Best Budget Welders (TIG, MIG, STICK) – Top Picks & Reviews 2020
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At one time, there were almost no low-priced TIG and MIG machines that could give you a good welding experience. There have been low-priced machines around for a while, but their performance has usually been terrible.
Now there are more budget welders available than there are top-of-the-line machines. While there are still plenty of poor-quality welders in the bunch, there are some excellently performing machines in this budget range.
We have chosen our seven favorites among them and have given you the run-down on why they’re worth buying if you’re on a low budget. There are some incredible welders in this lot, and we hope you find one that suits your exact needs.
Comparison (updated in 2020)
The 7 Best Cheap Welders
1. Lotos – Best Budget TIG Welder
The Lotos TIG200ACDC is the best TIG welder when you’re on a low budget. The technology required in a TIG welder makes it difficult to produce low-priced machines that perform well, but Lotos has done an excellent job at making it affordable, easy to use, and an all-around performer for any TIG welding.
It is one of the easiest TIG machines to start out with in your garage, but it’s even capable of performing well in a workshop setting with frequent use over a wide range of jobs. It’s an AC/DC machine, so it can weld aluminum smoothly. On the DC setting, it can fuse both thin stainless steel sheet metal and heavy gauged sections requiring large gaps to be filled.
This is one of the simplest of all the TIG welders to use. The panel of useful settings only requires a small amount of previous experience to use it, but there are enough adjustments to set the welder up for most types of TIG welding.
We like the simple foot pedal that helps you change the arc temperature quickly with your foot or hand while you’re welding. Overall, if you’re looking for a one of the best TIG welders that won’t let you down, this is our favorite, and we highly recommend it.
2. Forney – Best Budget MIG Welder
Forney’s Easy Weld 271 is a small budget MIG welder, and it’s an impressive machine considering the size and price it’s offered at. It hasn’t had too much internal technology put into it, which has enabled Forney to focus on building a high-quality machine that works well. It runs beautiful MIG welds.
The price of this welder is incredibly low for what it can do, and as Forney is known for, the manual provides straightforward instructions on how to set up and use the machine. There is very little you need to know to run it, but it provides more than enough information to ensure you have no issues running it.
This welder is also capable of TIG welding. Although the TIG function isn’t the best, this makes it capable of diversity if you need it. It doesn’t come with a TIG torch included. Overall, if you’re on a low budget but need a decent 140-amp welder, this is the best budget MIG welder to buy.
3. Weldpro – Best TIG & MIG Welder
The Weldpro 200 machine is one of the most technologically advanced budget machines available, and it comes at a desirable low price. It excels in both its MIG and TIG functions and is known for being simple to learn on with its synergic feature.
The welder’s synergic core has preset internal parameters built into it, which determines the best range of settings for your particular welding. This takes all the difficulty out of balancing the amperage/voltage with the wire feed for MIG welding and enables TIG settings to be selected with ease. All you need to do is turn it on, set minor basic adjustments if you need to, and weld.
Even though it has a fair amount of capacity and variety, it’s small and easy to transport when needed. What’s great about this machine is that it doesn’t look and feel like a budget welder, but its price reveals that it is, yet you can weld as well on it as with a top-of-the-line option. This is the best multi-purpose MIG and TIG welder in the budget range.
4. Hyperikon TIG Welder
The Hyperikon 3 in 1 TIG Welder is an impressive budget TIG welder that’s offered at a very affordable price. It uniquely comes with a plasma cutting function to make it a diverse machine ideal for fabricating full projects without multiple tools.
It is a much more basic TIG welder compared to the Lotos TIG200ACDC and the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter, but it welds nicely nonetheless. This machine has a high-frequency non-touch starting torch. To begin welding, all you need to do is press the torch button when your tip is close to the metal, and your arc will start. This is the best kind of torch to use and is rare to find in budget welders.
There is no aluminum welding with this machine, and it doesn’t include a foot pedal, but there is the capacity to use a foot pedal if you have one to connect to the welder. It’s not our favorite TIG machine, but it is an excellent budget welder, and the plasma cutter is a useful feature that’s highly desirable.
5. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder
This is our second favorite budget MIG-based machine. It has a useful mix of simplicity and variety in setting adjustment, so you can use it easily while still having diversity to weld most projects. However, the instruction manual is terrible, so it pays to do your own research online about running MIG machines if you don’t already know.
It’s capable of welding most plate thicknesses up to 200 amps, and it can weld any material, including aluminum. However, it pays to purchase an aluminum spool gun separately, as the kit doesn’t include one.
This machine is obviously recognized as a budget welder, unlike the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter, but we like how it runs and recommend it if you only need to MIG weld and want diversity in your welding range.
