7 Best Mig Welders for the Money in 2021 Reviews


MIG welding is more efficient, accurate, safe, and effective compared to gas welding. However, to get a high-quality weld, you need to choose the perfect MIG welder. They have different operational parameters and come in different sizes to suit your needs.

The choice largely depends on the types of metal you are welding. Some heavier metals such as aluminum and iron require more output power for welding. On the other hand, lighter metals like stainless steel can be welded using less power. So, the welder should meet the power requirements of welding your target material.

Below are the primary features you should consider while choosing the perfect MIG welder.

  • Amp: The most important aspect of an electric MIG welder is the amperage range. The amperage range will give you a slight idea about the intensity of the electric current required for the welding to be done. The most common amperage rating in MIG welders is 120 amp, but you will also find some MIG welders with 140 amp or even higher.
  • Volt: You should also consider the voltage rating of a MIG welder before finalizing your purchase. Just like the amp rating, the voltage rating is also an indication of the input power level as well as welding properties. For example, a 120-volt MIG welder has a less input requirement as compared to a 240-volt MIG welder. But, the performance of a 240-volt MIG welder will be significantly better.
  • Portability: Before buying, you should look out for the size and weight of the MIG welder. This factor mainly affects the application of the MIG welder. For example, a portable MIG welder might have less power output, but it can be carried around easily. Similarly, heavier MIG welders are best for stationary welding.

Here, we have prepared a list of the best MIG welders available in the market. This article also contains detailed information about each mig welder along with its essential features. We have also included a feature-oriented “Buying Guide” that will help you select the perfect MIG welder according to your needs. So, you can rest assured that you will find the best MIG welder for you after you have finished reading this article.

7 Best Mig Welders in 2021 

Best Mig Welders in 2021 Reviews

1. Forney Mig Welder

Forney Easy Weld

Forney is a brand that makes all sorts of machining equipment that can be essential in a workshop. Amongst other things, they also make various MIG welders, including the one mentioned here.

At 1st position, we have Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG welder. Forney Easy Weld 261 is a 140 amp MIG welder that comes with 120-volt power input. It is a completely gasless welder that runs on AC power source. This MIG welder has a controllable feed rate of welding wire that can be adjusted by a dial. Its controllable feed rate is essential for efficient welding as it prevents excess use of wire. It can weld up to ¼ inch metal plates or sheets having a gauge of 24.

Forney also provides two different types of electrical adapters in the packaging that are 20 amperes and 15 amperes. Talking about the build quality, the entire outer body of this MIG welder is made out of metal. So, you can rely on the build quality to last even after a significant amount of transport and usage. The brand warranty on this MIG welder is 1 year long. The overall weight of Forney Easy Weld MIG welder is 19 pounds, which is considered lightweight for such a powerful machine. The average duty cycle of Forney easy weld MIG welder is 30 percent if it is used at 90 amperes.

Best features:

  • Lightweight
  • 120-volt machine with 140-ampere output
  • Completely gas less operation
  • Wire feed control
  • Metal body
  • Weld up to ¼ inch metal of 24 gauge
  • Weighs 19 pounds
  • 30% duty cycle at 90 ampere

Components:

  • Mig welder
  • 8-inch mig gun
  • 8-inch ground clamp
  • Two AC adapters
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

Pros

  • Portable
  • Resistance to wear and tear
  • Can use it for more time before overheating
  • Self-releases inert gas to shield the weld pool
  • Infinite voltage

Cons

  • Slow wire feed rate
  • Can not weld aluminum

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2. Etosha Mig Welder

ETOSHA

This ETOSHA MIG 160 Welder is an economical multifunction welding machine for both professional welders, welding hobbyists, & beginners. 

This MIG device uses 0.6 to 0.9mm flux core wire and is a completely gasless welder that runs on AC power source. Its 110 AC, 60Hz power input is suitable for welding stainless steel and mild steel. With its overheating protection feature, the machine stops automatically whenever it is overheated. Also, it has IP21 waterproof protection to work safely, even if water splashes accidently. 

This portable flux core wire gasless welder comes with an easy to start 160A arc and comfortable hand grip, which let you weld white steel, raw steel, sheet metal, metal cage, staircase, square pipe, etc. and thus makes it a perfect welder for outdoor repairs and home DIY repairs.

