Welding is an art form that requires practice and skill. As a skilled profession, welders must choose from a wide array of options. A person can choose from TIG, MIG, ARC, or a variety of other types of welding. One of the most well-known types is MIG. MIG welding is excellent for those who want to open a business or just complete projects at home. MIG welding is also the perfect choice for the beginner. It is incredibly versatile. MIG welding is also considered to be one of the simplest to learn. Whether a person wants to start offering welding services or he or she is a welding hobbyist, one piece of must-have gear is a MIG welder. Automobile restoration, metal fabrication, or any other renovation purpose can be completed efficiently and effectively with a MIG welding machine. With the different options and variables, it can be challenging to choose the perfect welder. Do not worry, though. This review and buying guide was created to make purchasing a MIG welder easy.
Top 5 Best Mig Welder Comparison Chart
The 5 Best MIG Welders – Reviews
1. Lincoln Electric Handy Core
If an easy to transport, lightweight welder is needed, this Lincoln Electric is an excellent choice for light-duty projects. It weighs around 45 pounds, making it one of the lightest options on the list. Even though the K2278-1 is lightweight, it is still incredibly durable. Lincoln Electric is known for products that are made to last, and this reputation backs the K2278-1. Some people will look at the compact size of this welder and decide it is not durable. However, don’t let the size fool you because the exterior is made from durable aluminum, and the interior is strong metal and plastic.
A feature of this welder is it is ready to use out of the box. The box comes with the welder, a clamp, some sample wire, and a shield. With these items, a beginner can take on household projects without spending extra money on the supplies, which allows them to get some experience before spending extra money. The manufacturer of this welder wanted to ensure the beginner could begin to start welding as soon as the box was opened, so they went the extra mile. Lincoln Electric attached the gun and cable assembly, work lead, input power cable, and the work clamp before the unit even left the factory.
This welder is fabulous for flux core and mild steel welding up to 1/8 inches thick. If the do-it-yourself project requires more, this welder is probably not the best choice. This unit will plug into a household 115 volt, 20-amp outlet. Another excellent feature of the Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core is a safety feature. This feature is referred to as a cold contractor safety feature. It ensures the welder wire stays electrically “cold” unless the trigger on the gun is pressed.
- Easy to setup
- Excellent for small projects
- Not efficient for heavy-duty work
- Does not use gas
2. SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder
The SUNGOLDPOWER MIG welder is an inverter-based welder, which means it can handle stick-based, TIG, and MIG welding. When this welder is being used for heavy duties, the cooling fan helps the welder to remain calm. It also comes with a feature to protect against over-heating, which adds another layer of safety. The welder is perfect for those individuals who are looking to optimize his or her workload. It comes with 110 volts and 220 volts adapters to make it easy to operate this unit in a wide variety of different situations. These two options also allow this unit to be used in almost any electrical situation.
The SUNGOLDPOWER welder can be used as a gas-less flux-cored welder or as a gas-shielded MIG welder. It is suitable for a two-pound or ten-pound wire spool. With the high-quality wire feeder, the user will find that this device provides a more stable and friendlier user experience. This device could also be an excellent choice as an option for welding on a variety of different materials. These materials could include mild steel, iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, and a variety of other metal materials. This welder may also be appropriate for aluminum.
The unit comes with 78.7 inches of MIG torch and 59 inches with an earth clamp. A small amount of flux-core wire, mask, and brush are included to ensure a variety of different welding needs. These attachments help to ensure the user experiences a simple start to welding.
- 110 and 220-volt adapters
- Protection again over-heating
- 140 amps output
- Weight may be an issue
3. Hobart Handler MIG Welder – Best Value
The Hobart company has been in business for over 100 years and understands how to produce a powerful, versatile, and efficient MIG welder. This model of Hobart comes equipped with all the bells and whistles necessary to complete almost any task. The 500553 is one of Hobart’s best-selling welders with an almost perfect 5-star rating. This unit was created with more experienced users in mind because it is able to complete the more complex projects without issue. However, it is simple enough to use that a beginner will not have any problems.
This heavy-duty welder is ready to use right out of the box. It comes with easy to read instructions with illustrations. It will deliver 210-amps of power ensuring superior performance. This device is also extremely versatile. It can run on 115V or 230V input power without using any tools. It also can weld mild steel, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, casts steels, and a variety of other metals. This ability to accommodate such a wide array of metal makes this the perfect machine for those individuals who are wanting an industrial unit.
The company recommends the user of this product to purchase the optional Spool Runner 100 spoon gun. This purchase is not necessary, but it is an excellent gun that attaches quickly to this welder. The gun will help provide a precise and quick weld, especially when welding aluminum. This welder offers seven voltage settings to ensure the perfect match can be found. It also provides a drive roll system that can be quickly changed. The 500553 model welds 24 gauge to 3/8 inch mild steel, which makes it fabulous for a variety of jobs.
- Multi-function plug feature
- Cast aluminum drive system
- Weighs 87 pounds
- Spool gun not included
4. Forney Easy Weld MIG Welder – Premier Choice
This welder is a little different than some of the others on this list because it uses MIG welder settings for welding aluminum. These settings also include a wire speed feature to ensure a fabulous weld is achieved every time. This machine utilizes a 0.30 flux core wire with a powerful 140-amp output. With this amount of output, the user could easily handle steel up to an amazing ¼ inch plate. This welder can handle gas less or flux-core welding with ease. With the select control settings and this amount of power, this welder is the perfect choice for a beginner.
Forney made this machine to be transportable. It weighs only 19 pounds, which means a separate cart is not necessary. With a handle located on the upper part of the welder, it also means that one person can carry the unit from one job to the next without having to ask for help. When designing this welder, Forney made durability one of their top priorities. It is covered in an all-metal case meant for endurance. Even though this welder only weighs 19 pounds, it was built to handle two to ten-pound rolls of wire.
When the user opens the box of this welder, he or she will find everything necessary to beginning a welding project right away. It comes with an 8 inch MIG gun, handle with torch wrap, 8-inch ground clamp, instruction manual, and a 20A-15A adapter. Each of these attachments come with a warranty.
- Standard household power needed
- 19 pounds
- A substantial set of attachments
- Not appropriate for more experienced welders
5. Hobart Handler MIG Welder – Best Overall
Similar to the previously discussed Hobart, the 500559 is back by 100 years of experience and knowledge of welders from a well-established company. This welder is incredibly versatile, allowing the user to finish a variety of home projects such as BBQ pits, trailers, work machinery, ornamental designs, and much more. The performance of this welder comes in at a comfortable 140A. It has a duty cycle of 20%@90 amperes. This amount is enough for almost all types of metal involving household projects and chores.
The 500559 is capable of welding thin materials by using the capacity/ function. These materials include stainless steel, aluminum, and steel. Using the flux-core option, this welder can also handle thicker stainless steel and steel projects. The unit can weld items from 24 gauge to ¼ inch in thickness. This range makes this an excellent choice for rental shops, maintenance, home repairs, farm use, construction, auto bodywork, and a variety of other welding environments.
The rapid releasement drive roll levers and built-in wire feeding features are additional advantages of this welder. The integrated, ready-to-go contractor is an excellent safety feature associated with the Hobart. This safety feature ensures the wires are electrically cold when the operator is not using the device. Another safety feature of this welder is the self-reset thermal feature. This feature helps to eliminate overloading the system. This device also has a unique motor damage protection feature, which will ensure the welder lasts for years. The short circuit protection against current overloads also makes this a durable piece of equipment.
- Less welding spatter
- Low operator skills needed
- Quick equipment set-up
- May need a gas cylinder
- May not be the best choice more substantial jobs
What Features Should Be In A Best Mig Welder
When people begin welding, they typically do not entirely understand the process and struggle to pick a welder. The MIG welding basics can be challenging to grasp; however, if a person sticks with it, he or she will benefit from learning these basics. MIG welding techniques lead to excellent welds. Whether a person is an expert in MIG welding or just starting, the unit chosen will make a significant difference in the welding experience. MIG welders are also excellent for a variety of projects such as automotive work, farm equipment repair, and mechanical work. In this guide, things to consider when purchasing a MIG welder will be discussed.
When choosing a Best MIG welder, a wide array of choices is available. Various expert welders will suggest purchasing a unit with the capability to connect a gas cylinder. Others will say a gas cylinder is not necessary. Many of the available welders only offer flux core welding. This type of wire is prevalent. However, the one main drawback of this type of welding is it creates a slag coating on the weld because of the lack of shielding gas. This coating has to be chipped away.
- Spoon Gun
A spoon gun is typically an option when purchasing a welder. A spoon gun is generally needed when welding aluminum. Aluminum is incredibly hard to weld without this option. Some individuals do not want to spend the extra money on this ability. However, if a person expects to weld aluminum at any point, it is an excellent idea to have this capability. Most hobby sized welder does not give this option. Even if the welder does have this option, a person typically has to purchase the optional aluminum spool gun. However, after purchase, the gun can easily connect, and it is ready to go.
When a welder is classified, the amperage they produce during a particular duty cycle is typically used. The amperage can be defined as the amount of heat that can be created. The duty cycle is the time a welder (during a 10-minute period) can produce at a particular amperage without overheating. Thicker metal requires welding at a high amperage for more extended periods. So, if the project involves dense metal, a welder with a high duty cycle is probably necessary. However, a person should not focus on the duty cycle when choosing a welder. It should just be a consideration.
Before purchasing a MIG welder, it is vital to ensure that the home is equipped with the proper electric outlets. With a 110 volt machine, the user can plug it into any household 110-volt outlet. This fact makes a 110-volt welder a useful piece of equipment to use. However, 110-volt limits the amount of amperage a welder can produce. If the projects involve metals 1/8 inch or less thick, than a 110-volt welder is an excellent choice. However, a 220-volt welder is the best choice if the project involves ½ inch dense metal in one pass. A 220-volt outlet must be available to power this type of welder.
These machines are priced typically according to the available features. However, most welders offer a variety of options, such as flux-core and stick capabilities. Some welders offer a 2T/4T function, which will change the trigger from an automatic feed trigger to a manual feed. When deciding on a MIG welder, amperage, and wire feeding dial are two features that can have a significant difference in the ability to weld. The broader range of settings allows for adjusts to accommodate a broader range of materials and positions. The higher range of settings helps ensure all types of welding can be covered. This setting will also help to reduce the amount of spatter.
This article has contained a wide variety of welders from an array of trusted brands. These brands have an established reputation that cannot be beaten. All of these welders are impressive in their own right and can be adapted to the person’s skill level. After reading these reviews and the buyer’s guide, a customer should know exactly what to look for when purchasing a new welder. The top five welders have been reviewed, and features have been discussed. Hopefully, this information will make purchasing the best welder for the needs of the customer a simple process. When picking a top model of the five, it is difficult.
The best model should be based on the needs of the individual user. For example, Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core is an excellent choice for anyone who is completing small projects at home. This welder also comes with a warranty to help ensure long-lasting performance. The Forney Welder is an excellent choice for the beginner because it is quick to connect and begin welding. It also is one of the most affordable units on the list. When choosing any of these models, it has to be an individual decision. As with any skill, welding requires practice, and a person will only practice on a machine he or she enjoys. With the various options associated with MIG welders, anyone can find the perfect match. Hopefully, all of the needed information has been included here to ensure a fabulous decision. So, pick a welder and start making sparks.
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