During the year 1940, welding experienced a new high. The welding world has awakened to the bright hue and pool of Metal Inert Gas welding or MIG welding. The welding process used inert gas to hold the melted metals together.
The heat produced by short-circuiting the wire fed welding gun and the metal to be welded by supplying the right amount of electricity, melted the metals. The blended mixture held fast in the presence of inert gas. As the mixture cooled, it produced the hardest and the most durable weld.
The advent of MIG welding opened doors for welding almost all metals. With the right amount of electricity, any metal surface gets welded, a gas cylinder, and a welding gun fitted with the right metal wire, however, assembling a unit that could regulate electricity and pass it through the attached welding gun and supply the inert gas, required more than welding skills.
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Thus, leading manufacturers and suppliers of industrial tools and machines invested time and effort to design the Best MIG Welders.
Best MIG Welders 2020 [110V & 220V]
Metal Inert Gas welding requires a shielding gas tank, gas solenoid, regulator, welding gun with wires. The central unit or cabinet that houses the spool of cables with the rollers to push the wires, the ground clamp that acts as the cathode along with the power supply system attached to the main power cord is the MIG welder. The shielding gas tank attached to the central unit, and the welding gun completes the MIG Welding unit.
Thus, the four main components of a MIG welder are:The central unit or cabinet The Welding Gun The Gas tank The Ground Clamp
Electricity input or voltage, power system, utility are the significant grounds that differentiates the MIG welders.
The popular MIG Welders either uses 110V or 220V of DC. Some MIG welders have dual voltage, which adds to the versatility of the unit. While most welders use DC, the welders with inverter technology are fast gaining popularity. The other factors that make some MIG Welders are design, compatibility with accessories and welding guns, versatility, cost, portability, and durability.
MIG Welders has changed welding for the better robust and durable welds within reach with minimum effort and a bit of focus. MIG Welders has become indispensable in Metal Fabrication, Maintenance & Repair, Farm & Ranch, Automotive, and other significant industries involving light and heavy machinery.
This review brings to you the top 10 MIG Welders. Some of the welding units here were on the top of the list for a long time now. A few have risen swiftly with their innovative design, technology, and versatility. The list includes the best 110V MIG Welder, as well as the best 220V MIG Welder. The list also consists of the best dual voltage MIG welder to ensure that you don’t miss out on the ones who can operate on both inputs.back to menu ↑
Top 10 Best MIG Welders Reviews
So let’s dive deep into the detailed reviews of the top ten MIG Welders spanning across all categories and types.
1) Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder
Designed to overcome the handicaps of the previous MIG welders, the Forney 190 MIG, is one of the best transformer-based multi-step welders in its class. With extra-long power cable, longer torch with a wide range of compatibles, improved drive/feed system, and a spacious and robust cabinet, the welder is designed for maximum utility and productivity.
Versatility: Forney 190 MIG supports MIG and Flux-Cored welding thus can be used for DIY, General fabrication, Maintenance and repair, Agriculture, and Automobile industry.
Optimization of input: The welding unit provides 190 amp output on a 240V input voltage.
Multi-step output: Output amperage has four levels of adjustment- 60A, 80A, 120A, and 140A.
High productivity: With duty cycles of 100%, 60%, 25%, and 15% at outputs adjusted at 60A, 80A, 120A, and 140A, the unit can withstand long hours at a stretch. The advanced spool drive technology ensures efficient and accurate wire drive.
Spacious and Robust: The design of the central unit can withstand rough handling. The spacious cabinet provides secure storage and access to spools measuring 4″ and 8″ spindles.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 230V Output range: 35-190 amps. Wire range: .035″ max, 024″ min. Plate range: 3.8″ max, 24ga min. LxWxH: 19″x9.5″x16.5″ Weight: 64 lbs.
2) Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST
The stick welder from the Forney house is one of the best stick welders using an input voltage of 120V.
Forney Easy Weld 100 ST is TIG capable, making it a multifunctional welding unit.
The TIG compatibility makes it ideal for experts; however, it is touted as the best welder for amateurs. The lightweight and inverter power system make the unit highly portable.
Power-packed performance: The stick welder is powerful and can handle up to 1/8 ” of rods and can penetrate sheets up to 5/16″.
Smooth start and handling: Starting a welding arc has never been so easy. The innovative, ergonomic, and simple design enables effortless handling.
Compatibility: TIGcompatibility improves the scope of operation.
Adaptive: Built-in inverter ensures that the welder can operate with both AC and DC power supply.
Portability: Lightweight and dual power schemes make the welding unit easily portable.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V Output range: 90 amps. Electrode range: up to 1/8″. TIG capable LxWxH: 12″x5.5″x10.5″ Weight: 9.5 lbs.
