The Best Mig Welders – A Complete Guide

Mig Welder

Besides welding skills, another essential feature all successful welders – a person who specializes in fusing metals – have in common is a high-performing welding machine. A popular machine among beginners and professionals alike is the Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding, a subset of the GMAW or Gas Metal Arc Welding process.  Unlike most of the other types of welders, an MIG welding machine is easy to learn and master, relatively less expensive, and generally more portable, making it a highly coveted device. This article presents a complete guide to finding the best Mig welders and reviews of some of the best MIG welding machines out there.  

Factors To Consider When Buying the Best Mig Welder. 

The best welding machine is one that meets the specific needs of the welder’s projects. The following considerations will guide you in making the right choice. 

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Simple Controls 

If you are a beginner, there are certain features you should look for in a welding machine. Your ideal machine should have the ability to automate the electrical output, wire feed, and voltage and handle various weld types and transfers. More importantly, the machine should have straightforward controls that will allow for easy manipulation. 

Power Source 

It is crucial to use a welder with a simple and standard power input – a welder that has the standard outlet 110-120 volt input should suffice for over 90% of your welding jobs. Most MIG welding is low voltage, so you won’t need higher input devices or spend more money on a multi-voltage input machine. 

Consistent Welds/Quality 

mig welding

Needless to say, the level of quality offered by a welding machine is paramount to your considerations. While consistent and quality welds require continuous practice, buying a good welder goes a long way to making them happen sooner. 

Weight & Portability 

These factors are crucial when deciding on the welding machine to acquire, particularly when most of your projects require you to move around. However, if they reverse is the case – if you are going to mount your welder and bring the work to it – the weight and portability may not matter to you as much. A welder that weighs 50 pounds or less is considered portable and ideal for carting around on a whim, while 100 pounds is regarded as unsuitable for regular movement. 

Easy To Setup & Use 

Whether you are a beginner or a professional welder, having a welding machine that is easy to set up and use is valuable. That said, you should look for a welder with simple controls, easily followed instructions, and the ability for some leniency in the settings is well worth a slightly higher investment price.

The Best Mig Welders

Hobart Handler 210 MIG Welder

Hobart has built an impressive reputation over the years and thus a respectable name in the welding space. Its Handler 210 is an industrial-grade 220/240 volt MIG welder that’s able to weld aluminum perfectly. To ensure the safety of its users, the machine’s electrode stays electrically cold until you pull the trigger.  Another essential feature of the Hobart Handler 210 MIG Welder is its ease of use. It is spoon gun ready, which means all you have to do is plug in the spool gun, set polarity, load up a spool of aluminum wire and start welding. 

ProsCons
It is an Industrial-quality aluminum driveAdjustment for wire spool requires a wrench
It is spoon gun readyMaximum aluminum thickness is 3/16-inch
Not heavy at 65 pounds
It comes with a Dual-gauge regulator

Eastwood MIG 135 Industrial MIG Welder

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The Eastwood MIG 135 industrial 110V Welder gives you value for your money. It offers infinite adjustment from 25-135 amps, enough range for 24 gauge sheet metal to a 1/4-inch steel plate, and a setup chart on the case cover. Similar to Hobart, it spools gun compatible and can be used to weld aluminum, with a 1/4-inch maximum thickness. 

The Eastwood MIG 135 industrial 110V Welder is a versatile, easy-to-use 110-volt machine and a great choice for building roll cages or doing chassis work. 

ProsCons
Industry-grade Tweco-type torchIts wire drive is plastic
It is spool gun compatibleIts flux core drive costs extra
Offers infinite adjustment controls and setup chart on machine door
It mounts both 4- and 8-inch spools

Lotos MIG140

The Lotos MIG140 140 Amp welder is a complete package. It is built with sturdy materials to withstand little accidents in the workspace, offers a great price – you can take it home for under $300- and it comes with essential accessories for someone getting started. What’s more, the device performs consistently well and also comes with a 1-year warranty – sounds too good to be true, right? 

ProsCons
It is very affordableSignificant wire feed issues 
It can be used for multiple purposes
Offer durability 
It comes with a variety of automatic wire feeder
 

Forney Easy Weld 261

This machine is one of the best MIG welders for beginners. It is light and portable, easy to use and set up, and offers a simplified dial control to make the learning curve much smaller. Unfortunately, the Easy Weld 261 isn’t suitable for journeymen welders and experts. If you are setting up a small shop in your home or want a portable machine to learn on, the Forney model is your best bet. 

ProsCons
Exceptionally lightweight – only 19 pounds.It isn’t well suited for serious jobs or professional welders.
Designed for novices¼ inch is its maximum welding capacity

Hobart Ironman 250 MIG Welder

The Hobart Ironman 240 welder is an industry-grade device that offers a wide range of power from 30 to 280 amps in a heavy-duty American-made chassis and a “soft arc” technology for an easier striking, more spatter-free arc. Aluminum welders will find the machine very useful as it comes with a SpoolRunner 200 spool gun for a few hundred extra bucks.

ProsCons
It is very similar to Miller 252 but cheaperIt is unable to run off of a generator
Its control knobs easy to use with gloves
It can be adjusted for different materials

Lincoln Electric Pro MIG 180 220v MIG Welder

The Lincoln Electric Pro MIG welder is one of the best professional welding machines in the market. It has brass-to-brass connections, a solid metal wire drive, a 220v / 240-volt input, and many other features that accentuate its professional quality. Perhaps the machine’s greatest advantage is that it can be weld on everything from thin sheet metal on a car grille all the way up to frame modifications on the same vehicle, including metal up to ½-inch thick.

ProsCons
It is spool gun readyIt only runs on 208/220/240-volt input, so not as portable as a 110v model.
It offers a durable cast aluminum wire feed drive
It comes with gasless and MIG nozzles
Its Diamond Core makes the arc more forgiving

Millermatic 211 MIG Welder

The Millermatic 211 MIG Welder is another incredible professional welder. Not only is it able to run from 110 or 240 inputs, but when connected to the 240 sides, it delivers a 40 percent duty cycle at 150 amps. On household 110, it delivers a 20 percent duty cycle at 115 amps. hanks to its lightweight, it’s perfect for jobs that require a lot of movement. 

ProsCons
It is lightweightSome welders feel the grounding clamp is too cheap
It offers a 120/240-volt inputSome units have a faulty wire feed stool
It doesn’t produce much sound when running
Features a solid metal wire drive, professional power, and dual-input versatility

Conclusion

It’s common knowledge that welding can be a challenging undertaking, especially without the right tools. This is why we created this guide. It contains some of the best MIG welding machines available, their feature, pros, and cons, along with factors to consider when in the market for a MIG welder. So whether you are a novice or an expert, this primer is relevant to you. You might also consider a TIG welder for your project.  Check out our Best TIG Welders article. 

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