Welding is not a task to frown upon. Depending on what your tasks are and what machine you’re using, these jobs can enhance the lifespan of your household and commercial furniture. Expert welders can cut thorough or join metal parts that serve you for years. Then again, the machines they use will cost a lot.

However, if you’re just starting out and want something to polish your skills with. Cheap MIG welders are always at hand. Of course, by cheap I mean budget-friendly ones. These machines are perfect for people who’re beginners. These MIG welders won’t cost you thousands of bucks.

This little article of mine comes with some of the best MIG welders under 500 Dollars that I’ve used and got a decent performance out of them. Of course, there are some tricks to finding these needles out from the haystack. I’ve discussed the set of blueprints that helped me in doing the research as well.

Let’s get to the recommendations and buying guide without spending much time blabbering about them.

Comparison Table of Mig Welder Under 500

Name & BrandMax Amp
Volts
Weight
Price
Hobart 500559 Handler
200 Amp
115V
65 Pounds
Check Price
Forney Easy Weld 261
140 Amp
120V
19 Pounds
Check Price
LOTOS MIG175
175 Amp
220/240V
85 Pounds
Check Price
Weldpro Inverter MIG
155 Amp
110/220V
21.2 Pounds
Check Price
VIVOHOME Portable
120 Amp
110V
36.2 pounds
Check Price

Top Rated MIG Welders Under 500 Dollars

I won’t blame you for taking a step back when it comes to buying MIG welders when you’re at a bind with your budget. If you’re considering to back out, let me help you with these budget-friendly yet top-notch recommendations of mine that perform well and cost you less than you think.

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Only a welder knows how much precision and perseverance even a single joint requires. And that is why it has become a necessity to have the best welder at hand. Of course, all welders don’t always start off well. They have to invest not only time but also a fair amount of money.

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is a machine costing less than $500 that will definitely be your money’s worth. In fact, with this welder, you can do Flux Cored Arc Welding alongside Metal Inert Gas Welding.

Some of you may not know this but Gas Metal Arc Welding or GMAW is the same as MIG welding. The Handler 140 comes with a 2-pound roll of Flux Core wire that is already mounted on the welder.

In layman’s terms, you can weld right out of the box since Flux Cored Welding does not require additional inert gas to work with.

On the back of the Hobart Handler 140, where the wire roll is mounted, there is a guide chart to under the flap to help you adjust the settings. This is actually very helpful if you have never used a MIG Welder or you have only begun to work with one recently.

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As you open the flap you will notice the cast aluminum drive system that has a Quick Release to help you change it easily and quickly. This MIG Welder has a wire feed speed ranging from 40 to 700 IPM.

However, the speed changes to 50 to 740 IPM when there is no load. The front of the Handler 140 has a sloped surface for easy access and easy visibility. There are two regulators, one for the wire feed speed and the other for controlling the voltage.

With this MIG Welder, people can work on mild steel with thickness starting from 24 gauges to ¼ inch.

The voltage control regulator has 5-position setting options starting from the thinnest (24 ga) to the thickest (¼ inch). This Hobart MIG Welder operates on 115V. This is the same as the standard current at our household.

There is an “Overheat Indicator” that lights up if the welder gets overheated and then the welder automatically shuts down. Its amperage output is 25 to 140.

However, its duty cycle is 20% at 90 amps and 19V. Now, 20% duty cycle may seem a little less, but with a welder under 500 bucks, that’s definitely a lot. When using for Flux-Cored Welding, you can work with Aluminum, Cast Iron, Titanium, Copper, Brass, and Magnesium Alloys.

When using for MIG welding, you can work with the same metals except for Aluminum. Of course, there is a Gas Hose with regulators for MIG welding. The MIG gun has a 10 feet long pipe and a heavy-duty ground clamp of the same length. Honestly, this is more than what I bargained for at this price.

Things I Liked About the MIG Welder

  • This machine is a good choice if you’re just beginning in your journey as a welder.
  • You won’t have to deal with too much of a welding spatter as the welding ARC is nearly perfect.
  • Hobart 500559 is easy and quick to set up. One can get everything ready and get to welding in no time.
  • With this thing, you have cast aluminum drive system for spool gun and wire feeding at work.
  • This little machine weighs 57 pounds only. The users can call this a “Portable Machine.”

