Last updated on December 15th, 2021 at 10:10 pm
The beauty of a MIG welder is its ability to adapt to different types of materials, environments, and positions. Whether welding is your passion or everyday job, either way, you want to find the best MIG welder most suited for your needs. MIG welding machines are available from many brands in enticing designs and vamped-up features, which can leave you confused on how to find a good MIG welder that understands how best to perform its task. With our MIG welder reviews, buying guide, and best-rated MIG welders comparison tables, you will learn everything you need to know about MIG welders, including flux-cored ones.
- Best MIG Welder Reviews
- Best MIG Welder Comparison Table
- How to Choose the Best MIG Welder
- Everything about MIG Welders
- How MIG Works?
- Bottom Line
Best MIG Welder Reviews
- Hobart Handler 140
- Process: MIG / Flux-Core
- Power: 115V, DC
- Amperage Range: 25-140A
- Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A
- Welds: 24 ga. - 1/4"
- Weight: 57 lb.
- Warranty: 5-Year
- Price: $$
- Lincoln Handy MIG
- Process: MIG / Flux-Core
- Power: 115V, DC
- Amperage Range: 35-88A
- Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A
- Welds: 24 ga. - 1/8"
- Weight: 46 lb.
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Price: $$
- Miller Millermatic 211
- Process: MIG / Flux-Core
- Power: 120/240V, DC
- Amperage Range: 30-230A
- Duty Cycle: 40% @ 150A
- Welds: 24 ga. - 3/8"
- Weight: 38 lb.
- Warranty: 3-Year
- Price: $$$$
- Everlast PowerMIG 200
- Process: MIG / Flux-Core / Stick
- Power: 120/240V, DC
- Amperage Range: 25-200A
- Duty Cycle: 35% @ 200A
- Welds: 24 ga. - 5/6"
- Weight: 35 lb.
- Warranty: 5-Year
- Price: $$$
- Forney 140 MP
- Process: MIG / Flux-Core / Stick / TIG
- Power: 120V, DC
- Amperage Range: 10-140A
- Duty Cycle: 30% @ 90A
- Welds: 22 ga. - 1/4"
- Weight: 24 lb.
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Price: $
- Lotos MIG175
- Process: MIG
- Power: 240V, DC
- Amperage Range: 30-175A
- Duty Cycle: 20% @ 175A
- Welds: 18 ga. - 1/4"
- Weight: 85 lb.
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Price: $$
Additionally, below we have also prepared more exclusive multiple comparison charts for different types of the top-rated MIG welders, to clearly mark the difference between each model. Comparing materials, wire sizes, wire feeder speed, and extra safety features.
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
Balanced perfectly between industrial performance and home use sits the Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder. This welder comes almost ready to use out of the box, requiring only minutes of setup time, and weighs just 57 pounds.
Keeping quality in mind, the Handler 140 comes equipped with sturdy clamps, quick drive select, and an industrial-grade aluminum drive system. It has rotary knobs on the front for voltage selection and amp output, providing a wide array of arc options for each welding job.
With a 20% duty cycle at 90 amps, it’s enough for the average user, managing durability and quality work without the need for extended usage. The Handler 140 is capable of taking on 24 gauge and up to 1/4 inch mild steel thicknesses.
It comes with inbuilt safety control features, including thermal overload and short circuit protection. It’s safe to say that this is the best MIG welder for home use. Ideally fits light garage applications and first-timers. Also, check – Hobart Handler 140 review
- Dual-process MIG and flux core functionality in a single tool. Suitable for household repairs, auto-body, fences, and even farm machinery.
- Features a 5 tapped voltage control selector, which gives the user total control on how to fine-tune the arc for a smooth weld.
- Wire feed speed range of 40 to 700 inches per minute.
- Additionally, it has a built-in gas solenoid valve and dual-gauge regulator.
- It can handle industrial welding with either standard 4-inch or 8-inch spools.
- Built-in contactor that keeps the wire cold until the spool gun is on.
- You may experience problems with creating a smooth wire feed, especially if you do not have a heavy spool or cannot keep your feed wire straight.
- Rough cooling fans.
2. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 is a handy MIG welding machine that is lightweight and compact, suitable for light jobs and repairs around the house. The MIG-ready machine can take up jobs right out of the box, as it comes with almost all the tools needed to get the job done.
Weighs 46 pounds, this Handy MIG welder is portable, allowing one to move from one location to another. Welds mild steel from 24 gauge and up to 1/8 inch. The user-friendly machine has four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed adjustments for a great job on most materials available.
