Metal-Inert Gas or MIG welders as they are more commonly known are the most widely used welding machines. They are easy to use, and they make fabrication and complex jobs more affordable than other forms of welding.
Whether you have a business that needs a MIG welder, or you are a DIYer, this type of welding has a very low entry point. And once you become an expert, you can buy more expensive MIG welders.
What Is MIG Welding?
The acronym MIG stands for Metal-Inert Gas, and it is technically known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and more loosely as wire welding.
It is an arc welding process that fuses two metals by which a solid wire electrode is fed through the welding gun and then to the welding pool. It is one of the easier forms of welding because it doesn’t require very expensive tools or extensive training. Both professionals and DIYers can use MIG welders.
Best Mig Welders for Your Business
The 10 best MIG welders in this list include low and high price points so you can make an informed decision with your next purchase.
- Top Pick: Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder
- Runner Up: Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp
- Best Value: Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder
Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder
Top Pick: Our choice for the best MIG welder comes from Hobart, which has been around since 1917. And this particular model is designed to weld mild steel, flux core steel, aluminum and stainless steel. You can weld 24 ga. to 5/16 in. steel in a single pass.
It has an input voltage of 230V at 60Hz, an amp range of 25-190 amps and a duty cycle of 30% at 130 amps.
Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp
Runner Up: Lincoln Electric has been around longer than Hobart, since 1895 as a matter of fact. This welder has dual voltage inputs (120-230) and it is lightweight and portable at only 40lbs. The MIG weld provides up to 5/16 in. mild or stainless steel or aluminum up to 3/16 in.
Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder
Best Value: Forney is another company that has been around for decades (1932). This is a 3-in-1 MIG, DC TIG, and Stick welder. It is built with an all-metal case and metal wire drive assembly capable of handling two and 10-pound rolls of wire.
The duty cycle is: Stick 30% at 80A, MIG 30% at 90A and TIG 30% at 110A.
Everlast Cyclone 212 Stick 230amp Welder
This Everlast Cyclone welder has a 230A MIG output and a 160A Stick Output with dual voltage (110v/220v). It can weld with either 8″ (10-12 lb.) or 4″ (2 lb.) spools of wire. You can weld aluminum with an optional spool gun or with a MIG gun with an optional Polymer Liner and U groove Drive rolls.
Other features include an overcurrent and duty cycle warning message and weld interrupt as well as a 4.3″ TFT Digital Color Display.
MILLER ELECTRIC MIG Welder
The material thickness for this welder is 18 ga. to 3/8″ for aluminum, 24 ga. to 3/8″ mild steel, and 20 ga. to 1/4″ Hz for stainless steel. It also features an advanced auto-set, auto spool gun detection, angled cast-aluminum drive system, thermal overdrive protection and more.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
This is another entry from Hobart with great specs. This includes a 5-position voltage control selector that welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel. The weldable materials are steel, stainless steel, and aluminum while operating off 115V standard household current.
It weighs in at 57 pounds and has self-resetting motor protection.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The second Lincoln MIG welder on this list is a more affordable option, but still includes the company’s quality. It has 35-88 amps output, and it can weld up to 1/8 in. mild steel. It also welds MIG (shielding gas sold separately) and flux-cored while being plugged into a 115V, 20 amp household outlet.
This unit weighs 46 pounds and has a wire feed speed of 0-300 ipm.
YESWELDER MIG-250 PRO Aluminum MIG Welder
This welder is a 3-in-1 multi-process synergic welder with an IGBT inverter technology. The output currents are 30-250A (MIG) 20-225A (MMA), and 10-250A (TIG). It can handle 2 and 10-pound rolls of wire and has a duty cycle of 60% at 250A and 100% at 193A.
155 AMP INVERTER MIG/STICK ARC WELDER
Running on either 110/115 or 220/230 volts this machine can weld up to 1/4 in. mild steel using 220-volt input, in both MIG, flux-cored and stick welding. It can feed wires at 78 in. to 396 in. per minute with infinitely adjustable wire speed and heat settings.
At 21.2 pounds this is a light welder with an advanced compact IGBT inverter design and a solid 3-year warranty.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
With a rated output of 175 amp, this machine can weld mild/stainless steel at 18 Gauge – 1/4″ and aluminum at 3/16″ or thinner. It handles industrial standard 4″ or 6″ wire spools with resettable overload protection.
The company provides 30-day, 3-YEARS Limited Warranty that includes 1 Year NEW Replacement Warranty with a U.S.-based customer care and support team.
What to Look for in MIG Welders
There are many factors to consider when you are looking to buy a MIG welder. This is because of the many different materials you might be welding together. Conversely, you just might want to specialize in single metal, and finding the best MIG welders for that metal is also worth considering.
Here are some important factors to bear in mind while shopping:
- Amperage: Because welding power is measured using amps, look for the amp number to determine what it can weld. The higher the amp, the more power it has and the thicker it can weld.
- Input Power: Just like the amperage you will want a welder that covers both 110v to 120v and 208v to 240v. Make sure to also find out if it handles single-phase or three-phase input.
- Duty Cycle: This determines the time a welder can run the machine continuously before it needs to cool down. The calculation is the number of minutes a machine can run per a 10-minute period.
- Cooling System: A cooling system is essential for a MIG welder. There is air- and water-cooling systems to keep the power cable, MIG gun, and wires from heat damage.
- Wire Feed Speed: Make sure it can keep up with the welding you are doing.
- Material Thickness: The thickness the machine can weld together.
- Weight and Portability: Depending on the capability, MIG welders can get heavy. Look for a machine that can be transported easily from job site to job site.
- Durable Parts: Look for machines with parts you can easily replace and are durable.
- Overload Protection: Having an electronic overload protection system can protect your machine if currents get too high.
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