Metal inert gas welders, also known as MIG welders, are frequently used welding tools. These welding machines are quite common, as they can be used both at home and in industry. They are well known for joining perfectly with any type of metal. So, if you are venturing into welding now or are an experienced user, you should consider purchasing one for yourself.
Most experienced welders will agree with me that the speed of these welding machines is excellent. The speed of these highly functional machines cannot be matched by other welding machines, such as the tungsten inert gas welder, commonly known as a TIG welder.
In addition, they are mainly used in mass production due to their fast production nature. If you are a fast learner, learning how this machine works will not take time. Considering the advantages of using these machines, you cannot afford to have the wrong soldering iron.
Going through a good review on the best MIG welder is useful for beginners and experienced welders. A good review will help you get the facts about the best welder to buy and will remind you of things you may have missed. That way, you will be sure that you are making the correct purchase.
So I did a lot of research on these products and made a list of the best welder brands. During my research, I gathered a lot of useful information that will help you make your purchase, set up your soldering iron and use it. In addition to the list, there is also a buyer’s guide to help you identify the best machine for your needs. In addition, there is a list of frequently asked questions to give you a more detailed idea of the features of these tools.
Our Top Pick
Last update on 2021-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 10 Best MIG Welders To Buy In 2021
Last update on 2021-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10 Best MIG Welders Review
- EASY TO USE-140 FC-I MIG machine uses 0.30, flux core wire. It has infinite voltage and wire feed speed control so you can dial in the perfect weld! Perfect entry level welder
- POWERFUL- Up to 140 Amp output that allows you to weld mild steel up to 1/4 in plate
- PORTABLE WELDER- Lightweight 19 lbs. easily carried to any Do-It-Yourself, Maintenance, Repair, Metal Fabrication and Hobbyist project
- RUGGED- All metal case, Built to take the day to day. Big enough to handle 2 and 10 pound rolls of wire
- WELDER INCLUDES- 8' MIG gun, 8' ground clamp, Integrated handle with torch wrap and a 20A-15A adapter. Backed by a 12-month warranty
- 👉【Flux-Cored Wire .030'' Gasless Welder】- Display for MIG 160 welding machine uses a convenient 0.8mm/.030'' Flux-Cored Wire.It has adjustable current voltage and wire feed speed control so you can dial in the perfect weld! For welding of different materials, it is necessary to change to the corresponding welding wire.
- 👉【IGBT Strong & Durable Mig Welding Machine】- MIG-160 is a top of the line household IGBT welder that is no gas,digitizing,low splash,smart button. Made of high-class PVC and aluminum alloy material as well as delicate treatment,this welding machine integrates comfortable grip, easy operation and high precision.
- 👉【Overload Safety Protecyion Mig Welder】- MIG-160 welder come with a safety feature where the welder is automatically turned off when it is too hot or the volt and current exceed their range. This function will keep you and your welder safe. Internal fan-cooling system,there are fans helping to cooling the welder when working.
- 👉【Easy to use-Adjustable Mig Welder】- MIG-160 welding machine uses flux core welding wire .030''(0.8mm). Automatic Thermal Safety Protection,suit for welding carbon steel,aluminum,stainless steel etc.Perfect entry level welder.
- 👉【100% Money Back Guarantee】 Mig welder comes with 2 years warranty. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, we’ll refund you- no questions asked. Faulty our welders can also be replaced within 60 days.
- Welds up to 1/8 in. mild steel.
- Plugs into household 115V, 20 amp outlet
- One year warranty on parts and labor.
- Easy to set even for novice users
- Compact, portable and lightweight
- Synergic Adjustment Function(Software Control):Current and voltage values are intelligent automated matched(voltage value not displayed), more easier for entry level welders
- Multi-functions in one machine: Suitable for MMA, Lift TIG, flux MIG, gas MIG
- Powerful Machine: Up to 200A output current that can weld mild up to 5/32 inch (4.0mm) plate.
- Big enough to apply to 2 and 10 pounds rolls of wire. Ready to feed .030"(0.8mm) with solid core wire, and .035" (0.9mm)with flux core wire.Can Handle E7018 basic electrode.
- Dual voltage input design: Welding machine can be plugged into 110（120）V / 220(230)V dual voltage (Automatic fitting).
