MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is often known as the easiest type of welding to carry out.
Since the inception of welding, welders have made it easy and found an effective way of joining metal sheets as well as heavy steel tubes.
Nonetheless, finding the best MIG welder is of immense importance, especially to people who rely on the machine’s performance.
A quality MIG welder is a great asset to any machine shop, garage or shed.
With new models coming to market this year, it may be difficult to truly find the best one. This is why going through MIG welder reviews is important before you make a purchase.
To help you out, we have outlined some of the best MIG welders as well as a buyer’s guide. This will ease your search process.
Best MIG Welders in 2018
|Hobart 500559 Handler|
|Lincoln Electric Powering|
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP|
|Everlast PowerARC 200ST|
|Forney 309 140|
1. Hobart 500559 Handler – Best MIG Welder for the MoneyThe Hobart 500559 Handler Mig Welder is a sturdy and versatile Mig welder. The welder expertly handles any household projects with great performance.
It is a perfect choice for welding thin materials such as aluminum, stainless steel and such like metals.
With a maximum welding thickness of 0.75 in, the Hobart 500559 Handler Mig Welder is a perfect choice for maintenance welding, autobody work, and farm equipment repair. Nonetheless, it can also work expertly for industrial capacities. It is a perfect plug and play machine with great working effectiveness.
Setting up the Hobart 500559 Handler Mig Welder is quite easy. It comes with a chart that guides you in the whole setting up process. This makes it easy matching material thickness and the wire type.
When it comes to preparation, users only need to read the knobs and adjust the voltage. Moving around with this Mig welder is pretty easy. It runs on 110V power that is common in all households thus eliminates the need of having complicated regulators and gas tanks.
Additionally, the 5-position voltage control makes it easy to adjust the arc based on the thickness of the metal. This Mig welder also features one of the best safety arrangements in the world.
2. Lincoln Electric Powering – Best Portable & Multipurpose MIG WelderThe Lincoln Electric Powering Mig Welder is a perfect welder choice for small workers, instructors or farmers looking to undertake MIG fusing as well as stick, flux-coated and TIG welding.
Like other advanced MIG welders, there is a lot of awe about with the Lincoln powering welder. Starting off are the push and turn digital controls with a color display screen making it easy to set up, besides an easy and intuitive operation.
Its lightweight and compact nature, weighing only 62 pounds, makes it a perfect choice for any job at a small shop or at home. Its construction also features a sturdy metal sheet construction and an all-metal wire drive.
Lincoln Electric Powering Mig Welder is perfect for both MIG welding and flux-cored welding, perhaps making it among the most versatile welder present currently. Besides, it is an ideal welder for welding novice, providing great experience as a starter.
Like other high-end brands, it had dual voltage inputs, supporting both 120V and 230V. This machine is an excellent choice for welding thicker materials requiring large power inputs in small shops.
Buyers get a 3-year warranty from the manufacturers, perhaps a sign of manufacturers standing behind the quality of their product.
3. Hobart Handler MVP – Best Versatile MIG WelderWelders looking for a versatile welding machine should consider the Hobart Handler MVP Mig Welder. For exceptional versatility, it is capable of running on both 115V and 230V, perhaps alternated based on the task at hand.
Power cables of this Mig welder feature interchangeable plugs that allow welders to switch between the two volts. The Hobart Handler 210 MVP Mig Welder provides a great mix of quality, durability, and affordability.
It is a great machine for both experts and novice welders looking to advance their welding skills. With a maximum duty cycle of 30% at 150A, this machine can weld various metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, and steel.
This welding machine is compact with a somewhat lightweight of 87 pounds. Despite being comparably higher than similar models of the same caliber, it is quite easy to transport and relatively portable.
Besides the dual voltage input, the Hobart Handler MVP Mig Welder key features include a built-in gun control circuitry that alleviates common feeding issues associated with aluminum wires, an easy to access polarity changeover, 7 voltage settings, built-in contactor among others.
Using this machine is easy. Hobart includes a quick reference guide that helps novice welders navigate the machine easily. The guide details on how welders should set up with optimal settings for common materials and thicknesses.
4. Everlast PowerARC 200ST – Perfect for Home & Small ShopsThe Everlast PowerARC 200ST Mig Welder is a professionally built welder with the capability of handling most common welding tasks at home, small shops or at the farm.
