Best MIG Welders in 2019

Best MIG Welders: 5 Models That Will Help You Weld Like A Pro

Regardless of the fact are you a mechanic, a handyman or you like making things in your garage, you are going to need the same tool. As you may know, that tool is known as a welder. Yes, there are countless possibilities out there, but MIG welders are simply the most common choice. They are the best value for money, they are suitable for beginners and professionals and they have countless applications. Here we will help you find the best MIG welder.

Top 5 Current MIG Welders

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG

The Hobart 500559 ($499.99 on Amazon) is one of the best multi purpose welders on the market and it is just perfect for most, average and above average users. This particular model comes with a modern case and a modern chassis. The maximum thickness of material it can be used for is a ¼ inch and you have the ability to adjust the welder in 5 different settings.

You will also appreciate the fact this unit will work on a 115V household power outlet, so there is no need for any adjustments or anything similar. The next best thing is the most obvious one. This is a powerful, 140 amp welder, so you can use it for more demanding operations. We liked the power and the ability to get this unit in different versions, with a rack, pliers, gel and etc. We tested the welder only version.

Ability to weld different metals

If you are looking for a MIG welder which can be used for welding different metal, once again the Hobart 500559 is the best choice. You can weld cast iron, steel, aluminum, titanium, brass, copper and etc. Even welding magnesium is possible! There is no need in telling you that this feature is most beneficial for users who will use the full potential of the welder.

Adjustable amperage output: 25-140 amp

If you recall, we have mentioned that amperage on a welder must be adjusted due to the fact it will allow for you to weld thicker and thinner metals. The welder we have here has the lowest amperage of 25, which allows for you to weld the thinnest metals.

Pros:

  • Adjustable amperage
  • Ability to weld different metals
  • Well-made
  • Minimal amperage

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Attention to details

Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder

The Lotos MIG140 ($348.30 on Amazon) may be the best MIG welder for you and now you will understand why. First of all, it is one of the great values for money on the market. The unit is well-made and comes with a high level of attention to details. Keep in mind that we tested 2017 year version which came with some upgrades.

The maximum amperage is 140 amp and it is suitable for all, even more demanding welding operations. Of course, it is fully adjustable, so you can weld thinner materials. In general, you can weld steel, aluminum and even stainless steel. You will need around 10 minutes to set up the welder and start welding for the first time.

Digital control

Adjusting the wire feed speed is possible via the easy to use knob. But, you will see the speed of the wire on a digital display, which makes this unit a bit more sophisticated than similar models.

2017 upgrades

The list of upgrades begins with 2T and 4T switch, which are added for simpler use. Then we have a new ground connector which is easier to use and also more durable. In essence, these upgrades should make the welder more appealing to professionals and beginners at the same time.

Pros:

  • Powerful model
  • Digital control
  • 2017 upgrades
  • Can weld stainless steel
  • Plasma stick

Cons:

  • Gun issues
  • Sensitive wire feed system

Forney 29901 125FC Flux Core Welder Start Up Kit

And now we have the best starter welder on the market. As you can see, this is a kit rather than just a single welder. It means that you also get safety equipment and all the rest you will need to start welding as soon as possible. In addition, this welder is optimized for beginners.

The 29901125FC Flux Core Welder (Check on Amazon on Amazon) is reasonably powerful with 125 amps and this power will be sufficient even for more demanding operations. Then we have an affordable price and a modern design. In a combination with the safety equipment, this model is just perfect for all of you who are looking for the first welder.

Safety equipment

In the package, you will get a welding mask and gloves. An interesting fact is that both of these elements are well-made and they are durable. They can be used by professionals as well and we were impressed with the overall appeal.

Lightweight

The weight of the welder is 32 pounds which makes it one of the lightest units you can have. Keep in mind that most other models are generally 50-60 pounds. This advantage made the Forney Easy Weld 29901 suitable for uses on remote locations.

