Best MIG Welders Under $500 Reviews 2018

Last updated on November 17th, 2018 at 06:45 am

Gas Metal Arc Welding serves as the preferred technique when it comes to production of premium quality welds without shelling out high quantum of money. It makes use of solid electrode from an externally supplied source and electrical power for melting the electrode and accumulating the molten material in the weld joint. The MIG process enables motorsports enthusiasts, farmers, hobby artists and DIY welders to engage in fabrication and repair work on material ranging between 24 gauge to 1/2 inch of thickness. People turn to this method of welding for the increased flexibility and easy usage. Some even claim that the entire process is as simple as that taken up with a glue gun.

NameImageInputWeightPriceCheck Price
Lotos LTP5000D115V

57 lbs
$$$$
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Everlast SuperCut51P 115V
26 lbs
$$
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Everlast SuperUltra 206si 200a 110V
54 lbs
$$$
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Super Deal DC110V
54 lbs
$$$
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PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A115V
62 lbs
$$$$
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Factors To Be Considered Before Purchasing An MIG Welder

Input Voltage

The different input voltages of the MIG welders earmark them against various types of electrical outlet. Most of the welders belong to 110/115/120V or 220/225/230V category with some having capability of taking on both.

Multifunction or MIG/Flux-Cored Welders

The MIG welders might either require a gas cylinder or may be flux cored while some have capability of both. Initially the flux core models might seem to be more appealing since the gas cylinder does not require to be hooked up. However, a layer of slag is created by flux core models which require to be chiselled away. For ensuring maximum diversity, it is advisable to opt for welders having both these functions available.

Transportability and Size

The machine needs to be easily portable if you are planning on using the same in multiple locations. The same might not pose as a big threat if you wish to get your job done in a workshop. However, if your power requirements cannot be encompassed within a portable size, then you can place the same on a wheeled cart for being moved around. High quality MIG welders weigh a minimum of 25 pounds and come with inverter technology which aids in bringing down its weight while the heavier options can weigh anywhere around 200 pounds.

Output Power

The power requirement varies in accordance with the type of welding you are trying to achieve. Several manufacturers provide with a custom chart which can be of great yield in choosing the correct settings and benefitting from the highest quality weld.

Spool Gun

If you wish to weld aluminium, then it is essential to purchase a welder capable of attaching a spool gun which is not the case in most of the smaller sized versions. You can take the example of Hobart 140 which in spite of being a brilliant welder does not include this functionality like that of the Longevity 140. While purchasing a spool gun it is recommended to go ahead with one having quick release feature.

Brand & Warranty

It is always advisable to proceed with a trustworthy and reliable welder brand. Various welder manufacturers bring along different support levels but Hobart, Miller, Lincoln and Everlast are some top-notch brands which have been delivering quality products for quite some time now. Also, make sure to check your welder’s warranty which usually extends up to 5 years in top models and provides extra investment assurance. If you wish to try out lesser known brands, then make sure to conduct a thorough market survey before purchasing the same.

Duty Cycle

The length of welding time can also be a determining factor especially if you require using the MIG welder for long stretches. Welders having higher output power and lower duty cycle require increased span of time for cooling down. If you are worried about the machine being overheated, then you should purchase a welder having thermal overload protection thus preventing damage to the welder by keeping the duty cycle from getting exceeded.

Price

Last but not the least, budget also plays the role of a determining factor while bringing home a MIG welder. Contrary to popular belief, the most expensive one might not suit you best at all times. If you know exactly what you are looking for given the specific budget, then you can pick the optimum welder to usher in finest performance at diminished expense.

Browse through our carefully collated guide presented below to have a clear understanding of the top five MIG welders belonging to the under 500 dollar price category.

1st – Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

This highly popular MIG/Flux-cored welder from the house of Hobart can be the perfect choice for taking up household and auto body welding projects. It is accompanied with an array of accessories such as a 10 foot MIG gun,a spool of flux core wire and a regulator having gas hose. This welder can easily fuse thinner materials such as steel, stainless steel and aluminium. Users can also weld steel materials having thickness of up to ¼ inch paired with its flux-cored function. The wire’s infinite control aids in speeding up the process especially when it becomes necessary to make fine adjustments.

Exerting a maximum power output of 140A, the Hobart model offers 20% duty cycle at 90 amps which is sufficient to take on every household project. The model runs at ease in low input voltage of 115 but should not be used along with generators. At 57 pounds, the Hobart 500559 can be moved around seamlessly making it the perfect choice for hobby welders. The Hobart 5/3/1 industrial warranty ensures repair or replacement of faulty products completely free of charge if the device breaks down.

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PROS:

  • 5 position voltage control selector enhancing the scope of achieving a smooth arc on varied thickness levels.
  • Optimum control on the speed of wire feed.
  • Easy for being grouped and used by seeking help of the user manual which aids in correctly configuring the welder.
  • Fantastic arc performance.
  • Perfect for DIY projects such as auto body panels, exhausts, tool carts, gun racks, garden equipment, metal sculptures etc.
  • Built-in safety attributes like thermal overload system for protecting the user in the event of high electricity surge.
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CONS:

  • 5 foot long power cord.
  • Requirement of a wheel cart may be felt if the welder needs to be moved frequently.
  • Not compatible with generators.
  • Meant mostly for small to medium sized projects.

2nd – Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

Built to usher in maximum portability, the Lincoln Electric k2185-1 weighing just 46 pounds can pave the way for output power ranging between 35A to 88A thus making it easy to repair mild steel ranging between 24 gauge to 1/8 inches of thickness. It is also the perfect tool for the DIY user brigade who often engages in routine repairs around the house and in the garage on light gauge steel. Tailor made for being used for the body panel replacement of vehicles, work on bumpers, custom fabrication and roll cages, the Lincoln model can be used seamlessly by beginners paired with its easy user interface.

It can also serve the purpose of experienced welders who wishes to benefit from highly portable devices which can pave the way for precise and strong welds on the go. The machine’s capability of welding an array of materials ranging from mild steel to aluminium comes as a big bonus especially for craftsmen wishing to engage in artistic fabrications. This highly affordable welder easily plugs into regular household outlets of 115V and 20 amp. The four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed adjustment imparts precise control to this MIG welder meant for catering to smaller projects.

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PROS:

  • Gasless nozzle aids in flux-cored welding.
  • Requirement of minimal maintenance compared to its peers.
  • Basic safety features such as voltage control and cooling-fan.
  • Ranks high on durability meter and can easily weld a large variety of metals.
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CONS:

  • Not suited for industrial or heavy duty usage.
  • Portability might get constricted with the added accessories.
  • Hand-held flimsy welding mask might create safety vacuums.

3rd – Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder

Perfect for being used in small workshops and home, the Lotos MIG140 has brought along a fresh upgrade in 2017 paired with additional features such as the 2T/4T button which provides with enhanced versatility perfect for long time welding. Beginners can utilise this easy to set up machine for welding steel up to 1/4th inch. The front housed control panel can be operated with utmost ease. The power switch is set on the top-left of the panel and two dials for changing wire feed speed and voltage are located underneath. There are two digital displays on the right showing wire inches per minute and arc volts.

The MIG140 can be used for welding stainless steel and steel ranging from 24 gauge to ¼ inch by either opting for MIG or flux-cored welding. For welding aluminium, users shall need to purchase a spool gun additionally. This Lotos welder comes with a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amps and power output ranging from 30A to 140A. Its required input voltage of 110v can be in perfect sync with the household power outlet. In spite of weighing 54 pounds, the MIG140 can be carried around easily by tugging the large handle located at the top.

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PROS:

  • Optimum value for money.
  • Easy to use control panel.
  • Additional accessories such as ground clamp, MIG torch, one gauge regulator and gas hose.
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CONS:

  • Earmarked against small to medium sized projects.
  • Features not as advanced as it peer.

4th – LONGEVITY Migweld 140 – 140 Amp Mig Welder

This economic MIG welder is perfect for amateur hobby welders who are in the lookout for a simple yet reliable unit. The Longevity 140 comes with a roll of MIG wire making it imperative to attach a gas cylinder if you wish to start MIG welding. You might also be required to purchase some flux cored wire if you are planning on flux cored welding. The simple and easy to use control panel of this welder meant for recreational usage like making a barbeque pit, home repairs and light industrial work can weld metal ranging from 24 gauge to ¼ inch steel.

The fact that it is manufactured in China might ward off people initially but is a class apart from the cheap Chinese models courtesy its close collaboration with the American base. Its spare parts like contact tips are readily available and can be interchangeable with the more popular Lincoln ones. The Longevity 140 comes with 10 different voltage settings and unleashes an output power ranging from 25A to 140A. It also boasts of a 20% duty cycle and thermal overload protection which shuts down the device if the same is exceeded. Braced with an input power of 115V, the Longevity device runs in smooth sync with the household power outlet.

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PROS:

  • Simple to set up.
  • Complete value for money.
  • Thermal overload protection.
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CONS:

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty industrial works.
  • No special features.

5th – Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder

This easy to use welder can be used to repair mild steel, aluminium, stainless steel and cast iron with a thickness ranging from 1/16th to 1/4th of an inch. It got redesigned recently to be coupled with improved features such as torch with built-in strain relief, integrated feet for imparting greater stability and a torch wrap for keeping everything in an organized manner.

It comes with a premium wire feeding system manufactured using cast aluminium and is well suited for automobile, ranch and general home welding activities. The improved de-spooler and dual-geared drive roll is capable of feeding wire belonging to the size range of 0.23, 0.30 and 0.35 inches. The euro-style disconnect gun aids in quick removal of the torch within just few seconds of time which in turns helps to replace the liner in a hassle-free manner. Capable of both Flux-cored and MIG welding, this device running on 115V input power creates a duty cycle of 35% at 90A.

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PROS:

  • Duty cycle allowing longer welding periods.
  • Easily replaceable parts.
  • 10 foot MIG gun and 15 foot power cord increasing potential work area.
  • Smooth and stable arc achieved through aluminium wire feed system.
  • Larger size allowing easy access to 4 and 8 inch spools.
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CONS:

  • More powerful welders available in the market at same price category.
  • Not meant for industrial projects.

Final Thought

In most of the cases people end up purchasing welders which cannot serve their requirement properly. However, braced with our MIG welder guide you can bring home the perfect equipment which shall be in sync with your aspirations. However, having just, a quality MIG welder is not sufficient unless you pair it up with required accessories to enhance its safety parameter. Soapstone for example can be used for labelling the metal parts while chipping hammer eliminates welding slag and splatter. You can benefit from having an extra grip courtesy the gauntlet gloves having stronger finger pockets to render enhanced flexibility while moving your wrists. A helmet is also highly recommended since it acts a shield against sparks and debris.