6. Amico TIG Torch Stick Welder
Amico’s TIG 160 budget TIG welder is one of the lowest-priced machines available online. It’s a simple welder to set up and learn how to use. It doesn’t have a high-frequency arc start, which is most people’s favorite way to start welding, but it’s easy to lift-start your arc. Once you begin welding, it’s a nice welder to TIG with and requires very little understanding of welding to use.
There is not much welding diversity with it, as it’s designed for mid-range sections, but it welds them comfortably. It struggles to weld thin stainless steel sheet metal and thick sections with large gaps to fill, but is useful for most standard-sized sections.
This welder doesn’t have the capacity for aluminum welding. It is a very simple machine, but this makes learning easy if you’re new to it, as all you need to do is change your welding temperature, and away you go.
RELATED READING: an overview of the top 5 stick welders of 2020
7. Campbell Hausfeld FLX140 Welder
Last on our list is the Campbell Hausfeld MIG welding machine. It’s a small machine offered at a low price, but it’s surprisingly heavy-duty. The shell is a mix of metal and plastic and can withstand most of what an industrial environment puts it through.
It isn’t designed for aluminum welding, although with some minor adjustments, you can adapt it to weld aluminum. There are also only a few setting adjustments within its amperage range, but for what it’s designed for, it welds exceptionally well.
This machine is a worthwhile budget welder to buy. It has a long warranty and is simple for anyone to use, but it doesn’t come close to our top choice MIG welders. However, you can’t complain about it with the low price.
Factors to Consider When Choosing:
Before buying a budget welder, it’s important to determine which process you want to weld with: MIG, TIG, or both. There is a range of budget welders in every process, and many of them include both MIG and TIG. However, deciding what you want to focus on will help you decide which machine will suit you best.
If you are only MIG welding, the Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder and the SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder are good options to consider, as they are primarily MIG machines and make it easy to hone your MIG welding skills.
TIG welding is rarely a process people jump straight into, but if you want a budget welder to begin with, the Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder and the Amico TIG 160 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder are budget options that make learning the ropes easy.
Sometimes people want the ability to weld TIG and MIG and spend just as much time on both. In this case, we recommend the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder. It is just as capable a TIG welder as it is a MIG welder, and provides the best platform to learn and progress on among the budget range.
If you’re not sure what to begin with, reading our TIG vs. MIG: Which Welding Process to Choose? article will help you gain an understanding of the two processes and what would suit your needs most.
Once you have chosen the type of welding you want to focus on, your purpose for welding will help you narrow the choices down to the right machine. Certain budget welders only have a small amperage range to work with, so they don’t suit welding a variety of plate thicknesses.
For example, if you want a MIG welder and want to weld lots of thick sections throughout your projects, buying a welder like the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder or the SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG DC Welder will give you the amperage range to do so.
If you want to focus on smaller MIG projects and don’t need much heat in your welding, the Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder is the best budget welder for performance on lighter sections.
For TIG welding, the Amico TIG 160 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder is a good welder for medium gauge welding. If you want to weld very thin or very thick sections, the Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder and the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder will ensure you can reach both sides of the welding spectrum for a variety of projects.
Your overall budget may be the biggest determiner of which welder you can buy. While you may have ideas of what you want, sometimes it comes down to how much money you have to spend on a welder. In this case, you can find the welders within your price range, and choose from among them.
However, if you can afford more but want to get the best machine for your money, be mindful that you don’t always save the most money by buying the lowest-priced machine. Consider the expected lifespan of the machine you’re buying based upon reviews and what you know of its quality.
Remember not to over-focus on finding the best cheap welder. Sometimes paying slightly more for a higher-quality budget welder will mean you can use it for five years instead of two. In this circumstance, you can save well over half the amount over the period of five years welding by buying a better-quality welder in the first place.
Cheap welders are an excellent choice in today’s market when high-tech machines are built at a low price with lasting components. There are many to choose from, but these seven reviews have revealed our favorites.
The best budget TIG machine is the Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder. Its broad range of welding capacity is simple to use and fosters progression more than any other budget TIG welder.
There are many good MIG machines online, but the best budget MIG welder is the Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder. It’s a small machine that’s simple to use and lays the nicest beads among the budget MIG range.
Among the multi-process TIG and MIG machines, the best is the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder. It’s the most high-tech machine of the budget range, with a synergic feature that pre-determines the best welding settings for your specific project. It’s simple to use and comes at a low price.
We hope these reviews have been helpful to you and that you can find the most suitable budget welder for your specific needs.
- Comparison (updated in 2020)
- The 7 Best Cheap Welders
- Factors to Consider When Choosing: