10 Best MIG Welders for the Money 2020 – Reviews & Guide

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Last Updated on November 2, 2020

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), the most popular welding method at hand. Its subtype—Metal inert Gas Welding (MIG) 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 best 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 ten 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 Handler 190 MIG Welder

Hobart Handler 190
  • Ease of use, power, and portability
  • Tackle every type of welding job
  • Selector switch for spool gun
  • Built-in gas valve
  • Well-built and of great quality

Our Favorite MIG Welders On The Market [2020]


10 Best MIG Welders - Reviews


1. Hobart Handler 190 MIG Welder - Top Overall Pick

Nothing defeats the Hobart 500554 Handler 190 Wire Feed Welder when it comes to easy to use, portability and power. Its stylish compactness is perfect for use by professionals as well as hobbyists. In fact, the brand name itself is synonymous with high 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 500554 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 spool of 0.030 flux core wire, and a manual and set-up guide. It is equipped with short circuit protection, self-resetting thermal overload protection, and self-resetting motor protection.

You can virtually do any type of welding with the Hobart 500554 Handler 190, making it our first choice when it comes to MIG welding.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 130A.
  • Input Voltage: 220/230/240v.
  • Amperage Range: 25A - 190A.
  • Net Weight: 68 lbs.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Wire Feeder Speed: 40 IPM - 740 IPM.
  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty).

Pros

  • 7 voltage settings selections.
  • Integrated spool-gun control circuitry is standard.
  • Industrial cast aluminum wire drive system.
  • Door chart with initial settings.
  • Built-in contactor.
  • Self-resetting thermal overload protection.

Cons

  • Will require a 230V receptacle.
  • Fairly Expensive.

2. Goplus MIG130 MIG-Welder - Best Value

Our choice for the best value MIG welder is the MIG 130 from Goplus, which has a stainless steel body and can help you with both MIG and flux core welding. With the adjustable speed and temperature settings, you can easily pick the best settings based on your materials. You can choose from four speed and heat settings.

Located on the side of the welder are two air vents that allow cool air to get inside and around the motor to prevent high temperatures and overheating. Thanks to the automatic thermal protection, you don't need to worry about your safety.

The MIG 130 is a solid choice for budget shoppers because it comes with several tools such as a welding mask that you can wear to protect your face and welding wire for different applications.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 15% @ 105A 
  • Input Voltage: 110V 
  • Input Phase: 1-phase 
  • Amperage Range: 50A - 120A 
  • Net Weight: 35 lbs 
  • Warranty: 6 months 

Pros

  • Low price
  • Smart and compact design
  • Adjustable speed control settings

Cons

  • Cannot perform as well as more expensive welders can
  • Works better for flux core wire welding than MIG welding

3. Millermatic 141 MIG Welder - Premium Choice

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 mig weld.

The Millermatic 141 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.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A.
  • Input Voltage: 110/115/120v.
  • Amperage Range: 30-140A.
  • Net Weight: 51 lbs.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Wire Feed Speed: 15 IPM - 360 IPM.
  • Warranty: 3 Years.

Pros

  • Auto Spool Gun Detect.
  • Smooth-Start™ - It provides a smooth, spatter-free start.
  • Thermal Overload & 'Tip Saver' Short Circuit Protection.
  • Manual Mode.
  • Quick Select drive roll.

Cons

  • Need separate spool gun to weld Aluminium.
  • Fairly Expensive.

4. Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder - Top Choice for Beginners

Just like the Hobart 500554 Handler 190, the Hobart 500559 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 aluminum, mild steel, flux core steel, and stainless steel.

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 core 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-position voltage settings 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 MIG welder is our top choice for beginners.

Visit this link for full review of Hobart 500559 Handler 140.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A.
  • Input Voltage: 110/150/120v.
  • Amperage Range: 25A - 140A.
  • Net Weight: 57 lbs.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Wire Feed Speed: 40 IPM - 700 IPM.
  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty).

Pros

  • Excellent arc performance.
  • Convenient polarity changeover.
  • Five-position voltage control.
  • Self-resettng thermal overload.
  • Quick Select drive roll.

Cons

  • Will require a 20A outlet.
  • Not perfect for big projects.

5. Lincoln Electric K2698-1 Easy MIG Welder - Top Choice for Home Use

When it comes to easy usage and portability, the Lincoln Electric Handheld is definitely one of your best MIG welders, 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 cored welding or gas-shielded MIG welding for steel and aluminum, or stainless steel. It offers a 50-500 IPM wire feed speed control. This Lincoln Electric welding unit 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 Electric K2698-1 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 outlets.

This MIG model 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. 

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A.
  • Input Voltage: 115/160v.
  • Amperage Range: 30A - 140A.
  • Net Weight: 71 lbs.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Wire Feeder Speed: 50 IPM - 500 IPM.
  • Warranty: 3 Years.

