Metal Inert Gas or MIG welders are popular with metal workers because they not only come with welding guns for precise welding, but also they can be used to weld a variety of metal. Plus you can perform arc welding in addition to small wire electrode welding for small to heavy-duty projects which makes it convenient to use.
Another point to note is that Mig welders can be used by anyone, as they can be operated easily; you don’t have to be an expert at welding, which makes it best for beginners. There are a few considerations to note when purchasing the best MIG welders under $500 like the length of the cables, wire feed drives and the wire choice which we will be discussing in the review section, so read on.
Review of the best MIG welder under $500
Choosing the best MIG welder can be a hassle, so we researched, tested and came up with 5 best MIG welders under $500 in the market to make things easier for you. Your best model is now a click away. First, here is a comparison table showcasing some of our best picks.
Best MIG Welder under $500 | Top 5 Reviews
1. LOTOS 140 MIG Welder – Top Rated MIG Welder
It comes with unique two digital displays that give you precise control on the wire feeder speed and the voltage.
When welding solid steel, you need to use the 0.030’ wires or the 0.035’ flex core wires for beautiful beads on the welding surface. Plus you can weld up to 3/16” of 24 gauge mild steel which is good for a welder of its size. In aluminum, you can weld up to 1/8” and it comes with an aluminum compatible spool gun.
You don’t have to use the trigger on the MIG gun as this switch works just fine, it is perfect for those who weld for long hours and risk tiring their trigger finger. This 2T/4T switch will turn on the power on the MIG gun during welding.
It requires an input voltage of 115V which is available in most households making this welder perfect for small to medium projects, in addition to DIY tasks. Another great feature is the thermal overload protection which prevents the welder from overheating when it exceeds its duty cycle. In this case, the torch will be automatically turned off to protect the MIG welder.
2. SUNGOLDPOWER 200 Amp MIG Welding Equipment
The included 15 Amps plug-type ensures that less heat is produced by this welder making it best for those who weld for long hours.
DV Reverse rods
This welder can burn the E6010, E7018, and E6013 DV reverse rods very well and it allows you to weld from any angle with ease. It produces less splatter as it penetrates through the welding surface which makes it convenient for small-medium welding tasks.
The flux-core wire
This welder comes with a 9mm flux core wire which can weld through 1/4″ of mild steel at 110V producing nice beads as it penetrates. You have three-wire options for MIG welding, the 0.030, 0.035, and 0.040 inches, and you can adjust the wire feed speed to suit your welding needs. The only problem is that you have to modify it to fit the welder and also cut its center to prevent it from free spooling.
This welder comes with an under and over-voltage protection which protects the welder from overloading during the welding process. It allows you to focus more on the welding rather than the equipment itself. Plus it comes with an IGBT control module of 110/220V which makes you perform different welding projects with ease.
3. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder – Best for DIY Tasks
One feature that should not be overlooked is the cold contactor safety feature which makes the wire cold till you squeeze the gun trigger when heating it. This feature is convenient for those users who weld for long hours.
This welder is multifunctional as it can be used for both flex-core and MIG welding and this feature makes it best for home repair tasks and also welding 24 gauge mild steel up to 1/8″. Plus it’s easy to use as it comes with less wire feed speed controls and voltage settings. One setback is the absence of a gas gauge to determine the quantity of gas flowing and What’s left in the gas tank.
The lowest input voltage is 115V which is compatible with most household sockets and you have about four voltage settings to choose from when welding metals with different thicknesses. To make things easier for you, there is an included chart inside the welder showing what settings to use on any metal thickness.
Weighing only 46 pounds, you can carry this welder around with ease as it is lightweight and compact in design. Plus, there is a solid handle on top of it for convenience when lifting it.
4. Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder
We liked the fact that it came with an added storage for larger wire spools up to 10 pounds, but a 2-pound wire spool is included in the package.
Flex core wire
It is a gasless welder which comes with a 0.030″ flex core wire, one thing to note is the wire feed which is smooth and continuous, and it creates nice beads on your weld. The maximum welding capacity is ¼” in 24 gauge mild steel making it great for small welding projects like car maintenance which require precise welding. There are a total of 10 wire speeds which can be controlled via a control knob. One setback is the short workpiece ground wires and the wire feeder; we think it could be made longer to improve the flow.
The input voltage is 120V which works well on any electric socket in your home making it convenient for small DIY tasks in your home.
The design includes a handle which makes it portable and convenient for contractors who need to transport it to various work stations. Plus it weighs only 19 pounds, making it easy to carry it around.
5. Hobart 500572 Handler 100 MIG Welder
It comes with a thermal overload system that protects it from current overload, plus it can reset itself afterward. Another thing is that it keeps the wire safe till you plug it out for safety purposes.
It is made of industrial aluminum and it also features a heavy-duty clamp for added strength and durability, plus it weighs 65 pounds which makes it lightweight and easy to carry it around.
The input voltage is 115V which makes it compatible with most standard electric outlets in your home making it great for small to medium do-it-yourself tasks. Plus the 5 voltage control positions make this welder stable and smooth when welding metals of varying thicknesses. At this voltage, you can weld through ¼” of 24 gauge mild steel. The inclusion of the voltage protection feature is an added advantage in extending its useful life, giving you value for your money.
Flux core wire
It comes with a roll of 0.8-0.9mm flux core wire with a flexible speed range of 40-700 IPM and this speed gives this welder a lot of versatility in ensuring a steady arc control. The wire feeds smoothly making nice welds with minimal splatter.
Our top pick is the LOTOS 140 MIG Welder which comes with two digital displays to precisely control the amperage, wire speed and the voltage. Plus it comes with a thermal overload feature which shuts off the MIG gun if it risks overheating. It is great for DIY and small to medium projects.
If the price is too high for you, you might consider the SUNGOLDPOWER MIG Welding Equipment which offers more welding power with less heat produced though it lacks an LCD screen to show the specific welding voltage and amperage.
Visit our website for more information on power tools and feel free to share with us your experiences. We hope this article was helpful in your search for the best MIG welder under 500 dollars.