In this article, we have reviewed the five best low budget MIG welders on the market. We will compare them and inform you which will be best for your specific task.
Cheap Vs. Expensive MIG Welders
Usually, budget machines tend to underperform and underwhelm. When it comes to MIG welders, this is not the case anymore. There are many great budget MIG welders on the market right now, so you may not need to spend the extra to get a top of the range one. The outcome of your project can no longer blame the quality of their machines.
Choosing a Quality & Affordable Budget MIG Welder
Multifunctionality & Ease of Use
When looking for a budget welder, you do not want a one-trick pony or one that is difficult to use. While flux core welders are a staple in welding history and are still used widely today, they do not measure up to a MIG welder. A MIG welder uses inert gasses to shield the electrode from the oxygen trying to spoil your weld. When welding indoors, they have a serious advantage. Only when attempting to weld outdoors or in windy conditions, would I recommend using a flux core welder.
Your power input is dictated by your setup, depending on what voltage you have access to will determine your power output. To figure out your power needs, you must first look at the job at hand and figure out the required output. If you are planning to work on heavy gauge steel, you will need a model with higher power output. This means you will need a higher input, so you may need to invest in a converter if you are working off household electricity.
When deciding which machine will be the best for you, it is important to look at where you will be welding and ensure that you get the best machine for that environment. You will have to take many factors into account when deciding what to buy. If you are outside, you must worry about the wind spoiling your weld and take measures to prevent it or buy a machine designed for it. Make sure you consider spatial limitations and ventilation before choosing which welder to purchase and do not forget to allow some space for the gas bottle.
Feed Rate & Duty Cycle
The duty cycle refers to how long a MIG welder can be safely operated within a specific time period. If I was to say I have a duty cycle of 30% on my welder, this means after 3 minutes of continuous welding, I would have to rest the machine for 7 minutes.
Fine-tuning the feed rate on a MIG welder can be very difficult. You must balance it with your amperage and the speed of your welding and adjust it accordingly as you continue working.
Wire Size & Material Thickness
When deciding which wire size to buy, you must look at the material you are welding and determine what diameter of wire is required to get the penetration you need. If you are working on thicker gauge steel, you will require a thicker wire and a higher welding temperature to get a good weld. That being said, when welding something like aluminum, you will need a thinner wire and a lower welding temperature else you will be blowing huge holes in your metal.
When choosing your MIG welder, it is important to take note of any spatial limitations. You must be able to move around while you are welding if you desire to get a good weld at the end. If you have picked a large MIG welder and it impedes your work, you have done yourself a disservice. If you are planning on taking your welder from job to job, purchasing one of the larger models may not be the best decision.
Thermal Overload Protection
Thermal overload protection determines your duty cycle. It is effectively a switch within your welder to stop it from overheating.
A spool gun is a type of welding torch that has a small reel of wire on the back. They are very good for welding aluminum.
All MIG welders should come with a warranty, and you must check how long it lasts before purchasing one.
5 Best Cheap MIG Welders Reviewed
1. Forney Easy Weld 261
Best Cheap MIG Welder
30% @ 90A
Wire Feed Speed
Handles .030 in. or 0.35 in. wire
The Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder, 120V is by far the best budget welder on the market at the moment. Its compact, light, and robust design make it the perfect addition to your garage or workshop. It uses 0.30 flux core wire, and the wire feed speed and voltage can be adjusted very easily, giving you a very versatile machine that can handle many different materials and gauges. This machine only weighs 19 lbs, and this makes it great for any off-site jobs you might have. It boasts a surprising power output of 140amps; for such a small machine, this is very high.
This machine is straightforward to use and great for entry-level welders and highly skilled ones alike. It comes with an 8-inch ground clamp, an 8-inch MIG gun, an integrated handle and torch wrap, and a 15a-20a adapter. Its rugged all-metal case means that you do not have to worry about damaging it lightly, and it is big enough to handle two ten pond reels of wire at a time.
Our only issue with this welding machine is that it is only compatible with other Forney parts. This can make it challenging to repair as you cannot use standard parts in it.
50 To 140 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
Max 0.6m/MIN, Min 1.0m/MIN
The SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welder 140A Gas and Gasless Welding 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT DC Inverter Welding Machine Including Flux-Cored Wire is a close runner up to the Forney. This machine has an advanced module IGBT with a dual voltage mechanism to maximize this machine's welding performance. This welder boasts a new anti-sticking system that prevents it from overloading or overheating.
This MIG welder is ideal for welding outdoors, rusted metal, heavy-duty equipment, and a wide range of maintenance projects. It can handle two ten pond reels of wire so you can keep working for longer. The easy to use dials make it very simple to adjust your wire speed and voltage on the fly. As if that wasn't enough, this machine can be used for gasless and MIG welding.
The SUNGOLDPOWER is suitable for a very wide range of materials, from stainless steel to carbon steel. It can deliver industrial type power on just 110v-220v (adapter included). This welder also comes with a 78.7'' MIG Torch, 59'' cable with earth clamp, a sample of Flux-cored Wire, and a mask and brush.
