It used to be that you’d need two, three, sometimes four machines to weld the metals and materials found in fabrication shops and hobbyist garages. That meant buying peripherals that fit each machine and enough room to keep the assortment of tools needed to run and maintain them.
What a headache!
In the last few years, multi-process welders have swept in and impressed professional welders and backyard beginners. That’s because they can perform just as well and take up a quarter of the space. Plus, the comparative cost is often less than the price of separate devices.
Companies have seen how well these multipurpose welders sell and the competition in the last year has been fierce. With just one Google search, you have several enticing offers and many of them are a bargain. But these machines all perform diversely, and you can buy a product that doesn’t match your specific needs.
Below, I review the best multi process welders on the market right now and provide some helpful tips for using the machine properly.
- Best Multi Purpose Welders Comparison
- The Top 8 Multi Process Welders Review
- Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder
- Lincoln Electric PowerMig 210
- Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP with Aluminum One-Pak
- ESAB EMP215IC Dual Voltage MIG/TIG/Stick Welder
- Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder
- 2015 Everlast PowerPro 164 Multi Process Welder
- Lotos LTPDC2000D 3-in-1 Welder
- 2019 Everlast PowerMTS 251Si Multi Purpose Welder
- 7 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Multi Process Welder
- The Safety Features and Tips of Multi Process Welders
- My Verdict
What’s a Multi Process Welder?
A multi-process, or multipurpose welder is a machine that can operate several different welding styles, most include flux-core, stick, MIG, and TIG. Some pricier welders also include a plasma cutter. They’re perfect for tradesmen, farmers, or at-home enthusiasts that must weld various pipes, sheet metal, machinery, and other applications.
You can strap these tools to the back of your truckor install them in a specific spot in your shop. They greatly reduce the floor space needed for welding. Because of the number of trades and professions that use welders, each multi-process machine is unique. They might advertise AC or AC/DC power, single or dual voltage, Pulse Tig, or Aluminum Spool.
The reason I suggest buying a multi-process welder is because it opens potential jobs and reduces the amount of work you must hire out. Also, the number of hobby projects increases with every type of welding you know how to perform.
Owning the tool that gets the work done timely and safely is the first step to achieving excellent results. So while you may not feel comfortable operating a TIG welder, owning a machine that has the capability opens the door to mastering it once you’ve grappled with MIG or stick.
Best Multi Purpose Welders Comparison
|Weldpro 200 Amp ||200 Amp||220V/110V ||30.4 pounds|
|Lincoln Electric Powermig ||210 Amp||120V or 230V||61.8 pounds|
|Lincoln MIG K4195-1||210 Amp||120V or 230V||12 pounds|
|ESAB EMP215IC ||200amp||120V or 230V||79.4 pounds|
|Forney Easy Weld||140 Amp||110v||25.8 pounds|
|Everlast PowerPro||200 Amp||110v/220v ||60 pounds|
|Lotos LTPDC2000D||200 Amp||110v/220v ||42.3 pounds|
|Everlast MTS 251Si||250amp ||110v/220v ||80 pounds|
The Top 8 Multi Process Welders Review
Weldpro is the American division of Linlong Limited, a leading global organization in the welding industry. They’ve been impressing welders from Kansas to Shaanxi for 20 years.
With over 300 experts from every corner of the industry, Weldpro has forged a machine that’s as reliable as it is intuitive. The Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder removes the guesswork from the finer adjustments required of most MIG/stick devices. And its power capabilities offer TIG welders a fantastic value in a smaller than usual package.
Their synergistic technology can fine tune your wire speed and voltage on the fly without your input. Or, if you’d rather calibrate and dial in your settings, you can tweak the voltage yourself.
Unlike many welders I’ve tested, this one weighs in less than my dog, at 30 lbs. That’s way below the average of 40 lbs. That means it’s great for those that want to weld on-site and need a device that’s dependable and easy to carry. Weldpro’s IGBT inverter system is what you have to thank for your painless experience of carting the tool out of your truck bed and into your garage.
The Weldpro 200 Multi Process Welder also includes their own version of Advanced Induction settings. These allow for welds with less splatter and tighter beads, especially at this price. For anyone that’s looking for a machine that performs MIG, TIG, and stick welds that are visible, this is crucial.
