The 5 Best Mig Welders of 2018

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder Amico Power DC160A Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder Goplus Cut-50 50A 220V Electric Plasma Cutter
Different types Mild steel metal steel of 1/4 inch thickness different types of steel Thin steel welding
High-range Mid-range Low-range Low-range Low-range
Multipurpose adjustable wire speed internal switch for setting Very user friendly free accessories included
Adjustements
Different types of steel Mild steel metal steel of 1/4 inch thickness different types of steel Thin steel welding
High-range Mid-range Low-range Low-range Low-range
Multipurpose adjustable wire speed internal switch for setting Very user friendly free accessories included
Check prices check prices Check prices Check prices Check prices

A  Metal Inert Gas or MIG welder uses metal wire and inert gas to create welds. They’re great for beginners who are learning to weld and are the easiest to use. Of all the welding machines, they work the fastest, deliver the best results and can be used to weld pretty much anything.

Take a look at our picks of the best 5 MIG welding machines on the market in 2018.

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder

The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder is easy to use right out the box. It has a huge range in amperage capabilities, from 24 to 140 amps and incredible arc performance. Beginners will feel comfortable learning on the Hobart 500559, while experienced welders will be very happy with the quality of the weld. It has five heat settings, which sets it apart from a lot of welders on the market, and it’s priced just right. The Hobart is ranked as one of the best value for money welding machines on the market, and it’s not hard to see why.

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Main Features

  • Sturdy, tough, and durable construction of industrial cast aluminum
  • Portable with a weight of 57 pounds
  • Offers very good arc performance for the best results
  • Features a 25-140-amp power output and can be used for different types of welding jobs
  • Runs a 115V current and it includes a voltage control feature to adjust the arc
  • Includes free accessories including a gas hose, MIG gun with liner, power cord, cable and clamp, and setup guide

Pros Cons
Excellent choice for beginners and experienced welders More expensive than other similar welding machines
Comes with a voltage control feature  It’s fairly heavy weighing around 65 pounds
Includes several free accessories  It has a fairly short duty cycle
Pros
Excellent choice for beginners and experienced welders
Comes with a voltage control feature
Includes several free accessories
Cons
More expensive than other similar welding machines
It’s fairly heavy weighing around 65 pounds
It has a fairly short duty cycle

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

The Lincoln K2185-1 welder comes with flux-cored wires and is MIG-ready. This means that you don’t need a separate gas tank to operate it. The welder is compact and lightweight, and there are a few accessories included. It’s ideal for use with metals that are 1/8 inch thick. The Lincoln welder also comes with several safety features, which we like.

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Main Features

  • Works with flux-cored wires and has adjustable wire feed speed
  • Offers a 20% output at 70 amps and amperage of 35 to 88 power output
  • Includes foot clamp cable, power cord, regulator, and gas hose

Pros Cons
Requires low power input Welds only mild steel up to 1/8”
Works without shielding gas Not suitable for heavy use
Wire-cooling feature for safe use
Pros
Requires low power input
Works without shielding gas
Wire-cooling feature for safe use
Cons
Welds only mild steel up to 1/8”
Not suitable for heavy use

Amico Power DC160A

Made in 2016, this is a fairly new model but is already rated as one the most user-friendly welding machines on the market. With 160 amp and DC input, it’s a powerful machine that can be used by professionals, those just learning to weld as well as hobbyists. There’s a lot to like about the Amico DC160A, from the IGBT inverter technology to the LED meter and of course the very affordable price tag. The welder is as easy to set up as it to use.

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Main Features

  • Features 60% duty cycle which makes it very efficient and has maximum power output of 160 amps
  • Includes electrode holder, cable, clamp, and input adapter cable and plug
  • Very good for use for repair and maintenance activities
  • Very good for use for repair and maintenance activities

Pros Cons
User-friendly and suitable for beginners as and professionals Lower power output than other similar welding machines
Very efficient with 60% duty cycle Can be unbalanced, but it’s not a deal breaker
Comes with a LED meter for easy operation
Machine is versatile and offers different options
Pros
User-friendly and suitable for beginners as and professionals
Very efficient with 60% duty cycle
Comes with a LED meter for easy operation
Machine is versatile and offers different options
Cons
Lower power output than other similar welding machines
Can be unbalanced, but it’s not a deal breaker

Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

The Forney Easy Weld 299 saves you money because it comes with a flux-cored welding wire, which means you’re not using argon or an argon CO2 mix. You can, if you like, buy the gas tank separately and use it if you prefer. The Easy Weld is compact, lightweight and comes with handles, making it the ideal choice for hobbyists and DIYers. It’s affordable, but there’s no compromise on the quality.

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Main Features

  • Works with flux-cored welding wire and a gas tank is optional
  • Features an output range of 125 amps only requires 120A to run which is a low requirement
  • Suitable for welding metals of ¼ inch thickness
  • Features internal switch that adjusts delay and sensitivity settings and includes leather welding gloves for safety

Pros Cons
Flux-cored welding wire for use without gas tank The spool feeder doesn’t work well with all sizes of wire
Affordable with lower power input requirement  Some users found the torch cable too stiff
Powerful and portable  For some, the welder can run too hot
Pros
Flux-cored welding wire for use without gas tank
Affordable with lower power input requirement
Powerful and portable
Cons
The spool feeder doesn’t work well with all sizes of wire
Some users found the torch cable too stiff
For some, the welder can run too hot

Goplus Cut-50 50A 220V Electric Plasma Cutter

The Goplus Cut-50 50A 220V Electric Plasma Cutter will work well for beginners, as well as professionals who need the basic features at an affordable price. The unit has the most advanced inverter technology, and the 50 amp plasma cutter deliver on stability and performance. The Goplus Cut-50 can be used outside in temperatures between 10 and +40 degrees, making it a versatile tool to have around.

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Main Features

  • Offers low power input at 110 volts with 105 amps power output
  • Suitable for use in different processes like sheet metal fabrication, light industrial use, automotive repairs and much more
  • Features a high-quality plasma cutter for precise results

Pros Cons
Heavy-duty and durable design Not as powerful as other machines on the market
Lightweight and compact design for portability  The power cable is short
Easy to set up and use
Pros
Heavy-duty and durable design
Lightweight and compact design for portability
Easy to set up and use
Cons
Not as powerful as other machines on the market
The power cable is short

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to buying a MIG welding machine, there’s no such thing as too much information. Even the more affordable options are an investment, and the last thing you want is to do is buy a machine that doesn’t meet your requirements.

Factors like portability, cost, and materials are all important, as is convenience and the quality of the finished product. The welders featured in our review are suitable for beginners and professionals and can be used around the house, on smallholdings for maintenance and repair jobs, and of course hobbyists.

So now you know what you want to do with your MIG welding machine, our buying guide will tell you what features to look for, such as duty cycle, power input, and output, feed speed and price.

Are you ready to learn all you need to know about buying a MIG welder?

Power Input & Output

When we talk about the power output, we’re referring to the power that’s needed to weld and cut steel. The thinner the steel, the less power, while thicker steel will need a machine with more power. A welder that offers at least 140 amps of output is a good one. If you’re going to be working with thin steel, you will need to consider the minimum output, which is around 20 amps.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle refers to how long you can use the welder before it needs to cool down. The duty cycle percentage is worked out by timing how long in a 10-minute period the welder can work without overheating. So, a 20% duty cycle means it can work for two minutes and needs an 8-minute cooling down period. The higher the duty cycle, the more efficient the machine.

Safety Features

It’s worth looking at a welding machine that has built-in safety features to avoid any mishaps when you’re working. Features that automatically switch off the machine before it overheats and those that cool the wire until the trigger is pulled are important.

Feed Speed

The feed speed is the speed at which the melting wire is fed to the gun. Too fast and too slow will affect the quality of the weld, so somewhere in between is just right. Most welding machines will have a setting to adjust the feed speed to suit a specific job. Make sure the one you choose has this setting.

Portability

The thing about MIG welders is they’re designed to be lightweight and compact so they can be used anywhere. The smaller size allows for more portability and means it can be used in areas where space is limited. If you plan on using it in different locations, including outdoors, make sure it has the power output you need.

Use of Shielding Gas

Some of the MIG welding machines come with flux-cored welding wire which means you don’t have to use an inert gas. For many people, this is a great feature. If you want to weld without worrying about the gas, you should buy a welding machine that comes with flux-cored wire.

Cost

When price is an issue (isn’t it always) there are MIG welding machines to suit every budget. But don’t be driven by cost alone. Compare features and make sure the welder you choose offers you value for money and the features you need.

Multipurpose Use

Not all MIG welders can be used for stick and TIG welding jobs, so make sure you know what you’ll be using your welder for. If you want to be able to weld and cut different types of metal and perform various functions, you’ll need a multipurpose machine.

Warranty

Check the warranty details before you buy. The minimum is usually a year, but ideally, you want one that has a 3 or 5-year warranty. Also, know what it includes, as some are limited and only over certain parts.

Conclusion

MIG welders are easy to use and affordable, which is why they’re handy for DIY projects and small maintenance or repair jobs. Any one of the welding machines featured in our review will be a great purchase. Otherwise, use our buying guide to choose of the many others available on the market.

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