Best MIG Welders for the Money – Top Picks & Reviews

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welders, otherwise known as gas metal arc welders (GMAW), are popular for many good reasons. Ask random professional what method they prefer and chances are most of them will answer either MIG or Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG)

So, why do many welders both professionals and hobbyists alike — prefer MIG over most tools? For starters, MIG gets the job done most efficiently, whether at home or in an industrial setting. Moreover, they are so versatile that there’s a piece of equipment for every skill level, the same way that there’s a plasma cutter or a waste oil heater that is better, depending on your individual needs. 

The biggest advantage with these is the speed with which it gets the job done. As far as productivity goes, the majority of stick welding and TIG units can’t hold a candle against most low-end options. It’s for this very reason why they’re are recommended in industrial settings. If steel industries can produce metal work at a faster rate, profits naturally get a big boost. 

They are also very accessible to novice welders. You can order one online or buy from a nearby supply store. It’s easy to use because the operations are pretty straightforward, not to mention that it only takes a moment to hook it up. If you haven’t operated a MIG before, you’ll find that it doesn’t take much to learn how to use it properly.

While they are great, no machine is created equal. If you want to make the most of this metal-fusing method, you have to buy one that fits your needs and budget. We understand how difficult it can be to do that, considering the number of selections available out there. This is even more the case if your budget is limited.

To help you out, here are our recommendations that will give you a bang for your buck. We understand that what’s ideal for one person may not be for another, so we tried our best to be diverse in our picks. We also wrote a comprehensive review for each one to help you pick the best MIG welder for the money that fits your needs.

Ready? Dive right in!

1. Millermatic 141 (907612)

The Millermatic 141 is a tool that is as powerful as it is reliable. It has an amazing auto-set feature that lets you automatically adjust the tool’s parameters with minimal effort. It’s just as impressive in manual mode thanks to its intuitive interface and all-aluminum drive system. 

This machine is a dream to set up.  It has a quick-select drive roll and an auto-set mode that allow you to set it up on the fly. This same feature also protects your unit from short circuit hazards.

As already mentioned, the Millermatic 141 packs quite a punch. With a maximum output of 140 Amps, this unit can work on materials that are up to 3/16” in thickness.

Lastly, despite this unit’s extensive functionality, it comes with a minimalist design that’s easy on the eyes.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps

Input: 110/115/120V

Weight: 51 pounds

Dimensions: 20.5 x 11.25 x 12.5

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Starts without any spatter
  • Automatically sets right parameters
  • Comes with Auto Spool Gun Detect
  • The operation in manual mode is intuitive

Cons

  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Doesn’t come with a spool gun for working on aluminum

2. Hobart Ironman 230 (500536)

The Hobart 500536 Ironman is a machine that deserves its name. In terms of power, this unit packs quite a wallop with an input of 230 volts. Moreover, its 60% duty cycle is nothing to sneeze at. The Ironman is more than capable of handling steel, aluminum, and stainless steel and can fuse steel with a thickness of up to ½”. It can be relied on for multiple power outputs thanks to its twelve voltage settings. It also comes with wire-speed adjustment, which allows you to make speed adjustments with minimal effort. 

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that this unit can be purchased for $2,500. While that’s not exactly cheap, this machine’s amazing power and wide range of features are compensation enough.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 60% at 175 Amps.

Input Power: 230V

Weight: 224 pounds

Dimensions: 36 x 19 x 32

Pros

  • High duty cycle
  • Cuts up to ½” of steel
  • Flux core functionality
  • Comes with infinite wire speed adjustment
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • The power cord could be longer

3. LONGEVITY Migweld 140

For its low price of $400, it’s amazing how the LONGEVITY Migweld 140 has established itself as one of the best all-around machines on the market. It has everything a novice will need to start working like a pro in no time.

This machine is capable of running ten different voltage settings, not to mention that it can fuse up to ¼” of steel. It comes with Flux core functionality, giving you all the benefits that a full-scale arc welder can provide. This unit weighs 54 pounds, making it well-suited for light use. To top it off, it comes with thermal overload protection, so you don’t need to worry about the unit overheating even if you’ve been using it for long stretches. 

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps.

Input: 110 Volts

Weight: 54 pounds

Dimensions: 24 x 13 x 17

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with Flux core functionality
  • Has thermal overload protection
  • Automatically sets right parameters
  • Has 10 different voltage settings

Cons

  • Regulator hose is a bit short
  • Feeding can be slow at times

4. Hobart Handler 190 (500554)

If you want a machinethat’s powerful, portable, and easy to use, Hobart Handler 190 (500554) is a tool that delivers on all fronts. It doesn’t hurt that it has a compact, sleek design that makes professionals and hobbyists alike swoon. 

