Best Mig Welder

Hobart 500559
Mig Welder

Upon setting my sights on a mig welder for the first time, I wasn’t able to gain access to the internet because that’s how long ago it was. Because of this, I didn’t have all the information that I do now, and would love to pass it onto those who are new at this, and want a bit of guidance, or those who want someone who is a bit more seasoned to guide them on their journey of finding the best mig welder. Sure, you’ve heard of a tig welder, but you may be curious to know what a mig welder is.

If you’re wondering, a mig welder is a piece of welding equipment that uses heat from a wire electrode that’s consumable and takes metal to melt the two together. You may have also heard this referred to has a GMAW machine, which is a gas metal arc welding machine, MAG welding machine for a metal active gas application, and many more. In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of buying a mig welder, factors you should consider before purchasing the best mid welder, along with tips to know before taking the plunge and purchasing.

The Benefits of Buying A Mid Welder Machine

You probably already know the benefits of using a tig welder, but did you know that the advantages of utilizing a mig over tig is actually simple and poses advantages over the aforementioned? MIG welding is actually one of the more easier processes to learn when it comes to welding, along with being able to weld at crazy speeds – unlike many other types of welding. Beyond this, you’ll have much more control over metals that are on the thinner side, and the welding that you do will be far superior when it comes to cleanliness, thanks to the lack of slag you’ll have to clean. Beyond this, you can be versatile in your applications with mig welding, as these machines can be typically used for welding that’s flux-cored as well.

With that being said, there are a variety of applications that you can use a mig welder on, and that includes auto body work, trailer frames, farm and landscaping opportunities, boats and other vehicles, hunting stands, trailers for utility purposes, and even heavy repair! Materials that are best with mig welding include stainless steel, aluminum alloys, and normal steel.

A simple recap of the benefits of buying a mig welder machine include the following:

Clean and efficient to use – Loss of elements that are alloy due to the metal transfer and the shielding gas.

Easiest to learn – You can learn how to use a mig welding machine within hours thanks to the simplicity of the machine. Due to the lack of clean up necessary, mig allows newbies to learn the machines easily.

Higher productivity – because of the lack of changing rods and cleaning, more time is spent working on the project and application. Thus concluding, a cleaner and faster application.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Mig Welder Machine

When you go for a mig welder, you should probably already have a defined budget, and know what you can get within that budget. Going in and believing you can get everything on your wish list and more might not be the best approach – unless you have the money for it. Beyond this, you should know more about the device you’re trying to purchase. First, you want to know about the amperage of the machine. When dealing with MIG welding, this is one of the more pivotal pieces of information, as well as your thickness of steel. We’ll outline below what we mean:

Butt weld information:

  • 0MM – 90amps
  • 5mm – 110amps
  • 0mm – 130amps
  • 0mm – 150amps
  • 0mm – 180amps

V and Root Gap information:

  • 0mm – 90amp
  • 8mm – 110amps
  • 5mm – 130amps
  • 0mm – 150amps
  • 5mm – 180amps

Even if this makes you more unsure than you’ve ever been, there are calculators online that will help you determine the amperage versus the thickness and depending on the type of application that you’re trying to accomplish. When it comes to minimum amps, those who have something as thin as 1.0mm will want to go with am amp of around 30. Typically, mig welding machines that are smaller shouldn’t use anything below this number. It’s worth mentioning that a thickness of 8.0mm could use something as low as 20 or 25 – and it’s not uncommon.

Now, let’s talk a bit about your actual power supply. When it comes to your workshop, the maximum amps you can run with a 13amp outlet is around 150. Those that have bigger and larger machines will need wiring one for a blue plug that will be dedicated towards mig welding. The aforementioned will need something around 32amps. Of course, this will have to change annually as the consistency isn’t meant to be year-round and always. You could end up frying the outlet you’re working with and ruining your machines if you fail to do so.

The duty cycle of the machine is equally as important, but those that are more seasoned veterans will know this already. Skip over this if the forthcoming duty cycle information is already apparent to you. First and foremost, a duty cycle is when there is a 10-minute interval in which you can run the device at its peak current for a specific amount of time within this interval. When you run it for more or try to, you’ll find that it will overheat. You may have to do a bit of mental math in order to get this proper measurement. Beyond this, when you’re using a MIG welder that is at 60% during this 100-amp, 10-minute interval, this means you’re going to be running at full power for 6 minutes straight of this 10-minute interval. The percentage is basically the number of minutes you can use this at peak current consistently of the 100% (10-minute mark).