It is a lightweight, compact, and portable inverter welder that comes with a heavy-duty cooling fan / large radiator with dual ball bearing to increase airflow for a cooler environment and to enhance great performance and durability. The brand warranty on this MIG welder is 1 year long and the entire outer body of this welder is made out of metal and plastic. 

Best Features:

  • Lightweight, compact and portable
  • Completely gas less operation
  • 110-Volt machine with 160-ampere output.
  • Applicable for various materials
  • Overheat, overload, and water splash protection safety measures.
  • Multifunctional control panel
  • 15% duty cycle rating

Components:

  • MIG welder 
  • Flux-cored wire
  • Welding mask
  • Wire brush
  • Metal tip
  • Grounding clamp
  • Input power adapter cable 
  • Welding gun 

Pros

  • Can weld many different metals
  • Prevents overloading and overheating
  • Provides a good cooling effect
  • Heavy duty and resistant to wear and tear
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Has a low duty cycle rating
  • Does not have welding gloves

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3. Hobart Mig Welder

Hobart WELDER

Hobart is a well-known brand that produces various industry-standard production tools. In this article, we have a MIG welder from Hobart.

Hobart 500559 is our 3rd pick for the best MIG welders available for you. This MIG welder has a 115 voltage rating that can provide output in the range of 25-140 amps. As this current rating is similar to other general household appliances, you will be able to use it in your backyard as well. You can weld up to ¼ inch thick metal plates having 24 gauge with this MIG welder, which is considered as standard welding thickness. It can weld a wide range of materials that include cast iron, copper, brass, titanium. Magnesium alloys, etc.

The duty cycle for Hobart 500559 MIG welder is 20% at 90-ampere power output and 19-volt current. You can also vary the welding speed from 40 all the way up to 700 inches per minute. It also comes with a dedicated voltage control system that will allow you to adjust the voltage according to your requirements. It is probably the most reliable option from our list as it comes with a long 5 year warranty period. The warranty period is also an indication that the build quality of this MIG welder is comparatively better.

Best features:

  • 115 volt with 140-ampere output
  • Wide range of weldable materials
  • Variable speed range from 40 to 700 rpm
  • 5-year warranty
  • Weld up to ¼ inch metal plates with 24 gauge rating
  • 20% duty cycle at 90-ampere current and 19-volt input

Components

  • Mig welder
  • Welding gun
  • Unit instruction guide
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

Pros

  • Can weld copper, cast iron, brass, titanium, and magnesium alloys
  • Has an extended warranty period
  • Has a good duty cycle rating
  • Has a high range of variable speed
  • Can adjust the voltage as required

Cons

  • Heavyweight and difficult to carry

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4. SUNGOLDPOWER Mig Welder

SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder

Sungoldpower is a wholesaler of various industrial tools and equipment. They also provide a decent mig welder for an affordable price tag.

Sungoldpower MIG welder is a multifunctional MIG welder that runs on a maximum of 220 volts DC current while using a 140-ampere current. An important feature of this machine is that it can either run on 110 volts or 220 volts. This is important if you wish to use the MIG welder for different applications. Unlike previous ones, this MIG welder can be used for both gas shielded as well as gasless MIG welding. The flux-cored wire that is used in it is capable of 2 pounds and 10 pounds of wire spool. The wire fed rate is controllable that grants you complete control over the welding speed of Sungoldpower MIG welder.

The welding current can also be adjusted via the variable current control options to suit your application correctly. This also affects the welding thickness and power consumption. This MIG welder can weld various materials such as stainless steel, mild steel, or other similar metals. The size of Sungoldpower MIG welder is pretty compact that weighs only 31 pounds. This makes it ideal for outdoor work. You will get a 60% duty cycle with it that is better than many similar MIG welders.

