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mig-welder

The UK's bestWelding Machines2022 Review

We've reviewed the best Welding Machines on the UK market.

Here are the products we believe are worth your consideration…

What To Look For in a Welding Machine

The best welding machines should be portable enough for onsite work. They should have long duty cycles so they can run for longer before needing a cooling-off period. Duty cycles with higher percentages are better when comparing the same output current for different machines. But the duty cycle will increase for lower amperages. Fan cooling and thermal overload protection are worthwhile temperature control features to consider.

A hot start function is really useful  – you don’t have to wait for the unit to warm up, especially when working in difficult conditions. Arc force stabilization and electrode anti-stick functions are also very handy.

For MIG welding look for a welding torch gun with a Euro standard connection and a long cable (at least 2m). A smooth wire feed mechanism and, if the machine uses gas, a good quality CO2 or Argon gas regulator, are very handy features too.

Don’t forget to check out all the accessories – the range of electrodes the welding machine can work with, the electrode holder and lead, earth clamp, clipping hammer and wire brush are all very useful. You could even get a welding mask thrown in.

MIG, TIG, and stick welding machines all have their own strengths – choosing the right welder very much depends on what you’re working on. I discuss this in detail in my comprehensive welding machine review below. I’ve also heavily researched the best welding machines available right now, so you don’t have to. Let’s dive in…

See the best Welding Machines below

Compare Welding Machines Here

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Type
  • Inverter
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
  • Output Current Range
  • Duty Cycle
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
  • Maximum Weld
  • Weight
    • 3.5
    • Best lightweight stick welder
    • TypeMMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)n/a
    • Output Current Range20-200A
    • Duty Cycle40%
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length1.5m
    • Maximum Weld4.0mm
    • Weight4.5kg
    • 3.75
    • Best MIG/TIG welder for beginners
    • TypeMIG Gas / MMA / TIG
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)Both
    • Output Current Range40-150A
    • Duty Cycle60%
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length3.0m
    • Maximum Weld0.8mm
    • Weight6.7kg
    • 4.25
    • Best budget 3-in-1 welder
    • TypeMIG Gas / MMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)Both
    • Output Current Range30-120A
    • Duty Cycle35%
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.1m
    • Maximum Weld4.0mm
    • Weight9.0kg
    • 4.75
    • Best TIG welding machine
    • TypeTIG / MMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)n/a
    • Output Current Range20-160A
    • Duty Cycle60%@85A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length4.0m
    • Maximum Weld2.4mm
    • Weight9.0kg
    • 3.5
    • Best MIG welding machine for DIY enthusiast
    • TypeMIG No-Gas
    • InverterNo
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)No-Gas
    • Output Current Range55-100A
    • Duty Cycle60%@55A,20%@90A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length1.8m
    • Maximum Weld1.0mm
    • Weight15.4kg
    • 5
    • Best MIG welding machine for heavy welding
    • TypeMIG Gas / MMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)Gas
    • Output Current Range50-200A (MIG)
    • Duty Cycle60%@150A,35%@180A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.0m
    • Maximum Weld0.8mm
    • Weight16.0kg
    • 3.75
    • Best MIG welding machine for home mechanics
    • TypeMIG Gas
    • InverterNo
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)Gas
    • Output Current Range30-140A
    • Duty Cycle50%@55A,20%@80A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.0m
    • Maximum Weld0.8mm
    • Weight22.0kg
    • 3.5
    • Best budget MIG welding machine
    • TypeMIG No-Gas
    • InverterNo
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)No-Gas
    • Output Current Range50-120A
    • Duty Cycle15%@105A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.0m
    • Maximum Weld0.9mm
    • Weight14.0kg
    • 4.75
    • Best portable MMA / Stick welder
    • TypeMMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)n/a
    • Output Current Range10-160A
    • Duty Cycle60%@85A,14%@160A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.0m
    • Maximum Weld4.0mm
    • Weight4.2kg
    • 4.25
    • Best stick welder for the money
    • TypeMMA
    • InverterYes
    • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)n/a
    • Output Current Range20-120A
    • Duty Cycle100%@70A,35%@120A
    • Torch / Electrode Cable Length2.0m
    • Maximum Weld3.2mm
    • Weight6.0kg

