Best Mig Welder

If you’re looking for the best mig welder, we’ve compiled specs, reviews and real world experiences to highlight the best mig welders on the market for beginners as well as some of the best 110v mig welders for home use aimed at more seasoned DIY hobbyists. We looked at safety, versatility, weld thickness range, voltage requirements and real world durability.

Our top pick, the Goplus MIG 130, uses convenient flux core wire and has a versatile multifunctional control panel with 10 levels of wire feeding speed. Read on for more of our top picks.

Top 5 Best Mig Welder

 #1  Goplus MIG 130 MIG Welder

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy to use and set up, this no gas welding tool is a great mig welder for stainless steel, using a flux cored wire. And it ultimately ranks as both our top pick and the best for beginners.

Pros
  • Best beginner
  • Plenty of cooling for durability
  • Uses household 120V power
Cons
  • Limited to about 1/8-1/4 inch steel thickness
  • Can trip breakers if used at home on higher setting

This DIY welder uses flux cored wire that keeps the molten slag from oxidizing as you go. It takes 120V current and has a duty cycle of 15% at 105 Amps at max output. It even comes with a mask and free wire.

Also making it one of the best MIG welders for beginners, this Goplus MIG 130 has a metal frame with plenty of cooling vents so it can operate safely. It also has a thermal protection overheat cutoff switch to prevent overheating. According to its specs, it can weld up to 1/4 inch steel. When used with stainless flux core wire it can weld stainless steel as well. Let’s just say it is heaps more powerful than the best wrench.

 #2  Hobart 500559 MIG Welder

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Hobart MIG welder is the best 115V MIG welder for home use for experienced hobbyists and DIYers.

Pros
  • Best for DIY & home improvement
  • Welds 24 Ga to 1/4 inch mild steel
  • Uses 115V current
Cons
  • More expensive than the Goplus 115V
  • Doesn’t include wire and face mask

A Hobart MIG welder for home use, this DIY welder is capable and easy to use for home improvement, household repairs, garage art projects, auto body work, and more. It uses regular 115V current and has a 20% duty cycle at 90 Amps. A high quality MIG welder, it has an industrial fully aluminum drive system and heavy duty clamps for durability.

For fine tuning your arc and creating smooth, stable arc thickness, it offers a five position voltage control selector. It can weld anywhere from 24 Ga to 1/4 inch mild steel, and with the right wire it works well for welding stainless steel and even aluminum. This powerful beast should be in your garage just like the best brake bleeder kit. Be sure to also check out the LOTOS MIG175 Mig Welder, which includes input voltage of 220/240V AVC and a high speed spool gun for welding up to a 3/8-inch aluminum plate. It also features thermal overload protection, extending the product’s longevity.

 #3  Fourney Easy Weld MIG Welder

Award: Easiest to Use

WHY WE LIKE IT: This fully gasless welder uses flux cored wire and offers the simplest controls of any welder under 300 on our list.

Pros
  • Simple & efficient controls
  • Welds 24 gauge to 1/4 inch steel
  • Works on household 110V power
Cons
  • For best results requires .030 wire
  • Included wire is a small 5 lb spool

This mig welder for beginners works on steel of thicknesses up to 24 Gauge to 1/4 inch. It has a simple two position switch for sheet metal and thin plate modes. It works on household 120V current and produces a max 125 amp output.

Thanks to its smarty laid out, simple controls, this Easy Weld flux core welder lives up to its name and is easily among the best mig welders for beginners. It makes for a great DIY tool for home repairs, artists and sculptors, and auto body work. The best engine hoist is another powerful tool.

 #4  Super Deal PRO MIG Welder

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: A compact and inexpensive mig welder that comes with wire and a mask as well as two extra tips, which makes it easy for the novice to get started.

Pros
  • Includes starter kit (mask, etc)
  • Auto off safety overheat prevention
  • Fine controls for 10 levels of wire feed speeds
Cons
  • Less suited for thicker plate than the Hobart or Lincoln Electric MIG welders
  • Less rugged than the Goplus MIG welder

This compact 110V MIG welder is easy to use and has precise controls as well as an auto off overheat protection feature. In spite of its bargain price it comes very well equipped with accessories including a starter reel of flux core wire, two extra tips and a brush/chipping hammer. It also comes with a safety mask.

Since it’s so portable this MIG welder is easy to take with you to the shop or studio. It works on regular household current and offers high and low amperage settings. It has 10 wire feed speed settings for precise feed control. It is every bit as handy as the best pipe wrench.

