Last updated on March 19th, 2021
Under the process of metal inert gas welding, a MIG welding gun and continuously-fed spool of wire is used for burning, melting and fusing two pieces of metal together.
Since its origin back in 1940s, this versatile process has received wide-spread acceptance due to its user-friendly attributes whether you wish to engage in heavy-duty industrial work or routine indoor repairs.
A high heat arc is used for fluxing the wire feed into the joint bead whose smoothness is ensured by moving the welding gun at an appropriate speed. Two forms of wire can be used for welding steel. The ER70S-6 wire is used when the requirement for more deoxidizers arise while welding rusty or dirty steel whereas an AWS classification ER70S-3 can take on all purpose welding.
Coming to diameter, .030 inch can be the perfect choice if you wish to benefit from an all-around functionality in welding an array of metal thicknesses both in motorsports and home applications. A wire having .023-inch diameter can be used for welding thinner material while reducing heat input.
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP||115V/230V
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1||115V
|Forney 29901 125 FC||120V
|Hobart 500559 Handler||115V
|Lincoln MIG Welder||120V
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder||110V
|SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Amp||110V/220V
Advantages Of MIG Welding Process
- Easy to learn process perfect for rookie welders.
- Usage of shielding gas leads to minimal contamination of outside elements such as hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen which are known to trigger a variety of problems such as excessive spatter and holes within the bead. There remains no slag for cleaning up thus bringing mammoth time savings which can rather be spent on mastering the welding process.
- Weld pool visibility becomes maximum through the MIG mode. You are bound to get a clean and solid weld time and again coupled with its increased control and simplicity.
- Continuous wire feed paves the way for faster welding as you don’t have to alter rods constantly or brush away slag thus increasing your overall productivity.
- Can be used to weld an array of metals such as copper, aluminium, magnesium, iron, nickel, mild steel and stainless steel. If properly set, it can also weld thinner metals.
- Provides higher electrode efficiency ranging between 93-97%.
- Unlike flux-cored wires and stick electrodes, it does not pick up moisture thus depositing the welds consistently with low hydrogen levels.
Things To Consider For Gaining The Most Out Of MIG Welding
Best MIG welders under $1000
1. Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
The Hobart Handler 210 MVP paired with its multi-voltage plugpaves the way for utmost convenience and portability. You can easily plug the device into a 115A or 230V outlet by simply changing the plug without the requirement of any added tool.
It adjusts automatically to the precise input power thus paving the way for superior arc performance irrespective of the power source. Paired with such generous operating parameters you can weld 24 gauge to 3/8inch thick steel through a single pass.
This versatile welder makes it easy to engage in heavier farm projects which require an extra boost of power through its dual-groove quick change drive roll and 7 output voltage settings. The MIG welding tool offers 30% duty cycle at 150A as it welds through aluminium, stainless steel and mild steel.
Lack of inverter technology prohibits the device from being powered up by generators. Thus, it is not recommended in being used at remote welding sites.
- Infinite wire speed control.
- Easy to setup and operate.
- 7 voltage settings.
- Can accommodate 4’ and 8’ spools.
- Comparatively under-priced than its peers.
- Produces clean and high quality weld time and again.
- Requirement of minimal operator skill making it suitable even for beginners.
- Does not rank high on portability.
- Stiff work clamp lid.
- Separately sold aluminium spool gun.
- Requires an additional cart for being carried around.
2. Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder
This flux core welder guarantees smooth welding works with the array of features it tags along. With welding output of 140 AMPs, the MIG140 can weld 18 gauge of -3/16 mild steel, 3/16-inch stainless steel, 1/8-inch aluminium and other metals impressively.
The welder can be set up easily and plugged into the existing 110V wall outlet for initiating its welding functionalities. Its advanced ground cable connector makes it convenient to toggle between plus and minus.
Its dual digital displayers help in adjusting the welding voltage and wire feeder speed with much accuracy and minimal pesky wire tangles. The use-friendly device is tailor made for first timers.
However, it comes with enough setting options to please even the hard-core professionals. The additional thermal overload protection system helps in welding for longer time spans with minimal safety concerns.
The Lotos 140 comes fully equipped with a gas hose, ground clamp cable, MIG torch, welding mask, Argon regulator and wire to help you start with the welding job straight away.
- Durable model which can be set up within ten to fifteen minutes.
- Newly designed ground cable quick connector helps with easy switching from positive to negative.
- Reasonably portable device.
- Versatile unit which can help in welding a variety of metals including aluminium.
- Enhanced safety courtesy the thermal overload system.
- Spool gun has to be purchased separately if you wish to weld aluminium.
- Steeper price compared to other casual welding models.
3. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
This compact and portable MIG Welder can be used for welding tight places after being plugged into a 115 volt, 20 AMO household outlet. With output power ranging between 35A to 88A, this device can be used for welding 24 gauge to 1/8-inch-thick mild steel sheets.