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Read Our Welding Machine Reviews

B08B65YJR7
Best lightweight stick welder
Dekopro 220V MMA Welder
Top Pick

Best lightweight stick welder

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.5
  • Type
    MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    n/a
  • Output Current Range
    20-200A
  • Duty Cycle
    40%
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    1.5m
  • Maximum Weld
    4.0mm
  • Weight
    4.5kg
  • Our Review

    Started by Bosch engineer Robert Kok, the tool brand DEKO have built up a decent range of hand and power tools including one of the best little welding machines available right now. The Dekopro 220V MMA Welder is a lightweight and easily portable welding machine for beginners as well as pros. Simple to set up and easy to use, this is an ideal stick welding machine for anyone who wants to learn the art of welding.

    First off, this is a good-looking machine, with a big carry handle and easy-to-read current meter. All adjustments are made with the single knob that controls the current, and therefore welding temperature. It’s simple because it’s an MMA-only stick welder, so you’re not messing around with bottles of gas or wire feed speeds.

    This welder accepts 1.6 – 4 mm thick electrode rods, which are easy to find and can work on multiple surfaces. And thanks to the onboard IGBT transistor, the current is kept stable enough for accurate welding jobs.

    If you make sure to buy decent quality welding rods, there’s not a lot you can’t weld with this highly portable machine. Something that I really like about arc welders with inverter technology is that they use less energy than other types of welding machines.

    Pros

    • MMA welders are a lot more straightforward to use than MIG or TIG. If you’re just trying out welding, then this is a good place to start compared with the Sealey Mightymig 100.
    • The earthing clamp and electrode holder are both made from decent quality materials. The clamping force on the earthing clamp is good and shouldn’t slip off.
    • Stick welding is also cheaper compared to MIG welding because you don’t need to buy gas to shroud the weld. At this price, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get into welding.

    Cons

    • The power cable is on the short side at 1.8 m. It’s not quite as heavy duty as I’d like to see on such a high Amp machine either. I’d feel safer with a heavier gauge power cord in place.
    • Several users have complained that the welding machine isn’t shipped with a proper fuse attached. Make sure you check out the fuse before your first use.
    • Even though this welding machine is rated to 200 Amps, some users have complained about a lack of power when using thicker rods. It’s probably more suitable for light welding work.

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B08ZY489H7
Best MIG/TIG welder for beginners
Reboot MIG155 MIG Welder

Best MIG/TIG welder for beginners

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    MIG Gas / MMA / TIG
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    Both
  • Output Current Range
    40-150A
  • Duty Cycle
    60%
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    3.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    0.8mm
  • Weight
    6.7kg
  • Our Review

    Plasma cutters, TIG welders, MIG welders, and stacks of accessories. Reboot make them all. Out of all their gear, the MIG155 MIG welder is one of the best little flux core welding machines available right now. It’s a massively versatile machine that can cope with MMA welding, gas and gasless MIG welding, and even TIG welding. Not bad for a handy little tool.

    This is another deceptively clever little welding machine. It’s light and portable thanks to the top handle, and it might look like a toy, but it has some serious capability under the hood. The current ranges from 40 – 100 Amps, there’s a digital display panel, and the inverter technology guarantees an even temperature for welding.

    All the settings are controlled on the front of the unit. There’s a dial for Voltage and current, plus a switch in case you want to use a spool gun for MIG welding. The big fan in the back is noisy but should help to keep everything at a working temperature.

    Supplied with a generous length of cord for the torch, earthing clamp, and electrode clamp, you get a lot for your money with this welding machine. It’s a little more expensive than the budget models on my list, but if you want a machine that can handle all sorts of welding, this is the best one for you.

