Depending on your skills in welding or whether you have the experience, owning a welding machine that is affordable and easy to use would be a good start. Metal inert gas welders or MIG welder is the most preferred compared to TIG welding.
They are suitable for both domestic and industrial works and efficient in welding all types of metal together. Seasoned welders would affirm that MIG welder has the advantage of working at a higher speed. Therefore, enabling faster production than any other process of welding. This buying guide will help you to choose the best MIG Welder under $300, $500. We have reviewed different makings and designs which come with various useful features.
10 Best Mig Welder Under 500 Review
Forney Easy Weld 140 MP
The Forney Easy Weld 140 MP is a versatile welder that you can easily switch between MIG, DC TIG, and Stick welding. However, to use the DC TIG process, you will need to purchase the appropriate accessories such as a regulator, hose, and tungsten electrodes separately. You can, therefore, weld different types of metals with it as long as you have the right electrodes.
This unit is easy to use and ideal for both the beginners and metal artist. It comes with a solid all-metal casing and metal wire drive assembly. The design is lightweight, and you can carry from one workshop to another or place it in any convenient position.
It only requires an input power of 120 volts to run. In case of a power outage, this equipment can also run on a 4500w generator. This make also comes with a single-phase inverter for compatibility. It also has an infinite voltage and wire feed speed controls for selecting the perfect weld.
With its 140 A maximum power output, this brand can weld a 24-gauge plate comfortably. This is equivalent to 1/4″ (6.35 millimeters) thickness and producing quality welds.
The Forney Easy Weld 140 MP10′ comes with a MIG gun, integrated handle with torch wrap, an 8′ electrode holder, and an 8′ ground clamp. It will take you only a few minutes to fully and easily install this machine.
The easy to carry and use SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp is a perfectly reliable brand when it comes to metal inert gas and metal active gas welding. The multi-process welder comes with integrated IGBT technology and also accommodates ARC and MMA welding processes conveniently. Besides, this versatile brand provides options for flux core welding and gas welding.
It offers you the freedom to connect to a 110V or 220V power input. You can, therefore, work with this machine at home or the workshop without the need for an external inverter. This model has the capacity to weld together aluminum and steel with ultimate power and reliable strength.
However, you require adding a separate spool gun for the welding of aluminum as it is not provided. Switching between processes is very convenient with the easy to turn selector switch that shifts between spool gun and MIG welding. It can comfortably weld a plate of 0.023-0.039 inches thick
This design produces less amount of spatter, which reduces even further after some time to give a good and dissolved weld. Alternatively, you can utilize the hot start button to operate the machine quickly. This flexible option allows you to weld faster, saving time, and meeting your order deadlines.
Lincoln Electric K2185
The Lincoln Electric K2185 is an excellent option if you are a beginner in welding and want to learn to perfection. The price tag is not prohibitive for your first welding, and the interface is easy to use to help you practice your skills. However, it is a piece of handy equipment for an experienced welder for making strong and precise welds.
It is a lightweight brand that you can carry around often from one site to another. this design is for inert metal gas and flux-cored welding and offers the power to smoothly weld mild steel plates with a thickness of 0.25 inch. It is also come with basic welding tools such as welding hand-shield and chipping hammer.
In addition, you can operate this weld with a 115V of power from your household power outlet. The maximum output power you can get from this machine is 88amps, and the lowest amperage is 35. Hence it is not advisable to use it on heavy-duty jobs as it also comes with a duty cycle of 20%.
The beauty of the Lincoln Electric K2185 is that it produces strong and precise welds. It also allows you to adjust the continuous wire feed of speed to enable you to complete tasks accurately and faster. The voltage settings allow you to select the appropriate voltage for the material thickness you want to weld.
This design features a fan cooling system and a cold contractor to prevent overheating.
Forney Easy Weld 261
The Forney Easy Weld 261 features an infinitely variable welding output dial that offers you great welding flexibility. It does not restrict you to a few settings like the other flux core welder, but you can set the output to your best. More so, the wire feed is infinitely variable with a dial running from a to 10 to offer you flexibility and to perform your task in time.
This design is suitable for semi-professional welders at a low budget. Due to it up to 140 Amp output, this equipment allows you to weld mild steel of up to 1/4 inch thick. The output power of this weld is also constant and can run for a long-duty cycle. Hence, it enables you to save time while delivering smooth and accurate welds.
