In this guide we’ll look at the best MIG welders for the UK market.
I’ve compared power, performance, weight and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best MIG Welder?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Joining bits of metal together is a handy skill to know and a lot of fun to learn. If you want the best MIG inverter welder that’s packed with features but still light enough to take with you on-site, the R-Tech 180 Amp welder is my personal favourite.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed MIG Welder Reviews
R-Tech 180A Portable MIG Welder and Inverter Review
The R-Tech MIG180 is probably the best MIG welder you can get right now because it’s a reliable and high performance tool that comes from one of the best names in the business. R-Tech are a UK based specialist welding company that pride themselves on quality customer service and have a stellar reputation.
The welder itself is rated for MIG and MMA, or stick, welding and can also handle aluminium welding if you buy a separate spool gun. If you’ve got access to a 16 Amp input, you can make the most of this welder’s huge 180 Amp capacity, but it still packs a punch with a standard 13 Amp three-pin plug you can use in any socket.
Weighing in at just 14 kg, as the name suggests, this is a portable MIG welder with a useful carry handle on top. The standard Euro connecter on the front of the welder means you can use a huge range of welding torches, but the one supplied is of a high quality anyway. The controls and switches are well laid out and easy to read too.
Loading up the wire is easy, and you can switch between 0.6 and 0.8 mm without special tools. What makes this one of the best MIG welders in my opinion is the smooth wire feed, it makes the torch easy to handle and creates tight pools of weld when in operation. It’s great.
Rohr MIG / ARC Welder Inverter Review
German engineering firm Röhr have made an inverter welder that punches way above its weight, literally, because it only weighs 16 kg. And because it’s an inverter, it’s capable of creating an enormous 200 Amp output, which is more than enough for the heaviest welding you might want to do in a DIY setting.
Designed for both MIG, MAG and “stick” welding, the components installed in this welder are impressive for the price- IGbT transistors are usually found in more expensive professional equipment, and are used, among other things, to keep electrical consumption low.
The build quality of the welder is good and you get a quality Euro standard torch with a nice long cable, stick welding clamp and they even throw in a little cleaning brush and hammer for clearing off slag. A little hidden feature I like is the wire power feed button inside the case- instead of pulling the trigger on the torch, you can feed the wire through the cable with the press of a button.
I’m really impressed that Röhr can make such a powerful welder that looks and feels solid for such a competitive price. Hopefully it lasts for a long time.
Sealey Supermig 140 MIG Welder Review
British professional tool and workshop equipment experts Sealey have been in the game since 1978, and they know a thing or two about producing the best MIG welders. I took a look at their SUPERMIG140 and think it’s a brilliant bit of kit for home mechanics and other metalworkers.
First off, it’s a big and solid welder that weighs more than 20 kg, but Sealey have put wheels on the back to make it more portable. The build quality is great, it’s got a tough frame, and everything feels chunky and robust.
You can select anywhere from 30 – 140 Amps, but this will be limited because it’s supplied with a standard 13 Amp plug. Controlling the power is as simple as it gets, there’s only a single dial to fiddle with to get the right welding temperature.
The wire feed mechanism works well and feels nice and smooth, and the regulator for CO2 or Argon is of a good quality too. For the money, this is one of the best budget MIG welders out there. It’s not got some of the features of a professional level machine, but if you want simple, reliable MIG welding, this is a great choice.
Sealey Mightymig 100 MIG Welder Review
Another entry from the good people at Sealey is the MIGHTYMIG100 no-gas MIG welder. Aimed at the DIY market, no gas is a bit messier than gassed systems but an excellent starter step to get into the world of welding.
In terms of build quality, it’s not up there with some professional level setups, but it’s not flimsy either and is solid enough for a DIYer that isn’t going to take this machine on site with them. It’s a thankfully lightweight piece of kit at 14.5 kg, and seeing as it’s a no-gas model, you don’t have to lug around bottles of CO2 or Argon either.
One of the benefits of this system is that you can convert it to gas if you want and use standard welding wire rather than hollow core flux wire, so it’s versatile as well. There’s not much in the way of settings to fiddle with except the wire speed and low or high power, so don’t expect to be able to finesse the torch heat to a specific level.
If you’re a beginner and not sure if you’re going to get into serious welding, then I reckon this is an excellent place to start. Or, if you’re an experienced welder who needs a small and portable rig for home garage use, it won’t take up much room and is perfect for welding outside on a windy day.
Display4top MIG 130 Welder Review
If you’re looking for a complete beginner’s welding kit that comes with everything you need to get started, the Display4top is a one of the best budget 130 Amp MIG welding set ups available right now. It really does come with everything including safety gear.
If you’re looking for a professional level MIG welder, this isn’t the setup for you- it’s definitely a hobby or DIY level of tool that’s priced low enough for just about anyone who wants to get into no gas welding without emptying their wallet.
Setup and operation are wonderfully simple- open the side door, connect the spool of included flux wire, feed it into the torch, set the dial to match the gauge of wire and switch on. It’s as simple as that. Weighing in at under 17 kg, it’s light enough to be considered portable as well.
What makes this the best starter welding kit is the accessories- there’s everything here to get you started, but don’t expect professional level safety gear for this price. They’ve included a handheld face mask and little wire brush for cleaning off welds. You’ll want to upgrade them eventually, but you can avoid any extra spend if you’re just trying out welding for the first time.
Overall, this is a solid little budget no-gas MIG welder. Don’t expect to fine tune the temperature or weld much more than thin sheets of steel, but for the price you can’t complain.
Dirty Pro Tools MIG 130 Welder Review
Dirty Pro Tools sell a huge range of products from sofas to petrol generators, so I didn’t know what to expect from their 130 Amp no-gas MIG welder kit, but it’s a handy beginners kit for a seriously low price.
For the money, don’t expect a premium quality professional level welding kit- the build quality is adequate for DIYers and beginners, but there’s everything there to get you started including a face mask.
Running at 130 Amps, the welder comes supplied with a standard three-pin 13 Amp plug, so you can connect it up to your normal home electricity supply without any problems. As you might expect from a kit at this price, you can’t adjust the heat any more than low or high, and the main adjustment knob just controls the wire feed speed only.
The accessories it comes with are fine for starters but holding the face mask means you’ve only got one hand free for welding. There’s a wire brush thrown in as well, which you’ll definitely need. For the price, this is a good no-nonsense kit that will hopefully get you hooked on welding.
Things to Know Before Buying a MIG Welder
Getting into welding is a step up for most DIYers, so getting the right MIG welding setup for your needs is important.
There are several different ways to attach one piece of metal to another one, but all welding involves creating a molten pool of metal that joins different parts together. Most welding equipment uses electrical energy to create enough heat to melt the wire onto the workpiece.
The cheapest welding equipment is usually for arc welding, sometimes known as “stick” welding- you hold the welding torch in one hand and a welding stick in the other and touch them together on a metal surface to make a pool of metal.
Metal Inert Gas, or MIG, is probably the most popular form of welding- instead of using both hands, you simply hold the torch, pull the trigger, and a wire is fed from the machine and out of the tip. On contact with the metal surface, the circuit is completed, and the wire becomes molten metal.
There are two main types of MIG welding- gas and no-gas. Both are types of wire welding- the welding machine feeds a roll of metal wire from a spool out through the end of the torch, where an arc of electricity heats it up on contact with a metal surface.
Gas MIG welding uses bottles of inert gas like CO2 or Argon connected to the welding machine to create a gas shield around the hot arc where standard welding wire meets the metal workpiece. This stops the weld from oxidising before it joins the metal parts together but can be affected by windy conditions.
In no-gas welding, the wire used is hollow and filled with flux which is used to generate a slag to cover the molten metal when you’re welding. This protects it from outside gases in the environment which weakens the bond you are making. The downside is that there’s more splatter when welding, meaning there’s more to clean up afterwards.
The two main types of welding wire are regular steel wire used in gas welding, and hollow wire filled with flux for no-gas welding. When you pull the trigger on a MIG welder, the wire that is fed out becomes an electrode, completing an electrical circuit that creates a high enough heat to melt it where you want a pool of metal.
Welding wire is available in different thicknesses, depending on the size of weld you want to create. Most light fabrication tasks that the DIYer welder will get involved with don’t need wire much thicker than 0.6 – 0.8 mm. Thicker wire up to 1.2 mm is useful for heavy welding applications, but it requires more power than is available in a domestic setting.
MIG Welder FAQs
Welding is an incredibly useful skill to have. The only way to get better is through practise- try using different heat settings if your welding equipment allows it, experiment with different gauges of wire and don’t be afraid of making an ugly mess on bits of scrap metal in the name of improvement.
The quality of the welding wire you use can make a big difference in the quality of your welds- decent wire isn’t always much more expensive than the rubbish stuff, so shop around and see what the professionals use.
If you invest in the proper safety equipment, maintain your welding gear, and treat it with respect, welding is as safe as any other DIY task. Welding creates sparks that can set light to flammable materials, so make sure you have a fire extinguisher to hand and always keep your work area clean.
If you want to create the perfect MIG welds, you need to take control of your torch. Once you’ve matched the wire feed speed to the correct voltage, the best technique is to move slowly in a tight coil, like you’re drawing a spring, or practicing your lower case joined up “e’s”. This creates an even puddle of weld and a superior join. It’s worth practising this one, a lot.
If you’re welding together a frame, you need to consider the heat that you’re transferring to the workpiece. Weld for too long and you’ll end up warping the entire workpiece due to the heating and cooling process. The answer is to take frequent breaks, don’t over weld and use as few passes as possible.
Whether you’re arc welding or MIG welding, you need a solid connection for the electricity to flow around the circuit and make a stable heat. Always grind back a rusty, painted, or greasy surface before clamping on your earth cable and getting to work. Always weld onto bare metal.
There’s a saying that goes “A grinder and paint make me the welder that I ain’t” – and it’s true. You can always grind back ugly welds with an angle or die grinder, or paint over the whole thing to hide a multitude of sins.