Best features:

  • Multifunctional MIG welder
  • 220-volt input with 140 ampere current
  • Dual voltage settings
  • Both gasless and gas shielded welding available
  • Adjustable wire feed rate
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight

Components

  • Mig welder
  • 7-inch mig torch
  • 59-inch welding cable
  • Grounding clamp
  • Flux-cored wire (sample only)
  • Mask
  • Welding brush
  • Warranty card
  • User manual

Pros

  • Comes with gas and gasless shielding
  • Has a very high duty cycle rating
  • Can adjust the wire feed speed as required
  • Can weld metals of different thickness
  • Produces less noise
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Build quality is not good
  • The user manual is not informative

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5. VIVOHOME Mig Welder

Up next, we have a MIG welder from Vivohome company. This brand specializes in creating various a variety of products, including a cheap mig welder.

Vivohome Portable MIG 130 MIG welder is a compact machine that operates on 110 volts DC current and provides 50 to 120-ampere welding current. This is a gas welder that uses metal inert gas that prevents oxidation of the welded surface. This MIG welder is specifically designed for mild steel and stainless steel. Therefore, it is ideal for welding automobile body parts or similar thin sheets of metal. You have complete control over the welding speed of the Vivohome Portable MIG welder by either varying the current flow of wire feed.

The design of this MIG welder is compact and lightweight, as it is made out of stainless steel. This provides you with the option of easy transportation. As for the duty cycle rating for Vivohome Portable MIG welder, it is rated at 15% when used at 105 amperes. It comes with an overheat protection feature available that will prevent the MIG welder from damage due to constant use. You also get a free welding helmet and a welding brush with it.

Best features

  • 110-volt power rating with a maximum 120-ampere output
  • Gas welder
  • Variable current flow
  • Variable wire feed rate
  • Stainless steel body
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Overheat protection

Components:

  • Mig welder
  • Welding gun
  • Welding helmet
  • Welding brush
  • User manual

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Multiple welding speeds for welding metals of different thickness
  • Weld pool does not react with atmospheric air
  • Easy to carry and operate
  • Does not warp during welding and resists wear
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not good for professional use
  • Can not control volts
  • The user manual is not clear

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6. LOTOS Mig Welder

LOTOS welder machine

The next MIG welder on our list is presented by Lotos. There are a lot of superior quality welding machines available from Lotos.

Lotos Mig175 is a DC powered MIG welder that has a strong 175-ampere current output with a variable 220 or 240-volt input. This welding machine works with an aluminum wire feeder that creates a stable and controlled welding flow. The welding gun that comes with Lotos Mig175 is also an aluminum built 10 feet 4 inch long that is quite handy to use.

There is a 1-year warranty on this MIG welder, along with a 30-day refund policy. Lotos also includes a pound aluminum welding wire having 0.9-millimeter diameter along with the welding gun. You can expect a great welding performance from this for 18 gauge ¼ inch thick stainless steel sheets or 3/16 inch aluminum sheets. You will receive a free welding mask along with welding wires included in this kit.

Best features:

  • 175-ampere welding current with dual voltage input
  • DC powered MIG welder
  • Aluminum wire feeder
  • Ergonomic welding gun
  • 1-year warranty with a 30-day refund policy
  • Aluminum welding wire

Components:

  • Mig welder
  • Aluminum welding gun
  • Ground clamp
  • Gas hose
  • Argon regulator
  • Multiple contact tips
  • Welding mask
  • Welding wire
  • Warranty card
  • User manual

Pros

  • Reliable and durable
  • Can weld aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel
  • Can weld materials of different thickness
  • Uses an aluminum wire feeder
  • Has flux core and aluminum gas shielding functions

Cons

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7. HITBOX Mig Welder

HITBOX welding machine

Welding machines made by Hitbix are widely used for indoor as well as outdoor applications. They also produce mig welders along with other types of welding machines.

This is another multi-purpose MIG welder available in our list of best MIG welders. The Hitbox MIG welder can perform Mig, Arc, and Lift tig welding along with the choice of gas or gasless welding method. For the gas welding method, the solid welding wire has 0.8 to 1 mm diameter. And for the gasless welding, a flux-cored wire is used. You can use a selection of certain standard diameter electrodes with it.

The input voltage of Hotbox MIG welder is 220 volts, and it can weld surfaces having 0.8mm thickness. It can weld various materials such as Carbon, Stainless steel, Low-alloy steel, etc. The wire feed rate is controllable within a 3 to 18 meter per minute range. This MIG welder is designed while considering the portability of the machine. Therefore, the machine is compact in size and weighs only 19 pounds. The manufacturer will provide a 1-year warranty on the Hitbox MIG welder.

