Are you interested in joining the welding industry but have no clue where to start? Or do you want to get into this industry as an expert and compete with the pros? If this is the case, then you, a MIG welder is a must-have tool that will take your art to the highest level. These welding tools use GMAW (Gas metal arc welding) techniques whereby a continuous solid wire electrode is fed into the weld pool through a welding gun. The melting wire fuses the two base materials from a spool. A shielding gas that is sent through the gun prevents the weld pool from getting contaminated.
For a beginner, Mig (metal inert gas) welding is easy to learn since you only operate hand-held torches, grinders, lathes, and other implements to repair or install metal components. To be able to venture into this field with confidence, you must be able to pick the best device available in the market, which might be an uphill task. You require to test and compare several of them until you choose the most suitable. However, time and resources may limit you making you feel like giving up. We don’t want you to lose hope, and that’s why we have taken our time and used our resources to research and give you the best. READ this guide and learn the factors you should consider, get a list of the best Mig welders, and have your questions about these items answered:
Factors to Consider when Choosing Mig Welders
Before purchasing a welding machine, especially as a beginner, you need to consider several factors to come up with the best tool. It is vital to know how to compare the different equipment in the market and avoid those that will disappoint you in the new craft. The following a list of the factors we feel are worth your considerations:
- Your personal preferences
What you plan to do with your tool is necessary to consider before purchasing it. The type and size of the metal that you will deal with is vital since the different thicknesses of metals require different power. It is also necessary to know how often you need to be using the tool and amount of work to be done. The environment in which you will be using the machine is also worth considering before purchasing the device.
- The brands of the MIG welders
Different brands of MIG welders are available in the market, and it is advisable to look at their features and efficiency before purchasing one. You should shop around or consult your friends who have already used the tools before you.
- Your Budget
Unlike other items, high-quality mig welders may cost more than low-quality items. You must find out the best machine that suits your needs and save for this vital tool. Ensure that you check around from different sellers or search online to get the tool that will match your budget as well as your needs.
- Your storage space and working area
The size of the machine you purchase for welding should fit in your storage area as well as your working space. It is, therefore, necessary to know the dimensions of this tool and ensure that it will fit in these areas without any trouble.
- Your basic power requirements
Your primary power requirements depend on the type of projects you intend to be welding. If you are welding at home, for example, you require a low power of about 115V. Most welding projects are small and deal with thin metals. Thick metals, on the other hand, will require you to run them on a high voltage. It is, therefore, necessary to look for that machine that has the power needs that will handle your projects. Some MIG welders have adjustable power settings that allow you to operate at high or low power. Though such machines may be costly, they are the best option if you deal with projects requiring different tones of energy.
- Thermal Overload Protection
A machine that overheats when in use can be challenging to you since it may break down completely. It may also slow down your tasks since you will need to stop working regularly and give it time to cool down. Besides being slow, it will eventually lead to losses because your rate of production will be reduced. You may also have to replace the tool to work efficiently. It is advisable that when you are looking for this machine, you look for one that has thermal overload protection.
- The Duty Cycle
The duty cycle is the measure of a machine’s output that is done using the amperage and voltage of the equipment. The amount of time that the device can operate and the production without exceeding the limit of its part temperature determines the machine’s duty cycle. The cycle is usually measured at 10-minutes intervals, whereby one checks how much time it can function without overheating, and how much time it will take to cool it down. Welding output and duty cycle are inversely proportional to each other, and the efficiency is measured at a specific ambient temperature.
- The portability, weight, and size of the welder
The size and portability of the machine depending on whether you will be working at a stationary or a mobile workshop. If your projects involve moving from place to place, you will need a welder that is not too voluminous to carry. It should also be lightweight to avoid the inconveniences of dropping it while moving. The size of this tool is also vital since it must fit into your working space.