Things I Didn’t Like about the MIG Welder

  • This is not something you’d use for bigger, industrial-grade project of any kind.
  • If you decide to go for gas welding with it, you’ll need an extra cylinder. This means extra money.

Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder

The Forney Easy Weld 261 is definitely the best MIG welder under 500. Well, look at the price and the features that come at this rate! It is one of the cheapest yet best welders in the market right now. The Forney Easy Weld 261 is a great choice for beginner welders. It is easy to set up and easy to use.

Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder

Forney Easy Weld 261 is a Flux Core Wire welder and so it does not require an inert gas cylinder. Being a single type MIG welder allows it to be as light as only 19 pounds.

Users can easily move this thing from one place to another. It has got an “All Metal” case. Due to this rugged construction, this MIG Welder can be used without any fear of accidents or damages.

Just because it weighs less… don’t think this wonder can’t handle a lot. The Forney Easy 140 MIG Welder can take both a 2 pound and a 10-pound rolls of wire.

This FC-I MIG Welder can work with flux core wires which are either 0.30 inch or 0.35 inch thick.  The power cord is 6 feet long, while both the MIG gun and Ground Clamp cords are 8 feet long. It has an integrated handle with torch wrap.

Get Forney Easy Weld at Amazon

Forney 261 comes with 20A – 15A adaptor so that you can use it almost anywhere. On the front, there are two dials, one for regulating voltage and the other for regulating wire feed speed.

In both the cases, the Forney Easy MIG Welder supports infinite speed control and so you can select the perfect set up for your welding job. Well, it’s not considered the best MIG Welder under $500 for no reason. It has an amperage output of a maximum of 140.

This allows you to weld mild steel sheets ranging from 24-gauge to ¼ inch in thickness. As a beginner, this should be more than enough. In fact, you can even keep on using it for a variety of welding jobs.

Forney offers a 12-month warranty. But the thing is, if you know how to use a MIG welder, this one will last long anyway.

Let’s not forget the duty cycle! The Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder has a 30% duty cycle at 90A. That means… in 10 minutes, you can weld for 3 minutes and will have to rest for the remaining 7 minutes, but you know all that already, don’t you?

Under the flap that covers the wire mount, there is a setup guide to help people through all the steps.

One can read a lot about MIG Welders, but using it is something completely different. Remember to use all the safety equipment required during welding. They don’t come with the Forney Easy Weld 261, but you can get them separately if you don’t already have them.

Things I Liked About the MIG Welder

  • This welder utilizes “Flex-Core” welding technology at its heart. So, it’s not that dangerous.
  • If you’re getting 140 Amps as an output level using this machine, you’ve got a good bargain in hand.
  • It’s a beginner-friendly machine and can weld materials that are 24ga in thickness easily.
  • One can attach many accessories with this beast of a machine. No external help is needed in any way.
  • I like the percentage of duty cycle it offers as well. 30% duty cycle is no joke by any means.

Things I Didn’t Like about the MIG Welder

  • You’d need a higher maintenance cost with this machine at the helm.
  • 12-month warranty period is a bit short for my liking. It should’ve been a year or two longer.

LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder

The Lotos MIG175 is built for those who want a reliable and sturdy MIG Welder. This one is definitely made for professional welders. Being under 500 dollars, it’s also easily affordable.

LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder

This is a multi-use MIG Welder with which you can work with stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel, and many other metal items. You can work on mild and stainless metal sheets whose thicknesses range from 18 gauge to a quarter of an inch. For aluminum, you can work on 3/16 inch or thinner sheets.

The Lotos MIG175 comes with a specially designed high-speed MIG Spool Gun for the purposes of aluminum welding. This Spool Gun has a 10-feet and 4 inches long cord with a 4-Prong connection.

It is functional and acts as a fail-safe. Moreover, a one-pound aluminum wire spool is included and the wire has a diameter of 0.9 mm.

When you want to use other fillers, you will have to use the MIG Torch. Both the MIG Torch and the MIG Spool Gun have the same setup. However, when using the MIG Torch, users will have to introduce the wire from the spool attached to the MIG Welder’s side.

Remember to turn the Torch Switch. The torch also uses the 4-prong connection and so it is just as a safety mechanism. For the Torch, you can use solid steel wire with the thicknesses from 0.25-inch to 0.030-inch (0.6 mm to 0.8 mm) and Flux Cored wire from 0.030-inch to 0.035-inch (0.8 mm to 0.9 mm).