Best features:

  • Multi-purpose Mig welder
  • Gas and gasless welding available
  • Works on 220 volts input
  • Can weld various materials
  • Controllable wire feed rate
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight

Components:

  • Mig welder
  • Gas tube
  • Grounding clamp
  • Electrode holder
  • Warranty card
  • User manual

Pros

  • Has gas and gasless shielding
  • Good for professional and domestic use
  • 100% duty cycle for 0.8mm wire
  • Can weld different materials
  • Ease of use

Cons

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Buying Guide For The Best Mig Welders

At this point, you must have gathered a lot of information about MIG welders and their general characteristics. But as you may already know, a single MIG welding machine cannot be used for multitasking. Therefore, you must choose your MIG welder carefully after considering the required application. This buying guide will surely help you through the selection process and make your task easier. Here, you can evaluate various essential aspects of a MIG welder that are important to consider before buying one. Thus, consider the following factors before buying a MIG welder:

1. Input Voltage

MIG welders come in different voltages. So, not all MIG welders will be compatible with the electrical socket in your workplace. Most MIG welders have either a 110/115/120V or 220/225/230V. Some MIG welders work in both voltages.

110 Volt MIG Welders

The 110-volt welders are ideal for household purposes. All household small appliances run in 11o volt. So, you can directly plug your 110v welder in your home electrical socket and run it.

However, low voltage welders do not have enough power to weld thicker metals.

220 Volt MIG Welders

The 220 volt MIG welders are used for industrial and commercial purposes. They have a lot of power and can weld thick metals. You will find a 220v power socket in most industrial places. So, you will not have any problems in finding a power source.

2. Output Power

It is a known fact that you need more output power to weld thick metals. Similarly, if you want to weld light metals, you need low output power. If you use high output power for thin metals, it may break. So, you will have to optimize the output power accordingly.

Many welding machines come with charts that help you choose the correct output power to weld metals of different thickness. If your welder does not have the chart, you can refer to the one below.

Gauge mm Amps
8 4.2 165
10 3.4 135
12 2.7 105
14 1.9 75
16 1.5 60
18 1.2 48
20 0.9 36
22 0.8 30
24 0.6 24

3. Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is the amount of time you can use the welder before it overheats. If you are using it for commercial purposes, you need a welder with a high duty cycle.

Most times, welders with high output power have a low duty cycle. They take more time to cool down. However, if it has a good cooling system, it will cool down sooner. In some cases, low output welders without an effective cooling system also take a long time to cool down.

The duty cycle is denoted in the percentage of a 10-minute period of using a welder. For instance, if the duty cycle of a welder is 30%, it means you can use it for 3 minutes. Then, you have to allow 7 minutes for it to cool down.

The latest high output power welders come with a thermal overload protection feature. When your welding machine crosses its duty cycle, it automatically shuts off to prevent overheating.

4. Wire Feed Speed Range

Wire feed speed measures the number of inches of the wire released by the gun per minute. To calculate the wire feed speed, measure the length of the wire after pressing the trigger for 10 seconds. Then, multiply it by 6. You will get the length of the wire released in a minute.

Steps to Perfect Wire Feed Speed

  • Change the wire feed speed to the extent that you know is too high for the output power.
  • Start an arc on a workpiece.
  • Now, slowly reduce the wire feed speed while maintaining the arc.

5. Gas Cylinder

MIG welding uses a gas cylinder. It requires different types of gases for welding different metals. CO2 is the most common gas for welding as it is affordable. If you want high-quality welding, you need to use a mixture of CO2 and Argon. It is expensive, but it prevents the spatter of CO2 and provides good welding.

For magnesium or titanium welding, you can use pure argon. But, refrain from using argon for ferrous metal weldings.

6. Regulator

The regulator is an important component that allows you to maintain a steady flow of gas. There are different types of pressure regulators available for your welding machine.

The dual gauge regulator comes with a flowmeter. The gauge shows the amount of gas left in the tank. And the flowmeter allows you to optimize the flow of gas. These dual gauge regulators are more expensive than other regulators.

The single gauge regulator will only show the amount of gas left in the tank. You need to get a flowmeter separately.