Probably the biggest plus of this Weldpro device is right there in the name — 200 Amp. The welder pushes all the power you’ll need for MIG with spool gun ability. The device features a spool on the inside compartment. The set up is very simple, one of the easiest I’ve used.
Also, I found the lift TIG features to be up there with machines that specialized in TIG. I like that it can TIG with DC power, too. That means you’ll have enough settings and charge at your disposal to weld dissimilar materials or braze metals.
The Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder ships with a range of well-made extras. You get a MIG torch with 10 feet of cable, a TIG torch with 13 feet of hose, Electrode Holder, Earth Clamps, Gas Hoses, Face Mask, and power adapter for 110 and 220v power.
I really enjoyed my time with this machine and think it serves as the perfect middle ground for both experts and beginners. You’ll have everything you need here to weld today and won’t need to buy anything other than maybe a TIG pedal.
When you buy a Lincoln Electric Welder, you’re buying the industry standard. This is an American company founded in 1895. Their home office is in Euclid, Ohio, but they have factories and offices in 42 countries around the world.
With that footprint, you’d expect Lincoln Electric to manufacture machines that maintain the high bar for safety, precision, and durability in an industry known for its roughnecks and skilled tradesmen. Thankfully, I’ve yet to use a Lincoln welder that didn’t restore my faith in the intuitive American welding product industry.
The PowerMig 210 MP by Lincoln stands as a top-rated welder that’s great for at-home enthusiasts and welding shops desperate for a unit that can be lobbed into the back of a truck and driven to a construction site. The MP in the name stands for, you guessed it, Multi Process. You can achieve multiple types of welds with this Lincoln Welder.
With the PowerMig 210 you can MIG, TIG, and Stick weld. Even better, as a stand-out machine, you get dual voltage, 120v and 230v. That means the device will work regardless of the power source you’re working with. Take note, however, that if you’re running 110v at home, you won’t achieve the same intensity of welds as you would with a 230v.
I think for the size of the machine and its range of welding types it outputs better than a lot of other welders in its class. We’re talking something like 40% to 25% duty outputs at 120v and 230v, respectively. While there are machines with better outputs, I think this is a good range. Because it’s a Lincoln welder, you’ll experience stable power and performance.
I love the LCD screen Lincoln installed on the control panel. The color screen lays out all the information and offers the beginner a step-by-step guide to setting up their first MIG or stick weld. You also have the option to run a gas MIG set up or flux core wire. The gas input is right beside the power port.
For the pros out there, the list of set up features with the Lincoln goes way beyond the beginner guide. You can play with your spot gap settings and thickness, flux core speed, and inductance or the sharpness of your arc.
Lincoln Electric impressed me with the PowerMig 210. I recommend it for beginners who may be uneasy with setting up their first weld, but there’s depth here too for those with years of welding experience. Those who want TIG welds should look at other options on my list.
This multi process welder ships with all the features of the basic 210 and the added tools needed to weld with a spool gun. The only reason you’d purchase this version over my second pick is if you’re working with aluminum. This machine can’t run TIG aluminum welds. Instead, you use the MIG spool setting with an aluminum reel.
I found the Lincoln POWER 210 MP a terrific machine for any welds at or under a quarter inch or 10-gauge metal. It doesn’t overheat and the 120v and 230v outputs push steady power and rarely pop breakers.
By far my favorite aspect of this machine was the LCD screen and its breadth of features. You can let the software handle most of your settings or dive in and tinker and perfect your weld options. Out of all my picks, the Lincoln machine’s programming might the most intuitive.
That means it’s great for beginners or at-home welders. And it doesn’t offer enough in the package for everyone. You won’t find a TIG gun or pedal. To buy those separately would put this machine at the highest cost of my list. Also, I haven’t tried TIG with this device because you must buy it all extra.
I did some research and found that you have to install a pedal attachment to TIG with the Lincoln Power 210. It’s not an easy procedure. So I recommend this product for those looking for MIG and stick welding. Specifically, you’d buy this kit with the included Aluminum One-Pak for aluminum welds in MIG mode. I do not recommend this device for TIG welding.
