a lower amp. A high amp machine can cut faster and more efficiently than a less powerful machine. But these can be a bit more expensive.

3. Duty Cycle​​​​

The duty cycle is fundamental to understand as it is critical for keeping your tool in a better condition. Duty cycle is the amount of time you can use a particular MIG welder before it needs to cool down. So you should consider the amount of time you will be using your welder. If you plan to use it more frequently and more extended periods, then choose the thickness of the material you use. If less often and for shorter, you won't need a higher duty cycle. Generally speaking, it will need higher amperage to run for long as it as it requires more power.

4. Portability

This is a critical thing to consider is where you will be using the cutter. If you intend to use it in a fixed environment like home workshop portability is not much of an issue. But if you need to want to move it between different workplaces, then you will need a MIG welder that is comfortable enough to carry. A lightweight MIG welder with handles would be best. You should also consider buying a MIG welder that has the built-in inverter. The welder can consume power from a DC and transport it through a high-frequency inverter. An inverter is capable of transforming 10 kHz of DC power to 200 kHz. It is a very handy feature to have when power outlets may not be accessible. The construction of inverter-based MIG welders is usually more portable.

5. Consumable Parts

These are the parts of the machine which will be worn down over time with usage. You will eventually need them to be replaced. The nozzle is the parts which are first to go are usually. Then the electrode for repeated exposure to very high temperatures. Once your machine becomes slower, and the quality of cutting is decreased, it’s time to replace these parts. So it is really important to find out how many consumable parts the welder has and how long they are expected to last. If the welder has fewer consumable parts, then you will save a lot of money you will the long run.

6. Voltage

Please be aware that some of these welders consume a lot of power. A higher amp MIG welder of around 50 amps or more will require 220V for working. If a MIG welder has a lower amp like 15 amps may work well on a standard 120V outlet. So you will have to make sure that your current power outlets at home support the amperage required by the welder you are buying.

7. Safety Features

MIG welder is a power tool so It is necessary to use these machines cautiously. So check for extra features such as a safety sensor. It tells you if the nozzle is in place before you start welding. Also, you should keep the nozzles free of spatter. The Spatter can create the electrical connection between the insulated nozzle and tube.

8. Control Panel

As a beginner, it's referred to choose a unit which has a control panel. Because a MIG welder with a control panel is easier to operate. It is also very helpful to set-up the machine and makes troubleshooting easier.

9. Test out The Machine

Make sure to try out some units to see which suit your needs best. This will help you decide which one feels easier to handle and work with. It will be helpful to examine the quality of the cuts the welder produces.

10. Best Welder Brands

When you are deciding about the best MIG welder, often the most common question is which brand is the best. The best thing to do is to do your research and decide it yourself. But, the following products will make you feel good about spending your money on them: Hobart, Lincoln, Amico, Forney, and Lotos. This is precisely why their product is featured in this article.

The benefit of buying the MIG welder

Because it is one of the easiest and safest power tools to getting started with welding. Below is a basic overview of getting started with welding with a MIG welder is given below.

The best thing about mig welders is you only need to know how to hold the gun. Just hold the tip of the gun 1/2 inch above from the metal so that you can make a "spot" weld. Keep the tip of the gun in the same place for a couple of seconds without moving the gun at all. Wait till the spot weld form. You should stop when it gets a bigger size than a dime. Keep repeating this over and over again until you can produce a continuous a series of evenly sized spots. 

Did you see how easy that was? Here is some more advantage for you to consider.

  • Mig welders are a highly cost-efficient welding process
  • You can use all the available commercial metals and alloys can be used with mig welders.
  • It minimizes defects on starts and stops by maintaining the high duty cycle
  • You can do pretty deep penetration on the metals with of small weld sizes.
  • Very less post-weld clean-up is needed because of a covering slag on the weld bead.
  • You can achieve X-ray quality welds
  • The Mig welder process has an efficiency rate of of 93-97%. So you can get a deposit of 93 pounds or even 97 pounds of weld metal if you buy 100 pounds of Mig wire where as other processes like stick welding has electrode efficiencies of about 65%.
  •  Smaller mig welders can operate on a maximum 115 volt input. But those machines capability is pretty much limited to around welding ¼” of thickness.

FAQ

What is a MIG welder?

MIG welder is a tool that uses an electric arc and high-velocity gas to cut metal and joins them together.

What types of metal can I use the MIG welder with?

You can use it a pretty long list of metals such as carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, silicon bronze and other alloys.

What is the speed of a MIG welder?

This comes down to the overall amperage of the machine. The higher the amp and voltage required to the machine the faster and smoother the unit will be able to cut.

Can I do welding on stainless steel with a MIG welder?

You can but you will need to take some preventive measures as well otherwise the steel will lose all its corrosion resistance. You need to use the correct wire and shielding gas to make sure this doesn't happen. Be care full when using gas with much more than 2% Oxygen or CO2 because it can make the steel go rusty.

What safety gear do I need for MIG welding?

The minimum required safety gear for MIG welding is a pair of helmet and gloves. Also, a leather jacket could give added protection from sparks and metals fling all around.

Wrapping up

Mig welders do much more than just creating atomic bond between metals, it is about creating an astute joint with better integrity. But MIG welding is no rocket science either. The entire process is very manual and done via hand.. Whether you are a professional MIG welder or a hobbyist who just enjoy doing welding and building permanent structures. Whatever the reason is, if you have landed on this page you are on the good hands. Because even if you don't have any slightest of idea of even mig welding before, now you all the way through the best mig welders and the road map of selecting one from them.

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David E. Wilson
 

Hi, I am David E. Wilson. I am a professional auto engineer about 8 years. i have lot of experience about auto tools and equipment. I am here share my knowledge and expertise with the people who are interested in it.

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