If you need a high quality MIG welder with high performance, adjustability, versatility, and costing something reasonable, you have come to the right place.
There are many options to choose from, but not all will fit your needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the best MIG welder options that will provide you with the performance and functionality you need for fast, accurate, and beautiful welds.
Best MIG Welder Reviews
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder is a fairly affordable unit that can also perform FCAW welding.
The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder can weld various materials because it can perform MIG and flux core welding. This means that it can weld stainless steel, steel, and aluminum with ease. In terms of thickness, this welder can handle 24-gauge up to ¼-in mild steel.
In terms of welding thickness, the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder features an adjustable voltage control mechanism, so you can choose among 5 voltages to get a smooth and stable arc at all welding thicknesses.
The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder comes with an automatic wire feed to help make doing the job a bit easier; it is adjustable, so you can fine-tune the wire feed speed from 40 to 700 inches per minute.
Moreover, the welding amperage range for this unit is 25 to 140 amps. When running at 90 amps, the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder has a 20% duty cycle, which means that it can run for 2 out of every 10 minutes, with 8 minutes of rest every 10 minutes.
When you purchase the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder, you also get a 10-ft. HR-100 MIG gun and it is made with high-quality materials which should serve you for years.
Keep in mind that you also get a dual gauge regulator with the gas hose included, the power cord, a quick-select drive roll, a 10-foot work cable with a clamp, and a sample spool of flux-cored wire; with the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder, you get everything you need to get started, plus the unit as a whole is very easy to use.
The good part about the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder is that it is an all-around welder that is easy to use, affordable, and quite versatile. For a reasonable price, it’s quite a deal.
Something that isn’t too spectacular about the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder is the 20% duty cycle. This is not very good as it means that this unit needs a lot of resting time in between relatively short periods of welding.
- MIG and FCAW
- Fast IPM wire feed
- Everything needed to get started is included
- Adjustable amperage and voltage – good ranges
- Durable and user-friendly design
The duty cycle could be better
Miller Electric MIG Welder
This MIG welder from Miller is more expensive but most would agree that it is well worth the investment. It comes with a few great features that make it worth the cost.
The Miller Electric MIG Welder is a good choice as it is quite versatile in terms of the materials it can weld. You can use it to weld aluminum, 18-gauge to 3/8-inches, to weld mild steel, 24-gauge to 3/8-inches, and stainless steel, 20-gauge to ¼-inch.
The Miller Electric MIG Welder has an auto spool gun detect, which automatically detects whether or not the spool gun is connected. Moreover, the automatic feed can be adjusted from 60 to 600 inches per minute, so you can use it to weld at relatively high speeds.
This welder can be adjusted to work with 120 volts and 240 volts, and it has an amperage range of 30 to 230 amps. When operating at 150 amps, the duty cycle is 40% (240V), and when operating at 115 amps, it is 20% (120V). Although this is not fantastic, it could certainly be worse.
The Miller Electric MIG Welder comes with an advanced auto-set function, a smooth start function, and a quick-select drive roll. As you might be able to tell, everything about this welder is designed to be simple, fast, and easy, not to mention that it is also highly portable. To keep you and the Miller Electric MIG Welder safe, it also comes with an advanced thermal overload protection system.
What we like about the Miller Electric MIG Welder is that it is designed for simplicity, versatility, and ease of use. Everything about this unit is made to benefit the user – to provide fast and easy welds on several materials.
Something that is not so great about the Miller Electric MIG Welder is that the interior circuit boards tend to break down relatively quickly, particularly when they get metal dust on them. In other words, the longevity of this unit is somewhat questionable.
- Very easy to use
- Many automatic features
- Fast spool IMP
- Decent 240V duty cycle
- Comes with everything you need to get started
- Some issues with the circuit boards
- Limited longevity if not properly maintained
LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder
If you are looking for an MIG welder that comes at a reasonable price, one with high performance and functionality, the LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder is an option to keep in mind.
The LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder allows for an input power of 208 and 230 volts, which makes it quite versatile. In terms of the output, at 208V, when running at 130 amps, it features a 30% duty cycle, which is also true for the 230V input setting when running at 130 amps. All in all, a 30% duty cycle is not fantastic, but it is more than could usually be expected for a reasonably priced welder like this.
Next, the LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder has an automatic wire spool feed that is adjustable for speed. It can be adjusted from 50 to 500 inches per minute, not great, but more than usable. Remember that the solid wire size range is 0.025 to 0.035 inches, and the cored wire size range is 0.030 to 0.045 inches.
The fact that the drive system is fully adjustable helps to ensure that there is no tangling. Moreover, related to this, the LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder can perform both MIG and flux core welding which makes it quite versatile as it can easily handle materials such as aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and some steel alloys.
The LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder is also easy to adjust in terms of the output and the arc, which means that you can get a good weld no matter the material thickness (to a certain extent of course). We know that the arc is very smooth, and it starts up with minimal spatter.
The numeric drive tension indicator identifies optimized ranges for different wire diameters, thus making it very beginner-friendly. What is also worth mentioning is that this unit features a brass-to-brass gun connection, something that helps increase conductivity a whole lot.
What we like about the LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 MIG Welder is that it is very versatile and easy to use. Now, it might not be quite as advanced or feature-heavy as other MIG welders, but considering the more-than-reasonable price, there is not much to complain about. It might not be the best welder in the world, but it is affordable, and it gets the job done.
Something not too impressive is that the wire feed speed tops out at 500 inches per minute, which is a fair bit slower than most others. Moreover, this unit works best for light-duty welding, but may not perform too well with heavier-duty applications.
- Adjustable input/output
- OK duty cycle for the price
- Adjustable wire feed speed
- High-conductivity gun
- Wire feed speed is not very fast
- Not ideal for heavier duty purposes
Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder
If you are looking for a very affordable MIG welder that can handle mostly smaller jobs, this Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder could be a great option for you to look into. It’s a good model to go for if you need something small and simple for basic welding tasks.
One thing that stands out about the Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder is that it is very lightweight at just 19 pounds, making it one of the smallest and lightest MIG welders on the list today. That, combined with its easy-carry handle, makes it highly portable. Not only is this unit portable, but quite durable too, as it features an all-metal case. It’s big and tough enough to handle up to 10-pound wire rolls.
Keep in mind that the Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder uses 0.30 flux core wire. Now, this unit is advertised as having an infinite wire feed speed control, but obviously, the speed cannot be infinite; the wire feed speed is fast enough to weld at a decent pace, although not quite as fast as other MIG welders we have looked at.
The Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder features an output that can be adjusted up to 140 amps. It may not be the most powerful unit on the market, but for such a small, portable, and affordable MIG welder, the amperage rating is not too bad. Keep in mind that this unit can be used to weld mild steel up to ¼ inches, and it can work for aluminum and normal steel as well, although the thickness of the materials is a bit limited.
Keep in mind that when operating at 90 amps, the Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder has a duty cycle of 30%, which means this unit can work for 3 out of every 10 minutes, requiring 7 minutes of rest in between sessions.
What we like about the Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder more than anything is its price. The fact of the matter is that this is one of the most affordable MIG welders on the market, and while it may not be the most powerful unit, it’s still big enough to get the job done, it is both durable and portable, and is quite adjustable too.
What we don’t like about the Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder is how the wire feed speed is quite slow when compared to other units, only about 3 inches per second. Moreover, the wire feed also seems to suffer from technical issues from time to time, sometimes stopping altogether.
- Good for basic use
- Decent duty cycle considering the price
- Relatively slow wire feed
- Wire feed often has technical difficulties
Everlast PowerMIG Welder
Here we have a good mid-range MIG and one thing that stands out about the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is how versatile it is in terms of its welding capabilities.
What stands out about the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is how versatile it is in terms of its welding capabilities. This unit is primarily a MIG welder, however, it also can perform flux core welding, and it is also capable of performing stick or SMAW welding. This alone might just make it the most versatile model that we have reviewed.
