Are you an enthusiast looking to get going on the thing that interests you most? Or are you already a seasoned professional looking to get something portable for your current work? Well, it doesn’t matter where on the scale of experience you lie, all that matters is that you need a MIG welder to get the job done.
MIG welding is one of those many forms of welding that have developed over the years. Although it was actually the first, it was not fully developed until the 1940s when other innovations such as shielding were added to it. Since then, MIG welding has grown in leaps and bounds and has turned into the most common form of welding.
As such, there are a variety of welding machines that have been developed over the years. These machines can range in sizes, from the small ones that you can fit in your garage, to monsters that can be used to put together pipelines. The cost of these also varies according to size.
For you, looking for a machine that’s less than $500, it would be easy to assume that you want to do some practicing in your spare time, but that would be wrong. These machines are capable of supporting a whole business, and this may be the reason why you need one.
The task of choosing one isn’t easy, that’s why we decided to narrow down the choices for you. Here are eight of the best MIG budget welders.
Top Budget MIG Welder in 2020
1. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
If you’re an enthusiast of what Lincoln Electric does, you may already know that this model also goes by the name Handy MIG. And why would you know that? Because Lincoln Electric is revered for the quality of its products.
This one though, even if it may not be a world beater, at least will get the job done with minimal fuss. It is capable of welding 24 gauge of mild steel, and up to an eighth of an inch thick. It is also easier to use as it only has a few options when it comes to choosing the speed of the wire feed.
The Lincoln Electric K2278-1 can be run on 115 voltages and has four voltage modes, depending on the type of metal you’re welding. All this information is included in a chart on the machine.
2. ArcSonic IBGT Inverter MIG Welder
ArcSonic isn’t one of those household names that we’re always proud to blurt out and be associated with. They are not the Gucci of the welding industry, and they haven’t been around for that long either. However, that didn’t stop them from coming up with a solid product.
The ArcSonic IBGT Inverter is a MIG welder that can work solidly from 200 volts to give solid beads up to a maximum of 140 amps. Even though the leads are short and they may be hard-wired into the body, that didn’t top ArcSonic from including 2T/4T functionality with the welding gun. This makes it suitable to do some light gauge steel welding on a regular basis, whether at a workshop or on calls.
3. SunGold Power MIG Welder
Even though the ArcSonic can seem like a good idea for a small, portable welder, there will always be something slightly better. The price is only steeper by a few dollars, but the features you get with this welder are more impressive.
With just the voltage available at your house, you can crank out 200 amperes from this welding machine. The SunGold Power MIG Welder is more than enough to put together a quarter inch thick sheet of steel. Even though when it comes out of the package it is not fitted for aluminum welding, it can easily fit a spool if you so wish.
4. Lotos MIG Welder 140 Amp
Here is another company that hasn’t been on the market for as long as some of the heavy hitters have been. That, however, did not stop them from attempting to punch way above their weight. And that’s what they’ve been doing since entering the market.
For the myriad of products that they put out, quality has never been lacking. The Lotos MIG Welder 140 Amp is no exception. This welder comes with a myriad of settings for both amperage and wire feeding, allowing one to control their welding and come up with excellent welds.
The 140-ampere output is capable of welding 3/16-inch steel regularly, even at an industrial level. This welder isn’t meant for heavy-duty uses though.
5. Forney Easy Weld 271 140MG
This list seems to be filled with welders that offer an output of 140 amperes. Well, if you’re going to get a portable welder, that’s the amount of power you would probably need to get things done, whether at home, at your workshop, or on an emergency call.
And this is what makes the Forney Easy Weld one of the most popular welders out there. The precision with which you can lay down quality welds is similar to that which you can find on more costly machines. This is as a result of the easy to follow manual, and the excellent adjustment settings.
And guess what, the Forney Easy Weld 271 140MG not only does MIG, but TIG and stick as well.
6. Forney Easy Weld 140FC-i
If you have had quite a lot about Forney products but don’t know which to choose, this can offer you a different option. The earlier model costs closer to $500 than most would like, but the versatility it offers is amazing. This model here gets rid of some of the frills and sticks to being what you’re here for; a MIG welder.
It also outputs 140 amps from a 120-volt input, which is enough to weld together a ¼ inch of 24-gauge steel. This makes it a perfect portable welder to go with you on emergency jobs such as car maintenance. Even though it comes with a two-pound wire spool, it has a storage capacity of a ten-pound spool.
The Forney Easy Weld 140FC-i is also a favorite of many a welder out here because of the many adjustments it comes with as standard. From the different speeds to the variable amperage, the versatility it offers to welders is incredible.
7. Hobart Handler 100 500572
Here is a company that can be described as royalty when it comes to matters handling. Hobart was one of the original pioneers of welding technique and technology, and this company named after him picked up from where he left off. The innovation of this welder is an indicator of how well that has been going.
And their quality shows throughout this product. With an input of 115 volts, this welder has five different voltage controls based on what metal you’re working with.
The Hobart Handler 100 500572 welder is capable of welding 3/16ths of an inch of 24-gauge steel, and it does so with flux-cored wire.
8. Goplus MIG 130
Here is something that surprisingly made it into the list. The Goplus MIG 130 was not famous a few years ago. However, with a bit of luck and solid performances, it makes the list today. This is a compact welder that had some thought put into it, by the fact that it is encased in heavy-duty stainless steel.
The Goplus MIG 130 comes with four-speed settings, as well as a rotary knob to adjust how fast the user will be fed wire. This welder also uses flux core wire to get the job done. It is also compatible with single and multi-pass wires, it is however advisable to stick to 0.30 and 0.35 for the best results.
Portable MIG welders under $500 have become really popular over the last few years. This is due in part to the proliferation of the internet and the various tutorials available. This has been a complete boon to those who are handy enough to try stuff on their own.
Although there are many players on the field, there could only be one MVP, and that is the SunGold Power MIG Welder. Through a combination of a compact size, excellent price and powerful output and features, all the others on the list can only dream of achieving this combo.
Want to know more about the SunGold Power MIG Welder, don’t hesitate, click and take a look at the specs yourself.