In this guide we’ll look at the best MIG welder.
We’ve compared power, performance, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best MIG Welders?
More Detailed MIG Welder Reviews
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R-Tech MIG Welder 180A 240V Portable Inverter inc. Torch & Leads Review
The R-Tech 180A MIG Welder and Portable Inverter is one of the best inverter welders on the market. It is a little more expensive than our other selections but it is extremely well built with a robust metal chassis and features higher levels of control for more exacting work.
This product is designed to work with mains electricity or a generator which is useful for welding in locations without a mains supply.
This inverter MIG welder features a wide range of settings. It allows you to take control of how the gas is released and the heat and speed of the wire. This means you can dictate exactly how the MIG welder should function in order to create the exact weld you are looking for.
This is a heavy duty MIG welder aimed at serious DIY’s and professional users.
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MIG Welder Inverter Gas/Gasless MMA 3-in-1 Review
For a general purpose MIG welder the Rohr MIG Welder Inverter Gas/Gasless MMA 3-in-1 is also a great choice as one of the best MIG welders on the market. It is both a gas and gasless MIG welder.
This is a lightweight MIG welder and has a small footprint relative to its power output, making it very useful if you want to move it around. The high 60% duty cycle limits the amount of down time where you must wait for the MIG welder to be ready for use again, thus ensuring your welding operation is the most efficient it can be.
This product has modern inverter technology. This means it reduces the amount of power that is required to weld, increasing efficiency by up to 30% relative to MIG welders that don’t have this capability, and not only saving your energy but also creating a stable power supply.
This inverter MIG welder also features hot start, anti-stick, arc force stabilisation and thermal overload protection, all of which enable you to create strong, neat welds as well as protecting your welder from damage.
This welder also comes with an earth clamp, clipping hammer, wire brush and mask so you have everything you need to get started (except the wire itself).
If you are looking for one of the best MIG welders under £300 this is an ideal choice as it’s portable, efficient and easy to use even for inexperienced welders.
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Sealey SUPERMIG140 MIG Welder 140 Amp 230V Review
The Sealey SUPERMIG140 MIG Welder 140 Amp 230V is another candidate for best welder for home use.
The forced air cooling system allows the unit to stay cool for longer whilst you are welding thereby increasing the duty cycle so you can weld for longer and more efficiently. This is a gas MIG welder. It is supplied with an industrial grade Argon/Co2 regulator for optimum gas flow and performance.
The safety torch does not become active until the button is pressed, therefore reducing the chance of accidents.
This is a powerful and versatile gas MIG welder with a good range of controls and safety features.
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Sealey MIGHTYMIG100 Professional No-Gas MIG Welder 100 Amp 230V Review
The Sealey MIGHTYMIG100 Professional No-Gas MIG Welder 100 comes top of our list for best gasless MIG welder.
This MIG welder has a high 60% duty cycle enabling you to weld for long periods. It works without gas which is perfect if you use the welder for odd jobs where the finish is not so important. Of course being gasless, this welder saves money and fuss on choosing and buying gas. However, if you decide to upgrade you can purchase a conversion kit that enables your MIG welder to use gas.
This gasless MIG welder is easy to maintain and keep clean. This, in turn, improves the quality and efficiency of your welds. The torch is equipped with a fast connection so you can easily remove it to clean and it can then simply click back into place.
This is one of the best MIG welders for beginners or for someone looking for an option that doesn’t require gas but with the subsequent upgrade option available if required.
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Dirty Pro Tools Professional MIG Welder Gasless 100A Review
The Dirty Pro Tools Professional MIG Welder Gasless 120A 120 Amp 240V is a good but cheap MIG welder and well suited for a beginner. It’s inexpensive, runs without gas and is small and lightweight.
It comes in a package that contains all the accessories you need to start your home projects, including an earth clamp, clipping hammer, wire brush and even a helmet.
You should be aware though that the duty cycle is rather less than more expensive welding machines, so that means less working time and more waiting time, but if you are using it for small jobs then this cheap welder is a great option.
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Autojack MIG100 MIG Master 100 Amp Portable Gasless Welder Review
The Autojack MIG100 MIG Master 100 AMP Portable Gasless Welder is another good beginner MIG welder. It is small and portable, features internal turbo fan cooling and is gasless.
This product is small and lightweight and comes with a carry handle. This is handy if you need to move it around or store it out of the way. The internal turbo fan helps to keep the MIG welder cool so you can keep it running for longer than with other inexpensive options. This is a gasless MIG welder, perfect for beginners who want to practice and save money and fuss working out the right gas ratios.
This is a great, simple MIG welder that provides an introduction to no gas welding without having to go all in and break the bank.
MIG Welder Buyer’s Guide
To help you in your search for a MIG Welder we have listed below some of the most important concepts you should understand before making a purchase.
The motor amperage of a MIG welder influences the thickness of metal it can weld. Ideally you want enough amperage to weld in one pass. For example, to weld ¼” steel in a single pass requires 180 amps. There are good resources available online that will help you establish the required amperage for different metals and their thickness.
