Owning a welding machine in your home garage or shop provides ample opportunity to learn new skills and save money at the same time. No longer will you have to spend money to fix your fence, build a railing for your upstairs balustrade, or repair your car’s door panel. These are useful tools with endless potential.
The downside to a welder for home use is the initial investment. No matter what product you buy, it won’t be cheap. That means you need to know which machine suits your home. Not every great welder can be used at home. Some of them need heaps of steady power, and others only help purchasers with specific needs, like lift TIG.
In the ultimate guide below, I detail my picks for the best home welder. These are well-built products with prices that surprise and extras that make the investment worth it. With my help, in less than fifteen minutes you’ll know which welder you’ll buy and why. So let’s not waste a minute!
- Best Welder for Home Use – Comparison
- Reviews for Top 9 Welders for Home Use
- Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
- Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder
- PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp Welder
- Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder
- Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder
- DEKOPRO 160A ARC MMA Welder
- ZENY Arc Welding Machine
- Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder
- Simden Arc Welder IGBT Inverter DC Welding Machine
- What You Must Consider When Choosing the Best Home Welder
- My Verdict
Best Welder for Home Use – Comparison
|Hobart 500559 Handler||200 Amp||115V||65 Pounds|
|Weldpro Multi Process||200 Amp||110/220V||30.4 pounds|
|PRIMEWELD TIG225X||225 Amp||110/220V||90 pounds|
|Forney Easy Weld 140 MP||140 Amp||110V||25.8 Pounds|
|Hobart Handler 500553||210 Amp||115/230V||87.5 Pounds|
|DEKOPRO MMA Welder||160 Amp||110/220V||12.1 pounds|
|ZENY Arc Welding Machine||160 Amp||110/220V||18 Pounds|
|Forney Easy Weld 261||140 Amp||120V||19 Pounds|
|SIMDER Arc Welder ||200 Amp||110/220V||11.75 pounds|
Reviews for Top 9 Welders for Home Use
Since 1917, Hobart welders have contributed to the infrastructure of America. They’ve fused factory girders and locomotive pistons. For one hundred years, they’ve also found ingenious ways of stabilizing their technology for your garage shop.
With the Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder, you’ll find a solution for just about any project you’re excited to begin or finish. This is a MIG welder with infinite wire feed. It’s capable of 25 to 140 AMP outputs, which means there’s more than enough power for patching some flashing or building a new fence.
Having tested and compared various welders over the years, I think this product showcases the best value for the price. You get a cast aluminum wire feed drive. This is the heart of the machine. While cheaper units offer similar specs, the aluminum drive lifts this product to industrial standards. Loading the wire is intuitive, and adjusting the tension and variable speed requires little practice. This offers newcomers an easy point of entry and adepts a familiarity with the larger, more expensive welding units.
The stellar arc performance on the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V sets it apart from other at-home products. Whether you’re working with thin sheet metal or 1/4” steel, you’ll achieve thick, strong bonds thanks to the stable drive and precise arc. Much of the arc’s stability comes from the 5-setting voltage control. No matter your house power set up, you can fine-tune your voltage.
As a MIG welder, you get two gas inputs located on the back of the device. But those of you that have yet to use an inert gas, you can throw in a spool of flux core and operate this machine gasless. Keep in mind, however, that doing so will create a lot more smoke than if you were to MIG weld, so ensure proper ventilation.
Weighing only 57 pounds, I’d also consider it a portable welder. This opens up the opportunity to use the Hobart Handler 140 on the road or at a neighbor’s abode. The quick fix-it jobs possible with this product are nearly limitless. And because it can run on your basic 115v house power, no home shop or friend’s house is unequipped to run the machine.
With this welder, you get a protective cover, MIG gun, contact tips, grounding clamp, and gas nozzle. I highly recommend the Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder for do-it-yourself hobbyists that seek the best MIG welder for home use.
Weldpro is a subsidiary of Linlong Limited, a Chinese company with 15 years of welding product experience. They focus on consumer-friendly welding products. These affordable units from Weldpro have surprised me in the past, and the best one that I’ve tried is the Weldpro 200.