    Pros

    • The torch lead is rather generous at 3 m. This means you can work above your head without needing to balance the welding machine somewhere dangerous. It’s a real plus point.
    • Reboot have included two different spool wheels for different thicknesses and types of welding wire. Depending on your preference, you can swap them out.
    • You might have to go and buy some extra accessories but having gas TIG and MIG welding capabilities is handy. If you want to work on lots of different metals, this is a great machine.

    Cons

    • This welder is capable of gas MIG welding and TIG welding. It doesn’t mean it’s ready to work like that straight away. You’ll need a gas bottle and regulator, plus a different torch for TIG.
    • You get the usual set of flimsy accessories with this welding machine. The facemask and scale hammer are pretty poor and should be replaced as soon as possible.
    • Several users have complained about the quality of the manual. Seeing as this is a rather advanced welding machine, better instructions for use would be welcomed!

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B081YC7P6L
0786118164079
Best budget 3-in-1 welder
Display4top 3-in-1 Mig/Mag Gas &No Gas/MMA Welding Machine
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.25
  • Type
    MIG Gas / MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    Both
  • Output Current Range
    30-120A
  • Duty Cycle
    35%
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.1m
  • Maximum Weld
    4.0mm
  • Weight
    9.0kg
  • Our Review

    Technology brand Display4Top are one of those businesses that seem to make a bit of everything. Alongside homewares and garden gadgets is this amazing value 3-in-1 Mig and MMA welding machine. You can use it as a MIG welder with gas and spools of welding wire, or simply use it as an arc welder with electrode rods. It’s a great beginner’s machine because it’s inexpensive and easy to figure out.

    Even though this is a versatile welding machine, it’s also simple to use. The unit comprises of a portable power unit with a large handle on the top, an auto-feed MIG handle, earthing clamp, and an MMA electrode holder. The welder is controlled by a single dial that you use to set the material thickness, but there’s no digital readout to check.

    Supplied with the welding unit is a collection of accessories. There’s a basic combination scale hammer and wire brush, a coil of welding wire, and a face mask to get you started. They’re basic accessories, but fine to help you find your feet.

    Because it’s able to work with gasless wire as well as being able to plug in a gas cylinder for gassed MIG welding, this is an incredibly useful welder to have around. It’s really light, portable, and small, so it’s the sort of thing you can take with you to the job or as a backup for a larger welding machine.

    Pros

    • The feed speed and current are both set by the internal computer, so there’s barely any fiddling around needed during use. It’s great whether you’re a novice or an expert.
    • The torch is decent quality with a responsive trigger. It only arcs when you pull it too, unlike some budget “always live” welding machines. You get a pair of spare tips as well.
    • It couldn’t be easier to set this welder up for work. The analogue dial represents the thickness of material in front of you. Set that, and the welder does the rest for you.

    Cons

    • I highly recommend upgrading the face mask as soon as you can. Having a proper welding mask makes a huge difference to your comfort, convenience, and safety.
    • Because the wire feed speed and current are internally set, you don’t have as much control compared with a more professional machine. It’s not designed for advanced welding!
    • Several users have warned that the welding machine comes supplied with a 20A fuse. That’s no good for home use, it really needs a 13A fuse to protect your home circuit. Get it changed.

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B0797XW3GT
5060569760642
Best TIG welding machine
Röhr TIG Welder Portable Inverter 240V / 160 Amp
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.75
  • Type
    TIG / MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    n/a
  • Output Current Range
    20-160A
  • Duty Cycle
    60%@85A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    4.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    2.4mm
  • Weight
    9.0kg
  • Our Review

    The 160 Amp Röhr Portable TIG Inverter Welder is one of the best TIG welders on the market. You get a bit more control over a TIG weld compared with a MIG, and this capable machine makes it easy.

    This TIG welding machine has an impressive arsenal of features to improve your welding projects. These include auto hot start, anti-stick, arc force stabilization, and thermal overload protection. It’s also rated at a 60% duty cycle at 85 Amps, allowing you to weld for longer and reduce your downtime.