- Enjoy of a compact, portable and lightweight wire feed welder that is user friendly | Shielding gas sold separately
- Welder dimensions – 12.8” H x 8.8” W x 18” D | Welds up to – 1/8 in. mild steel | Power cord length – 6ft. | Cored Wire Size Range – .035 | Voltage – 115V, 20 Amp
- Cold contactor safety feature keeps welding wire electrically “cold” until gun trigger is pressed
- Great for home repair and hobby projects on light gauge mild steel found around most households
- Four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed adjustment allow you to weld mild steel from 24 gauge to 1/8" thick
- ★Flux-Cored Wire, Gas Less Welder - Display4top MIG 130 welder machine uses convenient Flux-Cored Wire.Automatic Thermal Safety Protection,suit for welding carbon steel,aluminum,stainless steel etc.
- ★Strong & Durable - Compact and exquisite MIG welder, made of heavy duty stainless steel body, painted with durable red paints, ensure its long-last serving life-span, a strong and durable welding machine for your long term use.
- ★Overload Safety Protecyion - MIG 130 PLUS welder come with a safety feature where the welder is automatically turned off when it it too hot or the volt and current exceed their range. This function will keep you and your welder safe. Internal fan-cooling system,there are fans helping to cooling the welder when working.
- ★Wide Applications - Portable design light weight, easy for translation and storage. Comes with a comfortable hand grip, making it easy for you to carry anywhere you want.It is perfect for home DIY and general repairing work.
- ★Accessories Included - 1x welding gun with on/off safety contro,1 x grounding clamp,1x brush , 1x protection mask and several other small accessories
- INTELLIGENT GASLESS MIG WELDER. New Version - Black and Gray, Old Version - Black. Compact and exquisite, made of heavy duty stainless steel body, painted with durable black paints, preventing rust and wear and ensure a long-last serving life-span.
- USES CONVENIENT 0.6-0.9MM FLUX CORED WIRE. Self-release metal-inert gas while welding, prevent oxidation of the welded part.
- VARIABLE FEED SPEED CONTROL. Easily adjust current flow by adjusting the 4 buttons for MIN/MAX,1/2. Also features a wire feeding speed adjust rotary knob, 10 levels of wire feeding speeds for your choice. Torch With Full On / Off Safety Control
- PORTABLE DESIGN & WIDE APPLICATIONS. Lightweight, with extra storage space, easy to carry. It is easy to start arc and perfect for welding normal thin steel and iron, perfect for home DIY and general repairing work.
- MANY COMPLIMENTARY NECESSITIES. 2 air-vents on the flux core welder machine help heat dissipation. Standard American triangle ground cord and automatic thermal safety protection.Ready to weld out of the box!
- THE MOST ADVANCED MULTIFUNCTIONAL WELDER - HZXVOGEN HBM2280 MIG welder with wider LCD displayed, it is a smart control welder. It is super easy and convenient to chose the welding mode, material, welding wires, tungsten rods, electorde and the workpiece thicness you need by spinning and pressing the buttons. It will show all the parameters clearly
- CAN WELD ALUMINUM - This welder can weld aluminum, iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, etc. This mig welder came with qualify accessories: MB24 Mig Gun, graphite wire feed tube, earth clamp, electrode holder, welding brush/ hammer combo, hose clamps, gas tube and US plug. This welder features a easy carrying handle, compact design, easy for transportation and storage
- MIG FUNCTION - 1. MIX GAS can use 0.6/ 0.8/ 0.9/ 1.0mm flux wire. When using 0.6/ 0.8/ 0.9mm wire, it can weld 0.7 ~ 3.4mm thickness. When using 1.0mm wire, it can weld 1.2 ~ 6.4mm thickness. 2. GAS (CO2) can use 0.8/ 1.0mm wire. When using 0.8mm wire, it can weld 0.9 ~ 4.8mm thickness, when using 1.0mm wire, it can weld 1.2 ~ 6.4mm thickness
- TIG FUNCTION - Can use 1.6mm and 2.4mm tungsten.When using 1.6mm tungsten can weld 0.7 ~ 4.8 thickness, using 2.4mm tungsten can weld 1.2 ~ 6.4mm thickness. This machine came with 4 pins socket. With the 4 pins socket, you can use spool gun with this machine for aluminum welding. This machine can use WP26V tig torch.
- MMA FUNCTION - Current 10 ~ 170 amp. Can weld 2.5/ 3.2/4.0mm electrode. Using 2.5/ 3.2mm rods, can weld 1.6 ~3.4mm thickness. Using 4.0mm rods, can weld 3.4mm ~ 8.0mm thickness
- ★ Aluminum Wire Feeder--The durable high quality aluminum wire feeder offers a much more stable and better welding experience.
