Whether you are a professional in the welding trade or a private home user, you must choose your MIG welder with great care. There are various types of MIG welders on the market with different price ranges. But what is the best MIG welder that you can buy under 500 dollars? And what aspects to evaluate to choose the right model?
This kind of device is not always easy to choose. Several aspects are to be sought: good power for greater versatility, resistance to intensive use and portability. The presence of accessories also makes a product more interesting than the others.
By the way, we recommend that you analyze the characteristics of each model offered and cross them with your requirements. We have compared the best MIG welding machines and we also give you some tips at the bottom of the post so that you can find the right device according to your requirement.
Best MIG Welders Under $500 in 2020
You need a powerful MIG welder to carry out your welding work on stainless steel, copper, cast iron or aluminum parts. Not sure how to choose the best MIG welding machines for the money?
Here we listed what top ten best MIG welders under 500 dollars, although most of the model less than 300 dollars, based on the qualities offered and the reviews received from consumers. If you are a beginner or want to buy a MIG welder for home use, you can choose from our list.
Checkout: Comparison Table of Top 10 Best MIG welders Under 500 in 2020.
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1. YESWELDER 3 in 1 – Dual Voltage Best MIG TIG ARC Welder
In first place among the best MIG welders under 500 dollars of 2020, it certainly goes to the YESWELDER welding machine, it is compact and easily transportable. With the ever increasing number of cheap welders on the market, YESWELDER is nice to see MIG welder with advanced features.
It is a very attractive and well-built MIG welder with a very sturdy metal case and advanced synergic circuitry. Thanks to the one button selection design, you can choose the right welding method according to different welding requirements. It is also possible to adjust the tension easily, on its digital screen.
This is a small hobbyist-sized welder. You won’t be fixing railroad track or doing structural welding, but within those limitations, it’s pretty good. The small size is a real plus for the home shop and portability. The 70% duty cycle, amazingly enough, is about right.
There is no press start torch for lift TIG function without HF, Argon gas is controlled valve on torch body. It doesn’t come with the regulator for gas welding. Hard to beat for the price with the added benefit it also sticks welds really well. You can be there for all your welding tasks.
2. SUNGOLDPOWER – MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder
The MIG 200 is a continuous wire welding machine belonging to the range of products available at low prices, and is appreciated above all for its cheapness. It has an output power adjustable from 50 to 200 Ampere and is especially suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, iron, carbon steel and other metal materials.
SUNGOLDPOWER MIG welder is very well built and comes with almost everything you need to weld. This welder performs much more like a 1-2 thousand dollar pro machine than anything personally I have had before. This welder doesn’t setup for 2lb spool, but you can make one for yourself.
The dimensions are approximately 19.6 x 9.4 x 14.9 inches. It has an effective cooling fan and, to offer greater safety. It also integrates a protection system against overheating and the anti-adherence function. These are features that can be found for a little more money in similar machines.
3. Forney Easy Weld 261 – 140 FC-i Best MIG Welding Machine
When it comes to power tools and specific equipment intended for hobby use, the Forney brand is one of the most renowned and appreciated in the sector. Among the different models of MIG welder sold online, the Stanley Forney Easy Weld 261 is among the most requested for the money.
It built-in Up to 140 Amp output that allows you to weld mild steel up to 1/4 in plate. The temperature is stable and saves energy. This MIG welder is also very lightweight and weighs only 19 lbs. You can easily carry and maintain. The minimum power output is 32A at approximately 14 volts. This is an output of roughly 450W.
The MIG welder is also easy to setup, you can go from the box to your first bead in about 5 min. It is especially suitable for small welding jobs, so it is good for both home maintenance and light crafts. The Forney-261 is the best wire welder among those belonging to the cheapest range.
4. Hobart 500559 – Handler 140 Best MIG Welding Machine
Who are wondering where to buy a high-quality professional MIG welding machine at the cheapest price, then we recommend taking a look at the Hobart 500559. It can perform MMA and Brazing welding with the help of gas, and it is also designed for welding without gas, Flux, TIG and MIG-MAG.
The Hobart welding machine comes with a 10′ MIG gun and a 10′ clamp. The outside of the shell made from strong and thick steel compared to the thinner outside shell. The wire feed assembly is all metal compared to mostly plastic components. This small welding machine can be easily moved thanks to its carrying handle.
It is complete with cable, earth clamp and MIG-MAG torch, also the compact size and low weight make it suitable for outdoor work. When comparing this MIG welder to ‘similar price’ welders at the local box stores, the differences start to become clear as soon as you open the box.
5. Weldpro Inverter – Dual Voltage MIG /Stick Arc Welder
This is another great MIG welder you can buy less than 300 dollars. Weldpro MIG155Gsv is a very high-quality MIG welding machine that can run on dual volts which makes this a true workhorse with a completely portable footprint. It comes ready for you to start welding. It can weld without gas use clean metal.