Tips to Know Before Buying a Mig Welder Machine

The price of your mig welding machine isn’t the only finance you’ll need to define. Beyond the actual machine, accessories required include consumables, gas, gloves, helmet, jacket, and other items. Without, you won’t be able to safely weld and you’ll be putting your life at risk. You may also want to consider your desired duty cycle. If you’re somewhat new, but you’re becoming more seasoned, a quick guide to knowing duty cycles per application follows:

  • Light industrial work – 20 percent duty cycle average, 230 amps and below
  • Mid to heavy industrial work – 40 to 60 percent duty cycle average, 300 amps and below

Now, let’s get onto the reviews of the best mig welder, along with our final verdict choice for the best on this list.

Best Mig Welder Reviews

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Mig Welder

Lincoln Electric K2185-1

A handy and portably mid welder, the aforementioned is manufactured by Lincoln Electric and has quite a few flashy features for the rookie or the more seasoned veteran. Features of the previously mentioned include the forthcoming:

  • You can weld mild steel up to 1/8”
  • You may plug this into a standard household outlet of 115V, 20 amps
  • Included is a one year warranty on labor and parts
  • 70 amp reading
  • Capable of welding both flux-cored and mig

The Breakdown of the Features

Coming with a variety of accessories, this Lincoln Electric mig welder is one that plugs into a standard household outlet for versatility and ease of use. Being able to weld mild steel upwards of 1/8” ensures that you can use it on very specific applications with ease. Being able to use one machine for a specific type of project will ensure that the project gets done right, instead of using a generally “ok” machine for a variety of applications and not seeing quality work. Beyond what we’ve stated, there’s an adjustable wire feed control for the speed, along with a solid mig wire, flux-cored wire, chipping hammer, and more. Of course, there are safety features implemented within the design of this mig welder machine.

The Advantages of the Product

Being able to plug into a household outlet with ease, and being able to transport this virtually anywhere, allows you to be versatile in your applications and have more flexibility with where you go and time for client projects. Beyond this, the ability to be able to weld both flux-cored and mig ensures even more versatility. Accessories that come with this package include a regulator, gas hose, clamp, machine, cable power cord that’s 8 feet long, and much more – even a gasless nozzle for any flux-cored welding.

The Disadvantages of the Product

While the performance of this Lincoln Electric mig welder is fantastic, if you’re looking for all accessories included, even the shield gas, you’ll have to look elsewhere, although the lack of shielding gas in the shipped package isn’t something uncommon, and we don’t think that should deter you from purchasing.

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Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder

Hobart 500559

Manufactured by Hobart, the 500559 Handler Wire Welder is simplistic and easy to use for even the newest of rookies. Boasting portability and a number of other features, some of these are inclusive of the forthcoming:

  • Operates between 25-140 amps
  • Drive system that’s industrial cast aluminum
  • Welds between 24 gauge and ¼-inch of steel that’s mild
  • Can operate on a standard household current of 115V
  • Has a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amps

The Breakdown of the Features

Those who are looking for something portable and easy to transport should look into the Hobart 500559, as it has quite a few features to show off. Being able to run on the standard household current of 115V, you don’t have to worry about blowing a fuse or potentially harming the outlet or machine. Beyond this, the drive system included is one that’s of industrial cast aluminum, and is capable of welding gauge sizes between 24 and ¼ inch of mild steel. The amp of this machine is capable of running between 25 and 140 amps, and a circuit that’s 20 amps is one that’s highly recommended for usage of this machine.

The Advantages of the Product

If you’re curious, the duty cycle of the aforementioned sets at around 20% when it’s done at 90 amps, which is 2 minutes of continuous welding at the peak of the current out of a 10-minute interval. Beyond this, the accessories included in the box want to make anyone pick this up, as it comes with a liner, regulator that’s dual gauge, a clamp and cable that measure 10 feet in length, a power cord that’s also 10 feet in length, gas hose, flux-cored wire, spool adapter, and much more. For the price, you can’t beat that it has everything to get started!

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t too many disadvantages, but if you’re looking for something that ultimately has a longer duty cycle for heavier industrial applications, you may want to look elsewhere, although the performance of this mig welder is something that you shouldn’t bat an eyelash at.

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Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP

Hobart 500553

Another product manufactured by Hobart, this 500553 handler is made for use with the SpoolRunner 100. Other features of this device include the following:

  • A gas solenoid valve that’s built in, along with a dual gauge regulator
  • The assembly of the spool hub ensures storage of 4-inch or 8-inch spools
  • 10-feet gun, and a 10-feet clamp and cable for comfortability and ease of use

The Breakdown of the Features

The 210MVP from Hobart is one of the more reliable mig welding machines on the market for those who are serious about getting into welding or serious about mig welding in general. Backed by the industrial warranty from Hobart, if you’re nervous about making the jump or of the quality, you’ll be able to use this Hobart with ease. Providing flexibility with the usage of either the typical 115V current in a household, or 230V power input, you’re able to connect and switch between the two without any tools whatsoever. You’re also able to set up within minutes and begin using to create clean and simplistic welding projects. Those who want to use this for home applications on their welding projects will be guaranteed usage for exhaust systems, garden equipment, sculptures made out of metal, farm equipment, tool carts, gun racks, bow racks, and many more items.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the many advantages of this product is how much is included and how many applications you can use this product with. Being able to use directly with the SpoolRunner 100 is yet another advantage, as it’s a reliable spool gun that’s plug-in. Some of the accessories that you receive with this include a dual gauge regulator, gas hose, contact tips that are .030, 8-inch wire spool adapter, cable and clamp, plug and power cord, and much more. Great for both mig and flux-cored applications, you’ll be able to use this with ease and versatility in mind.

