Welding machines can be extremely versatile and allow you to complete tasks and repairs at home that could you three times as much, or more if you took it to a professional to take care of.
There are several options available, and some can be a bit pricey. However, there are perfectly viable welders on the market with a purchase price of under $500.
We have done the research and have come up with a list of the best MIG welders for under $500. Let’s get started!
MIG Welders under $500: My Top Picks
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder, 120V
The Forney Easy Weld 261 is the best MIG welder that you can buy for under $300. It consists of infinite voltage and a versatile wire feed speed control.
A beginner’s welder that allows you to effectively weld mild steel while enabling you to transport it from place to place with ease.
- Uses 0.30 flux core wire with a powerful 140 amp output, enabling you to weld up to 24 gauge 1/4 inch steel plates with ease
- Lightweight and portable providing you with simple and easy transport
- Durable with an all-metal case that will handle daily wear and tear
- The case can store up to 10-pound rolls of wire
- Includes 8′ MIG gun, 8′ ground clamp, Integrated handle with torch wrap, and a 20A-15A adapter
- The device has a 30% duty cycle at 90A with a 120-volt input
- Item Weight: 19 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 12 x 8.1 inches
- Purchase is backed by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty
- Provides the capability of being able to weld in tight spaces without using gas
- Easy setup makes this unit perfect for new or amateur welders
- The wire feeder is a bit short and may pose problems for some jobs
- Some consumers have complained that the wire feed rate is too slow
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
The Hobart handler MIG welder is a good tool for beginner or novice welders.
Designed to provide value for the money, this unit provides excellent arc performance no matter what type of project you have in mind.
- Capable of welding 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch mild steel
- Operates off 115V standard household current with
- Wire Feed Speed Range 40 – 700 IPM. 50 – 740 IPM at no load
- Amperage output: 25–140; 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps, 19V
- The control selector has a five-position voltage offering a stable and smooth arc for any thickness you need to weld
- Item Weight: 0.16 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
- This welder is of high quality and it has an extremely efficient performance
- Includes a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Has increased ability to quickly change its drive roll
- Some buyers have noted that there have been quality control issues with this welder
- Complaints have been made regarding the looseness of the wire feed knob and that it can adjust the speed with just a simple knock
Lincoln Electric FC90 Flux Core Wire Feed Welder and Gun
The best Lincoln electric MIG welder under $500, this FC90 is designed for use on light metal projects.
Reliable and durable, this welder will perform with minimal need for adjustment.
- Capable of welding 18 gauge up to 1/8 inch of mild steel
- The output of 35-88 amps, with the ability to use a 115V power source
- Safety feature that keeps welding wire electrically “cold” until gun trigger is pulled
- The product is compact, portable, lightweight, and extremely easy to use
- The factory has pre-assembled sports a gun and cable assembly, work lead, work clamp, and input power cable
- Purchase includes self-shielded, flux-cored wire electrode, welding hand shield, and chipping hammer/brush
- Item Weight: 45 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 10 inches
- The purchase comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor
- An excellent light-duty machine for home projects
- Durable construction and made with high-quality parts
- Consumers have complained that the ground clamp is not of the best quality
- The nozzle that comes with this purchase is plastic, consumers recommend upgrading to a metal nozzle
VIVOHOME MIG Welder 130 Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
This Vivohome MIG welder is extremely portable.
The cheapest MIG welder for under $150, this welder provides superior quality performance for a small budget.
- Uses flux-cored wire that conveniently self-releases metal inert gas while the welder is in use
- Perfect for at-home jobs for mild steel and stainless steel
- Adjustable settings of current flow,1/2 with the variable feed control which has 10 welding speeds
- Lightweight, compact design and comfortable hand grip provide easy portability
- Purchase includes welding gun with on/off safety control, grounding clamp, welding helmet, welding wire brush, and several other small accessories
- Duty control is 60% at 50 Amps
- Item Weight: 37.3 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 20.5 x 15.2 x 12.4 inches
- Many consumers are highly impressed with the functionality of this welder
- A great unit for beginners, this welder is easy to assemble and use
- The wire feed is smooth and very consistent
- Some consumers complained that this device splatters quite a bit
- Others have found it best to replace the ground cable prior to use
LOTOS MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder
This Lotos 140 Amp MIG welder has convenient controls and displays that allow the consumer to create more precise welding at every attempt. A newly designed ground cable allows for a quick connector providing simple adjustments between the positives and negatives. Overall, a great product for DIY projects.
