MIG welding is quite a common arc welding process. It is a process where a continuous solid wire is fed through a welding gun into a weld pool. After this process is complete, the two base materials are joined together. This welding process is one of the easiest, and thus it is most common among learners.
A MIG welder is a machine that is used to carry out MIG welding. The best MIG welders make the process of MIG welding easy and enjoyable. MIG welding guarantees a higher rate of productivity compared to other forms of welding. The fact that it is a simple procedure further endears it to people who are just getting started in the art of welding.
MIG welding can, however, become stressful and frustrating when one does not possess the right MIG welder. Hence, this article will guide you through the features and the pros and cons of the best MIG welders available in the market. With this information, you will be able to pick the one that is most suitable for your use.
Our Top 3 MIG welders Comparison Table
Best Mig Welder for Beginners [110V & 220V]
01.Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V is one of the best MIG welders for beginners. The reason for this is not difficult to fathom. This product is equipped with the ability to weld up to 24 gauges and 1/4 in mild steel. It is very suitable for welding metals such as Magnesium Alloys, Copper, Cast Iron, Brass, Titanium, Flux Cored- Aluminum, Cast Iron, and Titanium.
Another amazing feature of this product is that it does not require a lot of electricity supply for you to use it. It also operates at a reasonable speed. It also poses a 5-position voltage control selector. This makes the welding process smooth and ensures a stable arc at all welding thicknesses.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V is easy to use and, therefore, ideal for beginners. On top of its high performance, it is a very affordable product. However, in comparison with other MIG welders, its penetration is not high quality.
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02.Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit is a MIG welder suitable for people getting grips with MIG welding. It is among the best MIG welder for home use. This welder has an external shade selector knob with a grind option, which makes it possible for quick shade modifications.
It is also embedded with internal switch controls, which include high and low sensitivity and delay adjustments. This product has been equipped with everything that is needed to make the welding process hassle-free. This product has every part numbered to make it easy in case you need to reorder it.
Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit is not only easy to use, but it is simplified for effectiveness. Like every average MIG welder, this product guarantees you high productivity at low-cost. The welder is also affordable and readily available.
03.Miller Electric 120/240VAC
Miller Electric 120/240VAC is also among the best professional mig welder. This top-quality welder is easy and simple to use. It can be used to work on Aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel. For Aluminum, it can work with as high as 18 gauge to 3/8″. For Mild Steel, it can be used to work on a material that is as thick as 24 gauge to 3/8″. While for Stainless Steel, it can be used to work on the material as high as 20 gauge to 1/4″.
The Miller welder comes along with a MIG Gun, a Work Cable with Built-In Gas Solenoid Valve, Clamp, and a dual Gauge Regulator with Gas Hose. It is also equipped with Advanced Auto-SetTM, Smooth-StartTM, Auto Spoolgun Detect, Angled Cast-Aluminum Drive System, and Quick SelectTM Drive Roll, which makes the welder more outstanding.
On top of this, it features a Thermal Overload Protection, which ensures that the welder does not get spoilt as a result of overheating. Miller MIG welder is worth every penny due to its amazing features.
04.Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder falls in the category of 110v MIG welder. This welder offers you the opportunity to weld both flux-cored and MIG with a shielding gas that is purchased separately.
One major feature that makes this welder stand out is its portability. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. It is not an issue to move around as you carry out the welding process with no issue.
This Lincoln Electric welder is simply designed for effectiveness. It also has a cold contactor safety feature, which ensures that you are safe as you work. This feature ensures the wire remains cold until you pull the gun trigger to heat it. The welder is also quite affordable too. However, it does not have a gas gauge and has a limited spool capacity.
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05.Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder
Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder, 120-Volt, 125-Amp is one of the best MIG welders under 500 you will get in the market. This welder is embedded with amazing features that make it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a MIG welder in the 110v category. It is also designed for both experts and beginners.
Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC welder is lightweight, portable, and thus easy to use. The ability to move it around while you work makes the welding process much easier. Besides, all you need to do is plug the welder to a power supply, and you are good to go. This welder has additional storage for more wire spool options.
06.LONGEVITY Migweld 140 Amp
“LONGEVITY Migweld 140 Amp is one of the most versatile MIG welders. The welder is ideal for both experts and beginners. The welder will comfortably work for Aluminum and other kinds of exotic metal. This 110v welder is easy and fast to set up. All you have to do is connect it to your wall outlet. Another intriguing feature of this MIG welder is that it can be used whether there is gas or not. It is a powerful welder that can cut through 3/8’’ mild steel.
Longevity Migweld welder runs at a standard power cord of 110v and can hold up to 11 lbs. This product is versatile and can be used on both Flux-Core and Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding. It is a lightweight welder and easy to move around with. Getting the accessories of this MIG welder is also quite easy in your local automotive shop, which is a great advantage. This welder is perfect to use on repair, shop, and home welding.
