Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is the most popular welding method at hand. Its subtype—Metal inert Gas (MIG) Welding—is the most well-known. That’s because MIG welding is quite easy to learn and needs almost no cleanup; it also allows for a higher rate of productivity. Of course, that’s only if you have the right welder.
After meticulously reviewing the most popular MIG welders available, we found that the Hobart Handler 190 is the ideal MIG welder for general use. It is, however, the most expensive, and you probably need to pay that much if you’re just starting out or using a welder for projects at home only. That’s why we’ve included a number of different welders on this list. With these seven to choose from, you should have no problem finding the one that’s right for you.
In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice
Hobart 500554 Handler 190
Our Top Choices On The Market
Top 7 MIG Welding Machine On The Market
1. Hobart 500554 Handler 190 230V—Top Choice Under $1,000
Nothing beats the Hobart Handler 190 when it comes to ease of use, power, and portability. Its stylish compactness is perfect for use by professionals as well as hobbyists. In fact, the brand name itself is synonymous with quality and style when it comes to welding.
You can surely tackle every type of welding job with the use of this powerhouse machine. You can use it for your exhaust systems, auto body panels, mower decks, tool carts, trailer frames and hitches, bow racks, metal sculpture, fences, farm equipment, and other DIY projects. It is also designed to weld flux core steel, mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
The Hobart Handler 190 can weld 24-gauge up to 5/16" steel in a single pass, and it operates at 230V power and is also operable at 115V by simply changing its plug. It is very easy to set up and quick to adjust for various thicknesses, materials, and wires.
Well-built and of great quality, this machine is fine tuned for excellent welding. It is spool-gun ready for welding aluminum, so it eliminates any feeding problem that comes with aluminum wire welding. It also has a selector switch for spool gun or MIG gun operation. Moreover, it only takes a few minutes to set up the Hobart 190, and with its easy-to-follow manual, you can quickly and properly set it up.
The Handler 190 comes with a built-in gas valve, 10-ft work cable and clamp, dual gauge and gas hose, and MIG gun. It also comes with an 8-inch spool adapter, .030 contact tips, a sample spool of .030 flux-cored wire, and a manual and set-up guide. It is equipped with short circuit protection, self-resetting thermal overload, and self-resetting motor protection.
2. Miller Electric 120V, 90A @ 18.5VDC
Although the design of the “Millermatic” has always been minimalistic, it doesn't mean that it is less reliable. The brand name itself speaks voluminously of the quality and reliability of this model.
It packs a lot of power and is definitely a very useful tool to have. Moreover, it is very easy to operate and maneuver even for those who are just beginning to learn how to weld.
The Millermatic MIG welder comes with an auto-set feature that automatically sets the machine to its right parameters. When in manual mode, it affords fast flexibility when welding. It has a solid all-aluminum drive system with a robust wire drive with quick select. Its quick select drive roll makes it easy to set it up with its three grooves offering.
Its auto-set mode likewise offers a quick set up advantage, plus less spattering. It also helps safeguard your unit against any short circuit.
This unit can handle materials with a thickness of up 3/16" with its 140 A maximum power output. So, if you are looking for a sleek design, packed with awesome power, you should look into the Millermatic welder. It is, a little more expensive, though, at nearly $850.
3. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 115V—Top Choice for Beginners
Just like the Hobart Handler 190, the Hobart Handler 140 is designed for quality and durability. It is a top pick for its ease of use, power, and portability. It is also very compact and stylish and can be easily used by both professionals and hobbyists.
With this powerhouse machine, you can surely tackle every type of welding job. It is also designed to weld mild steel, flux core steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
The Hobart 140 is capable of welding 24-gauge up to ¼” mild steel and is recommended for MIG welding iron, copper, brass, magnesium, titanium, alloys, flux cored aluminum, cast iron, copper, titanium, magnesium.
It operates using 115V standard household current with an amperage output of 25-140. It also operates via the 5-postion voltage control selector and creates a very stable arc for all welding thicknesses.
It’s extremely versatile to use and is perfect for welders who work on household repairs, auto body, farm projects, or any yard project. Its spool of wire acts as the filler material. This type of feed head offers a quick-release roll level that enables you to have perfect control over the weld. Moreover, it doesn't create slags.
As a veritable master tool, the Hobart 140 is our top pick as the top choice for beginners. It costs just shy of $500.
4. Lincoln Electric Handheld120 VAC – Top Choice for Home Use
When it comes to ease of use and portability, the Lincoln Electric Handheld MIG Welder is definitely one of your best choices, especially, if you are a beginning welder. Professionals also find its performance on par with the other primary MIG welder brands.
As a go-to option for tyros and amateurs, the Lincoln’s Power 189C provides a hassle-free and easy to handle machine with a 30% duty cycle. It also allows you to uniformly run the beads on any type of specimen.
