The 6 Best MIG Welders Under $500 In 2020 (NEW Guide)

Best MIG Welders Under $500

Metal Inert Gas Welders, usually known as MIG welders, are used for welding processes. They are used to melt, shape, or combine several metals for strength, durability, or furnishing purposes. The right welder can be used to efficiently weld numerous metals for outdoor and domestic purposes.

However, buying a cheap MIG welder might prove to be a hassle since you might have to make comprises of the welding quality and a number of jobs. On the other hand, some firms charge you high prices on the basis of its design and useless features- a high price is not equal to good quality.

We have compiled a list of the best MIG welders under the range of $500 that leaves you with a professional touch without emptying your pockets.

Best MIG Welders Under $500

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP WelderLotos 140 Amp MIG-WelderSUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder

  • BEST OVERALL
  • Medium amperage for professional finishes
  • Used for multiple purposes

  • PREMIUM CHOICE
  • Comes with a warranty
  • Adjustable settings

  • BEST BUDGET
  • Portable and lightweight
  • It is beginner-friendly

MIG Welder Reviews

1. Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder

Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Forney Easy Weld in a glance:
  • MULTI-PROCESS WELDER- 3 in 1 Stick Welder, MIG Welder, and DC TIG Welder
  • A three-position switch allows you to change the process quickly
  • Infinite voltage and wire feed speed controls
  • Rated output voltage range- 12 – 23V. Rated output current range- 43 – 110A. Full output current range- 10 – 140A
  • All metal case and Full metal wire drive assembly
  • 12-month warranty

Features

The regular welders can be pretty hefty on some customer’s pockets. However, the cheaper versions offer a low-quality product with a poor welding finish and a virtually non-existent duty cycle. If you are looking for a welder that is durable, safe, and easy to use at a cheap rate, Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder is a great option. It can be used for several types of welding, including stick and MIG welding, and its multifunctional properties won’t allow you to invest in another until the next ten years.

Weight

Its notable feature is its low weight. Welding machines need to be moved around a lot, especially if you are working outdoors. Many people ignore this aspect and end up draining their energy by pushing the welder all the time. Therefore Forney has made things a tad bit easier for you by weighing it at only 26 pounds, surprising, right? Moreover, its top handle provides you with extra comfort while transporting it.

Power and Work

As we mentioned earlier, it is used for multiple welding purposes. You can use it for TIG welding to metal inert gas welding or stick welding. This is further coupled with four different modes of MIG welding for finishes according to the customer’s unique preferences. You also have the opportunity to alter its output power to 140 amperes at 150 Volts.

It has 2T and 4T trigger modes that can be utilized for short and long welding procedures along with the premium despoiler that monitors and optimizes the arc automatically. Moreover, it doesn’t require gas to function due to its flux-cored wire.

Safety

Forney has prioritized our safety through its smart features, making sure that we are not exposed to any potential dangers during our job. Firstly, it has an over-temperature indicator that warns you immediately after it overheats. Users often ignore the duty cycle and proceed to weld, which can prove harmful. The fault indicator is also there to prevent you from any damage caused by accidental manufacturing defects or lack of maintenance.

Ease of use

If you are new to welding, this multi-purpose welder might be a great idea. Not only is it equipped with safety features, but its synergy welding mode can complete the entire job on its own; it monitors and optimizes the arc automatically.

Moreover, the wires and European styled switches can be maintained easily and at a low cost.

What we like:

  • Provides a medium amperage for professional finishes
  • Can be used for multiple purposes
  • The settings can be adjusted

What we don’t:

  • The leads are relatively shorter

Editor’s Rating

4.4 out of 5 stars

2. Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder

Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Lotos MIG-Welder in a glance:
  • Durable, high-quality aluminum wire feeder
  • Adjustable wire feeder speed and welding voltage with two digital displayers.
  • 140-amp MIG welder; mild/stainless steel:
  • 24 gauge – 3/16″
  • input voltage: 110/120v
  • It can be easily connected to your 110/120v wall outlet.
  • Can weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum
  • 30-day 100% satisfaction and one-year limited warranty
  • Includes a mig torch, ground clamp cable, gas hose, and argon regulator

Features

Lotos MIG 140 Welder is certainly a great piece of welding equipment at a low price. If you are choosing a welder for domestic or minor outdoor jobs, Lotos certainly has many features to offer for a professional finish.