ESAB is a juggernaut in the welding industry. They’ve been around since 1904. That’s the same year their founder, Oscar Kjellberg, invented the first coated welding electrode. Since then, ESAB has led the industry with both new technology and better procedures and safety systems to not only improve the work life of welders around the globe but help them get home safe.
The ESAB EMP215IC, also known as the Rebel, is an all-in-one welding device that supports both 120v and 230v voltages. The dual voltage enables the welding machine to adapt its power output to every situation you come across, be it MIG, TIG, Flux Core, or stick.
The best thing about this package is that it comes with everything you need to weld any of the multi-process types I mentioned. This is the ESAB way, and it separates them for other products on my list as they only give you the MIG handle and hoses.
With this welder you get a power pig tail, a gas hose, a pack of ESAB wire, earth ground clamps and cable, gas flow regulator, stick electrode pack and holder, TIG torch with the nozzles and tungstens needed to use it, MIG gun with wire hole fittings. These are quality ESAB parts with chemical resistant coatings and should last you years.
The EMP215IC Multi Process Welder features an LCD screen with smart control features. This means it can pre-calculate your gas ratios and power settings based on the inputs you set with the rubberized dials. There’s even a feature where you dial in the thickness of your material and it quickly sets the voltages for you.
The inside of the Rebel can hold up to twelve pounds of wire. The aluminum drive roll isn’t the easiest I’ve used, but that’s only because it has more settings than other welders on my list. ESAB builds their welders with professionals in mind, so the added features will be a plus to some of you.
As far as the welding goes, the ESAB performs very well. The smart control system covers a lot of your math and finicky settings. But for those that like to do it themselves, there’re manual inputs. I like that the TIG mode has up-slope and down-slope so your settings don’t have to be exact.
Forney Industries hails from Fort Collins, Colorado. Their an American company with over eighty years of dedication and experience in the welding industry. They began by selling the first commercially available arc welder. Today, they sell thousands of products, including abrasives, shop tools, and personal protective equipment, like welding goggles and jackets.
Their dedicated following on the West Coast inspired me to try out their Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi Process Welder. As a multi process machine, it can weld MIG, TIG, and stick. This is a 120v and 20amp machine, meaning it’s not capable of plugging into or running from a 220v power supply.
Unfortunately, the Forney doesn’t include an LCD screen or voltage and air mixture software. You must do your own calculations to achieve a proper arc. For newcomers worried about flubbing their numbers, the welder provides a chart on the back of the spool housing door.
I liked the wire feeding in the Easy Weld. Within a less than a minute, you’ll have a new spool set up and ready to use. With their wire feed system, you can change the rate of pull easily and on the fly. I can tell that Forney dedicated their efforts to beginners. For example, their quick switch toggle swaps from MIG to stick in seconds.
From the moment you unbox the device, this multi process welder ships with everything you’ll need to weld MIG and stick. You get a 10 foot MIG gun, 8 foot electrode holder, 8 foot ground clamp, and a voltage adapter for 20 amp and 15 amp. Forney encased their metal handle in a plastic torch wrap so you can easily carry the device with one hand.
Coming in at 38 pounds, the welding machine is ideal for quick construction jobs, shop repairs, and hobbyists. The metal casing and durable nobs and other working parts won’t break or smash easily, so tying it to the back of your truck is doable.
I recommend this product for those that desire fast welds with common shop materials. Because of the 130v limitation, those with large shops or at-home set-ups that can handle higher amperages should look at a different product on my list.
Everlast began in 2004 in San Francisco. Although this dates the company well over a decade, they’re considered one of the newest companies in the welding machine category. When your competition has been around since the invention of the gramophone, you have to stand out and prove your machines are worth your customer’s time.
And that’s exactly what Everlast has done with their PowerPro 164 Multi Process Welder. This is the first product we’ve reviewed so far that can switch into a plasma cutter mode. It can also AC and DC TIG, stick, MIG weld.
This is a dual voltage device, 120v and 240v. So it’s perfect for heavy machinery shops and at-home welders looking for smaller amperage. With the extra voltage options you can cut a wider swath of materials, so I think having the option is often worth the money investment.