This small welding machine build-in an advanced compact IGBT inverter design with automatic overheat and over-current welding protection. The duty cycle is 30% at 100% power which equates to welding Non-Stop for 3 minutes straight in a 10 minute period. The device allows you to work on stainless steel, cast iron, and steel.
There is a short dongle in front of the machine and that will change the polarity you don’t even have to unbolt anything it’s just simply plugging that dongle into either plus or minus very easy. You can also adjust the wire speed individually from voltage.
6. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 – Handy Core MIG Welding Machine
If you looking for something to have in the garage then this is the welder for you. The Lincoln Electric K2278-1 MIG welder, produced by Lincoln is always at a professional level but much more inexpensive. A relatively new brand in the sector, but which has already made itself known for the discreet quality of its products.
Given the good performance and the good build quality of the welder itself, the value for money of the Lincoln MIG welder is decidedly favorable. It can be welded both with wire and with the electrode, with or without gas, therefore it also offers a wide versatility of use.
The professionals who have used it have been satisfied, even if they recommend it only for light jobs. It’s not intended for heavy use, but if you need to fix something real quick, plug it in anywhere and go. It also comes with one year warranty on parts and labor.
The output range is 35-88 amps, but the recommended output is 70 amps at 20%. This welder is made to be used with 0.035 wire. This model cannot be used for aluminum as its a bit of a specialty welder in the sense that it’s designed to only use flux core steel wire.
7. LOTOS MIG175 – Best Budget-Friendly MIG Welding Machine
LOTOS MIG175 is the seven position of our list of the best MIG welding machines under 500, it is a model that has some specific features that distinguish it from the others. It is in fact the most portable and compact model of the show. It is a very powerful machine which reaches a maximum of 175 Ampere.
LOTOS MIG175 works with wires of 0.9 mm in thickness of all the materials, including stainless steel and aluminum and in the package is everything you need to start to be welded to the gas exclusion. We appreciate the simplicity of use of this welding station. The fact that it is light is a real plus for the user.
Obviously, given the reduced power, the welder works perfectly on the home network. The compact and portable of the appliance makes it perfect for beginners who can start welding in a simple and immediate way without having to carry out complex tool setting operations.
This MIG welder can be only used on 220/240V. It will take up to an 8” diameter spool w/ 2.2” depth. This is an ideal choice if you are looking for a solid tool that allows you to learn to weld in MIG / MAG mode. It does not stick to the supports and presents a good value for money.
8. SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 150A – Flux Core MIG Automatic Welder
SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 150A welder is light, compact and refined, made of stainless steel. It has a ten-level adjustable welding speed. This machine can weld steel with 0-5mm thickness. It is ideal for welding thin steel and iron, perfect for do-it-yourself and for various repair jobs.
This MIG welder has simplified the welding process. It builds with advanced control which improves the operation of the welder. The most important part of this welder is its weight and portability. The instructions are clear, and it doesn’t take long to get up and running.
The internal cooling system of the fan combined with the two air intakes, favor the dissipation of heat. I’m sure there are lots of more expensive better welders but this is perfect for beginners and people that don’t need a welder for daily use. It is also easy to setup and doesn’t require any experience.
9. Everlast mig140 Powerful MIG welder – FLUX 140AMP
The Everlast mig140 is a really budget-friendly MIG welding machine in our list, which does not give up on providing you with good quality and ease of use. It comes equipped with a standard 120V NEMA 15-5P plug which works in pretty much any standard outlet.
Its handling is among the best of all the continuous wire welding machines in our ranking. The continuous welding wire and various accessories are perfect if you are a beginner and want to start practicing immediately. With this 180 amp welding machine, you will not be disappointed.
Everlast MIG welding machine has a high-quality continuous wire holder mechanism for always good welding even on different types of metals. For a more versatile use of your welding machine, the weight of 25 lbs is really excellent, especially for carrying it with its supplied shoulder strap.
10. VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire – No Gas MIG Welder
VIVOHOME Portable wire welding machine is very compact and transport resistant. It is equipped with an accessory kit which includes an eye protection mask, a coil of cored wire, a brush. It is a great choice for home repairs and hobby projects on light gauge steel.
This MIG welder has a large power compensation capacity which makes it resistant to voltage surges. The diameter of the usable wires is 0.8-0.9 mm. It doesn’t need any gas, only flux core wire, it’s better, no consumption no expenses in gas.
It is also equipped with two air vents to help heat dissipation and reduce operating temperature. VIVOHOME MIG welder has a four-level adjustable welding speed. It is designed for simple use and is suitable for any type of operator. It is easily adjustable in intensity.
How to Choose a Good MIG Welder?
Whether you are a professional or a DIY enthusiast, the MIG welder is the accessory you need in your personal workshop. In addition to being effective, this article is quite easy to use. Among other things, it is the ideal gadget that will help you perfect your metallic creations.