This multi-process welder ships with everything the beginner needs to learn the basics of MIG and TIG welding. And because this is Linlong’s flagship product, it boasts features that you won’t find on other similarly priced Weldpro units.
If you plan to begin with flux core or MIG yet want the option to try true lift TIG at some point later, then consider the Weldpro 200. You can aluminum weld with the optional spool gun or hook up inert gas and throw on a spool of wire and get to MIG welding an auto panel. Because it’s so compact, you get all this convenience at the fraction of the size.
Not only is the Weldpro 200 multi-process, but it’s also dual voltage. Say you have 115v sockets in your garage but plan to upgrade them to 220v soon. Instead of settling on a 115v welder now and buying a higher capacity welder later, you can buy the Weldpro 200 now and save yourself time and money. The company’s IGBT Inverter Technology cuts the size and hassle of switching power sources. Plus, it’s so cutting edge that it shaves off the weight. At only 30 pounds, you can easily cart this device from your garage to your backyard for some spot welding of beams or posts.
I like the intuitiveness of the dual digital display. Dialing in your voltage and wire speed is fast and simple. Even a beginner can figure it out in a few sessions. This offers you easy switching between MIG, TIG, and stick or flux core. You get both 2T and 4T modes, which means TIG welding a joint from beginning to end requires little to no re-calibration.
With the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder, you not only receive a machine capable of welding all your dream jobs, but the accessories to get the job done, too. Included in the Multi-Process package are a MIG torch, TIG torch, cables, electrode holder for stick welding, four earth clamps, earth clamp, gas hose, face mask, brush hammer, and power adapter for 115v sockets.
You at-home welders searching for a device as multi-functional and adaptable as you, check out the Weldpro 200.
Primeweld has come a long way in a short time. They’ve made a name for themselves as one of the best companies for fabricating tools, and their welding machines have impressed me for their resilience and heavy-duty components.
Primeweld specializes in plasma cutters and MIG and TIG welders aimed at the inveterate user that knows what he wants. As such, these tools work hard, with long duty cycles and functionality that rivals the industry’s great manufacturers.
The TIG225X from Primeweld offers cutting-edge technology and multifunctionality at a price that compares to Lincoln Electric or Hobart. This is an AC/DC machine with the versatility of a multi-process product. You can use it with either 115v or 220v power, so it’s perfect for home use.
I love the unique CK17 Flex Torch with pulse capability. It’s incredibly sturdy and heavier than your average brand, same goes with the CK flex tubing that connects into the brass fittings on the bottom of the device. The entire array of secondary pieces that ship with this machine stands above comparable brands. The foot pedal feels just as responsive as a Lincoln Electric, and the Pulse CK12 Flex Torch offers precise welding.
On the front panel, you get a host of adjustment and calibration options. There’s a digital readout for your amperage, which helps when the machine can switch between voltages and boasts a welding current knob.
The one downside with this machine is its impressive list of control options. With downslope and upslope adjustments, pre-flow and A/C balance, and pulse frequency, there’s never a moment when you can’t tinker with your arc’s performance. This means diffident newcomers should probably stay away from this device unless they’re willing to put in the time to learn the intricacies of TIG welding.
There’s one benefit to the PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp Welder for those inexorable at-home welders that want this machine. Although primarily a TIG welder, it also welds stick. With a quick spool change, recalibration, and wire feed setting, you can stick weld in your home shop without the need for gas or all the fine adjustments of TIG.
With the Primeweld, you get an impressive collection of pieces, including the aforementioned Pulse CK17 Flex Torch, step peddle, contact tips, cables, ground clamp, plug adapter, gas regulator, face mask, and chipping brush.
If you plan to mostly Lift TIG and Stick weld, and you have the patience to learn the subtleties of TIG welding, then this is your machine.
Forney Industries’ 90 years in the welding business shines in its products and services. This is a 4th generation family-owned and operated company that boasts American-made machines. Their products deliver consistent results in both heavy machine industries and homes across the country.
For my money, the Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder supplies homeowners with the ideal features to repair common household appliances, auto parts, and outdoor fixtures. With the 140, you get a welding machine that can MIG, Stick, and DC TIG, all within a small and affordable package.
