Best MIG Welders – 2022 Buyers Guide

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Best MIG Welders

If you are wanting to complete any welding jobs at home then chances are what you need is a MIG welder. They are by far the easiest welding tool to work with and are going to allow you to join multiple types of metal that would otherwise by impossible to join.

Welding can be done either as part of DIY projects, renovations or even just as a hobby – and there are different features and power levels that you are going to need depending on what you are going to be using it for. We have compared some of the best MIG welders so that you don’t have to and included a buyers guide with essential information.

Best Pick – R-Tech MIG Welder

Mig Welder 180A 240V Portable Inverter, inc. Torch & Leads, 5 Year UK Warranty
  • The R-Tech MIG180 is a high quality Inverter MIG welder & MMA welder
  • 240V 16A input with 180amp output at an industrial 35% duty cycle, 160A output on 13A plug
  • Includes 3M MIG torch, Gas hose & regulator, Earth lead & Manual
  • Optional Spool Gun for easy Aluminium Welding
  • 5 year collect & return warranty ( UK )

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Important Note

MIG Welders are very specialised and advanced pieces of equipment and potentially dangerous in untrained hands. We always recommend you undertake specific training from a qualified instructor before using one.

How Do MIG Welders Work?

A MIG welder is part of the arc welding family, forming solid and clean welds using an electrode that is fed along a welding gun into the weld pool in the middle. This happens either with a straight piece of electrode or with a spooling wheel, whichever you prefer! At the same time as the electrode being sent through the welding gun, a shielding gas is also released – the purpose of this is to protect the welding pool from the air whilst it solidifies, forming a stronger, neater and clever weld. 

The benefits of a MIG welder is that they are much easier to work with than other types of weld, as once you have all the settings organised there is very little that you need to change to be able to complete the job! 

MIG welders are different from TIG welders because they have a consumable electrode that is melted as you work to create the bond between the two materials. If you think that you are wanting a tool without the consumable part then it could be that a TIG welder is better suited to you. Here is our buyers guide on TIG welders, which includes some of the best models available to purchase.

Best MIG Welder Features 

There are some key features that we would recommend looking out for before making your purchase of a MIG welder – we have given you more details of these below to make your purchase as easy as possible! 

Thickness of Metal 

First off, it is important to think about the materials that you are going to be working with when you are welding! Many welders will not be able to cope with thicker metals, as they won’t be able to produce a strong enough weld to hold the two together. 

Some will only be able to work with 3/16th of an inch of metal, whereas others can work up to 3/8th of an inch. 

Welding Current and Power 

The voltage that is provided by your MIG welder will determine the thickness of the weld that your machine will be able to provide. The higher the voltage, the thicker and therefore stronger the weld. So this is worth considering when you are making your purchase, as some jobs will require a much thicker weld if you are wanting the job to hold. We found that most MIG welders ranged in current from being able to offer as little as 30amps all the way up to 200amps, but you will get commercial models that can go even greater!

The voltage that you will need to power your MIG welder will usually be 120V or 240V, but you do find some models that can flick between the two. Obviously the greater the voltage, the more power into the machine and therefore the more power out, increasing the thickness of steel that you will be able to work with. Bear in mind that if you are working with a welder that needs more than mains power to run, you are going to need one that will be compatible with a generator for it to work effectively – although this does also give you the benefit of being able to work in a wider range of locations! 

Weight and Size 

The weight of your MIG welder is going to be important if you are moving it from one location to another between jobs, whether this be for storage or to work around a job that you are completing. You don’t want to be stuck with a MIG welder that is going to be too heavy to move as this will leave you limited to the places that you can work and also the jobs that you will be able work on! We found that the weight of most standard, DIY MIG welders ranged between around 13kg all the way up to 40kg, so you can see the big variation in the models! 

It is also important to think about the actual size of your MIG welder – some of the welders on the market are really quite large and you will find them taking up a considerable amount of space in your workshop! 

Duty Cycle 

The duty cycle of your MIG welder is the amount of time that it can work for in a “cycle” (usually 10 minutes) before the machine needs to break and cool down. Obviously, the longer the duty cycle the more work that you will be able to complete in one cycle, and therefore the quicker you will be able to complete the job that you are working on! But, it is worth checking that a longer duty cycle isn’t compromising the parts and going to affect how long the machine can last for overall! Duty cycles range between around 15% up to 70% (so 1.5 minutes in every 10 minutes and 7 minutes in every 10 minutes) – you can imagine the difference that this will make to the amount of time it takes you to get the job done!