- High-quality aluminum wire feeder that provides stability for a superior welding experience
- A convenient 2T/4T—2T(Manual)/4T(Semi-auto) switch is now available
- Adjustable wire feeder and welding voltage provide you with the opportunity for more precision
- Dual digital displayers and a newly designed ground cable quick connector add convenience for the user
- Designed for multiple uses in welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials
- Output is at 140 Amps for mild/stainless steel: 24 gauge – 3/16″
- Dual input voltage: 110/120v that can be easily connected to your existing wall outlets
- Item weight: 54 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 16 inches
- Excellent device for those who are novices at welding
- Manufacturers offer a 30-day 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee along with a 1-year limited warranty
- Consumers love the way this unit works right out of the box
- Aluminum welding requires an additional tool that is not included with this purchase
- Some buyers have commented about having difficulty with the torch trigger at times
Mophorn Tig Welder, 200 Amp 110V & 220V DC Dual Voltage
This Mophorn TIG welder is a super lightweight MIG welder for under $500. Very portable and easy to use, this product is made of high-quality materials and will be efficient enough to complete any welding project you have laying around.
- A two-in-one machine that can be used as a TIG welder or arc stick welder
- Contains an output current adjustable with a knob
- Compatible with φ Max.3.2mm acid & alkaline electrode that can be used to Max.3/8″ weld steel, stainless steel, titanium, copper brass
- Dual voltage unit with 110V/220V input
- Protection against over=voltage, over-heating, and over-current
- Adjustable current decay time and 0-15s adjustable gas delay time
- Powerful cooling system to protect the welder from overheating
- Duty circle at 60%
- Item Weight: 20 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 6.3 x 11.4 inches
- Provides excellent performance without having a ton of clean-up involved
- Easy adjustability on several levels just by using the controls or included adapters
- Consumers are quite happy with the way this welder produces a consistent arc
- Buyers have complained that this device can be a bit noisy
- Other individuals had noticed the flow meter which is included started to leak at the fitting
DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder Machine
The Dekopro welder has great portability that allows it to be used for just about any project. Upgraded features provide easy control in a durable and effective package.
- High-quality machine with power and intuition
- Constructed of high-PVC material with a delicate treatment for extreme durability
- Built with the user in mind, this machine provides precision, simple utilization, and a comfortable grip
- Adjustable wire feed speed and welding current allow you to make adjustments that fit your specific project
- Easy set-up and accessibility to operational components make this a very user-friendly device
- Designed for portability with features such as an easy-to-carry handle, storage, compactness, and easy translation
- A multi-purpose welder that can be used to weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials
- Runs on 110 or 220 voltage with a 60% duty cycle
- Item Weight: 20.6 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.5 x 10.3 inches
- Consumers are quite happy with this lightweight unit and its extreme portability
- This welder will work superbly right out of the box
- Buyers are preferring this device’s dial controls over the standard switches found in its competitors
- Some consumers have had trouble using this unit on the 110-voltage setting
- Others had mentioned that they were required to upgrade the stock ground clamp that is included with this purchase
Factors to Consider
When looking for a budget MIG welder, there are a few factors that you should consider when narrowing down your options.
This feature changes the capacity of your welder, allowing it to weld for metals of various gauges. More amperage will enable the welder to get hotter, which then enables a larger scope of work to be completed by the welder.
For example, a welder with 140 amps will typically be able to weld metal up to 1/4 inch thick. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a welder that has a higher amperage than you intend to use it for, as the welder will tend to work better at intermediate temperatures.
Features Included with Your Welder
Most budget-friendly devices have fewer features than their more expensive counterparts. However, you can still find features such as flux-core, stick, and TIG conversion capabilities without paying a fortune.
Some devices will have functions that enable them to switch the triggers between manual and automatic feeds. Having features like the feeding dial for wire and amperage is a must-have for any budget. The better the range, the more adjustments are available to you allowing you to have a broader range of welding capabilities at your fingertips.
Duty Cycle and Voltage
The duty cycle of a MIG welder is a key component to be aware of. This refers to the machine’s overall quality. Its main function is to advise the operator how long the welder can be used without overheating.
As an example, a duty cycle at 20% will typically allow you to weld or 2-minute intervals at a max of 10 minutes in total before the machine begins to overheat.
While it can be frustrating to have to constantly stop, it is important to adhere to these guidelines for your personal safety while using the welder.
Additionally, it should be noted that these ratios and percentages are typically based on the welder running at a lower temperature than the machine’s maximum setting and careful attention should be paid while the welder is in use. As an added safety precaution, several manufacturers have implemented thermostatic protection that will halt the machine when it starts to get too hot.
Most welders for at-home use are 115-volt or 120-volt MIG welders and will be powered with a typical three-prong outlet. A 230-volt powered welder cannot run in the same scenario, so knowing what you have available to you in the setting you will be welding is imperative.
In addition, the circuit that will be used to power your welder should not have any additional items connected to it. Otherwise, your welder will perform poorly due to a lack of power to support it. Also, check out the best portable generators, which can provide you with electricity everywhere.
In our opinion, the best MIG welder under $500 is Forney easy weld 261.