MIG welding is a simple form of welding and enjoyed by many professionals. However, it’s not always easy to find the best MIG welder under $1000.
That’s why we put together this MIG welding machine review to help you find the unit you need.
How MIG Welders Works & Their Benefits
MIG welding is a beginner's type that is used by many hobbyists. Because it utilizes a constant-feed wire and mixture of gases, it's simple to learn. You can also weld with many types of metal, including nickel, stainless steel, aluminum, and steel.
Additionally, you are going to spend a lot less to weld this way, even if you decide to purchase the best MIG welder on the market. If quality matters, but you don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time learning new skills, MIG welding is the answer.
Buying Considerations For MIG Welders Under 1000
Ease Of Use
As a beginner welder, you don’t want a machine that’s difficult to use. Instead, look for a model that features simple controls. Not only will this make the entire experience quicker, but you will enjoy your time welding more. Who knows – you might even want to weld other projects as a result.
Before purchasing any machine, look at the input and output power requirements. With 120-volt power, you will only get about 140 amps, which is enough to get most jobs done. However, if you have a 30-amp circuit, you could run a 240-volt machine for more power and performance. You will have to pay more for these heavy-duty machines.
Where do you plan to weld? The location makes a difference in what machine might be best for you. For example, you might not want the same welder for your outdoor work as you would use in your home. Welding in an outdoor workshop allows you to use a commercial-grade machine with ease.
Feed Rate & Duty Cycle
Evaluate the wire feed speed. If it is too high, your gun will sputter and provide kick-back. You also need to look at the duty cycle. This is the percentage of ten minutes you can continuously weld before needing to cool the machine. So, if a machine has a duty cycle of thirty percent at ninety amps, it can run for three minutes at ninety amps.
Wire Size & Material Thickness
The size of your wire will help you determine your feed speed. Additionally, you need to know the thickness of the materials you plan to work on. Copper has a different thickness from aluminum, as does carbon steel and magnesium. MIG welding is designed for thinner, lightweight materials, so don’t push it too far.
Weight & Portability
Will you be able to move the machine around your shop with ease? If you plan to use it in one location, this won’t be a big concern. However, many welders prefer the flexibility of portability. Most 240-volt machines weigh between 60 and 120 pounds. The lighter and more compact the welder is, the more you can expect to pay, or you might need to sacrifice power.
Thermal Overload Protection
With this safety feature, you know the machine will automatically shut off when the duty cycle is exceeded. This valuable feature prevents the unit from overheating and causing damage. Most reliable brands provide this protection as part of the package, and it’s not something you want to work without.
If you plan to do welding with aluminum, you are going to need a high-quality spool gun. This allows for a steady, reliable feed of your soft aluminum wire. Ideally, you want a model that has quick-release features to make the operation easier. Your spool gun will mount near the welding torch.
Parts Availability & Replacement
It might be tempting to purchase the cheapest MIG welder you can find, but that is going to pose a problem when you look for replacement parts. Foreign-built welders tend to use unique parts that can be difficult to get. Instead, look for a machine that uses common parts for your maintenance and repair tasks.
Price & Warranty
We all want to save money on a MIG welder, but it’s vital to balance the cost and value. In the long run, you will do better purchasing a slightly more expensive welder from a reliable brand in comparison to a cheap no-name option. Also, evaluate the warranty to ensure you have the protection you need in case of a defect.
6 Best MIG Welder Under $1000 Reviewed
1. Hobart 500559
Best MIG Welder Under $1000
20% @ 90 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
Hobart is one of the most well-known names when it comes to welding machines, and this unit proves why. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it is simple to use. Hobart creates its machines in America, using high-quality parts. It also works with a variety of materials, offering complete flexibility. It even comes with a variety of supplies, such as the ten-foot MIG gun, ten-foot work cable and clamp, a dual-gauge regulator, gas hose, and quick-select drive roll.
With the ten-foot leads, you won’t have to drag this heavy machine around. Additionally, finding the replacement parts and gun tips is easy. This machine uses standard consumables, available at most home good locations or through Amazon. Plus, you receive a thermal overload system and short circuit protection with this model.
The reviews on this machine are off the chart, which is why we chose it for our top spot. The company even offers a five-year warranty for further protection. However, some people have had trouble with thicker materials, so you might want to use this on thin projects just to be safe. As you look at the price, remember that you will need to supply a gas cylinder, which adds a little to the cost.
2. Hobart 500554
Best Rated Model Under $1000
30% @ 130 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
The Hobart Handler 190 is another solid option if you want a beginner MIG welder. It’s a versatile machine that can run welds ranging from 24 gauge through 5/16-inches. With this heavy-duty machine, you can weld farm equipment and delicate aluminum with ease. However, to run it, you will need a 230V outlet. This additional power does ensure a longer duty cycle, allowing you to get more done when compared with other models.
Additionally, you can add on the SpoolRunner 100 gun, which makes wire feeding easier than before. If you weld aluminum, you will require this extra spool gun. Keep in mind, the machine isn’t lightweight by any means. It does weigh in at 79 pounds, but the manufacturer makes it simple to move with the rear-wheel design. Among the additional features this unit offers, you will enjoy the seven output voltage settings and dual-groove quick-change drive roll.
When you look through the reviews, most customers can’t say enough good about this machine. Plus, the company does provide a five-year warranty. We recommend this for beginners that have a wide range of materials to weld. It’s simple to set up, easy to use and reliable, making it a great all-around welder.
