Is Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core the Best 110 MIG Welder?
Last updated ago
7 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
February 7, 2022

Is Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core the Best 110 MIG Welder?

Last updated ago
7 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
February 7, 2022

Welding is an indispensable part of our economy and our everyday life. It plays a crucial role in manufacturing and construction, and the creation of many things won’t be possible without it. That’s why it’s one of the most important trades in the world.

Welders’ role in our society is just as vital. They build things that we use every day, from bridges and skyscrapers to cars and appliances. Because they’re in charge of constructing things that make our lives easier, it’s crucial that they have the proper equipment to do their job.

The welding machine is one of the most useful pieces of equipment for welders. That’s because they create the weld that joins two pieces of metal together. Without a quality welding machine, your projects will not be as sturdy or reliable as they could be. Thus, choosing the right welding machine for your needs and budget is very important.

For instance, if you’re interested in metal inert gas (MIG) welding and want to try it out for the first time, it’s best to get a 110-volt MIG welder. It’s a beginner-friendly welder perfect for experimenting on light-gauge projects, so you can practice without getting overwhelmed with a complex machine’s features. 

But which MIG welding machine should you get? Keep reading for our recommendation!

What Is MIG Welding?

The MIG arc welding process requires a welding gun to feed a continuous solid wire electrode into the welding pool. Then, it joins metals together while using a shielding gas to prevent the contamination of the weld pool.

Through MIG welding, you can do various fabrication projects, including repairing welds on materials with thickness up to half an inch. It’s a convenient and easy process as long as you carefully follow its basic instructions.

This type of welding is perfect for you, especially if you’re just starting out or in need of a repair welder. You can start with a light-gauge 110 MIG welder and try out simple welds. And once you get the hang of it, you can choose a machine with higher voltage to make more complicated welds.

Why Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core Is the Best Investment for You

Lincoln Electric has been developing electric motors for industrial applications since 1895. They invented their first variable voltage arc welder in 1911, and that led the company to flourish in the welding industry. With its steady pace and innovative creations, it is now a globally renowned team of welding experts specializing in arc welding and cutting.

Let’s check out Lincoln Electric’s K2278-1 Handy Core and see why it’s worth investing in!

Product Specifications

Weight20.9 lb
Dimensions (H × W × D)12.8 × 8.8 × 18 in
ProcessMIG (flux-cored)
Input Phase1
Input Voltage110/115/120 V
Input Current20 A
Input Hertz60 Hz
Amperage Range35–88 A
Duty Cycle20% at 70 A, 17 V
Weld Thickness Range1/8-inch mild steel
Weldable MaterialsSteel, stainless steel, aluminum
Wire Feed Speed0–300 ipm


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Portable
  • Easy to use with a minimal skill requirement
  • Simple setup requirement
  • Powered by conventional home electricity
  • Reliable for light-gauge projects
  • Internal fan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Good value for money


  • Not intended for industrial use
  • Welds low-carbon steel up to 1.8 inches only
  • Low duty cycle

The Product in Focus

Let’s take a closer look at the Lincoln 110 MIG welder to have an in-depth understanding of its features!

Compact, Lightweight, and Durable

The Handy Core MIG welder has a consistent build quality despite its compact size. It’s mainly constructed with aluminum, metal, and plastic. Thus, it is lightweight and portable. You won’t encounter any difficulties carrying around a heavy welding machine while doing on-site projects.

Easy to Use

One of the best qualities of Lincoln Electric’s K2278-1 Handy Core is that it’s easy to use, from setting up to the actual welding process. That’s why it’s a go-to welding machine for beginners and light-gauge welders.

It has on and off switches for the power settings. It also has two voltage output switches for the low- and high-voltage settings. Additionally, it has a rotary switch with clear labels to indicate the amperage settings from 1 to 10 and control the wire feed speed from 0 to 300 inches per minute.

Finally, it has clear instructions written on its exterior, so it promotes welding safety and leaves no room for confusion when you operate it. 

Quality Performance and Energy Efficiency

This 110 gas MIG welder has a 20% duty cycle at 70 amps, so it best suits light-duty welding. For instance, you can use it to do repair jobs with mild steel or other home garage and workshop projects. It can also handle light-gauge welding on car exhausts, farm repair, art projects, and other tasks with low voltage requirements.

On the other hand, a low-voltage MIG welder is not suitable for industrial use. It’s not capable of heavy-duty welding for structural jobs. Nonetheless, the Handy Core is an energy-efficient welder that doesn’t use as much electricity as heavy-duty welders. Thus, it has good value for money with its reliable performance for light-gauge projects.

Complete Kit Inclusions

Handy Core includes all the MIG welding tools you’ll need to start welding. This 110-volt MIG welder comes with a welding gun, cable assembly, work cable, a work clamp, and a chipping hammer and brush. It also has a one-pound, .035-inch Innershield NR-211-MP flux-cored wire spool, two .035-inch contact tips, a 10-filter plate welding hand shield, and a clear glass cover plate.