The Lincoln model is thus perfect for DIYers who wish to engage in repairs or hobby works. The handy welder comes with an array of accessories such as gas regulator, gas nozzle, spool of solid wire, hose, gun, contract tips, work cable, cable assembly and hand shield having lens and filter plate.
The device comes with a year’s warranty on workmanship and materials and relies on corded-electric as the source of power. It’s cold contractor safety feature comes as an added benefit which ensures the coolness of the wire unless the gun trigger is pulled for being heated.
- Gasless nozzle aiding influx-cored welding.
- Supreme versatility with both flux-core and MIG welding options.
- Highly portable device weighing just 46 pounds.
- Easily plugs into regular 115V, 20-amp household outlets.
- Affordable price tag in spite of great quality.
- Does not come with shielding gas options.
- Tailor made for beginners who wish to engage in light usage.
- Hand-held and super flimsy welding mask can pose significant safety concerns.
4. Forney 29901 125 FC MIG Welder
This perfect DIY equipment can be of great help in taking up repair and maintenance work requirement of welding hobbyists. With no separate gas option, the Forney model can be used for engaging only in flux core welding of mild steel.
You will feel the need of an add on shielding gas if you wish to engage in stainless steel welding. It delivers 20% duty cycle at 80 Amps thus helping in welding for two minutes continuously after which the welder has to be given an eight minutes of resting time to prevent the welder from getting overheated.
There are only two output voltage settings in the form of the higher thin plate setting and lower sheet metal setting.
Designed to take on light to medium tasks, the welder offers complete value for money along with its quick reference welding chart which shows the steel thickness welded along with appropriate power setting and wire feed speed.
The Internal Thermal Protection function shuts off the welding process until the device cools down whereby it resets automatically.
- Durable and easy to use welder coming from a reputed company.
- Clear and helpful instruction manual.
- Portable model which can be carried around with much ease.
- Simple to setup and use.
- Welds thick metal perfectly.
- Does not require gas.
- Not recommended for complex projects.
- Extra fast burning through a 20-gauge tube.
- Cords of ground clamp is short in size.
- Just two AMP settings thus diminishing flexibility options of users.
5. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
This best in class welder has been designed to run on 115 volts of input power making it perfect in being used absolutely anywhere around the house having 20-amp circuit. Weighing at 60 pounds, this welder can also be transported easily.
Its five-position voltage control selector helps in tuning the arc while the built-in contractor maintains the coolness of the wire until the trigger of the spool gun is pulled.
The short circuit protection and thermal overload system of the unit aids in welding thin metals such as stainless steel and aluminium like a pro.
The heavy-duty work clamp and cast aluminium drive systemhelps the device in showcasing industrial level performance. Its easy applications are tailor made for novices however the requirement of purchasing a gas cylinder for MIG welding makes the device highly expensive.
- Excellent gauge and gas valve.
- Can weld up to ¼ inches of mild steel.
- Paired with 5 position voltage control.
- Welder comes well stocked with safety features such as thermal overload protection.
- Built-in storage for keeping spare parts.
- Industry beating warranty of 5 years.
- Superior performance which aids in making stable arcs even while welding thin metals.
- Uses only 110 volts.
- Highly expensive model.
- Operates only at 140 amps.
- Slightly stiff hose.
6. LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
This solid contender in the list operates with maximum 175 AMPs of power whereby its duty cycle is 20%. Weighing at 80 pounds, the Lotos model cannot be termed as an ultra-portable.
It comes with an array of accessories in the form of a MIG welding wire, welding protection mask, ground clamp, argon hose and regulator, MIG spool gun and a cable which can be used for welding mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium with utmost ease.
The easy to set up model comes with a year’s warranty. It handles industrial standard wire spools of 4” to 6” and integrates resettable overload protection which assures long operating life.
- Can be connected easily with 200-220-volt wall outlet.
- One year warranty guaranteed by the manufacturer.
- 80% power efficiency and output current ranging between 30-175A.
- Temperature controller and overload breaker imparts adequate protection to the machine.
- Safety of wire feeder motor is ensured with dual automatic circuits.
- Takes only ten minutes for being set up.
- Gas regulator cannot read the low-pressure side.
- Not meant for production lines.
7. ARKSEN MIG-130 Welding Machine
Using Flux Core Wire, the Arksen MIG 130 creates the shielding gas by release of compounds around the weld pool when the wire is consumed.
Perfect for DIY hobbyists, this welder can be of great help in fixing mild steel such as metal furniture, general light welding and light car repairs.The duty cycle of this MIG welder is rated at 10% with 105 amps and 35% with 60 amps.
You can weld thicker metal pieces by switching to higher settings but don’t expect to weld anything more than ¼ inches of thickness using this welder as a beginner. The Thermal Over Load protection feature of this welder shuts off the torch from welding automatically if the duty cycle is exceeded.
The over temperature light comes on when the unit’s airflow gets blocked followed by a visible sign which gets flashed hinting at the fact that the duty cycle has been exceeded.