07.Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Wire Welder
Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder is one of the best welders of the 220v category. This welder is embedded with unique and interesting features. It is easy to use welder, which makes it an ideal option for DIY. You can use the SpoolRunner 100 spool gun for welding aluminum.
This Hobart Handler welder has a dual gauge regulator with an associated gas hose. It features a power cable that has interchangeable plugs. The user can, therefore, switch between 115v and 230 V plugs easily. The gun comes with a 10-foot working cable and a 10-foot rounding cable. This product is effective when it comes to the welder of Non-ferrous metals.
Hobart MIG welder works with 4 or 8-inch reels. It is ideal for beginners and experts who need to get some fabricated work done since it has clear-cut and easy to operate controls. On the downside, the on-off switch and ground wire are stiff.
08.Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Mp
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Mp is an epitome of effectiveness and affordability. This MIG welder can be used by both experts and beginners who are learning about welding. This welder can be used to carry out various forms of welding, such as the stick, TIG, and flux-cored welding. It, therefore, gives you the option to make a variety of welds depending on the material.
It has a color display screen and is also embedded in push-and-turn digital controls. Hence, setting up this product is easy as it is a welder designed to suit the 21st-century man. The Lincoln Electric welder has a dual voltage input, which makes it possible for you to plug it into a common power supply.
Another interesting feature of the Lincoln electric powering is its portability. You can easily move it around when welding making your work easier. It is, however, worthy of mention that this product is only suitable for DC TIG and DC Stick Weld jobs but not suitable for AC TIG or AC Stick Weld.
09.LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 Welder
MIG Welder, Handheld, 208/230VAC stands out in MIG welders of the 220V category. This welder is equipped with amazing features such as the ability to set up for gas-free flux core welding or gas-shielded MIG welding. MIG works on various metals such as steel, stainless, and Aluminum.
This MIG welder features an impressive fire speed control, and it has a brass-to-brass gun connection. The brass-to-brass gun connection is the reason for the enhanced conductivity this product is famous for. The welder also has a fully adjustable drive system. What this does is that the risk of wire tangling and crushing is reduced to the barest minimum.
This handheld MIG welder guarantees unusual wire alignment. This is because the body of this MIG welder is made of cast Aluminum, which confers a much-needed rigidity on its drive. The welder is also lightweight and easy to carry around. As a result of the numerous amazing features embedded in this product, you will get a good value for your money if you buy one. It is, however, not suitable for heavy-duty welding.
10.LOTOS MIG175 175AMP MIG Welder
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder is another MIG welder with superior quality. It has argon shielding and works well with flux core and comes with its own gas regulator. You will be glad to have this MIG welder at your disposal because it is simply designed to get the job done. It can weld various metals, including steel, Aluminum, and Stainless steel. It is also suitable for various sized wire reels.
This is a tested and trusted product that makes welding easy on the eye as it evenly feeds the wire as well as the flux core. You can be sure of quality work when you use this welder as the impurities that could have affected the quality of work done are trapped by the argon gas.
Any welding job done with this MIG welder is without doubt top quality and will be rated high if tested with Max flux and X-ray scan. This MIG welder has a reliable arc that keeps it heated when required. The only issue with this product is that it is not suitable for people involved in the production line.
11.Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder, 230-Volt
Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder, 230-Volt, is another top quality MIG welder among the lot of the 220v category. It has a wide range of features that only the best MIG welders possess. It can be utilized for general fabrication and by people on their boats, farms, automotive, as well as repair welding.
This Forney MIG welder is embedded with a gas hose and regulator, 10 feet welding torch, 15 feet power cord, and a ground clamp that makes it suitable for both MIG and Flux-Cored welding. Apart from cast iron, this product also works well when welding stainless steel, mild steel, and Aluminum. The previous of this product is also of high quality. However, the latest version has been upgraded, which has further improved its effectiveness.
This MIG welder is simply designed to handle rugged and heavy-duty jobs. In case of a missing part, there is no cause for alarm because the parts of this MIG welder are replaceable. This product, without any doubt, is a top-quality product due to its effectiveness. It, however, does not represent the best option when it comes to portability.
Things to Consider Before Buying MIG Welder
Getting a high-quality MIG welder that fits your budget and suit your application can be a challenging process. It is necessary to do thorough research before you invest. These are the crucial things to consider in a MIG welder before you make the purchase:
A MIG welder can require a gas cylinder, flux-cored or have both capabilities. Flux core MIG welders tend to be more appealing since the user does not have to hook up a gas cylinder. A flux core MI welder creates a slang layer that needs to be chipped away. However, there are welders in the market which have two capabilities. It would be advisable to purchase the one with the two functions to get maximum diversity.