Construction

Lotos has a standard size of 16 x 14.5 x 9.6 inches and weighs at 54 pounds. Not anything out of the ordinary, you can easily store it in your garage or workshop while a cartwheel could help you move it around. However, buying a cartwheel wouldn’t be necessary if you’re strong enough to hold it by its sturdy handle. Furthermore, the initial set up process is hassle-free due to its detailed instructions manual and beginner-friendly components.

Lotos is equipped with a 2T/4T switch; it enables users to adjust the levels of feed wire and welding voltage easily.

The switch has a split display that shows accurate readouts to aid a cleaner weld. On the other hand, the wire feeder is constructed to deal with a wide range of wires from a range of 0.025 inches to 0.030 inches for Solid Steel, 0.03 inches to 0.035 inches for Flux-Core wire. It also contains 0.023 inches and 0.035 inches of wire to weld a diverse range of metals.

Power

It has a standard input power requirement of 110 volts to 120 volts that can be fulfilled by a standard household outlet. As a result, you wouldn’t need to invest in a separate power source, making it cost-effective and portable. If you want to max out amperage on welding thick metals, you will need 30 amperes of output power. Despite being a MIG welder, it gives you the option of using shielding gas or flux-cored wires to minimize the usage of gas cylinders. Flux-cored welding is especially efficient in times of strong outdoor winds which interrupts the gas arcs.

The duty cycle is relatively reasonable at 20%- 90 Amperes; you can use it for 2 minutes after every 8 minutes, similar to other welders.

Additional features

Unlike many average priced MIG welders, it can be used to weld Aluminium; this is the hardest metal to weld and requires a spool gun and 100% Argon as a shielding gas. Lotos allows you to fit in a spool gun after purchasing it at an additional cost. The thermal overload protection warns you by turning off the torch immediately after the duty cycle ends, and your welder heats up.

What we like:

  • Comes with a warranty
  • The settings can be adjusted
  • Premium quality welder

What we don’t:

  • The instruction manual is not meant for beginners
  • The leads are relatively short

Editor’s Rating

4.2 out of 5 stars

3. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder

SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder in a glance:
  • 110V/220V Dual Voltage
  • Can be used for Gas-less flux-cored welding and Gas-shielded MIG welding
  • 6-1.0mm Flux Cored Wire and Solid Core Wire
  • capable of aluminum welding with the spool gun
  • selector switch for spool gun operation makes switching guns quick and easy
  • adjustable wire feed speed and welding current
  • Ideal for outdoor repairs, farm & road equipment, and maintenance
  • Suitable for stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metals

Features

We all need a welder that can be plugged into a standard 110 Volts household outlet to save the additional costs and time. However, the truth is that such welders provide you with an average weld that is not good enough for thicker metals. If you want your welder to heat up for a hotter weld, you’ll require an average amperage of 220 Volts. The best MIG welder that will fulfill this preference is Sun Gold Power 200A Stick Welder. It can be used for occasional household repairs, medium-duty outdoor jobs, or side equipment.

Construction

One of its most notable features is its lightweight and easy portability. If you are a welder, you would ultimately have to face outdoor jobs. As a result, you’ll constantly have to shift your welder; hence, a heavy machine would make the job ten times harder for you. Secondly, it has a Digital LED display that shows the accurate job requirements for a professional finish.

Power

This stick welder has incorporated the IGBT inverter welding technology at 220 Volts. Even though you made need to spend a bit more on the installation of a secondary power outlet, the premium output power would be worth it.

Due to its high output power, this welder can be used for welding several materials, including steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, brass, and bronze. However, a spool gun can not be attached, making it impossible to weld aluminum.

Safety

Sun Golds Stick welder is an innovative product; hence, its manufacturers have prioritized the consumer’s safety for maximum satisfaction and comfort. It features an over and under-voltage protection along with an overcurrent protection and overload protection. They work simultaneously to prevent overheating by warning the user once the duty cycle is over and automatically switching off the machine to prevent short circuits. Moreover, since the voltage requirements are relatively high, it isn’t uncommon to experience a temporary loss in input power or recurring changes. Hence, it automatically compensates for voltage fluctuation so that the performance is not affected while welding different metals.

Usage

It is meant for DC TIG and MMA welding. Not only is it a reliable tool for professionals, but its ease of use and lightweight profile have made it famous amongst the amateurs too. Once you switch it on, it starts smoothly at your preferred frequency for a productive duty cycle. By default, the HF service would ensure the arc to start at 100% without affecting the tungsten’s life.

