Best MIG Welder 2018
The Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is a subtype of the Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and is one of the simplest forms. So, it is easy to learn and great for beginners. It uses electric arc forms to melt and join pieces of metal together. You need to point the welding gun in order to feed wire from the machine at the spot you need to weld and pull the trigger.
This kind of welding suits best for a wide range of different metals which includes aluminum, bronze, copper, steel, nickel and other alloys. Though it is very easy to operate, it is very difficult to choose the right option for you with so many available MIG Welding machines available in the market.
Compare: The 10 Top Rated MIG Welders
|1||Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 250 Amp MIG Welder With Wheel Kit & Cylinder Rack||Hobart||$$$$|
|2||Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP For Use with SpoolRunner 100||Hobart||$$$$|
|3||Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder||Lincoln Electric||$$$|
|4||Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit||Pro-series||$$|
|5||Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder||Lotos Technology||$$$|
|6||Chicago Electric Welding Systems 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder||Chicago Electric Welding Systems||$$|
|7||LONGEVITY Migweld 140 MIG Welder||Longevity||$$$|
|8||ARKSEN MIG-100 Gas-Less Flux Core Welder||ARKSEN||$$|
|9||MIG Welder, Handheld, 120/230VAC||Miller Electric||$$$$|
|10||Forney 304 MIG Welder 95FI-A Flux Core Only||Forney||$$|
Our MIG Welder Reviews
The user-friendly, lightweight, compact and portable Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder is an ideal choice for home repairs and light welding projects. It is manufactured by Lincoln Electric, one of the biggest American multinational companies and a global manufacturer of welding products. It can be plugged into the standard 115 Volts (V), 20 Amperes (amp) outlets and allows you to weld mild steel from 24 gauge to 1/8-inch thick.
This welder includes 6 contact tips, spool of strong cable, a chipping or hammer brush, gas nozzle, regulator and a gas hose for MIG welding. It also features a gas-less nozzle for flux-cored welding making it versatile. With the perfect combination of quality, performance, affordability and excellent features, it makes this welder a perfect choice for beginners or others looking for a fine welder for some light duty work.
- The welder is extremely handy as it gives you the option for both flex-cored and MIG welding with its wide range of features.
- It is ideal for several light welding works.
- It is lightweight weighing 49 pounds and the dimensions are 18 x 11 x 17 inches which makes it portable.
- It plugs into standard household 115V, 20 amp outlets making it easy for you to operate at different locations backing portability.
- It features a cold contactor which keeps the welding wire cold until gun trigger is pulled and prevents the electric switches from becoming overheated reducing the chances of an electric fire due to overheating.
- It is long-lasting and robust with quality parts from the trusted brand.
- It features an adjustable cable feed for better handling and cooling fan to ensure no overheating.
- This welder with great features and craftsmanship comes at an affordable price and gives you the full value of money.
- There is no gas gauge which will not let you know when you are running low on gas. However, with proper planning you will be able to tackle it.
- This is not recommended for heavy duty usage and may get damaged if used.
- It has a limitation to weld up to one-eighth inches of mild steel and you cannot use beyond that thickness.
- It comes with only one-year limited warranty which is low for a premium product like this.
The Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP is perfect for all household welding and is also a handy tool for the professionals. It is manufactured by the legendary name in welding supply manufacturers, Hobart. It works with any metal and can weld steel from a 24 gauge up to 3/8-inch. It gives you the flexibility to use either 115V or 220V with 4 voltage settings at 115-volt and 7 voltage settings at 230-volt for better wire feed speed control.
At 115V and 90 amps, it provides a duty cycle of 20% and at 230V and 150 amps, the duty cycle is 30%. It features a cast aluminum drive system and also gives you the luxury of flux-cored welding apart from MIG welding.
- It requires low skill level making it ideal for starters and you can easily master it within a few days of practice. It is also easy to set-up.
- The input power can be easily switched between 115V and 230V with 4 voltage settings at 115V and 7 voltage settings at 230V. Also, it can be plugged in anywhere with the dual-voltage MVP plug aiding portability.
- It is designed to be compact making it easier for you to carry it around for your welding projects weighing 87 lb.
- With a fine duty cycle, you will be able to complete your welding works quickly and flexible for any welding projects.
- The built-in spool gun control circuitry helps you to weld aluminum with the optional SpoolRunner 100 direct plug-in spool gun.
- The built-in contactor safety feature keeps the wire feed cold when not in use and the self-resetting thermal overload safety protection does not let the machine to overheat causing accidents.
- The product is backed by Hobart’s 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty.
- The price is on the higher side but is worth your money.
- Some users might think the cables are short.
- It is not recommended for heavy duty usage.
Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 250 Amp MIG Welder With Wheel Kit & Cylinder Rack – Best MIG Welder Overall
The Hobart 500536 Ironman 230 250 Amp MIG Welder is the one of the best available machines available in the market which can not only be used for small household projects but also for industrial heavy duty usage. It is also manufactured by Hobart, the biggest brand in welding business. It can be easily set up and used providing flawless weld.
- You can easily weld mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Simply, use the optional Hobart DP-3545-20 spool gun for welding aluminum from 18 gauge to 1/2 inch.
- It is designed to be versatile with both flux-cored and MIG welding.