That is to say, you can do almost all kinds of welding with the Lotos MIG175. Then comes the Argon Regulator, which is a must for MIG welding. The setup is very easy. In fact, it will take you around only 10 minutes to set the whole thing up.

The Lotos MIG175 is made with a durable and reliable transformer technology that helps to yield satisfactory results every time you use it. This MIG Welder requires an input voltage of 220V or 240V. So, anything less than that will not work.

However, 220V is a standard household voltage and so you can easily connect it and start working. Its amperage is at 175A. And let’s not forget the most important info: the Lotos MIG175 has a 20% duty cycle at 175A and a 30% duty cycle at 135A. At a rate like this, this is more than enough.

There is a “Temperature Overload” alert to make sure the device does not overheat. Along with the already mentioned items, this MIG Welder comes with a Gas Hose, Contact tips, of course, the Ground Clamp, and a Mask for safety. Gloves are not included; you will have to buy that separately.

Things I Liked About the MIG Welder

  • This thing comes with a “Free” spool gun. You don’t have to spend a lot in buying a new one.
  • It’s good against lighter metals. You can effortlessly weld metals like aluminum with it.
  • One can go up to 220 Amps of output amperage. This is what I like about the performance.
  • LOTOS MIG welder features a temperature overload protection as well to counter overheating.
  • There’s a spool gun included in the package for good measure. You won’t need extra bucks.

Things I Didn’t Like about the MIG Welder

  • I found the cables to be too thin for my liking. These can be damaged pretty easily.
  • The motor behind it all is loud as well. It’s not something I’d use for welding in confined spaces.

Weldpro 155 Amp Inverter MIG/Stick Arc Welder

The Weldpro 155 is one of the best portable MIG Welder you can get under $500. It has got a handle integrated on top of it that lets you easily carry the welder from one place to another. This thing only weighs around 21 pounds and so lugging it around is not much of a big deal.

Weldpro 155 Amp Inverter MIG/Stick Arc Welder

It works on dual voltage, either on 110/115 volts or on 220/230 volts. That is, it is compatible with almost all power outlets, especially those at your home. It is a compact machine and has a nice yellow color. As you begin using it you will understand why some are calling it a “Workhorse.”

The Weldpro 155 has an amperage of 30A to 155A. And it has a duty cycle of 30% at full throttle that is at 155A. At such an affordable price, a 30% duty cycle will be as good as welding 2 feet per minute. In fact, at full power, you might even weld as much as 8 feet per minute.

A feature of the Weldpro 155 that stands out a lot is that it can be used for different kinds of welding. You can use it gasless or with gas, and you can even use it for Stick Arc Welding.

This WeldPro welder comes with 10 feet long, 200A red-colored electrode holder with a 10-25 quick connector to be used for Stick Welding.

This is very useful when welding at long distances and in positions where the gun does not reach. The Welder can even be used for Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG Welding in MMA mode, for which you will need to purchase additional accessories. Unlike most IG Welders, the 7.5 feet long MIG Torch is built in.

The 300A Earth clamp is 10 feet long and has a 10-25 quick connector as well.

The Weldpro 155 can feed wire from a range of 78 inches to 472 inches per minute. In fact, it has two regulators that allow you to infinitely adjust heat settings and wire speed. With this welder, you can work with metal sheets that are up to 1/4th inch thick, regardless of the type of welding you are doing.

A 0.030-inch Flux-Cored Wire is included with the package. The Wire drive system is made of plastic, which some have found not up to the mark. If you think that is not going to be a problem for you, go ahead and get it now. What you must keep in mind is at a low price like this, you can’t ask for more.

Things I Liked About the MIG Welder

  • You have all the parts you could possibly need for a good session of MIG Welding without troubles.
  • This has a diverse repertoire of settings for people to take advantage of. A perfect machine for me.
  • The control panel and the manual are simple to get your heads around. Perfect for newbies.
  • You can control the wire feed of this machine down to a tee with two regulators in play.
  • Weldpro is quite adept at functioning as a stick welder as well. It has electrodes that connect to it.

Things I Didn’t Like about the MIG Welder

  • The length of the leads is a bit shorter than what I expected and could have used.
  • The amperage count is a bit lower in reality. I’d have liked something more substantial.

VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire No Gas MIG 130 Welder Machine

The Vivohome Portable MIG 130 Welder is a great choice if you have a tight budget and still want the best MIG welder under 500. Vivohome has tried to squeeze in all the necessary features of a MIG welder into this compact machine.

VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire No Gas MIG 130 Welder

This little tool is so compact and well-built that it has got built-in storage space for keeping all the detachable parts. Moreover, it is portable. The carrying handle is detachable but it can be easily screwed to the top of the welder.

However, it is not that lightweight and so you will have to lose a sweat or two when carrying it.

The good thing is, the exterior of this welder is very sturdy and withstands wear and does not let static to build up. The body and the handle are both heat resistant and so they will not warp or melt when welding.

The Vivohome MIG 130 Welder being compact, affordable, and easy to use is the best option for those who need MIG Welders for working on home repairs and hobby projects.

But don’t take it so lightly (it’s not that light anyway). With this MIG Welder, you can work with mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. You can work with metal sheets as thick as ½ inch.

This is solely a Flux Core wire Welder. Thus, working with thicker steel will not be any problem. One thing I liked about the machine is the easy-to-digest control panel.

On the front, there is one regulator with 10 level settings for adjusting the wire speed. And you can adjust the current flow at 4 different levels with the two sets of switches. There is also a guide chart on the front surface to help you through.

The Vivohome Welder requires 110 Volts to function. It is easily available at the household power outlet, and if not, managing one should not be a big deal either. One gripe I have about the machine that it doesn’t quite live up to the pressure of performing well when the voltage goes up to 240.

As you know, Flux Core Welding does not require any additional inert gas. The Flux Core wire releases a protective metal inert gas while welding which diminishes any chance of oxidation. The Vivohome MIG 130 Welder can work with Flux core wires with thicknesses from 0.8 mm to 0.9 mm.

The MIG Welder has an amperage range of 50 to 120, with a duty cycle of 15% at 105A. Compared to many other MIG Welders, a 15% duty cycle is definitely low. However, keep in mind that this is a very low costing MIG Welder. It’s hard to put pro-level features at such prices.

Don’t think this Vivohome product is cheap. It comes with a high-quality handheld protective helmet. It does not include gloves though; you better get a pair before you begin that welding project of yours. It also comes with a Wire Brush that helps you to clean any debris or metal parts scattered during welding.

Things I Liked About the MIG Welder

  • The control panel is surprisingly detailed for such an entry-level machine of its caliber.
  • You don’t need much of an electricity parameter to run this machine. I could run it with 110 volts.
  • This is the perfect machine to begin with if you’re a hobbyist and have some small-time jobs at hand.
  • Maximum welding machines at this price range have troubles in handling light metals. Not this one.
  • This thing is surprisingly well-made. The sturdy design accounts for damage & accident resistance.

Things I Didn’t Like about the MIG Welder

  • It’s not all that portable when you look at the weight. This is not a lightweight machine.
  • You don’t have extra cylinder of gas in tow with it to do some gas welding with.

How Did I Come Across These Welding Tools?

Despite what you may think, choosing MIG welders that are below half a thousand dollars, isn’t that big of a deal. Of course, you need to keep certain factors and needs of yours in mind while doing so. This is exactly what I’ll discuss in this segment of my article. Call it a buying guide if you will.

  • Get A Product with A Solid Build

I understand that below 500 bucks can mean $400, $300, $250, and even $100 welders from time to time. This means, you’ll have to cut corners at some point. Often, the makers compromise a lot when coming up with budget-friendly products. I get that. However, compromising in build quality is a no-no.

In other words, don’t buy a flimsy machine that’ll break down or stop working within a few months or a year. Nobody wants a tool that gives into the daily hassle of welding and just stops working. Instead, buy a compact MIG welder that pulls through various accidents and stays with you for at least 5 – 10 years.

Ordinarily, people look for a sturdy welding machine. But whenever you buy a product from Lincoln or Forney, the MIG welding gun, gas hose, and other accessories are equally sturdy by default. This instills some much-needed confidence in us users that our money is in a safe place.

  • It’s Crucial to Understand the Power Limits

When shopping for a MIG welder at this price range, it’s important to understand that we’re not particularly breaking the bank. Thus, we can’t expect to get a tool that supports “Dual Voltage” and runs on 120 and 240 Volts of power. The maximum we’re bargaining for is 120 Volts of power to be honest.