 #5  Lincoln Electric K2185 Welder

Award: Best Portable

WHY WE LIKE IT: This versatile compact 110V MIG welder can work with shielding gas or as a gasless welder using flux cored wire and is among the best versatile mig welders on the market

Pros
  • Lightest weight
  • Comes with wire and three spare contact tips
  • Works on 110V household current
Cons
  • Smaller effective thickness limit of 1/8 inch steel
  • More expensive than the Goplus MIG welder

Ultra light at just 26 lbs, this portable MIG welder is a great DIY tool for home welding projects or to keep on hand in the shop for quick MIG welding with a maximum thickness of about 1/8 inch. It has important safety features such as overheat protection and a cold contractor feature that keeps the welding wire electrically cold until the welding gun’s trigger is pressed.

While it’s not as effective for when you need thicker 1/4 inch welds as the Hobart MIG welder, this Lincoln Electric MIG welder is still very versatile. It’s able to run as a MIG welder with shielding gas or as a gas-less welder using flux cored wire, and it comes with a good selection of accessories including a hand-shield and chipping hammer/ brush. Speaking of useful tools, the best allen keys are a must for your workshop. Another portable option is the Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder, which has an amperage range with a max of 210 amps in a small portable case, dual voltage capabilities, and a variety of voltage settings (either 115V or 230V of input power) for better wire speed control. With this Hobart MIG, flux cored wire is provided and used as well, but overall, this great product is rather pricey, so if you’re looking for a low price, this may not be the best option for you.

How We Decided

In order to select the best inexpensive mig welders on the market, we looked at safety features, ease of use and power output. With a focus on mig welders for home use, we limited our search to those that use a regular household power supply, rather than requiring 220V power.

We only considered welders with key built-in safety features including an overheat protection cutoff circuit and a welding wire that remains electrically “cold” when the trigger is not being pressed. These are essential when seeking the best mig welder for beginners.

We also only looked at MIG welders that could function with flux cored wire, which gives you the option of welding without needing an accessory cylinder of metal inert gas to prevent the slag from oxidizing as you weld.

Finally, with DIY projects in mind, we selected MIG welders such as the Hobart (our #2 pick) that were versatile enough to handle projects like joining up to 1/4 inch thick steel tubing, along with a couple of budget MIG welders that stood out for durability and safety, even if they were less able to cope with thicker gauge materials.

MIG Welder Buying Guide

Features to Consider

  1. Voltage Requirement
    Most MIG welders use either 220V current or 120V, 115V or 110V household power supplies. If you don’t have wiring for 220V–most houses don’t come with many 220V plugs–look for a 110V MIG welder.
  2. Safety Switches
    In order to safely operate a home MIG welder, in addition to having the proper personal safety equipment, a welding face mask and gloves, it helps if the welding machine has built in overheat protection–these things run a lot of current and generate extremely intense heat at the electrode. It also helps if the welder has a failsafe that makes sure the wire doesn’t become “live” until the trigger is pressed.
  3. Gas vs Gas-less stick welding
    MIG welding stands for “Metal Inert Gas” welding, In a typical MIG welder, the arc at the electrode tip is accompanied by a jet of metal-inert gas in order to protect the electrode, the wire and the molten metal from oxidation. In welding with a flux cored wire, on the other hand, the wire itself releases the protective inert gas and so no external gas supply is needed. Thus it is sometimes referred to as “gas-less” welding.
  4. Materials and Range
    The best MIG welders can weld steel, stainless steel and even aluminum. The thickness of metal they can handle depends on the type of electrode and the amount of current. For welders using flux core wire, look for performance including the ability to weld mild steel in thicknesses of at least up to 1/8 inch. For true MIG welders, look for those rated to weld steel up to 1/4 inch.
  5. Mask and Tips
    Some MIG Welders come with a protective mask included; while hobbyists and experienced welders will likely already own such essential gear, a MIG welder with a mask included may be the best for beginners. Likewise, a MIG welder with extra tips lets you get started quicker and use different thicknesses of wire.

Mig Welder FAQs

What is a good MIG welder for home use?

The best MIG welders for home use are in general 110V MIG welders; they typically use step down inverter power supply systems, enabling them to run on conventional household power. Modern home MIG welders can operate at least in “low power” mode on a standard 20 Amp breaker.

What is a good MIG welder for beginners?

In general, the best MIG welder for beginners is a flux cored wire MIG welder; this way you don’t need to utilize an external gas supply and the controls on the machine itself can be simpler.

Can you MIG weld without gas?

A MIG welder using a flux cored wire doesn’t need an external inert gas supply, making it simpler to use and easier for beginners.

Are cheap MIG welders any good?

Thanks to advances in inverter and power unit controls, MIG welders for home use have come down in price and there are now many MIG welders under $300 on the market. Some of these are good quality and have proven reputations for durability. Look for key safety features and ample cooling capacity, as well as a metal wire feed.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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