Pros

  • Diamond Core Technology.
  • Industrial Cast Aluminum Drive.
  • Toughest PC Board Protection in the Industry.
  • Spool Gun Ready.

Cons

  • Not perfect for professional grade welding.
  • Cannot be used with a generator.

6. LOTOS MIG175 MIG Welder

If you're looking for a versatile welding machine, the Lotos MIG175 175amp  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. Lotos MIG 175 MIG welding machine is easy to work with 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 MIG welders to assemble.

This MIG welder is capable of aluminum welding 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 MIG175 175amp welding unit 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

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 135A.
  • Input Voltage: 200/240v.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Net Weight: 85 lbs.
  • Power Efficiency: 80%.
  • Warranty: 3 Years.

Pros

  • Durable, heavy-duty welder.
  • Two step trigger.
  • Automatic dual frequency @50/60Hz.
  • Spool Gun Ready.

Cons

  • Less portable.
  • Loud drive motor.

7. Forney Easy Weld  261 MIG Welder 

If you want a MIG welder that is suitable for beginners and both flux core and MIG applications, look to the Easy Weld 261 from Forney, which is easy to use. It has a portable design and weighs less than 20 pounds to help you work on any job site. All the included tools connect to the front and won't get in your way when you use the built-in carrying handle.

With both an 8 inch MIG welding gun and an eight-inch ground clamp, you can easily connect the welder to your gas and get the stability that you need. It comes with a torch wrap and can create welds of up to 1/4-inch thick. The Forney Easy Weld 261 works with the nozzles, clips and other accessories from Forney too.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 90A 
  • Input Voltage: 120V 
  • Input Phase: 1-phase  
  • Amperage Range: 25-125A 
  • Net Weight: 6.6 lbs 
  • Warranty: 1 Year  

Pros

  • Easy to use for entry level
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Suitable for MIG and flux core welding

Cons

  • Moves a little slower than other MIG welding machines do
  • Doesn't have as much power as some

8. Everlast PowerMIG 140 MIG Welder

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 good duty cycle.

This welder enables you to have a step-less control of both the voltage and 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.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A.
  • Input Voltage: 120v.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Amperage Range: 25A-140A.
  • Net Weight: 30 lbs.
  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty).

Pros

  • Inverter based design lowers weight and power consumption.
  • Runs off of household 120V power.
  • Standard drive rolls.
  • Durable IGBT components.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Not compatible with miller tips, But will work with Tweco.
  • Measurements are in metric.

9. Hobart Ironman 230 MIG Welder

The high price tag on the Ironman 230 from Hobart lets you know that this is a serious welding machine that can handle all of your daily jobs. It has a large amp range of 30 to 250 and allows you to set that range to the specific level that you need. You can weld materials of 0.5-inches thick in a single pass with a 24-gauge weld.

With the smooth and continuous arc that you get, you don't need to worry about splatters across your work area or getting control of the arc. It works with the optional spool gun that Hobart makes to help you weld even faster.

With 12-tap voltage settings, you can control where the arc goes and how it works. Thanks to the heavy-duty metal cabinet, the Ironman 230 can go anywhere you go also.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 175A 
  • Input Voltage: 230V 
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase 
  • Amperage Range: 30A - 250A
  • Net Weight: 185 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • Smooth arc
  • Maximum weld gauge of 24
  • Heavy-duty design with various power outputs

Cons

  • May need some frequent repairs
  • Regulator knob can crack from routine use

10. Forney 309 MIG Welder 

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 welder 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 this MIG welder 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.

Specifications

  • Duty Cycle: 35% @ 90 amps
  • Input Voltage: 120v.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Amperage Range: 30A - 140A.
  • Net Weight: 62 lbs.
  • Warranty: 5/3/1 Years (Industrial Warranty).

Pros

  • Improved Design.
  • Runs off of household 120V power.
  • Upgraded cast-aluminum wire drive system.
  • Torch with built in strain relief which extends cable life.
  • Easy and convenient to use.

Cons

  • Not perfect for heavy duty projects.
  • Cables are not long, not flexible to work in long distance.

Best 110V MIG Welders - Reviews


1. Lotos MIG140 110v MIG Welder

The Lotos MIG140 is a new and upgraded model that out in 2017. It is a 110v welder that can be connected to your household outlet and ready to go in less than 10 minutes. The new upgraded model can weld at industrial quality for a very affordable price.

It has 2 digital displays that help welders achieve more precise wire feeder speed and welding voltage. It is suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials.

It is very reliable and durable. It also has a full-adjustment drive system that has a digital wire speed display, which will reduce the chance of wire tangling and crushing. All of this makes this model a great affordable choice for your home shop.

It’s available for less than $275 and comes with a 1-year warranty.