- Repair and maintenance
If you purchase the best quality machine from the market, it may work for an extended period without asking for repairs. However, devices do break down sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances. In this case, it is essential before buying one that you find out if there are spare part shops near your workshop. It is also necessary to find out if there are technicians available to repair your machine if it calls for servicing or repairing. You should also look for a tool that has a manufacturer’s warranty as this will save you a great deal of time, money, and even stress when your machine needs maintenance.
Top 6 Mig welders for a Beginner In 2020 (Best Picks)
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Summary of the best Mig welders for a Beginner
If you are new in any field, it is crucial to be careful not to make errors as the majority of people do. You need to take your time and do enough research on the tools that you should use as well as gain enough knowledge of the techniques you will use. It is not any different with welding since a little mistake may cost you a lot of your time and resources and even make you withdraw altogether. Since you may lack the time and resources to do a trial and error, we have made it easy. We have done research and compiled the six best Mig welders that pass the test of time hence give you the result that you desire. Read on and pick what suits your needs:
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 Mig Welder
Ideal for most metals Uses the ordinary 115v household current 5-position voltage control selector Wire feed speed range 40-700 IPM, 50-740IPM at no load
Goplus MIG 130 Welder
Automatic wire feed W/free Mask Heavy-duty stainless steel body
Compact and exquisite Self-release metal inert gas
Flux Core Welder by Forney
Gasless flux core welding Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch Accepts two and ten-pound spools
Perfect for a beginner Does not require shielding gas
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Mig Welder
Compact, lightweight and portable Continuous wire feed adjustment Perfect for mild welding steel from 24 gauge to 1/8 inch thick
Does not require shielding gas
Super Deal Pro Commercial Mig Welder
Lightweight, powerful and intuitive Has a comfortable grip Easy to operate and high precision User-friendly interface
Adjustable feed speed control Has a wire feeding speed adjust the rotary knob
LOTOS Mig Welder
Free spool gun, mask and aluminum wires Long-lasting, high-quality aluminum wire feeder
High-speed mig spool gun Reliable and durable Multi-use
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Hobart Mig welder is extraordinarily high quality and durable tool that operates on the standard 115V household current, and thus you can run it from your home or workshop. It is incredibly versatile and ideal for use in the welding of auto body, farm project, household items repair, or even art projects. It has a 5-position tapped voltage control selector that gives you the ability to fine-tune your arc to a smooth, stable arc on all thicknesses.
The device is built with an industrial cast aluminum drive system. It also has a heavy-duty work clamp that makes it possible for the machine to deliver a wire welding package that has industrial performance. To enhance your safety as a welder, it is advisable to use a welding helmet, a jacket, and gloves.
- Excellent quality and durable
- Operates on the standard 115V household current
- Versatile and simple to use
- Ideal for auto body, household repairs, and farm projects
- 5-position voltage control selector
- Heavy-duty work clamp
- 5-year limited warranty
- Amperage output: 25-140, 20% duty cycle @ 90 amps
- Speed range: 40-700 IPM, 50-740 IPM at no load
- Voltage: 115V
- Item weight: 65 pounds
- Style: welder
- Product dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
- Material: steel
- Power source: corded-electric
Ideal for most projects!
2. Goplus Mig 130 Welder Flux Core Welding Machine
Goplus welder is the compact and exquisite machine that is made of the heavy-duty stainless steel body. The tool is painted with durable yellow paints that make it durable and increase its serving life-span. The welder uses flux-cored wire, and it also has a self-release metal inert gas to prevent oxidation of the welded part when you are welding.
You will be able to work at your desired speed by use of the 4-levels adjustable welding speed. The tool also has 4-levels of current flow settings, which are adjusted by using the four buttons for min/max. The device also gives you the option to control the wire feeding speed by use of the rotary knob to choose any of the ten levels of speed.
