Last Updated on August 4, 2021 by Luis Ferency
Owning a welding machine that is affordable and easy to use is always helpful. It doesn’t really matter whether you have the experience or have a basic set of skills, this machine will always come in handy. If you have got an affordable and well-equipped welding machine, it will be a great start for you. Out of all the welding machines out there, the “Metal Inert Gas Welder” or “MIG Welders” are the most preferred ones. They are highly suitable for both domestic and industrial works. Their efficiency is also up to the mark in welding all types of metal together. These machines are also highly affordable as you can easily have some of the Best MIG welder under 500.
The MIG welders are used to weld a variety of metals. You can also perform arc welding in addition to small wire electrode welding for small to heavy projects. There are some great MIG welders out there in the market. Out of all those we have selected some of the best MIG welders under 500 for you. Let’s check these items…
Forney Easy Weld 261
Lincoln Electric K2185-1
Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc
LOTOS MIG140 MIG
Goplus MIG 130
SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 150A
Best MIG Welders under 500 Reviews
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder
If you want to have the easiest and most portable MIG welder out there, the Hobart 500559 is the right choice for you. It has a decent design that allows you to do your job with great ease and efficiency. You can trust the Hobart MIG even if you are a newbie in the field of welding. This welding machine is highly recommended for residence improvement, auto body workshop, motor vehicle repair, and manufacturing as well.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder is also a very affordable machine considering its specifications. It is equally good for both professionals and newbies which is also an added bonus. The Handler 140 is an extremely versatile product that operates on a standard 115V household current. All you need to do is to switch the plug and you are most definitely ready to go.
The Handler 140 MIG Welder is a user-friendly device having a 20-amp circuit. It sets up very quickly for any material thickness and wire. There is a Flux core wire added to it to help welding thin gauge steel, thicker joints, and be torch flexible. Many welders have the requirement of a portable, and user-friendly welding machine, at an affordable price, it seems like they have got one in the shape of this Handler 140 MIG Welder.
Read also, Hobart Handler 210 MVP Review
- One input phase
- Standard integrated spool gun control
- Door chart with preset
- Protection against short circuit
- Thermal overload that can reset itself
- A 230V receptacle is required
2. Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder
Forney is a great competitive brand competing with Lincoln and Miller. Its aim is to provide quality goods at an affordable price just like this 140 FC-i MIG welder. Forney used the inverter technology in this welding machine and stayed with Flux core welding without a gas. You can use it for maintenance and repair, metal fabrication, and hobbies.
This budget MIG machine is lightweight featuring a live fan for component cooling. It supports a 30% duty cycle at 90-amps. It is an impressive Flux-Core capable welder perfect for first-time welders up to avid users. This is an easy-to-use machine with infinite voltage and wire feed speed control. It is big enough to handle 2 and 10-pound rolls of wire.
Forney Easy Weld 261 has a 140 Amp output that allows you to weld mild steel up to ¼ inch plate. This machine is sensitive enough for a 24-gauge sheet which is amazing for a 120V home welder. If there is any other machine at this price with many happy owners, we would like to know about it. You get an 8ʹ MIG gun, 8ʹ ground clamp, integrated handle with torch wrap, and an adapter on purchase of this device.
- Hold 10 lbs. spools
- Convenient 120V power
- Infinite voltage and feed adjustments
- Lightweight and portable machine
- Flux-Core welding only
- Won’t run hard wire
3. LOTOS MIG175 MIG Welder
LOTOS MIG175 is a popular welding machine that is suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal alloys. This machine has the performance and power you normally associate with LOTOS for doing any kind of welding job. Through its 175-amp motor, you can operate between 200V and 240V providing you with a great range of possibilities and options. It is one of the most versatile welders that is able to weld aluminum with a spool gun.
The MIG175 has customizable settings for voltage and wire speed. You have 10 settings for each of them permitting you precision and control over your job. Its transformer technology has been proven to be reliable and durable. You can easily connect it with your existing 220V wall outlet and can set it up quickly within 10 minutes. It gives you the opportunity to perform the best flux welding at such an affordable price.
Flux-Core welding is a perfect option when appearance isn’t an issue since it is faster and cheaper to do. This machine saves you both time and cash having the luxurious to fill shield gas so you can easily switch back and forth. It handles industrial standard 4ʺ or 6ʺ wire spools and incorporates resettable overload protection to assure long operating life.
- Hard-wearing construction
- Dual-frequency design
- Customizable wire speed
- Spool gun included
- Ten voltage regulation settings
- Challenging to purchase its spare parts
4. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 MIG Welder is a compact and lightweight welding machine. It also makes a great choice for home repairs and hobby projects on light gauge mild steel. You can connect it to a power outlet and can make it work with immediate effect. This MIG welder also doesn’t require any gas during the welding process, unlike certain other welding machines.