Pros:

  • Great kit
  • Value for money
  • Reasonably powerful
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Wire feed mechanism
  • 20% duty cycle

Goplus MIG 130 Welder

The Goplus MIG 130 Welder ($119.99 on Amazon) comes with a bunch of advantages. We must mention that it is a 130 amp unit, so it is one of the more powerful models. It is also one of the most affordable welders as well, which makes it a great choice for us all. Nevertheless, it is a still capable unit for welding steel and cast iron.

So who should look for the model in question? We would recommend it for beginners who are looking for their first welder and who will use it for minor applications. The price tag makes this model a very attractive choice.

Advanced air vents

There are two air vents implemented into this welder. They are added in order to decrease the heating and make the welding even more suitable and also to prolong the welding duration. Just in case, automatic shutdown in a case of overheating is implemented as well.

Stainless steel chassis

The body of the welder is made of stainless steel. Normally this wouldn’t be mentioned, but this is the only model in this price range with this feature, so it is an important one. Heavy-duty construction and heavy-duty paint are something that will help you use the welder for a decade or more.

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Great for beginners
  • Different adjustments

Cons:

  • For lighter materials
  • Isn’t suitable for professionals

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

This may be the best arc welder for users who like the Lincoln Electric brand. The Lincoln Electric K2278-1 ($299.99 on Amazon) is designed and made in the United States, with the latest technology. The model comes with a 1-year warranty on all parts except the gun and the cables. They are covered by a 90-day warranty.

In a nutshell, this is a capable, small welder which can be used for minor applications and which is suitable for users who want to weld up to 1/8 inches thick steel. And yes, it is a durable model as well.

Different welding options

You can weld with fluxed core wire or using a gas with this particular welder. Don’t forget that gas isn’t included in the package, so you will have to purchase it additionally. On the other hand, the wire is included in the package.

Compact and portable

You will probably appreciate the portability and the practicality this welder has to offer. This makes it ideal for applications in remote locations and for usages where you need a small and accurate welder.

Pros:

  • Warranty
  • Well-made
  • 2 in 1 welder
  • Small and compact

Cons:

  • 70 amp of power
  • Price

Features To Consider When Looking For The Best MIG Welder

Most of you know that the best welder for beginners is a MIG unit. However, not all of them are the same and there are a lot of different features, advantages, systems and etc. to look for. If you are a beginner, you will definitely want to check out our buyer’s guide. If you are a professional, you will want to spend some time in understanding the importance of the features mentioned below.

Amperage

You will notice that every single MIG welder comes with an AMP value. Think of it as the power of the unit and it is precisely that! For example, a welder with a power of 90 amp will be suitable for metals with a thickness of 2 mm. But, a welder with a power rating of 180 amp will be able to weld metals with a 5 mm thickness.

The first thing you will have to understand is that the type or better said the thickness of the materials you are going to weld would determine the power rating of your new MIG welder. As such, if you are planning to weld metals with a thickness of 5 mm, a 90 amp unit will be useless.

Keep in mind that amp can be adjusted. The higher the range, a more professional the welder will be. This is a completely opposite matter than the one we have just mentioned. Look for models that can decrease the amperage as much as possible. In other words, this allows for you to weld thinner metals.

Power supply

Most MIG welders can be used in workshops and garages. However, some of them do require an industrial-grade power supply. Some, usually poor-quality models will blow a fuse almost every single day.

The science here is to pay attention to the power source compatibility. Your new welder must be able to be used in your garage, or there is no point in purchasing it.

Live torches: Why you should avoid them?

Although this isn’t precisely a factor to consider but rather a tip, it is extremely important and as such, it must be mentioned. Some manufacturers will try to save a few dollars by implementing live torches on your new welder. What this means is that when moving around, if you touch something with a torch, you will get an arch eye!

Even professionals don’t like these welders, so you can understand why we must point out that a live torch is definitely something to avoid.

Electronics and wire feeding system

Here are two factors which are linked together and also very important. The best welder for home use isn’t always the cheapest one. As a matter of fact, we will advise you against this decision. A well-made, more expensive welders have much better electronics inside, so they can withstand almost anything and they are more durable.