3) Forney 322 Multiprocess Welder
The single input voltage welder supports MIG, Stick, TIG, and Gas free Flux-Cored welding. Advanced features like flow meter and gas hose for a hassle-free switch between operation modes make it an efficient multi-function welding unit.
Preset Stick and MIG setup saves one from the intricacies of setting up the group and saves time and effort. The advanced feed/drive system backed by geared idler and drive rolls makes welding smooth and hassle-free. The multi-functionality of the unit makes it a truly versatile welder.
Multifunctional: With MIG, STICK, TIG, and Flux-cored welding modes, the welder has a wide operational range.
Adaptive: The inverter technology enables the unit to function on AC as well as DC power supply.
Versatile: From general fabrication to maintenance and repair, the welder has a broad scope of operation.
Presets: The unit comes with setups for MIG and sticks welding along with gas meter and hose.
Increased productivity: The presets, gas meter, hose, and quick release technology, along with high duty cycles, minimize downtime during operation switching, and improves productivity.
Secure handling: The extra-long spools and hoses, presets, and a wide range of compatibles make handling easy and hassle-free.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V Output range: 140 amps. Max. Electrode range: 3/32″ upto 1/8″. Power cord: 4.5 m Spool size: 4″-8″ Wire range: 035″, 3/32″ and 1/8″ Weight: 38 lbs.
4) Forney Easy Weld 261 – 120V
The Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-I is a powerful flux core single input voltage welder. The scope of operation ranges from DIY, repair, and metal fabrication. The wire feed speeds and the output is controlled without any presets, ensuring complete control over the weld quality. The welder boasts of a 30% duty cycle for a production of 90 amps, which is high compared to other flux-cored welders.
Single input voltage: Can perform an input voltage of 120V and provide a maximum of 140 amps.
Infinite voltage and wire feed speeds: The endless energy and wire feed speed control ensure that the welder is free to adjust the amperage and wire feed speeds easily according to the requirement of the project.
Powerful performance: With the maximum output of 140 amps, the welder can provide a power-packed performance.
Enhanced productivity: Long duty cycles improves productivity
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V Output: 140 amps. Wire range: .35″ max, 024″ min. Plate range: 1/4″ max, 24ga min. LxWxH: 16.5″x8.125″x12″ Weight: 19 lbs.
5) Forney 291 Easy Weld – 120 & 230V
A dual input voltage stick welder, the Forney Easy Weld 180 ST, is made for robust welds. The welding unit is TIG compatible and can operate with power inputs of 120V and 230V.
The advanced transformer ensures smooth operation even during power supply through gen-sets. The innovative and robust design is built for storage and to endure. The unit is lightweight but sturdy and makes for the best dual input portable stick welder.
Dual input voltage: Forney Easy Weld 180 ST can function with an input voltage of 120V and 230V.
Powerful output: The output amperage is a maximum of 90 amps and 180 amps at inputs of 120V and 230V, respectively.
Duty cycles: The unit has a duty cycle of 30% on an output of 80 amps at an input voltage of 120V—also, a 25% on the production of 180 amps at an input voltage of 230V.
Secure handling and storage: The long hose, smooth start, and connect mechanisms make handling of the unit easy. The robust and spacious cabinet design can endure and store.
Portable: The lightweight and built-in inverter make the welder portable.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V and 230V Output range: max 90 amps@ 120V and 180amps@ 230V Electrode range: up to 1/2″. TIG capable Weight: 15 lbs.
6) Miller Electric 120V Welder
Millermatic 141 from the house of Miller is the perfect blend of advanced technology and innovation. As the name suggests, it infuses automation in welding. The single input voltage welder with Auto set feature readies the welding based on the input of the weldor. Tap in the wire and material thickness, and the machine is up for running. The spool detectors preset for wire drives cooked with a manual mode make Millermatic a delight for all weldors. As a safeguard against overheating and short circuits, the welder has an auto cut program.
Advanced technology: Auto set, spool detection, advanced drive system with three modes, smooth start functionality, and Overload and short circuit safeguard mechanism make Millermatic a truly advanced welder.
Manual operation: The machine has a manual mode for the services that demands fine-tuning.
Extra-long handheld devices: The15ft long guns make up for the stationary welding unit.
Efficient output: With a maximum output of 90 amps @ 18.5 DCV, the Millermatic 141 is a powerful welder.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V Output range: max 90 Weld thickness range: .24ga – 3/16″. Weight: 51 lbs.
7) Forney 318 230V MIG Welder
The Forney 318 230V MIG Welder is a transformer-based multi-step welder.