- ★Spool Gun Include-- High-speed MIG spool gun for aluminum welding, 10 feet 4 inches long, 4-prong end connection, 1lb aluminum wire with dia. 0. 9 millimeter included. Can welder 3/16" or thinner aluminum plate.
- ★Reliable and Durable-- Its transformer technology has been proven to be reliable and durable.
- ★Rated Output--175-amp MIG welder; mild/stainless steel: 18 Gauge – 1/4"; Aluminum: 3/16" or Thinner. Input voltage: 220/240V AC.
- ★Multi Use--Welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum (with a spool gun, already include in the package, no need to purchase separate) and other metal materials.
- 【REINFORCED DOUBLE LAYER KEVLAER PADDING ON FINGER,PALM,ELBOW & BACK】:RAPICCA is the only brand which offer Double Reinforced Kevlar Layer Pading on both Fingers, Palms, Elbow& Backs on our welding gloves, this excellent design make RAPICCA welding gloves being the most extreme heat resistant gloves on the market.
- 【EXTREME FOUR LAYER HEAT RESISTANT PROTECTION】 Outermost layer: Double layer kevlar padding leather. Intermediate layer: a composite product by laminating a kind of high temperature resistant Air-isolated Aluminum Foil and a flame retardant cotton cloth . Inner layer:a 100% soft insulated cotton lining. Flame retardant thread stitching for advanced heat and cold resistance, sweat absorbent, breathable, allergy free. These gloves are guaranteed to withstand extreme temperatures up to 932°F(500℃)
- 【SUPERIOR SECURITY FOR FORERAMS】 - The 16 inches extra long glove with 7.5 inches long sleeve protect your forearms from grinding debris, welding sparks, hot coals and open flames, hot kitchen ware and hot steam. Effective even in extreme environments. Recommended for Stick welding (SMAW), Mig welding (GMAW), Flux-Core welding (FCAW), forging or other high temperature applications, Provide the most extreme heat protection.
- 【EXTREME WEAR RESISTANT PROTECTION】- The Gloves are made from 1.5mm thick and soft shoulder split natural cowhide leather which is heat resistant, wear-resistant, puncture resistant, cut resistant, oil resistant. Reinforced double leather stitching and high strength sewing on the finger, palm, elbow & back of the hand which is not easy to fall off.
- 【SATISFACTION GUARANTEE】——We back up our claim that this glove is the best on the market. You can rest easy with your purchase. If there is any issue or advice for our products, please email us via Amazon email, we will offer 100% satisfactory service for you.
Last update on 2021-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Is MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding?
MIG welding is actually metal inert gas welding. When performing MIG welding the process that fuses the metal together is done using a continuous feed of metal wire, or filler. This filling agent makes it possible for you to weld together thicker pieces of metal than you could join if you were using a TIG welder.
How It Differs From Other Welding Methods?
Both the TIG welder, or tungsten inert gas welding and the metal inert gas welding or MIG welding are types of arc welding. The methods of performing the welds are very similar, but each type of welding has a specific time when it is better to use.
MIG welding is more forgiving than the TIG welding is, because the MIG welds are made using a continuous feed of metal wire, and when you do TIG welding there is not always a wire or filler agent used.
So when you are TIG welding you will need for your welds and connections to be more accurate. This makes the metal inert gas welding more suitable for new welders, and novices.
MIG welding is better suited to create a strong hold when you are welding thicker items together. The metal wire that is used as filler helps you to create a secure bond between thicker items.
MIG welding and flux core welding are very similar. Both of these techniques involve a continuous feed of the metal wire and they can both be used on thicker materials than TIG welding can. The main difference between a MIG technique and a flux core technique is the shield of the arc during the process.
You also have to consider the metal you are trying to weld when you choose between the two methods. If the metal is more resistant then you want to use the TIG method. Resistant metal gets hotter faster and it is perfect for TIG applications.
IN FCAW or flux core welding the arc is shielded from wind and exposure to exterior elements by the flux core, so the welder can work outdoors without their operation being interfered with by Mother Nature. The MIG process does not shield the arc as well so gusts of wind can interfere with the job you are doing.
You also need to remember that whenever you are using a filler material like you use when MIG welds are made or flux core welds are made, then you have an increased chance of splatters. The splatters do not weaken your welds, but they do not look as smooth and neat as welds with no splatters. If you need a smooth line then choose the TIG method.