The 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is quite powerful, as it features a maximum output of 200 amps, and the amps are adjustable, as is the arc power, so you can get the perfect weld for various materials and material thicknesses. When running at 200 amps, this model features a duty cycle of 35%. This is quite good, as it means that out of every 10 minutes, 3.5 minutes can be spent welding.
In terms of input, the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is a dual voltage model, as it can handle both 120V and 240V power input. Keep in mind that this unit is spool gun-ready, although the spool gun is not included. When using a spool gun, not only is this unit capable of welding mild steel but aluminum as well.
Some other cool features that the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder comes with include an adjustable back burn control, automatic pre- and post-flow, an overcurrent and duty cycle warning system, and a Eurostyle quick-connect gun. All in all, for a reasonable price, it’s quite an impressive unit.
The good part about the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is that it is so versatile, it features a good duty cycle and more. Of course, the fact that you can perform MIG, flux core, and stick welding with the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is a bonus.
Something that we don’t like about the 2019 Everlast PowerMIG Welder is how the spool gun for aluminum welding is not included. This unit also seems to have somewhat limited durability.
- Good for many types of welding
- Good duty cycle
- Highly adjustable
- Not too large or heavy
- Reasonably priced considering the plethora of features
- Could do with an included spool gun
- Durability is somewhat questionable
Before you go out and buy the first MIG welder you see, let’s look at some of the main purchasing factors that you need to consider before buying one.
The most important thing for you to know is that MIG is just one type of welder and that there are others. MIG welding is a very easy process to learn, it allows for high welding speeds, good control on thinner metals, and you can use the same equipment for flux core welding.
Flux core welding works well on rusty material and for out-of-position welding, it features deep penetration and an increased metal deposition rate.
Then you have TIG welding, which provides high-quality and precise welds and is highly adjustable. The other main type is stick welding, which is great for outdoor conditions, is very forgiving, and works well for thicker materials.
The next thing to consider is how portable the MIG welder in question is. Simply put, how large is it? Does it have wheels? Does it have a comfortable handle for carrying? Also, consider if you need your welder to be portable, or if you are fine with a mostly stationary model.
One of the most important things to look for here is the duty cycle of the welder in question. This refers to how long the unit can operate at a certain amp output every 10 minutes. For example, if a welder has a duty cycle of 40%, it means that it can run for 4 out of every 10 minutes before it needs a rest. Simply put, the higher the duty cycle, the better.
Also, look for how heavy the welder is. Generally speaking, heavier welders will be larger, more powerful, and more durable, but you might not want something super heavy. There is a definite trade-off to think about here.
The next factor is how much power the welder has. In other words, what is the input, and what is the output? Without getting too technical here, for thicker materials, you need more power. So, for large-scale welding of thick materials, the more power your MIG welder can muster, the better off you will be.
Thermal Overload Protection
You should always look for a welder that comes with thermal overload protection, or in other words, a feature that turns the welder off when it gets too hot.
How to MIG Weld
MIG welding is the easiest type to master, but there are still many things you need to know. That said, it’s more than we can teach in just a few sentences, so here is a good video to get you started.
How Does a MIG Welder Work?
MIG welding is an arc welding process. A solid wire or electrode is fed through the welding gun and joined with the base materials using excessive electrically generated heat. In essence, MIG welders melt 2 metals together to form a solid connection or seam.
How to Set Up a MIG Welder
Once again, this is more than we can explain in a few sentences, so check out our included video on how to set up a MIG welder.
What is MIG Welding Used For?
If you have the right kind of MIG welder, it can be used to weld various materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, copper, nickel, silicon bronze, and other alloys.
What is Flux Core Wiring and Can My Welder Use It?
Flux core is different from solid wire, as it features a core made of various materials known as flux, which is a mixture of alloys and deoxidizers. Flux core is optimized for performance that cannot be achieved with solid wire. Unless specifically stated by the MIG welder in question, you may not be able to use flux core wire.
Today we have reviewed 5 of the top MIG welders, particularly models that are suited for beginners and don’t cost a fortune. Before you make a purchase, be sure to look at all of the important features and aspects, so you can be sure that the welder in question meets your needs.