Extra-long power cable, longer torch with a wide range of compatibles, improved drive/feed system, and a spacious and robust cabinet, the welder is robust and sturdy.
Powerful: The welding unit provides 190 amp output on a 220V input voltage.
Multi-step output: Output amperage can have a six levels adjustment of voltage settings.
High productivity: With a duty cycle of l 25% at 120A, the unit can operate long hours at a stretch without any hitches.
Spacious and Robust: The central unit can withstand rough handling due to its robust and sturdy construction material used in the making. The spacious cabinet provides secure storage and access to spools measuring 4″ and 8″ reels.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 230V Output range: max 190 amps. Weld sheet: 3.8″ max, 24ga min. LxWxH: 19″x9.5″x16.5″ Weight: 64 lbs.
8) SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder 140A – Including Flux Cored Wire
A dual input voltage MIG welder ideal for gas shielded as well as gasless MIG welding. The inverter-based welder with a combination of advanced features and underlying MIG welding mechanisms, the SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder 140A is the best in class MIG welder.
With the built-in inverter technology, advanced wire drive, and safety mechanism, the welder is one of the best welders’supports for both gas-less and gas-shielded MIG welding.
Dual input voltage: SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder 140A has an operating input voltage of 110V and 220V.
Functionality: The welder can perform gas shielding, Gas MIG welding, hollow, and reliable Flux welding.
Dual power scheme: The built-in inverter enables operation manual power scheme.
Zero noise: The high working frequency eliminates the chances of loud noise.
Spool free welding: The welder is capable of handling wire spools up to 10 lbs.
Easy controls: Fully adjustable wire drive and welding current, enables secure and effective switch between welding operations.
Safe: Advanced safety mechanism safeguards against overheating and short circuits.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 220V/110V Output range: max 140 amps. Electrode diameter: 3.0.023”-0.039” LxWxH: 16.3″x8″x10.6″ Weight: 30.8 lbs.
9) Forney 324 MIG/Stick/TIG 3-in-one 190-Amp Welder
A welder that offers the broadest range of operational areas with the dual input voltage is the Forney 324 multifunctional welder enables MIG (GMAW), Flux-Cored (FCAW), Stick (SMAW) and DC TIG (GTAW) welding. The easy-start mechanism and accessible mode changing switch ensure improved productivity. The welding unit offers maximum control and efficient wire drive. The welder is ideal for a wide range of operational areas, from automotive, agriculture, and repair/maintenance to DIY projects.
Dual input voltage: Forney 324, with two separate plugs in lower adapters can operate with an input voltage of 120V and 230V.
Multifunctional: The modes of operation include MIG, Flux-Cored, Stick, and TIG welding.
Versatile: The four operation modes, along with dual input voltage and smooth controls, make the welder ideal for a wide area of operation, making it truly versatile.
Controls: Thesynergic controls enable easy and effective control of the welding speed, ensuring quality welds. The wire drive, too, can be controlled to match the operation mode.
Mode Switch: The innovative mode change switch enables easy switching between the various modes of operation. This dramatically improves productivity by avoiding downtime while changing patterns.
Secure handling: The extra-long handheld torch, easy start mechanism, easily detachable power cords make handling of the welder a child’s play.
Spacious and robust: The extra spacious cabinet has ample room for wires and spools. The robust design can withstand a few bumps and bruises.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 120V/230V Output range: max 190 amps. Plate thickness: upto 3/16″ Electrode range: upto 5/32″ LxWxH: 20. 2″x10. 2″x16″ Weight: 50 lbs.
10) SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp DC Inverter Complete Package
This multifunctional welder is ideal for TIG and ARC MMA welding. The SUNGOLDPOWER TIG 200G welder has a dual power scheme.
The welder can produce quality welds on steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze, nickel, and copper. With advanced technology for power efficiency, welding safety, and optimum output, the welder is the best in class.
Advanced technology: The welder, with its advanced technology, has optimized power efficiency, improved switching speeds, response time, and significantly improved effectiveness at higher voltages, thus ensuring maximum productivity and minimum downtime.
High-Frequency startup: The 100% startup guarantee ensures a longer lifespan.
LED Output amperage display: Output amperage display ensures regular monitoring and maintenance of the unit.
Lite and powerful: High quality built material and innovative design with advanced technology have made the SUNGOLDPOWER TIG 200G a lightweight but sturdy welder.
Safe: Advanced safety features safeguard against over and under voltage fluctuations.