Some models will come with extra ventilation or air cooling systems to increase the length of the duty cycle. 

NOTE: If you are struggling to work out the duty cycle that you need to look for, then hold a pen over your work surface (or the materials you are planning on working with) like it is a welding nozzle, and move it around the surface for 3 minutes. You will quickly realise that you can actually get a lot of welding done in this time! 

Flux Core, Gas or Both? 

MIG welders either come needing gas to protect the weld or using a flux core, but some models will allow you to switch between the two. This is particularly useful for if you are going to be working in different locations where you might not have gas available, or it is just easier to go without it! But also allows you the option of working with gas if you are wanting that neat, sturdy finish! Yes flux cored wire means that you do not have to also supply gas to the machine, but if you are wanting a professional finish then we would recommend opting for gas shielded. This is where inert or semi-inert gas contained in a bottle is forced out around the weld pool whilst you are working. 

Best Budget – Display4top Professional MIG Welder

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Additional Features 

Now that you know the main MIG welder features to look out for when making your purchase, it is worth considering whether these extra aspects are going to be important to you. 

  • Spool gun – if you are wanting to weld aluminium then you are going to need a MIG welder that either comes with a spool gun or has the option to attach one
  • Generic consumables – Make sure that your welder can work with general consumables that you are going 
  • Adjustable settings – Look at the different variations that are on offer for the current and voltage that your welder can work with. You want a MIG welder that is going to be easy to work through the different settings and have a wide variety of powers to work with so that it can switch between jobs easily! 
  • Power cord and gas hose length – This is important as it affects how easily you are going to be able to work on larger pieces of material. Longer power and hose lengths will mean that you can move around the area that you are working with ease. 
  • Overheating light or switch off – Look for the different overheating safety features that come with your MIG welder – does it have a light that warns you to switch off or will it switch off automatically?

Best of the Rest

Sealey Mightymig100 Professional No-Gas Mig Welder 100Amp 230V
  • One of our MIGHTYMIG range, this compact gasless welder offers excellent performance at an extremely competitive price.
  • This unit is set-up ready-to-go.
  • Supplied with comfort grip non-live torch, 1.8m earth cable, 0.45kg flux-cored wire and 1mm contact tip.
  • THREE YEAR GUARANTEE FROM A REPUTABLE UK COMPANY – Founded in 1978, Sealey is a large family run business with a vast product range. Trusted by professionals, all Sealey products are thoroughly tested and backed by unrivalled aftersales service.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Röhr MIG-200MI 3-in-1 MIG/ARC Welder Inverter Gas/Gasless 200 Amp DC Anti-Stick Welding Machine MMA IGBT 240V AC - Welding Mask & Variety of Accessories Included
  • 12 month warranty and free to call UK based technical support line
  • Auto hot start, anti stick, arc force stabilisation, thermal overload protection, 60% duty cycle
  • Euro torch, scratch start, standard UK 3 pin 13 amp plug, 3-in-1 output functions
  • Comes with lots of accessories - earth clamp, clipping hammer, wire brush, mask
  • For experienced and DIY users alike with it's intuitive design

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sealey Supermig140 Mig Welder 140Amp 230V
  • Features:Suitable for welding with CO2, Argon or CO2/Argon mix
  • Features a Forced Air Cooling System to slow transformer heating in order to increase duty cycle and a non-live torch to prevent the risk of accidentally striking an arc
  • Supplied with a regulator suitable for our range of disposable or refillable gas cylinders (gas is not included)
  • Also includes spool of wire, contact tips 0
  • 6 and 0

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

What warranty will I get with a MIG welder?

Most high quality MIG welders come with between a 2 and a 3 year warranty. You will find some models of MIG welder that only come with a 12 month warranty, but you need to be prepared for the fact that these will often come with parts that aren’t of the same quality. 

Can a MIG welder also do TIG and ARC welding? 

A standard MIG welder will not be able to complete other types of welding, but you can purchase multi-purpose machines that will be able to switch between different types of welding, providing you have the extra parts necessary to do this. These models will be more expensive in the initial outlay but you will be able to save money in the long run with the amount of jobs they will be able to work on. 

Is MIG welding easy?

Yes! MIG welding is arguably one of the easiest types of welding that you are going to be able to try. It is known as the “hot glue gun” of the welding world and is taught in most UK high schools due to the ease at which you can get the job done. That’s not to say that there isn’t quite a knack to getting that perfect finish though!

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About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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