It is necessary to maintain a distance of 12 to 18 inches from the front and back of ArksenMIG 130 for the fan to unleash its fullest potential while welding.
- Thermal protection.
- Reasonably portable.
- Budget welder.
- Adjustable welding speed.
- Stainless steel body ensures optimum durability.
- Lack of decent supporting manual or settings chart which is a necessity for beginners.
- Modest duty cycle rating can only take on light welding tasks.
- The accompanying tool and helmet can barely fit the purpose.
8. Lincoln MIG Welder, Handheld, 120VAC
This handheld model can pave the way for gas shielded and gas-free flux MIG welding for stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium. Featuring a 50-500 IPM wire feed speed control, the 120 VAC MIG welder minimizes crushing and wire tangle with its adjustable drive system.
Its brass-to-brass gun connectivity helps with enhanced conductivity while the cast aluminium body and rigid drive paves the path for supreme wire alignment.
Coupled with this ultra portable and versatile MIG welder, you can engage in both garage and DIY projects in a hassle-free manner.
Along with a welding sludge hammer, flux cable, welded mask, terrain clamp and brush, the Handheld 120 VAC comes equipped with all the necessary requisites to get your welding game started.
Compared to its peers, this machine comes with a fairly wide operating range and wire speed ranging from 50 to 500 inches per minute.
- Perfect for flux core welding of thin materials.
- Protection from overheating with its safety overload shut off feature.
- Minimal learning curve being perfect for first timers.
- Upgraded aluminium body imparting greater durability.
- Chances of tripping over the 15 AMP breaker.
- Not meant for professional level welding.
- Lower quality flux cored welding not meant for thicker materials.
9. Goplus MIG 130 Welder
You can now carry out top-notch sheet metal work coupled with the Goplus MIG welder which can serve as the ideal choice for hobbyists and amateur welders.
In spite of featuring an affordable price tag, the welder stands out with its infinite wire speed control and four different heat settings. However, you need to be careful about laying down your gun as the wire is always live.
This compact yet exquisite MIG gas welder has been crafted using heavy duty stainless steel and covered with durable yellow paints for ensuring its optimum longevity.
Convenient Flux-Cored wire aids in preventing oxidation of the welded part coupled with self-release of metal-inert gas while welding.
This portable welder can be of great help in dealing with thin metals such as iron and steel while proceeding with general repairing work and DIY projects.
Featuring an easy carrying handle, this MIG welder can also be moved around at your work site without facing any difficulties.
So, whether you are purchasing it for your garage or workstation, you are bound to be delighted with its versatile functionality which can cater to all your requirements without taking up much floor space.
Coupled with its ability to handle auto body projects and light steel welding, the Goplus MIG 130 can serve as the perfect option for hobby welders who wish to take up decoration and sculpture work.
- Accompanied with welding wire and mask.
- Features 4 levels of adjustable heating and infinite wire speed control.
- Stainless steel body imparts greater durability.
- Offers optimum value for money spent.
- The hood area’s locking mechanism where the feed wire is housed is not of much use.
- Welding shield might not be of much help in rendering adequate protection.
10. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Amp MIG MAG Arc MMA Stick Multifunction DC Welder
The SunGoldPower 200A can be the perfect MIG for the DIYer who wishes to engage in repair projects at the auto body shop.
Constructed using dynamic current protection, this welder earmarked for occasional structural weld can maintain the consistency of your work.
Braced with infinite settings, this IGBT power device can weld steel, stainless steel, mild steel and cast iron through its unique control mode which ultimately improves the machine’s reliability.
This excellent machine ensures long time welding with its 60% duty cycle which gets accentuated by voltage control and supreme arc quality which can any day outperform its competitors. The hot start feature of this power efficient welder will not make you wait till arc formation.
The overload protection feature of this welder ensures that it does not end up blowing out your circuit breakers.
- Stick welding feature can be used in narrow spaces.
- Lighter weight due to invertor technology.
- Dual voltage options of 120 and 240 volts.
- Over heat protection.
- Minimal splatter courtesy the stabilised and easy to initiate arc.
- Useless manual.
- No adaptor for wire roller weighing 1 or 2 pounds.
It is necessary to ensure the requisite safety measures before embarking on a MIG welding project so that all forms of potential fire hazards are cleared off from the welding site. You can opt for basic welding safety apparels such as cuffless full-length pants, leather shoes or boots, a welding helmet,flame-resistant leather glovesand long sleeve jacket and safety glasses for protecting your head and body from splatter and metal sparks. Prior to striking an arc, it is imperative to clean the bare metal using a metal brush. Also, ensure proper connectivity between the clamp and clean metal as your wire feed performance might get adversely affected by electrical impedance. The quality and shape of weld bead is influenced by the rate at which the welding gun is moved along the metal piece. It might take considerable practice before practising the art of determining the optimum gun travel speed correctly. However, as a rule of thumb, the weld bead should not be longer that the thinnest part of the metal which is being welded.
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