Quick specifications:Input voltage: 220V Output range: 200 amps TIG, 180 amps MMA Sheet thickness TIG: 0.8-8 mm Electrodes range MMA: 1.6/2.4/3.2 mm LxWxH: 13.7″x5.5″x10.4″ Weight: 22 lbs.
Factors While Buying a MIG Welder
Every area of operation has its requirements, so does each weldor. While the availability of space and power supply might be a significant concern for some, the field of operation can be a significant factor to consider, for many in deciding on the Best MIG Welder matching one’s needs.
Irrespective of the requirements or constraints, one must take into account the following factors:
1) Input Voltage
The input voltage of a MIG welder determines the degree of penetration, affects the quality of welds, and is detrimental to overall productivity and utility. However, one must consider the area of operation while deciding on the input voltage of the MIG welder. For a weldor, mainly working on thin metal sheets can do without a MIG welding unit with the higher input voltage. A dual voltage MIG welder can be a wise option for anyone working on heavy as well as light sheets simultaneously.
110 Volt Welders: Ideal for metal sheets of 3/8″
220 Volt Welders: Effective for massive metal sheets up to 1/2″
Dual Voltage Welders: MIG Welders that can operate using both 110V and 220V input.
2) Output Power
The input voltage determines the output amperage of a MIG Welder. The output amperage determines effective penetration and dramatically affects productivity. While an input of 110V can ideally generate an output of 80-90 amps, a 220V input can create a maximum of 250 amps. Higher output means improved productivity as it enables longer working hours. However, the area of operation and the shielding gas used also affects the production of a MIG Welder.
3) Size & Transportability
The longer welding cord and wire spool has its advantages and can greatly improve precision and weld quality. They also add to overall productivity. However, rewinding and storage can be a worry if the main MIG welding unit does not have ample storage space. Thus, a spacious and robust MIG welder is much preferred. Experts and amateurs alike prefer most MIG welders with a compact but spacious cabinet with a robust build. Build material and weight of the unit effects portability of the unit and can limit the MIG Welder to be stationary. This can greatly limit productivity and might even break the project. Therefore, one must consider the size, weight, and portability of a MIG Welder.
4) Duty Cycle
A duty cycle of any MIG Welder is the duration of operation of the unit. It is the percentage against the output amperage. The duty cycle of a MIG Welder is directly proportional to the input voltage. The higher the input voltage, the longer is the stretch of working hours. A MIG Welder operating with 110V with an amperage of 90 amps ideally has a duty cycle of 20%. This means that a welder can operate the unit for a maximum of two minutes within ten minutes of operation. A MIG Welding unit with higher amperage and input voltage will thus have a longer duty cycle, adding to longer working hours and improved productivity.
Any weldor working on a variety of welds has felt the need for a multitask welding unit. A 110V MIG Welder cannot work on light metal sheets, nor a 220V MIG welder can provide the desired results on surfaces requiring low amperage. The scope of utility and compatibility of any MIG Welder with various torches, wires, and shielding gases ensures versatility and broadens the areas of operation. Isn’t it wiser to possess a single multifunctional MIG Welder than procuring different ones for specific areas of service?
6) Brand & Warranty
Warranty periods, offer validity and coverage differ with each manufacturer. Besides, a single welding unit might have three different warranties, each with its own set of components covered. Thus, making sure that one is aware of the parts covered under each warranty is a must. Moreover, while many companies offer a free warranty with the welder’s purchase, the warranty does not include any labor charges. This might mean that despite the unit being under warranty period, one must pay the labor cost while availing the warranty. After-sales service, warranty period, and ready availability of spares and service can be crucial factors affecting productivity. Nothing can hit a project harder than a broken MIG welder, and repairs can be expensive and time-consuming. A branded MIG welder guarantees warranty with gold standard service.
Last but not least, one must ensure not to burn a hole in the pocket. While scouting for the welding unit that best matches one’s needs, one must make sure to have a decision on budget one is willing to pay for the unit save a fortune by making a few comparisons. Features and build material often decides the price of a product. A welding unit with state of the art technology might be an excellent choice. However, if these features do not directly improve productivity about your area of operation, it’s best to opt for a unit that best fulfills your requirements without any frills. Choose the group that offers the maximum utility within your budget.back to menu ↑
How to Maintain MIG Welder?
MIG Welders require more careful handling and maintenance than Stick welding units. MIG Welders need protection from dust and weather elements. All portable MIG welders, while in transit, must be safeguarded against bumps and spills. While protecting the exterior cabinet is important, maintenance of the internal components like the spool, rollers, wires, and the ground clamp is equally essential. The secret of quality welds without spill lies in the clean contact tips of the welding gun.