The Forney Easy Weld 261 is a portable welder, and you can carry it around easily from one site to another. it comes with a sturdy and grooved handle while the casing is all metal. You can be assured that it will protect the delicate internal components from external damage.
It comes with several essential accessories to offer you a hassle-free welding process. The package includes 8 inches ground, 8 inches MIG gun, clamp, torch wrap in the handle, and a 20A adapter to power it up. This welder operates with 120 volts input power that is available in most households and small workshops for a professional startup welder.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140
The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 welder is a compact machine that supports both flux-cored and MIG welding processes. Considering the size and power of this design, it will produce a more professional weld. Running between 25 and 140 amps, it allows you to weld thin and thick mild steel material from 24 gauge up to 0.25 inches.
It’s an easy to use variety, and as a beginner, you will easily set it up after purchase within a few minutes. This portable machine operates with your standard household current of 115V. You can hence carry it around and set it up anywhere, whether at home or workshop. It’s a perfect design for small workshop items and light projects and can handle everyday usage.
This model comes with a variety of useful features that includes the voltage control selector. This control has five different settings at your disposal to ensure you always get smooth and steady arc control for your project. When you consider its relatively low power, this machine will offer great penetration, smooth, and clean welds on all thicknesses.
Besides all the versatility, this welder comes with inbuilt safety features. This includes a thermal overload system that resets itself to keep the wire safe and to protect it against a very high current surge. The feed head is highly durable and comes with a quick-release drive roll lever for your safety.
Forney Easy Weld 29901
If you are looking for an affordable welder ideal for the minor repairs and small projects, the Forney Easy Weld 29901 is not a bad option. This variety specializes in flux core welding of any kind of mild steel and does not have any gas option. It’s one of the easiest machines to operate for DIY tasks within your home or garage.
The unique feature of this welder is its switching options. This controls the sensitivity of welding, depending on the type and thickness of the material you are welding. This design has a provision of 30% duty cycle at 80A and can’t be used for a long time continuously.
With an output rating of 126A, it can create welds of 0.03 inches adequate for minor maintenances. The light-duty welder is also very lightweight, and you can move it effortlessly from one point to another. It’s a plug and operate design and operates with the standard power of 120 V available in your household.
The safety of this machine is facilitated by two optical sensors to protect you from dangerous arc flashes. It also has an inbuilt thermal active protection switch that turns off the unit when it gets too hot.Additionally, it comes with grinding options and shade selector knobs for faster modification in the shade.
This model comes with an exclusive helmet with a mirror that is fireproof and has auto-darkening featuring. It also includes durable and moisture absorbent Kevlar gloves to work smart and safely.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP
The LOTOS MIG175 175AMP is a versatile machine that comes with an array of items for your use than having to shop for the same. It features an easy setup making it ideal for both beginners and professional welders. At under $500, this model is worth your money.
The rugged unit comes in a solid metallic box to protect the internal electrical components for durability. It comes with a 10 feet long aluminum wire and a spool gun that can conveniently weld an aluminum plate of up to 0.4 inches thick. This versatile welder is also suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum sheet.
This is a high-power machine with an operating voltage of between 200 to 240V, hence not suitable for household tasks. It has an automatic dual-frequency that allows you the freedom to adjust your processing speed. The casing includes other controls like spool gun connector and twisting wingnut for extra flexibility.
The welding process utilizes advanced transformer technology and motorized wire feeding to produce quality welds. The processing is of a high rate to accomplish a task within a shorter time. It also consumes a four to six inches wire spool, which is highly available in your local hardware outlets.
This machine has a temperature controller and an overload break. These two safety mechanisms offer protection against high voltage and shorting.
Everlast PowerMIG 140E
The Everlast Power MIG 140E comes with a unique design and features an IGBT inverter. It produces higher ampere output as opposed to the transformer-based models. With this in mind, you will expect it to have a better duty cycle of 60% at 90A with a few minute cooling periods.
The advanced IGBT technology in this machine allows a faster switching rate and a higher rate of efficiency. Hence, this model can weld stainless steel and mild steel of a thickness of up to 0.2 inches. It does not allow any flux core welding but compensates by the usage of highly available 4- and 12-inches spool wires.