2. LONGEVITY Migweld 140 110V MIG Welder

The Lotos MIG140 is a new and upgraded model that out in 2017. It is a 110v welder that can be connected to your household outlet and ready to go in less than 10 minutes. The new upgraded model can weld at industrial quality for a very affordable price.

It has 2 digital displays that help welders achieve more precise wire feeder speed and welding voltage. It is suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials.

It is very reliable and durable. It also has a full-adjustment drive system that has a digital wire speed display, which will reduce the chance of wire tangling and crushing. All of this makes this model a great affordable choice for your home shop.

It’s available for less than $275 and comes with a 1-year warranty.


Best 220V MIG Welders - Reviews


1. Miller Electric 1 Phase 220V MIG Welder

Taking it up a notch, this Miller Electric model is a 220v welder, which means that it has more power than a 110v welder. It’s also a heavier duty welder that will come in handy if you have some thicker materials that you need to work on. And even though it is more powerful than some other welders on our list, it is not extra heavy; in fact, it is quite portable.

It can weld mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The thickness of the seel it can weld in a single pass is up to 3/8 inch. It is a very quiet machine and it creates clean welds, leaving almost no spatter behind.

It will take you almost no time to set it up and it is very easy to use. It also comes with a 3-year warranty. The price of nearly $1,300 is worth the increased capacity of this welder, especially if you need a high-quality welder for your maintenance or machining business.


2. JEGS 81541 220V MIG Welder

The JEGS 180 is the budget-friendly 220v welder. This is a great JEGS product that offers high quality and high affordability. The controls on this machine are quite simple and no matter if you are a seasoned welder or just a beginner, you will get the hang of it in no time.

It’s also very small, which means that you can take it everywhere there is a job to be done. It only weighs 41 pounds, making it a convenient handheld model if you want to use it that way.

You will get a 1-year warranty when you buy this machine. All of the reviews praise this model for its security and ease of use.

You can easily adjust the welding voltage and wire feed with just one control according to the thickness of the material you’re working on. You have another control for adjusting the length of the arc or welding heat. When you find the right value, you won’t need to change it again, even when welding thicker or thinner sheets.


Our Top Choice for the Money

Hobart Handler 190

Hobart 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.


Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder 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.


Its capability to weld 24 gauge up to 5/16” in a single pass, plus its ease of setup, and versatility for use in various thickness, materials, and wires make it an excellent choice for most users. You can use it for welding virtually any material - from auto body panels to farm equipment. Without a doubt, the Hobart 500554 Handler 190 should be the primary choice of those who want an extremely versatile and durable welding machine.


MIG Welder Buying Guide


The best MIG welder is one that you can use on any job site that has everything you need. With our buying guide, you can check out the top features that you should consider before getting one of these welders.

Voltage

One of the first things to look at is the amount of voltage that the welder needs. You can then compare this to the voltage you have at home or work. Most MIG welders require 110 or 220 volts.

The voltage that it needs can give you an idea of the type of steel it will weld. Those with a 110V capacity typically only work on steel up to 3/16-inches. If you choose a 220V machine, you can weld steel up to 1/2-inch thick.

Spool Gun

You may want to consider MIG welders that come with a spool gun. This gun connects to the handle on the torch and lets you control how quickly the metal moves. Spool guns are especially helpful when working with aluminum.

Even if you buy a machine that lacks a spool gun, you may find that it is compatible with guns from the manufacturer. You can purchase a separate spool gun and use it on certain applications.

Safety Features

Make sure that the MIG welder you choose comes with some basic safety features such as overload protection, which ensures that you do not overload the system. Many welders have overheating protection too that keeps the motor from running so fast or hot that it burns out.

With thermal overload protection, you get more use out of your MIG welder. If you opt for a model without this feature, any overload to the system can turn the machine into a nonfunctional unit.

Weight

The weight of the welder is important for anyone who doesn't work in a dedicated garage or area. Carrying a welder that weighs 50 to 100 pounds or more can put stress on your body and limit where you can work. Some of the top portable models weigh only 20 pounds or less.

With the portable models, you'll also want to look for features such as a handle or case. The handle makes it easy to carry the machine from your car to the job site. A heavy-duty case ensures that it can stand up to your work.

Speed and Temperature Settings

We highly recommend narrowing down your search for a top MIG welder to those that come with adjustable temperature and speed settings. The speed adjustment settings let you go at your own pace and use a speed that works for the job at hand.

If you want to adjust the heat or temperature of the machine, you need to make sure it has an adjustable temperature range too. This typically looks like a small knob on the front that you can twist to change the heat that it produces. It's helpful to look for MIG welders that have air vents to prevent overheating and durable knobs that won't break too.


If you are on a budget, We have other MIG welder buying guide for

We also have articles on top welding helmets for MIG and top TIG welders for 2020. Check these out if you are interested.