By Gerald J. Smith. Last Updated: October 17, 2020
7 Best MIG Welders Under $500 of 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide
- 0.1 7 Best MIG Welders Under $500 of 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide
- 0.2 Best MIG Welders Under $500 Comparison Table
- 0.2.1 1. Forney Easy Weld 140 MP
- 0.2.2 Technical Details:
- 0.2.3 Pros:
- 0.2.4 Cons:
- 0.2.5 Overview:
- 0.2.6 2. Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder
- 0.2.7 Technical Details:
- 0.2.8 Pros:
- 0.2.9 Cons:
- 0.2.10 Overview:
- 0.2.11 3. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder
- 0.2.12 Technical Details:
- 0.2.13 Pros:
- 0.2.14 Cons:
- 0.2.15 Overview:
- 0.2.16 4. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG-Welder
- 0.2.17 Technical Details:
- 0.2.18 Pros:
- 0.2.19 Cons:
- 0.2.20 Overview:
- 0.2.21 5. Campbell Hausfeld 120V
- 0.2.22 Technical Details:
- 0.2.23 Pros:
- 0.2.24 Cons:
- 0.2.25 Overview:
- 0.2.26 6. Hobart 500572 Handler 100
- 0.2.27 Technical Details:
- 0.2.28 Pros:
- 0.2.29 Cons:
- 0.2.30 Overview:
- 0.2.31 7. Lincoln K2278-1 MIG Welder
- 0.2.32 Technical Details:
- 0.2.33 Pros:
- 0.2.34 Cons:
- 0.2.35 Overview:
- 0.3 Buying Guide
- 1 FAQ
If you are a beginner or a hobbyist welder, you might not want to spend a fortune over a MIG welder. But you don’t want to compromise with the quality either. Finding a good MIG welder under the $500 range is challenging unless you are purchasing online.
Having trouble picking the best MIG welder from the plethora of MIG welders available online?
To make your work simpler, we have reviewed 7 best MIG welders under $500. Also discussed the significant features you should consider before making a buying decision.
I get paid if anyone buys through the links on this page as I am an affiliate of Amazon.com
Best MIG Welders Under $500 Comparison Table
Forney Easy Weld 140 MP is the best MIG welder the Forney industries ever manufactured. Talking about quality, it is a high-quality welding machine you will get under $500. And the best part is, you can do both TIG and Stick welding with this device.
The welder is specifically designed for beginners and hobbyists, but professionals can enjoy the machine as well.
Forney is a versatile unit— you can do MIG welding, TIG welding, and Stick welding only using one machine, and it allows you to attempt several welding processes as well. It is capable of both flux core and gas shielded welding in MIG welding. You can easily weld up to 1/4-inch in a single pass. Also, it includes a wire feed with the wire up to 0.035 inches. On the other hand, with this welder, TIG welding can be done in DC mode only, which means you cannot weld aluminum with the machine. But the machine has a lift arc start that is way better than a scratch start as it will protect the tungsten. The stick welding can be done efficiently with the electrodes up to 1/8 inches but doesn't work well with the 7018 electrodes.
The most commendable feature of Forney Easy Weld is its incredible power. Where regular multi-process welders or home welders usually offer 90 or 100 amps, the Forney offers 140 amps at 120 volts. This high power multi-process welder can weld materials with ample thickness, which is a huge advantage for home or hobbyist use. But note that the duty cycle will be a little short while stick welding—30% for only 80 amps.
As the name suggests, Forney Easy weld is very easy to use. You can switch between the processes by a single switch. The machine also comes with multiple voltages and wire-speed control, which is perfect for beginners. This lightweight welder features impressive build quality thus can be used in any condition. The machine is the best multi-process welder under $500 a welder should need. And when you can experience MIG, TIG, and Stick welding through one machine, why would you want to jam your workshop with three welders separately?
2. Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder
Lotos 140 amp is a lightweight MIG welder weighing only 54 pounds. With this extremely portable welder, you can move from one job site to another easily. The machine is very user-friendly and easy to operate. The MIG welder is hailed to be the best choice for beginners for its easy to use mechanism.
Lotos MIG welder exclusively features high transformer technology that makes the welder's sturdy design dependable and hard-wearing. You can comfortably connect the machine to a 110 volts outlet without much adjustment and easily set up. Also, the machine allows for 2-touch and 4-touch operation. In the 2-touch, the foot pedal connects and disconnects the switch cable to the Amphenol connector and activates the torch. On the other hand, 4-touch is a little complex for the beginners, but it allows you to control several welding stages.
The welder comes with easy quick controls that are neither boring for the professionals nor complex for the beginners. Plus, it comes with two digital displays that allow you to accurately control the welding procedures on the desired voltage, making it a convenient and reliable machine. The machine has a quick connector for a safer and better experience. With this quick connector, you can switch swiftly between positive and negative; it also ensures the potential of the welder's metal enclosure, and the ground is the same, protecting you from electric shock. The machine also features a thermal overload protector for specific temperatures that protect the welder from damage due to overheating.
The machine comes in a complete package— MIG torch, spare welding mask, argon gas regulator, spools, and gas holes. The welder is relatively cost-effective, offering a pretty good value. Many professionals prefer Lotos MIG welder because of its simplicity and the value it provides.
3. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder
Sungoldpower 200amp can be said to be a smart buy while considering the features it offers under $500. You can bring out 200ampere from this welder with the voltage available at your home.
The machine has adjustable easy to understand wire feed speed and welding current so that you can adjust it to suit your application and smoothly weld regardless of thickness. The welder is powerful enough to put together a ¼ inch thick sheet of steel.
This MIG welder can weld aluminum with a spool gun, though the gun is not included with the package. It has a selector switch for MIG gun spool gun operation that makes the switching guns quick and easy.
Sungoldpower is an ideal welding machine for outdoor repairs, rusty metal, farm, and road equipment maintenance and repair. It is also suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, and even aluminum. Overall it is a smart buy on a pretty good budget.
4. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG-Welder
Lincoln K2185-1 is the best option for the newbie welders if you consider its price point. This easy to use machine helps the beginners to practice their skills efficiently. That doesn’t mean the welder isn’t fit for the professionals. It will be excellent equipment for the professional who needs to go from one site to another and create precise and robust welds on the go. The best part of this MIG welder is it only weighs 46 pounds, so you can easily pick and carry it to your job site.
The welder is designed for both MIG and Flux welding and provides the power to weld mild steel from 24 gauges to 1/8 inches. The maximum power machine can deliver 88 amps when the lowest amperage setting is 35. Hence, it isn’t suitable for heavy-duty jobs but works well in a small workshop or repairing around the house. In fact, you can operate this welder anywhere if you can connect it to 115Vplug. Besides, its duty cycle is 20% running at 70 amps.
Lincoln K2185-1 offers 4 voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed control to produce strong and precise welds. The voltage settings allow you to choose the accurate voltage for the material thickness you are welding and the continuous wire feed adjustments provide better control of the weld. Moreover, the machine features a fan-cooled design, which prevents it from overheating, and the cold contractor ensures the wire stays electrically cold until you pull the gun trigger.
Under $500, this MIG welder is a quality product you can have with all the useful features and numerous welding tools. Plus, this handy MIG welder comes with a 1-year warranty for the parts and labor.
5. Campbell Hausfeld 120V
Campbell Hausfeld FLX140 comes with a durable steel powder-coated case with an oversized handle, and the professional cold torch is exceptionally suitable for metal fabrication, repairs, maintenance, and auto shop work. Its heavy-duty drive deck for consistent wire speed and robust capacitor offers smoother arc and fewer spatters. It also includes 5 heat settings to match metal thickness up to ¼ inch.
The welder features a thermal overload protection that activates automatically to prevent overheating. Its infinite wire speed control provides exact adjustments for a smooth and even weld bead. Plus, the gun is equipped with a trigger-activated arc for an easy start. It also includes a starter spool of flux-cored wire and 2 extra contact tips to finish your project effectively. This MIG welder is another good purchase under $500.
6. Hobart 500572 Handler 100
Hobart is one of the original pioneers of welding technology, and this MIG welder shows the Hobart quality aptly. The machine comes with Hobart’s 5-year warranty on transformers. The welder operates through 5 different voltage controls based on what metal you are working with an input of 115V. Besides, the machine can weld 3/16- inch of 24-gauge metal sheets, even with the flux-cored wire.