    This machine is ideal for beginners because it comes with a full set of accessories. An earth clamp, clipping hammer, wire brush, and mask mean you get to work straight away.

    Weighing in at just 9 kg, taking this welding rig with you is no problem. The combination of portability, light weight, range of good features, and reasonable price is ideal.

    Pros

    • Röhr are one of the best known and trusted welding brands around. The build quality and range of features on this machine make it ideal for welders of any skill level.
    • The 4m torch cable length is enormous! Compared with the GYS 030077 it’s double the length. It’s a nice touch for when you’re working with larger pieces of metal.
    • Compatible with a range of metals. You’re not confined to just mild steel. You can work with stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, and other coloured metals if you want!
    • This machine is set up for either TIG gas welding using Argon as the shielding gas, or as a stick welding rig. I like having the option to use different methods for different jobs.
    • The duty cycle of 60%@85A is what makes this such a workhorse - there’s barely any downtime.

    Cons

    • TIG welding takes more skill and coordination compared with MIG welding. In comparison with the super simple Dirty Pro Tools MIG 130, you need to hold a filler rod in one hand and the torch in the other.
    • Although the included welding mask is slightly better quality compared to the one that comes with the Dirty Pro Tools MIG 130, it’s still not great. I would upgrade it.
    • The torch supplied with this TIG machine is not the more refined “flexi” style. It’s not as easy to get into tight spots.

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B002HMRTV2
5051747437128
Best MIG welding machine for DIY enthusiast
Sealey Mightymig 100 MIG Welder

Best MIG welding machine for DIY enthusiast

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.5
  • Type
    MIG No-Gas
  • Inverter
    No
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    No-Gas
  • Output Current Range
    55-100A
  • Duty Cycle
    60%@55A,20%@90A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    1.8m
  • Maximum Weld
    1.0mm
  • Weight
    15.4kg
  • Our Review

    Another entry from the good people at Sealey is the MIGHTYMIG100 no-gas MIG welding machine. Aimed at the DIY market, no gas welding is a bit messier than gassed systems. But this is one of the best home MIG welders on the market and it’s 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. However, it’s not flimsy 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. 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 flux core 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 outdoors on a windy day.

    Pros

    • No-gas systems are ideal for beginners. There’s less equipment to buy and maintain, and they’re generally cheaper compared with gassed systems.
    • This is a totally affordable welding system. It comes from one of the best names in the business as well.
    • If you want to get into gas welding, it’s totally possible. You can purchase a gas conversion kit if you want to up your game over time.
    • The max weld width in one pass is an impressive 1.0 mm. That’s wide compared to the Röhr.

    Cons

    • This is a much less refined welding rig compared to some other inverter welders. You don’t have anywhere close to the level of control over temperature in the welding process.
    • Some users have complained about the earth clamp. It’s not the best quality and might need an upgrade after a while.
    • This isn’t a welder designed for heavy duty work. It will start to struggle with mild steel over 4 mm thick.
    • You can’t use this to weld stainless steel. You’ll need to stick with mild steel welding projects only.

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B07VSFP4P5
5060569762578
Best MIG welding machine for heavy welding
Rohr MIG / ARC Welder Inverter

Best MIG welding machine for heavy welding

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 5
  • Type
    MIG Gas / MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    Gas
  • Output Current Range
    50-200A (MIG)
  • Duty Cycle
    60%@150A,35%@180A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    0.8mm
  • Weight
    16.0kg
  • Our 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. It’s powerful 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. They help, among other things, to keep electrical consumption low.

    The build quality of the welder is good, and you get a quality Euro standard torch. It has a nice long cable and comes with a stick welding clamp too. 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.

    Pros

    • The MIG current output range of 50 – 200 Amps is enormous.
    • Run the unit from a standard 13 Amp 3 pin plug. No adapters necessary.
    • An inverter welder like this uses less energy than a standard arc welder or stick welding machine. Compared with the Sealey SuperMig 140 it’s much more efficient.
    • The duty cycle of 35% at 180 Amps is seriously impressive. It means you need less down time between welds. You’ll get the job done more quickly.

    Cons

    • It’s good that Röhr have included a slag cleaning tool, but it’s not the best quality. If you’re planning on doing a lot of welding work, I would upgrade it.
    • The reputation of this Röhr welder, according to some users, can leave a little to be desired.
    • Some users have complained that the customer service offered by Röhr isn't great.

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B00360YQPG
5051747474789
Best MIG welding machine for home mechanics
Sealey Supermig 140 MIG Welder

Best MIG welding machine for home mechanics

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    MIG Gas
  • Inverter
    No
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    Gas
  • Output Current Range
    30-140A
  • Duty Cycle
    50%@55A,20%@80A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    0.8mm
  • Weight
    22.0kg
  • Our Review

    British professional tool and workshop equipment experts Sealey have been in the game since 1978. They definitely know a thing or two about producing the best MIG welding machines. I looked 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. Sealey have put wheels on the back to make it more portable though. 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 good quality too. For the money, this is one of the best budget MIG welding machines out there. It’s not got some of the features of a professional-level MIG machine, but if you want simple, reliable MIG welding, this is a great choice.

    Pros

    • The build quality of the welding rig is obvious. It’s a solid kit that will last the knocks and drops expected from metalworking.
    • The forced air cooling system does a good job at keeping the transformer cool. That can be seen in the duty cycle stats: 100% @ 36A, 75% @ 41A, 50% @ 55A, 20% @ 80A.
    • Sealey include a spool of wire as well as 0.6 and 0.8 mm tips. Not a bad set of accessories to get you started.
    • You can choose from a decent output current range, 30 – 140 Amps should cover you for most welding applications.

    Cons

    • Some users have complained about the quality of the regulator. It’s not as well made compared with the Röhr.
    • The torch has a shorter nib than some of the other MIG welders. It makes it harder to get into tight corners.
    • Compared with the Sealey MightyMig 100, this is a gas only welder. You’ll need to purchase gas bottles with CO2 or Argon separately.
    • Weighing 22 kg, this isn’t the lightest welder. Especially when compared with the lightweight 14 kg Dirty Pro Tools Mig130.

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B00OX40FZO
5060275903166
Best budget MIG welding machine
Dirty Pro Tools MIG 130 Welder

Best budget MIG welding machine

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.5
  • Type
    MIG No-Gas
  • Inverter
    No
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    No-Gas
  • Output Current Range
    50-120A
  • Duty Cycle
    15%@105A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    0.9mm
  • Weight
    14.0kg
  • Our Review

    Dirty Pro Tools sell a huge range of products from sofas to petrol generators. I didn’t know what to expect from their 130 Amp no-gas MIG welding kit, but it’s a handy beginners kit. And you can get hold of it 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. 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. The main adjustment knob simply controls the wire feed speed only.

    The accessories it comes with are fine for beginners. Holding the face mask means you’ve only got one hand free for welding though. There’s a wire brush thrown in too, which you’ll need. For the price, this is a good no-nonsense kit that will hopefully get you hooked on welding.

    Pros

    • A solid budget no gas welder for DIYers and beginners. You can’t fault what you get for the price. Compared with the professional kits like the Röhr, it’s an absolute bargain.
    • You get more working time out of this compared with the Display4top Mig130. The duty cycle of 15%@105A is good for a budget machine.
    • I like that you get what amounts to four heat settings. High and low and 1 and two. Between the two switches you can usually find a decent temperature.
    • You can use welding wire ranging from 0.6 – 0.9 mm. It’s a good range of thin welding wires for a budget welding rig.
    • The 2m welding gun cable length is just a bit longer compared with the Display4top Mig130. That extra 10 cm is sometime exactly what you need.

