Best MIG Welders under $1000 of 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Whether you do general steel construction, automotive repairs, or home DIY projects, chances are you need a MIG welder to get the job done. Choosing the right one, however, can seem like a tall order. There are many high-performance models out there but finding the best MIG welder under $1000 is easier than you think, especially with our help.
We sat down and did some research to find MIG welders to show you what to look for, and what to stay away from. Our MIG welder under $1000 reviews will give you an in-depth look at features and benefits that you need, as well as potential pitfalls that you should avoid. Afterward, we’ll take an extensive look at different aspects and options that you have to consider before buying.
5 Best MIG Welders under $1000
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG – Top Pick
This MIG welder is the undisputed winner of today’s list. It is the perfect model for casual handymen and professionals alike and welds 24 gauge up to 0.25” mild steel. This versatile MIG-ready welder is an incredibly popular wire feed welder that doesn’t require an additional MIG kit. Furthermore, it comes with a voltage control selector for 5 different arc levels to ensure that you have a smooth and stable arc on all steel thicknesses.
Setting up your Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG is quick and easy, even for the novice. An easy to follow setup guide is readily available on the inside of the cover. This welder can be used for easy welding job you can possibly think of. Together with your welder, you will also receive a built-gas valve, a 10-foot MIG gun with liner, and a 10-foot work cable and clamp. The dual gauge regulator has superior quality and the packaging is top-notch.
This product meets all objective standards for a durable and solid product. If superior quality and high-level engineering is what you want, get your hands on the Handler 140 MIG.
- High-quality MIG Welder
- Easy to set up and use
- The welder has a built-in gas valve
- High-quality regulator
- You only get a sample spool of flux-cored wire
2. LOTOS MIG175 175AMP – The Runner-up
Unlike our top pick, the MIG 175 only welds 18 gauge up to ¼ inch steel. Apart from that, this welder really brings a ton of high-end features to the table that renders it a versatile, durable, and reliable workhorse for casual handymen and professional alike. This welder can be used for all types of metal, including stainless steel and aluminum.
With the welder, you’ll also receive a spool gun for aluminum welding and aluminum wire that is 10,4 feet long and 0.9 millimeters wide. This welder can be used for a wide range of applications, including industrial and heavy-duty jobs. It relies on high-end transformer technology and uses industry standard 4” or 6” wire spools that are readily available.
As a precautionary measure, the MIG 175 also has resettable overload protection to ensure that your welder will keep working for a long time. This welder has a lot going for it and is definitely worth considering for any type of project.
- High-quality MIG welder
- Durable, high-end regulator
- Reliable transformer technology
- Spool gun for aluminum welding
- Replacements parts are not readily available
3. Goplus MIG 130 – Best for the Money
The Goplus MIG 130 is ideal if you want quality, durability, and versatility, but don’t have the financial means for our top pick or an equivalent. This welder is perfect for private use or regular steel construction projects. It welds thin steel and iron without any problem and has 4 of current flow settings as well as 10 wire feeding speed settings.
This welder uses flux-cored wire and self-releasing metal inert gas that prevents oxidation and rust of the welded parts. It has a lightweight and can easily be moved or shifted using the conveniently located carrying handle. The design is compact and neatly encased in a heavy-duty stainless steel case. To prevent overheating, the welder has two air vents that allow sufficient air flow as well as automatic thermal safety protection.
In addition to the welder, you’ll also receive welding wire with a diameter of 0.9 millimeters, and depending on where you are buying from, you’ll also get a chipping hammer and metal brush.
This is a handy little welder for professionals and novices alike. If you are a weekend DIYer that wants good value for money, this welder will be perfect for you.
- Great value for money
- Powerful and durable welder
- Perfect for home projects
- Compact and high-quality design
- Easy to set up and use
- Not really suitable for industrial use
- Requires a 220 Volt outlet
4. Forney 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
This starter pack is ideal for people who are starting out or casual hobbyist. The welder is a Forney 29901 125 FC and it is a basic flux-core welding machine. Even though it is a MIG or wire-feed welder, it does not require shielding gas. This welder comes with a ground clamp, MIG gun, gloves, 2 LBS MIG 0.030 flux-core wire, grinding wheel and a welding helmet.
