10 Best MIG Welders of 2020
MIG welders are one of the most common types of welders. They are very popular because they are easier to learn and use than other welders.
MIG welders also offer high welding speeds and are often used for flux-cored welding. They work well on thin metals, including steel, aluminum alloys, and stainless steel.
To make it easier for you to choose, this MIG welders review provides a list of the top welders in the market and compliments it with a buying guide.
10 Best Mig Welders – Review
1. Hobart 500559 (Simple & Easy 140-Amp Welder)
2. Hobart Handler 210 MVP (For 115 & 230 Volts)
3. Lincoln Electric K2185 (Handy Package)
4. Lotos MIG175 (175-Amp with Aluminum Gun)
5. Super Deal 130 (Cheapest with Accessories)
6. Forney 261 (Compact & Lightweight Flux-core Welder)
7. Goplus 130 (Compact with Accessories)
8. Everlast I-mig140e (Inverter Based)
9. Miller Millermatic 211 (Commercial Quality)
10. Lincoln K2278-1 (Compact for Beginners)
1. Hobart 500559
(Simple & Easy 140-Amp Welder)
2. Hobart Handler 210 MVP
(For 115 & 230 Volts)
3. Lincoln Electric K2185
4. Lotos MIG175
(175-Amp With Aluminum Gun)
5. Super Deal 130
(Cheapest with Accessories)
6. Forney 261
(Compact & Lightweight Flux-core Welder)
7. Goplus 130
(Compact with Accessories)
8. Everlast I-mig140e
9. Miller Millermatic 211
10. Lincoln K2278-1
(Compact for Beginners)
1. Hobart 500559 – Simple & Easy 140-Amp MIG Welder
- Input Power: 115 Volts
- Amp Range: 25-140
- Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps
- Weight: 57 pounds
Hobart loads this welder with so many impressive features to make it one of the best MIG welders for home use. Some of these features include its excellent and stable arc on all thicknesses and its 5-position voltage control.
This welder easily handles different materials from stainless steel, aluminum, and different alloys. It will weld mild steel from 24 gauge up to 1/4-inch. The wire-feed speed ranges from 40 to 700 IPM, while the power output ranges from 25 to 140 Amps.
You also get 10-ft work and gun cables, a quick-select drive roll for faster setups with two grooves for solid wires and a third for flux-cored wire.
Although the package includes all cables, gauges, and the gun, you must pay extra if you want a rack. Asides from that, the 3-year warranty and reliable construction make it a great offer.
More Detailed: Hobart 500559 Review
2. Hobart Handler 210 MVP – MIG Welder for 115 & 230 Volts
- Input Power: 115 Volts, 230 Volts
- Amp Range: 25-140 (115 V), 25-210 (230 V)
- Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps(115 V), 30% at 150 Amps (230 V)
- Weight: 87.5 pounds
For those who want a more serious system, this Hobart Handler 210 offers you the versatility and finesse that you need to make your best MIG welds. It will weld 24-gauge mild steel up to 3/8-inch.
You can run it on both 115 and 230-Volt outlets. It offers 7 voltage settings for fine-tuning at 230 Volts and 4 settings at 115 Volts. For the duty cycle, you get 20% at 90 Amps and 115 Volts, and for 230 Volts, you get 30% at 150 Amps.
The downside is that it's the second-costliest and heaviest offer here. But when you consider the included dual-gauge hose with a gun, the multi-voltage plug, the included 0.030 flux-cored welding wire and 3-year warranty, then it looks like the market's best dual-voltage MIG welder.
3. Lincoln Electric K2185 – Handy MIG Welder Package
- Input Power: 115 Volts, 20 Amps
- Amp Range: 35-88
- Duty Cycle: 20% at 70 Amps
- Weight: 26 pounds
Here comes one of the best MIG welders for beginners and this is for many reasons. First, it's small and compact, making it a perfect entry-level machine.
Second, it includes many accessories, making things easier for the first-timer. You get a gun and cable assembly, a gas nozzle, and regulator, work cable and clamp, contact tips, flux-cored and solid wires, plus a chipping hammer/brush.
It also includes a hand shield with a filter plater and lens. All that's lacking in this package is a cylinder of shielding gas. But since flux-cored wire and contact tips come included, you can also get welding right away.
4. Lotos MIG175 – 175-Amp MIG Welder with Aluminum Gun
- Input Power: 220/240 Volts
- Amp Range: 30-175
- Duty Cycle: 20% at 175 Amps
- Weight: 88 pounds
How about a solid MIG welder running on a solid transformer system? This Lotos MIG175 offers you that reliability with plenty of accessories to make it one of the best MIG welders for the money.