Using this machine, you can readily set up for gas-free flux core welding or gas-shielded MIG welding for aluminum, steel, or stainless steel. It offers a 50-500 IPM wire-feed speed control. It also comes with a fully adjustable drive system that lessens wire crushing and tangles.
A brass-to-brass gun connection that allows for enhanced conductivity. With its cast aluminum body and rigid drive, you can easily align the wires.
The Lincoln MIG is very portable at 2 pounds net weight. It is also designed for handling heavy-duty commercial welding jobs. It can provide a maximum output of 180 amps and can be conveniently plugged into a 230V household outlet.
It is ideal for use in fabrication and automobile welding, as well as home projects. While perfectly good for professional work, it’s also the top choice for Home Use. It costs right around $630.
5. LOTOS MIG175 175AMP MIG Welder – Top Choice for Aluminum
If you're looking for a versatile welding machine, the Lotos MIG 175 should be your choice. It is characterized by a durable and solid case with advanced transformer technology and awesome wire-feed motor function. It is operable at 200V to 240V and has an automatic dual frequency.
It’s suitable for welding mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and other types of metals. It is easy to use and can be set up within ten minutes. In fact, we would quickly agree with those who say that this is one of the easiest units to assemble.
It is capable of welding aluminum with a spool gun, and its transformer technology has been proven to be very reliable and durable. It can handle industrial standard 4" or 5" wire spools. Incorporated within the system is a resettable overload protection system to make the unit last longer.
The Lotos MIG 175 thrives in welding stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum plates with its power efficiency of 80%. Its performance is very stable, and its safety gauge is commendable.
If you’re looking for versatility and reliability, the Lotos MIG 175 should be in your top choices. It’s our pick for the top choice for aluminum. It’s also on the cheaper side at about $485.
6. Forney 309 140-Amp, 120-Volt
This easy-to-use and portable Forney MIG 140 is perfectly reliable when it comes to gas/no-gas welding. It is also a decent tool for industrial-level welding jobs. It is a highly compact and functional welding machine that is easy to handle.
Its awesome portability allows for more flexibility and increased productivity. Its key feature comes in the form of multiple voltage settings, which allows you to have perfect control over the amount of heat you’re using.
The high sparks it produces allow you to cut through a variety of materials. Because of this, it was necessary to integrate a cooling system into the machine.
The Forney MIG 140 can weld up to a ¼-inch workpiece. It also comes with a ready regulator and gas hose. It has a higher duty cycle as compared to its predecessor, and a quick-euro style disconnected torch. It also has a longer torch/gun with common consumables.
It comes with an HD cast aluminum feed/drive system with drive rolls and geared idler, plus a cable wrap and upgraded spooler. If you are looking for a topnotch welder on the lower end, this is definitely one to consider. It only costs about $430.
7. Everlast Power 140e — Top Choice Under $400
The Everlast Power 140e is a uniquely-designed welder. It comes with an IGBT inverter design that sends high ampere output as compared to other transformer-based models. It also has better duty cycle.
This welder enables you to have a step-less control of both the voltage and the wire speed. In a way, this welding machine is a two-in-one machine that allows you to readily shift from Stick welding mode to MIG welding mode.
You'll quickly notice that this model is equipped with many more than other welder options you’ll find in this price range. It has an adjustable burn back control that immediately sets the length of wire at every start. It also comes with standard drive rolls that can feed .023" to .030" wire diameter.
It is also designed to be used with both 4" and the 8" wire spools. We can confidently say that this one is a real powerhouse. Other welding machines feature a 140-amp MIG welder with 20% duty cycle and 90 amps. Everlast Power MIG, on the other hand, comes with a 25% duty cycle and a rated maximum output of 140 amps.
Moreover, it is lighter than similar models from other brands. Of course, one of its best features is that it’s very affordable. You can buy it for under $400, and usually under $380.
Our Top Choice for Your Money
Hobart 500554 Handler 190
There is no doubt that our top choice among these high-quality welding machines is the Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder. It is a cut above the rest – even over the more expensive Millermatic!
It is a powerhouse when it comes to welding and is far superior over other welding units in most parameters. It is also very easy to use and very portable. Its compactness and stylish design are bonuses appreciated by professionals as well as hobbyists.
It has a built-in gas solenoid valve and dual-gauge regulator with a gas hose. It also offers easy fine control of its output parameters for more enhanced arc performance with few spatter and better bead appearance. This means you'll be free from doing much clean up afterwards.
Moreover, its safety features are remarkable, being equipped with short circuit protection, self-resetting thermal overload, and self-resetting motor protection.
Furthermore, its 5-position voltage control setting is very satisfactory and provides great flexibility for its users. You can easily shift from 240V to 115V by simply changing its plug.
We also reviewed welding helmets for MIG. Check it out if you are interested.