Are you about to begin a career in welding? Do you want to fix small cracks on your motorcycle without having to go to the mechanic? Or are you simply adding welding expertise to your repertoire of necessary life skills?
If any of these describe your situation, then you are in the right place. Fixing your metallic household/garage items can be as easy as ABC thanks to the MIG welder.
Their principle of operation is simple enough to understand and get the hang of. These MIG welders have a wire welding electrode that creates an electrical arc between itself and the base metal. The heat from this spark melts the wire and fuses it to the metal surface, creating a strong weld.
You can use the MIG welder on both thick and thin metals, and this means you can virtually fix any broken/cracked piece of equipment in the home or garage yourself.
Knowing you want one and actually getting it are very different things. There are scores of options in terms of brand names and the various models therein.
Conducting research will be key in getting to figure out what is right for you. Don’t despair, though. We have done our homework and are happy to present to you the best MIG welder available anywhere.
Best MIG Welder Reviews 2021
|Forney Easy Weld 261||Check On Amazon|
|Sungold MIG 140 Welder||Check On Amazon|
|Lincoln Electric K2185 MIG Welder||Check On Amazon|
Lotos MIG175 MIG Welder
|Check On Amazon|
Sungoldpower MIG190 Welder
|Check On Amazon|
1. Forney Easy Weld 261
When it comes to welding, you’ll be hard-paced to find anything better than the Forney Easy Weld 261. The first thing you need to note about this welding machine is that it is very powerful. It has an input voltage of 120 V and an output of 140 A.
These specifications translate to a welding performance of up to ¼ inches (6.35 mm). This machine has a 0.3 flux core wire, infinite voltage plus speed control capabilities for a high-quality weld.
While its features and capabilities are impressive, it doesn’t translate to a bulky device. The Forney Easy Weld measures 16.75” (425.45 mm) by 8.125” (206.38 mm) by 12” (304.8 mm). This brings the overall weight of the device to a manageable 19 lbs. (8.62 kilograms).
It is, therefore, portable and will undoubtedly serve well all the DIY, hobbyist, fabrication, repair, and maintenance projects you might be involved in.
- It is sturdy
- The portability it offers is much appreciated
- Very easy to set up
- Offers value for money
- Its wire speed is slow
- The customer care support needs some work
2. Sungold MIG 140 Welder
Whether you are doing outdoor repairs, working on rusty metal fabrication, or just doing some regular repair and maintenance, the Sungold MIG 140 Welder is just what the doctor ordered.
It has a number of elite features, such as its dual 110 V and 220 V input voltage. The output for the former is a current value of 120 A (and a voltage of 20 V), and for the latter, an output current of 140A (and a voltage of 21 V).
For this reason, this machine has adequate internal temperatures maintained thanks to over-heating protection and a fan-cooling system. The Sungold MIG 140 Welder can be used for both gas and gasless operation.
It is well suited for 2 lb and 10 lb wire spools. Furthermore, it uses a range of 0.023” to 0.039” flux cored and solid cored wires. Finally, depending on the kind of applications and whether you want to weld with different thicknesses, the MIG 140 has a variable welding current and wire feed speed.
- The package has everything you need for welding
- It also has secured packaging to prevent any surprises on arrival
- Delivers a lot of power
- It is strongly built
- The manual is not informative
- Some devices had problems with the trigger unit
3. Lincoln Electric K2185 MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric K2185 is perfect for hobbyists and anyone who’s willing to try their hand in DIY home repairs. This machine isn’t overly huge, and it comes with a length of 12.75”, a width of 8.75”, and a height of 18”.
These dimensions tell of its compactness, but it is well worth noting that it is made of lightweight construction as well. It will certainly exceed your expectations when working on light-gauge mild steel projects.
More specifically, it allows you to work with the aforementioned mild steel from 24 gauges to a breadth of 0.125”. Such a range of functionality is possible due to Lincoln Electric’s continuous wire feed speed regulation and four settings for voltage.
One other thing that we love about this device is that it has everything you will ever need in one package: an 8-foot power cord, an 8-foot clamp cable, gun assembly, cable assembly, gas nozzle, gas hose, gas regulator, hand shield, solid wire spool, and contact tips.
- It is a portable device
- The build is both compact and lightweight
- Has everything included in the box
- It is affordable and easy to use
- Overheats when working for long periods
- The regulator should have a gauge for gas level assessment
4. Lotos MIG175 MIG Welder
There’s a reason why its name, the Lotos MIG175 MIG Welder, sounds like the lotto. This machine is an absolute steal and will diligently serve anyone well from beginner-level DIYers to professional welders.
It features transformer technology that has proven time and again to be both reliable and long-lasting. You can set it up in less than 10 minutes as it readily connects to your 220 V outlet. It can be operated at frequencies of both 50 Hz and 60 Hz.
The Lotos MIG175 has an optimized aluminum wire feeder that ensures a stable welding performance. Its included 10’ 4” MIG spool gun ensures high-speed operation. It features a four-pronged end linkage and has a 0.9 mm diameter 1 lb aluminum wire included.
This MIG welder can be used with a large variety of metals such as mild steel, welding stainless steel, and aluminum. In addition to the spool gun and wire, it also comes with a MIG torch, ground clamp cable, argon regulator, contact tips, mask, and a gas hose.
- The spool gun is easy to use
- It has been well packaged
- Very well priced
- Its customer care service is exemplary
- No warranty pas the 90-day return period
- It is difficult to find replacement parts
5. Sungoldpower MIG190 Welder
The Sungoldpower MIG190 Welder has both MIG and stick functionalities. For this machine, when running on MIG mode, it has gas-shielded MIG, gasless 0.023” to 0.039” flux-cored, and solid core wire (0.8 mm, 0.9 mm, and 1 mm) welding features available.
All this is suitable for both 10 lb and 2 lb wire spools. Additionally, its inverter has a high-frequency capability that minimizes both the weight and volume of the welding machine.
Its high duty cycle of 60% ensures you will use the Sungoldpower MIG190 Welder for years to come. The manufacturers of this gem anticipated the myriad of applications it could be used for, and this is why it has easily variable welding voltage, current, and wire feed speed.
This powerhouse has a dual input voltage of both 110 V and 220 V. It can be used on mild steel, iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel, just to mention a few metal surfaces it can work with/on.
- It has a lightweight construction
- Easily adjustable speed
- Works well for its price tag
- The build is of good quality
- The instructions are a bit hard to follow
- Its ground lead is short
How To Choose The Best Mig Welder: Electric Welders Such as Lincoln With Wire Feed Speed- The Ultimate Buying Guide
The Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welders are widely used due to their lower price range and their convenience in terms of both speed and reduced learning curve. However, before you wield yours, you need to consider some factors before making the purchase.
You will need to think about your end goal and how you want the finished project to appear. Not to mention, some of these considerations will likely limit or free you in what you can build/make.
What you need to know about the power of the welder
As the welding process uses electricity as the primary source of energy, knowing the value of power input and output is something you simply cannot ignore. The input power can be looked at in terms of the voltage input as these two quantities are directly proportional.
You will need to assess this voltage as not every welder is compatible with the typical power outlets. If you are using standard household-level outlets, then a welder with a 110 V to 140 V input characteristic is okay for you.
However, some MIG welder machines run at 220 Volts, or thereabout. If you purchase this kind of device, and the said contraption doesn’t have a lower input voltage setting than this, then you might end up needing a specialized kind of outlet entirely.
This will undoubtedly present an inconvenience, especially if you don’t especially need the extra power. The output current ranges from between 100 Amps to 140 Amps. A higher current output should correspond to a thicker weld requirement.
How the thickness of the weld influences the welder purchased
The nature of work you are doing will determine the kind of MIG welder you ought to get. The capabilities required by a hobbyist will likely vary from those of an industry professional.
Heavy-duty work will likely need a welder that can work with 3/16” to 1/4” thick surfaces while small metalwork will need a welder of about 1/16” to 1/8” thick handling capability.
Generally speaking, MIG welders can handle thicknesses of from 0.0478” (18 gauge) or 0.0239” (24 gauge) to 3/8” materials; sometimes, this figure can even reach 1/2” thick. In the case whereby the metals that are being dealt with are thicker than this, then a stick welder would be better suited to that kind of work.
What is a duty cycle, and why are we considering it?
Without going too deep into the technical, this simply means how efficient your MIG welder is. It is measured in 10-minute portions and shows the user how much time you have on the welder before you need to let it cool down.
If, for instance, the welder has a duty cycle of 20%, this simply means you have 2 minutes of run-time before you need to let the machine rest. Therefore, logically you can see that the bigger the duty cycle, the higher the amount of on-time you will enjoy.
How fast is your machine’s feed speed?
This speed can be defined as the rate at which the gun is being fed wire from the welder. While this may appear largely inconsequential at first, it affects how your output will look—feeding this wire too fast results in a messy situation. This is because the excess wire creates quite a bit of splatter around the welded surface.
This does not mean that a slow feed rate is better. If the rate is too sluggish, the wire tends to disappear as soon as it touches the weld zone leading to an irregular weld. The right speed is somewhere in between these two extremes.
Do we go gas or gasless?
Both these methods serve the same purpose; they safeguard your MIG welds from contaminants like oxygen. The gas method involves the use of shielding gas, whereas the gasless option uses flux-core wire.
A gas cylinder is used in the former to release either an inert or a semi-inert gas. It shields the weld from oxygen. This is the popular option between the two as it is not only easier but also gives you a good view of the weld area.
The fact that it produces less splatter doesn’t hurt. Like everything else in this world, it has its own cons. You will need to cough up a sum for the gas, while for obvious reasons, this method cannot be used in windy locales/environments.
The gasless option employs the use of material that is embedded within the wire to coat the meld for protection. While this method can be used in windy areas, it obscures your view of the weld.
This is one of the contributing factors to all the slag and splatter you get from this method. One will need to brush off the weld adequately to ensure the quality of the weld remains top-notch.
Safety features and what this means to you
One of the safety features present in most of these devices is Thermal Overload Protection. Any user of these MIG welder machines runs the risk of passing certain threshold temperatures resulting in overheating.
Not only is this dangerous for you, the user, but it also reduces the life of the device itself. Due to this, most machines have this protection system to prevent any thermal overload from taking place by effectively turning the device off automatically at the end of a duty cycle.
There is also the case of the inbuilt contactor. This mechanism promotes safe working conditions by ensuring the wire remains within its thermal limits. It also ensures power is supplied only when the trigger is pulled.
Getting to choose the right MIG welder for you might have been a daunting task, but not anymore. All you need to do is carefully assess all the factors and considerations to get a device that reflects your needs. Don’t skim through, seriously think about these guidelines as the right purchase will save you time, money, and the heartache that haunts the remorseful buyer.