Everywhere we look around today, whether aerospace, automobiles, construction or the energy industry, they have welding involved.

Among various welding methods, MIG welding has established itself as the most popular and widely used method. Time efficiency, ease of use, and versatility make MIG welding superior to any other technique.

Now, the market is full of options due to this popularity, and often it gets overwhelming for beginners to choose the right machine.

So, today, we have rounded up this list of some market best professional Mig welders with in-depth reviews.

So, let’s have a look.

First let’s describe the

Advantages and Disadvantages Of MIG Welding

There are several arc welding methods, and MIG welding is considered the easiest. This technique has several benefits that make it so popular among welders.

But at the same time, there are some limitations that you need to consider before you choose MIG welding. The list of advantages and disadvantages below will help you make the decision.

mig welding advantage & disadvantage
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Advantages of MIG welding

  • The first advantage that will come to a professional welder’s mind is the speed of MIG welding. If you compare MIG welding with other methods (stick, tig, flux core etc.) it will win most of the time because the electrode is continuously fed. Minimum slag removal time also helps with the time efficiency of MIG welding.
  • MIG welding is very easy to perform, which is a big plus point for novice welders. In addition, several steps of the MIG welding are automatic, and the one-handed torch makes the usage super easy. That’s why MIG welding is considered the best method for beginner welders.
  • Versatile welding material is another advantage we need to mention. The penetration is already great for MIG welding. You’ll get exceptional welding results with good penetration, no matter the material. This deep penetration also ensures that the welding goes perfectly.
  • MIG weld is well-known for its clean welding results. There is no flux in MIG welding to contaminate your welding, thanks to the shielding gas. As a result, there are minimum slugs to clean. This clean welding also lets you weld faster instead of cleaning the slug.
  • If you have a small welding project, this might not benefit you. But for longer welding projects, the long-pass welding capability of MIG welding can be a great help. With other welding techniques, you might need to stop and start often, which is not the case for MIG welding.
  • MIG welding is all about efficiency, and it’s clear from the minimum loss of electrode wire and alloying element. The credit again goes to the shielding gas, which protects the arc, and there is almost no loss of alloying element as the arc forms.

Disadvantages of MIG welding

  • The higher cost is the biggest disadvantage of MIG welding. Let us explain why. MIG welding equipment is already pretty expensive, increasing the overall cost for starters. Next up, there is other additional stuff you’ll need shielding gas, extra tips, and electrodes that add up to the cost.
  • MIG welding is not a great option if you plan to weld outside. MIG welding uses gas most of the time, and the wind outside can ruin that gas shield. Therefore, the quality of the welding can be affected. Therefore, it’s best if you don’t choose MIG welding for outdoor welding.
  • Deeper penetration can be a potential issue for MIG welding. In demanding welding jobs, you might need to weld thicker pieces of welding materials. On the other hand, MIG welding is more suitable for delicate welding with thinner materials.
  • The portability can be an issue since many additional accessories are needed to perform MIG welding. For example, you have to carry welding gas, a roll of wire, and the welder itself is pretty heavy to carry around. So, MIG welding might not be a good option if your job requires portability.
  • Burh through and undercutting is very common MIG welding. However, since MIG welding has a constant voltage output, ting welding materials often get burnt if you are not careful. Also, the gas often fails to protect the tungsten, resulting in reduced cross-section thickness.
  • MIG welding takes a longer preparation time. Apart from compiling all the accessories and equipment, you also need to prepare the material by cleaning the rust and dirt, which can be time-consuming. Also check out can you weld rust metal here.

MIG welding process (step by step)

As I mentioned earlier, MIG welding is super easy to perform with the right technique. If you are new to welding and wondering how to MIG weld, the step-by-step guide below will help you.