In addition to its many accessories, it includes an aluminum spool gun, so you are versatile with ease. It has a 30-175 Amps range and features adjustable voltage and wire speed.
Designed for 220/240-Volt use, you may need extra wiring to work with it and this is its major disadvantage. It's also the heaviest welder on this list because of its transformer.
You get it with a 12-month warranty, however, and it includes a MIG torch, a welding mask, contact tips, wire, a gas hose, and a regulator.
5. Super Deal 130 – Cheapest MIG Welder with Accessories
- Input Power: 110 Volts, 60Hz
- Amp Range: 50-120 Amps
- Duty Cycle: 10% at 105 Amps
- Weight: 38.1 pounds
If you're on a budget or want the cheapest MIG welder with lots of value, then this Super Deal offer is worth looking into. It's the cheapest on this list and it comes with lots of accessories.
Weighing just 38.1 pounds and with compact dimensions, it's easy to carry around anywhere you wish. The package includes a torch with two tips, a ground cable, and a face mask.
What's not so impressive here is that you can only weld with flux-cored wires, and not with solid ones. The welder, however, offers four current control settings, wire-speed settings, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
6. Forney 261 – Compact & Lightweight Flux-core MIG Welder
- Input Power: 120 Volts
- Amp Range: 140 Amps
- Duty Cycle: 30% at 90 Amps
- Weight: 19 pounds
This Forney 261 welder weighs just 19 pounds and measures 16.8 x 8.1 x 12 inches, making it the best portable MIG welder in this review.
It's also simple and easy to use. All you need is a 0.30 flux-cored wire. You can control the wire feed speed, as well as make the perfect power-level choice.
Unlike the Super Deal 130 above with its PVC construction, this Forney 261 features a rugged and durable all-metal case. It also includes an 8-ft clamp cable and another 8-ft cable with the MIG gun.
It has its downsides too. You can only use flux-cored wires with it and there are no fancy accessories like welding masks or storage shelves. Forney backs it with a 1-year warranty.
More Detailed: Forney 261 Review
7. Goplus 130 – Compact MIG Welder with Accessories
- Input Power: 110 Volts
- Duty Cycle: 15% at 105 Amps
- Weight: 35 pounds
Here's another compact MIG welder, although it's not as lightweight as the Forney 261 above. It comes at a lower price, however, and includes more accessories.
You get a heavy-duty stainless steel body, designed to last you a long time. There's also a carrying handle to make mobility simple and easy.
There are four power levels and 10 wire speeds. Goplus gives its duty cycle at 15% using 105 Amps of power.
Keep in mind that this welder only works with flux-core wires and its warranty is only for 90 days. It comes with a welding mask though, a 0.9mm welding line, a chipping hammer/brush, and all the cables, metal tips, and torch that you need to get started.
More Detailed: Goplus 130 Review
8. Everlast I-mig140e – Inverter Based MIG Welder
- Input Power: 120 Volts
- Amp Range: 140
- Duty Cycle: 35% at 135 Amps
- Weight: 25 pounds
This 120-Volt powerhouse from Everlast is an IGBT inverter MIG welder with very modern and impressive features. First, its inverter design means less weight and it weighs only 25 pounds.
Secondly, you get step-less controls of both the wire feed speed and the welding current. This means more precise controls, making it one of the best wire feed welders.
Thirdly, you get a 35% duty cycle at 135 Amps or 25% at its top of 140 Amps.
For downsides, the Forney 261 is still more lightweight than this and Everlast doesn't include a quick-start guide for beginners. They include an impressive 5-year warranty, however.
9. Miller Millermatic 211 – Commercial Quality MIG Welder
- Input Power: 120/240 Volts
- Amp Range: 30-230
- Duty Cycle: 40% at 150 Amps
- Weight: 49.9 pounds
Miller Electric's Millermatic 211 is an exceptional device. It's designed for commercial use and lets you run it on either 120 or 240 Volts for versatility.
It offers a 40% duty cycle at 150 Amps, which is the highest in this review, and it works with either solid or flux-cored wires.
The package includes a 10-ft cable with clamp, a 10-ft MIG gun cable, a gas regulator with hose, and a spool of 0.03 Hobart solid wire.
It's also backed by a 3-year warranty and includes adapters for 120 and 240-Volt sockets. So, check out this offer is you are looking for the best professional MIG welder.
