Last updated on April 14th, 2019 at 07:02 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.
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1||115V||26 lbs||$$||Check Price|
|Lotos MIG140 140 Amp||110V||54 lbs||$$$||Check Price|
|ARKSEN MIG-130 Welding Machine||115V||36.8 lbs||$||Check Price|
|Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i MIG Welder||120V||19 lbs||$||Check Price|
|Goplus MIG 130 Welder||110V||35 lbs||$||Check Price|
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 – 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.
- 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.
- 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.
2nd – 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.
- Optimum value for money.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Additional accessories such as ground clamp, MIG torch, one gauge regulator and gas hose.
- Earmarked against small to medium sized projects.
- Features not as advanced as it peer.
3rd – ARKSEN MIG-130 Welding Machine
This inexpensive MIG welder by ARKSEN comes coated in durable yellow paint thus making it tailor-made to take on heavy duty usage at your factory premises.
It runs on 115-volt power which is the standard domestic power supplying state in most households.
You can thus easily use it in your home garage without having to get any additional electrical work done.
This welder is strongly recommended for those who are afraid of the hazards related to uncontrolled gas movements as it does not require gas in its operation.
Requiring between 50 to 120 amps of power, this versatile welder runs on an excellent duty cycle of 35% at 60 amp and a moderate one of 10% at 105 amp.
The elimination of gas ushers in greater reliability to this machine. However, the same cannot be stated about its penetration power which does not come in as a big shock given its relatively low capacity.
The thermal overload protection stands out as another stellar attribute of the ARKSEN MIG-130 which sends warning signals and automatically shuts down the machine if its gets excessively hot due to air blockage or breaching of the duty cycle.
This Flux Core Wire welder offers supreme versatility in terms of welding a diverse array of metals including aluminium so that you can take on larger number of hobby or professional grade projects.
- Comes with a mask having a large viewing area.
- Compact welding machine weighing 36.8 pounds can be easily carried around the workplace.
- Welding speed can be adjusted through the rotary knob amongst 10 different speed settings.
- Makes use of self-release metal-inert gas and flux-cored wire while welding for preventing oxidation.
- Heavy-duty stainless steel body further adds to its longevity.
- Instruction manual is not very helpful in tutoring about wire feed and similar aspects.
- Cannot penetrate more than ¼ inch steel.
4th – Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i MIG Welder
With versatile wire feed speed control and infinite voltage, the Forney Easy Weld 261 can serve as your best bet for undertaking welding activities especially when you are running on a stringent budget.
This perfect entry level welder makes use of 0.30 inch as well as 0.35-inch flux core wire for carrying out its welding operations.
You can easily weld mild steel ranging up to ¼ inch plate coupled with its 140amp output.
At just 19 pounds, this highly portable welder can be carried around in a hassle-free manner especially while carrying out maintenance, metal fabrication, repair and D-I-Y projects.
The welder comes packed in an all metal case which can easily handle about 2-10 pound rolls of wire.
In spite of having a small stature, this welder is ideal for slicing through stainless steel in a smooth fashion.
This welder is accompanied with an 8’ ground clamp, 8’ MIG gun, an integrated handle having a torch wrap and 20A-15A adapter.
- Comes backed with a 12-month warranty against all manufacturing defects.
- Welder is accompanied with a flow meter; quick start guide and gas hose.
- Can be carried around easily to the work site making it ideal for jobs which require a lot of repositioning.
- It has a 30% duty cycle at 90A.
- Ideal for undertaking fixing as well as light garage welding works.
- Helps welding in tight spaces without the requirement of gas.
- Plug-and-play setup makes it perfect for being used by amateurs who are trying to learn the art of MIG welding for the very first time.
- Wire feeder is not very long.
5th – Goplus MIG 130 Welder
If you thought that it was impossible to find a portable MIG welder, then it’s time to say hello to the Goplus MIG 130 which weighs just 35 pounds.
Such attributes make it a crowd puller in a cluster of peer welders weighing more than 80 pounds.
Its lightweight build leads to minimal welding power which is absolutely okay while undertaking hobby and DIY projects.
This compact welder is crafted using heavy-duty stainless steel which comes coated in durable yellow paint for ensuring its longevity.
It works exceptionally well with steel and can be used in an array of welding processes such as car bodywork.
The Goplus MIG 130 has four adjustable welding speed settings meant for users to take their pick from.
You can thus toggle between maximum, minimum, 1 and 2 by adjusting 4 current flow buttons.
A rotary knob also helps in adjusting the wire feeding speed to work with 10 different levels of your choice.
Although both multi and single pass wire are compatible with this welder, it is advisable to stick to either 0.30 or 0.35 for best results.
While using this welder, you need to give extra caution to adequately preparing the welding surface of materials as working on oily or dirty surface can lead to a poor outcome.
- Oxidation of welded part is prevented by self-release of metal-inert gas while welding.
- Offers hidden built-in storage to minimise clutter at your workplace and keep things organised in the right fashion.
- Comes with a carry handle which helps in transportation and storage.
- Dual air-vents help in effective heat dissipation to increase it longevity.
- Offers the flexibility of choosing amongst 10 different wire feeding speeds for catering to your requirements.
- Comes accompanied with a plethora of accessories such as 55lbs welding wire,0.9mm reel, chipping/brush hammer and a protection mask.
- Not meant for professional level usage.
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.