  • Step 1: The first step to starting MIG welding is to wear safety gear. Every type of danger, including heat, electricity, and bright light, is involved in MIG welding. Without proper gloves, eye gear, and other necessary safety gear, MIG welding can be dangerous.
  • Step 2: After ensuring safety, it’s time to calibrate the MIG welder. If the machine is new, take some time to know the welder thoroughly. Then according to the project, set up different perimeters according to your project.
  • Step 3: MIG welding needs shielding gas, so make sure the regulator and gas cylinder work perfectly. The regulator has an adjustment screw that adjusts the gas pressure. Keep that loose so that rotating it is easier when necessary.
  • Step 4: Before starting, some preparation is necessary for optimum welding results. Weld in a place with enough space and air nearby to avoid the toxic fumes. Preparing the welding materials I also necessary. Make sure there is no rust or blemishes on the surface.
  • Step 5: At this point, you are ready to turn the MIG welder on. So, use the power cord and do it. Most welders have the wire feed speed and voltage setting at the front. Use those controls and set the necessary value. The welder can melt through the material if the value is set high. So, it’s always best to start low.
  • Step 6: Just checking whether the feed wire inside the gun is not enough; also make sure the amount of wire is sufficient. If the wire is too long, cut it to the right size. Press the trigger once to ensure there is no problem, and the wire is through.
  • Step 7: Start welding by lowering your helmet or facemask. You can use the push or pull technique according to your comfortability. It’s usually best to start from the top of the weld and then end at the bottom. After welding is finished, set the wire feed to the lowest setting.
  • Step 8: You need to prepare to turn off the welder in this step. Start by closing the cylinder valve and bleeding the regulator to zero. After all, these are done, turn off the welder and unplug it from the power socket.

Detailed Review Of Mig Professional Welding Machines

Lets start with some market leading Mig welders in this phase.

Why trust us:

We have listed the welders based on our hours and days of research with the machines. We also collected reviews from actual users to take their opinion over the machines. We have conducted a mail campaign also to collect information from producers. We have tested some of the machines as well.

professional mig welder
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Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Hobart has been an established player in the field of MIG welders. This time their 500559 Handler 140 MIG 115V welder again proves why they are so popular among welders.

Features

  • Thickness OF Weld: 24 gauge upto 1/4 Inches mild steel
  • Duty Cycle: 20%@ 90 Amps
  • Amperage Range: 25-140 amps
  • Voltage: 115v
  • Wire Feed Speed : 40-700 IPM

There are so many things to talk about; let’s go through them one by one. First, this welder offers a 5-position voltage adjustment. So, you can easily control the voltage according to the project demand.

The machine can easily weld from 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel with ample power. Welding compatibility materials are pretty decent as it supports steel, stainless steel, and aluminum welding.

The wire selector is another crucial addition to this amazing welder. It basically allows the user to control the wire feed speed between 40-700 IPM with load and 50-740 without load.

Versatility is another key selling point of this Hobart welder. This welder allows you to use both solid wires and flux core wires.

Upside

  • Allows voltage adjustment according to the welding project
  • Supports materials like steel and aluminum
  • Wire selector for wire feed speed control
  • Coms with a sample spool of flux-cored wire
  • Built-in overload protection for overheat protection

Downside

  • Not a good option to run with a generator
  • The sputters can be annoying

Construction of the machine

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG welder has a dimension of 19 x 11 x 13 inches and weighs around 57 pounds. So, portability is a bit of a concern here. All the controls and knobs are located at the front of the machine.

Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder inner construction
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Why we recommend it

All in all, there is not much left to co plain about this amazing MIG welder. It has the perfect balance of affordability and performance, which most welders look for.

Hobart Handler MIG Welder

MILLER ELECTRIC MIG Welder

Reliability is something that a brand can only build with time, and MILLER is one such brand. Some of the best welder specialists rely on this MILLER MIG welder, and there are good reasons why they do it. This welder can easily weld from 18 gauge to 3/8″ of thickness depending on the welding material.

Features

  • Material Thickness: 8 gauge upto 3/8″ Aluminum, 24 gauge upto 3/8″ mild Steel & 20 gauge upto 1/4″ stainless steel
  • Input Amperage: 17 amps
  • Voltage: 240VAC
  • Output Range: 30-230A DC 
  • Duty Cycle: 40%

The advanced auto-set feature of this MILLER welder can be a blessing for beginners since it automatically calibrates the welder according to the job. Of course, you can also manually set the welder, but this feature allows you to use the welder right out of the box.

The price is well justified considering the performance of this dual voltage welder. You should be able to handle any demanding welding job with it easily. While DC output can generate up to 230 amps, that number comes down at 150 with AC output. The dual voltage allows you to switch between both power options according to your need.

