10 Best MIG Welders
- Dual input voltage : 115/240V
- Duty cycle : 60% at 110A/19.5 V & 20% at 200A/24 V
- Weight : 38 lbs
- Dual input voltage : 115V/230V
- Duty cycle : 25% at 205A/24.3V & 100% at 110A/19.5V
- Weight : 59 lbs
- Dual input voltage : 120/230V
- Duty cycle : 40% at 100A/19.0V (120V) & 20% at 200A/24V (230V)
- Weight : 61.8 lbs
MIG welding is actually known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and has been around for over half a century. Instead of using an electrode like in stick welding, or a plasma arc and filler rod like in TIG welding, MIG welding uses a roll of thin wire as the filler metal and an inert gas to shield the arc from oxygen.
MIG welding is a pretty easy process to learn and use to weld steel, stainless steel and aluminum. It is worth noting that aluminum welding in the GMAW process is generally accomplished with a spool gun and smaller rolls of welding wire which can not be used on steel or stainless steels.
In this article we will review the top ten MIG welders available online and run down the features and specifications as well as the pros of each welder. Then we will provide a buyers guide to help with choosing the right MIG welder for your situation.
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Table Of Contents
- 10 Best MIG Welders
- 1. Miller Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder with TIG Kit
- 2. ESAB Rebel EMP 205ic AC/DC Multi-Process MIG/STICK/TIG Welder
- 3. Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp
- 4. Klutch MIG Welder with Multi-Processes, Spool Gun, LCD Display and Dual-Voltage Plug
- 5. Miller Millermatic 211 240VAC, 1 Phase
- 6. Hobart - 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
- 7. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 Easy MIG 180 Wire Feed Welder
- 8. Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
- 9. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
- 10. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
- Buyers Guide
10 Best MIG Welders
1. Miller Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder with TIG Kit
This is a welding machine by Miller Electric and like the ESAB which is #2 is multi-process as well as multi-voltage. With the ability to weld stick, MIG and TIG this machine will definitely do it all. The Multimatic 215 also includes features such as Auto-set Elite that make set up of this machine a breeze
If you are a jack of all trades and want your welding machine to be the same than this is a great option. The dual gas ports on the rear of the machine make switching from the Argon/CO2 mix of MIG to the straight Argon of TIG a breeze. Miller Electric is often the go to welding machines of professional welders and is always a good option.
- High output amperage
- Can weld up to 3/8” Steel
- Dual voltage
- : Dual input voltage 115/240V
- : Max output 230A
- : 60% duty cycle 110 A at 19.5 V
- : 20% duty cycle 200 A at 24 V
- : Includes all equipment for Stick, MIG or TIG.
- : Dual gas inputs one for MIG one for TIG
2. ESAB Rebel EMP 205ic AC/DC Multi-Process MIG/STICK/TIG Welder
ESAB has been in the welding space for a century and this particular model is a multi-process welder so you can weld stick, MIG, and TIG with the same machine. This obviously gives a lot of versatility and is also able to use both 115V and 230V input voltage. This also comes with everything you will need to weld MIG, TIG or stick including some sample wire and electrodes.
If stick and TIG welding are in your future than this is a good choice for a welder by a respected company. One advantage that this machine has is that it can weld AC TIG which is handy if you ever want to dabble in aluminum TIG welding.
- High output amperage
- : 115V/230V dual input voltage
- : Voltage range for MIG 12-26V
- : Max MIG amperage 235A
- : 25% Duty cycle at 24.3V and 205A
- : 100% Duty cycle at 19.5V and 110A
- : Comes as a complete kit including stick and TIG equipment
3. Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp
A multi-process offering from Lincoln Electric this is a machine that can run not only MIG but also stick and TIG. The Powermig 210 is lightweight enough to lug around the house or job site and since it is dual voltage you can pretty much find a power source where ever you happen to go.
Lincoln is a respected and trusted brand and this welding machine may have a slightly lower output amperage but that does not mean that it will be any less versatile or useful. This machine does not come with any equipment for TIG welding but does include a stick welding electrode.
- Advanced features to make it easier to use
- : Dual input voltage 120/230V
- : Max output 200A
- : 40% duty cycle 100A at 19.0V (120V)
- : 20% duty cycle 200A at 24V (230V)
- : Can weld up to 5/16” steel or 3/16” aluminum or stainless steel
4. Klutch MIG Welder with Multi-Processes, Spool Gun, LCD Display and Dual-Voltage Plug
This is a multi-process machine but it does not include the stick and TIG welding equipment. This would be considered a budget model as it is not a well known brand name but is a small and lightweight option for those who are maybe not going to do a significant volume of welding. With any off brand welding machines finding compatible consumables may be a problem.