Additionally, it has a fan cooling system for an extended life expectancy. Offers a 20% duty cycle at 70 amps, perfect for home and hobby welding. Equipped with lots of features that make it easy to use and enjoy the benefits it has to offer. Also, check – Lincoln Electric Handy MIG review
- It features 4 selectable voltage ranges for enhanced accuracy.
- Best 110V MIG welder, the machine plugs into household outlets, thus suitable for repairs and jobs around the house.
- The welder offers great diversity as it works on both MIG and flux core processes.
- In addition to the continuous wire feed speed, from 0 to 300 inch per minute.
- It offers convenience and extra safety with the cold contactor feature that makes sure the wire stays cold until you trigger to heat it.
- The welder has no gas gauge to alert you when you are running low on gas.
- Has a short clamp cord and it requires a lot of re-spooling as it cannot house bigger wire spools.
3. Miler Electric Millermatic 211 MIG Welder
A 120/240V MIG welder from Miller Electric that is capable of welding materials from 24 gauge and up to 3/8 inch of either aluminum or steel. It is perfect for maintenance and repair jobs, hobby welding, farm jobs, auto body, and cycle shops.
This inverter MIG welder allows on 120V for 115 amps at 20% duty cycle and on 240V allows for 150 amps at 40% duty cycle. It has plenty of features that will make welding a walk in the park.
They include auto spool gun detection, thermal overload protection, and fan-on-demand, among other impressive features. Users will appreciate its quick and easy start with no spatter leading to a smooth welding experience. The handheld MIG welder Millermatic 211, weighs only 38 pounds, is portable, and is easy to carry.
Although it limits the areas of application due to its short cable, it’s a great performer that is durable and reliable. It is best suited for small jobs and hobby welders. Also, check – Miller Electric Millermatic 211 review
- The multi-voltage MIG welder modes is definitely a plus for the Millermatic, works on 110 or 220 volts.
- Has plenty of features such as pre-flow and post-flow, a smooth start that allows for a spatter-free start, and advanced auto-set control that simplifies the welding process, thus suitable for beginners.
- It can do both MIG and flux core processes.
- A multi-source welder allows operating on varying materials, with a wire feed speed of 60 to 600 inches per minute.
- Additionally, it offers three quick select drive rolls making setup much quicker and suitable for longer jobs.
- The ground cable is short, which limits the movement.
- Wire feeder speed might feel too fast for beginners.
4. Everlast PowerMIG200 Dual-Voltage MIG Welder
An excellent performer, the Everlast PowerMIG 200, powered by the digital IGBT inverter technology. A portable MIG welder that weighs only 35 pounds, suitable for high-rise outdoor welding jobs.
The multi-function welder has a 35% duty cycle, which allows for 125 amps when working on 120 volts and 200 amps when working on 240 volts. Welds a minimum of 24 gauge and up to 5/6″ in a single pass and 1/2″ in a multi-pass. It also welds aluminum by plugging the optional spool gun.
This heavy-duty MIG welder features arc force control, which adjusts the arc characteristics of the welding process, delivering stable and low spatters arc performance.
A feature-packed badass welder with simplified controls and the ability to switch modes effortlessly, making welding easy and fun. Packing more features than most MIG welders in its class, it’s the best MIG welder for professionals and beginners alike. Also, check – Everlast PowerMIG 200i review
- Runs MIG, flux-core, and stick welding, which allows you to switch effortlessly when MIG is not a viable option.
- Best dual-voltage MIG welder can operate on 110 or 220 volts depending on the environment one’s working in.
- Not to mention, the incorporated digital meters, which offer accurate multiple settings with warning lights.
- It also has a controllable burn back system. It saves time and energy trimming the wire, so the wire is always ready for use.
- A wire feed speed range of up to 600 inches per minute.
- Can handle industrial welding with standard 8 inch and up 12 pound wire spools. Easy to set up with positive gear driven rollers.
- The wire feed speed is hard to set precisely for detailed welds.
- The analog knobs are not the best choice for this machine since everything else is electronic.
5. Forney Easy Weld 140 MP 110V MIG Welder
The Forney 140 MP is a multi-process welder with different working modes MIG, flux, stick, and TIG. It allows you to use gas or gasless wires that are up to .035 inches. Capable of welding up to quarter-inch mild steel in a single pass. It’s easy to use and comes with everything you need to start welding.