Thus, you don’t need to spend more time and money on buying these accessories separately. Lincoln Electric’s Handy Core has everything you need out of the box.

Our Verdict

Lincoln Electric’s 110 gas MIG welder offers an all-in-one welding kit that comes with everything you need to start welding. All you must do is plug it and set it up; then, you can begin working on your projects. It’s also very convenient because it plugs into any standard 110- to 120-V, 20-A outlet, so there’s no need to spend extra cash on adapters or outlet upgrades.

It has simple setting requirements with convenient switches, so it’s perfect for beginners. Additionally, it offers output levels that range from 35 to 88 A so that you can adjust them according to your needs. And even though it’s not suitable for industrial welds, it’s perfect for light-gauge tasks like repairs and recreational projects with a maximum steel thickness of 1.8 inches.

Just as importantly, the K2278-1 Handy Core is portable and long-wearing; it is lightweight and compact despite its durable build. Thus, you won’t have any trouble transporting it anywhere. In addition, its components and wires stay cool when you’re not using the welding gun because of the internal fan and cold contactor safety features.

Overall, Lincoln Electric’s K2278-1 Handy Core is a great investment for beginners and hobbyists alike. It is convenient and easy to use and has a good value for money. You can’t go wrong with this 110-volt welder.

red mig welding machine and accessories

MIG Equipment Preparation

Get more welding knowledge by reading these helpful tips on how to prepare your MIG equipment!

  • Before doing anything, you should check your welder’s cables first. Checking your equipment is a crucial step before striking the welding arc. Ensure the tight fit and damage-free condition of your cables.
  • Next, you must set the machine’s electrode polarity. Make sure to select either DC electrode-positive or reverse polarity, the required polarities for MIG welding.
  • Carefully set the welder’s gas flow. To do this, you should first turn on the shielding gas. Afterward, set the gas flow rate at around 20 to 25 cubic feet per hour.
    • If you are suspicious of any gas leaks, remember to apply a soap-and-water solution to the hose to see if bubbles will form. If they do, you should replace the gas hose with a new one.
  • Afterward, you need to check the drive roll and wire spool hub tension. The reason is that too much or too little tension can result in poor wire feeding performance. Thus, adjusting the machine’s tension according to the welder’s manual is a crucial step before you start welding.
  • Lastly, carefully inspect the consumables. You should replace worn-out contact tips, remove excess spatter from contact tubes, and discard and replace rusty wires.

100-Volt MIG Welder Buying Guide

Even though we’ve already recommended the best 100-volt MIG welder, you should still know what to look for when purchasing one. That way, whether you’re eyeing a Lincoln 110 MIG welder, a Miller 110 MIG welder, or other 110-V MIG welder brands, you’ll know what suits your welding needs best. 

Here is a simple guide to purchasing a 110-V MIG welder!

Power Range and Duty Cycle

Welder classification depends on the amperage it produces at a given duty cycle. Duty cycle refers to the percentage of ten-minute periods a machine can operate at a given amperage without overheating.

A MIG welding machine’s amperage ratings determine its suitability for different material thicknesses. Thus, it’s important to check the machine’s minimum amperage when choosing a 110-volt MIG welder. You should choose a welder with at least 30 amps since your main welding materials are thin, specifically up to 1.8 inches of mild steel.

On the other hand, you should choose a high-duty welder with a high amperage if you plan to weld a thicker material for long periods.

Wire Feed Process

MIG welding requires a shielding gas that keeps oxygen away from the weld. You can choose between the gas-shielded process and the flux-cored wire process. 

The gas-shielded process displaces oxygen through a bottle-contained inert or semi-inert gas mix. Meanwhile, the flux-cored wire process has a wire compound that produces a protective covering against oxygen.

If you’re working on dirty materials or outdoors in windy conditions, the flux-cored wire process is the simplest, most suitable, and most efficient process for you.

Features and Ease of Operation

The number of features offered by a MIG welder is useless if the machine is confusing and difficult to operate. Thus, you should pick a welding machine that not only has all the necessary features for MIG welding but also promotes ease of use for each feature.

Through this, you won’t spend too much time figuring out how to operate your welder. You will also avoid making mistakes during the welding process. Thus, you can save time and effort while making excellent welds of different kinds.

Final Thoughts

At the start of your MIG welding journey, you must have asked yourself, “What is the best 110-volt MIG welder?” We hope that this article has answered your question and more! That way, you won’t need to think so much when purchasing your first MIG welder.

Don’t hesitate to begin your welding experience with Lincoln Electric’s K2278-1 Handy Core! You can also check out our website for more welding machine recommendations!

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