The Best MIG Welder Under 500 USD That's Perfect for Every Beginner
Last updated ago
13 min read
By 
Welding Buddy Experts
Published 
April 26, 2021

The Best MIG Welder Under 500 USD That's Perfect for Every Beginner

Last updated ago
13 min read
By 
Welding Buddy Experts
Published 
April 26, 2021

MIG Welding is a popular hobby among novice builders and crafters, but the tools don't always come cheap as in many passion projects. You're probably thinking, what's the best MIG welder under 500 USD that I can get as a beginner? Hang tight because we've got it covered.

7 Factors To Consider Before Getting a MIG Welder

Your hunt for a MIG welder becomes difficult when companies are all stating they have the best machine. Narrow your options down by taking the following factors into account.

The amperage and time of a MIG welder

If you're only planning to weld thin metals, which requires less time, then a light-duty welder is good enough. It's a different case for thicker metals since these metals require non-stop heat for a long time. Thicker metals need the amperage that only heavy-duty guns can provide.

You should also know that light-duty guns need more frequent replacements compared to heavy-duty guns. The price difference between them is also highly transparent, each with its own set of standards and maintenance requirements.

Selecting the right MIG welding gas

An all-purpose blend is filled with the ideal combination of 75% argon and 25% CO2. If you need something more powerful to penetrate thick metals, you might want to ensure you have 100% CO2.

Some MIG welders are working with the flux-core welding wire, which highlights its extraordinary feeding purposes. Somehow, it would be best if you hooked your MIG welder up to a gas cylinder. It is required since the shielding gas produces an excellent weld quality without the slag coating. Consider opting for a MIG welder that comes with its gas source.

Knowing the MIG welders' voltage

Besides having the correct voltage, you must also have the electric outlet that suits your MIG welder. A 110V MIG welder only works best with light metal welding since you can easily plug it into typical electric outlets, while a 220V MIG welder works great for heavy-duty welding. Ensure that you have all electrical components in check to avoid any electric fluctuation, which will greatly affect the wire feeding process.

The MIG spool gun also plays a role

Opt to have a MIG welder with its MIG spool gun since it often becomes a preferred option, especially if you're planning to weld aluminum. A MIG spool gun isn't available in all types of MIG welders. You can also opt to have a spool gun connected to your MIG welder. 

Choosing the right MIG wires

Selecting the right MIG wire is essential in sourcing welding equipment. Tensile strength needs to be created with the help of the right wire type. The ideal wire to weld base metal is the ER70S-3—a wire like the ER70S-6 suits metals that are surface contaminants. A deoxidizer also helps make the transition from weld to metal easier. 

Wire diameter, along with its composition, is also something you must consider. Big wires might also lead to feeding difficulties and possible tip blockages, but using undersized wires could also damage the tip. A consistent wire diameter helps produce a constant wire flow, which is significant to a successful weld. Changing rusty wires is also a must since it is one of the leading causes of wire feeding interruptions.

Built-in cooling mechanism

Look for a MIG welder with a cooling mechanism. The heat over the metals will require dissipation through air or water. Light-duty welding needs sufficient air cooling where ambient air and gas, which cool down the metal. If you're up for a long welding session, then MIG welders with water-cooled guns are highly recommended. However, you should also know that these types of welders are costly and difficult to operate and maintain in contrast to air-cooled guns.

Weigh a MIG welder's costs against features

Choose a MIG welder that comes with the complete package. The most reasonable to the most expensive price ranges depend on the various features that come with the MIG welder. You must select what helps you fulfill the tool's purpose and needs.

Each MIG welder comes with its own set of features. You can also look the features up to reach a decision. Now that you know these factors check out the list below to find the best MIG welder for under 500 USD that meets your requirements.

The Best MIG Welders Under 500 USD

Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder

Lotos has been throwing out some fantastic welders at a low price, like the 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder. It isn't a heavy-duty welder, so it might not work at an industrial level, but it's great for the personal use of both new and seasoned welders alike.

Like most Lotos machines, if you know the fundamentals of welding, it is an easy welder to install and use. It provides all the medium gauge plate MIG welding you need at a low price.

This unit has a wide variety of amperage and wire-feed settings, allowing enough modifications to perfect the arc while limiting spatter. The leads are a little soft, but for regular medium-duty welding up to 3/16-inch steel, the torch is good to use and goes the distance.

Wire feeder

You must use the 0.030-inch cables or the 0.035-inch flux-cored wires for gorgeous beads on the welding layer when welding solid steel. Plus, you can weld up to 3/16 inches of 24 gauge mild steel, which is fantastic for a welder of its caliber and up to 1/8 inch of aluminum.

2T/4T switch

Since the shift works just fine, you don't even have to use the MIG gun button. It is ideal for those who weld for lengthy hours and avoid exhausting their finger on the trigger. The control on the MIG gun will be switched on during welding by this 2T/4T switch.

Power requirements

The welder's input voltage is 115V, accessible in most homes, making it suitable for small to medium projects. Thermal overload safety, which keeps the welder from excessive heat when it reaches its duty cycle, is another excellent feature. If it does overheat, the torch will immediately switch off.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Medium standard 
  • Amperage medium  
  • Several setting alterations 
  • Warranty short to medium 
  • Low 115V input voltage 
  • Switch from 2T/4T 
  • Two optical screens 
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Not much information on the user manual
  • Shortened leads 
  • Small wire spool

The Lotos 140 Amp MIG welder has comfortable settings that allow the customer to produce more accurate welding at any attempt. A newly developed ground cable provides easy adjustments between the positive and the negative for a fast connector—a perfect product for DIY ventures.

Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder

This 3-in-1 welder is perfect for just about any non-industrial application: maintenance and repair, metal art, DIY crafts, and metal fabrication. It is not just a MIG welder. It can also click and weld TIG, but the TIG devices are independently obtained.

The leads are smaller than we would like, but they do the task just as well as any longer set. As Forney is almost 'textbook,' the tool is simple to follow and requires less effort to set up.

Forney Easy Weld 271 deals with outstanding parts for its price. This unit is considerably better than other welders below 500 USD, making it the superior unit.

Flex core wire

It is a gasless welder that deals with a flexible core wire of 0.030′′. One thing to remember is the rapid and steady wire feed, and it generates nice beads on your weld. The maximum welding capability is 1⁄4" in mild steel of 24 gauge, making it great for minor welding projects such as car maintenance requiring precise welding. There are ten wire levels in total that are selected through a control knob. The short workpiece grounded wires and the wire feeder are setbacks; we think it could be created longer to increase the flow.

Power

With an input voltage of 120V, the welder works well in your home on any electrical outlet, ideal for small home DIY activities. This MIG welder helps you complete any project with the amount of power it can provide.

Portability

The welder is designed with an ergonomic handle, allowing for maximum portability. Plus, it only weighs 19 pounds!

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Gasless flux core 
  • 10-wire speed model 
  • 2-pound wire core flux 
  • 140 AMP output
  • Portability

Cons  

  • Short feeder wire

The Forney Weld 261 is the best MIG welder that can be purchased for under 300 USD. It is composed of unlimited voltage and flexible regulation of wire feed speed. This beginner-friendly machine enables you to efficiently weld mild steel and makes for easy carrying. 

SUNGOLDPOWER 200AMP MIG Welder

The SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder piqued our interest. It has an incredibly inexpensive market value and can weld up to 200 amps of any substance, such as aluminum. The unit does not have an aluminum spool gun included in the package, but it can suit one, and it is designed for its roller system.

The high amperage range and quality machine components allow it to weld through a 1/4-inch-thick plate to achieve a broad range of diversity. This welder has several modifications on both the wire feed and amperage knob, much like the Lotos 140-amp MIG, so you can set up simple and minimized spatter welds.

The leads are small, like many other cheap welders, but they are of good value. Rest assured that they will last for a long time. All in all, for its price, this welder provides greater amperage than any selection under 500 USD.

DV reverse rods

This welder will very well cook the reverse rods of the E6010, E7018, and E6013 DV and allow you to weld with comfort from any angle. If it pierces through the welding surface, it creates less splatter, ideal for small-medium welding assignments.