It features infinite voltage and wire feed speed settings, which gives you full control of the weld. Simply dial in the desired voltage and output current to suit your project. It has a total output current range from 10 to 140 amps, dispensing 90 amps at a 30% duty cycle for MIG welding. It’s virtually suitable for different welding tasks, from hobby metal artworks to metal fabrication maintenance and repairs.
Comes in rugged full metal construction with a big handle on top. It weighs only 24 pounds, lightweight and portable. Besides, it’s generator-friendly so you can use it outdoors freely with generator power.
The Forney 140 MP is the best MIG welder for beginners, and it comes at a competitive price. Offering an opportunity to use different welding modes to suit various tasks and environments. While delivering smooth and high-quality welds.
- It connects easily to the existing 120-volt household power outlet and offers multi-process welding modes.
- It shares consumables that are within reach.
- Also, it comes with some useful accessories, including a 10 feet MIG gun, 8 feet electrode holder and ground clamp.
- Has a wire feed speed of 79 to 197 inch per minute.
- A compact model that is designed to make welding easy and hassle-free for beginners.
- Its low output power limits its use to light-duty projects.
- It does not come with TIG accessories, gas hose, and regulator.
6. LOTOS MIG175 220V MIG Welder
The LOTOS MIG175 welder is suitable for welding a minimum of 18 gauge and up to 1/4 inch stainless steel and mild steel, and up to 1/8 inch or thick for aluminum.
The MIG 175 amp welder has a reliable transformer connection that allows you to connect the machine to any 220-volt outlet. Being an easy-to-use, versatile MIG welder, this reliable performer makes an excellent tool for home and garage welding repairs.
It offers a 20% duty cycle at 175 amps. It is easy to set up and only takes minutes to start running. Reliable and durable as it has a sturdy built that can withstand long hours of work, so you may not need to replace any parts with proper maintenance.
The LOTOS MIG 175 comes with lots of features that make welding fun and easy. It comes with a MIG spool gun that is 10 feet 4 inches long and one pound wire for aluminum welding.
- Best 220V MIG welder, it operates on 200 and 240 volts and has dual-frequency at 50/60Hz.
- Also, this MIG welder has aluminum gas shielded welding capability.
- Has a wire-speed range of 60 to 470 inch per minute.
- It has a re-settable overload protection feature for increased operating life.
- The welder can handle industrial welding with either standard 4-inch or 6-inch wire spools.
- Its a challenge to accurately maintain the optimum wire-speed for each project.
- Weighs 85 pounds, it is not very portable.
Best MIG Welder Comparison Table
|Feature/Product||Hobart Handler 140||Lincoln Handy MIG||Miller Millermatic 211||Everlast PowerMIG 200||Forney 140MP||Lotos MIG175|
|Type||DC, MIG/Flux-Core||DC, MIG/Flux-Core||DC, MIG/Flux-Core||DC, MIG/Flux-Core/Stick||DC, MIG/Flux-Core/Stick/TIG||DC, MIG|
|Input, Phase, Hertz||115V, 1PH, 60Hz||115V, 1PH, 60Hz||120/240V, 1PH, 50/60Hz||120/240V, 1PH, 50/60Hz||120V, 1PH, 50/60Hz||240V, 1PH, 50/60Hz|
|Duty Cycle @ Amps||20% @ 90A||20% @ 70A||40% @ 150A||35% @ 200A||30% @ 90A||20% @ 175A|
|Open Circuit Voltage||28V||29V||54V||60V||N/A||N/A|
|Wire Feed Speed||40 - 700 IPM||0 - 300 IPM||60 - 600 IPM||0 - 600 IPM||79 - 197 IPM||60 - 470 IPM|
|Wire Diameter||.023 to .035 Inches||.025 to .035 Inches||.023 to .045 Inches||.023 to .030 Inches||.023 to .035 Inches||.025 to .030 Inches|
How to Choose the Best MIG Welder
Whether you’re a seasoned welder with years of experience or a novice looking to get their hands on a new MIG welder. Knowing what your goals are will help you identify the best MIG welder most suited for your needs. Some machines are able to power more electricity, creating a hotter arc, which allows for work on thicker metals than machines with lower power capabilities. Before making your purchase, decide which metals you will be predominantly working with.
While MIG is great for different types of metals, it is possible that another method of welding may suit your needs better, depending on the materials you will be working with. It’s also important to note where you will spend the majority of your time when welding. This will determine your power requirements, voltage, and the types of metals you can work with. By utilizing these tips, you will be able to analyze your needs and find the perfect unit while separating the good from the bad.
Power Performance – 110V vs. 220V
Power input capabilities are a major factor to consider when choosing a MIG welding machine. A welder for small-scale projects at home or in the garage would run on a 110 volt powered through a standard household plug and do a great job. Because home welding projects are usually related to welding thin materials. If you are mainly weld metals no thicker than 1/8” inch, then a 110V MIG welder will do just fine. These 110 volt welders are great for portability but, in some ways, lack in power where higher voltage welders prevail.
Larger units are capable of powering thicker electrode wire, thus being able to weld thicker gauge metals. The voltage of the unit is altered to control the arc. Higher voltage allows for a hotter arc and can work with thicker materials. If you will be welding more thick metals as 1/2″ inch, then a larger 220V MIG welder would do a better job. If you intend to work with different types of metals, then it is wiser to choose a welder that allows a multi-voltage option. It allows you the opportunity to switch between power modes rendering more versatility.
Welding machines labeled 230V and 115V may get you confused, as commonly, there is only 110 or 220-volt power. However, welding machines can run with around a 10% voltage variance. This means that a 115V welder can run in a 110V outlet.
Heat Capabilities – Amperage Range
MIG welders are classified by the output current amperage they produce at a given duty cycle. Basically, amperage is the heat it can produce, and the duty cycle is the length of time during a ten-minute time period. The power output amperage rating dictates the thickness and the materials you will be able to work with. Some approximate amperage ranges for MIG welding mild steel are:
- 18 gauge: 70 ~ 100 amps
- 1/8 inch: 120 ~ 200 amps
- 3/16 inch: 140 ~ 205 amps
- 1/4 inch: 140 ~ 225 amps
- 1/2 inch: 250+ amps
Here is an example; for welding on a modern car with thin panels, a small MIG welder might be enough. For an older car with thicker panels, a 130A welder would be the minimum. While a 4×4 would require 150A or more.
Also, you ought to consider the minimum amperage rating. A welder rated with a minimum of 40 amps welds sheets up to 2 mm in thickness together. MIG welders for bonding thinner materials should have a 20 – 25 amp minimum rating, which would be more usable on 0.8 mm steel.
Welding Time – The Duty Cycle
The duty cycle of a welder is expressed as a percentage measured at a given amperage. In layman’s terms, a duty cycle is measured strictly by the number of minutes you can weld continuously at a certain power rating without overheating the unit. A typical rating for a home 110V MIG welder is a 20% duty cycle at 90 amps. This means that with a power set of 90 amps; you can only weld continuously for two out of every ten minutes to avoid overworking the welder. The duty cycle is also inversely proportional to the welding output. When the welder is being used at lower outputs, the duty cycle is bound to increase.
If you are welding for personal use, it is possible that a unit with a lower duty cycle will suffice for your needs. If you’re a professional and will be utilizing the welder for paid work, it is imperative to find a welder which can satisfy your time requirements without the need to cool down continuously. Adversely, if time is not of the essence, a welder with a 30% duty cycle would be a sufficient choice. For thicker metals or bigger jobs, choose a MIG welder with a higher duty cycle.
Multi-Function – MIG & Flux Core
The best MIG welder on the market support flux-cored functions. The MIG/flux-core welder is preferred if the work you want to do with the welder is diverse. Flux-cored welding advantages are:
- Works well on dirty or rusty metals.
- Provides deep penetration for welding thick sections.
- Flux core wires are more suitable for outdoor work.
- Eliminates the need for carrying a shielding gas bottle by using a self-shielded flux-cored electrode.
Also, see – Best Flux Core Welders
Portability – Size & Weight
Depending on your working environment, you want to make sure your MIG welder will fit your needs in the majority of situations you will find yourself working in. If portability is an important feature for you, choose the best portable MIG welder, which weighs under 50 pounds, making it easy to move around different work sites.
The size of your welder will not necessarily define the power rating of the unit. Some small modern machines can deliver much higher power than bigger ones. You can also opt for wheels or a wheeled cart, which will allow you to mobilize your unit to fit the job needs.
Customer Service – The Warranty
Something that should go without saying is to find a unit with reputable customer service and a useful warranty. Ensure having a warranty that you can rely on in the event that your unit breaks down is an important feature for caring about your investment. Most companies offer diverse warranties that can cover everything from broken parts, labor to repair the unit, or even replacing the unit if there are factory defects. Even the highest quality welders can experience mechanical and technical issues, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you’re caught without a warranty.
Some of the best features to look for in MIG welders are systems that allow for advanced auto-set control, not to mention fan cooling. Other features include;
- Wire Feed Speed – It’s the speed at which the machine feeds the welding wire to the gun. Different materials require different feed speed in order to ensure an accurate welding process. Choose the best wire feed welder with a wide range of feed speed and ensure accommodating various materials. It’s a great feature to have.
- Spool Gun Capability – In aluminum welding, the wire usually gets stuck in the torch as it gets fed from the wire feeder. Placing the wire inches out of the MIG torch through a spool gun eliminates wire plunges. Look for this feature if you intend on welding aluminum.
- Built-In Contactor – Keeps the welder’s wire cold until the trigger of the torch is pressed. As a result, you don’t need to worry about accidental contact with the base metal when shifting positions.
- Thermal Overload Protection – Most modern MIG units come equipped with thermal overload protection, which basically automatically cuts off the power if you exceed the machine’s duty cycle, to ensure you don’t overheat the power transformer. It also helps to prolong the machine’s life.
Lastly, the best MIG welder for the money that maintains the perfect balance between cost efficiency and your needs as a welder is important to understand. While it may not be an everyday thing where you spend hours in the garage working on a trailer, boat, car, or an art project, knowing your unit is reliable, adaptive, and functional in your life is crucial to a successful purchase.
Everything about MIG Welders
What is the process of MIG welding? Simply it’s a method that uses a wire electrode that is continuously fed through the MIG gun and using a ground clamp and a shielding gas, it forms a complete circuit. The voltage from the machine runs through the electrode wire to heat it and melt it into a weld pool on the base metal to bond metals together. In a MIG welder, the wire electrode is fed continuously and is considered a consumable. The shielding gas used is also a consumable. The shielding gas protects the weld pool from the harmful effects of the chemicals in the environment, which can weaken the weld.
Different combinations of wire electrodes and gases are used to weld different types of metal. Before beginning any project, ensure your electrode will be able to penetrate your metal, the correct gas or mixture is being used, and your power requirements are met.
The shielding gas can be provided with a gas tank connected to the same gun your welding wire is fed through so it would create a protective cloud around the weld. Or by using a flux-cored wire which releases a shielding gas when used through the gun or torch. Some MIG welders support the flux core option while others don’t.
MIG Welding History
This principle of welding was first developed in the 1800s. Over a century of modification later, the process known as Metal Inert Gas or MIG was developed. In 1948, the Battelle Memorial Institute developed this process of welding. The process involved a continuous electrode and sprayed the weld across the parent metal. An inert gas, typically argon, was required to shield the weld and act as a barrier from the atmosphere, which would corrode the new weld and weaken it.
It was originally thought that only inert gases were usable for MIG welding, which led to high costs for the gases. It was later discovered that carbon dioxide, which is not an inert gas, was usable and offered deeper penetration than pure argon gas. Since carbon dioxide was not a noble gas, the new name for the MIG welding process was changed to Gas Metal Arc Welding or GMAW. However, while more accurate in description, the name was not as popular and didn’t take hold. Other common names of this process are wire welding, Metal Active Gas or MAG, and Flux Cored Arc Welding or FCAW.
MIG Shielding Gases
In MIG welding, a shielding gas is used to protect the weld pool – which is the melted wire electrode – from the harmful effects of the atmosphere and the environment has on cooling beads. The shielding gas acts as a barrier to the molten weld pool from oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen contained in the air. These elements can compromise welds by causing holes within the beads, and excessive spatter, making the weld less stable.
The shielding gas is transported from a gas tank to the weld pool through the weld gun. The nozzle at the end of the gun can be changed out to different diameters, which controls the amount of shielding gas at the welding pool. The typical shielding gas used for MIG welders depends on two main factors. The type of metal you are working with and the thickness of the metal.
Most MIG welders use argon, carbon dioxide, and helium for the job. Sometimes mixtures of two gases are used to create different chemical properties for the weld. Mixing two gases also allowed for use on different types of metals.
Electrode Wire Types
For MIG welding, there are two main types of wire to choose from, flux-core and solid wires. The difference between the two lies in the flux coating found on the flux core wire. It’s a self-shielding wire that you can use without external shielding gas. It’s suitable for rusty or dirty metals and offers deeper penetration properties, thus suitable for thicker materials. However, this process creates slag and spatters that need extra cleaning time.
On the other hand, solid MIG wires create a better-looking weld with less spatter and less cleaning time. Solid wires are commonly used in home and industrial projects; they require a shielding gas to ensure the weld stays free from environmental contamination. They have a low penetration rate, thus suitable for thinner materials.
That said, a MIG welder can work with a good range of thicknesses, from 24 gauge, 18 gauge materials, and all the way up to 1/2 inch materials in a single pass.
How MIG Works?
Most MIG machines are used for home and recreational use. It is common to use a MIG welder on trailers, auto-body repairs, and art projects.
The majority of the metals can be handled by a MIG welder by utilizing shielding gas and high current. In addition, this type of welding works in many different positions and is one of the easier methods of arc welding to learn. To learn more about other welding processes, you can read our article comparing welding methods.
What Can MIG Weld?
A MIG welder works on a wide array of parent metals. This is partly due to the variations of shielding gases used, and the different wire electrodes you can select for each job. For most MIG welders, mild forms of steel are clear choices. However, you can also weld many other metal combinations. The most common metals welded with a MIG machine are:
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
- Aluminum (with a special feeder and spool gun since the aluminum wire is very soft)
Depending on how much voltage your MIG welder is running at, the weld can be set to one of the four transfer types; globular, short circuit, spray, or pulsed.
MIG Welders Uses
The great thing about MIG is that you can put a machine in your garage and weld up everything that comes your way. MIG welding is easy to learn, and you can do many things with it. MIG welding is most commonly used in vehicle fabrication to repair cars or motorbikes. It’s also used in construction where steel is the most commonly used metal. If you are looking for a MIG welding job in high production manufacturing, from computer components to auto parts, you will find that there are a variety of opportunities to choose from.
Also, see – Best Plasma Cutters
MIG Welding Types
MIG welding is a common form of arc welding in many households, as it works well with trailers, automobiles, and small farm equipment. It is a simple process to learn. There are four main classifications of MIG welding metal transfer types. Which are spray transfer, pulse spray transfer, globular transfer, and short circuit
MIG Welders Advantages
There are many advantages that a MIG welder has to offer. The fact that high-quality welds and beads are achieved in a simple and fast procedure is a great benefit.
- In MIG, high-quality welds can be produced much faster compared to stick or TIG welding. Welding wire is fed continuously, which allows for less downtime for replacing electrodes.
- In addition, using a continuously-fed wire minimizes the occurrence of defects on starts and stops.
- Only minor weld spatters produced. As a result, minimal post-weld clean-up.
- Allows for deep weld penetration, which gives the welder the ability to use a wide selection of filler metal compositions and diameters, to weld thick or thin materials.
- Very versatile and is used for a wide range of metal and non-ferrous metal, including aluminum, copper, mild steel, magnesium, nickel, iron, and many of their alloys.
- Not to mention, MIG welding is the most common industrial process to weld a broad variety of materials, parts, and structures.
- Requires less operator skill compared to other welding processes, for example, TIG welders.
- MIG welding can be accomplished in all positions.
MIG Welders Disadvantages
Although MIG welders have many advantages with the flexibility of materials and positions, they are confined by their inability to work with thicker metals.
- While it is possible to handle material thicker than ½ inch, it is generally easier to use a different form of welding for those materials.
- Burn-back is also a common issue when welding materials thinner than 1/16 inch.
- The process is challenging to apply in narrow or hard-to-reach places because the MIG welding gun is large and must be held close to the base metal (within 10 to 19 mm) to ensure that the weld pool is properly shielded.
- Relatively high levels of radiated heat which makes this process not ideal to use for vertical or overhead positions due to the possibility of excessive melt-through.
- The base metal must be clean and rust-free to achieve a clean weld.
- Lastly, the MIG welder uses consumables, which adds to the cost to acquire shielding gas, welding wires, tips, and nozzles.
After all, a MIG welder is a great versatile machine. Not to mention, it’s easy to master, you will find yourself spending most of your time with your new favorite toy. But, always remember safety first. Never forget to wear suitable protective welding gear such as a welding helmet and gloves. They come in light and durable materials, and you can get customized helmets as well. Not to mention to keep the fire extinguisher in your working area.
Overall, for welding enthusiasts, getting the right equipment is as important as having the skills to produce great welding results. It is vital to have the best MIG welder to obtain a professional finish when welding thin steel, car bodywork, and other home jobs. We understand how important it is for you to make the right investments hence our detailed list of MIG welder reviews, comparisons, and complete guides. With this knowledge, we hope you can pick the best MIG welding machine and experience the many advantages MIG welding has to offer.