Gas or No-gas
Some MIG welders require gas and some don’t.
Gas is not essential to MIG welding. If you are not a regular welder or if your tasks are small, it makes more sense to buy a gasless unit. These are more portable than gas units as you don’t have to move a gas canister around. Admittedly there is more cleanup required but you will save money.
On the other hand gas welders achieve an improved weld quality. You can select the correct type and amount of gas to use for the type of metal you are welding. This will achieve a cleaner finish and reduce the amount of splatter, and in turn save you time by reducing the clean up required after your weld.
Auto hot start
Auto hot start allows you to start with the torch hot. This is important because if you welder doesn’t have this feature, then for the first portion of your weld, your torch might not be hot enough. This can lead to two problems. Firstly the weld might not be as strong as it should be, as the metal hasn’t melted properly. Secondly, the first part of the weld will look different to the latter part when the torch has heated up.
It’s often hard to manually heat up a welder since the torch heats up best when it is welding rather than just being switched on. This means you will have to heat the welder up by welding scraps, and this will cost time and money.
% Duty cycle
The % duty cycle effects how long you can use your welder for. As an example, a 30% duty cycle means after using the welder for 3 minutes it must then be out of use for 7.
So if you are using your welder for long periods or larger jobs a tool with a higher % duty cycle will improve the efficiency of your welding by reducing downtime. For smaller or less-frequent tasks the % duty cycle is not so important.
Air cooling system
Air cooling is linked to the % duty cycle. A MIG welder with a good air cooling system will help keep the MIG welder cool, which in turn will increase the % duty cycle. This will in turn make your operation that much more efficient as you can weld for longer without having to let the MIG welder cool down.
Thermal overload protection
The thermal overload protection automatically shuts off the MIG welder to protect it from damage. This mechanism kicks in when you have hit the % duty cycle, so the machine doesn’t overrun. It is also engaged if airflow is restricted, so the machine is protected from overheating.
Having a lightweight and portable MIG welder can be very handy if you don’t have a set location for your welder. If you need to weld on location portability and lightweight design are a must. However, if you have a workshop with a designated spot for your MIG welder than portability and weight are not so important, and you can go for a heavier, sturdier unit that can remain in place.
MIG welder accessories are important if you are buying your first MIG welder and don’t already have a range of accessories.
MIG welders should at least come with a torch, a number of fastening clamps, some wires to get you started and tools to help you clean your machine. There is of course a wide range of more specialist accessories you can get on top of this, but it is essential you invest in a good pair of gloves and eye protection before you start MIG welding.
A MIG welder should come with a warranty of at least 1 year. This gives you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong it will be repaired or replaced, but also reassures you that the supplier is confident in the effectiveness and quality of their product.
What is a MIG welder? / MIG welding for beginners
The technical name for MIG welding is “gas metal arc welding” but it is also often referred to as “wire welding”.
MIG welding is a process where a wire is fed through a welding gun and into a weld pool in order to join two materials together. A shielding gas is simultaneously channelled through the welding gun in order to protect the weld pool from atmospheric contamination.
What is a MIG welder used for?
MIG welders are used to weld thin or medium thick pieces of metal together. They are efficient and portable machines and create strong, good-looking welds. These welders are a particularly good choice when working outside, in windy conditions, on construction sites or when working with slightly dirty materials.
How to use a MIG welder?
MIG welders are great for beginners as they are multi-functional and capable of welding thin or medium-thick metals. MIG welding itself is also an easier type of welding to learn.
How does a MIG welder work?
A MIG welder works by having wire fed into a MIG gun at a speed programmed on a MIG welder. The MIG gun uses electricity to create heat and melt the wire to create the weld. While the weld is being created the welder channels a gas through the nozzle to create a gas microcosm. This protects the weld from the atmosphere’s gases and allows it to set cleanly, giving you a neat finish to your weld.
What gas does a MIG welder use?
The gas used in MIG welding is called a shielding gas and protects the weld from the atmosphere. In most cases for MIG welding this is carbon dioxide, either in its pure form or mixed with the inert gas argon.
Different mixes of these gases produce different welds. Pure carbon dioxide is the cheapest option. It provides a deep weld making it useful when working on thicker metals as it creates more heat.
However more commonly a mix of 75-95% carbon dioxide and 25-5% argon is used. This produces a more stable weld and reduces the amount of splatter, in turn creating a cleaner and better-looking weld.
When working with stainless steel, helium is often used. In this case a ratio of 25-75% helium to argon can be used.
There are also other gases and ratios that can be used with specific metals. Double check what gas is most suitable for your project to ensure you get the best results.
What can you weld with a MIG welder?
MIG welding can be used on a wide range of metals. It can also be used to join different metal thickness together. Common metals that are suitable for MIG welding include carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, magnesium, copper, nickel and many other alloy metals.
The only constraint with MIG welding is the thickness of the metal – MIG welders are not able to handle thick metal pieces.