Upside

  • Dural voltage support for versatile welding jobs
  • Easy welder calibrations thanks to the
  • The compact form factor is a big plus for portability
  • It comes with a high-quality stock MIG gun
  • Smooth Start technology to minimize sputter

Downside

  • The price tag can be expensive for some
  • The ground clamp needs improvement

Construction of the machine

The first thing you’ll notice about this MILLER welder is its exceptional portability. With a dimension of 23.8 x 15.2 x 16.2 inches, you can carry the MIG welders around as much as possible.

In addition, the outer shell is quite durable with a plastic and steel construction. The controls are located at the front of the welder, and the top-handle makes sit super easy to move.

Why we recommend it

This MILLER MIG welder has already established its name with performance, quality, and portability. If you want a welder to use for years, you can invest in this welder with your eyes closed.

MILLER MIG Welder

Forney Easy Weld 261

Forney Easy Weld 261 is an excellent MIG welder hard to beat in terms of sheer value. At a fraction of the cost of its competitors, it can generate high-quality welding. This welder is targeted towards beginners, and every aspect points toward that.

First, this welder has a rating of 110 volts.

Features

  • Output: 140 Amp
  • Input: 120v
  • Material Thickness: up to 1/4 inch mild steel
  • Plug: 20A-15A adapter
  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 90A

So the poet should be available in any working condition. There is a rating of 140 amps, an excellent number compared to higher-priced competitors. With its help, you can easily weld material up to a thickness of ¼ inch. The duty cycle of 30% might not be the highest, but it’s impressive for the price

For beginners, initial setup often proves to be a huge challenge. Forney seems to solve that problem by providing an easy setup. Getting the welder out of the box from welding only takes around five minutes.

Upside

  • Easy to set up for beginners
  • Excellent value for money
  • The wire feed speed is adjustable
  • Lightweight and compact build for portability

Downside

  • Only compatible for flux core welding

Construction of the machine

Forney Easy Weld 261 has a dimension of 16.75″ x 8.125″ x 12″ and weighs only 19 lbs. So, I don’t think the advantage of portability and easy storage doesn’t need to be mentioned. The outer shell is plastic and steel with Forney’s trademark parrot green color.

Why we recommend it

This Forney Easy Weld 261 is a great choice for beginners who don’t want to invest much at first. The lower amperage setting can be very handy for learning the art of MIG welding. The price can lead to some second thoughts, but they are cleared by thousands of good reviews from satisfied users.

Forney Easy mig Welder

YESWELDER Digital MIG-205DS MIG Welder

YESWELDER is primarily known for its high-quality welding helmets. Not very long ago, they decided to enter the MIG welder market, and in this sector, too, they seem to continue their reputation.

Features

  • Amperage Range:  30-205Amp
  • Duty Cycle: For 110v input- 60% @160A & 100% @123A ; For 220v input- 60% @200A, 100% @154A
  • Voltage: 110v/220v 50/60 Hz
  • Plug: 110V/220V 

This MIG-205DS is a budget welder. Still, it has many features that even high-end welders miss. For starters, this is a dual voltage and variable amperage welder, capable of welding with 110 and 220 volts at 30 to 205 amps.

For the price, the amount of penetration you’ll get is amazing. The arc creation is immediate, and the welding has the minimum amount of spatter.

On top of that, the digital display makes the control experience more convenient. YESWELDER also had a special focus on safety, and the addition of over-heat and over-voltage protection proves that.

Alongside MIG welding, there is an option for true lift TIG welding. But for that, you’ll have to buy a TIG torch separately.

Upside

  • Variable amperage setting between 35 to 205 amps
  • TIG weld compatible with spate torch
  • Overhead and over-voltage protection
  • Digital display for a better look at the voltage and amperage
  • Lightweight and compact for portability

Downside

  • The instruction manual needs improvement
  • No wire spool is included in the box

Construction of the machine

YESWELDER MIG-205DS was fairly compact and portable with a dimension of 20 x 16 x 11 inches and a weight of ‎33.9 pounds.

On top, there is a handle for handling. The digital display also has a hood-like cover. The rest of the construction is made of steel.

Why we recommend it

YESWELDER is doing an amazing job with its performance as a new brand in the MIG welding scene. Moreover, you are getting MIG, TIG, and ARC welding all in one, making this welder a really great value.

