Best MIG Welders under $500 of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Last Updated: August 3, 2020
To have the option of buying MIG welders that are capable of paying themselves off in less than a day’s work is incredible. However, this under-$500 range is much harder to find unless you’re buying online.
These mainly come under 140 amps and can weld up to 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick sections just as well as high-priced welders. We have written reviews on seven top MIG welders under $500 to show what they’re like and how it’s not always necessary to spend large amounts of money on welding gear. We hope you enjoy them.
Quick Comparison of our Favorites
|Best Overall||Forney Easy Weld 271 140 MP||
|Lotos 140 Amp||
|Best Value||SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp||
|Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy||
|Campbell Hausfeld 120V FLX140||
The 7 Best MIG Welders under $500
1. Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder – Best Overall
The 140-amp multi-process Forney Easy Weld 271 is our favorite under-$500 welder available online. It lays quality MIG welds on thin sections of metal up to 1/4 inch. However, it’s not only a MIG welder. It can stick and TIG weld too, although the TIG accessories are purchased separately.
The leads are shorter than we’d like, but they do the job just as well as a longer set, only lacking the distance factor. As Forney is known for, the manual is easy to follow, and the welder itself takes minimal effort to set up.
For the price it costs, it comes with exceptional components and can lay a tidy bead in four different electric welding processes. This machine is significantly better than other welders under $500 and makes our top spot with ease.
2. Lotos 140 Amp MIG-Welder
Lotos has been putting out some excellent welders at a low price, including the 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder. It’s not a heavy-duty welder, so don’t expect it to perform at an industrial level, but for home use it serves any welder well, both new and experienced welders alike.
The instruction manual is of little benefit, so it pays to know how a welder is set up or do some online reading beforehand. However, like most Lotos machines, it’s a simple welder to set up and use if you understand the basics of welding. It comes with all you need to MIG weld medium gauge plate at a low-price range.
This machine has a wider range of amperage and wire-feed settings, which enables ample adjustments to fine-tune your arc while minimizing spatter. The leads are a little short, but the torch is nice to use and goes the distance for frequent medium-duty welding up to 3/16-inch steel.
3. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG Welder – Best Value
We are impressed with the SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder. It has a highly affordable price and can weld any material, including aluminum, up to 200 amps. The machine doesn’t have an aluminum spool gun included in the kit, but it will fit one, and its rollers system is uniquely geared up for it.
The high amperage range and quality machine parts allow it to weld through 1/4-inch-thick plate to give you a wide range of diversity. Like the Lotos 140-amp MIG, this welder has multiple adjustments on both the wire feed and amperage dial, so you can set up smooth and minimal spatter welds.
Like most other low-priced welders, the leads are short, but they are a decent quality so you can have confidence they will last a considerable time. Overall, this welder offers more amperage for its price than any range under $500, and we rate it the best machine for your money.
4. Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG-Welder
The K2185-1 is not Lincoln’s best machine, but it’s designed with durability in mind for welding very light metal sections. However, the extra gear it comes with, like a welding mask and chipper, is of minimal use. What’s good about this machine is that it’s reliable and will fulfill what you need within its range. Do note that the range maxes out at 1/8 inch thick, and there is minimal amperage adjustment.
The welding machine itself is larger and heavier than other welders with more capacity, but the leads are eight inches long, surpassing the majority of low-priced machines. Overall, it’s not our favorite welder due to its small range of welding capacity, but it’s a top-quality machine for what it’s designed for nonetheless.
5. Campbell Hausfeld 120V FLX140 MIG Welding Machine
The Campbell Hausfeld Welder is a good option for welding up to 1/4-inch steel, but it isn’t suitable for much else. It doesn’t have the capacity to stick weld like most MIG welders, but it can weld with flux core wire if you need to be outside or fuse dirty or coated steel.
It isn’t designed for aluminum welding, and there are only a few setting adjustments within its amperage range. There is also no 220/240-volt input option, but for what it’s designed for, this has to be one of the most heavy-duty machines in the light range of welders. It has a sturdy plastic and metal shell, and all the internal components are top-notch so you can have confidence it will last.