3. Weldpro 200
Best Dual Voltage MIG Welder Under $1000
30% @ 200 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
With this dual-voltage machine, you can get the power you need precisely when it’s needed. It’s capable of providing both stick and aluminum welding, as well as TIG welding, so it goes beyond being a beginner model. What most people find is that this machine is simple to use. It features a dual-digital display that’s easy to read. Just set the amperage and wire speed to get reliable welds every time.
On the safety end of the spectrum, this machine comes with both VRD high-temp and overload protection. With these aspects in play, you have the assurance that you will use the welder as it was intended. There are also user-adjustable inductance settings that make this the machine worth investing in. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and easy to take anywhere.
While this machine has a lot going for it, there is one downside when compared with other models. It only comes with a two-year warranty. However, looking at the customer reviews, you quickly notice that most people never need to use the warranty at all, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue. If you need a dual-voltage welder without spending more than $1,000, you should be pleased with this reliable option.
4. Forney 318
Best For Beginners
25% @ 125 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
Forney has become known as a manufacturer to rely on, and reviews show how well this machine performs. The Forney 190 MIG comes with TWECO style consumables and a Euro-Connect MIG gun. It also comes with a fast disconnect feature that makes cleaning the liner and swapping the torch easier than before. This machine is built to last with the upgraded cast aluminum wire construction, revamped de-spooler, and dual-geared idler.
This welder even comes with integrated feet, built-in strain relief, and a torch wrap. With this welder, you can work with 3/8-inch material. That's why many customers trust it for metal fabrication, farm and ranch applications, and automotive work. The kit comes with the welder, a gun with a ten-foot lead a ten-foot ground cable and clamp, a 15-foot input power cable, the regulator and gas hose.
Additionally, Forney provides a five-year warranty, which is one of the longest terms in the industry. The one aspect of this machine that makes it unfavorable is the weight. It does weigh a little more than some others, causing difficulty with portability. If you plan to move your welder around often, you might prefer a lightweight option instead. Still, this machine is rated as one of the best, especially if you need something that is easy to use.
5. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO K2697-1
Best 120V MIG Welder Under $1000
20% @ 70 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
This EasyMIG 140 machine will perform both gas MIG and flux core welding from your 120-volt current. With this capability, you can weld 24-gauge sheet metal, but also run a single-pass weld on plates up to 5/16-inch thick. The operating range of this welder is 30 to 140 amps, which is quite powerful for a 120-volt powered welder.
This welder comes complete with extra sturdy cabinets and component boards embedded in epoxy and mounted in a tray that minimizes impacts. Even with this additional capability, the machine isn't overweight and is still simple to use. All beginners will be able to start welding in no time with this unit. Plus, the company provides a three-year warranty for additional support.
While there are many perks, you need to know that the manufacturer doesn’t agree with running this welder on a generator. It might be that generators tend to use a clipped square sine waveform. You could add an inverter generator or a true sine converter, but this is going to cost you a good deal of money. While we ranked this as one of the top choices, you might notice that the reviews aren’t quite as good as some other welders are. Still, the benefits far outweigh the possible downsides.
6. LOTOS MIG175
Best MIG Welder For DIY Metal Work
20% @ 175 Amp
Wire Feed Speed
You can get a complete package with this LOTOS welder. It comes with the spool gun, gas hose, and regulator, making it ready to use right out of the box. The 240-volt transformer gas MIG welder delivers up to 175 amps and complete control at all times. You even gain enough control over 18-gauge sheet metal.
Load both four- and six-inch wire spools to get the job done right. With the 240V power, you can even take on your heavy-duty projects. While it is simple to use, it is meant to handle a wide variety of projects, allowing you to stick with one machine even when you start to get into advanced projects.
The trouble with this unit comes in with the packaging and potential damage. There have been numerous reports of damage during shipping. However, the company seems to be making the complaints right and are happy to provide service. From broken hinges to dented cabinets, all of the problems appear to be made right. On the other hand, the company only offers a one-year warranty, which is one of the shortest in the industry. We still recommend this model as the best MIG welder under $1000 for home use.
Safety Tips While Using a MIG Welder
MIG welding safety is an essential part of the operation. It’s very easy to get hurt while welding. Here are some tips to follow.
Here’s a beginner's guide to using a MIG welder.
MIG Welders: Common Issues & Fixes
Here are a few welding issues you might face and what to do about them.
Raise the input temperature.
Pull the gun instead of pushing.
Lower the input temperature.
Lower feed speed or voltage.
Wire doesn’t feed
Check the spool for a jam.
Clean workpiece materials to avoid contamination
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What other accessories do I need aside from a MIG welder?
Before welding, you should always have your PPE ready. It's also wise to have gas nozzles, contact tips, tungsten rods, and electrodes on hand.
What size MIG welder do I need?
There isn’t a size that works for everyone. Ideally, you want a welder that works with various sizes of feed wire and can work with multiple materials. For most beginners, a 30 to 150-amp output is more than enough.
Do MIG welders need gas?
MIG welders use gas to create a bubble that protects the weld point. If someone claims to be performing gasless MIG welding, they are actually using a flux core metal tube through self-shielding.
How much does a good MIG welder cost?
You tend to get what you pay for. Most MIG welders will range between $400 and $1,500, but you can easily spend more for a higher-powered machine with additional features.
What are the most popular brands of MIG Welders currently in the market?
The top MIG welding brands on the market include Lincoln Electric, Forney and Hobart, but they aren’t the only options to consider. Read through our welder reviews above to find reliable options.
What is the best MIG welder under 1000? We prefer the Hobart 500559 as a low-budget option for beginner welders. It offers plenty of features, ensuring you get the weld you are looking for.