Many factors are considered to determined the best welder for the money, however it will always vary depending on the types of project, materials, and cost of course. Welding machine needs differ based on processes such as MIG, TIG, Stick and more.
From there, many forms of welding arose, each with their own merits and demerits. Each of these types of welding became suitable for use in different fields and industries. From car repairs to putting together pipelines to transport oil over vast distances, the weld had made certain sections of commerce to grow to an intercontinental level.
Fast forward to today and welding has proliferated greatly, and no longer just a preserve of the big industries. The local car mechanic has welding as a skill set. The DIY enthusiast next door has one for their little projects. This is a result of the machines being readily available for anyone who is interested.
Of these machines, not all will serve you and what you need. Some can do multiple things, others only one. So, which is the best for you at your price point?
Let’s take a look at eight of the best MIG, TIG, and STICK welders for the money.
Top Budget (MIG, TIG, STICK) Welders in 2023
1. Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter: TIG Stick Welder
This Lotos is a welder that has quite the mouthful of a serial number, but then again, that’s how they always are. That in no way detracts from the power and versatility that this welder can give you. For a stick welder, it does a great job of being a multipurpose tool.
Yes, not only does it do stick welding, but the Lotos LTPDC2000D can also function as a TIG welder, and a plasma cutter. And that’s not all. Depending on where you are, or what you want to do, you can take advantage of the dual voltage capability to get a clean weld.
The features of the 3 in 1 welder includes a 200amp TIG and Stick welder along with a pilot rod plasma blade. The pilot arc is useful for cutting through painted and rusted metals.
It can smoothly cut through 1/2" thickness and a severance thickness of 3/4" which is quite impressive for an all in one welding machine.
The LTPDC200D also has a lightweight design making it portable for big projects, where you would need to move your welder around at only 32 lbs.
The dual voltage feature of 110v and 220v provide the option to work on heavy duty and basic welding tasks with ease.
How do we begin with all the capabilities of this welding machine? The plasma cutting option allows clean cuts on all types of surfaces without having to touch it. This helps preserve the quality and life of the welder.
2. Everlast PowerARC 140
In certain cases, you may not be looking for something with a number of shiny bells and whistles. Sometimes, you just want something that can get your little jobs done. This may also mean that you don’t want something expensive, and this is where this welder comes in.
The Everlast PowerARC 140 welder is quite light, at 24.8 pounds, as it does not come with a plasma cutter. The good thing though is that it is a dual input voltage machine, capable of putting out up to 140 amps of power.
Perhaps one of the best features of this welder is not what’s on it, but what’s around it. There is a built in auto adaptive hot start; however if you plan on using the TIG feature, you would need to get get a regulator separably.
Overall a great welder for basic welding projects due to the low output.
3. Hobart Handler 210
It’s not every day you get to meet royalty, but when you do, I hope you test them hard to see what mettle they’re made of. Here is one royal that has proved, constantly that they’re made of the toughest stuff.
The Hobart Handler 210 was built with the user in mind. It's versatility is unmatched in terms of different settings available on it, for the amperage output, and the wire speed for the MIG welds.
It's equipped with 7 voltage settings to maximize efficient and effectiveness, providing clean welds with ease. Welding metals from 24 gauge to 3/8" with just one pass, and thicker metals with just as easily.
The Hobart Handler 210 is a welder that would suit the beginners and the low volume professionals quite well.
4. Forney Easy Weld 271, 3-in-1 Welder
A company that was barely known a few years has suddenly stepped up and is challenging the already established giants. I, the skeptical one, would say that’s hogwash until I came across the reviews and awards that have been bestowed upon it.
Although a gives a tad bit fewer amperes than the Hobart, that does not detract from the quality weld beads that the machine gives. It's compact and easy to use, allowing you to preform in tight spaces for basic welding.
In case you want to diversify your skills into TIG welding, you don’t have to get another machine to do the job. Simply get the TIG leads which are sold separately, but definitely worth the investment to get familiar with different processes.
The only poor thing is that the lads are short.
5. AHP AlphaTIG 200X
While the giants of the industry have been known to dominate, here is a welder that does not have a history of pedigree just coming out of nowhere and blowing every other welder out of the water. Yes, TIG welding is one of the most complicated and it needs a machine as good as this to get the job done.
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X is a machine that can take dual voltages of 110v/220v, in both DC and AC. And what’s more, this gives welding beads of quality similar to the machines that are priced much higher than this. And what’s more, it does this while costing like a budget machine.