The second thing to keep in mind is the wire feeding system. On more advanced models, it will adapt to the power source and therefore make the welding process easier and more successful. In addition, the overall quality of the wire feeding mechanism is better.

Duty cycle

This is one of the most interesting factors to look for. A duty cycle is basically the period of time in which a welder can be used before it will have to cool down. For example, if the duty cycle is 70% over 10 minutes of time, that particular unit will be capable of welding for 7 minutes and then it must be cooled down for 3 minutes.

A duty cycle is closely linked to the price and the overall power of the welder. More professional models will obviously have better duty cycles, which makes them more suitable for heavy-duty applications. Keep in mind that cheap models without a fan have a very low duty cycle and they are not great for more demanding operations.

Construction of the welder

And yes, a construction or a chassis of a welder is an important factor to consider. Here you should pay attention to two main elements. The first one is the wheels. Wheels on a MIG welder are very important and they help you move the unit all around the garage easier than ever.

The second main thing to look for is the shelf for the gas located on the backside of the welder. Sadly, this is considered to be as a professional-level feature, so you will find it mostly on powerful, 150 amp models. A good thing is the fact you can add a shelf for gas by bolting it to the chassis.

Gas or gasless

There are two main types of MIG welders. Some use gas and others don’t. The second type actually uses a special type of flux cored wire. The main advantage of the gas-powered models is the ability to provide better welding capabilities. They are usually considered as commercial or advanced models.

The units with flux cored wire are far more affordable and yet, capable of providing decent welds. On the other hand, they are not suitable for you must provide a perfect weld every single time. And yes, there is no need to purchase gas, so they are more affordable to use over a longer period of time.

Torch

Believe or not, the torch is the next main thing to look for after you have found a welder with all the specifications you need. Here we can see that you can either have a manufacturer-made torch or the euro torch. For most of us, euro torch is a better alternative, but it usually doesn’t come as standard. If your new welder comes with a manufacturer-made torch, you will have to replace it only with the same model!

Gas regulator

A gas regulator is a gauge that measures the gas pressure inside a bottle. But, cheaper models come with this, one-gauge gas regulator. A much better alternative is the 2-gauge gas regulator which will monitor the gas pressure and the gas flow. If you make a mistake with the gas flow, you will lose precious gas more than you should, which will make your welding more expensive.

Safety equipment

When welding, it is mandatory to have a welding equipment. It all starts with a welding mask which is mandatory. Proper clothing is mandatory as well and it must be taken into consideration. We will also add that gloves have a huge overall importance. Make sure you have all the equipment before you start welding.

FAQ Regarding MIG Welders

  • Is the price the most important factor to consider?

No. The most important factor to consider is which type and thickness of metal you are planning to weld.

  • Can I weld aluminum with a MIG welder?

Yes, but you will need a corresponding gun and the wire.

  • What is the amp rating?

Basically, it is the raw power of a welder. More power means that it can weld thicker metals.

  • What MIG stands for?

MIG is actually Metal Inert Gas.

  • Will the wire affect the quality of my welding?

Yes, and you should invest in the high-quality wire.

  • Is a clown fuse common issue when welding?

It is, but only with low-end welders which are not present on our list.

  • How long can I weld?

Always consult the user manual in order to see the duty cycle of that, particular welder.

  • Is ground important for welding?

Yes, and it is the most important factor. A poor ground will cause inconsistent welding.

  • Will contact tip of a gun cause poor welds?

Yes, especially when it is worn out or damaged.

  • How to choose the correct setting?

Start with the lowest and gradually increase it.

Conclusion

Here you were able to see that the Hobart 500559 is the best MIG welder available today. This model has it all and it is recommended for beginners and professionals. We give it 5 out of 5 stars. Other models are a decent choice as well and depending on your budget and actual needs, each one may be the best choice you can make. After all, we tested and reviewed only the best and the most sophisticated welders money can buy.