In this MIG welder review we rank, rate and review some of the best MIG welders on the market. Let’s start with the overview below
Image MIG welder Product Weight Current Input Voltage Score Best value
The Forney 140 309 is a portable MIG welder for home and professional use. Weld steel, stainless steel, aluminum and cast iron up to a thickness of 1/4 inch. The package includes a 10 foot welding torch, the ground clamp, an 8 foot power cable the gas hose and of course the regulator.
- Welds up to 1/4 inch
- Flowmeter and gas hose included
- Processes include MIG (Gas) and Flux Cored
- Euro-connect MIG gun with Tweco #1 compatible consumables
- Forney rebates available at Forneyind.com/greenback
Miller Millermatic 211
A very nice feature is Miller’s Auto-Set mode: Just set the material thickness and chose weld wire diameters on the turning knobs. With this feature, you can save time because you don’t have to try out different parameters and can rely on.
- Price For: Each Series: Millermatic 211 Aluminum - Material Thickness: 18 ga. to 3/8" Mild Steel - Material Thickness: 24 ga. to 3/8" Stainless Steel - Material Thickness: 20 ga. to 1/4" Hz: 60 Input Amps: 17
With a weight of only 57 lbs, the Hobart Handler 140 is very lightweight and allows the welder to meet with the clients at the point of need.
Included in the package is – of course – the Handler 140 with the built-in gas solenoid valve. Additionally, you get the dual-gauge regulator with gas hose. Thanks to the industrial grade cast aluminum wire drive system you get a robust wire feed system, that works hand in hand with the heavy-duty grounding clamp.
- Welds 24 ga up to 1/4 in mild steel
- Easy to set up and runs flux core steel, solid and aluminum wire. Comes MIG ready
- Operates off 115V standard household current
- Amperage output: 25-140; 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps, 19V
What is MIG welding?
MIG welding is a subtype of Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) process. Gas metal arc welding systems usually do have a wire feed system in place and active (MAG-welding) or shielding gas (MIG-welding) is placed on top of the weld area.
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. MIG welding is a welding process in which an electric arc forms between a wire electrode and the workpiece metal. A constant voltage power supply is used to generate the arc. This electric arc heats the metals and thus the parts are melted together. Together with the electrode which is being consumed during welding the inert gas exits the nozzle and avoids oxygen to enter the weld area.
Typical inert gases used for MIG welding are argon and helium. The type of shielding gas affects the behavior of the weld pool, penetration depth and the mechanical properties of the final weld joint. Overall, the MIG welding process provides solid weld results.
Initially, the MIG welding process was invented in the 1940s for welding aluminum and non-ferrous materials in WW2. Because of its advantages in speed, it was soon also applied to different types of steel.
Definition of welding
Welding is a process to merge two different parts. Merging is done by high heat and can be done in combination with force. Most of the times metals are being welded together, but it is also possible to weld plastics with appropriate equipment.
There are different well-known welding processes like MIG welding, MAG welding, TIG welding, electrode welding and oxyacetylene welding. In this article we focus primarily on the process of MIG welding.
MIG welding systems – typical applications
A MIG welder is excellent for your home DIY welding projects. Compared to other welding processes (like stick welding) MIG welding is a lot easier.
Start welding your car frame, boat deck, lawn equipment, car parts or trailer frames or garden fence.
Typical applications for welders
- Car frame fixing
- Boat deck repair
- Machine maintenance
- Garden fence construction
- House repair
- Prototype design in motorsports
MIG welding basics
MIG welding – electric arc theory
At MIG welding you can make a distinction between the different types of welding arcs.
The three main transfer modes in GMAW are globular, short-circuiting, and spray. (Source: Wikipedia)
As the arc voltage increases, the metal drops increase in volume and the material transition becomes short-circuit-free. The temperature inside the electric arc is around 10000 – 15000 Fahrenheit (6000-8000°C).
Read also: How to MIG weld
Now, if the arc length during welding is too long, the arc breaks off after the material transition. As the current increases, the number of drops increases. At the same time, the volume of every single drop decreases.
A change in the wire feed also changes the length of the arc and thus the quality and shape of the seam and its penetration depth.
MIG welding safety recommendations
When using a welding machine, many hazards can be identified. First of all, when you use welding equipment, please ensure that your environment is adequately ventilated. We can not recommend using your welding equipment which is operated with gas in a closed room. Inhalation of weld fumes can lead to risky situations.
Also, you should make sure to cover your skin because welding produces high levels of UV radiation. Thus it is also essential to protect your eyes from burns with a good welding helmet or protection goggles. For a very efficient and comfortable work I can recommend auto-darkening welding helmets.
Moreover, spatter and liquid metal can drop onto your clothes so make sure to wear protective clothes.
Required accessoires for welding
For welding with a MIG welder, it is, of course, necessary to purchase appropriate gas cylinders. Depending on the model, additional electrodes are also required.