    Cons

    • Don’t expect the cleanest welds around. There’s quite a lot of spatter that will need to be cleaned off. It takes a while to learn the right feed speed to create anything clean looking.
    • It’s surprising that this serious piece of kit is supplied with the minimum of instructions. You’ll need to teach yourself how everything works.
    • It comes with a mask, but you need a hand free to hold it. It’s ok for starters, but you’ll do much better with a proper auto-darkening helmet.
    • Some users have found that this isn’t the best welder for thin metals. It’s not refined enough to deal with delicate metals you might find on cars, for example.

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B008MXXHJ8
3154020030077
Best portable MMA / Stick welder
GYS 030077 Gysmi 160P – 160 Amp Welder

Best portable MMA / Stick welder

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.75
  • Type
    MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    n/a
  • Output Current Range
    10-160A
  • Duty Cycle
    60%@85A,14%@160A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    4.0mm
  • Weight
    4.2kg
  • Our Review

    The GYS 030077 160 Amp Welder is an amazingly light and portable MMA/arc/stick welder. It comes from one of the more established names in welding. French firm GYS have been making specialist welding and cutting equipment since 1964. They know what it takes to make one of the best stick welders in the business.

    Thanks to its high voltage capability the unit supports an immediate start-up function. This is a great feature because there’s no more waiting around for the unit to get to the correct stick welding temperature. It’ll save you time on every weld.

    Its inverter technology helps to keep energy consumption down. The onboard microprocessor controls everything. It enables you to finely control the thickness of your weld as well as the bead size precisely.

    One of the things I like about this stick welder is the range of electrodes you can work with. Choose from basic, rutile, stainless steel, or even cast iron, for working on almost any type of metal.

    The unit is small and neat and measures just 34 cm in height, including the carry case, making this one of the most portable stick welders to store and transport.

    Pros

    • If you need a lightweight and portable welding rig, look no further. Weighing in at just 4.2 kg, this stick welder is easy to carry around.
    • Adding to this unit’s “take it with you” characteristics, GYS have packed everything into a sturdy black plastic case. Ideal for storage, it’ll keep everything safe between uses.
    • The welding power supply of this arc welder is more than enough for welding mild steel up to 4 or even 5 mm. For such a small unit, it really punches above its weight!
    • One of the benefits of short cables means you can easily stow them away in the carry case. I’ve never been a fan of forcing a tangled mess of leads back into a tiny plastic case.
    • This stick welder is proudly made in France. It’s always pleasant to see European manufactured goods, the quality control process is usually excellent, along with customer services.

    Cons

    • Compared with other welding kits on my list like the Display4top MIG 130, you don’t get any accessories. You need to buy stick welding rods and all safety equipment before use.
    • The power cord is far too short. It keeps the overall size of the unit down, but you’ll need to carry an extension lead around as well. Make sure it’s a heavy duty extension cord as well.
    • The earth cable is also a bit too short. Unless the workpiece is easy to move, you’ll find yourself re-positioning the welding unit quite a lot.
    • Several users have complained that the manual instructions are tiny and hard to read. Unless you have a magnifying glass, it could be a bit of a pain.

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B07Y39GWFM
5056275709136
Best stick welder for the money
Hyundai HYMMA120 Inverter Welder

Best stick welder for the money

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.25
  • Type
    MMA
  • Inverter
    Yes
  • Gas / No-Gas (MIG only)
    n/a
  • Output Current Range
    20-120A
  • Duty Cycle
    100%@70A,35%@120A
  • Torch / Electrode Cable Length
    2.0m
  • Maximum Weld
    3.2mm
  • Weight
    6.0kg
  • Our Review

    Coming from one of South Korea’s biggest manufacturers, the Hyundai HYMMA120 is an affordable Arc/stick welder. It’s portable and lightweight and has one of the best duty cycles I’ve tested out.

    Weighing in at just 6kg, this is a portable welding rig. The big chunky handle on the top means you can take the stick welder to the work, and not the other way round. It makes a difference compared to huge MIG welders that need to be wheeled around behind you.