The standard period between the thorough cleaning of the MIG welding unit is two weeks. The following components need Special care:
The cover of a MIG Welder safeguards the internal components of a welding unit from dust and weather elements. A unit that is under heavy usage for a long duration might accumulate splatter, which can damage the unit’s internal components. Thus, apart from regular dusting, one must ensure that the unit is safeguarded against dust and other weather elements.
Compressed air cleaning safeguards the unit against splatter and dust accumulation, and thoroughly cleaned.
Drive rolls are the next crucial component that ensures proper feeding of the wire in the MIG Welder. While it might sound a bit surprising, the best way to ensure that the Welder Drive Rolls are working smoothly is to detach the rolls and check out if any of the wheels require replacement. The friction with the wires often leads to wear of the wheels. This wear can often be seen on a particular side of the wheel and can be a significant factor in the wire’s spooling. One must also ensure that the rollers are not attached too tightly to the main cabinet. While manually unplugging the rollers to clean, compressed air can work wonders with the MIG Welder.
The contact tips of the welding gun need frequent cleaning to avoid clumsy welds and spatter. A soft wire brushes or spatter removal kit should be to clean the contact tips. One must remember to avoid tapping the nozzle to get rid of spattering at all costs. Several cleaners can effectively clean those precious tips in the market. With the help of a few drops and a soft metal brush, one can quickly get rid of all the splatter.back to menu ↑
110V Vs 220V MIG Welders
The output of a MIG Welder is directly proportional to its input voltage.
The higher the input voltage, the more is the output amperage. Any weldor whose main area of operation is metal sheets with less thickness might be content with a 110V MIG welding unit.
- A 110V welding unit can ideally provide an output of 90 amperages, that can efficiently work on thin sheets. The 220V Welders can effectively penetrate metal sheets with 1/2″ in thickness, enabling one to weld thick metal surfaces easily.
- Additionally, the duty cycle of a 110V welder producing an output of 90 amps is 20%, which allows a maximum of two minutes of welding per ten minutes. Timing can be a critical factor affecting productivity while working in large projects. A 220 V or a 240V MIG Welder can significantly improve productivity while working on the amperage range of a 110V MIG welder achieved due to the higher Duty cycles of MIG Welders using a higher input voltage.
- A 110V MIG Welder can be a wise option for any weldor whose area of operation is limited to thin metal surfaces, but Aluminium. For anyone working simultaneously on a variety of surfaces, a 220V unit can be the best choice to improve weld quality and productivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best MIG welder on the market?
A welder that best matches your budget requirements and has a gold-rated after-sales service with the ready availability of spares can be the best MIG welder in the market for you.
Are cheap MIG welders any good?
Cost-cutting often leads to below par and unreliable performance. Cheap MIG welders might even compromise your safety.
Is stick welding stronger than MIG?
A stick welder offers deeper penetration and is ideal for massive metal sheets.
Should I buy a MIG or stick welder?
Choosing between a MIG and a Stick elder warrants considering the area of operation. A stick welder allows maximum portability and is ideal for working outdoors. However, for working on thin metal sheets, a MIG Welder can be the best option.
How thick can a 110v welder weld?
A 110v welder can be about 3/8″ steel with flux core wire or gas.
The search for a welding unit that exactly fits the welders’ bill is a dream come true. Every welder has varied needs, while a few bet on power, some vouch for versatility. Irrespective of the wants and needs of individual welders, a welding unit that can easily suffice a couple of others is undoubtedly a prized catch. Welder’s across the world, amateurs, and experts alike agree that each welding unit has a few likes and a bunch of handicaps. There are only a handful of welders amongst the hundreds that score way above the rest in their class.
What makes them unique? What sets them apart from the rest? What are the features, advantages, and benefits of these chosen few?
User experience, in-depth research, and years of welding across a plethora of operational areas bring out the best and the worst experience for expert welders. A successful project might not necessarily be rich in neither job satisfaction nor every failed project a blot in the learning curve. As many of the experts in the field agree, a failed project might not be financially rewarding but might add valuable lessons and advance the learning curve.
The welders who have spent more time wearing the welding safety headgear, than the budding welder, readily agree to the fact that the initial years taught them the most. Often overlooked is the undeniable importance of the right welder during the formative years. The focus is more on honing individual skills. However, with more hours spent donning the safety headgear, the search for a better welding unit begins.
Some of the common attributes of the most popular welders in this list of the Top Ten MIG welders of 2020 are versatility, multi-functionality, ease of handling and storage, power efficiency and power schemes, and use of advanced technology with innovation to increase productivity.
Well, the reasons behind these require little explanation. Choose the welder that best fits your bill from this list. Happy welding.