This is the budget model but will still do the job. Being an inverter welder it will be relatively lightweight and easy to move around but since it does not come with the equipment for TIG and Stick the multi process aspect of this machine is kind of a moot point.
- Dual voltages
- : Dual-voltage 110/230V
- : Max output 200A
- : 40% duty cycle at 90A (110V)
- : 20% duty cycle at 200A (230V)
- : Can weld up to 5/16” thick
5. Miller Millermatic 211 240VAC, 1 Phase
Miller is one of the most trusted brand names in the welding industry and this Miller MIG welder is a great choice for welding steel or aluminum up to a thickness of 3/8” or stainless steel up to a thickness of 1/4” It comes with everything you need to get started and even includes some sample rolls of wire. This unit features Advanced Auto-set, Spoolgun detect, Smooth Start and Quick Select Drive rolls.
If you have good access to 240V power than this is a good welder for you. The included 10 foot gun and small size make this an ideal choice for bench-top applications.
- Able to weld up to 3/8” thick steel
- Advanced features
- Has Auto-set feature to make dialing in the setting quick and easy
- Small and lightweight
- Includes everything you need to get started
- : Voltage 240V 17 Amps input
- : 150A at 21V 40% Duty Cycle
- : Wire size 0.023” to 0.035” Mild Steel 0.030” to 0.045” Flux Core
- : Output range 30 – 230A DC
6. Hobart - 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
Hobart is another brand that is well known and respected by the welding community. This model is dual-voltage which means the available output amperage is greater so the machine is capable of welding steel up to 3/8” thick whereas the 115V Hobart would max out at 1/4” thick steel.
The dual-voltage is a great feature that allows this welder to be able to output the necessary power to do some serious welding on up to 3/8” thick steel while retaining the finesse required for the thinner gauge steels. This is a good choice for homeowners and those who need a welder for smaller jobs
- Dual Voltage increases versatility and power
- Can weld up to 3/8” steel
- 7 position output voltage knob to make machine setup easier
- Includes everything needed to get welding
- : Dual Voltage 115V and 230V
- : 115V - 20% Duty Cycle at 90 amps; 230V - 30% Duty Cycle at 150 amps
- : 25 – 210 A Output
- : Can weld steel, stainless steel, and aluminum
7. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2698-1 Easy MIG 180 Wire Feed Welder
Lincoln is another of those brands of welding machines that has a long history of quality and craftsmanship behind them. This welder is best suited for industrial applications as it requires either a 208 or 230V input voltage.
This welder may not be ideal for use in the home but if access to 208/230V power is available it would be a decent choice for those who expect to do a fair amount of heavy welding with either Mig or Flux Core.
- Suitable for light industrial applications
- Includes everything required to start welding
- Able to weld up to 1/2” steel when using Flux Core wire
- : 208/230V Input voltage
- : 30% Duty Cycle 130A @ 17V (208V input) 30% Duty Cycle 130A @ 20V (230V input)
- : Can weld 1/4” with MIG and 1/2” with Flux Core
- : 30 – 180A Output
8. Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
Miller makes great welders and this one is no exception. Requiring only 115V it can be plugged in virtually anywhere but to get the full use out of this machine you will need 20amps instead of the usual 15A we find in our breaker boxes.
For those of us who do not have ready access to any voltage other than 115V this is a good option to get into a brand name welder that has all the features that allow novices to dial in the welder to optimal settings with ease.
- Has easy to use features that make setup simple
- Comes with everything required to start welding
- Runs on 115V
- : 115V Input voltage
- : 20% duty cycle 90 Amps at 18.5V
- : Will weld up to 3/16” Steel
- : Able to weld steel, aluminum, and stainless steel
9. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Another Hobart to add to the list, this model offers up everything you need to get going and can run off standard household voltage which not only makes it a good choice for around the house but for mobile applications as well.
This is a good choice for homeowners or hobbyists who want a basic no frills welder that is easy to set up and operate but has the power to provide good quality structurally sound welds. The 115V input voltage means you can use this welder anywhere there is an available outlet
- Comes with everything needed to get started
- Can weld up to 1/4” steel
- Has a five position voltage knob to take the guesswork out of adjusting the voltage settings
- : 115V Input Voltage
- : 25–140A Output
- : 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps, 19V
- : Can weld steel, stainless steel, and aluminum
10. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
This is the bargain basement budget welder. With no ability to use gas it is a strictly self shielding flux core welder that is designed with ease of use in mind. It should be noted that pushing the output of this machine which is somewhere around 100-110 amps you will find that you will trip the standard 15 amp breakers found in most homes.
Another bare bones basic budget 115V welder, ideal for those on a tight budget and who do not need to do a lot of welding. This is a good option for around the house using self-shielding flux core where structurally sound welds are not required. It should be noted that the consumables for this gun and machine may be difficult to find in your local welding supply shop.