    The inverter puts out a variable DC output between 20 – 120 Amps. It’s not as powerful as some of the MMA  / stick welding machines on my list, but it’s ideal for lightweight and DIY welding projects. It’s also a little less power-hungry than a 200 Amp welding machine.

    Pros

    • Hyundai are probably best known for their cars, but they’re one of the most respected heavy industry companies in the world. They know how to make one of the best stick welding machines.
    • The copper plated grounding clip is a sign of quality. It makes the lead a better conductor and should help to make a solid arc for stick welding every time.
    • The earth cable is 2m long. Compared with the tiny one on the GYS 030077 stick welder, you’ve got a lot more lead to play with. There’s less chance you need to move the unit between welds.
    • Hyundai have included a chipping hammer and wire brush tool. They should come in handy when you’re learning how to weld without too much spatter.

    Cons

    • This stick welder's maximum power output of 120 Amps is not the most powerful I’ve come across.
    • Even though 6kg is light, it’s still 1.8kg heavier than the GYS 030077. If your biggest goal is the lightest welding rig, I’d choose something lighter than this one.
    • You can’t convert this welding system to TIG. You can only carry out MMA / stick welding processes with this rig. In comparison with the Röhr Portable TIG Inverter Welder, you’re a bit limited.

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Welding Machines Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Welding Machine Prices Found Today

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How to Choose The Best Welding Machine

Getting into welding is a step up for most DIYers, so understanding the different welding methods for your needs is important.

Types of Welding

There are several different ways to attach one piece of metal to another one, but all welding processes involve 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, the commonest form of which is known as stick welding. Stick welders involve you holding the welding torch in one hand and a welding stick in the other and touching 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. For this welding process 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.

Gas and No-Gas MIG Welding

There are two main types of MIG welding- gas and no-gas. Both are types of wire welding- this welding process involves the machine feeding a roll of metal wire from a spool out through the end of the torch, where an electric arc heats it upon contact with a metal surface.

Gas MIG welding processes use bottles of an 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. The shielding gas stops the weld from oxidising before it joins the metal parts together but this particular welding process can be affected by windy conditions.

In a no-gas welding process, the wire used is hollow and filled with flux core 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 with this kind of welding process, meaning there’s more to clean up afterwards.

TIG Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas, or TIG welding, is another way to attach two pieces of metal together. Like MIG welding, you use bottles of shielding gas to shroud the hot pool of weld from oxidising. Unlike the MIG welding process though, you need to use both hands when working with a TIG welder.

The main difference is that TIG welding doesn’t use a spool of wire fed through a torch head. Instead, you use long rods as you would for arc or stick welding. It’s a welding process favoured by professional welders for “face” welding, when you need to be neat. TIG is a lot slower than MIG welding though, and takes more skill to get accurate results.

Types of Wire

The two main types of welding wire are regular steel wire used in the gas welding process, and hollow wire filled with flux core for no-gas welding. When you pull the trigger on a MIG welding machine, the wire that is fed out becomes a wire welding 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. For welding thicker metals, thicker wire up to 1.2 mm is useful for these heavy welding processes, but it requires more power than is available in a domestic setting.

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Welding Machine FAQs

How can I make better welds?

Welding is an incredibly useful skill to have. The only way to get better is through practice- 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 professional welders use.

What’s better, MIG, TIG, or Arc welding?

All three of these welding methods are great for onsite work and welding outdoors. They’re all portable and can join a range of metals together. The downside to TIG and MIG welding processes is you need to lug around bottles of shielding gas, whereas stick welders only use electricity. Arc or stick welding is not as refined though. MIG and TIG welds are strong and can work on a huge range of materials. If you need to work on very thin materials or need to create intricate, good-looking welds, TIG welding has the others beat. There’s no one welding process that is outright “the best”, just the better system depending on the job at hand.

Is welding dangerous?

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.

Got any welding tips?

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 practicing this welding process, 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/stick 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.

How can I improve the look of my welds?

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.

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