What we like:

  • Portable and lightweight
  • It is beginner-friendly
  • Can be used to weld a variety of metals and their alloys
  • Has a number of safety features for a comfortable experience

What we don’t:

  • Does not work with a standard household outlet hence you’ll need to spend more money
  • Does not weld aluminum

Editor’s Rating

4.1 out of 5 stars

4. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG-Welder

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG-Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Lincoln K2185-1 in a glance:
  • Compact and lightweight
  • great for home repairs on light gauge mild steel.
  • Input power 70 amps and Clamp Cable Length 8 ft
  • Weld Thickness 1/8 inches
  • Wire Feed Speed Adjustable Control
  • Duty Cycle 20 @ 70A.
  • Welds up to 1/8in. mild steel
  • Operates off a 115V, 20 Amp household outlet
  • Includes welding gun and cable assembly, 1-lb. Spool of 0.035 in. flux-cored wire, 2-lb. Spool of 0.025 in. Solid MIG wire, three 0.035 in. Contact tips, three 0.025 in.

Features

LINCOLN ELECTRIC K2185-1 MIG WELDER is famous for providing unmatched versatility and portability for welders, craftsmen, and trade workers. If you are new to welding, Lincoln’s easy-to-use welder is a perfect fit for your toolbox. It is fully equipped with all the required accessories so you can complete multiple welding jobs without any hassle.

Power

The output power ranges from 35 amps to 88 amps; this is enough to weld mild steel with a thickness of 24 gauge to 1/8 inches. Such metals can usually be found around the house or in your garage; hence, it’s must-have equipment for domestic users. Moreover, it can be used for body panel replacement on vehicles, custom fabrication, or roll cages.

Another great benefit of this welder is the ability to run on a low input power of 115 volts; this can easily be provided by a standard household outlet, eventually saving your costs and time. However, it would not work with powerful remote site power outlets since it might burn through.

You have the option of adjusting your voltage according to your metal thickness by the four different voltage levels. The highest level is perfect for thick, heavy-duty metals, whereas the lowest setting is great for delicate welding jobs on thin pieces. It also has a chart for beginners to aid them in selecting the perfect setting. Moreover, it has a duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps. For such a low price point, you are getting a pretty adequate cycle. You can operate the machine for 2 minutes after every 8 minutes before the welding machine overheats.

Construction

It weighs 46 pounds, surprising, right? In most cases, such lightweight welders can not be used for heavy-duty metals; however, Lincoln proves you wrong. Apart from this, its weight would allow you to transport it easily without using a cartwheel. The solid handle at the top provides you with extra support and can prove beneficial for extensive outdoor jobs.

Furthermore, you can use this welder for both flux-cored and MIG welding. This is a great feature, especially for users who can not transport gas cylinders for long distances; flux-cored welding releases inert gas through its wire and doesn’t require a cylinder.

Safety

Due to its price point, Lincoln cuts back on some advanced safety features but has equipped it with a cold contractor component. It ensures that your wire would remain cold till you press the gun trigger to heat it.

With a one year warranty for replacement and repairs, you possibly couldn’t want more

What we like:

  • Can weld a large variety of metals
  • Extremely durable
  • Has minimal maintenance requirements
  • Gas-less nozzle and flux-cored wires reduce the baggage of gas cylinders

What we don’t:

  • Not meant for industrial or heavy-duty welding jobs
  • Not portable due to the excess accessories
  • The handheld welding mask might create safety vacuums

Editor’s Rating

4.4 out of 5 stars

5. Clarke WE6527 240-Volt flux-core MIG Welder

Clarke WE6527 240-Volt flux-core MIG Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Clarke WE6527 in a glance:
  • Six power settings for maximum welding heat control
  • Input power 230 volt – 60 HZ;
  • Weight: 63 lbs.
  • Weld Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steel and Cast Iron
  • Automatic Thermal Overload Protection
  • Weld up to ¼ inches
  • Peak Input power of 30 to 150 Amps

Features

Clarke 160EN MIG Welder is a favorite amongst users who are looking for a high range of output within a limited price range. It is a versatile piece of equipment that can easily compete with some of the expensive MIG welders in the market.

Construction

Weighing at 60 pounds, you can easily transport it with the use of a cartwheel. Even though it is not the lightest welder in the market, it’s still lighter compared to many heavy-duty welding machines. Furthermore, this MIG welder is equipped with an electric feed control knob that can alter the speeds for continuous wire feeding. If your job requires a varied welding procedure, this feature will save you time. Moreover, it also has three knobs with a high and low switch allowing you six power settings- the highest level is best for thick metals and vice-versa.

Power

It requires a power input of 240 volts to produce 30 to 150 amps of power. Even though you may need to install a secondary power outlet, this range is great for heavy-duty welding materials, including thick steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The peak input power of 150 amps is enough to weld 0.25-inch steel in one go.