The wire drive of the welder fits both 4-inch and 8-inch spools and the wire speed range is 40-700 IPM. It also provides a wide operating window for each wire for easy adjustments for different thicknesses and joints. Plus, it offers you the flexibility to use small or large wire spools according to your welding needs.
The safety feature of the machine is also commendable. The safety feature makes the wire electrically cold until the trigger is pulled. Moreover, the machine features 60% of the duty cycle. And this 6 minutes of continuous welding time is sufficient for automobile floor pan, repairing a rain gutter, fixing holes in the bottom of the garbage can, and so on.
Though this compact MIG welder is designed for heavy-duty work, you are sure to get Hobart's quality assurance under $500.
7. Lincoln K2278-1 MIG Welder
If you are looking for a portable and light-duty solution, Lincoln K2278-1 will be the best option for you. Note that, the machine is not suitable for the heavy-duty job that uses gas, but the apt equipment for beginners those are still learning.
The best part of the machine is it comes with all the tools you will need to weld metals: a welder, clamp, sample wire, and a shield. The welder also includes a spool of the flux core wire, a handheld welding mask, and a chipping hammer with a brush.
This machine is a perfect solution for the newbies taking on smaller projects around the house with the conventional 110V and 20amp outlet. The 88 amps can get you a single pass weld on a 1/8-inch steel plate, which is sufficient to repair door and gate hinges, fix lighter weight box steel found on the garden furniture, and repair brackets on appliances.
Despite the compact size, the construction of this welder is extremely durable. Constructed with an aluminum exterior and metal and plastic interior components, you are sure to enjoy the machine for years. Plus, it comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty on parts and labor.
Before buying a MIG welder you must consider some factors that ensure the quality of a good MIG welder. You cannot expect advanced features in MIG welders under $500, yet the following features are crucial in a good MIG welder.
1. Voltage and amperage
The more the voltage and amperage, the more heat and power the welder will produce. If the welder has more output power, it can weld thicker metal. Hence, it's advisable to pick the welder with voltage and amperage of 110/220V and 140amps, respectively.
2. Duty cycle
The duty cycle of a MIG welder is a crucial factor. Choose the MIG welder that offers a higher duty cycle. You should pick the one with a minimum 30% of the duty cycle to weld for 3 minutes continuously over a 10 minutes welding period.
Choose a MIG welder that is capable of performing versatile welding jobs, including the common tasks of welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other materials. Also, consider the variety of thickness the welder can handle. Your welder must handle 1/4-inch thick metal in a single pass with ease.
Portability is another crucial factor while choosing a MIG welder. Whether you are a beginner working around the house workshop or a pro who needs to go from one work site to another, you must need a light, convenient, and portable welder. For instance, the models of Lincoln are incredibly portable, weighing 45/46 pounds only.
You should focus on the safety features as well while buying a MIG welder. In a MIG welder, the thermal protection system is essential as the system prevents the welder from overheating, thus enhancing its durability. Plus, a cold contractor that ensures the wire stays electrically cold until you pull the gun trigger.
1. Is MIG welding better than other welding types?
MIG welding is the best welding option for beginners because MIG welding is an easy method to learn and adopt. Also, the process is not time-consuming, like other welding processes.
2. What metals can I weld with a MIG welder?
You can weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, magnesium, nickel, and many more using a MIG welder.
3. Does MIG welding increase productivity?
As MIG welding is a less time-consuming process, it increases productivity to a great extent.
Now you have the list of 7 best MIG welders under $500; you also know what features you must consider before buying the one. You must have picked the one you want to buy already. Forney Easy Weld is the best MIG welder under $500 to do MIG, TIG, and Stick welding simultaneously. But if you want a welder that comes in a complete package and works well for professional projects, you can go for the Lotos. If you want a lightweight and easy to operate MIG welder, consider the Lincoln models. Hobart will be best if you consider brand reliability. Sungoldpower and Campbell Hausfled will be the smart choice if the features are considered. Choose the one that best fits your welding needs.