YESWELDER MIG Welder

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

Lincoln is already a very famous brand in the field of MIG welding. This time, they have earned a spot on our list by their K2185-1 handy MIG welder.

This welder’s handy tag goes pretty well, considering the form factor and performance.

Features

  • Thickness: upto 1/8 inch mild steel
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A
  • Input: 115V
  • Dimensions: 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 x 18 inch
  • Output: 35-88v

This welder can run with 115 volts, 20 amp power outlet, which should be available almost anywhere. On top of that, it has a four-position voltage setting and amperage control for added versatility.

Anything between a thickness of 24 gauge to 1/8″ and the welder can handle it easily. The main reason why this Lincoln welder is of great value is that it has all the necessary accessories included in the box.

Upside

  • Excellent value for money
  • Versatile setting and control options
  • It can easily weld anything between 24 gauges to 1/8″ thickness
  • The idea for portability due to lightweight and compact size
  • It comes with necessary accessories, flux cored wires, and contact tips

Downside

  • Not for demanding welding jobs
  • The wire included are somewhat low quality

Construction of the machine

The construction of Lincoln Electric K2185-1 is pretty simple with plastic and steel. It has a dimension of ‎18 x 10.3 x 16.75 inches and weighs around 26 pounds, so the portability is there too.

Why we recommend it

The main reason behind recommending this project is the excellent value for money. The performance is decent, but there are extras like different flux-cored wires and contact tips, which makes this product a good investment.

Lincoln MIG Welder

LOTOS MIG175 MIG Welder

If you are open to trying out a MIG welder from a comparatively lesser known brand, we recommend you try this LOTOS MIG175 175 amps MIG welder. There are quite a few reasons that make this welder a great recommendation.

  • Thickness OF Weld: For steel= 18 Gauge – 1/4″, For aluminum=3/16″
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @175A & 30% @135A
  • Spool Gun: 10 feet 4 inches long with diameter 0.9 millimeter
  • Voltage: Runs in 200-240V
  • Good For: Stainless steel, aluminum & mild steel

Staring with the performance, this LOTOS welder has an input voltage of 220/240V. With this amount of power, the welder can easily weld stainless steel up to ¼ inch in thickness and aluminum up to 3.16 inches in thickness.

This machine can handle demanding industrial welding jobs and DIY projects both. Moreover, the overheat protection works as a guard to guarantee this welder serves you for a long time.

Upside

  • Free spool gun included with the welder
  • Wide range of accessories for free
  • Compatible with a wide variety of materials
  • Good value for money
  • It can operate at 220 volts

Downside

Lack of portability can be a deal-breaker

Construction of the machine

For a budget welder, LOTOS has built this welder like a tank. The welder has a dimension of 18 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches and weighs around 85 pounds. This weight can be a turnoff for welders looking for a portable machine. However, the whole thing is made of metal, so durability is guaranteed.

Why we recommend it

It’s not an easy job to get the perfect balance of performance and durability, and LOTOS has done that fantastically. Moreover, the addition of a spool gun makes it an appealing option for budget welders.

Lotos MIG Welder

Buying Guide

MIG welders are very complex tools; there is no doubt about it. Moreover, different models often come with different features and controls, making sit confusing for users to choose the right unit.

Below, we have compiled a list of factors you can use to find the best welder for professional MIG.

Power Supply & Power Cord

This is a basic consideration to make since you won’t be able to run the MIG welder properly without a proper power supply. Moreover, it can result in electric accidents too. Different welders utilize different voltages according to their purpose.

So make sure the welder you choose can run with the power socket at your house or workplace. Also, make sure the power cord is long enough to handle your need. Otherwise, it can limit your welding experience.

Live Torches

Torch plays the most crucial role in MIG welding as it does the main job of welding. Now, there are two types of torches available in MIG welding. Either you can use a live torch or opt for a trigger-mounted torch.

mig welder torch
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On the trigger-mounted units, you have the option to pull the trigger to start the weld. But on the other hand, live torches always generate uncomfortable heat and sparks, which can be harmful to the user’s eye.

So the best thing to do here is to avoid live torches for more control.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle means the duration of the weld at one go. So, if your welding projects need you to keep welding continuously, you need a MIG welder with a higher duty cycle. The duty cycle is normally shown in percentage of 10 minutes.