Forney dubs this product the Easy Weld because it’s calibrated for simple plug-and-weld operations. The three-position switch on the front panel flips between your three processes. The easy to understand dials for amperage and wire-speed respond fast and are very forgiving of beginners.
The spool rod ships with an adapter for large and small packs of MIG or TIG wire. I think, aside from the Hobart, the Forney ships with the most durable cast aluminum drive system on my list. Setting up your wire and tightening the tension takes seconds. Unlike a lot of welders, this one didn’t seem to need as much tinkering to get the wire speed just right for MIG welding.
You garage hobbyists stuck with 15 AMP sockets, add the Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder to your list of maybes. With a power range between 10 and 140A, all this product requires to take full advantage is a common household socket. For maximum performance, I recommend dedicating a breaker to the machine or it might pop a few times during intense welding sessions.
If you plan to take your welder on the road with you, the Forney 140 should suit you well. The company chose an all-metal exterior case for added protection. I especially liked the rubberized corners on the top and bottom of the device for added protection and grip.
The Forney Easy Weld 140 Multi-Process Welder comes with everything you need to MIG and Stick weld. Those of you planning to use the product for TIG welding will need to buy a step paddle and gun, sold by Forney.
As a leading supplier of welding machines across the globe, it should come as no surprise that Hobart’s devices appear in more than one place on my list.
I think for the right person, the Hobart 210 offers everything the 140 does and more. This is a beefy machine but by no means daunting. I love the intuitive control panel. With big voltage control and welding speed adjustment knobs, you can accurately pinpoint how much wire you need and dial in the duty cycle.
Opening the side panel of the Hobart 210, you’ll see Hobarts proprietary wire drive. With an aluminum-cast construction, it holds tension better than plastic drives and won’t crack or break easily. Remember that a broken wire drive means the entire welder is worthless. So spending the extra money on an aluminum drive makes practical sense.
The MVP designation on the Hobart 210 derives from its smart connection feature. You don’t have to adjust any settings as you connect it to 115v power or 230v power. Simple plug the welder into your socket or generator and you’re ready to go. The MVP feature is ideal for consumers seeking a MIG machine with future proof potential.
In my time with the Handler 210, I encountered very few downsides. It’s not the lightest product on my list. The weight difference between this machine and the Handler 140 surprised me. At almost 90 pounds, you won’t be carting it from place to place without some help. And as a MIG only welder, you’re limited by the system’s designs. But for most at-home projects, you’ll have more than enough power and precision.
The Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder ships with Quality Hobart parts and accessories. You get ten feet of cable and a Hobart MIG gun, earth clamp, dual-gauge regulator, spool hub assembly, sample spool, contact tips, and power cord with 15 AMP and 20 AMP MVP plugs.
If you want the durability and performance of a Hobart but need more power than my number one pick, the Hobart 140, then the 240 MVP is your new welder.
Unlike brands like Miller and Lincoln Electric, DEKO specializes in tools and machines for the savvy home consumer. Their brand stands for Designated for Extraordinary Kindness Only, and their leading customer support and intuitive designs stand up to this noble claim.
For those seeking a welder that’s designed from the ground up for the first-time welding hobbyist, you have to check out the DEKOPRO 160A welder. Although they’re a Chinese company, everything from their manual to their front panel display is easy to use and understand.
But aside from the simple design, the best feature of this welder is its portability. Weighing 12 pounds, you can take this little guy anywhere. DEKOPRO cut a lot of weight by using the latest in IGBT converter technology. This means they’ve swapped out some of the heavier power conversion for newer, leaner conversion. The welds you can pull with the 160A floored me every time. Regardless of your power output at home, this machine will work with you to obtain the best welds possible.
As a stick welder, you won’t get the finesse of TIG. But for your backyard projects or throwing the welder in your car, you’ll be more than pleased with this welder. With this device, you can weld stainless steel, mild steel, and copper and aluminum.
If I’m being picky about the accessories, the electrode holder, or stinger, could be better quality. As it is, the plastic feels flimsy and the cable isn’t all that thick. But considering the price, you’re getting a lot of performance out of a welding machine that can fit in a normal-sized backpack.
