The thought of getting into welding can be intimidating for most people. It can be quite challenging, especially without the right tools. If you are a newbie, then you will benefit from using a MIG welder.
MIG stands for metal inert gas. MIG welding is an arc welding process that is done by feeding a continuous solid wire electrode through a welding gun and into the weld pool. It is commonly done by hobbyists, artists, and DIY enthusiasts.
If you are looking for the best MIG welder under 500, we got you covered in the rest of this buying guide. Keep on reading and let’s talk about some of the best options to consider.
Top 6 Picks for the Best MIG Welder under 500 Reviews
Clueless about the MIG welder to buy? Below are some of the top products that should be on your radar and some of their top features.
1. Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder
One of the best things about this product is its ease of use. This is designed to be effortless to operate even for novices. Aside from having user-friendly features, it is also lightweight and portable. Weighing only 19 pounds, the unit will be easy to carry regardless of where you intend to complete the welding task.
Despite its size, you can expect that it will be powerful. With its 140-amp output, it can tackle a wide array of tasks. As specified by the manufacturer, however, it is best to limit its use to ¼ mild steel.
The rugged construction of the MIG welder is also a plus. Because of this, you can expect it to withstand many years of use. It has an all-metal case, which will protect the internal components from wear.
When you purchase this MIG welder, the package is inclusive of a MIG gun, ground clamp, adapter, and integrated handle with torch wrap.
As for the warranty, this is covered by the manufacturer for one year.
- Easy to use
- Cleaning splatter can be annoying
- Slow wire feed rate
2. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
Even if you are new to welding, there’s no need to be intimidated. This product is designed for beginners, making sure that it will be effortless for anyone to use. It is compact and portable, allowing you to bring and use it anywhere.
Looking at the technical specifications of the product, one of the most notable is its versatility because of the four voltage settings. The selectable voltage will provide the user with a complete control of the unit.
Speaking of control, you will also enjoy the continuous wire feed speed adjustment. With the latter, you can select the right setting depending on the material that you will weld. It can handle materials with thickness of up to 1/8-inch.
For your safety, one of the best things about this product is the cold contractor feature. The latter will weld wire that is electrically cold until you press the trigger.
Lastly, we also like the fan-cooled design of the unit. This will prevent overheating, minimizing the likelihood that the internal components will be damaged.
- Offers continuous wire speed adjustment
- Low amperage
- Works only on thin materials
3. Hobart 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
This versatile product is another great option to consider in your search for the best MIG welder under 500.
Among others, one of the best things about this product is the max 210 amps despite its compact size. With this power, it will be effortless for this welder to tackle materials that are up to 3/8-inch thick.
The built-in contactor is another great thing in this product, especially if you are concerned about your safety. This will keep the wire electrically cold until you engage the trigger. This also contributes to the ease of use of the welder.
It packs an abundance of features that will make it versatile so that you can use it in multiple applications. It has multiple voltage settings and infinite wire feed speed control. Regardless of what you choose, you can expect that it will have less splatter.
Lastly, to ensure optimal reliability, this welder also has self-resetting thermal overload feature.
- Easy to set-up and use
- Great built-in safety features
- Cables are too short
4. LOTOS MIG140 MIG Wire Welder
Built to handle small projects, this is another reliable option worth considering in your search for the best MIG welder under 500. It has a 140A welding output, which is decent enough for the needs of most novices. At its power, it can weld up to 3/16-inch stainless steel and mild steel and 1/8-inch aluminum.
This model has several advanced features to ensure its reliable performance. For instance, it has an aluminum wire feeder, which will ensure stability and ease of use. To add, it also features transformer technology, which will allow you to connect it to a transformer without compromising its performance.
Another good thing about this product is the thermal overload protection system. This will protect the welder and the unit from overheating.
You will also love the convenient 2T/4T switch, which will minimize fatigue. Even if you are welding for an extended period, there’s no need to worry about discomfort. You can release your finger when welding.
- Great thermal protection
- Lightweight and portable
- User-friendly control panel
- Cannot interchange accessories
- Only for small projects
5. Longevity MIGweld 140 AMP MIG Welder
With a power of 140 amps, this welder can effortlessly tackle materials with a thickness of up to 3/8-inch. It is compact and lightweight, making it great if you have to do welding work in different places and you need a welder that you can easily carry wherever you go.
The plug-and-play functionality of this machine is also a plus, which makes it easy to use. Once plugged, you can easily start welding, making it a great choice for novices.
Like most of the products that are included in our list, it also has a thermal overload protection. The latter means that it will have protection from overheating. This will make it functional even after an extended period.
Lastly, it has variable adjustment dials, which will make it suitable for various applications. You can easily fine-tune the welder depending on the desired settings.
- Easy to use
- Stiff regulator hose
- Not for heavy-duty tasks
6. Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder 230V
Wrapping up our list of the best MIG welder under 500 is another reliable product that a lot of beginners will love. Among others, one thing that we love the most in this product is its versatility. It has seven voltage selections, which means that you can fine-control the output depending on a specific application.
The built-in contactor is another great feature of this product. With this feature, the wire will stay electrically cold until you pull the trigger. More than keeping you safe, this also makes the welder easy to use.
Another feature that will make this welder user-friendly is the Quick Select Drive Roll. You will save a lot of time in setting it up. It is equipped with three grooves, one for a flux-cored wire and two for different solid wire sizes.
Lastly, it has a self-resetting thermal overload feature, which will help in the prevention of overheating.
- Comes with a dual-gauge regulator
- Easy to use
- Short power cable
How to Choose the Best MIG Welder
With too many options, a lot of you may have a hard time deciding what to pick. To make things easier, below are some of the most important considerations.
Ease of Use
A MIG welder is designed with the needs of beginners in mind, so choose one with user-friendly features. Simplicity is the key. The control panel should be easy to use. Care and maintenance should also be effortless.
When looking at the technical specifications of the welder, one of the most important is the voltage, which should match the power supply. For most hobbyists, 110 volts will be enough, especially when welding materials that are no more than 1/8-inch thick. If you need more power and if you will be welding thicker materials, choose 220 volts.
Another important technical specification to consider is the duty cycle of the MIG welder. It affects the power and performance of the product. In most light-duty applications, a 20% duty cycle is more than enough. This means that you can weld continuously for two minutes up to a period of ten 10 minutes. After this, you need to rest the welder to prevent overheating.
Thermal Overload Protection
You will benefit from choosing a MIG welder that offers a thermal overload protection. This will prevent overheating while you are welding. Aside from being good for your safety, this also helps in preventing damage to the internal components.
If you want to have peace of mind, pick one that comes with an extended warranty coverage. The standard warranty is one year. It would be better, however, if you pick a product that comes with three years warranty at the very least.
The best MIG welder under 500 is a great investment for anyone who is interested to get into welding. The products mentioned above are affordable without compromising quality. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or an artist, among others, those products will make it a breeze for you to get into welding.