10. Lincoln K2278-1 – Compact MIG Welder for Beginners
- Input Power: 115 Volts
- Amp Range: 35-88
- Duty Cycle: 20% at 70 Amps
- Weight: 45 pounds
This Lincoln Electric welder easily plugs into any 115-Volt household outlet and delivers between 35 and 88 Amps of output power. It isn't much but it's perfect for beginners.
Other features that make it one of the best MIG welders for beginners include its lightweight and portability, as well as the included face mask and wire spool.
Asides from its limited power output, a second con is that you can only use flux-cored wire with this welder. It's competitively priced anyway, and Lincoln Electric backs it with a 1-year warranty.
How to Buy the Best MIG Welders
The following are the most important features of a MIG welder. You must understand and consider them when deciding, so you can choose the best MIG welder.
1. Input Power
All MIG welders use electricity, but they step down the voltage from the mains AC supply to about 30 Volts, which is more suitable for welding. The way they do this, however, varies. So, you have the transformer welders and inverter welders.
Transformer Welders. This MIG welder features the traditional approach of using a step-down transformer to bring down the input voltage. Their advantages include sturdiness and durability.
Inverter Welders. With inverters, complex circuitry gets used in transforming the input power. This comes with the added advantages such as better arc control, faster welding speeds, and overall improved ease of use. Their downsides include sensitivity to knocks and less sturdiness.
Asides from type, check to make sure that your shop has a good socket and wiring. The voltage should match, whether it's 110 or 220 Volts, and the welder's largest current draw should lie below your circuit breaker's Amp rating. So, for instance, if the welder has a 110-Volt and 50-Amp rating, then you'll need a 110V supply with a 55 or 60-Amp circuit breaker.
2. Amp Range
While MIG welders work at lower voltages, their output current usually varies and it's given in Amps. This variance is necessary so you can adjust the welder to fit the job at hand.
You want an output Amp range that's as wide as possible. 30 Amps and below is a great minimum Amp value because it lets you do more jobs, down to 18-gauge.
For the upper range, 120 to 150 Amps will do for most hobby jobs, but if you need to do heavy-duty welding, then you'll need a more powerful welder.
3. Duty Cycle
MIG welders get hot because of the high flow rate of electric power through their components. To prevent the welder from overheating, manufacturers add a duty cycle feature.
The duty cycle here refers to how many minutes within 10 minutes that the welder can work at its highest rated output before needing a rest.
So, for instance, a 60% duty cycle at 100 Amps means you can run the welder at its 100-Amp maximum output for 6 minutes before it needs a 4-minute rest.
4. Thermal Overload Protection
Although most welders come with a duty cycle feature, it's still possible for a MIG welder to overheat and possibly get damaged. This can happen because of poor ventilation, ambient temperature, and voltage issues, which reduces the welder's duty cycle, making it overheat prematurely.
To prevent such a disaster, thermal overload protection stops the welder immediately its temperature reaches a threshold.
5. Wire Speed
This is given in inches per minute, IPM or in/min and refers to how fast the wire gets fed into the weld joint. This speed also affects the welder's current, which affects the level of heat and the speed of the welding process.
You'll also need to consider the material that you're working with because MIG welders have limits. You can easily work on steel, stainless steel, and aluminum alloys with a MIG welder, but other materials may present one issue or the other.
This one's a personal decision. You need to consider the work that you'll be doing with your MIG welder to know if portability is important or not.
If you'll be moving around from worksite to site, then you need a portable system that's as lightweight as possible, easy to carry, and compact. Else, then portability doesn't matter.
We've reached the end of this best MIG welders review and you've seen all these impressive and top welders in the market.
It's now your turn to choose but you must do it on your own because no one knows what you need and can afford better than yourself.
- 10 Best Mig Welders – Review
- 1. Hobart 500559 – Simple & Easy 140-Amp MIG Welder
- 2. Hobart Handler 210 MVP – MIG Welder for 115 & 230 Volts
- 3. Lincoln Electric K2185 – Handy MIG Welder Package
- 4. Lotos MIG175 – 175-Amp MIG Welder with Aluminum Gun
- 5. Super Deal 130 – Cheapest MIG Welder with Accessories
- 6. Forney 261 – Compact & Lightweight Flux-core MIG Welder
- 7. Goplus 130 – Compact MIG Welder with Accessories
- 8. Everlast I-mig140e – Inverter Based MIG Welder
- 9. Miller Millermatic 211 – Commercial Quality MIG Welder
- 10. Lincoln K2278-1 – Compact MIG Welder for Beginners
- How to Buy the Best MIG Welders