There’s a gas valve that expands the range of materials; the strong and smooth weld beads coupled with a valve to convert the gas produces an exemplary MIG welding finish, which is great for several alloys.

Safety

Welding can be a pretty dangerous job. Hence, it’s important for every welder to be fitted with ample safety components. The duty cycle is a time range within which you can work without overheating the welder. In some cases, the users end up ignoring the rise in temperature, which would result in a poor welding job and short circuits. Therefore, Clarkes 160EN is equipped with a thermal overload protection system. It automatically shuts down the machine after the welder overheats and remains off until the machine cools down. This would prevent accidents without affecting your work and time. It also has a Tweco trigger that disconnects power to the welding tip. The tip remains cold while the trigger is not pressed to prevent accidental arching, damage, and injury.

What we like:

  • Can operate without gas
  • Can be used for all sorts of welding projects
  • Produces a smooth finish
  • Durable and cheap

What we don’t:

  • Has a low-quality shield
  • Not great for beginners
  • Needs a cartwheel to be moved around

Editor’s Rating

3.1 out of 5 stars

6. LONGEVITY 140 Amp MIG-Welder

LONGEVITY 140 Amp MIG-Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the LONGEVITY MIG-Welder in a glance:
  • 110v standard outlet power.
  • Can weld up to 3/8 inches mild steel
  • easy to learn and operate,
  • Can be operated by gas or flux-core wire
  • Portable

Features

Longevity Migweld 140 – 140 Amp MIG Welder is one of the most versatile pieces in the welder since it can weld a wide range of metals at the standard household voltage. It’s a great tool for people to start their welding journey.

Ease of Use

One of Longevitys best features is its ease of use. It comes with a detailed instruction guide to help amateurs with the initial setup process. Moreover, you can become a master at this job regardless of your inexperienced welding past.

Power

You do not need to install a separate household unit to operate this welder since it’s standard input power is rated at 110V. As a result, you would immediately save up on time and cash. It performs at 50Hz to 60Hz at a 20% duty cycle. The duty cycle is similar compared to several other welders rated at this amperage. Moreover, the manufacturers have installed thermal overload protection to prevent overheating. Your duty cycle signifies the work time- with a 20% duty cycle, you can efficiently weld the metals for 2 minutes after every 10 minutes. This welder also offers ten different voltage settings. Every carpenter would love to have equipment that would cater to several jobs at a single time. The lower your voltage would be, the finer would be your final weld. There is a guide attached to the voltage meter that provides information related to the best wire feed speed settings with each input power level.

Similar to any other standard MIG welder, it can cut up to 3/8 inches of mild steel. Therefore, it’s great for mild steel welding jobs such as light fabrication and home repairs. ​

Transport

Longevity is, fortunately, not the heaviest welders in the market. With a mere weight of 54 pounds, portability would not be a huge issue- this is a great feature since most welders are used for outdoor jobs. You could carry it in a wheeled cart, but a top handle would suffice if you are strong enough.

Moreover, since it can be operated on a standard household outlet, you wouldn’t need to install or find a customized point at every station.

Warranty

Usually, consumers do not ask for a warranty with economical products. However, Longevity offers you a 1-year warranty along with a 30-day full refund policy.

What we like:

  • versatile machine hence can be used to weld different kinds of metals
  • Simple setup process
  • can be used for mild and heavy-duty jobs.
  • Portable and can be connected to the standard 110V.
  • Features rheostat amperage control.

What we don’t:

  • Stiff regulator hose
  • Can be heavy for some users

Editor’s Rating

3.1 out of 5 stars

Buyer’s Guide: How To Buy The Best MIG Welder Under $500

If you’re a professional welder or relatively new to this job, you’re aware of the tiring process of choosing a high-quality yet affordable MIG welder. Each welder is meant for a different function hence. You need to be aware of your specific job requirements. Some welders are used for industrial welding processes while others are used for occasional, domestic jobs.

Input Power

The first and foremost factor to notice before buying MIG welder is its input power, aka amperage or voltage. The amperage is the basic distinguishing factor between various welders since it plays a significant role in various welding jobs. The recommended input power is 110V to 140V since it can be run by your standard household or workshop power outlet. However, any power higher than this will incur an additional cost and time of installing another power outlet.

Many modern welders come with an option of adjusting the amperage according to the job requirements; lower power is used for fine delicate finishes, whereas a high power can weld thick metals easily.