The Hobart Handler 190 is capable of handling all types of jobs. Whether you’re working on metal sculptures, building farm equipment, or fixing roof sheets, this tool can help you do the job most efficiently.

So, how powerful is the Hobart Handler 190? For starters, it can fuse 24-gauge up to 5/16”. It normally runs at 230 volts but you can switch to 115 volts through a simple switch of the plug. Hooking up this unit is easy, with extensive but intuitive controls that allow you to adjust its settings and parameters on the fly. The unit’s operation controls are pretty straightforward. Just follow the instructions on the manual and you’ll weld like an expert in a few hours.

Do you prefer to use a spool gun? This unit is built for it—just turn the selector switch on for spool gun mode and you’re off to the races. Better yet, this helps you do away with any feeding issues that usually occur when you’re working with aluminum wire. 

Bottom line? The Hobart Handler 190 has a lot going for it. If you want an all-around machine you can use for a wide range of jobs, this unit won’t let you down.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 30% at 130 Amps.

Input: 220/230/240V

Weight: 68 pounds

Dimensions: 19.5 x 10.625 x 12.4

Pros

  • Spool gun-ready
  • Highly portable
  • Ease of use
  • Short-circuit proof
  • Has 7 different voltage settings
  • Quick select drive roll

Cons

  • A bit expensive (although the unit’s features are compensation enough)

5. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy

The Lincoln Electric Handy is great for those who are just getting started. For one, it’s not expensive, making it the perfect choice for novice craftsmen who don’t want to make a huge financial commitment yet. The unit’s interface is a cinch—as soon as you familiarize yourself with the intuitive controls, you’re well on your way.

Another reason why this is perfect for beginners is its extensive safety features. It’s got a fan-cooled design that prevents the likelihood of overheating, which in turn, increases its longevity. It also has a cold contactor safety feature, meaning that the unit stays cold even if it’s not being used. Now that’s safety for you!

That’s not to say that the Lincoln Electric Handy is not great for more experienced individuals. This unit packs quite a punch (up to 88 amps), allowing you to make quick and precise work. It’s not powerful enough to perform heavy-duty jobs, but other than that, this unit is a good companion for people who are always out and about.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 70 Amps.

Input Power: 115V

Weight: 46 pounds

Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.8 x 18

Pros

  • Big bang for your buck
  • Extensive safety features
  • Very durable
  • Four different voltage settings
  • Highly portable
  • Cold contactor safety

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a gas gauge

6. Forney 309 140A

The Forney 309 140 is a machine that offers a lot when it comes to smaller jobs. It’s packed to brimming with features that set it apart from the new wave of products currently being released in the market. With a power outlet of 115 volts, this unit is perfect for the household. With a max output of 140 Amps, this piece of equipment is no slacker. It’s easy to take around with you thanks to the built-in gas hose and regulator. 

The Forney 309 140 comes with Flux-core functionality, adding to its versatility. You can use it on a wide range of metals, including cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, among many others.

To top it off, this unit weighs only 62 pounds and sports an ergonomic handle, making it a cinch to take everywhere with you.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 115 Amps/35% at 90 Amps

Input: 115V

Weight: 56 pounds

Dimensions: 19 x 9.5 x 16.5

Pros

  • Can work on a wide variety of metals (aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, etc.)
  • Competitive price
  • Highly versatile
  • High duty cycle
  • MIG gun has high compatibility with Tweco consumables
  • Huge cabinet for added storage
  • Long Gun is easy and comfortable to handle

Cons

  • Doesn’t have enough power for industrial settings
  • Low maximum weld limit (¼ inch)

7. Weldpro 155 AMP Inverter MIG/Stick

If you want a good piece of equipment that’s affordable as it is versatile, you can’t go wrong with the Weldpro 155 Amp option. Even at its low price, it’s fully capable of plugging into two voltage settings (110 and 220). It’s compact and portable to boot!

How versatile is this machine? Well, it allows you to switch between 2T and 4T (between manual and automatic wire feeding) with ease. If you’ve ever struggled to feed with long beads and awkward corners, this automatic wire feeding capability makes the process so much easier. 

Granted that the leads could be longer, you can compensate for it by buying additional accessories if required.

If your budget is limited, buying this machine is a safe investment that will get you on the right track. 