You’ll need to buy a package of rods to operate the device. Otherwise, the DEKOPRO 160A ARC Welder ships with an electrode holder, work clamp, power adapter for 220V power, and manual. You can’t MIG or TIG weld with this device, nor can your flux core. But for your basic stick welding, this is the best option on the net.
With products in over a dozen sub-categories, Zeny offers consumers value in many aspects of daily life. They’re a Chinese brand with a big reach. I mean, how many companies can boast 5-star rated garden tents and stick welders?
Like the DEKOPRO before it, the Zeny Arc Welding Machine fits in the compact stick welder options. It weighs less than 20 pounds, yet it runs on both 110v and 230v power. This means you get a lot of welding potential in a very small and affordable package.
For beginners and home hobbyists that need a welder that’s easy to learn and won’t inundate them with features and settings, consider this machine. There’s hardly any set up required. Just plug it in, set your voltage, throw a rod into the electrode holder, and you’re ready to weld mild steel, stainless steel, copper, or aluminum.
For larger projects and very thick or very thin metals, this welder won’t be ideal. But I imagine many people shopping for a new welder simply want an affordable product that they can learn safely.
Zeny’s welder has three built-in safety features. The over-heat protection settings turn off the converter long before it reaches peak temperatures. The electrode holder vaunts a pressure sensor, so it’ll stop current if pressed on too hard. And the over-current protection locks out the power if your settings were too aggressive.
Swapping the traditional converter for IGBT means you save energy by using the Zeno Arc Welder. The multi-board design spreads the load so it’s less likely for a fault or burn. The four extra-large capacitors shed heat fast, so beginners don’t have to worry about overloading the machine.
Whether you’re repairing a car panel or creating a new art project, you don’t need a big MIG welder to save money or be creative. And because this product is so small, you can easily store it out of the way. I recommend the Zeno Arc Welder for anyone seeking an inexpensive yet reliable stick welder.
Based on Colorado, Forney manufactures American welding machines and tools for world-wide distribution. They’ve got dedicated machinists and construction companies that rely on their tools to finish the job, which means so can you.
Although this product states it’s a MIG welder, I’d rather label it a flux core machine. That means it runs gasless flux wire in spools. Machines like the Forney 261 depend on a solid spool drive and intuitive voltage control. Thankfully, this product has both. The spool drive, while plastic, works well. Taken care of it should last you years. Unlike some spool drives, you can easily load the wire. I had no problems opening the side panel and setting up the test spool that ships with the welder.
The front display’s spartan controls may seem simple, but they offer more than enough customization for your do-it-yourself project. The spool control feels responsive. The results of your setting can be felt quickly through the wire gun. And your infinite voltage calibration manages house power without popping breakers.
So long as you have a 20 AMP breaker, you won’t have any issues with this machine. You can run the Easy Weld 261 on a 15 AMP breaker. Just be prepared for popping the breaker a few times as you near the maximum duty cycle uptime.
I love the portability of the Easy Weld. At 19 pounds, it’s very easy to pack into a truck, tuck onto a shelf, or move around with you as you weld larger projects. My only gripe revolves around the flux core wire. Make sure you buy good wire. Flux core technology works, but it produces a lot of gas, more than Stick or MIG. As such, you must have a properly ventilated workspace, or it’ll quickly fill with toxic fumes.
The Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder ships with the essentials required to begin welding today. In the box, you’ll find the welder with power cord and gun attached to the front of the machine. You’ll need to buy contact tips, flux core wire, and welding nozzles, so add them to your welding budget before choosing your machine.
Finishing off my list of best welders for home use, I chose another overseas consumer company with a stellar DC stick welder. Simden makes a range of products at reduced prices. Unlike many budget company’s, Simden’s level of quality exceeds the standard.
With their Arc Welder with IGBT Inverter technology, you get a budget-friendly stick welder that works on house power. It’s capable of welding stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel, and copper. And with dual-voltage capacity, I found the performance stable and precise through a range of setups and metals.
I like the look of the Simden welder. The retro cover should withstand the nicks and dings common to home-style shops. The plastic front panel is flimsier than other products like the Forney flux core welder, but it should hold up. On the front of the machine, you’ll find a digital voltage readout and a voltage knob. Dialing in your power output is fast to learn and easy to control. And because it boasts an IGBT inverter, you don’t need to be exact.