This budget welder runs extremely smooth for this price point.
6. Miller Maxster 150 STL
Yes, the HP might provide beads that are comparable in quality to the higher end machines, that doesn’t mean it is one. And Miller has just stepped up to try and take back what’s theirs. The Miller Maxster 150 STL welder is a compact machine packed with a lot of power.
The small size makes it a favorite for technicians who have to travel with their gear. It also comes with a 12-foot lead, which is double what other manufacturers include with theirs.
This is one of the reasons why even though it was designed with professionals in mind, it is worth it for the beginners and hobbyists who end up choosing this welder.
7. Esab Rebel 215ic
While many machines pride themselves on being good at one thing, and okay at another, here is a welder that attempts to be good at three forms of welding. And yes, it crushes most of the competition it’s been facing.
This welder can easily handle MIG, TIG, Stick or flux core welding at a low cost for the feature it includes.
The Esab Rebel 215 ic welder easily outputs 200 amperes from the DC outlets. Weighing in at 55 pounds, this is one must have machine. This versatility makes it one of the best, not only for the professional technician who is running around making repairs and new welds, but also to students who want to learn and work on their skills.
8. Forney 324
Ah yes, the Italian thoroughbred decided to take a gander at making multi-process welders, and they absolutely crushed it. This particular welder is a beautifully constructed compact welder that makes it easy for technicians to lug around.
At only 43 pounds, even the most gentle students will enjoy the portability. The other thing that they’re going to love is its ability to run on both 110 and 230 volts. This makes it quite a portable powerhouse that can easily handle any TIG, MIG or stick tasks that you send its way.
Whether you are working from home, or from an industrial perspective, the Forney 324 is a quality welder that will get the job done.
Buying Guide For Budget Welders
It would be nice to shop for a welder with an unlimited budget, but if you’re in the market for a new unit, it’s a good idea to figure out what you can comfortably afford before you start looking around. There are many things to consider about each item, so take your time to figure out what you truly will benefit from.
The more you want to accomplish with a welder, the more it’s going to cost you. That being said, don’t limit yourself just to save a few dollars. Investing in a well rounded unit early on will save you money in the future. You don’t want to find out that the welder you invested in doesn’t accomplish what you want to work on.
Type Of Welding Process
Before you even start shopping, determine what kind of welding process you want to work with. This would likely include MIG, TIG or stick if you’re trying to adhere to a set budget. If you’re sticking to basic MIG welding, you can find a lot of affordable welders.
However, you’re limited with the thickness of metal that you can weld. If possible, take a step up and invest in a TIG welder.
The Purpose of Your Welder
Once you’ve determined what you’ll be using your welder for, think about where you need to be welding the most. This will help you determine if you want a portable unit or something larger that you’ll want to move around on a cart.
You need an adequate amount of amperage in a unit to be able to weld through different sections and thicknesses. Not much heat is needed for thinner and smaller projects, but you’re limited with this type of welder. Look for amperage that creeps into the 200’s if possible.
You may want all the different features that money can buy in a welder, but you may need to scale back a bit to prevent going well over your budget. Think about things like the expected life span of the unit, the accessories that are included, what kind of power you receive and much more.
It’s important that you get plenty of bang for your buck. Don’t get talked into anything too fancy that you don’t need and won’t need.
Frequently Asked Questions About Budget Welders
Q: Is a cheap welder really worth my time?
There are a lot of cheap welders on the market that will still serve their purpose. If you don’t weld as a profession and just want something that you can occasionally use at home, don’t feel like you need to invest a lot of money into something you don’t really need. Just be sure you’re getting a quality welder.
Q: Does a low amperage welder require a welding helmet?
It’s really important that you have the proper safety equipment when you’re welding. Even low amperage welders require you to use things like a helmet and gloves.
Q: Should I buy a welder with more than I need?
It’s tempting to buy the most affordable unit that you find, but you have to take a moment to see what that welder is capable of. You could bring it home only to find out that you can’t weld a number of materials right out of the box.
Yes, there are very many welders out there, of every type. No, not all will serve your needs. This list includes two of the best welders from each welding type. These are the top MIG, TIG, Stick welders for the money.
The Esab Rebel 215ic Welder that can handle all three jobs without breaking a sweat. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other products that are much better than these. So, don’t think too hard on it. Take a more comprehensive look at these product specs with a simple click.