Last updated on November 20th, 2023
The budget welding machine category is the most fiercely competitive, with more choices available than ever before. Do you need more performance and reliability from a machine while spending less? Nothing to worry about, here you can get the best mig welder under $500 that suits your needs with their stunning performance.
We have listed these welders on the basis of their performance, outcomes on different metals with different settings, reliability, expert opinions, and users’ feedback. We examined why you should buy them when there are hundreds of other options available. Make sure you read the complete list as all are great for multiple reasons.
|Lotos MIG 140
|Lincoln Handy Core
|Tooliom 200A MIG
BEST FOR EVERYONE
|Vivohome MIG 130
|Yeswelder MIG 205 DS
Top 5 Best MIG Welders Under $500 Tested for 2023
1. Lotos MIG 140 – #1 Best MIG Welder Under $500
The USA-based company Lotos has been well-reputed for making quality welding equipment at a reasonable price. Although, MIG 140 is not equipped with the industrial-level qualities, but fits the bill for small and medium projects.
The welder runs on 110/120 volts and provides 140 amps to weld different metals such as mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Yes, it can weld aluminum, but you need a spool gun for it.
The wire feed mechanism is upgraded and now it’s made with aluminum metal instead of plastic. Did you know that aluminum wire feeders have more stability and accuracy that support to get welding results according to expectations?
What’s new in the updated version?
- Designed Ground Cable Connector
- 2T/4T Function
- Metal Drive
If you look at its control panel, it’s overly simplistic with a few buttons and two knobs. With these knobs, users can control the output voltages and wire feeder speed and their values will be shown in digital displays.
The 2T/4T feature allows you to do welding in the long run. 2T is the manual process whereas 4T is considered a semi-automatic process. In 4T mode, you press the trigger and release it to the welding task. As 140 amps units usually have a low duty cycle and Lotos 140 offer a 20% duty cycle at 90 amperes.
From the performance overview, the unit is much capable to do light-duty projects. The wire feed is really well and works smoothly. Although the 10-feet gun may be too short for some guys, it serves its purpose well. For stunning results, use argon gas. Many guys complain about low-priced units that gas shuts off them, but it never happened with the Lotos 140. Here is the result of two metals that we welded.
- Made in USA
- Ideal for light projects
- Metal drive
- Feature enriched unit
- Simple front panel
- Short leads
- Low quality ground clamp
It can weld steel metals up to 3/16 inch thick and 24 gauge sheets. Additionally, the unit comes with a three-year warranty as well as a one-year replacement warranty, which is a special aspect provided by the manufacturers.
2. Lincoln Handy Core – Best Budget MIG Welder Under $500
Our testers found the Lincoln Electric handy core sturdy, easy to handle and use. Its lightweight design and quality material distinguish it from other competitors in this range. Just like the above-explained unit, it also runs on 110/115 volts. You can check more 110v mig welders if you do small projects.
The current rating from 35-88 amps allows you to weld 18 gauge sheet metal. With this, users can build hanging hooks, mailboxes, kid’s toys, and much more. The above value 88 amps provide you enough variety to weld ⅛ inch steel plates to home and garden equipment repairings.
As explained earlier, most 110v welders have a low duty cycle and this one provides a 20% duty cycle at 70 amperes. As this uses flux-cored wire and didn’t use gas that makes it portable and you won’t need bulky gas cylinders.
The ‘ cold contactor ‘ feature is quite impressive, it cools the welding wire if the unit is ON and the trigger is not pressed. Another quality feature is adjustable voltage power, with the four different levels one can quickly adjust voltage according to the metal thickness.
The unit’s performance is adequate for lightweight tasks, but proper settings are required to achieve the desired outcome. If you use it for home, garage, or garden tasks, you will not be disappointed.
What users say about it?
- Cold contactor feature
- Gasless unit
- Pre-connected leads
- Low quality welding mask
- For light-duty tasks
With all these features, the manufacturers also provide one year warranty with it and that’s something extra in this price range.
3. Tooliom 200A MIG – Best $500 MIG Welder for the Money
Here is another best cheap mig welder under $500 that has shocked other brands with its performance and positive response from users. This multipurpose machine has a simple mechanism that let you select any welding method with just one click.
It has the most organized control panel that shows the complete data and all information. Knobs give you the opportunity to adjust wire feed speed and voltage. Two buttons above the knob are used for selecting welding specs and modes.
The metal drive feeder is built with heavy-duty metal and tends to provide stable performance. The unit can easily mount 2 and 10 pounds rolls of wire and below is the 10-pound wire roll in the image. The mig gun that’s absolutely fine and can quickly feed .030” and .035” diameter wire.
For those who want a high-duty cycle, this unit is for you. Instead of the above two machines, this one has a sixty percent duty cycle at full 200 amperes and a 100% duty cycle at 155 amps.
From the performance perspective, our experienced welders who examined this, fully recommend the unit. We tacked two scrap pieces to draw a bead and below is the result. The small bead was done with normal voltage and the longer bead was created at low voltages. The inductance value was 9 for both. It’s been noticed after several results that its capacity go down at 110V.
Likewise, the 200A output with .030” solid core wire assists in the welding of 5/16″ mild steel or plates up to four inches thick. The 0.035” flux core wire for ⅛” or 3mm steel pieces.
As it’s a multitasking machine, it can also work with the E7018 electrode. You won’t believe all of these features and incredible results are available in this pricing range.
- Full of features
- Stable arc
- Excellent duty cycle
- Quality accessories
- Best for fabrication tasks
- Complicated setup
- With much features still not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
- Trigger on the gun sometimes stuck
2T/4t function also enhances its performance, especially in tough welding positions. The main thing is that it comes with all necessary accessories except the tig torch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any kind of warranty.