The machine is portable and suitable for full applications such as welding ordinary thin steel and iron. It is ideal for most DIY and repair projects. Though the tool is small in size, it gives a professional finish in welding. The device features a handle for easy carrying, and it is also lightweight, compact in design, and too easy for translation and storage. It is simple and easy to use and convenient to use anywhere. The machine is also safe to use since it has two air-ventilation that helps in heat dissipation, and it also has a welding gun with on/off safety regulation.
- Body painted with yellow paints for durability
- Heavy-duty stainless steel body
- Compact and exquisite
- Convenient flux-cored wire
- Self-release metal-inert gas to prevent oxidation of the welded part
- 4-levels adjustable welding speed
- 4-levels of current flow settings
- A rotary knob for adjusting wire feeding speed
- Portable and lightweight
- Two air-vent to help heat dissipation
- Automatic thermal safety protection
- Material: steel frame
- Weight: 35 lbs
- Product dimensions: 13.4 x 7.3 x 11.4 inches
- Maximum current output: 15% at 105 amp
The perfect machine for use anywhere!
3. Forney Easy Weld Flux Core Welder
Forney comfortable weld, also known as a wire feed welding machine, is an ideal choice for beginners or the DIY. The tool helps you to turn ideas and inspirations into masterpieces. They are suitable for all household and farm projects, such as repairing broken lawnmower or garden tools. The machine is also perfect for building a fireplace or creating metal art.
This machine comes with a ground clamp and a mig gun. The flux is built into the wire, and it gives the protection necessary over the molten weld puddle. The machine is easy and comfortable to use since you just need to attach it to a metal workbench or the metal that you are using.
- Relatively cheap
- A reliable tool to use
- Does not have contamination and it is convenient
- Easy to assemble and use
- Lightweight and portable
- Item weight: 51 pounds
- Product dimension: 12 x 18 x 24 inches
- Color: green
- Style: welder
- Material: metal
- Power source: corded-electric
- Amperage: 125A
- Cord length: 6 feet
A perfect tool with no gas!
4. Lincoln Electric K2 185-1 HND Mig Welder
Lincoln Electric welder is a handy tool that is compact, lightweight, and portable. It is perfect for home repairs and hobby projects on light gauge mild steel. It can weld mild steel of gauge 24 inches to 1/8 inch thick. The tool is easy to plug into 115V, 20 amp outlet, and it is also user-friendly. It has four voltage settings that enable you to select that which is convenient for you. The continuous wire feed is adjustable to allow you to weld the thickness and gauge that you desire. It is easy to get everything you need for your project since it comes packed in a box i.e., the gun, cable assembly, gas nozzle, work cable, gas regulator, clamp, spool of solid wire among other items.
You can also use this machine to melt with gasless, flux-cored wire since there is also a spool of self-shielded, flux-cored wire, chipping hammer/brush, and even contact available tips. It is, therefore, a flexible tool that gives you the convenience of using it the way you like.
- Lightweight and portable
- Operates on 115V, 20 amp household outlet
- Adjustable wire feed speed control
- Includes welding gun and cable assembly
- Can weld with gasless, flux-cored wire
- Four adjustable voltage settings
- Item weight: 26 pounds
- Product dimensions: 18 x 10.3 x 16.8 inches
- Color: red
- Material: metal
- Power source: corded-electric
- Voltage: 115 volts
- Wattage: 2300 watts
- Installation method: Mig welding
Ideal for household repairs and hobby!
5. Super Deal Pro commercial Mig Welder
A super deal MIG welder is a high-quality household welder that is powerful, intuitive, and lightweight. The tool is made of superior quality PVC material and delicate treatment, and it combines high precision, comfortable grip, and smooth operation. The machine uses convenient flux-cored wire, and it has an automatic release metal-inert gas while welding that prevents oxidation of the welded part.
The user-friendly interface of the machine makes it easy and quick to set up and also provides easy access to advanced options. It also enables you to do tough jobs efficiently and with confidence. With the variable feed speed control, you can easily control the current flow by adjusting the four buttons for min/max 1/2. The machine also has a wire-feeding speed control rotary knob that allows you to choose from the ten levels of wire feeding speeds available.