Flux-core wire

This welder fits with a 9 mm flux core wire that can weld nice beads as it pierces through 1/4" of mild steel at 110Volts. For MIG welding, you have three-wire choices of 0.030, 0.035, and 0.040 inches, and you can change the wire feed intensity to meet your welding needs. The only issue is that it fits the welder. You have to adjust it and also split its center to limit spooling.

Voltage control

It comes with a voltage defense that prevents it from overloading during the welding process, encouraging you to concentrate more on the construction rather than the machine itself. Also, it comes with a 110/220V IGBT control module that makes it easy for you to undertake various welding projects.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Easy operation
  • Interchangeable voltage
  • Compact and lightweight 
  • A module of advanced IGBT control 
  • Splatter reduced 

Cons 

  • No screen LCDs

This Sungoldpower welder offers build quality with high efficiency. With this unit, reliability is essential. It comes with convenient settings that help change the configuration in the middle of a project.

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

It might not be Lincoln's best unit, but its intended use is for welding very light metal parts with toughness in mind. The additional gear it comes with, such as a welding mask and chipper, is of limited benefit. What's good about this device is its efficiency in satisfying small-scale needs. Note that at 1/8 inch thickness, the range maxes out, and there is slight amperage modification.

The device itself is bulkier with more power than most welders, but the leads are eight inches long, beating most low-priced devices. Overall, it is not our favorite welder because of its limited welding ability, but it is a top-quality machine for what it's built for.

It's multifunctional

This device is multifunctional because it can be used for flex-core and MIG welding. This characteristic makes it ideal for house repairs and welding up to 1/8" of mild steel with 24 gauge. Besides, as it has fewer wire speed controls and voltage configurations, it is easy to use. The exclusion of a gas gauge to determine the amount of gas flowing and what remains in the gas tank is one setback.

Power

The shortest input voltage is 115 Volts, which is suitable with most residential sockets, and when welding materials of various thicknesses, you have about four voltage configurations to choose from. There is an included index inside the welder to make life easier for you, indicating what configurations to use for any metal thickness.

Portability

You can take this welder everywhere with comfort. Just around 46 pounds, it is light and compact in size. Also, when moving it, there is a sturdy handle on top of it for ease. Even with MIG welders being more lightweight than before, portability is an important feature that every welder needs.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Portable and durable 
  • Versatile voltage settings
  • 115 Volts input voltage 
  • Can weld mild steel of ⅛ inches
  • 0-300 IPM range of wire speeds 

Cons 

  • No gas indicator gauge

The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder is the best gas MIG welder under 500 USD intended for light metal works. It's best to avoid heavy-duty metal works when choosing this machine. Practical and robust, it can work with little need for adaptation.

Hobart Handler 210 MIG Welder

The Hobart Handler 210 MIG Welder is the overall best MIG welder available on the web. It has a great combination of high parts, price, and amperage capacity. It is not the lowest-priced system on our list, but it works the best and has a reputation for reliability.

The machine has a decent range of amperage configurations and an even wider variety of different wire speeds. It doesn't take much expertise for the unit to start up. It is built for any setting, even industrial welding shops, but beginners who know the fundamentals can quickly get it up and running.

Duty Cycle

The welder can operate at 20% at 90 amperes on a 115V supply. This duty cycle also means that it can run at 30% at 150 amperes on its 230V supply. The power that this MIG welder holds is more than enough to complete most projects.

Weight

With a hefty weight of around 40 kilograms, this machine is not at all portable.

Dual Input Power

This notable feature helps you shift from 115V or 230V input power with ease and ensures that all your projects will be completed even when you're constantly changing up your welding process.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Efficient amperage range 
  • Easy to operate 
  • Broad speed range 
  • Precise chart for welding 
  • Cost-efficient

Cons 

  • Heavier compared to other machines
  • No spool gun included

This model would suit beginners who would like to make welding a long-term endeavor or owners of manufacturing shops who want an inexpensive yet reliable machine. It's a preference for several keen welders worldwide and will most definitely give you everything you need.

Hobart 500572 Handler 100 MIG Welder

The Hobart 500572 Handler 100 is among the best MIG welders on the market. It's a MIG welder that gives you the power to weld up to 3/16 inches of steel using flux-cored wire, making it an excellent choice as your MIG welder. This welding equipment also allows you to utilize both small and large spools of wire. With that in mind, the Hobart 500572 Handler 100 MIG Welder only fits your welding needs. Aside from being easy-to-use, the welding equipment also has excellent safety features.