This buying guide section is intended to help you get the best MIG welder for the price on the market. Before finalizing a purchase, try to learn a little more about the following things:
The operating process
The MIG welding machine has a semi-automatic welding process using a neutral gas which does not react with the molten metal. With a very simple but attractive design, it is very practical and also easy to use.
The wire feed is controlled by the trigger of a welding torch, and the closing of an electrical circuit allows the passage of current through the filler metal. This product also allows great flexibility of implementation, which can be used on different types of metals.
The MIG welder can be used for continuous welding with high productivity, but compared to other machines, it gives off slightly smoke. If you want to vary your DIY work, this machine is recommended.
Use of equipment
If you want to know how to buy a MIG welder with a better price-quality ratio, it is essential to wonder about the type of metal that it is able to work. Well before the purchase, it is necessary to clarify whether the machine can cut steel, stainless steel, copper or aluminum.
It is true that this material exists in different models, but each has its specificity. As this accessory is very robust, it has a wide range of uses. Being very sophisticated and very efficient, the MIG welder is the device of choice for professional scrap dealers.
The security rule
Whether in workshops or on construction sites, the risks inherent in welding work are always present. Precautions must be taken to avoid breakdowns and welding faults.
First, allow the equipment time to cool down before any maintenance procedure. The important thing is to keep the device clean from the inside. Dust and foreign matter that have settled on the transformer or diode must therefore be removed periodically. Very important, you must prevent the torch from being knocked or dropped.
The heating power is expressed in amperes. But unless you are a professional and want to work on large parts, a 40 to 130 amp welding machine will allow you to carry out all of your metal smelting work. To know how a welding machine works, you have to understand the duty factor. It works inversely proportional to the intensity you choose.
For example, a 60% duty cycle means that the welding machine will allow 6 minutes of welding for 4 minutes of cooling. The walk factor is expressed in amperes against a percentage ( 60% for 100Ah, to use the example ). If it displays 100%, it means that the welding machine does not need rest time, it can operate continuously, without overheating the device.
Thicknesses & type of assembly
Thick metal or thin sheets cannot be welded in the same way. You could do worse than better. As we said, the TIG welding machine specializes in precision work, for the automotive sector, but also for certain artistic works or for quality work.
TIG makes it possible to work on iron, but it is not its primary vocation. It is more suitable for working on metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, or even titanium. The other ways of welding are to be reserved for repair work for domestic use, but also for agricultural machines, etc.
The right price
Our buying guide can only end with an analysis of the costs to be incurred to buy a MIG welder. By comparing the prices, you will notice how the shopping range is rather variable, since you can find cheaper models as well as others rather expensive.
Among these, the automatic MIG models stand out, in which the advancement of the wire and the electrode along the welding line is completely managed by the computer. The low cost models are aimed at hobbyists or whoever thinks of making the appliance a sporadic use.
Frequently Asked Question
MIG or TIG welding machine – what’s the difference?
Regarding TIG, welding is carried out with an electric arc coming from the infusible tungsten electrode with a diameter between 1.0 and 8.0 mm as well as the workpiece. In use, it is possible to manually or automatically bring the filler metal inside the weld pool.
On the other hand, MIG is done from an electric arc which is formed between the filler wire with a diameter between 0.6 and 2.4 mm at a speed of 2 to 20 m / min thus than the workpiece. The notable differences relate to the control of the deposition precision, the welding speed and the type of feed of the filler wire.
How to adjust a MIG welding machine?
In general, there are two types of settings for this kind of station namely 140 amps and 180 amps. With the former, you will have the possibility to weld sheets up to a thickness of 2 mm. It will therefore suffice to make the rule of 3 according to the given amperage.
Regarding the 180-ampere substations, they can be used on sheets with a maximum thickness of 4 mm. Also, you will just have to proceed to the rules of 3 in order to know the adjustments to be made according to the intensity.
MIG welding machine with or without gas?
These two categories of devices are equally powerful. However, your choice should mainly be based on the materials you plan to weld. Note that the use of a gas device is particularly advantageous. This is because you will benefit from more employment opportunities.
Also, many users affirm that this category of station brings a great comfort of use. Be aware that it will take a significant investment to get a gas-powered station.
What power for a MIG welding machine?
The power of the welding current of this type of device expressed in Amperes or A is variable depending on the device you buy. In general, there are two main categories of trade positions. You therefore have the choice between models from 140 to 180 Amps depending on your welding needs. Note that the adjustment of this type of device is essential for the success of the work.
Now you know everything about this type of equipment, the time has come for you to find where to buy a new MIG welder and which model to choose for the money. By the way, do not hesitate to use our features comparison, you will find the device that best suits your needs.
Sabbir Hossain obtained an Honors degree in Marketing, then specialized in training in blog writing, reporting and digital communication. Currently doing Masters in Digital Marketing. Read more about him.