Before starting to weld, you can set your thickness to either sheet metal or thin plate. You also have to adjust the wire feed speed. Lower speeds are used for sheets and higher speeds are used for thin plate. Make sure that the ground clamp is connected to a table or the plate that you are working on, and that you are keeping a stick-out of 1/3 inches. Using this welder is incredibly easy and is a good proposition for someone that is starting out.
You get a bunch of additional products and value with this welder, but the quality is somewhat lacking. This welder is not meant to be used for conventional, heavy-duty jobs, and you may be better off finding a model that won’t limit you in the long-run.
- Easy to use for beginners
- Reasonably priced
- Additional value in start-up pack
- Quality can be improved
- Only recommended for small projects
- No shielding gas
- No inherent overload protection
5. HYL MIG130 Combo MIG Welder
Even though this welder is not the cheapest one there, it is only meant for the occasional small welding project. This welder uses 0.030 flux-core wire and includes a ground clamp, MIG gun, and grounding cable. There is no wire feeding speed setting, and you can’t weld aluminum or stainless steel with this welder.
Overall quality is not brilliant, and even though it can be argued that this is a machine for the beginner or casual welder, it is not the best value for money, even if it is designated to the novice. In any case, as a casual hobbyist or beginner, you shouldn’t forgo quality in order to gain simplicity. There are many high-end welding machines available that are easy to use, but that gives you ample options in terms of material and protection against overload and heat.
We do not recommend this model. If you are strapped for cash, rather consider the Goplus MIG 130.
- Can be used at a 110 Volt outlet
- Low-quality welder
- Limits you in terms of project size
- The machine cannot weld aluminum
- No a long lifespan
Our Buying Guide
When you are out shopping for a MIG welder, you want to make sure that your welding needs are taken care of. You may be facing some choices, so it is important for you to determine beforehand what it is that you want in a MIG welder. When you know what specifications you are looking for, you then have to make sure that you find the best quality welder. Let’s take a look at some of the buying considerations:
If you are a casual handyman that occasionally like to weld thin metals, you will get away with a 115 Volt MIG welder. There are high-quality low-voltage units out there that you can consider, but before buying one, make sure that you will never need a welder for bigger projects.
If you do a wide range of projects, you can look at a MIG welder that either operates at 120 Volts or 230 Volts. You can use these units on a much broader scale, and we recommend that you rather consider one of these than a welder that only operates at 120 Volt.
With these welders, you may have to switch from a high voltage outlet to a low voltage outlet and vice versa. They won’t limit you in terms of steel thickness that you can weld, and some of them will even be suitable for industrial use.
You have a choice between a flux-cored wire and gas-shielded MIG wire. Cheaper MIG welders typically use flux-cored wire. As the flux-cored wire melts, it can form a layer of flux on your weld. This layer then has to be removed manually which can make your job and the weld looks untidy and roughed-up.
When your job has to look neat and tidy, get a MIG welder that uses gas shielded wire. Remember, you get high-quality flux-cored wire MIG welders and low-quality gas shielded wire MIG welder. Don’t assume that, because the specific model that you are considering uses gas shielded wire, it is high-end and durable in all aspects.
A spool gun becomes necessary when you regularly weld aluminum. Many times, the flux-cored wire can get jammed in your torch while you are busy welding aluminum. To take care of this problem, you can add a spool gun. This allows you to keep your torch farther away than you normally have to, making jamming less of a problem.
Shield gas regulator
If you are using gas-shielded MIG wire instead of flux-cored wire, you will be using a lot of shielding gas. It is therefore important that you have a high-quality shielding gas regulator that controls the feed of shielding gas to your torch. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will save you lots of money in the long-run.
We have reached the end of our MIG Welders under $1000 buyer’s guide. We found that the best MIG welder that you can buy for under $1000 in 2018 is the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG. We feel that this welder is the cream of the crop and offers the very best in terms of functionality, quality, and performance. If you, however, prefer the best value for money, we recommend that you consider adding the Goplus MIG 130 to your cart.
Remember is that quality is your most important consideration. A welder that is lacking in terms of quality can pose a safety hazard and can ruin your expensive materials. Most of all, it will waste precious time and be a source of frustration.
Hopefully, we have helped you to narrow down your search and educated you on some of the features that you should be looking for in a welder.
More MIG welding pages:
- Best MIG Welders for Auto Body Work of 2018
- 5 Best MIG Welders under $1000
- Our Buying Guide