- With a duty cycle of 60% at 175 amps you can get the job done in lesser time with efficiency.
- You can easily control the voltage to ensure proper power control for optimized results with the twelve tap voltage control settings.
- It is highly recommended for heavy duty usage as it produces 30-250 amps of power.
- The arc provides perfect weld reducing splatter and post-welding cleanup.
- It features an aluminum wire drive system which delivers 0 – 700 IPM wire feed speed with infinite control for precision and better penetration.
- The built-in heat overload protection shuts down the machine in case of overheating which is one of the biggest safety features.
- It comes with a 200 amp MIG gun, regulator, extra contact tips, 2 plastic cable hangers with mounting hardware, 5 feet (ft.) gas hose, 10 ft. work cable with clamp and 0.030/0.035 inches dual groove drive roll for all types of welding on any material.
- As for all Hobart welders, this also comes with 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty.
- The product is quite expensive but as it provides industrial heavy duty usage, it seems to be reasonable.
- Weighing 270 pounds, it is very difficult to carry it around.
Our Top Rated MIG Welders
What Is An MIG Welder?
An MIG Welder is a tool used to initiate wire feed, electric power and shielding gas flow to produce electric arc forms for the welding process. This arc causes heat, which melts the metal and bonds it together, a process known as welding. It is very easy to operate and ideal for novice. It is also easier to use than a standard TIG welder. Though TIG welders are great for aluminum and thinner metals, MIG welders can also be used for the same. However, MIG welders work best with sheet metals of various kinds.
While most digitalized MIG welders automatically regulate the electrical arc forms, you need to be extremely careful with the manual ones for welding direction, amperage level, speed and torch positioning in order to avoid accidents.
What Are The Advantages Of Using An MIG Welder?
MIG welders are a more preferred choice than TIG or stick welders because MIG welding can be performed upon any material, thick or thin. Also, TIG welding takes a lot of time to be mastered whereas you can learn and master MIG welding within a few days of practice and is highly recommended for beginners. The simplicity of the MIG welding process gives you better control effortlessly.
Good MIG welders helps you to obtain great welding speed making the work less time consuming and aids to your artistry on thinner materials. They are also easy to maintain and repair costing lesser than other welders.
What Are The Different Types of MIG Welders?
Before you make your purchase, you need to know what types of MIG welders are available to you, and which one best fits your needs. Basically, there are two types of MIG welders based on their structure and functionality.
- Gas based MIG Welder – Shielding gases are used in order to protect the welding area from interference of nitrogen or oxygen which causes porosity, fusion defects or makes the metal brittle. The choice of the shielding gas is mainly dependent on the type of material and process used for welding. Also, this choice decides the quality of welding and portability of the welder. The inert gases such as helium or argon are used for non-ferrous materials while the low-cost attractive choice of carbon dioxide allows deeper penetration but generates oxide formation affecting the quality of the weld.
- Gasless or Flux-cored Welder – It avoids the cost of shielding gases making it portable and uncomplicated. The flux core wire creates a shield around the welding area to prevent atmospheric gases. The gasless welder gives deeper penetration which makes it ideal for thicker materials but is not recommended for thinner materials. It has a great advantage for outdoor on-site welding and is perfect for beginners.
Considerations for Choosing the Best MIG Welder
Before you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on this type of equipment, you want to make sure you get the best value for your money, as well as a machine that fits your needs. You need to make the right choice when it comes to buying an MIG welder and there are a lot of things to look for before you invest your money. As there are many available welders in the market with various features, prices and accessories, you need to pay great attention to all the specifications and reviews posted for the different models in order to make the correct choice.
- Input Power – MIG welders usually run on 110 Volts or 220 Volts. The lower voltage is ideal for home-based welding projects which work with thin metals while the higher voltage requires the machine to use more power and is used for industry-level welding projects. Very thick materials can be welded with high voltage as it provides deeper penetration. Some advanced models come with automatic setting of voltages required for the material to be welded.
- Wire Size and Type – The wire diameter decides the speed of the welding process. ER70S-3 and ER70S-6 are the two types of wires generally used for MIG welders. The ER70S-3 is designed for all welding purposes while the ER70S-6 is primarily used for rusty and untidy surfaces as it contains more deoxidizers.
- Thickness of Material – You might need to weld a variety of metal thicknesses and almost every welder has the settings for controlling the power you need but you need to check the maximum and minimum recommended metal thicknesses of the welder while making the purchasing decision.
- Duty Cycle – You can weld for a longer period with a high duty cycle welder helping you to get more work done in lesser time. If your welder’s duty cycle is 30%, you will be able to weld 3 minutes in every 10 minute interval.
- Heat Overload Protection – It is one of the most important features to safeguard you, the workplace and the welding machine itself. In case the machine gets too hot, it shuts down automatically as safety is very important.
- Portability – You will never like to carry a heavy-weight or huge welding machine for on-site projects so you also need to consider the weight and size of the welder.
- Brand – The welders manufactured by top-rated brands can be relied upon for their quality.
While the above three reviewed MIG welders are worth looking into, the best advice is to do your own research of the product specifications of the models that best fit your work. You need to be absolutely clear about your requirements to make the correct choice. Even if you buy a good welder, lack of proper protection and right technique may be accidental.