Are you looking for an upgrade? If you are, then you came to the right place! MIG welding is one of the most common welding processes used in professional welding applications and even by hobbyist fabricators in their garages. However, there will come a time when your old reliable welding machine can no longer catch up and meet your welding needs.
If that is the case, then you desperately need an upgrade! There are so many welding machines out on the market, which can be very overwhelming for someone who has yet to be familiar with welder brands and machine specifications. Don’t worry; we are here to help! Let us lend you a helping hand as you shop for your next MIG welding machine.
Keep reading if you want to know more about our best pick for what could be your next 220 MIG welder!
What Is a MIG Welder?
Working with different metal materials means that you have to be well-acquainted with the various welding processes suitable for the kind of material you are working with. Among the many welding processes used by professional welders and hobbyists today, MIG welding stands out as one of the most popular and important to grasp.
Using a MIG welder, you melt a consumable material such as a wire rod to form molten pools that join two separate pieces of metal together. The molten material can also be used as filler material, depending on the welding job at hand. In comparison with other welding processes, MIG welding is fast and simple. However, other processes can be more precise than MIG.
What Things Should I Consider When Buying a MIG Welder?
While it might be tempting to do so, you cannot simply buy the first welder you see in the hardware store. Nor is it advisable to buy the cheapest one off the shelves. Before you even browse a welding company’s catalog, you should first be familiar with the basic specs of a machine. Here we provide you with the specs you must check before making a purchase.
Not every MIG welder has the same power output. Some can be more powerful than others. If you need to work with thicker metals, you need a MIG welder that is powerful enough to make welds in a single pass. Most hobbyists would do fine with a 110V MIG welder, which you can use with most household power outlets.
However, if you can see yourself working with hefty sheet metal up to half-inch thick, you would better appreciate a 220 volt MIG welder. With such a powerful welder, you can speed up your workflow by reducing the number of passes that you have to make. Unfortunately, if you wish to use this welder at home, you might have to use a voltage converter or adapter.
If your welding jobs often involve aluminum, you might want to consider buying a MIG welder that includes a spool gun. Due to how delicate aluminum is compared to other metal materials, you need a consistent wire feed speed to attain better results. Some welders prefer not to have a spool gun due to how bulky and heavy it can be.
However, if you want to improve your aluminum welding, a spool gun is indispensable. If you use a spool gun to facilitate your wire feed, you save yourself from making the common mistakes involved in aluminum welding as well as wasting precious core wire material. Aside from aluminum welding, you can use the spool gun with other welding processes as well.
A MIG welder can be a hefty investment, especially if you are just starting out your career as a metal fabricator. Unfortunately, they are delicate pieces of equipment that require regular maintenance. In addition, your welding machine can break down because of a myriad of reasons. Fixing a broken welding machine requires extensive knowledge of the machine itself.
As such, you need a reliable after-sales service to take care of your machine even after years since purchase. Some brands offer an always-available customer service hotline that you can reach 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Other companies offer a no-questions-asked moneyback guarantee that allows full refunds or replacement for unsatisfactory units.
As mentioned above, a MIG welder is not a simple purchase. They can cost you a huge amount of money, depending on the model and manufacturer. However, it is ill-advised for you to buy just about any welding machine that fits your budget. You have to think about if you are getting the most out of every penny of your hard-earned money.
When considering a MIG welder, take into account its list of specifications. Compare different welding machines based on their specifications and price tag. Do you absolutely need the additional specs that come with the MIG welder? If not, then you might be wasting your cash on features that you might never use in the first place.
If you are only taking your first steps in metal fabrication, then a single-process MIG welder can already be more than enough. Otherwise, you might find a multi-process welder more suitable for your needs, especially if you see yourself working with other welding processes such as TIG welding and stick welding.
Another advantage of a multi-process welder is reduced long-term costs. While it can cost more upfront, you can save yourself money in the future by no longer needing to buy a separate welding machine for other welding processes. As such, this specification is entirely up to your personal preference and plans for the future.
What Are the Top MIG Welder Brands?
Now that you have a checklist of what to look for when buying a MIG welder, you should also familiarise yourself with the leading brands in the market. These brands offer exceptional quality and reliable after-sales service to their customers. That’s why most of the time, you can’t go wrong with buying a welder from these companies, albeit at a steeper cost compared to rivals.
Founded in 1895, Lincoln Electric grew to become one of the most trusted names in the welding industry. In addition to welding accessories, they are better known for their Lincoln Electric Power MIG series of welding machines. If you have the budget, most seasoned welders would recommend the brand as a starting point in your metal fabrication journey.
Hailing from the United States, HobartWelders is known for their Hobart Handler and Hobart Ironman series of MIG welders. Aside from MIG welders, they also manufacture welding accessories and welding machines for different welding applications. HobartWelders remains one of the leading manufacturers of welding equipment in the country and the world.
Claiming to have introduced the first publicly available arc welder in the United States, Forney Industries continues to design and manufacture reliable and high-performance welder machines since the 1940s. The Forney Easy Weld is their primary line of MIG welder machines. They also boast an extensive network of after-sales service centers across the country.
Introducing the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro
If you are a frugal fabricator, then you must always be on the lookout for the most valuable deals online. Be it welding consumables or welding accessories, you always seek the bang for the buck deals to get the most value out of your hard-earned money. The Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro can offer you pro features for a competitive price. Learn more about it below!