So, if the duty cycle is 50%, you can operate the welder for 5 minutes straight, and then it’ll need a cool-down time of 5 minutes.

Gas Cylinder

It’s not necessary that MIG welding will always require gas to operate. For example, if you are welding outdoors, you don’t need gas for the optimum welding results. However, things changes if you are welding indoors, where the look of the weld matters.

mig welding gas cylinder
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So make sure the MIG welder you are buying has a gas cylinder.

Also Check

Regulator

Regulators, also known as gas flow meters, are important to overlook the cylinder’s gas flow and control it. Though the welder has a recommended gas flow, you’ll need a regulator for accurate numbers. Different gases have different regulators, so make sure you use the correct regulator according to the gas.

Drive rolls

The importance of drive roll is somewhat the same as contact tip. For optimum welding, you have to keep the drive roll clean. Welders are often sued outside in harsh conditions.

As the wire passes through the drive roll to feed, it often has dust buildup. You can clean the buildup by using a vacuum.

Contact tips

No one wants to weld full of spatter. For that, a clean contact tip plays a very important role. If the contact tip is not enough, you won’t achieve the desired welding result, and it can cause porosity.

Moreover, there is a chance of reducing the gas flow due to the spattered contact tip. So make sure the contact tips are clean. If you want to keep the contact tip clean, using nozzle dip is a great idea.

Feed Speed

Feed speed is just what the name implies; it indicates how fast the welder can feed the wire through the torch. This speed is important because you don’t want to mess up your welding with too much sputter.

For best results, puck a MIG welder that offers both fast and slow feeding with variable speed control.

Safety features of MIG welding

As I mentioned earlier, MIG welding involves every kind of risk. So, you need to consider the safety features carefully to avoid any accident. A safety feature that you must look for is thermal overload protection.

MIG welder often gets overheated, and the protection can help you avoid damage by turning it off. You should also check out the cooling capacity and how the fan performs. An effective fan can easily prevent thermal overload from happening. 

Correct amperage for MIG welding

Again, there is no correct amperage for MIG welding. The question here should be more like this, what’s the correct amperage for a certain thickness and material.

In MIG welding, the general rule of thumb is that every 1 amp of power will weld 0.001 inches of steel. You can have an estimate from there.

How thick can a 90 & 150 amp MIG welder weld?

The amperage mostly decides how thick a MIG welder can weld. Among the wide range of MIG welders, 90 and 150 amp are two of the most common ones. While 90 amps can weld from 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch, the 150 amp welders can do almost double that, depending on the material.

Of course, you can also weld thicker, but that’ll require more than a single pass.

How many amps is a good MIG welder?

There is no straight answer to this question since it’s completely subjective and depends on many factors. A MIG welder can easily go from 60 to 400 amps, and which one will be good for you depends on the material and thickness.

The rule is simple the thicker and stronger the material, the more amperage you’ll need.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What’s better, Hobart or Lincoln?

A: Both Hobart and Lincoln are established players in MIG welding. If we take their 140 amp MIG welder, there are many similarities in the feature set. Which one will be better for you depends on your preference.
While Lincoln 140 is better at penetration, Lincoln 140 offers a wider amperage control. Depending on which advantage you prefer, you should choose the better option.

Q: What is better, Lincoln or Miller?

A: Both Lincoln and Miller are equally popular in the welding industry. So, picking a winner might not be an easy job. If you are into MIG welding, Miller seems like the better choice overall. On the other hand, Lincoln is a suitable option for stick welding.
From the cost point of view, Miller is a bit more expensive than Lincoln too. Lastly, Lincoln seems to have the leading in terms of build quality and ease of use. All their welders are made for user-friendliness and longevity.

Last Words

That’s a wrap for today. I hope my review on professional MiG Welders comes in handy to make a decision. See, there are a lot of factors to consider while purchasing a MIG welder, and everyone prioritizes different factors.

So, all you have to do is get your priorities straight and pick the welder most suitable for yourself.

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Maidul Islam

Maidul Shakil has an extreme love for welding. Welding metals and joining them is his hobby and he has also got a vocational training on welding. He strives to learn and teach welding processes and different gears to beginners and newbies. Cutting metal, fusing them and polishing to a shiny surface seems interesting.