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, but if you’re someone who wants to be able use 24 or 22 gauge with ease, you’ll have to be careful, as you may plow through the material without even thinking. More experienced welders will be able to handle these sizes with this machine, but not everyone can with such ease and grace!

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Hobart 500536 Ironman 230, 250 Amp MIG Welder

Hobart 500536

Being one of the more pricier machines on this list, those that are interested in heavy duty applications will find solace in knowing about the aforementioned product. Features of the Hobart Ironman include the following:

  • Capable of delivering 30-250 amps of power within a cabinet that’s heavy duty
  • A complete redesign of the MIG platform, being able to outperform competitors with ease
  • Voltage control, arc quality, and amplified duty cycle
  • Flawless weld, splatter-less and non-existent clean-up

The Breakdown of the Features

As you can see, there are a lot of features promised, as the above mentioned mig welder is a complete overhaul and redesign of the MIG platform that’s full-sized. Being a redesign, you’re ensured a better arc quality, more control over the arc, a better and amplified duty cycle, along with generally a better value. Beyond this, the machine is capable of delivering 30-250 amps continuously of power that’s pure in a cabinet that’s heavy duty. It’s worth mentioning that the Ironman 230 is capable of delivering the cleanest welds possible, making post-welding cleanup virtually non-existent, and splatter-less. Those who are curious, you can use this machine with auto body and auto repair uses, along with fabrication, home use, and construction usages.

The Advantages of the Product

While the features we mentioned pretty much double as advantages of using, there are also advantages that include the accessories that come with the shipped package. Some of these accessories include an input power cable, a plug, a work cable and clamp, 2 cable hangers that are plastic (along with hardware for mounting), extra contact tips, a flowmeter, a regulator, and much more!

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re nervous about disadvantages, the only true disadvantage that we were able to find is that the ground line is a bit short, as it’s only 9 feet-ish, and sometimes the power cord can seem a bit short depending on your workshop; however, these are simple to work around or replace if you’re more experienced.

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Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder

Lotos LTPDC2000D

Last on our list is a machine manufactured by Lotos; this 3-in-1 combo welding machine boasts a ton of features for a surprising price. Other features and specifications include the forthcoming:

  • Multipurpose – stick welder, tig welder, pilot arc plasma cutter
  • Non-touch pilot arc
  • Clean cut, ½ inch
  • Dual voltage

The Breakdown of the Features

If you want something that’s extremely versatile in applications and how you use it, you may want to look towards this Lotos machine. Being able to flip a switch and use a 200A stick welder or a 200A tig welder with ease is something that you can rarely find at this price point. Beyond this, the third combo includes a 50 A pilot arc plasma cutter feature, and a dual voltage option utilizing either 100V or220V. The max severance thickness includes a ¾’ measurement, as well as a ½’ measurement for the clean cut thickness. We all know that the arc is one of the most pivotal points of using a welding machine, and the non-touch pilot arc is something to look into, as this allows the user to be able to cut efficiently through painted, rusted, or other rough surfaces without the production of much slag. You don’t have to worry about touching the tip of the metal, and your quality of life with this machine will be much longer than you expect.

The Advantages of the Product

We can’t forget that the 3-in-1 combo alone something that you shouldn’t skip out on. You’re able to perform quite a few functions within the flip of a simple switch, and the portability of the machine ensures that you can do so wherever you need. Not sure about the power? You’re able to take advantage of the dual voltage capable of this machine, either 220V or standard household 100V with ease!

The Disadvantages of the Product

About the function of the stick welding (for those who may actually use it), you’ll want to invest in something that’s longer (around 10-feet extra minimum). While this doesn’t negate the performance of the product, it’s something that you should take into account as you measure out what you need.

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The Final Verdict

While mig welding is the easiest form of welding that can be learned in a quick manner, it’s worth doing a bit of research on anyway, and we hope this article has treated you well. Despite being easy, you may still have doubts about which product may be the best for you or your workshop. Even if you’re a teacher in a vocational school, we think that the Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder is a fantastic option to choose, as it’s affordable and operated off of a household current for simplicity and ease of use.

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