Specs at a Glance
- Available on Amazon for $499.99
- Comes with both MIG synergetic and manual settings for flexibility
- Has dynamic arc controls to configure the arc to your preference
- Great for beginner fabricators due to its synergic MIG control
- Multi process welder that you can use with other welding processes
- Costs less than competitor machines in the same segment
- Comes with welding accessories such as a ground clamp
- Takes in 220V input for greater performance
- Has a 60% duty cycle across MIG, TIG, and MMA processes
- Amperage rated between 225A to 250A depending on welding mode
- Comes with additional Teflon lining for aluminum welding
- Adjustable inductance for controlling spatter
About the Brand
While the company might not be as premium as Lincoln Electric and Miller Electric, Yeswelder made a name for itself by introducing affordable yet high-quality welding machines in the market. The company’s product portfolio includes different welding machines for numerous welding applications, welding safety gear such as helmets, and welding consumables.
If you regularly work with thicker stock such as half-inch metal sheets, then you would appreciate the sheer power that the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro can produce. With an output amperage of 250A, you can work with thick metal sheets in a single pass. Metal fabricators working in car repair shops will absolutely love how powerful the MIG-250 Pro is.
However, it’s not always about the maximum power output. When working with thinner metal stock, you would want to tone the power output down a bit. You can calibrate the MIG-250 Pro to produce a lower-amp 30A power output for thin metal stocks and your delicate projects. Seasoned welders would appreciate this level of flexibility in such a capable machine.
Reliable Duty Cycle
Working on a welding job for extended periods is not unusual for professional welders and even hobbyist fabricators. As such, you need a MIG welding machine that can keep up with your workflow. In addition, turning the welding machine on and off again to let it rest while on your welding job can negatively affect your turnaround time.
The good news is that the MIG-250 Pro has outstanding duty cycle ratings. Whether you are using the welder for TIG welding, stick welding, or MIG welding, you can attain a duty cycle of 60% regardless of the welding process. For the price you are paying for this welding machine, it can definitely go head-to-head with the pricier and more premium options in the market.
Newcomers to the world of metal fabrication might appreciate a helping hand when it comes to setting up the welding machine. Setting the right configuration manually can be a bit tricky, especially for the inexperienced. As a result, many welding equipment manufacturers now include an auto mode in their welders. The MIG-250 Pro is no exception.
The synergic mode allows for an automated configuration of the welding machine. This mode takes your mind off the often tricky and time-consuming task of turning knobs and pressing buttons. While you still need to key in some numbers for the most optimal operation, the synergic setting mode does shed a few minutes off your total working time.
Considering how rampant dual voltage welding machines are these days, the MIG-250 Pro seems to be a bit behind as it only works on 220V. Adding a dual voltage regulator into the machine can help welders achieve more flexibility. In addition, the MIG-250 Pro is incompatible with a spool gun and only works as a DC TIG welder, making it unfit for aluminum welding.
If you are used to making measurements using the imperial system (e.g., inches and feet), you may face some trouble using the MIG-250 Pro. The machine uses the metric system (e.g., centimeters) for its settings which can be a mild inconvenience for some. Another thing that could affect your workflow is the power button located at the rear of the machine.
Yeswelder provides after-sales service through its official email address, which you can find on the official website. While the warranty does not cover user-inflicted damage to the machine, the after-sales team can provide technical assistance for repair and service. In addition, they accept returns of defective units that fall within 7 days of purchase.
With its fair share of drawbacks, the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro is certainly not for everyone. If you feel like browsing for more alternatives on the market, here are some options that exhibit a similar set of features as that of the MIG-250 Pro. However, they may not be as inexpensive as the Yeswelder machine.
Hobart Handler 210MVP
Flexibility is important to many professional welders and metal fabricators. Being able to use their MIG welding machine with any power outlet, be it at home or work, makes it easier to jump back on a welding job and resume working. The Hobart Handler 210MVP can work with 115V and 230V power input while being able to regulate its temps using its overload protection features.
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210MP
Similar to the Hobart Handler 210MVP, the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210MP also has a multi-voltage regulator that lets you use the machine with different power outlets. What many welders, most especially new ones, like about the machine are its digital controls and large color display. This makes setting up the Lincoln 220 MIG welder a lot easier and faster.
Forney Easy Weld 140 MP
Like the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro, the Forney Easy Weld 140 MP is a capable multi-process welder. You can use it in TIG welding, stick welding, and MIG welding. True to its name, this MIG welder is easy to use with its three-position switch, allowing you to change the welding process quickly. In addition, the rugged metal case makes it durable for demanding everyday use.
Both seasoned welders and fabrication hobbyists will appreciate the unbeatable value that the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro offers. Despite its relatively affordable price, its performance and set of features remain competitive to those offered by the more premium brands like the Miller 220 MIG welder. Yet again, Yeswelder proves to be the king of value in the market.
However, the MIG welder 220V also comes with some drawbacks, which can be a dealbreaker for some welders. For instance, the machine only works with 220V power outlets, reducing its flexibility. Some welders can also find the metric system used by the machine a constant source of frustration and inconvenience.
As you work on your welding jobs, you might experience eye strain and blurry vision. Pair your Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro with an effective auto-dimming helmet! Learn more about auto-dimming welding helmets by reading our helpful guide.