4. Vivohome MIG 130 – Most Reliable MIG Welder Under $500
Vivohome is the cheapest mig welder on Amazon that uses flux-cored wire to weld different metals. Above all, the machine is specially designed for projects with steel and other metals except aluminum.
If you need an economical unit for car and auto bodywork, this one can be a great option rather than Eastwood units. The front panel is simple and the chart gives enough information to users about the machine’s capacity.
The machine is also gasless and uses insulated wire that shields the welds without using gas. You’ll be surprised that Vivihome 130 has four current flow settings and ten wire feed speed control options. Carefully managed these both to get fantastic results on thin and thick steel pieces.
If we talk about its efficiency and performance, it works nicely on homie projects and little tasks for the garage. The only drawback of this unit is deep penetration and novices may face difficulty while achieving penetration. Here is our result with this unit.
It’s been advised that extension cables provided with it didn’t work often, so it’s better to use it where the near outlet is available. As it’s a gasless unit, so it creates more spatter than the units that use gas.
- Unique design
- Quality material
- Oxidation resistance
- Overheat protection
- Low quality face shield
- Complaints about extension cables
All of these features that are been offered at a low price can provide excellent outcomes if used properly with appropriate settings. Unfortunately, the unit doesn’t have any warranty but a return policy is given.
5. Yeswelder MIG 205 DS – Best Affordable MIG Welder Under 500
Do you have a low budget but need something unique that should be able to perform better? Then the Yeswelder 205 DS suits the criteria nicely for less than five hundred dollars. Many experts are still confused that how the company can provide such an excellent unit at this price.
The unit runs on 110v and can be operated on 220v with the adapter. The 205 DS uses the inverter technology that’s the reason for its stable welding and high power. Moreover, stick and tig welding is possible with this multitasking unit.
The output amperage range is quite impressive that’s around 205A at 220 volts. If you don’t have a 220 power outlet, don’t worry it still offers 166A at 110 volts. Due to high output, you can weld ¾ inch metal pieces.
The current output range is 30-205A and this range is not enough to weld thin pieces, but you’ll surely love its high duty cycle that’s the main feature that separates it from other machines. Set the amperage range or metal thickness and the machine will auto-fix the wire feed speed and voltage.
What about its performance? We can say that it’s the best welder produced by the Yeswelder. Its durability, multifunctioning, and stable arc stunned everyone. We joined two metals and as it can be seen in the picture that bead is neat and clean.
The minor drawback is that it creates a little bit of spatter. Overall, we highly recommend this to hobbyists, professionals, DIYers, and beginners.
The few minor flaws are, that you can’t weld aluminum due to a lack of spool gun option. Another one is that it doesn’t contain tig torch and mig gas regulator in the box, however, already it’s providing very much in reasonable budget.
The metal wire drive is extremely impressive and works very fine. Those who complain over the 2-pound wire spool don’t know the basic things and the image clearly shows the two-pound roller wire in the machine.
- Smooth stable arc
- High duty cycle
- User-friendly setup
- Versatile machine
- Most favorite of thousands of users
- Creates little spatter
The company doesn’t offer a warranty but facilitates users with a replacement warranty for a specific period of time. The box includes all necessary equipment and most of them are built with quality material.
Buying Guide: Selecting the Best MIG Welder Under $500 in 2023
Although the market is filled with economical machines and from this much quantity, you need quality. Here are the few points that will surely help you to invest in a powerful quality product.
The multifunction machine gives you enough versatility to do other tasks such as flux core and arc welding. Folks who perform various types of welding should go for versatile machines.
For thin metals, one needs a low power output amperage range because high voltages can burn thin sheets. Check the units that offer high output power to weld thicker materials.
What should be the duty cycle?
The duty cycle is the percentage of a machine’s total running time out of ten minutes. Most mig units have literally low duty cycle of around 20-35% and some provide 60% or more than it. Tooliom and Yeswelder are high-duty cycle welders on the list.
Whether you need a gas unit or a gasless machine is entirely up to you. If you won’t be welding aluminum, a flux-core device with mig welding capabilities is preferable. Remember that just a few inexpensive mig welders can do gas mig. Don’t forget that you can’t insert the gas option in flux core unit.
Before you add a product to your cart, make sure to read the reviews that other people have left. Positive feedback indicates that the product is working well and doesn’t have any major issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although these welders don’t have much high specs but fulfill the users’ requirements. You can expect a low duty cycle, welding capability on ⅛” and 3/16” pieces, portability, and energy-saving ability in these units.
Gasless machines are usually easy to operate and didn’t involve much complexity. These gadgets are fit for light-duty tasks such as repairing, home tasks, and auto bodywork.
MIG aluminum welding is possible and you need good quality spool gun for this. Most units can weld 3mm of metal thickness. Although some guys believe that without a spool gun aluminum welding can be done while others disagree with it.
In the guide, we’ve done our best to deliver the right information to all our readers and customers. You can discover hundreds of units on Amazon, but only people who have tested them know how they perform on the ground. So, one can find the best cheap mig welder in our list and all these are recommended by our team.
Below are the three suggested machines by us, if you’re unable to finalize your decision.
Tooliom 200A MIG Unit – Gasless Economical Unit
Yeswelder MIG 205 DS – Excellent Affordable Unit
- How to Use a TIG Welder? Ultimate Guide and Expert Tips - March 14, 2023
- What is a TIG Welder? – Everything You Need to Know - March 11, 2023
- Ahp AlphaTIG 200X(updated 203XI) Review for 2023 - February 7, 2023