Nature of the Weld
One crucial thing that should lead the type of welder you buy is the welds you intend to make. A professional and hobbyists have different needs. Consider how thick the materials you want to weld are. Simple repairs like those of motorcycles require a welder who can handle 1/16 inches to 1/8 inches. Heavy-duty repairs, which are mainly done by professionals, need a strong welder, which handles materials between 3/16 inches to ¼ inches thick.
Different MIG welders differ in input voltages. Before you purchase, it is important to consider the input voltage of the welder so that they can match with the outlet where you are welding. The majority of the welders are 220/225/230V or 110/115/120V. Some MIG welders have both capabilities. Get a welder with an input voltage that will be able to fulfill your needs.
The user might require a different output power depending on what he/she is welding. Most MIG manufacturers have a chart on the welder, which assists you in choosing the right settings so that you can get a high-quality weld.
Size and Portability
Consider selecting the best MIG welder, which is lightweight and easy to carry around. Look at the weight and size of the welder before you purchase. If you will be leaving the workshop to go welding elsewhere, then a lightweight welder is quite advisable.
However, if you will just be using it in the workshop, then portability might not be a priority. You can get a small and high weight welder with 25lbs. These welders have inverter technology, which reduces their weight significantly, unlike the heavy transformer models. If you want a heavy MIG welder, you can get one weight as much as 200lbs and above.
The duty cycle is a crucial consideration depending on the length of time you will be welding. A MIG welder with a high duty cycle allows you to weld for a long time continuously. The duty cycle is written as a percentage of a period of 10 minutes. It shows how long the welder can be used before it overheats.
High output power welders have a low duty cycle since they take longer to cool down. Small welders with no cooling systems also have a low duty cycle. If you do not want a welder, which will overheat, purchase the one with thermal overload protection. This feature will stop the process when you exceed the duty cycle, thus protecting the welder from damage.
You will need a MIG welder with a spool gun when welding aluminum. Most of the small welders do not have the ability for the task, and thus you should look out for it. If you decide to buy a spool gun, consider the one with a quick-release feature.
Brand and Warranty
It is vital to buy a welder from a reliable welder. Different manufacturers give different support, but the reputable ones like Lincoln, Everlast, Miller, and Hobart have stood the test of time. Always remember to check the warranty given. You can, therefore, be guaranteed of their high quality and durability.
The best MIG professional MIG welder should have some safety features. Some of the safety features a MIG welder should have an inbuilt contactor and thermal overload protection. Thermal overload protection prevents the user from running to the risk of overheating. It will shut off the welder automatically when it finishes its duty cycle. An inbuilt contactor keeps the wires cold, thus offering a safe working environment. It also switches the power supply automatically when you pull the trigger.
Controls and Functionality
Functionality is a key consideration when buying a MIG welder. Look for how easy it is to install the welder, responsiveness of the guns trigger and other features such as the length of the cable. The control systems should also be well labeled and easy to manipulate and use for quality results and consistency.
The welder should, of course, fit your budget. On top of the budget, it should be able to fulfill your needs. People tend to think that the most expensive welders are the best, but it is not always the case. Understanding your needs will not only give you high performance and save you money.
What is MIG Welding?
MIG welding stands for Metal inert gas welding. It is also referred to as Metal Active Gas (MAG) welding or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). This is the process where electric arcs form between a metal workpiece and an electrode, causing them to melt and join. The welded area is protected from atmospheric contamination through cover gas or an inert shielding such as helium or argon.
MIG welding differs from other forms of welding because it brings about a high yield at a low-cost. It is also preferred to others because it can weld forms of metals and alloys that are available. This welding process can also be done in a variety of positions as long as you have the right parameters and equipment.
MIG uses continually fed electrodes, thus maintaining high operator duty cycle and reduce defects on stops and starts. This process is quite easy compared to other welding processes since you do not require too many skills to operate the MIG welding machine.
Some of the things that make this welding process to stand out are its deposition rates, flexibility, and mechanism suitability. MIG welding is used in most industry sectors for more than half of all the deposited weld metals.
Is MIG Welding Easy?
MIG welding is one of the most recommended processes of welding due to its ease of use. It is actually the easiest method of welding. It has a complex set up, but the process is easy to master. This process is also much more forgiving for mistakes compared to other forms of welding. MIG welding is, therefore, an ideal welding process for non-professionals and first time operators.
MIG welding is not only easy but also gives you clean results. It can be used on both thick and thin materials. This welding process can be used by anyone irrespective of their professions since it is easy to learn, and the process is also fast. It is advisable for you to remove any type of debris or dirt on in the welding surfaces for you to get the best results.
MIG process enables ranchers, DIY welders as well as automotive enthusiasts to make their repairs and fabrications welds on materials ranging from 24 gauges to ½ inch thick. Just make sure that you have the best MIG welder and it is set on the right power. Understand the basics, and you will comfortably do your welding at home. However, if you are not sure of how to go through the process, it is always advisable to contact an automotive mechanic for some advice.