How To Pick The Best MIG Welders For The Money
Choosing the top MIG welder for your purposes will require you to know what types of materials you will work with the most. You also need to consider other features of the machines so that you can get one that uses the power source you have readily available, and is easy for you to maneuver, transport and such.
The following things should be considered when you are purchasing a MIG welder.
The Voltage Of The Machine
You can get a MIG welder that runs on 110v and you can get one that runs on 220v, so it is normal to wonder if one machine is a better choice, or if there is a real difference in the machines.
If you get a MIG welder that is powered by your normal 110v household outlets the amperage the machine can produce will be limited. The amperage produced by a welder plugged into a 110v outlet is perfect for welding materials that are 1/8” thick or less.
This means that fancy and craft workers will be able to use the 110v welding machine, but people who want enough power to weld on thicker steel will want a 220v machine.
If you plan to be welding aluminum then you need to get a MIG welder that has a spool gun, or has an optional spool gun. If you never intend to weld aluminum, buy the machine that has no spool gun capabilities because you will save a ton of money, but for aluminum welds you need that spool gun.
Low Amperage Machines
Low amperage machines cost less than the higher amperage machines. Not everyone needs to have a high amperage machine. If you are a hobby welder then you will likely never need to weld with anything that requires gas, the flux core welds will be great for your purposes.
The duty cycle of a welding machine refers to the minutes that you can weld at a specific amperage during a ten minute cycle without causing the welding machine to overheat.
If you weld short pieces of material, or in short spurts, then a low duty cycle will suit your needs. If you work for longer periods of time and need to make longer welds at higher amperages then you need to buy a machine with a higher duty cycle capability.
Size and Weight
Size and weight of your machine are also indications of the overall power of the machine. If you will be welding thin materials or using the machine for craft projects then you can probably do everything you want to do with one of those small machines that weigh less than forty pounds.
If you have some heavy duty welding to do, or you work a lot on your farm equipment, mower decks, automobile bodies, trailer hitches, or large projects, then you need to look for one of the larger and heavier machines.
Choosing the best machine is all dependent on the materials you will weld, and how often you will weld.
MIG Welders for Newbie: What to Consider
Welding is becoming a popular profession around the USA as welders can start with a good money from the very beginning. However, you don’t need to get a 3-4 years educational degree to be a welder.
The MIG welders use continuous wire feed to create the welds so that means that starter welders will make fewer mistakes that are highly visible and it means that even if the beginner misjudges the thickness they can still create a strong and durable weld.
New welder professionals should take the following things into consideration when they are buying a welding machine.
You are not always going to be a beginner so buy a machine that you can use now, and one that will have the capabilities you are going to need later. If you know you are going to want to weld aluminum one day, then make sure the welder you buy will accept the spool gun.
Your safety equipment, like your welding hood and gloves are vital items that you cannot scrimp on. Buy yourself the best hood and gloves that you can get. Your safety is worth more than the few bucks you might save buying cheaper items.
Buy an MIG welder that can be used with gas or with flux core. There are times when the flux core is the perfect way to weld, but there are going to be times when you need hotter temps, and the productivity of the gas. Buy a machine that gives you the option and you will always be prepared.
Voltage controls and being able to control the speed at which the wire is fed to you during your work is important.
Buy a machine that has a set up guide. When you first begin you will need the advice of the experts on what temperatures you need to be welding different metals at. Make sure the machine you are buying is one that has a guide to walk you through all changes you need to make before you begin welding a different material.
Important: Before starting a welding job, you should be well educated on welding. Don’t miss our guide on welding school costs if you are aimed to be a certified welder. It takes a few months or a year to become an expert welder. So, focus on your study first and then start your dream career.
Convert MIG Welder To A Plasma Cutter
You will need to take a brass plumbing valve and connect it to a ¼” diameter copper tube and put a brass cap on the other end.
You need to drill a hole in the cap and then tap the threads so that you can fit a brass carburetor jet into the hole to convert it to a plasma cutter.
Attach the tube to the handle of your arc welder.
Use a carbon electrode with a sharp end, so it looks like a sharpened pencil, not a welding stick.
You will need to flex the nozzle so it is pointing towards your electrode.
Put a quick release compressor hose coupling on the plumbing valve and then connect the compressor hose to this coupling.