The terms stay same in terms of output as well. It’s true that there are machines which provide up to 190 Amps of power at maximum and are compact. However, the most we’re gonna get at this price is 140 Amps and that too would be like hitting the ceiling. In other words, it won’t be consistent.

Also, these MIG welding machines will be perfect fits for cutting through or welding thin materials. If you want something for thicker metals, it’s better to save up some money and go for Hobart 210 MVP or Millermatic 211. These machines are absolute beasts and can handle various delicate and tough jobs.

  • Keep an Eye on the Duty Cycle as Well

To a layman, “Duty Cycle” might be a bit confusing when you think about it. Let me explain. The duty cycle refers to the period your machine will be able to run for before needing to stop and cool down.

In that respect, a machine having a duty-cycle of 20% means that it can run for 2 minutes before needing to cool down for 8 in a 10-minute cycle. The more money you pour into your purchase, the duty cycle will increase. This is the general rule of thumb here. Seems easy to understand, right?

Keeping this in mind, you need to choose a machine in line with your project. For example, if you need to do a lot of welding at a stretch, go for tools with a higher duty cycle. If you’re okay with welding in short bursts, MIG welders with a lower duty cycle won’t pose much of a problem at all.

  • What Metals Are You Gonna Weld?

I won’t lie to you, limiting your budget limits the capacities for your welding machine to some extent. Thus, you need to choose carefully. For example, some machines are good with Aluminum only. You can’t cut or weld magnesium alloys, steel, mild steel or stainless steel with these things at all.

Furthermore, cheap welding machines are good for cutting or welding thin sheets of metals. You can’t really go all out with them when it comes to thicker sheets. Simply put, they don’t have the power necessary for the job. Thicker sheets need more power or a better duty cycle for you to tackle.

  • I’d Look atthe Wire Feed Options Carefully

MIG welders are nothing without wires they weld with. That’s why Wire and Wire Feeding Options are important. I’d not choose machines that feed on too thick or two thin wires when welding. It’s best to keep wire thickness in more of a “Middle” ground. Flux Core wire is a good choice if you go by me.

Once the wire diameter is fixed, it’s time for you to look into the wire speed control. It’s determined by IPM or inches per minute. In other words, a welding wire is fast or slow depending on how many inches it travels per minute. Of course, this can be fastened or slowed down with the help of speed controls.

Now, most of the cheap welders run on a single voltage parameter. That’s why they often go for slower wire feed speeds. There aren’t that many settings for us to utilize either. On the other hand, fancy welding machines have too many modes and as the wire speed increases so will the heat they deal with.

As a result, there’s a chance of overheating with these tools. This is a thin line for us to walk. You’ve got to compromise and make suitable choices in terms of the budget-friendly welders.

  • Wire Spool Guns Are Vital as Well

Be mindful of the fact that not all welding machines will give you the same quality wires or spool guns to work with. The metal you’re welding or the environment you’re working in plays a vital part in that. It’s best to go for items that represent a brand when it comes to selecting wire and spool guns for welders.

However, there are exceptions. You’ll find welding machines that can take various diameters of wires and work with different spool guns as well.

For example, there are machines that can hold a 4-inch spool gun. It can carry a 100-pound wire roll very easily. These machines are cheap and below 500 dollars as well. Choose your options wisely.

Let’s End It Right Here

Believe it or not, expert opinion “Does” matter. Yes, even when you’re buying a budget MIG welder. The best thing about my recommendations is my expertise of 7 long years as a welder. Some of these brands I mentioned here are ancient and do have products that cater to beginners and intermediate-level users.

Of course, you need to factor in the kind of work you do and for how long you do it. There are a bunch of accessories to select from as well. The Best Mig Welders under 500 bucks do give you the freedom to do multiple types of welding on multiple metals after all. Thus, it’s helpful to go through the manuals.

I’d love to know about your experiences of using a machine from the list I provided. Or perhaps, you found a new one based on your research? Do tell me all about it in the “Comments” section. Let’s have an engaging discussion about the machines we use.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Josh, the chief editor of Inboxq and I’m borderline obsessed with everything related to welding. When I am not toying with heavy-duty tools, I’m either sweating it out in the gym or playing with my chihuahua. Whenever I run out of ideas, I go to Burger King for inspiration.

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