Welding yesterday was a completely different chapter but today this process has become more versatile with a wide range of challenging and complex tasks becoming part of it. Now a day’s welding process deals with versatile mild and tough metals and thus all these tasks have their own specific requirements. Catering to these needs, there are a variety of choices available in the form of different types of welders and so choosing one best MIG welder has become more difficult. The most crucial question that needs to be answered before you select a welder for your shop or for use at home is what features you need with a welder? And then you can find the Best MIG welder for the money that matches your budget and needs.
Overview of MIG Welder:
MIG Welders are perfect tools for gas metal arc welding. Proper use of this tool is to use it with a bare metal filler wire that is made from metal type similar to the one that you need to weld with the aid of this tool. A shielding gas is included in the system that protects the wire passing through the task with the help of a torch (hand-held). As you plug on the welder to a source of electricity, current passes through the welding wire and it used to create a perfect arc with contact of tip to the metal. Welding beads are laid in this manner. For complete functionality, you should make sure that the welder continuously feeds the wire.
With the use of a MIG welder, you can continue to make consistent welding without having the need of stopping and starting over. All the routine welding tasks as well as complicated ones can be easily performed with the use of this tool. Welders find this type of welding easiest to learn and with practice over time you can even become an expert welder.
These tools are used for a variety of different applications of varied nature such as you can use it for constructing something with solid joints from scratch, fixing up a car, crafting unique work of art or much more. These welders aren’t inexpensive tools but over long term with proper care you will find them to be affordable in terms of benefits that this tool offers along with convenience of usage and handling.
Benefits of using MIG Welder:
The main benefit of using the best MIG welder is that this tool can be used for welding of all the basic metals that exists today including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum. All of these metals work well with the welding process through this tool. You can weld light metals as well as thick plates with ease.
Another advantage is that you can weld at higher speed levels. This is accredited to an impressive feature of this tool that enables user to weld from any position. So even if you wish to remain completely safe and would like to perform overhead welding, it is no issue with this welder. Thus you get higher welding speeds. MIG welder reviews suggest that these machines can offer you 4 times faster speed than stick welding type tools. Faster speed in turn means reduced hours of working, reduced cost and reduced project completion time.Overall increased efficiency is attained with MIG welder.
Moreover these tools make use of a shielding gas, thus there is no flux or slag to be removed from welding area offering reduced smoke and ease of job completion. This welding tool is easier to learn and with practice over scrap material you will quickly become an expert at welding metals with this tool.
Top 5 MIG welders
Go through short MIG welder reviews of top 5 tools available in market today and you will be able to decipher the best investment for your use.
1. Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder
Hobart is a name that leads the race in the business of welders and this manufacturer has offered a wide range of high quality products in this field. The Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder is a fine example in terms of durability, performance and versatility. The tool is a perfect choice for home welding use, credited to its light weight of only 57 pounds. Portability is a highlight of this product and along with that it offers you complete convenience of use with easy setup and adjustability. The most appealing feature of this welder is its dual groove easy drive roll system that is of rugged quality and will you extended lifespan. All the controls are placed for easy access throughout the welding operation making welding quicker and more efficient. User can adjust voltage over 5 settings offered with this tool depending upon requirement. The welder is capable of offering 25 to 140 amperage output with duty cycle 20% at 90 amps. The welder can run on a residential 115 current and is capable of welding 24 gauges up to 1/4 inch mild steel. Hobart 5/3/1 industry leading warranty makes it a completely worth it purchase for everyone.
2. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy
A complete package for anyone who is starting up a welding project or for those too that already has experience with welding but are looking for more effective tools. Having a light weight of only 49 pounds, this is really easy to transport and use in comparison to other heavy duty machines available in market. The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder includes all the necessary components for proper use such as hand shield, contact tips, gas regulator, nozzle, work clamp, cable assembly and more. The tool operates at a standard 115 V house volt. This welder is capable of offering welding services for 24 gauges to 1/8 inches thick mild steel. This model can be used for MIG welding or flux-cored processing for which you just need to make some adjustments of additional parts. A cold contactor is included with this welder that keeps all the internal wires of the system cool in case of overloaded use of welder. Lincoln offers 1 year service and material warranty for this welder.
3. Hobart Handler 500554001
The Hobart Handler 500554001 is a ready to use welder that is capable of handling welding of steel, aluminum and stainless steel. High quality welding performance of this tool enables you to weld 24 gauge to 5/16 inches of steel whereas a 16 gauge to 3/16 inches thick aluminum. The output ranges between 25 and 190 amperage that gives you completely powerful welding performance. The design of this welder is such that it could work as MIG or a wire feed flux core welder. This versatile tool offers you convenient use for house repair, auto-shops or even for heavier value products such as at farms. It has lots of power and you can select one of the 7 different voltage control settings according to your use and need. It features a dual groove drive roll system that is quicker to adjust and change. The welder operates at 230 volts power setting and it has 30 duty cycles @ 130 amps. The welder is packed with all the features that make it a professional welder. Not only have these key features of a best MIG welder but Hobart’s exceptional 5/3/1 year warranty on this product made it an exclusive choice for welders.
4. LOTOS MIG140 140Amp
The LOTOS MIG140 is a 140 amperage powerful MIG welder that is capable of offering impressive arc performance for home as well as industrial use. This welder is a combination of performance with affordability and hence is one of the most preferred choices for beginners too. The welder can easily handle varied metal materials such as stainless steel, aluminum with the use of a spool gun, mild steel etc. The machine operates at a 110 volt power and is really easy to set up for use. One of the key features of this welder is its thermal overload protection system that keeps your system safe at all times and prevents damage from overload. All the necessary accessories for welding are inclusive with the welder and it gives you a performance output of 20% @ 90 amps. The welding capacity that this welder offers is 24 gauges to 1/4 inches. Portability is another advantage with this light weight 54 pounds tool. LOTOS offers 1 year warranty for all the products it offers.
5. Hobart 500549 Auto Arc 130 Wire Feed
The Hobart 500549 is a ready to use welder that gives you solid arc welding along with impressive convenience of working. Backed by 3/1 year warranty by Hobart, this tool is highly durable and is appointed with solid components made in the United States. This tool is popular for its flexible functionality and it has all the basic parts including a gas valve. This tool is easy to use and set up for any welder whether beginner or experienced. The tool comes with a complete guide with all referencing.With a duty cycle 20% @ 85 amps, this welder offers a welding capacity of 24 gauges to 3/16 inches for mild steel and you can adjust any one of the 4 voltage settings for accurate setup according to requirement. The welder needs only 115 volts of current from your household outlet and gives you an output average between 30 to 130 amps. It weighs only 52 pounds and thus can be easily transported to any site for welding. So even for outdoor welding such as tasks related to lawn furniture, trailer frames and other outdoor repairs, this tool is most suitable.
How to find the best MIG welder?
For varied situations of applications, different welders may be suitable. Here we have outlined some of the guidelines that would give you all the basic tips and details so that you can select one of the best MIG welders that you need.
Analyze your requirements:
Before even stepping in to a shop whether physical or online purchase, you first need to find out what are your requirements for a MIG welder? You need to make out for what purposes you would be using this tool? Whether you will be using it at home or at a workshop or elsewhere? Find out how much work load your welder would need to face as you wouldn’t want to spend too much for a welder that is only frequently used and has more power than what is desired!
One of the most important factors that affect selection and buying is power requirement. Many of the small scale home projects can be easily carried out with a welder running at 115 volts.Reason behind it would be many of such scale projects usually deal with only thin metal pieces and thus a thin sheet of iron can be easily welded with a small scale welder. On the other hand if you will be dealing with thicker metals, you would need a more powerful MIG welder that would be more expensive than an average powered one. MIG welder reviews suggest that there are also options where you can get a device with voltage switching so when you deal with thinner metals, you can switch it at a low voltage level and vice versa.
Another important aspect that must be considered before you opt for purchasing a welder is to check for its output. Output is measured in terms of voltage/amperage and is known to be duty cycle.Duty cycle of a welder is the time it takes for welder to operate for a certain output without overloading its components. 10-minutes cycles are used for measurement of output of a welder. Duty cycle and welding output of a welder are inversely proportional thus if you are using a welder at lower output level its duty cycle will be high. A specific environment and temperature is set under which duty cycle of a welder can be tested. Standard temperature requirements for such testing would be 1040F whereas some may also use 860F temperature.
Thermal Overload Protection:
According to MIG welder reviews one of the most common problems faced with welders is overheating. In situations where a welder is overheated, it would give you unreliable performance and can even damage to become useless.Welders that do not have any safety from overheating internally are only suitable for using for short term work. You would not be able to use such welders for extended periods and would need to wait until the machine cools down to become operational again. Thus welders that include thermal overload protection feature are considered superior for purchase. So if you intend to use your welder for longer duration's, you should opt for a welder with thermal overload protection.
Capacity is important in terms of thickness and type of metal to be welded but this point is already taken care of when you look for voltage and current feature while buying a best MIG welder. Voltage requirement is determined by taking in to account some important factors such as joint configurations, wire speed, shielding gas and among these we include metal thickness and wire diameter too. These factors must be considered so that you can find a machine that is right for your welding job.
When you look for machines in market or even online, you will find guidance on what voltage of welder suits a particular metal thickness and these guidelines are also mentioned in your product reference chart. Not cheap MIG welders but some high-end ones are capable of setting voltage and current according to requirement of your job. Just switch the welder mode on auto set and feed metal thickness and current and voltage amount will be automatically set for use.
Portability is one of the primary aspects that should be considered in selection of any tool and this holds true for a welder too. Any buyer looking for a welder must consider portability and for that you need to analyze your own requirements. Portability would not be an issue for a person who will be keeping this tool stationary for use at only one place. However if you are a mobile welder and will be moving to varied sites for welding, you should consider size, weight and portability of this tool. Having all the basic functionality features, the next important thing for you would be having a light machine so you can easily move it anywhere according to your requirement.
Ease of Repair and Maintenance:
You do have a repair shop near you in the area but if you have bought a welder whose spare parts would not be available at that shop then you may get in to trouble someday. However it is not that everyday your machine would need some maintenance or repair but if you can have that flexibility of getting a MIG welder that you can easily maintain and repair within your working area then it is best option. After all these are machines and they would require maintenance and repair over time.
When you wish to have some of the best MIG welders, you won’t find them really cheap. For a good welder, you may need to pay something between 400 to 500 USD. Tools in this range would work well with your household current outlet and will give you variable settings for desired outputs. You can even get something portable that you can carry from one site to another however it is not necessary. Usually welders fall in the same array but you can get some special discount deals too. However if you would need to deal with thicker metal welding, you may need to pay higher price.
Having extended warranties is always a benefit and when considering buying a good quality welder, go for products with at least 3 years warranty or more in order to have a product worth for the price you are paying.
Reputation of Manufacturer:
This may not be crucial but if you have the budget and can afford; you must get a welder from a best brand that has a strong reputation for offering durable and high performance products in market. For that you should consider ratings, referrals as well as MIG welder reviews through online research. Getting a product from a reliable brand not only gives you complete satisfaction of high performance but you also get a promising after sales service. Some of the most prominent names in the field of welders include Hobart, Everlast, Miller, Thermal Arc and Lincoln.
Consider Customer Reviews:
Once you have checked all the significant features and have made a selection, it is recommended that you must go through various customers’ reviews online in order to make sure that you have selected a high performance and good quality equipment that would give you durability over years.
We hope that this guideline will help you in analyzing your preferences and requirements and would enable you to get the best choice in terms of a good welder for your welding jobs. We highly recommend you to go through MIG welder reviews of various brands and models in order to get a complete idea of what users have to say about the one that you would be buying and to know what features are packaged inside the tool.