Crank your welder amperage up to over 25 amps and under 50 amps. This should give you enough oxidation and a hot enough arc to cut through metal that is less than 1” thick.
3 Steps to Choosing Your First Welder
Buying your first welder can be a big decision. Let’s see how putting the considerations above into practice can help you with it. Keep in mind that it may take more steps—or fewer—for you to select the right machine for your needs.
Step 1: Match Your Skills to a Welding Process
MIG, Stick, and TIG are the most common welding processes, and each one requires a different type of machine setup.1
Deciding which process you plan on learning first can help you determine the type of welder you need.
MIG Welding (Beginner)
MIG welders are among the best type for beginners, as they’re designed with a wire welding electrode on a spool that is fed at a pre-selected speed through a welding gun. As a semi-automatic or automatic process, gas metal arc welding (GMAW or MIG), is the easiest to learn.
MIG Welding Benefits
- Simple to learn
- High welding speeds
- Cleaner welds2
Stick Welding (Intermediate)
Compared to other welding processes, it may take longer to get the hang of shielded metal arc welding, or stick welding.
The name of this process can give you a clue as to what it entails: a flux-covered metal electrode is used to carry the electric current from the machine to the metal workpiece. As it burns, the flux emits a gas to shield the weld pool, which later settles to form a protective slag over the work. Meanwhile, the metal electrode melts into the joint, strengthening it.3
Stick Welding Benefits
- Works on a range of metals
- Indoor and outdoor use in wind
- Effective on rusty or painted materials1
TIG Welding (Advanced)1
Gas tungsten arc (TIG) welding requires advanced welding skills. One reason for this is that TIG welding is a manual process in which you hold the torch with one hand and feed the metal filler rod into the weld puddle with the other.4
TIG Welding Benefits
- Precision welds
- Foot control to adjust heat input
- Higher-quality, better-looking weld beads
Step 2: Align Welding Process with Project
In addition to skill level, you’ll also want to think about what types of projects you’ll be working on. Each welding process (and its specific welder) has unique applications.
- Automotive and trailer repair
- Lawn and garden equipment repair
- General fabrication and repair
- Metal fabrication
- Art and sculpting5
- Farm and ranch equipment repair
- Construction (structural welding)5
- Assembly of temporary structures
- Jewelry making6
- Automotive assembly.
- Aircraft welding
- NASA welding6
Step 3: Determine which Welder Fits with Your Budget
Once you’ve figured out which type of machine you need, it’s time to shop around for the model that best fits your budget.
Be sure to factor in the costs of all the other welding equipment you’ll need when putting together a budget, such as the costs of the welding helmet, jacket, welding gloves and other essentials.
It’s a big decision. Put some thought into it and take your time.
Advantages of MIG Welding
MIG welding is the most popular type of welding process. Some advantages of this welding process include:
- MIG welding is fast. MIG welders save time for users because the user does not have to change rods often. Furthermore, it saves time as users do not have to clean slag formed from welding constantly. It produces a fine weld.
- MIG welding is cheap. Getting a high-quality MIG welder does not cost as much as getting other welders. With less than $600, a welder can get high-quality equipment for the process. You might have to spend money on shielding gas and MIG wire, though, but even with this added expense, it is still cheaper than other welding processes.
Furthermore, consumables spent on MIG welding are less than other processes.
- MIG welding is easy to master. Compared with other welding processes, it is easy to learn. Others might have a steeper learning curve, but MIG welding takes a short time to learn.
- MIG welding is versatile. With this process, a welder can weld various types of metals. You can weld copper, mild steel, aluminum, iron, and different alloys. Furthermore, you can weld different thicknesses as long as the amperage and configuration are right.
Disadvantages of MIG Welding
- While the welder might be lightweight, the cylinders that house the shielding gas can be heavy and cumbersome to carry around.
- The material to be welded has to be cleaned which can take some time
- Not meant to be done outdoors: MIG welding is not meant to be done outdoors because it is sensitive to wind. The shielding gas can be blown away during the process, which will affect the quality of the weld.
As a beginner, choosing the perfect welder may be a challenge. There are a lot of specifications and uses to understand and compare, which can make it difficult to make an informed decision.
As a novice welder, you may want to stick to certain product types to ensure optimal value and use. Although TIG welding allows maximum versatility, it is not an easy technique for beginners. MIG techniques are much easier, but then you are limited in terms of material types.
Beginners may be better off opting for multi-process welders, as they provide a broader scope in terms of metal types and overall use.