Whether you are a newbie at MIG welding or an experienced welding professional, choosing your MIG welder must be done with utmost consideration. There are several types of MIG welders available on the market today that fall under different price ranges. However, we all want to buy something that will provide more value for our money. So, what is the best MIG welder that you can purchase for under 500 dollars and what features should be assessed when choosing the right model?
Choosing the right MIG welder is not always easy. You will need to consider a lot of things, including good power for greater versatility, portability, and resistance to intensive use. Accessories can also add to your deciding factor.
Our team recommends that you analyze the features of each model offered and match them with your requirements. We have compared the best budget MIG welders and prepared some tips so that you can find the right welding machine that would fit your needs.
Best Budget MIG Welders Under $500
If you want to carry out your welding work smoothly, you will need a powerful MIG welder. If you aren't sure how to pick the best MIG welder for the money, then this is the right page for you!
In this article, we have compiled the top ten best affordable MIG welders under 500 dollars.
- YesWelder 3 in 1 - Dusk Voltage Best MIG TIG Arc Welder
In the number one spot among the best MIG welders under 500 dollars, the YestWelder welding machine is undoubtedly the right choice for you. It is conveniently portable and compact. With the growing number of cheap welders on the market, Yestwelder has the most advanced features.
Most buyers and reviewers would agree that it is a very attractive and well-built MIG welder. It has an advanced synergic circuitry with a very sturdy metal case. It also has a one-button selection design that allows you to pick the right welding method to meet different welding requirements. The tension can also be adjusted easily on its digital screen.
This small-sized welding machine is perfect for hobbyists. Its size is what makes it a real deal for your home shop.
Pro Note: This item comes with 2 connectors, one for 120V electricity and an adapter for 220V. This welder doesn't have wire speed adjustment and can’t support a spool gun, making it impossible to weld aluminum.
- Sungold Power - MIG MAG Arc MMA Stick DC Welder
This continuous wire welding machine belongs to a range of welders available at low prices and is highly appreciated for its affordability. The output power can be easily adjusted from 50 to 500 amperes, suitable for mild welding steel, aluminum, stainless steel, iron, carbon steel, and other metals.
It is very well-built and comes with almost everything you need to weld. This welder can beat some 1-2 thousand dollar pro machine on the market today. Although it was not designed for a 2 lb spool, you can always make one for yourself.
The Sungold power MIG MAG Arc MMA Stick DC welder comes in 19.6 x 9.4 x 14.9 inches. It features an effective cooling fan. It also combines a protection system against overheating. It also features an anti-adherence function for added surface protection. These are features that can be found for a little more money in similar machines.
Pro Note: This unit does not feature a gas regulator and an LCD screen to show amperage and voltage.
- Forney Easy Weld 261-140 FC-i Best MIG Welding Machine
The Forney brand is one of the most sought-after welders. Among the brands and models sold online, it is among the most requested for the money.
It has a 140-Ampere output that will let you weld mild steel up to ¼ in plate. It is also very lightweight and weighs only 19 lb with a stable temperature and energy-saving feature. The minimum power output is 32 Amperes at approximately 14V with an output of roughly 450W.
This MIG welder is also very easy to set up -- which can be done in just under 5 minutes. It is designed for small welding jobs like home maintenance and light crafts. This is the best wire welder you can get that belongs to the cheapest price range.
Pro Note: The Forney Easy Weld 261 is only capable of flux core, while the 271 is more versatile and can handle MIG/Stick/TIG welds.
- Hobart 500559 - Handler 140 Best MIG Welding Machine
The Hobart 500559 is definitely a high-quality professional MIG welding machine belonging to the affordable welders. It can perform MMA and Brazing welding with gas, and it is also designed for welding without gas, Flux, TIG and MIG-MAG.
This welding machine comes with a 10 ft MIG gun and 10 ft clamp. Its shell's outside is made of thick and robust steel with a metal wire feed assembly, compared to other welders in the same price range. This machine is also very portable because of its carrying handle.
It comes with a complete cable, MIG-MAG torch, and earth clamp. Its compact size and low weight make it suitable for outdoor jobs.
Pro Note: The Hobart welder comes with a spool of wire. However, it is a bit disappointing compared to other brands and models.
- Weldpro Inverter - Dual Voltage MIG/Stick Arc Welder
This MIG welder is a total steal that you can get for under 300 dollars. It is a very high-quality MIG welding machine running on dual volts, making it a real workhorse with an utterly portable footprint.
This Weldpro MIG155Gsv welding machine has built-in advanced compact Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) inverter design with automatic over-current and overheat welding protection. You can weld non-stop for 3 minutes straight every 10 minutes for its 30% duty cycle at 100% power. This machine allows you to work on cast iron, stainless steel, and steel.
You can easily change the polarity with the short dongle you can find in front of the machine without having to unbolt anything. You only need to plug that dongle into either plus or minus ports easily.
Pro Note: The MIG gun is not removable on this one. You can only remove it when you remove the cover from the machine.
- Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core MIG Welding Machine
If you are thinking of owning a welding machine for your home projects then this is the welder for you. Made by the reputable Lincoln brand, this MIG welder is a bit much more inexpensive than its counterparts.
You can surely get the value for money with this product because of the good performance and good build quality of this welding machine. You can use it with wire and with the electrode, with or without gas -- making it very versatile to use.
Professional welders gave it a good review and highly recommend it for light jobs. It’s not intended for professional use but can be really useful for quick fixes at home.
Pro Note: This unit is perfect for beginners or artists using thin gauge materials.
- Lotos MIG 175 - Best Budget-Friendly MIG Welding Machine
Lotos MIG175 possesses some specific features that distinguish it from the others. This welder has the most portable and compact model in the list. It reaches a maximum of 175 amperes.