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 115 Amps/35% at 90 Amps

Input: 115V

Weight: 56 pounds

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Affordable
  • Highly versatile
  • Ease of use
  • Provides a lot of amperages

Cons

  • Leads could be longer
  • Doesn’t come with a regulator

8. Hobart Handler 210 (500553)

The Hobart Handler 210 has a lot to offer in terms of amperage, affordability, and functionality. It’s not exactly cheap, sure, but this machine brings so much to the table that it more than makes up for it. 

If you’re impressed by how extensive this machine’s amperage settings are, wait till you learn how many wire speeds it offers (it’s from 40 to 680 IPM!) The infinite wire speed control makes this one a joy to work with. And with 7 voltage settings and variable power outputs at its disposal, this machine helps you perform a wide range of jobs with great efficiency. There are no (or minimal) spatters involved, so no need to clean up after every job. 

Simply put, the Hobart Handler 210 offers much in the way of versatility and power, setting the standard for versatility, power, and controls within this price range.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps

Input Power: 115/230V

Weight: 79 pounds

Dimensions: 19.5 x 10.6 x 12.4

Pros

  • Superior wire feed control
  • Great value
  • Highly versatile
  • Release tension on the fly
  • Intuitive operational controls

Cons

  • A bit on the heavy side
  • Duty cycle is limited

9. Hobart Handler 140 (500559)

The Hobart Handler 140 is another homerun for the Hobart line, and much like its predecessors, this MIG/Flux-core beast boasts an excellent user interface and the highest manufacturing standards.

With a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amperes, the Handler 140 is more than capable of handling any household or small workshop project. This unit can work on thin materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, and steel like a hot knife through butter. If you want to work on thicker materials, the Handler 140 has a reliable flux-core option that can help you pull it off. And with five voltage settings, it allows you to switch it up as you go along, resulting in smoother arcs even when working on different thicknesses.

It is lighter than most professional machines, allowing for easy transport and handling. If you’re a craftsman who frequently works on different types of projects, you can do no wrong by taking this with you. 

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps

Input Power: 115V

Weight: 57 pounds

Dimensions: 19.5 x 10.6 x 12.4

Pros

  • Easy to maintain arc stability
  • Super portable (weighs only 57 pounds)
  • Highly versatile
  • Minimal spatter involved
  • Wire feeding is highly accurate
  • Great for novice welders

Cons

  • Not well-suited for full-scale industrial projects
  • Doesn’t work with direct AC power supply
  • Requires a separate gas cylinder for MIG projects

10. Millermatic 141 (907612)

The Millermatic 141 is the Miller line’s quintessential 120V MIG welder. This machine truly delivers when it comes to providing beginners a fantastic user experience. The auto-set control, for one, allows you to get comfortable with the process in no time. Long-time pros can still stick to how they do things thanks to the unit’s serviceable manual settings. It has wire feed settings, infinite voltage control, quick select drive roll—the whole works. What more could you ask for?

This unit is no slacker in the power department, boasting an amperage range of 30A to 140A and a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amperes. It also comes with thermal overload protection to protect your unit from overheating incidents.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps

Input Power: 120V

Weight: 51 pounds

Dimensions: 22 x 11 x 12

Pros

  • Auto-set feature makes this newbie-friendly
  • Highly flexible (thanks to the unit’s infinite voltage control)
  • Highly compatible with 15 feet guns
  • Extensive manual settings for experienced people
  • Comes with a 10 feet spool gun and a two gauge regulator
  • Quick select drive roll

Cons

  • Not well-suited for full-scale industrial projects
  • Power cord is too short (5 feet)

11. Lincoln Pro MIG 140 K2480-1 Review

When it comes to power and versatility, not many machines can keep up with the Lincoln Pro MIG 140, why our review of this piece of equipment is so positive. Whether you’re working at home or in a shop or a factory, it has everything you need and more.

Case in point: the excellent 2-knob control system, which allows you to switch between different modes with the least amount of effort. And no matter the type of material you’re working on, be it aluminum, steel, or stainless steel, the unit’s gas-shielded mode should help you get the job done. If you need to work on thicker metals, switching to the flux core mode will help you penetrate deeper to get it done. How deep? Well, this unit can work on 4.8 mm of sheet metal in a single pass. 