7. Welding Mask

The importance of safety during the process of welding can never be overstated. During the process of MIG welding, the arc produces a bright light that can damage the retina of your eyes.

Hence, you should wear a welding mask and protective gear. Look for models that come with a welding mask. You can save some money on this. Some welding masks have an auto-darkening feature. This helps you to see the weld pool without any eye discomfort.

8. Torch

Having a welder with a torch can be very handy. You have to travel to remote sites for welding. In some cases, you will have to work in locations that do not have sufficient lighting. During those times, a torch can be your lifesaver.

Most welding units come with a torch. However, be sure to check once.

9. Safety Features

The MIG welding machines are high voltage, high ampere machines. Therefore, you must consider the safety features available in the MIG welder. There are multiple safety features available in the MIG welding machines. For example, the overload protection feature is an extremely important safety feature that turns off the welding machine in case of a sudden electrical overload. This prevents various electrical hazards that can turn out to be fatal. The overheat protection is also an important feature that helps to maintain the integrity of the welding operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the thickness that a MIG welder weld?

Ans: In a single pass, many MIG welders can weld up to a thickness of ⅜ inches. But it depends on the types of metal and the skill level of the user. Most welding units will come with a chart that will mention the thickness the welder can weld. It will also state the power required to weld different thicknesses.
You can always achieve more thickness by using multiple passes. Or else, you can clean, heat, and grind the metal to reduce its thickness. However, both tasks require some proficiency in welding.

2. What is the best MIG welder for a beginner?

Ans: The Etosha MIG 160 welder is one of the best welders for beginners. It is lightweight and durable. Hence, it will be easy for you to operate. It runs in 110 volts with an output of 160 amperes. Furthermore, it has a multifunctional control panel. The welding machine also comes with overheat, overload, and water splash safety measures.

3. Is arc welding stronger than MIG?

Ans: Arc welding is not stronger than MIG when you consider the filler. Sometimes, stick welding produces stronger welds than arc welding. When the welder is warm, it penetrates the metal and produces a high-quality weld.

4. What amp welder do I need?

Ans: Before you buy an amp welder, you need to consider two things. First, the thickness you want to achieve. If your welder has more amp, you can achieve more thickness. Under ideal conditions, you will be able to achieve a thickness of .001” per 1 amp on a single pass.
Second, the type of electrical outlets in your home or work area. Most electrical outlets in industrial areas are 220V. The ones in your home are mostly 110V. If you have to plug the welder into a 110V socket, you will have to go with 90 amps.

5. Are gasless MIG welders any good?

Ans: Gasless welders are good, but they can not be used for all purposes. Moreover, no welding process is completely gasless. When you weld metal, you need to shield the weld pool from reacting with atmospheric air. So, gas is used to displace air.
Gasless welders such as Flux Core will already have a gas mixture to protect the weld pool from oxygen. The gasless welders are used in places where there is a chance of heavy wind blowing away the gas protecting the weld pool.

6. Does shielding gas affect the quality of the finished weld?

Ans: If you do not use a proper gas mixture for shielding, it will affect the quality of the finished weld. For mild welding applications, CO2 gas is enough to shield the weld pool. But, if you want a flatter finish, you need to add argon gas to the CO2.
Argon is an inert gas and does not react with the weld pool. Mixing argon and CO2 makes the gas mixture more stable. As a result, the weld surface will have no spatter.

Conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to choosing the right power requirements to penetrate your target. Additionally, consider the additional features and protective accessories that come with the welder.

If you want a reliable welder that can weld aluminum, mild steel, and stainless steel, check out the Lotos MIG Welder. It offers a lot of power that allows you to weld materials of different thicknesses. However, it is on the expensive end.

If you are looking for something affordable, take a look at the Etosha MIG Welder. It packs enough power to weld different metals. Furthermore, it is portable and durable. It also has some advanced features to prevent overloading and overheating.

If you are looking for a well-rounded welder, you should go with the Hitbox MIG Welder. It is a 4 in 1 welder that performs gas MIG, gasless MIG, ARC, and lift tig welding. The welder operates at 110 volts and supports 120 amp current.

If you have any queries or doubts, let us know using the comments section. Our team of experts will help you out. You can also share your thoughts and views in the comments box.



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