It works with wire, with a thickness of 0.9 mm inch, including aluminum and stainless steel. It’s lightweight and comes with an easy instruction manual that makes it very user friendly.
This welding machine works perfectly for home use. The compactness and portability of this machine makes it perfect for newbies who want to start welding in a simple and immediate way without having to carry out complex tool-setting operations.
The Lotos MIG175 welder can only be used on 220/240V. It will take up to an 8-inch diameter pool with 2.2 inch depth. This is the perfect choice if you want a reliable tool that allows you to learn to weld in MIG / MAG mode. It does not stick to the supports and presents good value for money.
Pro Note:The instructions are not clear and the welding mask included in the package is not so good.
- Sungold Power MIG 150A - Flux Core MIG Automatic Welder
This welding machine is compact, lightweight, and refined. Made of stainless steel, it has a ten-level adjustable welding speed. The Sungoldpower MIG 150A has the power to weld 0.5 mm thickness. It is perfect for DIYs and for quick repair jobs such as welding thin steel and iron.
This best budget MIG welder has simplified the welding process. It has advanced control which improves the operation of the welder. Its weight and portability makes it a good deal. This welding machine also comes with clear instructions and it doesn’t take long to get up and running.
Pro Note: At 150 Amp, it has more voltage, providing a bit more capability when welding thicker metals. However, the result isn’t as good as a TIG welder, and it can’t weld aluminum.
- Everlast MIG149 Powerful MIG Welder - FLux 140Amp
This welding machine is the best cheap MIG welder on our list. It comes equipped with a standard 120V NEMA 15-5P plug, which works on all kinds of traditional outlets.
It has the best handle among all the continuous wire welding machines on our list. It has continuous wire welding, coupled with various accessories, is perfect for beginners and those who want to practice immediately. You won't be disappointed with the 180 Ampere welding machine.
The Everlast MIG Welder has a high-quality continuous wire holder mechanism for flawless welds, even on different metal types.
Pro Note: Its portability, combined with the low price and ease of use, make this Everlast MIG 140 welder the right choice for 2022.
- Vivohome Portable Flux Core Wire - No Gas MIG Welder
This wire welding machine is very compact and is transport-resistant. The Vivohome portable welder is equipped with an accessory kit, including an eye protection mask, wire, and a brush. This machine would be a perfect choice for home repairs and hobby projects on light gauge steel.
This MIG Welder has a large power capacity that makes it resistant to voltage surges. The usable wires’ diameter is within the range of 0.8-0.9 mm. It doesn’t require gas and only needs a flux core wire.
Its two air vents help with heat dissipation and also help reduce operating temperature. It also has four levels of adjustable welding speed. The Vivohome portable flux core wire is designed for simple use and is suitable for any type of operator.
Pro Note: This is great for a beginner -- if you can get through the instructions and know a little bit about welding. This welder works very well on a 20-Amp circuit, without tripping the circuit and without overheating.
How to Choose the Best Budget MIG Welder
The MIG welder is a must-have for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. In addition to being effective, this equipment is pretty easy to use. Among other things, it is the best gadget that will help you perfect your metallic creations.
This buyer's guide we prepared is intended to help you get the best budget MIG welder for the money on the market. However, before finalizing a purchase, it would be best to learn about the several things you need to consider to get the best budget MIG welders under $500.
Amperage and Time
You can find different types of MIG welders, depending on the amount of amperage needed for a certain period of time. For thin metals that need less heating, a light-duty welder would be a perfect choice. On the other hand, thicker metals require non-stop heating for a long time, which is only possible with a heavy-duty gun.
The ideal gas combination should contain 24C or 75% of Argon and 25% CO2 mixture. If deeper penetration is required, 100% CO2 is the more suitable choice. Also, you can choose MIG welders that work well with flux core welding wire for feeding purposes and hooks up to a gas cylinder for welding. The cylinder is needed to shield gas, which helps in producing an outstanding weld without slag coating.
Before buying your first welding equipment, it is crucial that you check your electric outlet first. A standard home should have a 110V MIG welder, which is just right for light metal welding as it can be easily plugged into a traditional home's electric outlet. For professional and heavy welding, a 220V welder should be used. The wrong voltage may comprise the feeding process of the welding torch.
This machine is a great additional feature if you are welding aluminum. You cannot find this feature in all MIG welder models.
The selection of wire is an aspect that you shouldn't overlook when buying a welder. You need to attain tensile strength during MIG welding, and this can only be done by using the right type of welding wire. ER70S-3 is an ideal wired, clean and oil-free base metal surface. In comparison, ER70S-6 is better suited for metal with surface contaminants. The size and composition of the wire are also crucial. Oversized wires may tip blockages, making the feeding challenging. On the other hand, an undersized wire can easily erode the tip. Thus, it would help if you are extra careful when choosing the wire for a constant current flow.
Another important thing to consider is the cooling system of the MIG welder. The heat surrounding the metal needs to be dissipated either through air or water.
Always choose the equipment that has the best safety features. Whether you are in your home, workshops, or on construction sites, the risks are still present in any welding work. It would be best if you take precautions to avoid breakdowns and welding faults.
While deciding which best affordable MIG welder to buy, you should consider choosing the welder that offers the complete package. Everything should be considered, from the price to arc quality. The one you choose should meet your requirements and the purpose of the equipment's use.
Now that you already have an idea about this type of machine. It's now time to buy the right MIG welder that would best suit your needs and purpose. The effectiveness of your MIG welding depends on the right selection of the welder. The MIG-welder that possesses all the features mentioned above will make welding more manageable and, most importantly, result in a better metal welding quality. You can use our comparison of the top best budget MIG welders to make an informed choice.