Your search for the MIG welder at the best value ends here with the Hobart 500572 Handler 100 MIG Welder. It's built to exceed all your expectations and even guaranteed to operate using 115V household current while welding steel from 20GA up to 3/16 inches in one pass using flux-cored wire.

This product includes a thermal defense that prevents it from overloading. Another thing is that until you plug it out for safety purposes, it holds the wire secure.

Construction

It is constructed from industrial aluminum and has heavy-duty clamps for extra toughness, plus it weighs around 65 pounds, making it easy to bring around. The heavy-duty make also helps you avoid constant maintenance and possible replacements in the future.

Voltage

This welder's input voltage is 115 Volts, allowing it to function with most normal electrical outlets in your house. It is suitable for small to medium DIY tasks. When welding metals of different thicknesses, the five voltage control points make it balanced and consistent; you can weld mild steel through 1⁄4 inch of 24 gauge at this voltage.

Flux core wire

The unit includes a 0.8-0.9 mm flux core wire roll with a 40-700 IPM adjustable speed range, and this speed provides this welder with much flexibility to ensure steady arc power. The wire runs effortlessly with limited splatter, producing good welds.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Low voltage of inputs 
  • Portability  
  • Easy setup 
  • 40-700 IPM wire-speed range 
  • Five controls for voltage 

Cons 

  • High temperatures when welding

For novice crafters and household use, this model is a fine welder.  You can never go wrong with a trustworthy brand such as Hobart.

Miller Electric Millermatic 211

Another top-notch MIG welder accessible online is the competent Millermatic 211. It can run from 110 or 240 input. It includes a 40 percent duty cycle at 150 amps when linked to the 240 hands. It delivers a 20 percent duty cycle at 115 amps on household 110. 

The 115 amps will allow you to weld material about 1/8-inch thick, so the Millermatic 211 will let you get a lot done for the home DIY amateurs with no 220-volt receptacle, but it comes at a higher cost.

Inverter Technology

This technology blends best in arc features with the 38-pound machine's portability. It is highly tolerant of arc length and travel speed differences, cutting energy costs down to the minimum.

New Drive System

With a controlled tension toggle, the angled cast-aluminum drive system generates consistent feeding and a simple setup for up to 15-foot MIG arms. You can also easily set a good flow for wire feeding with this MIG welder's new drive system.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros 

  • High performing 
  • Substantial setting selection 
  • Outstanding MIG gun stock 
  • Great warranty service 

Cons 

  • Pricey
  • Not the best ground clamp

This model has a remarkably smooth start technology that guarantees no spatter or disfigured bead pattern when the wire first forms the arc. 

HITBOX Inverter MIG-Welder

Ideal for beginners, this synergistic type unit comes in handy as you don't need to know about the correct wire speed to amperage rate based on wire and plate width. It only has the choice for two metric wire sizes, although there is no change if possible to add significantly more or less wire speed, as most synergy systems have.

Until optimizing the duty-cycle, the welder will work for much longer than nearly any machine this size. This is helpful, but it will most certainly not have the life expectancy like other devices for a lower-quality system.

Digital MIG

This is a MIG welder with a reverse polarity that utilizes 220V DC. The importance of this is to guarantee that, relative to those using alternating current, users have higher regular arc welding.

Futuristic design

This machine's futuristic design comes with a user-friendly interface making it a good MIG welder for beginners everywhere.

Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros 

  • Multi-process system  
  • Variable preset settings 
  • Low price

Cons 

  • Product of medium quality 
  • Product inconsistency 

The power setting is variable, and the speed feed rate is also a modern system. Aesthetics-wise, the machine boasts a beautiful color and design. The machine's portability is no question, with its wee 19.4-pound make and an ergonomic handle sitting right on top.

Final Thoughts for The Best MIG Welder Under 500 USD

Choosing heavy-duty welding equipment is never an easy process. When in doubt, think about what applications you're going to use the welder for. It's bound to guarantee a fun and creative experience one way or another!

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