The welder is a commercial and industrial unit has all the power a professional welder could need. Everlast PowerARC 200ST Mig Welder expertly works on stainless steel electrodes with ease as well as other stick welding rods including cast iron, aluminum, and hard facing.
This unit features an E6010 welding capacity with a dedicated connection port at the front panel for use in shipyards, construction sites, pipelines, pressure and container vessels as well as portable repair jobs.
There are E7018, E7014 and E7024 stainless electrodes are perfect for excellent low spatter arc performance. An automatic hot start and automatic arc force control give the users enough control over working ability of this machine.
If you need to undertake TIG weld with this machine, ensure that you purchase the gas TIG torch valve and a gas regulator. The 17V series TIG touch is a perfect choice for this unit’s TIG functioning.
5. Forney 309 140 – Best Budget-Friendly WelderThe Forney 309 140 Mig Welder is a no-frills affordable welder with great features for any welding enthusiast. It is a compact, odd-job oriented and hobby machine that has everything you need.
It is used primarily for MIG welding but can be used as flux cored welding as well. The machine is better suited for welding relatively thicker and tough materials. It perfectly welds steel, aluminum, stainless among other metal alloys.
However, note that it welds a maximum of 0.75in thick metal. Unlike previous Forney models, the Forney 309 140 Mig Welder comes with advanced and overally improved design.
This includes the integrated feet, included torch wrap and a built-in strain relief. Presence of the integrated feet ensures that your welding machine stands on an even surface. It raises the welder off the ground, making it stable and safe.
The Euro connect MIG gun makes it painless and quick to replace the torch. This connector saves welders much time as they handle tasks at hand. Besides, the machine comes with a 10 feet long cable for enhanced convenience.
Forney 309 140 Mig Welder’s cast aluminum drive system makes it perfect for hobbyist and weekend warriors who need a machine with a long lifespan.
What to Consider Before Buying a MIG Welder
Regardless of whether you are looking to replace your welder or buying it for the first time, finding the best Mig welder can seem quite overwhelming.
Which brand is the best? How much power is enough? What specific features should you consider? How about the cost?
This is further compounded by the fact that there are several Mig welders present in the market currently.
Therefore, finding the best product in the market requires that you check through some Mig welder reviews as well as consider specific factors.
Some of the factors to consider include:
What Will You Be Welding?
This is perhaps the first thing to consider before buying a welding machine. There are several applications of welders. Is it for small home repairs or industrial projects?
Welding machines come with certain specifications that guide in deciding the best, suiting your anticipated task. The chart below outlines some of the basic guides.
|Fencing and trailer frames|
|Ranch, farm and landscapes|
|Bicycles and lawnmowers|
|Boats, motorcycles and cars|
|General and heavy repair|
MIG Welder Power
There are two factors to consider when it comes to Mig welder power. You should check for the power output and input. Power output is the first thing to consider.
To determine this, it is important to know what activity you will be doing and how often. We believe that 100 amps is enough for small home projects. The minimum power output for a good welder should be about 30 amps, which can work for 18-gauge metal.
Duty cycle simply refers to the amount of time within 10 minutes the welder can operate without overheating. For instance, the Hobart Handler 10 has a mark of 20% at 90A.
This implies that you can weld for 2 minutes at 90 minutes before resting the machine for the next 8 minutes.
The lower the amperage the more the duty cycle. Understanding this is overly important especially if you plan to weld on a long term. Some high-end welders have an automatic shut-off feature that protects the system by shutting it down automatically.
A welding machine’s feed speed is of importance as the power. This describes the speed at which the wire is fed to the gun through the machine. A slow feed speed results in an insufficient and uneven weld whereas a fast speed leaves the wire extending from the gun resulting in a lot of spatter.
A perfect feed speed leaves the wire going fast enough to provide a consistent arc with a satisfying sizzle sound. Cheap Mig welders have separate feed speed and power settings.
On the other hand, the best machines feature automatic speed settings that automatically adjust the speed depending on the power.
Other crucial factors to consider include:
- Presence of safety features such as thermal overload protection and an in-built contactor
- Portability, size, and weight of the machine
- The type of shielding gas
- Warranty provided by manufacturers
- Cost of the machine
Our Final MIG Welder Review
Finding the best MIG welder certainly doesn’t come easy. You will need to understand the various features and functions of each model to see what fits you needs.
The guide above outlines the five best machines on the market. It will be up to you to compare each welder based on power, duty cycle, and feed speed.
As always, good luck with your welding project!