This MIG welder is very easy to start and work with since practically everything you’ll need to MIG weld is in the box. These things include gun and cable assembly, work cable and clamp, gas nozzle and regulator, hose and spool wire, contact tips, hand shield, and lens. It also uses the Flux-Core welding technique for better performance and results.
The welding is very easy to do with this Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder. It can weld material with a thickness of 1/8 inches and as light as a 24-gauge metal. You can adjust the voltage speed with the four different voltage control and weld material of varying thicknesses. There is a cold contractor safety feature that keeps welding wire electrically cold until the trigger is pressed.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and portable product
- Can be set up quickly
- Four voltage settings
- Continuous wire-speed adjustments
- Doesn’t have high voltage like 230V and 240V
5. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100 ST
Forney Easy Weld 100 ST is an easy to use and lightweight welding machine that can be taken wherever you need to weld. Its easy start technology makes every arc strike a breeze. Its applications include do-it yourself, maintenance, and repair. At 90 amps, you can perform some automotive applications and developments around the residence making it the best MIG welder under $500.
Forney as we all know is one of the best operating family-owned metal work companies in the US. This machine by Forney delivers a 120V input and 90A output plus is TIG capable. It is efficiently designed to handle up to 1/8ʺ electrode and welds 16 gauge up to 5/16ʺ.
In case of problems with the machine, one needs to file the warranty claim within six months of the purchasing date. You also need to provide evidence of the purchase like an invoice. The warranty does not cover manufactured goods subject to abuse, neglect, or accident, or that are used in any method contrary to the purpose intended.
- Lightweight and portable
- Inverter design
- Comes with essential accessories
- Infinitely variable output dial
- Rare arc issues noted
6. LOTOS MIG140 MIG Wire Welder
This new LOTOS MIG140 is now available with a 2T/4T switch. It features 2 digital displayers that help customers adjust wire feeder speed and welding voltage more precisely. You can easily switch between ‘-‘ and ‘+’ by the newly designed ground cable quick connector. You need to use 0.030ʹ wire or 0.035ʹ flex core wires for beautiful beads when welding solid steel. It is suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metals.
The LOTOS MIG140 MIG Welder has the ability to get connected to your existing 110V wall outlet. You can quickly set it up within 10 minutes. You can weld up to 3/16ʺ of 24 gauge mild steel which is good for a welder. Considering aluminum, you can weld up to 1/8ʺ and it comes with an aluminum-compatible spool gun. This welder has a trigger switch which is perfect for those who weld for long hours continuously.
This MIG welder handles industrial standard 4ʺ or 8ʺ wire spools and incorporates a thermal overload protection system to protect the machine. It requires an input voltage of `115V that is available in most households making it a perfect machine for home use. Its thermal overload protection system prevents the machine from overheating when it exceeds its duty cycle.
Read the complete product review here
- Reliable and durable product
- Aluminum wire feeder
- Thermal overload protection
- 2 digital displays
- Portable and lightweight
- Small spool of wire
7. SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 150A Welder
Sungoldpower MIG 150A welder is extremely popular for making the welding process very simplified. It is ideal for welding mild steel, iron, and other metal. It comes with a welding wire and mask that are ideal for welding outdoors. It has a solid stainless steel body that makes it an extremely durable product. It also features a flux wire for Flux welding with thermal protection.
This welding machine is budget-friendly and has intuitive controls. It is a great fit for beginners who are in need of a reliable machine with great features. You don’t need much experience to operate this machine, just familiarize yourself with the instruction manual and you’ll be fine. It only requires an input power of 110V so you don’t need to worry about a high power outlet.
This model is also equipped with thermal overload protection which is a great safety feature. It automatically shut down the machine in case if the internal sensors detect overheating of components. It is also a great choice to practice different processes and learning the art of welding. There is a torch featuring some safety controls and four adjustable heating controls.
Read the complete product review here
- Easy to use
- Low input power required
- Thermal overload protection system
- Perfect for beginners
- Highly portable device
- Not suitable for heavy industrial jobs
8. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Welding Machine
The Goplus MIG 130 features a stainless steel body that makes this product very sturdy and durable. It is a no-gas welder so you can easily utilize it for different household works. There is a free mask providing you sufficient security when you undertake welding tasks. It features 4 levels of current flow settings and a wire feeding speed adjust rotary knob.
There are ten different speed options available so you have plenty of wire speeding options. This MIG welder is extremely appropriate for home-based projects as well as commercial projects. There are two air vents on the machine for helping in heat dissipation. There is a handle present on the welder that makes it a portable device. You can easily move it around with no difficulty.