Category of Metals

The only job of MIG welders is to weld metals. Since we are clear about its basic function, another most vital factor is the type of metal. The commonly available welders can be used for welding stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum. However, you will require an expensive or let’s say, a special welder to handle metals such as iron, cast iron, and the often-used alloys.

You should know that cheap MIG welders do not give you the necessary features for welding metals apart from mild steel.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is one of the most important factors to be considered while buying MIG welder. It is the estimated duration during which you can weld without overheating your equipment. After the duty cycle ends, you would have to stop your work till it cools down. Hence, one could say that the duty cycle is a way to define the welder’s robustness.

A 20% duty cycle means that the machine would efficiently work for 2 minutes every 10 minutes. The cooling time can vary from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. Therefore, if you are short on time, it’s best to invest in a welder with a higher duty cycle. Moreover, the room temperature will greatly impact your work time. Since welding is a thermal process, a hot summer day would result in frequent overheating of the welder. As a result, your duty cycle would reduce.

The modern MIG welders are measured at ambient air temperatures to understate the duty cycle. They also have thermostats for a safe shut down to prevent fires and short circuits.

Safety

While welding any element, it is necessary to equip yourself with a welding helmet and mask. However, your safety does not end here. The recent welders come with Thermal Overload Protection that works like a thermostat. As soon as your MIG welder starts to overheat, it warns you while turning off the machine.

​Thickness of Metals

The density of the metals you could weld depends on your budget. Average MIG welders can handle a reasonable range from 24 gauge to a thickness of 18 gauge. The costly welders can weld materials as thick as 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch. If you are welding thick metals, it will be better to invest in a stick welder.

Weight

Welding is generally used for outside jobs. Hence, the weight would greatly affect its mobility. Welders are not very light, and sheer weight of 50 pounds also requires a cartwheel. Most of them range from 30 to 50 pounds, and Even though the heavier pieces tend to perform better than their lighter counterparts, moving them would be an issue.

FAQs: About MIG Welders

Q: Is gas-less MIG welding any good?

A: Gas-less MIG welding is not the true representation of its meaning- you need to protect the weld pool from the oxygen in the air by displacing the air with gas. However, many modern manufacturers label flux-cored MIG Welders as gas-less welders. The welding arc melts the flux wire and produces a gas shield around the welding process. It is best for producing a fierce arc for use on steel thinner than 1.2mm. They are light hence portable, and since they don’t require any external shielding gas, it can be used for outdoor welding. Moreover, it offers excellent penetration and impressive strength.

Q: What is the best method to weld aluminum?

A: Aluminum is harder to weld compared to steel alloys. It has a lower melting point with a higher conductivity along with a relatively softer feeder. All of these qualities make the aluminum sheets prone to burning through. MIG welding is a great way to weld aluminum, especially thin sheets. It is best to use 100% Argon as a shielding gas with a welding wire made of an alloy similar to the workpieces for a professional finish.

Q: Which is better MIG or TIG welding?

A: MIG welding is a process where the arc occurs between a metal and wire. The arc melts the wire feeding into the weld pool and building up to the requirements of each process. It uses carbon dioxide as a shielding gas and is relatively cheaper. TIG welding is a process that involves a tungsten electrode and metal. The electrode is held inside the welding torch, where the arc forms a welding puddle. It can not be used by beginners due to its manual control system. TIG welders create a weld bead at a faster pace, but the average time for a complete welding job is lesser using MIG welders.

MIG welding is best for thick, heavy-duty pieces of metal since it requires less time and is easier to work with. There’s a place for errors compared to TIG welding that requires strict control over pressure and timings. TIG welders are easier to maintain; however, the electrodes need to be cleaned and polished between several uses.

Q: How long does MIG welding gas last?

A: There are several sizes of gas cylinders, but the most commonly used sizes are 20, 40, 80, or 125 cubic feet. The larger cylinders can last for a long time. Therefore, they are portable; you wouldn’t need to carry an extra gas cylinder. The welding time depends on the flow set on the regulator- it usually ranges from 10 to 40 cubic feet on an average work environment. A higher flow rate would be needed to maintain shielding gas protection in a windy area. Your run time would be affected by significant temperature swings and the frequency of start and stops.

Conclusion

We have presented you MIG welders by renowned brands at low prices. Many welding processes need a professional MIG welder; therefore, investing in one is a great idea. The low priced welders can be used for domestic jobs, including automotive repairs, industrial fabrication, however, is not the best equipment for fine welding works or thick metals.

There are several welders in the market with additional features; however, within the range of $500, these are the best you could get.

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