It is packed to brimming with features that ensure you’re consistently working at a high level, including the easy-turn tension indicator, a fully adjustable drive system, brass to brass gun connection for better conductivity, and more.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 Amps

Input Power: 120 volts

Weight: 50 pounds

Dimensions: 13.7 x 10.15 x 17.9

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Highly effective in minor projects
  • Easy to hook up and set up
  • Speed and power are highly adjustable
  • Effective on a wide range of metals and thicknesses
  • Comes with flux core functionality

Cons

  • Could add thermal protection
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty projects

12. Lincoln Pro MIG 180 K2481-1

If you value consistency in your work regardless of the project or task you’re working on, you’d be wise to consider buying the Lincoln MIG 180

It is perfect for both novices and professionals courtesy of its wide variety of useful features. It has a simple control knob that lets you change output levels with minimal effort. Moreover, its 120 settings allow you to work efficiently on aluminum and light steel. It’s also equally effective for heavy-duty jobs since its 208/230 volt settings allow for deeper penetration on thicker metals.

While it packs some serious power, it has adjustable settings that ensure you won’t melt thinner materials like aluminum.

This dual-voltage machine is also easy to take with you anywhere thanks to its portable and lightweight build. Whether you’re welding in a factory, your home, or at the farm, the Lincoln Pro MIG 180 is a companion you can always count on.

Specs

Processes: MIG, Flux-Cored

Input Power: 208/230  V

Weight: 66 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 10.15 x 18.6

Pros

  • Diamond core technology provides a “more forgiving” arc
  • Dual input (208/230 V)
  • Effective for heavy-duty work as well as home or small workshop use
  • Ergonomic build
  • The brass-to-brass gun connection allows for better conductivity
  • Very adjustable

Cons

  • A bit on the heavy side
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty projects
  • Power output is a bit low

13. Miller Millermatic 211 (907614)

If you want a dual voltage beast with a ton of features that help you produce precise work, the Millermatic 211 hits the sweet spot. It is easy to set up because of its Advanced Autoset feature, which allows you to adjust your unit’s parameters and arc settings easily.

The Millermatic 211 also comes with a quick-select drive roll that enables you to change spools with the flick of a finger. It’s not only dual-voltage, but it also has a ring on the back that you can twist to switch from one mode to another with minimal effort. 

Another great thing about the Millermatic 211 is its lightweight design. If you’re always working in different locations, you won’t have any difficulties lugging this machine around with you.

Specs

Duty cycle: 40% at 150 amps

Input Power: 230V

Weight: 38 pounds

Dimensions: 20.5 x 11.25 x 12.5

Pros

  • Comes with a dual voltage plug that makes switching between voltage settings easy
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to set up
  • Stable arc allows for more precise work

Cons

  • Not cheap (though it gives you a bang for your buck)
  • Duty cycle could use an improvement

14. Eastwood 175 Amp

Eastwood MIG 175 might be an oldie but goodie, but it’s still one of the best options on the market. 

This unit runs at 220V and has a rated amp of 175A. Wire feeding is effortless thanks to the unit’s adjustable wire feed speed control. But what sets this one apart is its ability to handle a wide range of metals, including aluminum and steel.

The Eastwood 175 is a great choice for beginners because of the many accessories on offer, including a spool gun, aluminum wires, a gas regulator and hose, tips, and many more.

It weighs only 62 pounds. If you’re a pro who’s always out and about, you won’t have any issues taking this unit along with you everywhere you go.

One major drawback of this product is that it’s made of flimsy material. You might end up breaking the access panel if you’re not careful.

Despite that one flaw, it is a great machine to have if you want a versatile offering that’s easy on the wallet.

Specs

Duty cycle: 30% at 130 amps

Input Power: 220V

Weight: 62 pounds

Dimensions: 10.75 X 17 X 15.75

Pros: Cons:
Offers a wide range of accessories for the full MIG experience Made of thin material
Lightweight and ergonomic build  
Can handle many metals, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel  
Big bang for your buck  
Serviceable for both professionals and beginners  

welder

15. Hobart Handler 130 (500568)

The Hobart Handler 130 is a robust option that is as versatile as it is user-friendly. It’s not as powerful as its 210 and 140 counterparts, but it’s got a wide range of useful features that more than compensate for that one flaw. With that said, it’s capable of penetrating 1/4 “ steel and is capable of handling many kinds of metals, especially stainless steel and iron. 

If you want your work to be more productive, the Handler 130’s Flux-cored functionality will come in handy. Also worth mentioning is its patented EX-Mode, in which a knob can be used to switch settings easily based on the thickness of the material being worked on. 

Do you struggle with controlling gas input when you work? The Hobart Handler 130 solves that problem for you with its built-in gas valve, which gives you a better handle on gas mixes as you do the work. No more spatters!

Weighing 51 pounds, this machine can be carried around with no sweat, literally. 