To use the plasma cutter, you need a steady supply of compressed air. A shop air compressor should do the job just fine. The Everlast PowerPro 164 comes with everything you’ll need to run the cutter, including the gun, cable, and a handful of consumable tips.
What I like about this welder is its portability, even with the added plasma cutter feature. But it is a little heavier than the other products on my list, at 60 pounds. I imagine the plasma cutter is the likely reason for the added bulk.
Everlast wanted to give you everything you’d need to cut and weld the moment you opened the box, which includes a 17 foot TIG torch, a 12 foot plasma torch, stick electrode holder for stick welding, work clamp with 10 foot cord, argon regulator, air pressure regulator, consumables, and a foot pedal.
I’m impressed by the quality and the amount of extras in the box. Especially impressive are the regulators and foot pedal. These are almost always extras you need to buy from a third-party supplier.
I recommend the Everlast PowerPro 164 Multi Process Welder for shop professionals hunting for a multipurpose all-in-one package to replace their older machines, or a hobbyist that wants to future-proof the next five years of welding.
I wasn’t familiar with the Lotos brand until a friend of mine bought one of their multi purpose machines. They’re a company out of California that has been slowly building steam in the online community for their affordable and effective welding devices.
This welder boasts 200 A MIG welding and 200 A TIG welding. Plus, it ships with a third function as a plasma cutter. I like the combination of MIG and plasma cutter because TIG is the hardest and most costly form of welding in these devices. Plasma cutter potential opens the door for many at-home welders and professionals who’d likely never use a TIG set up.
With dual voltages at 110v and 220v, you can use this in your garage or with a beefier electrical set up in a shop. I found the machine cuts smoothly and accurately enough with the house power option. But if you try cutting too long or too thick with 110v, you’ll pop breakers.
The plasma cutter uses non-touch arc pilot technology. That means the torch can cut straight lines though various surfaces without dropping slag all over your shop floor. The touchless technology also adds longevity to your consumables, which you go through much faster than you realize with metal to tip plasma cutters.
One downside with the Lotos LTPDC2000D is that you cannot use third party consumables, nor consumables made for other Lotos welders. You must buy the pieces specifically made for this device. Just have some on-hand or order them before you run out and it won’t be a problem. The consumables cost around the same amount as the third-party stuff.
With this multi purpose welder you get the power supply, a TIG torch and plasma torch, a stick clamp, ground clamp, air filter regulator for your plasma cutter, and enough consumables to stick weld and cut for approximately a month.
I recommend the Lotos LTPDC2000D 3-in-1 welder to do-it-yourselfers or those with small shops that need to fit a lot of tool in a cramped space.
Everlast was the first company to come out with a MIG and TIG machine that used both AC and DC power. This gave their multi purpose machines an edge over the bigger companies, like Lincoln Electric. With their PowerMTS 251Si, they’ve taken the formula that made them famous and cranked it to 11.
This machine is a beast. It’s still portable, but don’t expect to cart it off your truck bed throughout the day. It weighs in at 80 pounds and it feels every once of that weight.
The 251 moniker designates its amperage output, which is nearly 100 more amps more than the previous Everlast multi purpose welder I reviewed. That’s a lot of power, and I doubt you’ll need it all the time. But if you’re a shop owner or construction site foreman that wants to snatch all the business they can, this is a great buy for you.
With this machine you’ll also receive a smattering of heavy duty peripherals, including a metal foot pedal with 25 feet of lead, a thick gauge TIG torch, a robust MIG gun, ground clamp, snazzy flow meter, plugs for 120 and 220 volts outlets, and consumables for the TIG and MIG components.
Checking the specs, the Power MTS 251Si can weld at similar times and voltages as shop machines that only do a third of the processes as this machine. It can hold an easy 12 or 15 pounds of MIG wire and they made the drive spool of die cast aluminum.
The downside to all these features and 250 amps of power is that the control panel is confusing. It took me awhile to figure out the basics of operating the MIG and stick welding and I’ve been at this a long time. So I don’t imagine many backyard welders will want to spend the money on the 251Si.