3. Reboot MIG160
Value For Money
60% @ 160 Amps
Wire Feed Speed
Up to 180 inches per minute
If value for money is what you're looking for, the MIG Welder Flux Core 220V - Reboot MIG160 is the welder for you. Its compact and robust design makes it a great addition to your workshop. It is great for DIY work and other home projects. It is very environmentally friendly compared to welders that require a transformer and the noise settings on it make it near silent.
This welder selects the wire-speed for you so you can just carry on with your job. It can run both with and without gas. All you need to do is select your wire diameter, set the amps you wish to work at, and the machine will calculate your wire-speed for you. This makes it great for new welders as the controls can become quite confusing when you do not understand them fully.
This machine comes with a 6.56FT cable +earth clamp, 6.56FT cable, and electrode holder, a 9.8FT MIG welding torch, a Flux-cored wire 1kg without gas weld, a 9.8FT welding gas hose. So as soon as you get your machine, you can set up and start work without much fuss
4. Weldpro 155
Most Versatile Budget MIG Welder
30% @ 120A
110 - 115 v and 230 - 240 v
30 To 155 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
78 in. to 472 in. per minute
If you need a welder for many different jobs, I recommend the Weldpro 155 Amp Inverter MIG/Stick Arc Welder with Dual Voltage 220V/110V welding machine. It can run on 110 or 115v and 220 or 230v, and this makes it a very solid welding machine that can help with all manner of jobs. This dual voltage welding machine is equipped with a unique electronic reactor circuit. This can control short circuit transfers and mixed transfers very well, resulting in a much better quality of weld than other models.
The Weldpro 155 is a noise-free machine, so you won't be waking the neighbors with your weekend work. It is very compact and portable. It is much easier to start your arc and brings a very deep welding pool and high duty cycle to the table. This is an excellent model for any job you can think of and will not hurt your pocket too much. As if that wasn't enough, it comes with a 2-year warranty, so if you have any problems, Weldpre will replace or repair the machine for you. If you're looking for a versatile welding machine, look no further that the Weldpro 155.
5. Goplus No Gas 130
Best Cheap Gasless MIG Welder
110 - 120
Wire Feed Speed
If you are tired of tripping over the welding gas bottle, then look at the Goplus No Gas 130 MIG Welder, the best cheap gasless MIG welder. This little powerhouse is one of the most efficient models around at the moment, and it can run up to 85% efficiency. It comes with an inbuilt safety system that will turn the machine off when it gets too hot. This lightweight machine is perfect for people who move around a lot. Its compact and robust design makes it perfect for off-site jobs and on-site jobs alike.
This welder comes with four heat settings, and this means you can work on a wide range of projects using just this machine. It has ten wire feed speed settings so you can tailor your wire speed to your preferred style of welding. It comes with a 72inch power cord so you can move around with it and not have any issues. If that is not enough reach for you, the welding torch has a 65-inch cable attached to it.
How MIG Welders Work & Their Benefits
MIG welding works by creating a short circuit between two pieces of metal, which causes the wire in the gun to melt and joins the pieces of metal together. It uses inert gasses to push the oxygen away from the weld to stop bubbles forming. It has been rising in popularity since its invention in the 1940s. Since then, it has risen to prominence in the manufacturing world due to its efficiency and speed. It is straightforward for first-time welders to pick up and offers the precision required in the highest tiers of production.
How to Use a MIG Welder
MIG welding is considered one of the easiest types of welding to learn. It is sometimes referred to as hot glue gun welding. Here are a few pointers on how to get started welding.
- 1Learn how the machine works
- 2Always wear a welding mask
- 3Always push your welds never drag them
- 4Make sure you are holding the gun within an inch of your workpiece
- 5Make sure that your workpiece is earthed else your welder will not work.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are some hazards or risks when welding?
The most common risks while welding is burns. Always wear gloves and eye protection when using a welder.
What size MIG welder do I need?
The size of the MIG welder you need depends entirely on what you wish to do with it. For heavy-duty work you will need a bigger one, for light work, a small one will be fine.
What are the most popular brands of MIG Welders that are currently on the market?
The most popular budget brands are Forney and Weldpro. The most popular expensive brands are Hobart and Millermatic.
Is it worth buying refurbished MIG welders?
It all depends on how well the machine has been refurbed. If the person has done a good job, a Refurb model could save you a chunk of money and run for years.
How long do cheap MIG welders typically last?
Cheap MIG welders can last a very long time if properly maintained.
How do I maximize the lifespan of a cheap MIG welder?
The best way to ensure that your cheap MIG welder lasts long is to ensure it is kept clean, and you replace the necessary parts regularly.
The best cheap MIG welder on the market at the minute is the Forney Easy Weld 261. It combines reliability with its robust, compact, and versatile design. It is, without a doubt, the welder to choose for whatever projects you have coming up.