What to Look for When Buying a MIG Welder?

No matter whether you are a pro or just a beginner in the field of welding, choosing the right welder is quite important and equally a daunting task.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is especially for amateurs but for learning great MIG welding techniques and in fact for creating great welds you have to have the skills to pick the right welder.

That is why we have compiled the premier points which should be kept in mind when you go out to buy the instrument.

While selecting a MIG welder, always choose the one with which you can attach a gas cylinder. If you are a beginner then it is advisable that instead of picking up the welders which can weld with flux core welding wire, go for ones in which you can easily hook up a gas cylinder as that would definitely give you a nice weld appearance.

What to Look for When Buying a MIG Welder

Other than this, budget, voltage, quality and warranty are some of the other key points which you definitely shouldn’t miss.

This article includes the specific tips which can be useful for you if you are new in the field of welding or are interested in buying a good MIG welder. Read till the end to know the best MIG welders available in the market.

Who should buy a MIG welder?

MIG welders are versatile and can be used in various fields. Here are some of the examples where welders are utilized.

1.) Welders who are beginners or indulge in welding as their hobby.

2.) In manufacturing and repairing of automotives.

3.) In Welding shops

4.) Industrial fabrication and manufacturing

5.) If you want an effective way to join metal.

However, there are some areas where you cannot utilize MIG welders such as:

1.) MIG are not suitable for artwork

2.) These can’t be used in fine welding work

3.) You cannot use MIG welders to join thick metals

4.) Unless you have an accurate power supply, you can’t use MIG welders in portable welding jobs.

Features to cast around in a MIG welder

Here are some unique features possessed by MIG welders 

1.) MIG welders have wires that are soiled or flux-cored

These welders come with consumable electrodes. MIG welders have got relatively thin wires which are supplied by the torch and that is why these welders are unable to weld thick metal because that needs a large amount of filler material.

2.) Wire feed spools

The wires in MIG welding are energised through a wire feed spool present on the side of the welding machine.

When you start the process you just have to push the torch’s trigger button in order to engage the wire. Speed is equally important as it can bring a significant change in the final outcome or the resultant weld.

What to look for when buying a MIG welder?

1.) Budget

The first and foremost thing that comes to our mind whenever we want to purchase something is whether the appliance is in our budget or not. Surprisingly, there are some really good MIG welders which are actually pocket friendly.

For your knowledge there are welders which are loaded with specifications and are costly but let me tell you something, most of these specifications are rarely used.

2.) Voltage

It is advisable to choose a welder which has got a low open circuit voltage which can be put on setting 1. Also look out for a welder that has got many switch settings because the more settings a voltage switch has there are smaller jumps in voltage between settings.

3.) Choke Setting

In MIG welding we blow a fuse which shows a very powerful explosion and hence choke becomes an essential part in a MIG welder which slows down the aggressiveness of the explosion caused otherwise the explosion is so intense that it can even end up making a hole in your panel.

Always keep in mind that better choke makes the welding smoother.

4.) Welder’s Weight

A MIG welder which is light weight is convenient to use and easy to carry and that is why it has got more advantages. If your welding job takes place more outdoors then these are easily portable.

However if your welder is heavy that means its internals are sturdy which makes the welder robust.

Whether the welder is single phase or three phase

Garages or home workshops leave you with no choice but to purchase a single phase welder. But if you want to get the best from a transformer then a three phase welder is all you need.

A single phase welder has gaps in the waves which are absent in a three phase welder. To compensate for this gap, single phase welders have capacitors attached to them which makes the welding smooth. So if you are not having a three phase welder, choose a mig with a good capacitor. 

Best MIG welders in the Market

1.) Hobart – 500553 Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder 

This reputed welder is known for its reliability. It is affordable, yet it provides high quality components and gives excellent performance. The amperage setting of this appliance comes with a good range.

Not just this, the welder comes with a wider range of wire speed which gives you full control in your preferred setup.

The machine is quite easy to run and is designed to be used in various workplaces be it industrial welding shops or for beginners.

The machine is a bit heavier but you can use it ideally in a stationary work bench set up. Few good things about this welder is that it produces a clean arc and has almost no spatter issues.

If you are a beginner then trust me, this machine is for you. With 210 amps of power the welder gives everything you need and you can definitely trust it.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2.) MILLER ELECTRIC MIG Welder,120/240VAC,1 Phase 

Ask any professional about Miller electric MIG and you’ll get good reviews. The machine is known for its exceptional qualities, performance and portability.

Although this welder is ideal for outdoors where the workload is high, you can even use it in any workshop setting.

It avoids spatters by forming a uniform arc with the help of its unique smooth start technology. The machine comes with a rare 10 foot gun lead reach.

It is portable and comes with an extensive range of settings. The heavy duty MIG welder promises to give you the highest quality of work.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3.) Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder

If you are a beginner then this lower amperage machine is for you. It is lightweight but has got a tough heavy duty case. And that is the reason that it could be used outside as well as inside the workshops. It runs well off 110 volts and also on 240 volt power points.

The bead of the machine is great in quality and gives you smooth consistency without compromising with the quality. It’s all metal base with full metal wire drive assembly.

The machine comes with a three position switch which allows you to change processes quickly.  You’ll be glad to know that it is actually a multi process welder and is 3 in 1 stick welder, MIG welder and DC TIG welder.

Rated output voltage range is 12-23V and full output current range is 10-140A which gives you full control to dial in the perfect weld.

The welder includes 10’ MIG gun, 8’ electrode holder, 8′ ground clamp, Integrated handle with torch wrap, 20A – 15A adapter and one additional .030″ contact tip 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

What are the basic differences between different types of welders?

Let’s see a quick comparison between various types of welders that are MIG, TIG, Flux Cored and Stick.

Types Of WeldersTypes of metalMetal ThicknessSkill Level RequiredWelding SpeedQuality of work doneCost
MIGSteel, stainless and aluminium24 gauge and aboveLowFastMediumMedium
TIGAll metal22 gauge aboveHighSlowestHighHigh
StickSteel and stainless steel ⅛” and above MediumSlowLowLow
Flux CoredSteel and stainless steel⅛” inch and aboveLowFastLowMedium

Pros and Cons Of MIG Welders

1.) Speed: MIG welder is faster compared to other types of welders which gives you an edge while welding.

2.) Quality of welding: MIG welders give you more aesthetically pleasing weld which have got a cleaner finishing.

3.) Setting Control: MIG welder gives you an advantage to control its setting  and in that way you can manipulate your welds.

MIG welders are easy to operate and that is why they are great for production even for beginners.

4.) Power: MIG welders are versatile and can be operated with various sources of power.


1.) It’s not portable and that’s why it is very difficult to carry.

2.) It can lose gas while welding.

3.) MIG welders require wire which can range from a 10 pound spool to 60 pound spool.

4.) These are typically heavy.

5.) The nozzle of the welder is sometimes filled with spatter which demands time to time cleaning.

Final Thoughts

So, did you understand all the essential points about what to look for when buying a MIG welder? One of the greatest advantages of this welder is that it’s super easy to learn, cost efficient and yet effective.

So step out and choose the right MIG welder and practice your skills. Trust me if you are a beginner then you’ll get a pro in no time.

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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