If you need a welder that can take a beating while performing strong MIG welds up to 1/4-inch thick, this is a worthwhile option to consider.
6. Arcsonic 220V IGBT Inverter MIG Welder
The small Arcsonic 220V IGBT Inverter Mig Welding Machine is one of the lowest-priced MIG machines online, and it comes with reasonable quality for what it costs. It isn’t designed for workshop use; however, it wouldn’t be a bad choice for welding light gauge steel on a regular basis in a workshop setting.
We don’t like the short leads that are hard-wired into the machine. This makes it more limited than most welders, but it’s handy that you can flick the automatic feed on and not worry about holding onto the trigger with the 2T/4T function. This welder is a small compact machine. Even though it lays a reasonable quality bead up to 140 amps off 220 input volts, it’s easily stored out of the way compared to many other welders in this range.
For a low-priced machine, it’s a good option, but we would prefer to pay slightly more for something better quality, like the SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp or Forney 140-amp welders we reviewed.
7. LONGEVITY 140 Amp MIG-Welder
The last welder on our list is the LONGEVITY Migweld 140-amp welder. It’s capable of welding 3/8-inch steel, but it generally takes multiple passes and is better for 1/4-inch sections or less. It comes with a decent range of amperage and wire feeding adjustment, which makes finding your ideal range easier than with some other welders.
It is a lower quality welder that isn’t worth the price it comes at, compared to other welders like the Forney and Lotos 140-amp welders. The wire feed isn’t the best; it sometimes works well, but is known for being a low-quality part of the machine that can cause people problems.
Overall, this welder can do a good job for a 140-amp welder, but the quality and wire feeder make it less desirable than other online options.
The amperage range of a MIG welder changes its capacity to weld different gauge metal sections. The higher an amperage it will produce, the hotter the weld can get, resulting in a broader welding capacity. It’s important to note that some welders run hotter than others, even at the same amperage range. This makes it necessary to learn about a specific welder before purchasing based only on its amperage range.
140 amps can usually weld up to 1/4-inch thick, sometimes slightly more. It always pays to purchase a slightly higher range than you plan to use. Buying a welder with a hotter capacity is much better than welding too cold or leaving a smaller material margin than you require for future welding.
A welder’s quality will ensure it does what it’s supposed to and won’t break too early. Nothing lasts forever, but buying a welder like a Forney or a Lincoln will give you more confidence than a cheap welder that’s been thrown together carelessly.
The welder itself is most important, but a good torch always helps, as it’s the direct vessel by which all the welding is done. A welder itself may last the necessary time, but if the torch is falling apart or not user-friendly, it will produce a poor welding experience.
There are fewer features on welders priced under $500, but they still include options like flux-core, stick, and TIG welding capabilities. Welders like the Lotos 140-amp machine have a 2T/4T function that can switch the trigger from a manual feed button to an automatic feed trigger.
Other welders in this range can have aluminum spool guns connect to them, so that the material range is broadened. However, few welders come with the spool gun itself. This must be purchased separately unless you’re buying a more expensive machine that includes one.
The amperage and wire feeding dial is a vital feature that makes a huge difference in welding ability. The higher a range of settings it gives you, the better you can adjust your welding to suit a broader range of materials and positions. The setting range needs to vary significantly depending on what you’re welding, and this will ensure you can cover all types of welding. It’s also helpful for tuning your weld to the least amount of spatter, as MIG welding can produce high levels of spatter with the wrong adjustments.
We have covered numerous excellent welders from some trustworthy brands, and they all have impressively low prices. Our favorite amongst the seven we reviewed is the Forney Easy Weld 271, 140 MP Welder. This is our top pick as it lays one of the best beads among this under-$500 range while giving you the capacity for stick and TIG welding. It’s also a high-quality welder, so you can trust it will go the distance you need it to.
The welder we consider the best for your money is the SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder. It’s one of the only welders under $500 that can weld up to 200 amps, and it does so with a 60 percent duty cycle.
Thanks for reading our reviews. We hope you found them helpful. We also have a guide for MIG welders under 1000 USD that’s also worth a read.
- Quick Comparison of our Favorites
- The 7 Best MIG Welders under $500
- Buyer’s Guide