Specs

Duty cycle: 20% at 85 amps

Input Power: 115V

Weight: 51 pounds

Product Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 17 inches

Pros

  • EZ-mode with wire feed knobs for great customization
  • User-friendly and easy to set up
  • Competitive price
  • Suitable for both novice and long-time craftsmen
  • Highly portable
  • Packed with useful features

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy-duty projects
  • Lacks a spool adaptor

16. Lincoln Electric Easy 140

If you want to produce high-quality work on a wide range of projects, the Lincoln Electric Easy 140 won’t let you down. Equipped with a straightforward 2-knob control system, this multiple process unit lets you manage your gas shields while working on steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. And thanks to its robust flux core functionality, it is capable of penetrating deep when fusing thicker materials.

With a fully adjustable drive system, coupled with its numeric-drive tension indicator, the Lincoln Electric Easy lets you change the settings with the least amount of effort, thus preventing wire tangling and cable breakage. 

Whether you’re an old hat at this by now or still learning the ropes, you’ll get the hang of this machine in no time, courtesy of its intuitive controls and streamlined design. Besides, it comes with a calibration chart to serve as a guide as you hook up the machine and use it for the first time.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 amps

Input Power: 120V

Weight: 50 pounds

Dimensions: 13.7 in x 10.15 in x 17.9 in

Pros

  • Extensive wire feed speed system
  • User-friendly and easy to set up
  • Fully adjustable drive roll system
  • Smooth drive tension adjustment
  • Highly portable
  • Voltage control allows a stable arc

Cons

  • Not efficient at working on thicker metals

17. Eastwood MIG 135A

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, the Eastwood MIG 135 is a machine that hits many sweet spots. It can be counted on to produce precise welds even on delicate tasks. Sporting a lightweight and compact design, this unit can be carried around with little effort. 

It comes with many accessories that will come in handy on any project and in any setting. Wire feeding requires little effort as well thanks to the unit’s switchable drive roller and precision-drive motor. 

If you want an affordable option that ticks all the right boxes, you can count on this machine to truly deliver. 

Specs

Duty Cycle: 20% at 90 amps

Input Power: 120V

Weight: 57 pounds

Dimensions: 9.5 X 16.1 X 14.5

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can be used in any 120-V power outlet
  • Powerful for its size
  • Comes with many helpful accessories
  • Great value
  • Option to use gas or flux-wire

Cons

  • Not fit for full-scale industrial projects

worker at construction site

18. Everlast Power i-MIG 200

The Everlast Power MIG 200 boasts the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) inverter technology, which can produce a higher output even with low input power. To call this one a MIG welder is limiting, for it also offers stick and flux-cored functionality. 

It offers many advantages, including a high duty cycle, multi-processing, dual voltage option, and high power output. With all these features at your disposal, you can produce high-quality work with stunning consistency.

Switching from the spool gun to stick has never been easy courtesy of this machine’s Eurostyle Quick Coupler. This nifty feature lets you use generic spool guns instead of expensive branded ones, allowing you to cut costs dramatically.

This unit’s best feature is the highly convenient induction control, allowing you to switch between MIG and Stick with little effort. Newbies, most of all, wild find this handy, making them produce work like a pro even if they haven’t used a welding machine before.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 35% at 125 amps

Input Power: 110/220V

Weight: 53 pounds

Dimensions: 24 x 9 x 14

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • No need to switch between MIG and Stick
  • Minimal spatter
  • Great value
  • Easy to switch between 110V and 220V

Cons

  • Spool gun is awkward to handle at first

19. Hobart Handler 125 (500573)

The Hobart Handler 125 500773 is the latest offering in the company’s Hobart 125 series. And this one’s a doozy, folks.

Performance-wise, this is as good as a 125 MIG machine gets. With an output range of 25-130 Amps, this machine can weld up to ⅛ inches of steel. It’s easy to work on metals with variable thicknesses courtesy of the machine’s four output voltage settings. Switching from flux-cored wire to MIG is effortless. Moreover, the durable feed head along with the quick-release drive roll lever allows you to thread new wire with no sweat. 

Despite the abundant features, the Hobart Handler 500573 is easy to use. You’ll find it easy to produce clean and non-porous weds even if this is your first time handling a piece of equipment like this.

Specs

Duty Cycle: 25% at 80 amps

Input Power: 110/115/120V

Weight: 57.5 pounds

Dimensions: 19.4 × 10 × 13.5

Pros

  • Easy to hook up, adjust, and control
  • Great value
  • No need to switch between MIG and Stick
  • Highly portable
  • Produces high-quality, precise work
  • Capable of handling various metals of variable thicknesses

Cons

  • Some accessories (tank, pressure regulator, etc.) still need to be purchased

Hungry for more reading? Check out our guide on the best mini metal lathes out there.

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