This dual process welder facilitates smooth shifting from MIG welding to stick welding. It is also very flexible and allows you to control the wire speed and voltage infinitely according to your requirements. Hence, if you are a pro, you can utilize this benefit to get smooth welds and perform many tasks in a short time.
This design comes with an assortment of handy accessories like a work clamp, MIG gun, Argon regulator and a starter pack. Its top handle is designed to transport this lightweight machine conveniently with your hands. The casing comes in durable metal for interior protection and vents to allow the machine to cool continuously.
DEKOPRO MIG/MMA Welder
Are you looking for a machine with the convenience and power to handle all your welding assignments? The DEKOPRO MIG/MMA Welder is a high quality MIG welder that utilizes the household power voltage to your advantage. It is a versatile design suitable for welding cast iron, mild steel, stainless steel, among other metals.
It features an adjustable wire feed speed to enhance performance and welding current control that assists in setting the output voltage. These settings allow you to weld metals with different thicknesses with ease. Besides, its inbuilt IGBT power device enables faster switching and enhancing the performance of this machine.
This welder is easy to set up and use and convenient for a first-time welder. It is lightweight and can be carried from one site to another with the aid of a strategically placed handle on the casing. The DEKOPRO MIG/MMA Welder will last for a long time thanks to its high-quality PVC casing that is water and rust-resistant.
Additionally, this design comes with vents to allow air circulation for a cooling effect and an overheating indicator to alert you when it’s too hot to rest. Other safety features include a power-on indicator and a current digital reader.
SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder
The SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder offers you the way to connect to a 220V or 110V power supply. Hence it allows you to use it for heavy tasks at your workshop and home using the standard household power voltage. It also comes integrated with the latest GBT technology allows Gasless flux-cored welding and Gas-shielded MIG processing.
This study model is suitable for welding mild steel stainless steel, aluminum, iron, carbon steel, and rusty metals during outdoor repairs and maintenance. The portable product is easy to operate and can deliver industrial type power or either 110 or 220 voltage for smooth welds.
It features a working frequency that is beyond the audio range that reduces noise pollution. This welder is economical and allows you to use a wide range of welding electrodes available in the market. Furthermore, this flexible equipment will enable you to adjust the voltage from 1 to 20V and wire-speed from 1 to 18 m/min.
You may also alter its current rating between 40-280A to handle the thickness of the products material. The duty cycle of 60% and the overload protection mechanism allows continuous welding over a huge time without burning components.
MIG Welder Buyers Guide
Like any other machine, you will be interested to know whether a welder is fit to handle your anticipated task. Therefore, knowing the features when purchasing a metal inert gas welder is essential to decide which makes it ideal to accomplish your work. There are several key things that you need to consider.
This is a basic and important aspect of a welder. It refers to the voltage it requires to function appropriately. Not all welders have a voltage input that matches your workshop power.
Some will have in the input of 110 to 140 volts while others will run at 220 volts power input. Therefore, not the voltage of your power supply before making a purchase.
Thermal Overload Protection
This is an important safety feature for an electrical machine. It ensures that your welder does not overheat and shutdown. The more often the welder overheats and shuts down, translates to time lost and decreased productivity. If you can afford a welder with this feature, go for it.
Due to the nature of its work, a MIG welder is supposed to be a piece of portable working equipment. This allows you to position it at the most convenient welding point. However, if you intend to work on one location, then a heavier welder that can be wheeled using a cart effortlessly is not a bad idea also.
Purchasing a welder that can process different types of metal is a big win. Usually, most metal inert gas welder fuses mild steel aluminum and stainless steel, while some can handle cast iron, iron, and alloys. The more versatile the welder is, the better for your current and future needs.
Besides, you need to consider the thickness of metal you intend to work on as the ability differs from one MIG welder to another. But there is something for everyone under $300, $500.
Knowing what to look for in a welder will ensure you invest your money wisely. The best MIG welder will ensure that your welding process is simple and clean. It will also you to explore its capabilities on different kinds of metals with varying thicknesses.
Additionally, it has to be cost effective in the long run. But again, it has to be one that you can accommodate in your budget. That is why these inexpensive products give you impressive performance. As a beginner, you will get a feel of welding and then practice to perfection.