But for those of you that want to weld aluminum, I doubt there’s a better machine on the market. The PowerMTS offers both AC and DC pulse TIG welding, with the option for different waveforms. This machine will thrill the right consumer. And for you I say, buy it now. It’s a beast, but it’s awesome.
7 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Multi Process Welder
With the big purchases, like a welder, you need to ensure that you’re buying the best product that serves you now and later. That’s no easy feat. So I compiled my biggest tips to keep in the forefront of your mind while you choose between my top 8 best multipurpose welders.
Primary Welding Type
For most of you, the welds you’re doing day in and day out should be your primary aim. If you mostly MIG, then you don’t want to buy a welder that has fantastic TIG potential but does not deliver tight MIG welds.
This will be an easy decision for some and harder for others. A more expensive investment may tempt those of you just starting out. But never lose sight of the work you have to do now.
Performance Versus Weight
Don’t forget to balance the weight of the device with the performance. This one throws a lot of customers off, even the pros. Sometimes you’re so enrapt by a welder machine’s performance reviews that you don’t consider the weight or vis versa.
Often, the two characteristics go hand-in-hand. The high-end heavy performance machines usually run on tougher, thicker, and more robust engines and inner parts. This is a big deal if you’re looking to have a machine that’s portable.
Space for the Welder
Where are you working? A shed? A shop? I make it a point to detail the measurements of the machine as this can alter your choice drastically.
But once you narrow down your options to the last two or three, do your own investigations. Measure the space you have available. Then double check the dimensions prior to purchase and don’t buy a massive unit if you’re working in a garage.
Consider the Extra Costs
Buying a multi process welder isn’t just about the device. This is especially true for beginners or hobbyists. You must buy the equipment that’s required to safely operate the machine.
Welding gloves, masks, and jackets are not cheap, and they aren’t something you want to buy second hand or from a shady company. These things are your first line of defense against the controlled yet very dangerous substances and scientific reactions occurring in the welder.
Know Your Materials
Before you hit that purchase button, you must familiarize yourself with the list of materials you work with the most. Not just the types, but the thicknesses. For example, 3/8 inch steel should be fine for MIG welding. But if you need clean welds with tight beads at higher thicknesses, buy a machine with excellent TIG capabilities.
The Power Requirements
The fantastical inventions and masterful repairs you can weld with your new machine require power. Depending on the weld you plan to do, they may require more power.
If you work out of your garage, you may not be equipped to run 220-volt power. Conversely, even some small repair shops haven’t rigged AC and DC current into their panels. Know the source of your power and how much you have prior to purchase.
Future Proofing Your Purchase
I know earlier I mentioned choosing a device based on your primary welding type, but you also want to consider what you’d like to weld in the future. This matters for those looking to learn TIG or that dream of one day having a plasma cutter for patch ups and fabrication.
Multi process welders aren’t cheap, but buying a standalone machine later that performs a task that can be done by a device you buy today seems pointless. Invest in who you want to be tomorrow just as much as who you are now.
The Safety Features and Tips of Multi Process Welders
Buying a multi process welder means committing to the latest in welding technology and safety. While these machines are the newest trend in welding, they feature the standard industry safety features.
But remember, construction safety begins with you. Let’s look at what you need to be safe while operating a welding machine.
The essential equipment that’ll prevent accidents from occurring at the shop and at home are:
- Welding-Rated Goggles
- Thick Gloves
- Jacket or Apron
Never begin welding without these items. Then, look over your welder and double check that there has been no damage to the housing or the gas lines running to the machine.
I like how some welders, like the Weldpro Multi Process, ships with extra thick cords on their gun and power lines. Some MIG gun cords fray because of the various materials on shop floors. If your welder didn’t ship with chemical and tear resistant extension cords and lines, I suggest investing in a set.
Multi process welders have come a long way since their introduction in the early 2000s. What was once a flawed option that couldn’t match the precision and reliability of standalone devices has since become an ideal shop scenario.
With a multi process welder, you can achieve the results you want for a third of the price and a third of the space requirement.
I hope you found a machine in my list that met your needs. If I did my job right, you found more than one. For those of you that want my personal recommendation for the best multi process welder, I suggest you buy the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder. This machine really grew on me. It’s the perfect mix of portability, size, and performance. Try it today and take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee!