Regardless of whether you’re a novice looking to learn how to weld or an experienced professional, a MIG welder is a useful tool for welding a variety of thin or thick plate metals. While they’re some extremely high-quality units that can be bought online, consumers need to realize that there are also some that aren’t so good, especially for home use. So, how does someone who’s looking to buy a welder find the one that has the features they need? By doing their research and checking out the best MIG welder models that can be bought.
Below I’ve gathered together what I consider to be the top ten best MIG welder units that can be found either online or offline. These are units that are a good combination of features, performance, and cost and should allow anyone do a better welding job. The following list starts off at the number ten position and then works itself all the way up to the number one position.
10. Super Deal Commercial 130 AC
Some people may overlook this model as a cheap welder but it does have some features which make it useful around the shop. It has a portable and compact design, and it weighs under 40-pounds. This 110-Volt machine has a 10% duty cycle at 105-Amps and a 35% duty cycle at 60-Amps and has a max open voltage of 37-Volts. It has variable feed speed control and it can weld .023-inch to .035-inch steel and carbon steel wires and .030-inch to .035-inch flux-cored wire. This unit has 4-adjustable heating settings and can be used for welding thin steel and/or stainless steel.
9. Lotos 140-Amp Wire Welder
This welder can be plugged directly into a 110-Volt standard wall outlet and within ten minutes be ready to handle all of the user’s welding needs. It has the capacity to weld stainless steel up to 3/16th-inch, aluminum 1/8th-inch or thinner and steel up to 3/16th-inch. Stainless steel, steel, and aluminum aren’t the only metals that can be welded with this unit, however, and it can be used for a variety of different applications. This unit has an aluminum wire feeder, a ground cable quick connector, a 2T/4T switch, and a digital wire speed display.
8. Firepower MST 220i 3-In-1
This three in one machine offers stick, MIG and TIG welding and is portable enough to take just about anywhere. Regardless of whether the user needs top performance, precise control or the ability to work outside, this unit is ready to help out. With the ability to weld steel up to a plate thickness of 3/8-inch, this unit is useful for a variety of application around the shop, garage or ranch. This unit is also equipped with a wire feeder which has a speed range of 100 to 600 IPM at 230-Volts or 100 to 400 IPM at 115-Volts.
7. Miller Electric 1 Phase 120/240VAC
This welder can handle a number of different jobs and has the power to weld a number of different materials. It can weld steel up to 18-gauge, stainless steel up to 20-gauge and aluminum up to 24-gauge, so it’s useful for just about anything from automotive to farm equipment repairs. This device comes with an M-10 MIG gun, 10-foot work cable with clamp, a dual gauge regulator with gas hose and a built-in gas solenoid valve. It features auto spool-gun detection, has a quick select drive roll, thermal overload protection, and an angled cat aluminum drive system.
6. Forney 318 190-Amp 230-Volt Welder
This 1-phase welder has a 190-Amp max output and is powerful enough to handle a number of jobs. It can be used for all kinds of automotive and boat repairs, and can also be used for general fabrication work or repair work. Some of the features that can be found in this unit include an extra-long power cord, spool gun capability, a cast aluminum drive system, and a quick connect torch. It will weld up to a 3/8th-inch thickness and will accept 4-inch or 8-inch spool sizes. This unit comes with a flow-meter and gas hose included with it.
5. Everlast PowerMig 200
This unit can be used for MIG welding, or when it isn’t practical to use it in this way, can also be used as a stick welder. In either circumstance, the arc force control adjusts arch characteristics accordingly. This 200-Amp unit is also flux core capable and can be used for all kinds of different projects. It’s not only powerful but extremely versatile as well and can be used equally well indoors or outdoors, all it needs is a suitable outlet. This unit is also spool gun ready and with the purchase of an optional MIG gun, which isn’t supplied, can be used to weld aluminum.
4. Go Plus MIG 130
Designed with a durable steel body and an easy-to-hold plastic handle, this inexpensive welder unit is both durable and portable at the same time. It has four different levels of current flow settings and ten different levels of wire feeding speeds. It can be used to weld thin plates of iron or steel and is good for DIY work and for light repair duty. Designed with two air vents, which help it to dissipate heat, and an off/off control, this unit is as safe as it is powerful. This makes it an ideal unit for automotive repair, work around the house and other assorted tasks.
3. Lincoln Electric K2185-1
Able to weld up to 1/8-inch of thin steel, this unit might not be as powerful as other units but it is useful for DIY enthusiasts or for individuals who don’t want a complicated model or a unit that has more power than they need. And while it isn’t designed to be used for long periods, but it does draw currently smoothly so it’s less likely to pop a breaker like some of the bigger units can do. The controls on this model are adequately marked and easy-to-use. All things considered, it’s a high-quality welder that’s perfect for light jobs and is very dependable.
2. Hobart Handler 210 MVP
This high-quality unit is designed for both novice welders and professionals and has features that can help both achieve excellent results. It can weld up to 24-gauge or 3/8-inch steel and operates on either 115-Volt or 230-Volt power input. At 115-Volts, it has 4-voltage settings and at 230-Volts, it has 7-voltage settings. Other features found on this unit include an aluminum drive system, a dual groove quick-change roll and manufacturer’s limited warranty. This makes this unit a decent one for just about anyone to use, whether they’re using at home or on the job site.
1. Hobart Handler 140
Designed to be used by just about anyone, the Hobart Handler 140 has a number of features which makes it a versatile and powerful welder that can be used for DIY projects, automotive repair, minor repair welds and for household repairs. It uses 115-Volt standard household current and can weld 24-gauge steel up 1/4-inch. This unit has a five-position voltage control selector, an industrial grade cast aluminum drive system and has a heavy-duty 10-foot work cable and clamp. It has an amperage output of 25 to 140-Amps and has a twenty percent duty cycle at 90-amps.
A Short Guide To MIG Welders
Over the past few years, MIG welding has significantly increased in popularity. The reason for this is pretty straight-forward. MIG Welding is a type of welding that works well for a variety of DIY, home repair and automotive projects. Using one of these welders, and a little bit of know-how, just about anyone can weld low-alloy metals. Of course, before a person can run out to their garage and start welding anything and everything in sight, they do need the proper knowledge. And that’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. Although this isn’t going to be a comprehensive guide on gas metal arc welding or GMAW for short, it will give the basics that everyone needs to know before they begin their welding adventure.
How Does MIG Welding Work?
The MIG welding process is a fairly simple one. It works by forming an electric arc between the workpiece’s metal and a MIG wire electrode (which gets consumed during the process). This allows them to melt and join together. During the process, not only is the wire electrode fed through the welding gun, but there is also a shielding gas fed through as well. This shielding gas protects the arc from contaminants that may exist in the air. Depending on the welder, this process can be a fully automatic one or it can be a semi-automatic process. Although the direct current is the voltage most commonly used with gas metal arc welding, it is possible to use alternating current as well. When it comes to GMAW, there are four different methods of transferring metal that consumers should be aware of. These include Pulsed Spray, Globular, Short-Circuiting, and Spray methods.
MIG Welding Benefits
Now that everyone has a basic overview of what a GMAW or MIG welder does, it’s time to talk about why this form of welding might be useful to the consumer. To do that, we’ve broken the benefits of these welding guns down into four basic categories. The following four benefits are the main reasons why people choose MIG welders over other types of welding guns.
They’re Less Expensive
A prime benefit provided by MIG welding is that they’re less expensive than other types of welding guns. Although there are some MIG welders in the $1000+ range, most of them fall in the $500 or less price range. Once the basic rig has been purchased, all the consumer then has to worry about is buying some gas and some wire. Oh, and of course, safety gear. They can then weld to their heart’s content.
They’re More Productive
Another reason to like MIG welding is that the welding process is more streamlined with these types of welders than they are with other ones. Because there’s not a whole lot of setup or cleanup, the welder can perform their welds quickly and easily without having to remove slag, change welding rods or perform other mundane maintenance tasks.
They’re Simple To Learn & Easy To Setup
The next great thing about MIG welders is that they can be used by anyone. It doesn’t take the user years of welding school to learn how to competently use one of these devices. And that’s why so many DIY enthusiasts, hobbyists, and amateur mechanics are drawn to them. That’s not even mentioning the fact that a person can have their MIG welder set up in only a few minutes and then be ready to weld.
They Perform Quality Welds
The last thing worth mentioning about MIG Welders is that they produce a very clean weld. That’s because the arc is protected from the atmosphere. And because there are variable voltage settings and a wire feed, these machines are extremely versatile. It’s a nice feeling to just finish a weld and know that you don’t have to remove excess slag.
Improving Your MIG Welding
Now that we’ve covered how MIG welders work and why they’re so useful, we would like to end this article by giving our readers a few tips that will improve their welds. Keeping the following things in mind will ensure that your weld is the best it can be.
Read The Instructions
The proper use of any MIG welder is to make sure that you thoroughly read all instructions, including safety warnings, that come with the welder.
Don’t Forget Safety
It’s extremely important that the welder wears all of the safety equipment that’s recommended by the welder’s instructions. This usually involves wearing closed-toe boots, clothing that limits skin exposure, a welding helmet, and gloves. It’s also important that the clothing worn is flame-resistant as well.
Check All Connections Before Getting Started
Before beginning your weld, it’s important that you make sure that all of your MIG connections are tight and secure. That includes the MIG welding gun and the power sources’ power pin. Also, take a good look at your consumable metals to make sure there’s no slag buildup on them.