- Will work off 120V
- Easy to use
- : 120V
- : 110A Output
- : Self shielding flux core only
Arc welding creates not only super hot metal and sparks but emits very intense UV light that will burn the eyes and the skin. Smoke and fumes are also a concern. To protect yourself only weld with adequate ventilation and wear a respirator. Always use a welding helmet with the appropriate shade lens fitted and have no bare skin showing. Since there will be sparks flying wear clothing that is thick and not likely to burn or melt. Good options are wool, cotton or leather. A welders beanie or other head covering is a must to avoid having any hair singed and gauntlet style welding gloves are essential. The most important part of you to protect is your eyes and arc flash can cause severe debilitating pain and permanent damage so always wear your welding helmet. Finally, always wear safety glasses when welding.
Which to Choose?
You’ve decided to dive into welding but which machine is the right one for you and your needs? Choosing a MIG welder can be broken down into a few different factors that must be taken into consideration.
Welding machines require electricity and operate on a wide array of voltages. Some are only able to use one input voltage while others can use multiple input voltages. Your household voltage is 115V in North America but your cloths dryer will run off 220V. This means a lot of welding machines can plug directly into your cloths dryer outlet. It is possible to get higher voltage wired into a shop or garage but when it comes to the hobbyist or homeowner any one of the 115V or the dual voltage models are more than sufficient.
This is basically the amount of welding you plan on doing within a ten minute period. The duty cycle is the amount of time within a ten minute time frame that the welding machine can safely provide the specified amperage. For example a 20% duty cycle would mean that the welding machine could not safely provide the required amperage beyond 2 minutes out of every ten.
Type of Metal
The type of metal that you are going to be welding is going to largely determine the type of wire that you need to purchase and the shielding gasses that you will need to use. It is important to note that each metal also has different grades which in some cases have very specific weld procedures in order to make strong joints. Aluminum can not be welded to steel or stainless steel and although steel and stainless steels can be welded together it is recommended to avoid doing so. Always do some research before pulling the trigger on any welding project to avoid and expensive mistakes.
Type of Wire
Each type of wire you can run through these machines has its advantages as well as having different requirements and properties. With the machines listed in this list we can break down your wire choice into three different types:
1. Solid Wire for Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
This wire is essentially a roll of thin wire that when fed though the gun and contacting the work piece creates an arc that both melts the base metal and the wire itself which forms the weld bead. This process leaves a clean weld with no slag but is prone to splatter and requires a shielding gas which usually is an Argon/CO2 mix of some sort.This shielding gas is held in a high pressure gas bottle and distributed to the gun via a high pressure gas flow meter.This wire is what is referred to as MIG welding and is great for really thin metals but will also work for thicker materials as well. Both stainless steel and mild steel wires are available as well as aluminum.
2. Self Shielding Flux Core Wire (FCAW)
For all of you who do not want to deal with the hassle of gas bottles self shielding flux core is just the ticket. Instead of solid wire this process uses a hollow wire filled with flux that when burned up in the arc creates a shielding gas that protects the weld area.Flux core welds will have a layer or slag on top of the weld bead that will need to be chipped off. Self shielding flux core is great for the homeowner and hobbyist because it is low maintenance and good for a lot of different applications.
3. Dual-Shield Flux Core (FCAW)
This is a flux core wire much like the self shielding variety but it is also paired with a shielding gas. This wire is usually used for heavier applications and is paired with CO2 as a shielding gas more although an argon/CO2 mix is often a good choice. Dual shield flux core is best suited for heavier applications and is generally outside the scope of the homeowner or even those who run a small shop.
This is a pretty important factor to consider. If your intent is to drag the welding machine around the house or shop then one that is either lightweight or can be fitted to a cart would be a good choice. However if the welder is mounted to a bench or is unlikely to be moved a heavier more awkward welder is just fine. Also consider if the welding machine will be move to different locations or be taken on the road with you. This would also tie back into the consideration of input voltage as you need to be sure that you will always have power to run your machine no matter where you bring it.
Ease of Use
May of the welding machines on this list have advanced features that make setting the machine up easier. When you do not have years of experience or have gone to school to learn the ins and outs of welding it can be a daunting task to try and dial in a welding machine to deliver a perfect bead. Fortunately, many of the bigger welding machine manufacturers have taken this into consideration and added features that make setting up the machine simple.
The biggest consideration in picking out a welder is your own individual knowledge and experience with welding. When ever you have any questions or doubts just call up your local welding supply company and they will be more than happy to answer any questions, and give you advice on what you should buy in terms of wire and consumables. They can also recommend shielding gasses to pair with the material and wires you will use.