The inverter technology also shaves off over 80 percent of the weight. That means you get an 11-pound welder, easily tossed into a box, backpack, or duffle bag for fast travel. I love that it converts from 110V to 220v. So not only is it lightweight, but capable of running off a small generator or backyard socket. Just make sure to be careful with your duty cycle, or you may pop a breaker. This thing packs a punch!
With the Simden Arc Welder, you get a host of Simden accessories, including a pair of leather welding gloves, power adapter, earth clamp, stick holder, contact tips, and detailed instruction manual.
I recommend this compact IGBT inverter DC welding machine for hobbyists seeking a versatile machine that’s easy and safe to operate. It’s also great for beginners in search of a stick welder to begin their welding journey.
What You Must Consider When Choosing the Best Home Welder
Before choosing your new welder for your home shop or garage, I recommend checking my list of considerations. Welders are multi-functional devices, and many of them focus on specific categories, such as MIG or 115v power. To know more, continue reading.
MIG vs TIG vs Stick
Welding isn’t just one thing. There are many processes and they all have benefits and drawbacks. For a home shop, TIG is likely the most difficult to use. You need inert gas and sometimes, depending on your set up, that can be hard to supply. For beginners, I’d suggest either stick welding or flux core. Both are cost-effective means to begin welding and most easy projects can be completed with these machines.
The Beauty of Multi-Process
If you dream of massive welding projects or creative metal sculptures but don’t know where to begin, I suggest a multi-process welder, or MP. These machines boast at least two processes, either MIG and TIG, for example, or Stick and MIG. With an MP welding machine, you can start small and branch out as you gain confidence and skill. MP welders also save you money in the long run, because a MIG and TIG welder will almost always cost less than two separate welders purchased years apart.
Room in Your Shop
Before you choose that massive MIG and TIG welder with multi-functional controls, consider your shop space. Many hobbyists suffer with constrictions to their garage or basement or backyard. Unlike machinist shops, your home probably wasn’t built to operate all your favorite tools. So those of you planning to move your welding machine around every time you use it, consider a small, lightweight device over that cool hulking behemoth you have your eyes set on.
Ventilation and Safety
No matter what welding process you decide upon, you’ll need a well-ventilated shop and the proper safety equipment. If you haven’t prepared for welding, do that before buying your machine. You may think your welder budget is bigger than it really it. The cost of installing ventilation could be as simple as a fan or two. Or you could install a ceiling fan. Plus, you must buy safety gloves, a welding apron, shoes, and a face mask.
Types of Welding Jobs
Always keep in mind your materials before buying a welder! Jot down the welding jobs you’d like to complete with your welder. This will tell you a lot about the kind of welding machine you need. If you plan to work with 1/8” stainless steel, then you’ll be fine with most welders. But those needed 1/4” or thicker must buy a larger machine with higher capacity. Also, aluminum welding requires a special MIG gun, or unique TIG processes.
The Cost of Upgrades
For you budget-conscious consumers, think about the upgrades you’d like to do to your selling set up in the near future. For example, if you want to buy a spool gun for aluminum, buy a welder from a company that offers such an upgrade. OR maybe you’re scared of TIG but would like to buy the gas eventually. Then your ideal choice would be a multi-process machine that has the capacity for TIG.
Knowledge and Experience
With welding machines, nothing beats experience. If you just can’t make up your mind or you’re afraid of buying the wrong machine, go ask your local machine shop or join a hobbyist group. Try out welding setups until you feel comfortable with the various processes. That way, you can choose with confidence.
It’s not just handymen that need a home welder. I’ve known schoolteachers, lawyers, and bus drivers with home welders in their garage. Today, welding companies manufacture machines specifically for your home. Even better, within just a few attempts, you can learn to repair a leaky gutter or split bracket.
Make sure to read over my tips for choosing a welder. Because there are lots of different types of devices out there, some of the products on my list may not be the best for you. But if I had to choose one welder that suits the most customer needs, it’d have to be Hobart Handler 140. This is a solidly built machine with an aluminum cast wire drive and flux core potential. Plus, it ships with an industry-leading warranty. Try it today.