MIG Welding Process
MIG is a suitable technique for welding both thick and thin components. Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG welding) is a semi-automatic welding process that is relatively easy to utilize. The wire used to start the arc is what is implied by “metal” in Gas Metal Arc Welding.
In this process, an ark is struck amid the end of a workpiece and wire electrode and melts them to form a welding tool. A contact tube is used to feed the wire, thus conducting welding currents into the weld pool. Shielding gas is fed through a nozzle to protect the weld pool from the surrounding atmosphere.
The gas you will use to protect the weld pool will depend on the application and material being welded. A motor drive feeds the wire from the reel as the welder moves the welding torch in the joint line. The continuous feeding of the wire makes this process highly productive.
MIG welding ensures a slag-free and uniform weld bead. Once the welding process is complete, some cleanups will be required. The simplicity of MIG welding makes it distinct from other welding processes.
MIG Welding Safety
Safety measures are a must when doing any type of welding. While carrying out MIG welding, precautionary measures should be taken to protect you from injuries and health risks. Always use safety apparel such as cuff-less full-length pants, leather shoes or boots, a flame-resistant, and long-sleeve jacket, a welding helmet, leather gloves, safety glasses, and a skull cap or bandana for protecting the top of your head from spatter and sparks.
Apart from your safety, you should also consider the safety of the people around you. Be cautious when using some gasses such as carbon dioxide, zinc, copper, cadmium, and lead, which are hazardous and produce toxic vapor. Always clean the working area and remove any flammable liquids from the area before you start MIG welding. It is also advisable to check your equipment settings before you begin the welding process. Ensure the equipment is in good condition and cable positions.
MIG welding should never be done near flammable fumes or liquids. When welding, avoid touching live electrical parts since they can cause electrical shock. Always turn off and unplug the machine when doing repair work on the machine or gun. Once you have finished the welding process, turn off the MIG welder, close the gas cylinder firmly, and put back the welding gun to its storage.
Mig Welding Basics YouTube Video
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Is The Easiest Type Of Welding To Learn?
ANS: MIG is the easiest welding method for beginners. MIG welding allows the user to preset all their controls from the shielding gas you shall use to the wire speed. This gives the user the ability to concentrate on the welding process without thinking about how much heat, gas, and filler to apply. This welding method also gives you a clean weld without slag. It also welds a wide range of metals.
Q: What Is The Best Welder Brand?
ANS: No welder brand can be considered as the best welder brand. Almost all brands have both average and best welding machines. However, consider the reputable brands in the market since they have passed the test of time. Always consider the effectiveness of a wire feeder or if the machine motor is efficient before you buy it. The brands mentioned above are among the best welders you should consider.
Q: What Is The Difference Between a MIG and TIG Welder?
ANS: MIG welding is very different from TIG welding. MIG stands for Metal Inert gas, while TIG is Tungsten Inter Gas. MIG welders feed the wire continuously. TIG welding, on the other hand, uses long welding rods and feeds them to the weld puddle. A MIG welder functions by a semi-automatic process, which is easy to use, unlike a TIG welder that requires a higher level of expertise.
Q: What Is The Best Portable Welding Machine?
ANS: There are several portable welding machines, and choosing the best depends on your needs. The welding machines have different features, and thus it is crucial to check your needs first.
Q: What Is Better MIG or TIG Welding?
ANS: MIG welding edges out TIG when it comes to the fact that it is easy to use. This is why beginners in welding often prefer MIG welding to TIG welding. MIG is also more preferable since it is fast, and you can use it in a wide range of materials. It is also used to weld both thin and thick materials, unlike TIG welding, which is suitable for thin materials.
Q: Is MIG Welding As Strong As Stick?
ANS: When it comes to the type of welding with the strongest weld, stick welding edges out MIG welding. Stick welding is the ideal welding process for thick materials such as Cast iron. You can also use it to weld materials that have proved to be tough and impossible for other methods of welding. This welding method provides the strongest welds.
Q: What Is The Best Home MIG Welder?
ANS: the best home MIG welder should be lightweight, durable, affordable, effective, and easy to use. The MIG welders reviewed above can perfectly work well for home use since they pose these features.
MIG welders are making waves, among other types of welders. People who do not have expertise in the art of welding but want to do some welding should consider using a MIG welder. This is because MIG welders are easy to operate and use. Various MIG welders of different categories have been reviewed in this article. The intention is to enable you to make quality decisions as you go about deciding to pick the best MIG welder that suits your needs.
Learn More :
- How to Weld – MIG Welding (Instructables)
- Welding, Cutting, and Brazing[ Safety and Health Topics] (OSHA)