- Compact and powerful
- Variable feed speed control
- Four buttons for adjusting current flow
- User-friendly interface
- Uses a convenient flux-cored wire
- Self-release metal-inert gas while welding
- Lightweight, powerful and intuitive
- Voltage: 110V/60Hz single phase
- Welding current: 50-120 amp
- Duty cycle: 10% at 105 amp, 35% at 60 amp
- Max open voltage: 37V
- Weldable wires: 0.023 inches to 0.035 inches steel and carbon steel, 0.030 to 0.035-inch flux-cored
- Item weight: 38.1 pounds
It is a perfect tool that is easy to use!
6. LOTOS Mig Welder with Free Spool Gun
The LOTOS Mig 175 is a versatile welder that is capable of welding aluminum with the spool gun. The machine uses a transformer technology that is durable and reliable, and the tool can easily connect to your existing 220V wall outlet. It is easy and quick to set up the machine for use, and it can handle industrial standard four or 6inch wire spools. The device incorporates overload protection that can be reset to assure a durable operating life. You can use the tool to weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metals without any hitches.
- High-speed mig spool gun
- 4-prong end connection
- Transformer technology that is reliable and long-lasting
- Has flux-core and aluminum gas shielded functions
- Style: spool gun and argon regulator
- Operating voltage: 200-240V
- Frequency: 50/60Hz
- Welding capacity: mild/stainless steel 18 gauge – 1/4 inch
- Aluminum: 3/8 inches or thinner
Perfect choice for a MIG welder!
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Mig Welders
Several questions arise when purchasing and using this vital equipment. Below is a list of the FAQs and the answers that we believe are vital for you:
Q. Does the choice of welding wire affect the quality of my work?
Yes. The choice of wire may affect the quality of your welding. A good quality wire carries more deoxidizers, which means that it has more in-built cleaning action. Such a fence will be able to handle contaminants of welding such as dirt, paint, oil, and surface rust. When using this type of wire, you do not need to clean the surface before welding, and the excellent cleaning by the deoxidizers gives high-quality work. The weld material will also have less than stellar conditions, and the most suitable wire is SuperArc L-56.
Q. Does the shielding gas have any effect on the quality of the finished weld?
Welding machines use either 100% CO2 as shielding gas or a mixture of CO2 and argon in varying percentages. If you are welding mild steel, Carbon(IV)Oxide gas provides adequate shielding, but if you want flatter bead profile, better wetting action or less spatter, then a mixture of argon and CO2 in the ratio of 3: 1 is preferred. Argon is an inert gas that does not react with the molten weld metal. The mixture of the two gases reduces the reactivity leading to a more stable arc. Since argon is costly, it is advisable to choose the protective gas wisely. Besides the gas, the thickness of the material, electrode diameter, welding position, surface condition, and welding process also determine the quality of the completed weld.
Q. Is the contact tip in MIG welding important?
The contact tip of this tool plays a significant role in the outcome of the welding project. You should ensure that the gun tip is not worn out or the spatter is not on the tip at the exit hole. The tip should be round and more substantial than the wire for maximum result. Worn out tips may cause erratic arc from the random electrical connection or the movement of the fence, and so they must be replaced. Always ensure that the tips are entirely threaded into the gas diffuser and that they are tightened before use to provide a smooth flow of welding current.
MIG Machine Setup for Beginners
Welding can be fun and straightforward if the right techniques are applied. If you are a beginner and want to venture into this industry with less hassle, then you must consider using some advance equipment such as MIG welders. These tools are safe and straightforward to use if you choose the right ones. It is, therefore, necessary that before purchasing, you pick the one that suits your needs depending on the type of metals you will be dealing with. You should also consider your budget, the portability, and the size of this equipment. The repair and maintenance of the machine is also a crucial aspect to put into consideration. The list above has the features of each tool. It is, therefore necessary, to read and understand each item before selecting one.