Last Updated on May 7, 2021
Are you having some trouble with choosing MIG Welders? If so, you are not alone. Finding a budget MIG welder can be a tough task. There are several options available on the market today, and each one claims to be the best.
Furthermore, choosing the best budget MIG welders under $500 can be tougher since the products in this price range usually come with low-quality construction or performance. However, do not fret. We have spent hours reviewing and testing scores of MIG welders, and have come with up seven of the best you can buy right now.
Additionally, we have provided a buying guide that can help you in making the right buying choice. Read on to find out more!
Reviews of the 7 Best Budget MIG Welders Under $500
1. Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder – Top Budget Pick
This is an impressive MIG welder that takes the top spot in this our review of MIG welders under $500. It might not look like a premium option, but it packs quite a punch when it comes to MIG welding. The manufacturer, Hobart, is renowned for the high quality of its products, and this welder is no exception.
It comes in a compact size and is one of the most compact offerings from the manufacturer. If your project is mobile, one that requires you to move around as you work, you will likely love the compact and relatively lightweight nature of the welder very handy. It weighs just 57 pounds, hence it is a good choice for DIY enthusiasts and homeowners who need a welder for light repairs around the home.
During testing, I observed that the Hobart Welder is a good choice for simple, light-duty tasks. It offers you 140A of power and can weld 24 gauges up to ¼” of mild steel. It is a versatile option and it runs between 25A and 140A.
For those just learning MIG welding, you will likely love using this welder as it is easy to operate and doesn’t require any specialized training to handle.
2. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
Our next favorite option is this offering from Lincoln Electric; the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder. For folks embarking on small welding projects or objects, then you might love this product as much as we did during our testing.
It comes with the option to use wire or gas welding features. Additionally, we discovered that it can weld both flex-cored and MIG. Thus, as long as it isn’t a heavy-duty project, this product has likely got you covered.
It a portable option as well, coming at just 46 pounds of weight and with compact dimensions. Additionally, it comes with a handle on the top. All these physical features, when combined, make this MIG Welder a portable welder that will be great for mobile, light-duty applications. It also means that it will not take up plenty of floor space.
Aside from the features listed above, this MIG welder also comes with other interesting features. It comes with safety features that ensure that the machine and user are safe. For instance, there is an in-built fan to disperse heat and prevent overheating. There is also a cold contractor to ensure that the wire remains electrically cold.
3. Forney Easy Weld 261 – Best MIG Welder under $300
Forney a popular name in the welding world, and this budget option is one of their most popular options on the market. It might be cheap, but don’t be fooled! This little welder is such a good welder that I had no option than to add it to this list. For buyers on a tight budget and you want a welder that delivers decent all-round performance, then you’d be hard-pressed to find an option better than this.
The Forney MIG Welder is a 120V welder on a 20 A fused circuit. That is the standard. However, if you seek to push this little guy to the limit, then you will require embedding a 30A fused circuit.
It comes with a nice duty cycle of 30% at 90 A. What this translates to for you is that you can run it for three minutes non-stop while it is at the 90A setting. Hence, despite the low price and small size, it offers you a quite impressive performance.
I was further impressed by the feature that allows you to set the welding output through a dial on the front. This grants you more flexibility than ever before.
4. Lotos 140 Amp MIG Welder
One of the best welders under $500 that offers you a nice balance between price and performance is the Lotos 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder.
If you have been a welder for a while, you will likely enjoy using this product. You might especially enjoy it if you specialize in material of large sizes. Nevertheless, for purchasers embarking on DIY projects or small repairs in the home, you will also find it quite handy.
The 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder comes with a pair of digital displays. To what end? Well, these displays are useful when you want to change the speed of the wire feeder. They are also great for setting up the voltage, especially for strong welds. The welder comes with a multi-use function which lets you weld a somewhat wide variety of materials. These include mild steel, stainless steel, and others.
During our testing, we liked the ease of setup and ease of use. For amateur welders, we believe that this welder will be especially helpful. It also offers you different welding options: you can make the process manual or automatic.
Weighing just 54 pounds, you can carry it around quite conveniently. The welder is compact and has a small footprint in the workshop. We enjoyed using the control panel on the front. It is easy to reach.
5. Forney Easy Weld 271 MIG Welder
The Forney Easy Weld 271 is one of the top-rated welders under $500. It lays decent quality MIG welds on thin sections of metal of up to ¼” thickness.
We like it for several other reasons as well. For example, it is one of the most versatile options at this price range. It not only serves as a MIG welder, but it also can stick and TIG weld as well! However, during our testing, our excitement about the versatility was contained when we discovered that the TIG accessories do not accompany the welder but are sold separately. Nevertheless, it is nice to have such options.
Additionally, it comes with leads, although these do not reach the perfect length we desire. However, the leads do their jobs quite well.
Setup and use are straightforward. Forney is recognized for the ease of using its products, and the Forney Easy Weld 271 is no exception. It comes with an easy-to-follow manual and can be setup in a jiffy. No wonder it is one of the best MIG welders less than $500.
It can also lay a neat bead in four different welding processes.
6. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder
The SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp is an impressive welder less than $500 that comes at a highly affordable price and is capable of welding a somewhat wide variety of materials. Some of the materials that we tested it with include aluminum, mild steel, and stainless steel. It can weld up to 200 Amp, which is rather impressive, especially when the price is considered.
Due to its relatively high amperage range and the excellent machine parts, we observed that this machine can weld through ¼” plates. Interestingly, it comes with several adjustment settings on the wire feed and amperage dial. Therefore, you can easily set up your welds.
Just like the previously reviewed Forney above, the leads are decent but short. However, they offer nice performance and are quite durable.
7. Goplus MIG 130 MIG Welder
Coming at just 35 pounds, the Goplus welder is the lightest option on this list. Hence it allows the user to carry it around with great ease. If your project is a solo project, you will find it handy as you do not require the help of another person to transport it around. Aside from being lightweight, it also comes in a compact form, taking up little space in the workshop and will stay out of the way.
It also runs on 110V; hence, it is likely compatible with most outlets in the workshop or around the home. The 65” welding gun also offers you greater freedom of movement as you work.
We loved the adjustable heating options found on the welder. Not only does it assist you in selecting the right option for the task at hand, but it also reduces the risk of electric wire burn.
Buyer’s Guide: What to consider before buying a Budget MIG welder?
With all the new technologies and options available on the market today, it can be stressful choosing the right MIG welder. This buying guide contains information that can help you.
The amperage is the measure of the amount of heat and power that the MIG welder can generate. The bigger the amount generated, the more the types of materials that it can work on. For enthusiasts planning on working on materials like aluminum or stainless steel, you will require a welder with a higher amperage value.
High voltage welders are usually designed for heavy-duty projects. Hence, if you find a MIG welder listed as 230V, then it isn’t ideal for home use or a hobby workshop. You should consider the voltage of the welder and the connections. If you connect a 230V welder to a 120V circuit, it will not work. Similarly, if you connect a 115V welder to a 230V circuit, it won’t work correctly.
You need to consider the purpose of the welder. Are you planning on using it for extended periods? How often will you run it? You should consider such questions because MIG welders come in a wide variety of capabilities. Some are great for working on light-duty projects while others are designed to weld through thick sheets of various types of metals.
This feature refers to the length of time the MIG welder can be used non-stop before it overheats. If you have a welder with a 40% duty cycle, it means that you can weld for four minutes through ten minutes before you need to rest the welder. Check out this feature before choosing the welder.
Many MIG welders run on electricity, hence you have to consider the power outlets that you have in your workshop or at home.
Choosing a 110V welder is a nice choice since 110V outlets are very common in households. Therefore, they are more versatile and can be used in more places. If you opt for a 220V welder, you might have a more limited option of plugging in wherever you want.
For consumers confused about whether to choose a 220V or 110V welder, you fortunately have the option to choose a welder that supports both types of connections.
Your welder should offer you a warranty. It will protect your investment in case of damage or malfunctioning. If the product features a lengthy warranty, it usually indicates that it is a high-quality option.
From our roundup, the clear best MIG welder under $500 is the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder. It is superior to the others due to its near-perfect balance of price and performance. It isn’t as lightweight as the Goplus MIG 130, for example, but it delivers more power.
With its relatively high amperage, voltage, and impressive duty cycle, it is the best MIG welder under $500 you can buy today!