The Goplus MIG 130 Welder has some unique features like a hidden storage space. This unique storage space is at the top of it so you can store some small accessories in it. It uses conventional Flux-Cored wire and self-release metal-inert gas while welding, to prevent oxidation of the welded parts. It doesn’t have a lot of accessories so you have to buy it separately.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Welding wire and mask included
- Prevents oxidation
- Features an easy carry handle
- Easy to use machine
- Few accessories are included
- Face mask quality can be improved
Best MIG Welders under $500 – Buyer’s Guide
Like any other machine, you should be definitely interested to know about the welder you want to buy. Therefore, it is essential to know about the features required before purchasing the best MIG welders. Here are several important things that you need to consider in a welding machine before purchase.
1. Input Power
The input power required to operate a MIG welder is an important consideration. Not all welders have a voltage input that matches your workshop power. It is recommended to identify the type of power you use regularly before choosing a MIG welder. There are some MIG welders available with multi-plug voltage systems that provide you with different voltage options. The best you should think of is to get a powerful output MIG. Even if you do only small welds at present, you might be requiring it in the future.
2. Ease of Use
The best MIG welder is definitely the one that offers maximum ease of use. It should be easy enough to set up and use. If a MIG doesn’t get proper recognition, it means it definitely has a poor design and requires a lot of steps to go through before achieving the result. These days, the best MIG welders have an easy set up and start a routine in just 10 minutes.
The portability of a MIG is something not to get worried about but should be checked. Portability might be an issue if you care about a lightweight design and want a MIG welder that you can carry to your work every day. It really depends on your personal choice but, ideally, a good MIG welder machine should be portable.
4. Welding Capacity
Purchasing a MIG welder that can process different types of metals is a big win for you. Most metal inert gas welders fuse mild steel and aluminum. Some of them also have the ability to handle cast iron, iron, and alloys. It is better to find a versatile welding machine to cater to your current and future needs effectively.
5. Spool Gun
If someone wants to aluminum welding with the MIG welder, it is necessary to use a welder with the ability to attach a spool gun. You must look for this feature in a MIG welder before buying it or you will be disappointed. If there is a MIG welder you like that doesn’t have a spool gun, you will have to buy and attach it separately. It is preferable to buy a quick release pool gun for ease of use.
6. Duty Cycle
The duty cycle or spool cycle is another important consideration when you are searching for the best MIG welders under $500. The duty cycle explains the efficiency of a MIG welder. If you use welding apparatus for long hours, then you need a welder that has a high duty cycle. The duty cycle is depicted in percentages in a ten minutes period. A welder with a higher duty cycle is always preferred over a normal one because of its efficiency.
Not many people pay attention to the warranty on the MIG they purchase. The warranty is something that is really important. Don’t be so bent on buying a cheap MIG with a low warranty. Make sure to review a product thoroughly before going for it. Some of the brands in the above list offer very good warranties, i.e. 5 years. It gives you extra confidence in the product you have just bought.
Frequesntly Asked Question – FAQs
1. Is gas-less MIG welding any good?
MIG welders are gas-less welders. They are both lightweight and portable, they don’t need any external shielding gas. The gas-less welders are effectively used for both indoor and outdoor welding while providing excellent penetration and remarkable strength.
2. What is the best way to weld aluminum?
Aluminum is a hard material to weld compared to steel alloys. Aluminum has a lower melting point with a higher conductivity making its sheets prone to burning. MIG welders are the best way to weld aluminum, particularly thin sheets. This is because MIG welders use 100% Argon as a shielding gas while welding.
3. What’s the Duty Cycle?
Duty Cycle is the percentage expressed in 10 minutes the machine can run before it needs to cool down. A higher amperage means the duty cycle will shorten considerably. Check with the manufacturer to find out at what amperage the machine will run continuously.
4. Do all MIG welders come with a spool gun?
The answer is a solid no. Some brands include a spool gun in their product while others not. If you are going to weld continuously then you need a MIG welder with a spool gun. If your welder doesn’t have the spool gun, you can always buy it later and attach it to the welding machine.
The Bottom Line
The expert opinion on MIG welders does matter even if you are buying the best MIG welder. This guide will definitely help you in making a firm decision for choosing an appropriate MIG welder. Remember, get yourself acquainted with your requirements first before deciding to buy a welding machine. It is also significant that you have your security machinery ready like fireproof clothes, and welding helmets. Always buy a machine that offers a good return for your money.
Terje Chuck from Dallas, TX has welding experience of 30+ years. He believes in providing quality metal products while keeping the work environment safe and clean. He is one of our biggest resources that is skilled at interpreting blueprints to assemble them in a structure as per specifications.